Paul Ryan’s Health Bill Is Disappointing

It will not fix healthcare. In some ways, it will make it worse.
Here are four big flaws:

  • It leaves government in charge of the design of health insurance policies. Consumers should decide what they want covered (and what they do not want covered!) in their own policy. As it stands, the bill leaves intact the Obamacare requirement that everything imaginable be covered except for one glaring omission—integrative care. Adding integrative care would not, however, solve the problem. One-size-fits-all policies need to go. No one wants them and no one can afford them. Government does not know best, and its attempts to dictate health insurance policies are bankrupting everyone.
  • The bill includes subsidies for insurance companies. This is just more crony capitalism.
  • The bill introduces yet another government price-fixing scheme. Government price-fixing never works. Consumers need to set prices through their buying decisions. That is the only way to stop the massive healthcare cost inflation and bring prices down.
  • The bill keeps poor people in a medical ghetto called Medicaid. Medicaid’s actual coverage varies enormously from state to state, and it is increasingly hard to find doctors willing to take you as a patient if you’re on Medicaid. Why do we handle medical and food assistance so differently? If people are eligible for food assistance, they receive a card that looks like another credit card and can be used in any grocery store. Why should it be any different in healthcare?

Here is an example of how crazy current healthcare is. The son of an ANH-USA board member recently went to an out-of-state emergency room for food poisoning. The bill came in at over $8,000. The family’s insurance company knocked it down to about $4,000. How fair is that? An uninsured person would have been liable for the full amount, and might even have faced bankruptcy for failure to pay it.
ANH-USA lobbied for a provision in Obamacare preventing hospitals for charging the uninsured more than the insured. The Obama administration opposed it. Why? Because the idea upset the hospitals. They wanted to be able to continue to exploit the uninsured.
None of this will be improved by the Ryan bill. If we really want to change healthcare, we need to put the consumer back in charge of it.
Prices can never be reduced by price controls, much less by price controls on government-imposed monopoly prices. Most people do not realize that the government, through Medicare, has fixed medical prices for half a century, and the results speak for themselves. At the same time, the government has fed these price increases by protecting monopolies established by the drug companies and the American Medical Association. This is what the government always does, and it wrecks any sector of the economy where this crony capitalist system is applied.
The only way to get prices down is to get supply up. That automatically does the job. The only way to get supply up (and improved supply as well) is to create a system in which all sellers—and this includes qualified nurses in addition doctors and other practitioners—are allowed to compete with one another for the dollar of the consumer. To make this work, the consumer must be in charge—not the insurance companies and other agents of government. Only a consumer-controlled market can do this.
Paul Ryan talks about the need for the consumer to regain control of healthcare. But his bill is not consistent with his rhetoric.
Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health:
Vaccines May Cause Brain Disorders
Myth, Busted: We Do NOT Need Pesticides to Feed the World
Feds Renew Attack on Raw Milk


  1. This is an awful essay. In essence, almost Libertarian in tone. You solve nothing by complaining about the ACA. Be realistic, the day when federal health care addresses most naturalistic medicine is still quite a ways off. In the meantime, I read a specific form of capitalism here. Not traditional crony capitalism, but still money interests at work. Everybody has to make money. You are no different.

    1. I felt it written by a Libertarian, too. However, not in total agreement with either you or the author. We need Single Payer health and it is does need to include holistic health care. The big issue is cutting medical industry monopolies, or cartels, out of the decision-making and designing of the system. I think there will always be some perameters set by the govt if it is paying and there will always be private insurance that people can buy to augment what the govt covers. However, if govt actually negotiated prices costs would come down. And not mentioned here, but the well known and obvious, when you get insurance and drug corporations out of the picture prices tumble.
      This artlcle’s libertarian fantasy is that consumers control the market. That might work but only if you can remove the collusion for price setting amongst the practitioners. and drug dealers at the pubic’s expense.
      Also not mentioned is the need of the public to buy drugs across the borders where they are much cheaper
      Of course if we had a real health care system instead of medical insurance systems then the focus would/could switch to building health instead of managing symptoms which only serves to keep the public sick and dependent on toxic drugs.

      1. But please cite ONE single payer healthcare system that works…not just the propagandised version that it works either, please. Starting from the KNOWN FACT that Gov’t doesn’t do anything efficiently….please tell me how Gov’t is going to do anything but make a further mess of things & instead increase Medical Health-Care “Vacations” (Which end up only making the single-payer system’s numbers look good because people who can & even cannot afford to be in that system will instead seek treatment elsewhere which is not “Accounted for” on the matter & with regards to all things considered)….& please don’t cite the Canadian Healthcare system?? I’m From French Canada & My Mother worked in the Health-care system there & I’m a Dietitian by Degree so tread carefully on this topic. You, like most American’ts don’t really know the truth about the romanticised single-payer communistic/socialistic BS….smh

