ATLANTA, GA, July 7, 2020 — Allen Buckley, a fiscal conservative independent candidate in the special election race for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Kelly Loeffler, says the U.S. needs to significantly change its health care system by causing market forces to induce price reductions. He also says President Trump’s recent executive order regarding transparency is deficient.
For many years, the costs of health care have been increasing at a greater rate than the ordinary inflation rate. Health insurers’ profits are significant. The federal government faces significant financial challenges, and Medicare and Medicaid are two of its largest annual costs.
The two major political parties have done little to reduce the costs of health care. Many Democrats have recently been pushing for Medicare for all, etc. Republicans have responded by recommending nothing except for continuing the status quo.
On December 17, 2019, Pew Research Center reported: “When asked to consider the major problems facing the country, the affordability of health care and drug addiction top the American public’s list.”
On June 24th, President Trump signed an executive order that, among other things, attempts to make public the actual costs paid by insurers, etc. to hospitals. The theory is that if people know the actual costs of care, it will impact their decision-making. However, Section 1 of the executive order notes the “predominant role that third-party payers and Government programs play in the American healthcare system.” The executive order does nothing to reduce this predominant role. Significant law changes would be necessary to reduce the role.
Buckley proposes the following significant law changes to the health care system outside Medicare and Medicaid to help bring down costs: (a) cutting patent rights in half for drug manufacturers that charge more in the U.S. than they charge abroad; (b) making “pay to delay” practices with respect to generic drugs unlawful; (c) disallowing tax deductions and subsidies for health insurance unless it is high deductible insurance, while permitting deductions for contributions to related health savings accounts (HSAs); (d) permitting HSAs to change so the deductible can be as low as $0 if co-insurance of 50 percent or more exits until the maximum-out-of-pocket amount is hit; (e) requiring HSAs to always require at least 25 percent co-insurance until the maximum out-of-pocket amount is hit; (f) requiring the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to disclose on its website common means of treating health care problems; and (g) significantly reducing Medicaid funding to states that have certificate of need (CON) laws.
Regarding Medicare, Buckley proposes: (a) gradually moving the retirement age back to 70 and adjusting it every decade after 2039 for changes in life expectancy; (b) eliminating the Medicare Part A deductible but adding 15 percent co-insurance; (c) cutting Part B premiums in half, while increasing the cost share of office visits, etc. from 20 to 40 percent; and (d) keeping only the catastrophic coverage aspects of Part D, that picks up 95 percent of costs for the year in excess of $6,350 of costs paid by the consumer. Regarding gradually moving the retirement age back to 70, Buckley would keep Obamacare, with some reasoned changes, so that older people who wished to retire before 70 could take advantage of Obamacare.
Buckley said: “Our nation has significant health costs problems and financial problems. The third party in the health care purchase equation makes it different than virtually all other transactions, except college education. Medicare for all would be a huge mistake. Creating real competition, while not breaking anyone in the process, is what needs to be done. As noted on my campaign website, it has worked in Singapore. Some reasonable sacrifice will be necessary in the early years. But, that’s absolutely required to make overall positive changes, that should last indefinitely. Democrats and Republicans, who’ve sold out to health insurers, won’t get the job done. President Trump’s recent executive order merely beats around the bush. It’s time to act in a significant way.”
Mr. Buckley’s “Save Tomorrow” campaign is about living for today and tomorrow, instead of living for today to the detriment of tomorrow. The focus is on doing things to make tomorrow as good as or even better than today, by acting now to address the nation’s financial challenges and confronting global warming in a practical way. Buckley ran against Johnny Isakson in 2016 as the Libertarian Party’s candidate. In an October 20, 2016 poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he drew 11 percent of the vote.
Mr. Buckley is an attorney/CPA. He can be reached for comment at (404) 610-1936. Mr. Buckley’s campaign website is www.buckleyforsenate.org.