Putting Health Care Back in the Hands of Patients
When the Affordable Care Act—also known as ObamaCare—was being debated, we heard empty promises like “you can remain on your current plan” or “you can keep your doctor.” The promise-to-reality outcome was so off that “you can keep your doctor” became Politifact’s Lie of the Year in 2013. Despite the flashy ads and abundant promises, in reality, ObamaCare not only raised costs but took health care out of the hands of Americans and placed Medicaid on even worse financial footing through expansion to able-bodied adults. The already complex health care system became dominated by even more bureaucracy, even less transparency, and severe restrictions on patient choice. High premiums and government control became the new normal, putting bureaucrats—not patients—in the driver’s seat.
However, thanks to the hard work of the Trump administration and key decisions by Congress in the early years of his first term, control in health care decisions is beginning to find its way back into the hands of Americans rather than the government or special interests.
First, President Trump expanded Association Health Plans (AHPs)—a powerful tool for small businesses to get on the same playing field as their large competitors when purchasing health coverage. AHPs help uninsured small business owners and their employees access affordable coverage by breaking down government-imposed barriers that large companies don’t have to abide by. In fact, the administration’s rule changes to expand AHPs have the opportunity to provide millions of Americans with coverage with far lower premiums.