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The American Health Care Plan

April 12, 2021

The purpose of this paper is to provide Americans with a pro-liberty, conservative proposal to fix the U.S. health insurance system, lower health care costs, and create universal or near-universal access to health care services.

The United States is at an important crossroads for health care and the nation’s economy. President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats, at the urging of the party’s left-wing base, insist that America should adopt either a European-style single-payer health care system or a “public option,” which would inevitably lead to a single-payer system by driving private health insurers out of business.

Republicans rightly argue a government-funded universal health care model, regardless of how it is structured, would create massive problems, including a loss of liberty, rationing of services, and long wait times for patients—an issue that would lead to premature deaths and unnecessary suffering. However, those on the right have continuously failed to present a clear and concise plan to the public for reforming America’s broken health care system.

The purpose of this paper is to provide Americans with a pro-liberty, conservative proposal to fix the U.S. health insurance system, lower health care costs, and create universal or near-universal access to health care services—not by force or coercion, but through free-market reforms and improvement of existing social safety nets.

This Policy Study begins by briefly outlining the failures of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare,” and the shortcomings of our current health care system. It then offers to lawmakers and the public a commonsense plan to create a pro-liberty health care system that would make health coverage available to all Americans without compromising quality or putting individual liberty at risk.

The plan is laid out in two distinct parts. The first (Section 2, beginning on page 8) describes a proposal to reduce health care costs and establish a new “Health Ownership Accounts” program, which would supplement and ultimately replace the United States’ existing and irrevocably broken employer-sponsored model. 

The second part of the proposal (Section 3, beginning on page 17) would provide substantial improvements and reforms to Medicaid, giving lower-income and poor families greater access to higher-quality health care services.

As this paper shows, those who make the assertion that the only way to provide all Americans with access to health coverage is to give the federal government total control over and management of the nation’s health care system are completely wrong. There is no denying that the current health insurance model in the United States is severely flawed, but giving more power to the very same government that caused the creation of the current, failing model would not solve the present crisis and would make things much worse. There is a better way forward.

Article Tags
Health Care
Author
Justin Haskins is the Editorial Director and a Research Fellow at The Heartland Institute.
jhaskins@heartland.org @JustinTHaskins
Author
S. T. Karnick is a senior fellow and director of publications for The Heartland Institute.
skarnick@heartland.org