While Trump announces his intent to indirectly dismantle the Affordable Care Act, piece by piece, the GOP's success in repealing the ACA's individual mandate may have actually achieved the law's demise, if 20 Republican states succeed in their lawsuit announced yesterday.
Their argument, standing on the 2012 decision by the Supreme Court defining the ACA as a tax penalty enabling it to continue, is that under that definition the ACA cannot stand without the individual mandate. I'm not a lawyer, but they appear to be logically correct. It will be interesting to see the legal maneuvering. Of course, it will also be interesting to see America's response.
But, unraveling this national health care law wouldn't be a first in the history of our country. As presented in my book, Bill Please: Consumers Driving Health Care, every previous national health care law that was passed was then dismantled in a similar fashion in short order by the opposition.
The Federal government first inserted itself in national health care beginning clear back in 1798 passing the Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen, creating the Marine Hospital Service which later became the Public Health Service.
The United States has witnessed 220 years now of what we continue to see today regarding health care legislation. Do we finally have the ability to stand back and recognize this futile cycle? Can we stand back and see that when we as consumers yell at our representatives in Washington to "do something," can we see that they do "something" hoping to please us and get reelected, but that, after 220 years, it is not what needs to be done?
You see, we as consumers are the ones that must do something, the something that will fix our health care system - take control. We do so by requiring the same transparency, accountability and affordability we do from any other industry hoping to earn our business. And our health insurance? If we interacted with the health care industry directly as if we didn't have any insurance, this ship would be righted immediately.
Don't give away your power. No one ought to be practicing medicine without a license, including governments or insurance companies. The only ones licensed to practice medicine are physicians who you must partner with to achieve and maintain your health. Don't settle for less. Ask a lot of questions and require answers. Ask for quotes for everything and hold providers to it, just as you do in any other purchase. After all, your health is more important than any other purchase - it is the most important investment you can make.
Rylan Klaseen & Associates
Serving Southern California: