A Lesson From The Past: A Possible Fix For The Affordable Care Act

Monday, June 6th, 2016 @ 5:45PM

by Jim Adams

The 18th amendment, the National Prohibition Act, went into effect January 1920. This Act was a culmination of many years of relentless lobbying of Congress. During the mid-1800’s through 1919, the Temperance movement, in conjunction with numerous religious groups, the Methodist being the most prominent, “convinced elected officials of the evils of alcohol.” It is nearly impossible to affix a number of the population adversely affected by alcoholism and the related problems of alcohol abuse at the time the Amendment was ratified. However, a number of less than 20% of the population was a good ballpark number agreed upon at the time by those for and against Prohibition. Does that number sound familiar? Remember the Affordable Care Act (ACA) targeted 15% of the population that were uninsured. It seems the quest to get everyone insured is responsible for numerous unintended consequences of the ACA.

The States that approved the 18th Amendment by the ratification process in 1920 agreed with those groups who considered alcohol a threat to the Nation. The next thirteen years of prohibition also proved to be full of unintended consequences. The hope of eliminating crime and other social problems were made far worse. The rapid growth of organized crime and related issues was widespread. The “Noble Experiment” had failed and on December 5, 1933, by the ratification of 36 states, prohibition was overturned. As Collen Graham wrote, “This Prohibition Act was a failed social and political experiment. The era changed the realization that Federal Government control cannot always take the place of personal responsibility.” Never is that sentiment more germane than today with the ACA.

The present Congress can learn a great deal from the Congress that enacted prohibition then repealed it. They let the States decide their future. No matter which party you support, everyone must admit the ACA was doomed from the start. This legislation is full of unintended consequences. Who lied or who is at fault does little for the millions losing their present health care providers. It is time for this Congress to act. Allow health care providers to cross state lines. Let the states decide how they want to run health care in their state. A one size fits all health care offering fits no one. Allow consumers to shop for the type of care and amount of deductible they want. Local people can best find answers to these important issues, not federal bureaucrats.

Unlike the politicians of the 20’s and 30’s who followed the Constitution, this administration has changed the ACA by granting special waivers to special interests, and changed the due dates and milestones of this Act without the consent of Congress. The administration also continues to state that the law required insurance companies to drop the individuals that presently have sub-standard policies. And the new offering is much better, says who, the government, or the person that was perfectly happy with their old coverage. Also, everyone must be aware that the real end game of the ACA is a single payer system, just like Canada, which works great if you are young and healthy. Everyone else should beware.

The only way to get the present awful state of health care fixed is at the polls. The ACA will destroy the economy, cost the middle class working men and women hundreds to thousands of dollars more for the insurance they had prior to the “Noble Experiment,” and will cost thousands of jobs. Let the states decide as they did with prohibition and let a bi-partisan solution fix this problem. It is time for change, common sense, with local control and a solution that takes into account those presently with healthcare and those without.

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