Jan. 23, 2014

A Conservative Health Plan

If conservatives succeed in repealing ObamaCare, what then?

Obviously, ObamaCare’s federal takeover of the American health care system was a bad solution and unconstitutional power grab. But what is the solution to a system that was broken before ObamaCare expanded that system? That’s the question Manhattan Institute senior fellow Avik Roy attempts to answer.

First, we evaluate the problem. In 2010, the U.S. spent more per person on health care than all but three other nations, and much of that was already government spending. Roy points out, “Although the quality of care in the U.S. is high, it is not meaningfully higher than that of its industrialized peers.” That high cost is also due to the health insurance system, which Roy says is “too expensive because of decades of unwise government policy,” leaving millions of Americans uninsured.

Second, we set the goal. But the problem there, Roy writes, is that “the Right shares no vision of what a conservative health care system should look like. As a result, health care policymaking has fallen mostly to the other side, with disastrous results.” We could start by saying that “universal coverage is a morally worthy goal.” The question is how we get there. Roy points to Switzerland and Singapore as examples of policies that ensure universal coverage at far less cost. “Switzerland has a system of universal, subsidized private insurance exchanges that look much like Paul Ryan’s Medicare-reform plan and Obamacare’s exchanges,” Roy writes.

However, “From a fiscal standpoint,” Roy adds, “Singapore is far better than even Switzerland. Singapore’s public spending on health care as a fraction of GDP is 86 percent lower than America’s. That’s because every Singaporean has a health savings account, which is used to pay for non-catastrophic medical expenses. Singaporeans pay a payroll tax, which is then redirected into the HSA in a manner similar to our Social Security system. But unlike Social Security, the Singaporean HSA is controlled by the individual and supplemented with a government-sponsored catastrophic coverage plan.”

Since health savings accounts were enacted into law in 2003, more Americans have enrolled in them every year and the cost savings are evident, despite the cost increases caused by ObamaCare. HSAs are desirable because they put the consumer in charge of their own spending, and people are inclined to compare prices when the cost of care comes out of their own pocket instead of being provided “free” by the insurance company.

That said, Roy argues that while the Singapore model is more conservative, the Swiss model is more “politically feasible,” not least because reforms to Medicare and Medicaid could be incorporated. Certainly, if conservatives ever do succeed in repealing ObamaCare, replacing it with true reform is just as essential. Are the ideas above perfect? No, but they represent a starting point.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.