The Forbes on Fox show observed the July 4th holiday today by promoting the idea that we all become “independent” from ObamaCare and employer-provided health insurance. In his introduction, host David Asman said, “As our nation celebrates its independence, why not set all Americans free by ending health care insurance as we know it, government and private?"
In his first question to panelist Sabrina Schaeffer, Asman said, “Sabrina, we’re celebrating Independence Day. Really the opposite of independence is dependence, either on the government or on your company. Why not go independent?”
“I’m with you David,” Schaeffer said. “Look, we want more Americans to have control over their health care costs, their health care dollars, their risk assessment, and the best way to do this is to allow them to have more ownership when it comes to health care.”
Panelist Bruce Japsen said, “It might come as a surprise to you, but actually Obamacare and the exchange approach, where people buy coverage on exchange and private exchanges - which a lot of private employers are going to - actually does move you to more independence because …you’re getting a chunk of money and people are saying, ‘Go buy your own health care,’ and that’s the way the future’s going to be.”
Oops, didn't fit the meme. Asman reinforced it by saying, “There’s so much about Obamacare that works against independence.”
Rick Ungar said, “I can actually get behind the idea of what you’re proposing on the question of people getting their own.” But Ungar also pointed out the big problem Asman and others conveniently overlooked: “A company, because they have so many people they’re covering, has the bargaining power of a lot of participants. When you’re on your own, man, you’re on your own.”
Asman neatly dodged that issue. He said, “A lot of people want to be on their own, and …the fact is is that now you’re not independent, you are forced to buy what the government tells you to buy. Yes, you’re paying for it, but you’re forced to buy it.”
Steve Forbes wanted to go even further and eliminate all but catastrophic insurance. “Have a real insurance market,” he said. “People would go for catastrophic insurance, it would be cheaper, we’d have lower health care costs, everyone would come out ahead, insurers would find a new line of business.”
Right, and if you don’t have the money for prescription medicine or an EKG or mammogram, no problem. Because you’ll have freedom!
Or maybe not. Asman said about Forbes’ suggestion: “Sounds too sensible for government right now.”