After a frantic week of bullying, cajoling, arm twisting, and back room deals, the White House and Paul Ryan failed to muster sufficient votes from within their own party to enact the first stage of Trumpcare. This has left a gaping chasm in healthcare policy. The defacto policy for now is Obamacare. The real question is, will the Republicans leave it alone, or have another try at replacing it?
Right now, the smart money lies on a second attempt. The problem remaining – will Trump and Ryan look to appease the far right Freedom Caucus, which will essentially mean cutting 24 million currently insured people. Or, will they look to garner votes from the Democrats that will almost certainly mean a significant shift from the previous bill? Going with Democratic votes will likely result in not so much a “Repeal and Replace” but more of a “Repair and Re-Do”. However, this approach is likely to leave the most people with healthcare coverage. Something even hard line Republicans are coming around to, on account of the large swathe of the voting public they represent.
The outcome of the current situation is by no means predictable. Either way, Trump and Ryan are faced with the devil’s choice. They can either side with the extreme right, and slash their own chances of re-election, or foster a relationship across the aisle and look weak to core Republicans.
A second defeat for an ill-conceived healthcare bill creates an even bigger hole than the first. Not least of which would be the undermining of the President’s ability to govern his own party, let alone the country. Therefore, as stated in previous articles, the solution to the countries healthcare problem is not simple by any means. Perhaps, with a bit more thought, a more palatable solution may arise.
From my own perspective, as a businessman, the single payer option has become a far more valid choice. Instead of a few companies and individuals picking up the cost for everyone – through insurance, taxes, and cost of services – everyone that works pays the taxes that pay for healthcare. The good thing about this system is that the cost is spread across everyone, no one escapes (unless throughout their entire life, they don’t work or pay taxes – this is a very small percentage). The other cool thing is everyone gets sick at some time or another, and they never have to worry as to whether they have insurance. By spreading the cost, and using the power of the single payer to drive down costs (Canadians frequently pay a fifth of the cost for the exact same drug Americans pay top dollar for) all Americans can have a decent healthcare program.
Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts.
Written by Michael Williams, CEO at Global Healthcare IT, Inc. A healthcare IT consulting firm providing access to the best healthcare IT and medical coding talent. Michael can be reached at email@example.com.