This article is being posted a little later than usual this morning. I hope you will find it worth the short wait.
Much is still being written lately about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare." Once the ACA is repealed, the question of course becomes what will replace it.
Insurance Claims and Issues Blog will continue to take a look at the main replacement proposals and the health care policies behind them, drawing on the far more granular observations in the easily understandable essay by Allison K. Hoffman, "The Unhealthy Return to Individual Responsibility in Health Policy" published on January 16, 2017 on RegBlog, the University of Pennsylvania Blog on Regulation.
We continue with a look at vouchers. The announced theory behind replacing insurance under the Act with vouchers is freedom of movement. Voucher proposals would allow patients to take their voucher in hand and buy the kind of medical treatment they want, similar to those TV commercials I suppose that encourage people to tell their doctors what drugs the manufacturers want doctors to prescribe.
The voucher proposals voiced so far have a major flaw for most patients, however. The vouchers proposed so far would not keep pace with inflation. They would be just like a dollar bill in the sense that they would not be enough to cover the doctor bills as time goes on, because even putting inflation to one side, the costs of doctors and drugs are rising even faster than inflation. The medicalcare reality is that unless vouchers under any name -- voucher, tax credit, or tax deduction -- keep pace with and match doctors and drug costs, they would be a down payment at most.
On the other hand, vouchers would reduce the federal budget if they do not keep pace with medical costs. It is the patients who would pay the costs, or go without medical care.
Vouchers that do not keep up with medicalcare costs leave no other choice.
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