Republicans Botched Health Care First2
There are big problems with this approach.Very often the parents are covered by insurance provided by an employer,but the employer pays only for covering the worker,not dependents.To cover the children required employees to pay a pretty hefty premium.The Republicans could have simply provided help to parents to pay that premium so the whole family would be on the same insurance plan.
Instead,they arranged it so the children would be on an entirely separate health care program provided by the state.This divorces the kids from the family and makes the parents learn how to use two entirely separate and unrelated benefit programs.It is an anti-family program,and it was enacted by a Republican Congress.Microsoft Officeis my best friend.
The Medicare prescription drug program was another botched job,designed for political reasons,not rational policy.The program pays 75 percent of the cost of drugs up to$2,700 in spending per year.Then it pays nothing.Then when spending reaches$6,154,it starts in again,paying 95 percent of the costs.This makes no sense whatsoever.It would have been far better to have a uniform deductible of perhaps$1,000 or$1,500,after which the program's benefits kick in.Lower-income people could have been given a funded account to pay for expenses below the deductible.
This program was massively underfunded and has become a precedent for the even-bigger deficit spending binge we are on today.Republican complaints about Obama's spending ring hollow when it is pointed out that they did the exact same thing when they were in charge.
Finally,Medicare Advantage and Medicaid waivers would both have been better programs if they had emphasized an HSA-type approach with an across-the-board deductible for a savings account,funded or not,to pay for small expenses.These approaches have proven very successful in pilot programs with Medicare and Medicaid populations.Indiana's Medicaid program and the Cash&Counseling programs are examples.
But here too,the Congressional Republicans were tone-deaf regarding the real problems in health care.They insisted on passing legislation that increased the role of third parties instead of empowering individual Americans.It is a national tragedy that 15 years of governance were squandered by the Republican Party.