My Democrat friends foisted this refrain upon me after I attended President Trump’s announcement of his health care plan in North Carolina. I posted about it on social media, along with the transcript of his speech and the outline of his plan. How could they claim he didn’t have a health care plan? It was there in writing. Apparently, that wasn’t enough, and it wouldn’t be until the government had more control.
“It’s not a ‘plan’ because you can’t sign-up for it,” someone snidely retorted.
I realized then we held two different views of what constitutes a health care plan—and what it means for the American people.
To consider it a “plan,” my progressive friends would need President Trump to create and offer an overarching outline of how the government would run every aspect of the American health care system. In their opinion, anything less than a comprehensive takeover would constitute mere platitudes.
Conversely, for me, a “plan” outlines steps to disentangle governmental influence over our health care system and revert control back to doctors and patients.
Why such a cleft in our definition and expectations for a “plan”?
I was on the receiving end of the explosion of government micromanagement and intrusion into the practice of medicine that followed passing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Through ACA, government and quasi-governmental organizations told doctors how to document, what tests and treatments to order, and at what height sharps containers and exam-room numbers could be mounted. How could the government know what tests and treatments to order, given the innumerable differences between persons and circumstances?
Progressives assume the agencies’ edicts, forced upon us, are correct. But the amount of information needed to know what is always correct would require a God-like omniscience by these health care overlords they neither possess nor could hope to possess. Even so, progressives are willing to defer decisions to governmental bureaucracies farthest from and have the least information about the person affected by them: the patient.
This deference to and intrusion by the government into all aspects of our lives is why many adhere to the absurd belief that presidents need to be experts in all things. Presidents, as the executive head of the government, need to know all things only when involved in all things.
Presidents (and bureaucrats) should have limited influence over our lives. If our government were more limited, it would decrease the importance of elections, decrease division, and promulgate the spirit of American innovation that originates in freedom.
President Trump should resist the temptation imposed by others to design a system of governmental control that pacifies progressive critics. The solution to problems that face our health care system will not come from a D.C. think tank. Instead, it will come from the most unlikely of places. Solutions will come from the frontline people encumbered by these obstacles. Motivated to overcome their impediments, they will envision relevant solutions, and they should be allowed to implement those solutions.
The progressives’ “plan” would wall them off from findings solutions by setting artificial parameters constraining their innovation.
To “Make America Great Again,” we need not revert to a specific time period but to embody the historic American ethos of trust in ourselves to make the best decisions for our own unique situations. We must recognize that government agencies do not and cannot know more about what is right for us than we know for ourselves. Our country will become supercharged with prosperity if we empower 330 million Americans with the freedom to optimize their own circumstances, not subjugate them to a small fallible ruling class.
Progressives insist on a health care plan that must be an Obamacare-like all-in-one “Hail Mary” pass. What they fail to recognize is that President Trump has been winning on health care with 5-and-10-yard passes. Each pass moves the ball away from government hegemony and toward individual patient control. Advances like Price Transparency, the Veterans Choice Program, elimination of the Individual Mandate, reduced prescription prices, protection for coverage of pre-existing conditions, the Right to Try Act, and many more.
According to my progressive friends, President Trump will never have a health care “plan.” However, given four more years, we will have outstanding health care.
Dr. Chad Savage is the founder of YourChoice Direct Care in Brighton, Michigan