        1. Where have you been all these years? If stuck on Fox News or CNN I understand. Canada’s system is well loved by most people. So is the one in GB and France and Germany. Just to name a few. No plan will ever be perfect but Single Payer costs infinitely less than private insurance which offers controlled and limited services. Wait times are not long despite the propaganda spread in the US supported by the insurance and drug industries. Now why would you ever consider them reliable resources for anything!
          If you did any research you will find that govt supported programs work extremely well and are very cost effective. Public Utilities, which you probably never heard of, saved 30-50% of costs for the public but they were lobbied; ie, bought, out of existence by the private utilities. There is a long history in the US for delivering services this way. And, again, despite the propaganda, they were very well run.
          I wish people would remove their blinders and see that govt controlled by corporations is neither democratic nor effective for the public. Gov’t services run independently of corporations and controlled by the people run excellently. Medicare and Medicaid and VA health services for example are all Single Payer programs. Congress gets the creme de la creme of health care which is also Single Payer. Guess what–60% of the public gets Single Payer health care thru these programs. Why not the rest of us!

          1. Please….I’m definitely NOT a Repugnican’t adherent & Faux news watcher…..
            You are so misinformed to think the GB, German, France, Swedish or any other “SPS” (Single Payer System) is actually working to the benefit of the people.
            Deregulation of the Utilities did nothing but increase costs by consolidating power into what is nothing other than a single-service provider.
            That the News & Most Media is only owned by 6 Corporations & that there is too much Gov’t over-sight in Utilities & et cetera winnowing down competition to only a few cuck’ed companies who are instead in league with the Gov’t (AKA: “Corportism”) is further proof it ain’t gonna work.
            In my reply to “Tom” you’ll see that “Medical Tourism/Vacations” are markedly up as a business model simply because of these SPS’s….else there would be no need for them as a “Market alternative”.
            Here, I’ll copy/paste if for you to save some time & typing on my end:
            You, like most American’ts don’t really know the truth about the romanticised single-payer communistic/socialistic BS….smh.
            It doesn’t work. Those upper echelons of people in that type of system go outside of that system to seek immediate & better healthcare when they need it, (Example is: Danny Williams, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador who came State-Side for a rather mundane less invasive Heart Operation as well as the myriad of other middle-class Canadians who pour over the border in places like Buffalo, NY & other Border Cities for Paid-out-of-their-own-pocket Health-Care despite having the wondrous & glorious [in American’ts minds] Canadian Health-care system).
            You would not find a U.S. governor going to Canada for surgery & America would be putting our quality of care at risk if we went to a single-payer system like Canada.
            If the U.S. does move to a universal health care system, people wanting the “crème de la crème” in medicine would probably have to go elsewhere a la “Medical Tourism”…like Costa Rica, Singapore, South Africa, India or the other Medical Vacation Destinations already in place & “Working”…of course all this simply cooks-the-books when it comes to the statistic’s with lame-brains like yourself steeped in your utter nescience proclaiming it to have “superior outcomes at a much much lower cost” when in Fact Mr. Tom?? What YOU Sir are settled into believing due to mere propaganda & a lack of not really critically examining the issue for yourself instead adopting pundit talking points are nevertheless yourself “… suggesting [what] is simply a deluded fantasy.”.
            When the Rich & even not so rich [but well informed] can conduct their health-care “Off-the-books” with Medical Tourism/Vacations??…it simply skews the demand & therefore the cost of single-payer systems….which simply drive well-informed & educated people to making the decisions to go else-where…yes, in effect DOUBLE-PAYING for their health-care much like people (Such as myself) who though paying taxes for “Public Education” still decide to send their children to PRIVATE SCHOOLS & therefore double-paying for Education-Care as it were.
            You just don’t quite “Get it” and you’re of the ilk of being useless idiotes that the Ruling Class simply uses, with your pavlovian regurgitation of their talking points, to further their despotic fascist agenda…..
            Shame on you…but what else to expect from an American born & American Educated “American’t”?.
            Not only have you ruined this once fine & noble Country for your own posterity, sir?? you’ve also ruined it in a worse way for those immigrants like myself who can see the ruination people like yourself not only gladly lap-up & imbibe & thus perpetrating for the despots but think it to be a good thing in doing so….talk about Stockholm Syndrome in action with a heaping plate of Schadenfreude being enjoyed by your supposed elected officials & masters behind the curtains….smh.
            ….& no, I’m not with the “Repugnican’ts” on the matter either. I’m a “CLASSICAL” Liberal…a JFK Democrat if you will….& you lame-brain logic-bereft victomological-leftist’s have simply played into the hands of SDAlinksyesque DEMOn-Cuck-rATS who’ve hijacked your party simply to consolidate power & money in the hands of the(ir) ruling class all-the-while subjugating the people in the name of “Benefits” & “Rights”….

          2. Had a friend whose aunt died of a serious heart problem while waiting for an appointment with a heart specialist. How many times would a situation like that be multiplied in a single payer plan like that in GB, where this aunt lived.

          3. lol, did you even read Casmige’s post before replying? Casmige lives in French Canada which has socialized medicine, and Casmige and his/her mother work in health care… but you claim Casmige only has a low opinion of socialized single-payer medical care because of Fox News, and needs to do more research. Are you one of those paid trolls who supports big pharma and big government no matter what because you’re paid to do it, or are you just so devoted to your own opinion that you’re blind to facts and unable to respect that others have a right to their own opinions? To claim that you know better than someone who actually lives in a country with socialized medicine, when that person also works in medicine, is the height of hubris.

