Apparently the movement to change Obamacare is still alive. Even the law’s authors concede that it needs fixing. In some areas, the cruel combination of steep co-pays on top of sky high premiums  prevent the insured from actually accessing the coverage for which they paid the premiums. But, is it too much to hope that the renewed effort will not in somewhat similar fashion produce a sham ? That was the likely result if the recently failed bill had been enacted.

Sponsors of the withdrawn measure had criticized, as “government mandates”, Obamacare’s requirement that certain specific categories of medical service be provided by each health insurance plan. They went on to trumpet (no pun intended) that their proposal would allow each insurer to offer whatever types of medical care it desired, which would be expected to produce an array of premiums levels. A policy providing more limited care would presumably cost less. This was sometimes characterized as “freedom to select a plan that suits the family’s needs.”

Freedom to choose is the ‘All American’ ideal. But, let’s look at the matter of the need for medical treatment that is to be suited by a plan. If one does not make an accurate determination of that subject, the vaunted opportunity to choose is for naught. This is where ‘push comes to shove’. In order for this ability to choose to be worthwhile, each individual must be able to know what health issues he or she will face. Only with that knowledge would it be possible to select the sort of medical care for which there will be a need. That knowledge would make it possible to review various plans and select one that suits the need.

But, none of us are able to look into the future and foresee what maladies we will face, or avoid. Or what kind of injuries, if any, we will suffer. In turn we are unable to determine what types of treatment we will need.

If enacted, the much ballyhooed opportunity to choose a medical care plan that suits the need would turn out to be a cruel hoax for many people whose needs are destined to be unmet by their uninformed choices. Except to those already sick, those needs are unknowable at the time the right to choose is exercised. And even then, only partly known.

Various aspects of Obamacare need fixing. A removal of the requirement for a broad range of medical services in each plan is not among them.






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