The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. —James Madison, Speech in the Virginia State Convention of 1829-1830
Indiana’s Health Savings Account Success
Shortly after the enactment of ObamaCare, I wrote about the bribes and corruption exploited by our political elites to pass the law. In addition to our government’s sheenigangs, the free exchange of ideas and discussion regarding health care were snuffed by President Obama, Senator Reid, and Speaker Pelosi. In particular, health care savings accounts for Indiana’s government employees was not considered to be part of the ObamaCare law. My comments on the process and efficacy of ObamaCare have become true and are now negatively impacting millions of Americans. The following is my assessment three years ago:
Health care reform has passed. The legislative process exposed the machinations of federal politics. Mis-using bribes, mendacity and obfuscation the power elite cobbled together enough votes for passage. Many Americans are outraged at the process.
Americans are more-than skeptical of the product. Numerous citizens are repulsed by the mandates and regulations. Others are skeptical of the legislation’s efficacy, believing their medical care will decline and costs will rise. After reading the polls, Democrats have been coached to say, “It does some good. Now, we need to fix it.”
The free exchange of ideas, which is the essence and greatness of a free society, was missing and completely ignored from the discussion. A free society excels because of the limitless exchange of ideas, goods and services. Competing ideas are open to scrutiny by everyone, resulting in enhanced opinions, judgments and products. The Obama Administration snuffed our free exchange of ideas. The power elites – Obama, Pelosi, Reid and their subordinates – imposed their will on America, which is impeding good health care, stifling the economy and restricting personal freedom.
Prior to passing ObamaCare in March 2010, Indian’s then-Governor Mitch Daniels explained the popularity of his state’s Health Savings Accounts and how they worked for 70 percent of state workers who had them. The Wall Street Journal reports:
In Indiana’s HSA, the state deposits $2,750 per year into an account controlled by the employee, out of which he pays all his health bills. Indiana covers the premium for the plan. The intent is that participants will become more cost-conscious and careful about overpayment or overutilization.
As to the unused funds, they are the worker’s permanent property. To date, there are nearly $30 million in unused funds, which comes to about $2,000 per employee and growing rapidly. For the very small number of employees (about 6% last year) who use their entire account balance, the state shares additional health costs with an out-of-pocket maximum of $8,000, after which the employee is completely protected.
A year ago, Governor Daniels reported, again, on the success of HSAs, which over 90 percent of the state employees have voluntarily enrolled. Human Events:
Despite resistance from the defenders of the third-party payment system and the proponents of a government-run, single-payer healthcare system, the HSAs have been an unqualified success. In 2006, the first year of availability for Indiana state employees, they were selected by only four percent of us. But over the next few years, this option grew in popularity: by 2012, more than 90 percent of state workers had signed up.
Along the way, real consumerism kicked in.
Patients began avoiding emergency rooms for non-emergencies and using generic drugs and preventative care at higher rates than their counterparts in traditional plans. Ultimately, the HSAs saved both the state and the employee money. An outside analysis showed double-digit reductions in the state’s costs compared to traditional health coverage. Plus, employee premiums were much lower and HSA holders accumulated savings in the amount of $54 million.
Bribes, corruption and deceit forced ObamaCare on every American. Alternatives were available. Options were there. One choice would have been to use Heathcare Savings Accounts.
Turthfully, America would have been better off if there been an honest, robust debate over our healthcare system. A free society excels because of the limitless exchange of ideas, goods and services. Competing ideas are open to being scrutinized by everyone resulting in enhanced opinions, judgments and products.
For freedom and honest government, repeal ObamaCare immediately and have an honest, transparent debate.