The bill introduced by the House does not repeal Obamacare. It amends it. For this reason alone, the bill should be rejected. Anyone who promised to repeal Obamacare will be violating a major campaign promise by voting for this bill.
As for the bill itself, it’s a major disappointment because it deals mainly with insurance instead of moving toward a free market in health care. The entire bill includes details surrounding the insurance market, which is why it takes over a hundred pages. Focusing on insurance instead of making healthcare more of a free market, means the bill falls short in an effort to dramatically reduce the cost of healthcare.
There is one provision that does hold the potential to reduce costs. This is the expansion of health savings accounts (HSAs). Shifting incentives for more people to pay for healthcare from their own accounts creates an incentive to reduce costs.
However, the House bill has no further incentives for freeing up the healthcare market. The President’s plan to give individuals the freedom to shop for insurance across state lines is missing. Creating a national market for healthcare would open the market to the greatest number of low cost plans.
There is also no movement toward transparent healthcare pricing. Doing so would enable both individuals and insurance companies to make informed decisions about the costs of health-related services. In Singapore, where healthcare costs are a third of what they are in the US, prices are clearly posted everyone knows what they are.
The bottom line is both the President and the House GOP have failed in their first major legislative effort--reforming healthcare. Unless they can recover, it does not bode well either for a successful tax reform or for the type of growth in the economy everyone is hoping to see.