Former President Barack Obama returned to the White House this week for the first time since leaving office more than five years ago, to take a victory lap on his signature legislative achievement, the so-called Affordable Care Act a.k.a Obamacare. However, a closer look at the state of healthcare in the U.S. reveals it is no better off, and maybe worse, than 12 years ago when Obamacare became law. In fact, the average family health insurance premium has reportedly more than tripled since 2010.
Todd Furniss, healthcare industry expert and author of 'The 60% Solution: Rethinking Healthcare,' says this was predictable because of the fundamental flaws in the health insurance system, which Obamacare only exacerbated. "We're paying people to pay for our healthcare, rather than paying for it directly," he tells KTRH. "The absence of a direct relationship between the buyer and the seller of the goods necessarily means that costs go up."
"And now what happens is you have even more government funding (subsidies) to pay for stuff, so the prices actually go in the wrong direction...they go up instead of down."
Furniss believes the ultimate answer to rising healthcare costs is price transparency--an idea already popular with Americans--and a consumer-based, rather than government or insurance-based approach. "We should expand health savings accounts, so we have more people who can use tax-free dollars, to buy more stuff that satisfies their healthcare needs," he says.
"There are all sorts of things we can do using some of the tools that are already in place, like health savings accounts," Furniss continues. "That would be far more helpful in making more people consumers of healthcare goods and services, which creates competition for price, and thus drives prices down."