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A new bill recently proposed in the Delaware legislature is threatening to implement a single-payer healthcare system that will destroy private health insurance, raise taxes, and drive away jobs and businesses in the First State. In the midst of a potential ObamaCare failure in the Supreme Court, this bill would essentially work towards effectively socializing medicine in Delaware.
This unprecedented overhaul of the Delaware health insurance market would essentially ban payments to private insurance companies in favor of a one-size-fits-all single-payer system. This new system would be implemented and enforced by an ambiguous Delaware Health Security Authority, ominously referred to throughout the bill as the “Authority.” Excuse the eerie 1984 reference, but this “Authority,” working as a supposed “non-government” entity, could easily be renamed “The Party: Healthcare edition.” In other words, this entity would be made up of government appointed bureaucrats who would not be held accountable to anyone nor anything other than themselves in controlling essentially the entire Delaware healthcare industry. This “Authority” would mandate coverage of “essential” benefits, determine doctors’ wages, and regulate health costs regardless of market demand. This bill would also effectively stifle competition in the healthcare industry, thereby driving up costs while simultaneously driving drown the quality of care.
Not only does this bill threaten the quality of the entire healthcare system, but it could lead to a gross job loss in Delaware, as employers are forced to pay for a great deal of the bill’s costs. In addition to federal dollars, a majority of the costs are covered through increased income taxes. As approximately 50% of Delawareans eligible for health insurance under this proposed legislation do not pay income tax, this bill would lead to a huge redistribution of wealth, forcing employers and employed citizens to cover the healthcare costs of the poor and the unemployed. This would result in a downtrodden economy defined by growing unemployment, as more and more wealthy job creators leave the state in search of lower income taxes elsewhere.
Given that the bill relies a great deal on federal funding from Congress, healthcare in Delaware under this newly proposed legislation would constantly rely on the ever-evolving, hostile political climate in Washington. For example, with Republicans in control of Congress, would Delaware still be guaranteed government funding for this huge bureaucratic monstrosity promising to take over the current system? If there’s anything that Greece taught us, it’s that a statist approach to healthcare does not work. To rely on funding from an increasingly unreliable and debt-ridden government is as careless as it is irresponsible.
A single-payer, one-size-fits-all, bureaucratic nightmare is not the only approach to healthcare reform and nor by any means is it the most practical. What Delaware really needs is a more patient-centered approach to reform. This type of real reform would put individuals in charge of their own healthcare decisions and open up the insurance market to competition that will work towards lowering prices and increasing the quality of care. This can and will be done; however, the first step towards real healthcare reform is stopping HB 392 from ever seeing the light of day.
With only three legislative days this week and four legislative days next week before the General Assembly leaves for vacation, the huge Democratic majority in the Delaware legislature appears to think they may be able to ram this bill through before any of their constituents catch on to its existence or its dreadful consequences. It’s time to prove these legislatures wrong and make them feel Delawareans push back against this unprecedented overhaul of their healthcare system. That’s why Delawareans need to call and email their representatives and senators here and tell them to VOTE NO TO HB 392.