President Barack Obama’s landmark achievement, the Affordable Care Act, a laughable name in retrospect, was supposed to fix the healthcare system by reducing costs and making health insurance more ‘compassionate’ by mandating coverage with the force of law, socializing costs, and centralizing doctor-patient decisions.
The rest is history: health insurance premiums continued to skyrocket, medical costs maintained their ascent, people lost their insurance plans and doctors, and excessive regulation and taxes weighed on the economy.
The government takeover of health care went exactly how conservatives warned it would, but what do they know? They were merely ‘racists’ for daring to oppose the first (half)black president.
In the wake of President Donald Trump taking the White House, free market solutions have emerged to clean up the mess that is Obamacare. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) worked with the president to expand association health plans that give people better choices and scale to achieve negotiating leverage, and the GOP tax cut bill removed the individual mandate.
The latest free market solution comes from a consortium of big businesses bent on bringing innovation to healthcare for their employees.
Amazon, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Berkshire Hathaway disrupted the healthcare space Tuesday when they announced their intentions of forming a separate company to serve the healthcare needs of their collective employees.
“The giant companies, which together employ more than 1.1 million workers, will launch an independent operation that’s intended to be free from profit-making incentives.
The new company’s goal at first will be to target technology solutions to simplify the health-care system.
Details of the new company were sketchy, with principals of Amazon, Berkshire and J.P. Morgan noting that the way it will work remains to be seen. They’re hoping that their sheer size will help bring the necessary scale and resources to tackle the issue.
“The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy,” Berkshire CEO Warren Buffett said in a statement. “Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable. Rather, we share the belief that putting our collective resources behind the country’s best talent can, in time, check the rise in health costs while concurrently enhancing patient satisfaction and outcomes.””
Despite the carefully crafted facade of altruism demonstrated by the assertion that the new endeavor will be ‘free from profit-making incentives,’ there is no doubt that these companies are acting in their own self-interest.
And that’s how it should be. Each one of these companies have tons of employees, and keeping all of them healthy and happy with their healthcare is an investment that will pay dividends.
In turn, any innovations that this consortium discovers will inevitably benefit others that adopt the new practices and technology.
This is how capitalism works. The health insurance companies that everyone loves to hate operate on a model that is largely dependent upon government regulated monopolies and often exude cronyism.
The Big Biz healthcare announcement threatens to disrupt that outdated system, and that possibility manifested in huge sell-offs in the shares of traditional health insurance companies on Wall Street Tuesday.
It’s a glimpse of the potential for creative destruction. Despite the politics of the leaders of Amazon, J.P. Morgan, and Berkshire – at least two out of the three are big time Lefties – this initiative, if it is self-funded, is American capitalism pure and simple.
The rise in healthcare costs and stagnancy of patient outcomes are not inevitable, as Buffet says, but what the Left usually ignores is the fact that the Big Government and outdated cost payment systems are the problem, not the solution.
Solutions for distorted markets come from the Free Market, not government, which is why this announcement should be applauded and government-run healthcare should be destroyed in the most creative ways possible.