Many physicians are applauding President Donald Trump’s decision to move forward on bringing free-market health care to the nation as former President Barack Obama’s signature reform continues to implode.
Trump signed an executive order Thursday that seeks to expand choices for those in Obamacare health insurance plans, and increase competition by allowing employers to form associations across state lines.
The order allows for a “broader interpretation” of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that could “potentially allow employers in the same line of business anywhere in the country to join together to offer healthcare coverage to their employees.”
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul – an ophthalmologist – writes at Breitbart News he has been working with the Trump administration for months on the plan:
Millions of Americans will be eligible to band together to demand less-expensive insurance. The 28 million individuals left behind by Obamacare will now be eligible for inexpensive insurance.
The cost to the taxpayer? ZERO! As opposed to the trillion-dollar, “fake” replacements we voted on, this replacement simply legalizes choice.
Dr. Roger Klein – who is both a physician and an attorney – says the president’s executive order is a necessary “first step” due to the failure of Congress to act to repeal Obamacare.
He explains to Breitbart News:
I think giving businesses, professionals, and firefighters, and others the ability to band together to purchase insurance at lower rates will be beneficial in terms of providing greater access to high quality care. Association plans have proven themselves to be highly desirable. People are smart and they’re going to make choices that they feel are in their best interest. So, you will see a migration from the Obamacare plans to these association plans – which are more likely to meet people’s needs in terms of the cost and the coverage.
“The president really felt compelled to act because Congress is unable to do so,” Klein adds. “But, I think it’s just a first step with the president – with the best of his authority and ability – trying to bring market forces into the healthcare system. Ultimately, though, Congress will need to repeal and replace Obamacare at its core.”
Klein – an expert at the Federalist Society – says Trump’s action will especially help small businesses and people who purchase insurance on the individual market who do not receive subsidies.
“The president is trying to bring patient choice and physician choice so that people have a system that is affordable and meets their needs,” he says.
Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), applauds the executive action and agrees the president’s executive order will help to “level the field so all can benefit from a less costly, more patient-friendly option.”
Orient explains to Breitbart News that AAPS has “long advocated mechanisms for group insurance that is not tied to an employer.”
“Large companies able to do so have long offered self-insured ERISA health insurance plans,” she says, and adds:
We hope that tax reform will include tax equity and end discrimination against those who own their own insurance, as opposed to those who get employer-owned insurance. Premiums for the latter are free of the payroll tax as well as income tax. And why should third-party payment be advantaged over self-payment? Involvement of the third party inevitably increases costs and moral hazard.
The president and Congress should also consider tax credits for contributions to organizations that directly pay medical bills for the uninsured or uninsurable, modeled on state tuition tax credits for scholarships to private schools. Current subsidies paid to “insurers” (managed care companies) hemorrhage a lot of money into the Swamp that never gets to anyone who provides medical goods and services.
Dr. Kristen Held, a Texas-based ophthalmologist, says she is encouraged by Trump’s move to “uphold his pledge to the American people to repeal Obamacare, in spite of the failure of Congress to send him repeal legislation to sign thus far.”
Held tells Breitbart News she applauds Trump’s choice to work with Paul – who is focused on individualized patient care – as opposed to some of Obama’s physician advisors who, she says, were enamored with the “British system of socialized medicine.” She explains:
I am encouraged that President Trump and Senator Paul, M.D. are working on behalf of the people to decrease over-aggressive government rules, regulations, and mandates to allow greater choice and decreased cost for patients, including the ability to join together in health associations to escape the failing individual market and purchase group plans with less restrictions and lower premiums using health reimbursement accounts with meaningful tax advantages.
“While members of Congress have not upheld their campaign promises to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare, President Trump is acting to honor his word in spite of them,” Held adds.