April 28, 2015
Oakland, CARunning an Obamacare health-insurance exchange can present such formidable and costly challenges that Hawaii, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and other states are considering shutting theirs down and defaulting to the federal exchange, just as Oregon did last year. But even the federal exchange is plagued with serious problemsincluding trouble verifying the income of applicants, checking their eligibility for state Medicaid programs, and determining whether or not workers’ employers offer affordable, qualified insurance.
There’s one simple solution, however, that would solve these and other Obamacare problems overnight, according to health policy expert John C. Goodman, author of the new book A Better Choice: Healthcare Solutions for America (Oakland, Calif.: The Independent Institute).
Goodman’s “simple solution”? Deregulate and denationalize the exchanges, and convert the tricky-to-calculate Obamacare tax credits into a tax credit that is the same for everyone, independent of income.
“With a universal tax credit, all these problems go away,” Goodman writes.
In A Better Choice, Goodman argues that ending the Obamacare mandates and subsidies and adopting a uniform tax credit (equal to the cost to Medicaid of a new enrollee) would also yield other important benefits, such as ending the perverse incentives that encourage employers to keep the number of workers on their payroll small, to switch full-time workers to part-timer status, or to rely heavily on independent contractors and temp workers.
Goodman’s book also recommends other reforms to vastly improve America’s healthcare system, including converting all the various medical savings accounts into a more consumer-friendly Roth Health Savings Account; allowing everyone the right to buy Medicaid or opt out of it and to use the money to buy private insurance; and encouraging insurers to offer plans that cover changes in a consumer’s health status.
In addition to its many concrete proposals, A Better Choice presents Goodman’s six principles for guiding healthcare reformers in Congressprinciples that address the six major problems of Obamacare
John C. Goodman, Ph.D. (“The Father of Health Savings Accounts.”The Wall Street Journal) has written extensively on health policy for more than three decades. He is Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, a non-profit research and educational organization that offers non-partisan solutions to important social and economic problems. For media inquiries, please contact Marketing and Communications Director Kim Cloidt at 202-725-7722 ([email protected]).