A recent article reported on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor saying the Republicans plan to repeal the entire health care law and then replace it slowly. This elicited several scathing comments claiming the party to be a failure for not having a replacement plan. However, law and policy makers should not rush to replace the heath care law because the private market will do its job to meet demands. It will take time for the whole industry to improve but at least it will be done right. A comparable example could be the mobile device industry. Similar to health care, phones became increasingly innovative and technical, along with the provider plans that serviced them. The government did not impose excessive regulations on this industry as it developed and now there are ever-improving phone plans with hosts of satisfied customers. Oh if only the same could be said of health care. While it is a stretch to do a side by side comparison, principles that have guided the mobile device industry for years would do health care some good.
One good thing phone companies have going for them is transparency in pricing. Are you ever surprised by your doctor bill? Would you be upset if you had those same surprises from your phone company? Major phone service providers such as Sprint, Verizon and AT&T have websites that are easy to navigate and give you a good idea of what your financial commitment would be if you chose them. Conversely, health care costs are in an ever changing labyrinth of premiums, copays and deductibles. Like the mobile device industry, insurance companies could do a better job of simplifying their payment systems and helping their customers understand them better. Their jobs would be made a lot more difficult if they have a bunch of top-down regulations to abide by.
Also, phone companies are customer oriented. A big part of any free market is figuring out how to produce more of what consumers like. From the example of the mobile device industry, both texting and now email have become standards for most cellular phone plans as a result of demand from consumers. As the demand went up, service providers figured out how they could fit unlimited texting into their business plans and are now breaking ground in providing unlimited data plans. Feats like these couldn’t have been easy, but it has certainly paid off as the mobile device industry continues to boom. Three prominent health insurance companies have made similar moves as they announced their keeping of a popular provision from the health care law allowing individuals to remain on their parents insurance until age twenty-six. That’s a good step, and now the health market should be allowed to meet customer demands without being micromanaged to death by another gargantuan health care law.
So no, the health care law should not be hastily replaced. Instead, the free market should be allowed to mold health care into what consumers want, just as it has done with your phone.