Should Washington Give States Funds for Healthcare
by Amna El Tawil
Throughout his presidential campaign, the President-elect Donald J. Trump announced on numerous occasions that he will work to shut down Obamacare. Based on his determination, it’s highly likely that this healthcare plan will be replaced with some other one. Let’s assume it happens and Mr. Trump as well as his secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Tom Price, decide to let each state determine the best manner to provide effective healthcare to its residents. What then? I’m sure that, just like me, you’re anxious to see what’s going to happen after Mr. Trump’s inauguration. How is he going to handle foreign affairs? Is he going to prosecute Hillary Clinton regarding her emails, after all? Will he revoke Obamacare? What is going to be the next healthcare system from now on? Questions are numerous and we’re going to wait for a while to get the answers.
It’s not that difficult to assume that healthcare could be handed over to the individual states. For instance, the Tenth Amendment dictates: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” Moreover, according to the Medicaid, the programs should be state administered, not controlled from Washington DC.
Further commentary: despite the fact most of us assume that Washington is the one to administer healthcare to the citizens of the US, the Constitution dictates it’s the job of every state. Healthcare of each state’s resident isn’t a federal job and that doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Every state has different demographics and socio-economic status, meaning it’s more likely that the particular state will provide better healthcare program to fit all residents than the federal government. When it comes to this topic the “one size fits all” rule doesn’t apply. End of commentary.
Let’s say that the Trump administration hands over the healthcare to each state. The next question is: who’s going to fund all that? This doesn’t come cheap! Should federal government finance these plans? There’s no simple answer to that question.
It is important to bear in mind that the federal government collects tax revenue in a bid to pay for services that residents can’t do for themselves, including:
- Military defense
- Safe and secure borders
- Interstate commerce
- International trade
Further commentary: when you take a few moments to think how the federal government works regarding tax revenue, you probably think: it’s their money, so they obviously make their own rules. But, hold on! Actually, it’s not their money! That money is generated by corporations and state residents, Washington only collects it. You contribute to that revenue regularly, just like the next person. It’s important to bear in mind that Washington doesn’t really produce anything but guidelines, recommendations, and rules. That’s it! End of commentary
Due to the fact that healthcare isn’t a responsibility of federal government, then that same government doesn’t really need tax revenue to pay for it. Logically, Washington should decrease federal taxation by the amount that is currently being spent on the healthcare system.
Forbes reported: “As part of ongoing research into national healthcare spending, the Deloitte Center For Health Solutions recently published their findings based on health data from 2012. According to the new report, there’s an additional amount of healthcare consumer spending that isn’t included in the federal calculations (often referred to as the National Healthcare Expenditure or just NHE). The new Deloitte calculations represent out?of?pocket expenses by consumers and amount to an additional $672 billion for 2012. By Deloitte’s accounting, this additional amount puts the NHE for 2012 at $3.46 trillion.”
If we take into consideration the fact that the government spends more than $3 trillion on a yearly basis giving healthcare back to the states, then Washington could reduce the federal tax burden of the average American by $9375 per year when you divide 3 trillion by 320 million.
Even though the Constitution doesn’t oblige federal government to have healthcare responsibility, it still (voluntarily) controls three programs:
- EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment And Labor Act)
Further commentary: If the government happens to give the Medicaid control to each state individually, then Washington doesn’t have to pay the states for their programs. End of commentary
Fierce Healthcare reported results of the newest research which showed: “The rising cost of private health insurance, hospital care, physician and clinical services, and prescription drugs are a few reasons that in 2015 healthcare spending in the United States grew at a rate of 5.8% and reached $3.2 trillion. Those figures equate to $9,990 per person.”
Further commentary: while politicians and parties are discussing the right healthcare plan, it’s the general public that pays the price. Expenses keep getting higher and an increasing number of people find it difficult to keep up with the costs. If the federal government transfers the control of healthcare plan to each state and decreases tax revenue, then it wouldn’t have to fund it as each state could have the finances to impose adequate healthcare plan for its residents. End of commentary.
— Health Affairs (@Health_Affairs) December 2, 2016