Freedom in Health Care – How Nice to Hear That Word!

Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, former Senator Phil Gramm speculates on what actions the GOP should take to amend Obamacare, in the event that the Supreme Court, in King v. Burwell, strikes down the legitimacy of federal subsidies in the 37 states that do not operate their own health exchanges.

Gramm suggests that individuals then be given the freedom to select private insurance, or to remain with federally subsidized plans. In the article, he suggests what he calls “the freedom option” – every American would have the right to decide not to participate in ObamaCare: If you like ObamaCare and its subsidies, you can keep it. If you don’t, you are free to buy the health insurance that fits your needs.

The health care issue is far too complex for me to understand, and it seems like many other people, including those who enacted it, are in the same boat.

But I do like that word “freedom”. I don’t think Gramm used it enough in his commentary piece this morning.

Freedom for all health insurance providers to offer as many different plans and coverages as they wish, and the freedom to sell those plans across state lines.

Freedom for individuals to choose from among the plethora of available plans, to select the coverages that fit them best.

Freedom for individuals to select a federally sponsored and designed plan if they so choose, with subsidies for those with low incomes.

Freedom for providers to be part of the health plans they choose.

Prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, approximately 80% of those surveyed indicated they were satisfied with their plans. Of course, that was in the day when they (and employers and insurers and providers) had freedom to act.

Freedom. That’s a powerful word. We don’t hear it often enough these days.