The so called “Ryancare” bill failed this past week. Health insurance in America continues to be a mess. (Note that I said insurance, not care. The care available in America continues to be amazing….if you can pay for it. The confusion between the two is part of the problem, I believe).
What boggles my mind is how it seems there is s simple way to make changes to the way insurance works in this country.
Unbundle from employment.
All the hue and cry about preexisting conditions would be significantly lessened if you could simply purchase insurance on your own instead of through an employer, and receive the same tax benefits as an employer does. This would allow someone to purchase insurance, and keep it, prior to any preexisting conditions…and then not be concerned about losing it if the job changes.
Keep in mind, the entire reason we have this goofy employer-based system is because during World War II, there were wage controls in place, and the employer providing insurance was a benefit to help attract talent. Even Wikipedia acknowledges this.
Imagine if you were afraid to change jobs because you might lose your car insurance. Imagine if you could get car insurance after you were in a car accident. Imagine if people demanded that car insurance covered oil changes and new tires and routine maintenance. It would be ludicrous. That would cease to be insurance and be some sort of prepaid maintenance plan.
And yet that is where our “insurance” system is right now, and it’s not getting better.