Each of the options to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, currently being halfheartedly offered share one commonality – if put into place they will rob Americans of basic legal rights regarding medical malpractice offered by state and local governments.
Imagine a world where our loved ones could be negligently harmed by a medical facility and that would be okay with our country’s leaders. Scary thought, and closer to reality than one would like to think. Each of the options to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, currently being halfheartedly offered share one commonality – if put into place they will rob Americans of basic legal rights regarding medical malpractice offered by state and local governments. In other words, if mistreated, “oh well” laws at the federal level will prevent legal action from being pursued, or at least pursued to a degree that seems ethical. The federal government would institute a one size fits all policy for medical treatment that would at times prevent doctors from acting in the best interest of their patients. Instead, medical providers would be forced into sticking to the federal policies, even if contrary to what the patient truly needs. If there are repercussions, the doctor could still be held liable for medical malpractice, but medical panels would be granted the ability to decide on such cases with limited input from the patients injured.
Health care providers will still remain free to bypass procedures they feel are not morally in line with their services, such as performing abortions. However, they will be forced into turning down treatments they would typically pursue in favor of those that are federally mandated. While most citizens do not pursue lawsuits due to the time and cost involved, simply removing the basic rights of citizens of the free country is probably not the wisest decision. The public outcry and media backlash may force lawmakers to rethink.
The replacement proposals also call for limits on funds paid out to those injured, eliminating an individual’s basic constitutional right to a civil jury trial regarding how much the perpetrator should be responsible for. It is thought the new provisions are being pursued because of their ability to lower the overall cost of health care, making it affordable to all citizens, and therefore, similar to Obamacare. Advocates of the ACA replacement plans claim these plans better utilize market forces to keep costs at a minimum. According to supporters, they will help to undo the damage caused by Obamacare, including limiting member choices, driving up premium costs and turning off providers uninterested in adhering to a sea of rules and regulations. Employers will have more freedom to hire employees full time, because they will not be tied to offering insurance to their workforce clocking more than 30 hours per week, which in turn would help with the overwhelming unhappily unemployed.
However, the figures the lower cost assumption has been based on are likely padded and outdated, and the associated cons far outweigh any benefits. Further analysis has shown that the reduction numbers are skewed and limiting rights would essentially have no effect on cost. What’s more, medical costs are already the lowest they’ve been in years making capped pay outs unnecessary. While an outline of potential replacement options has been released, a definitive plan for rolling out an alternative is nowhere near completion.