Health Exchange Fallout by Senator Thayn
What is the next step? Many of the opponents to the ACA are very frustrated by the passage of the state health insurance exchange. I would like to share a positive path forward; but first, I would like to share why we are frustrated.
The ACA will not reduce costs. It is a threat to freedom. What we see with the ACA is a new entitlement for the middle class. An entitlement is simply the taking of money and resources and power from those that produce and giving that money and resources and power to those that did not produce. We hate to see our country change in such a fundamental way where more and more citizens become dependent upon government programs. John Locke basically said that the assault on property is really an assault on life itself. The ACA is taking the essence of our life and giving it to someone else. Locke said:i (please read footnote).
The second area of frustration is a minority in support are imposing their will on a majority that oppose. When the Constitution was ratified it took 2/3 of the states not a simple majority. A 2/3 majority is the operational principle of limited government. No major changes in government structure should take place without a 2/3 supermajority. Obama Care should have taken a 2/3 majority to implement because it is a major change in government. The few of us opposed to ACA and the state health insurance exchange seem to have no rights at all. Who do we appeal to? What do we do?
The answer is simple. We act rather than react. What is the real goal? The real goal is to empower people so that they control their own health care decisions. We do not need recalls and referendum. We need to do more than complain. We need to come up with plans of action on how to solve two problems.
1. Reduce the cost of medical care 2. Improve access to care
These two goals can be achieved by using limited government strategies. I will share a few today and in the future I will go into more detail. The basic concept is that costs go up as government and insurance companies control more of the funds costs. Conversely, cost decline as more funds are controlled by the people. People need to control the funds; not government or insurance companies.
First, protect your own health. Stay as healthy as possible through diet, exercise, and life style choices.
Second, don’t go to the exchange. Boycott it. There is no legal requirement to go to the exchange. It is voluntary and unnecessary. Health insurance can be purchased outside of the exchange. The funding for the exchange is dependent upon those that buy products on the exchange. If no one goes to the exchange, it will have no funding. Today, only 38,000 households need to go to the exchange to get the subsidy. If Idaho citizens really are opposed to the ACA, and if they find another option, then the exchange would not have enough customers to stay open.
The reason is that the exchange must be self-funded. It must charge to use the exchange. If the exchange has to charge $500 to use the exchange, people would be disincentivized to use the exchange because of the cost and stay away.
Third, find health care options outside of the exchange. There are ways to operate outside of the ACA that are legal. We need to explore these options more fully.
1. Buy a non-qualifying policy such as a high deductible policy. This would require you to pay the penalty beginning in 2014. The first year it is $95 or 1% of income.
2. Pray that nothing happens. (Most wives do not think that this is a good plan.) 3. Join an organization that is exempt from the penalty but still can help with medical costs. 4. Self-fund or band together to help each other.
The last step is to work to make changes to the health care system which would include:
Support S1106 that I wrote this year. This only applies to state employees at this time but could be expanded. It has to do with funded health savings accounts
Support H289 which requires health insurance companies to offer low cost insurance policies Build off-exchange real market solutions Work on reforming Medicaid
These ideas are not a panacea; however, they are a beginning. There are struggles ahead; let’s work together.
i A person’s property is a protection of life itself. Another interesting point made by Locke is the fact that all property is an extension of a person’s life, energy, and ingenuity. Therefore to destroy
or confiscate such property is, in reality, an attack on the essence of life itself.
The person who has worked to cultivate a farm, obtained food by hunting, carved a beautiful statue, or secured a wage by his labor, has projected his very being – the very essence of his life- into that labor. This is why Locke maintained that a threat to that property is a threat to the essence of life. Here is the reasoning:
Though the earth and all inferior creatures be common [as the gift from God] to all men, yet every man has “property” in his own “person”. This, nobody has the right to but himself. The “labor” of his body and “work” of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever, then, he removes out of the state that nature hat provided and left in, he hath mixed his labor with it, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property.
He that is nourished by the acorns he picked up under an oak, or the apples he gathered from the trees in the wood, he certainly appropriated them to himself. Nobody can deny but the nourishment is his. I ask, then, when did they begin to be his? When he digested? or when he ate? or when he boiled? or when he brought them home? or when he picked them up? And is it plain, if the first gathering made them not his, nothing else could. ( Locke Second Essay Concerning Civil government, pp. 30-31, par, 26-27)
How is ownership Acquired?
Locke then deals with a very important question: if all things were originally enjoyed in common with the rest of humanity, would a person not have to get consent of every other person on earth before he could call certain things his own? Locke answers by saying:
That labor... added something to them [ the acorn or apples] more than Nature, the common mother of all, had done, and they became his private right. And will anyone say he had no right to those acorns or apples he thus appropriated because he had not consent of all mankind to make them his?... If such a consent as that was necessary, [the] man[would have] starved, notwithstanding the plenty God had given him... It is the taking any part of what is common, and removing it out of the state Nature leaves it in, which begins the property, without which the common [ gift from God] is of no use. ... Thus this law of reason makes the deer that [property of the Indian] who hath killed it; it is allowed to be his goods who hath bestowed his labor upon it, though, before, it was the common right of every one. (Ilbid., p. 31, par. 27-29.)