- Micah Moughon received an MBA with a concentration in health care from Vanderbilt University.
- His professional career has spanned nonprofit health care companies, large health insurance corporations, and small primary care companies.
The opportunity for a serious Trump alternative to gain breakout momentum before the Iowa caucuses in January is closing fast.
Nikki Haley gets high marks for her intelligence, honesty, and practicality, but she won’t win without cutting into Trump’s base or expanding the Republican electorate.
He must make a bold play to change the conversation by emphasizing health care affordability, a nontraditional topic that will help him win over his party’s populist base and defeat Biden. in November.
Health insurance premiums and claims are rising
While the cost of health care is rarely presented as a top concern for conservative voters, it is a drain on the working class that affects all other top issues. Health care is an inflation issue: Between 2002 and 2022, median household income rose by $8,800 while the average family health insurance premium rose from $13,200 to $22,500, stunting middle-class wage growth , according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Health care is also a crime issue: Linn County (the second largest county in Iowa) pays $20,900 annually in medical claims for each enrollee, essentially defunding police salaries and exacerbating the shortage of Law enforcement.
Finally, health care is an education issue: Des Moines Public Schools spends $19,900 a year on medical claims for each enrollee, money that could be spent attracting top teachers with better that salary.
When health insurance is considered a right, health insurance corporations have the right to workers’ wages. Unlike free market competition, the health insurance cartel doesn’t lose customers to bad plans because Obama mandates that everyone buy one, subsidizes those who can’t, and punishes those who don’t.
(Editor’s note: While the individual mandate was still in effect, Congress eliminated the penalty through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017).
Big insurance companies love public relations stunts like Bidens$35out-of-pocket cap on insulin because they still get premiums instead. They also don’t care that Obamacare requires them to spend 80%-85% of their income on claims because they just pay higher prices for prescriptions and procedures to keep their income flowing.
More:How the loss of TennCare due to a mail mix-up affected one Tennessee mother
Even people with health insurance have medical debt
Obamacare promised lower costs and increased access but delivered the opposite. Since then, insurance premiums and deductibles have nearly doubled, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, and 27% of Americans now delay treatment for serious conditions, up from 17% previously. In fact, more than 1 in 5 Americans havebothhealth insurance and medical debt.
But insurance corporations are making big money: UnitedHealthcare stock has risen from $33 before Obamacare to more than $500 today. No wonder the medical industrial complex doesn’t equal funding to Democrats lining their pockets.
Nikki Haleys PAC proposed allowing employers to put the money they spend on insurance into health savings accounts. Workers can use that money to shop for more affordable insurance options, sparking significant competition and putting real downward pressure on premiums. They will not lose their doctor and health insurance when they change jobs. They will also have money to pay deductibles and can save the rest for retirement. People can never control their health care without controlling their health care dollars.
Haley should own the health care issue because it reinforces her narrative that Donald Trump is a loser. With this, he can channel the populist current of the Republican base that is skeptical of corporate elites enriching themselves by making everyone else poor.
His classic conservative beliefs are the solution to their anxieties, and his positive approach to health care will return four times as much wealth to working families as the Trump tax cuts did. Democrats understand that the majority of voters are concerned about health care and are betting big on it to win over swing voters. Nikki Haley should too.
Micah Moughon received an MBA with a concentration in healthcare from Vanderbilt University, and his professional career has spanned nonprofit healthcare companies, large health insurance corporations, and small primary care companies.
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