Despite the federal government spending $1.68 trillion on health care, it is still not enough to provide health care coverage to every American. About 30 million Americans still remain without health care coverage even with the health care reform law in place.
Based on an editorial in the USA Today, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or Obamacare is praised because it was able to decrease the uninsured rate by 3.6 million. That was the number added to government-sponsored health insurance programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. If this trend continues, the number of covered individuals under Medicare and Medicaid will significantly increase in 2014.
However, this still does not change the fact that the federal government has spent $1.68 trillion and it still left 30 million people without health care coverage. Instead of spending that huge amount every year, the federal government must think of ways to effectively use the health care dollars that they get from tax payers. If the government really wants to reduce the number of uninsured, it would be best to provide the right incentives rather than penalizing individuals. This will create an avenue for competition among insurance companies to offer high quality, yet affordable, health plans that will motivate uninsured individuals to get health care coverage that they really need.
One solution that the government could try to look into is consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) such as Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements. Based on numerous studies, CDHPs have reduced health care spending of the plan holders by 30 percent. It makes consumers more involved in their own health care decisions. They are in-charge of how they want to spend their health care dollars. If the government offers such plans, it would definitely help reduce the health care spending of the nation. This may also reduce the burden shouldered by the taxpayers.