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2 edward batesHappy New Year! Regardless of your political persuasion, if you hate Obama Care (which over 65% of the nation does), this New Year should give you a bounce in your step. Congress will begin to decide the best way to deal with this burdensome ACA (Affordable Care Act) law; repeal it and start over, or try to fix or amend it.

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Amending it would suggest that there is more to the law that is good than bad. Therefore, if you amend those things that are undesirable, then you have a good law. Repealing the law gives Congress the opportunity to create a new health care system that retains a few of the popular items such as dependents covered until age 26 and no pre-existing condition clauses. Most folks in Minnesota have forgotten that Minnesota had one of the most admired health insurance structures in the county. Groups under 100 employees had coverage to age 26 for dependent (yes before Obama Care) and had an assigned risk pool for those that were not insurable, paid for by the four participating companies writing health insurance in Minnesota, and not the tax payers. These carriers also shared the cost of claims over $1M so that no one company would be crippled or less competitive because of poor underwriting luck. Sure, this assigned risk pool MCHA (MN Comprehensive Health Act) cost more, but who would suggest that those who use health care more than those who do not, shouldn't have to pay a little more. Many of us work hard to maintain our health and we desire to reap the benefits financially for that effort. And, if my health changes then I am willing to invest more in my health insurance in order to continue life as best I can. Somewhere our government has gotten to a point where we all are responsible for everyone else and their access to and cost of their health care. Take out of the equation the effort made to maintain your health, or the lack of effort to do so. Take out of the equation benefits of having purchased insurance throughout your life because it is the responsible thing to do, or having never purchased insurance. Set aside the fact that when you pay for everyone's insurance your premiums go up so high the government now must offer you a subsidy to pay for that coverage, more commonly called welfare. Some of us don't want others to pay our way. That never used to be the American way.

I for one am one of those folks that has a bounce in my step. The Obama administration forced the government's way of providing health insurance and now we're going to go back to letting the experts in the insurance industry make our way. This previous administration has done a great job of demonizing the insurance companies to get their law passed, but consider this: why in 6 years of Obamacare did the entire health care system become so negative to a great majority of Americans? Why also before ACA were most insureds and employers generally accepting of the health system. This month begins a new and hopefully successful means to select a better direction for health care insurance. It will take time to right the damage caused by ACA, including the escalating costs, but eventually we will have a system that allows you the patient, the right to choose you own care provider and what amount of coverage you need to accomplish that. That's right, the government won't be a necessary part of the equation. I will keep you updated in future newsletters as to the progress of this effort and where we are headed in health care.

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