          4. You need to get your facts straight before you advocate for which you clearly don’t understand. The VA is socialist medicine, not single payer. Single payer means you have competitive consumer choice in terms of providers, just not what is covered, offered or the cost. Socialist means no freedom or choice at all anywhere up the hierachery. Congress — like all Federal employees — receive their insurance via the FEHP which offers plans provided by the private sector, including consumer-driven. The only single payer system in this country is Medicare or Medicaid and guess what? Beneficiaries rate the private option (Advantage) in Medicare as the best and Medicaid as the worst.

          5. I think you are playing semantics games here. Single Payer is government sponsored health care. How it is done can be varied. The VA is Single Payer as the governement pays for it. So it medicare to a good degree as people need to pay into the system. But that is no different than Single Payer systems throughout the world. You sound like you have the typical American paranoia and lack of understanding about Socialism which is an entirely different conversation. And I am quite familiar with Medicare and Medicaid. It is true that Medicaid is the step child in health care as it reflects this country’s prejudice against poor people thinking/behaving as if throwing dried crumbs their way is sufficient. It is why a Single Payer for All, or as Sanders says Medicare for All is the better direction to go in as it is a step toward equalizing treatment for everyone.

        2. It works quite well in Japan and probably other countries that are culturally homogenous with no “out group” distrust. The irony is that the USA has the best tax collection compliance in the world and yet all we do is piss the revenues away on sub-optimal, non-market based “solutions” just to enrichen careerist bureaucrats and politicians careers. TERM LIMITS STAT.

        3. I am from the usa and lived in ns you know as well as i do that most people in your country think your a loon for talking about getting rid of your health care system. Its your countries best claim to fame

      2. Actually, what we need is Consumer Payer health care so that there is a direct connection between payment and quality of service, i.e. competitive market feedback. Single Payer just kicks the can down the road and shifts the fiscal burden completely onto taxpayers while bureaucrats and politicians decide what they’re gonna ration or choose to cover instead of insurance companies. We’re halfway there already with Obamacare and Ryan’s Lite. The government price controls and the mandated benefits of Obamacare is why it is in a death spiral. Even more of the same lunacy but on an even bigger scale will just result in an even bigger epic fail.

    2. So, Walter; empowering the common-people to spend their money on naturopathic health-care, as an option to their being dependant on pharmecuticals from police-state bureaucracies, is all part of the conspiracy to promote despotic-control by the “money interests”, in your view; Correct???
      I really dont comprehend how you posture as keeping a straight-face while saying that.
      And; please clarify, & disregarding their defective party leadership; What, please tell, is wrong with “Libertarianism”???

  2. Work with Rand Paul and others besides just working with Paul Ryan on creating a new health plan..

  3. Profit can be made without bankrupting people. There should be a price cap on all overpriced things (drugs, doctors, hospitals, tuition, rent, etc.) to ensure this happens. Consumers should get to decide what their insurance covers or doesnt cover. Competition can lower prices, but government forcing people to buy insurance and forcing companies to cover certain things that not necessarily every patient wants only encourages insurance companies to raise their rates.

  4. It should take a year to overhaul a National Health Care plan; they have spent a very short time on it; simple slashing what they don’t want and adding some good things to keep promises made.

  5. RyanCare isn’t a healthcare system at all; It’s a DEATH PANEL and more tax breaks for the wealthiest and corporations….damn the sick, elderly, and not-so-rich. First off, the entire US medical system is a sick-care system.
    A sick-care system who goes out of their way to destroy and malign any proven treatment that isn’t profitable to Big Pharma and it’s cronies. Since I can’t see any signs of acknowledgement by the controlling powers of that sick-care system that the practice of naturalistic medicine is a very viable and safe source of diagnosis and treatment, then at least we should have as many doctors of integrated medicine to treat us and accepted by insurance companies, as we do any other medical specialty and GPs.
    For the time being, we have the ACA….. not perfect….but LEAVE IT ALONE.

    1. Obamadontcare will also collapse within 24 months that being said Presto govt now in charge

    2. But the ACA is in a death spiral… something has got to be done! I suggest term limits to start.

  6. It’s funny that you call for price competition as a panacea. Why is it then that every other major industrialized country has some degree of a universal government controlled system that provides superior outcomes at a much much lower cost than we do?
    Until you can convincingly argue that what you’re proposing is better than what these countries have then what you are suggesting is simply a deluded fantasy.

    1. A 58% higher death rate in hospitals? No thanks. Outcomes are non-standardized country to country. Besides, for most countries where it does work in terms of government-mandated price controls are highly homogenous with high levels of in-group social trust (i.e. Japan). We don’t have a culture like that here where “authorities” can be trusted not to be corrupt and trusted to always act in the best interests of the patient.

  7. if government is paying for it, special interests will make sure their beds are well feathered first. that means the drug companies will still be pulling the strings; immunizations mandated. what the little people need and want is only given lip service to get their votes,.
    what we need is freedom and free enterprise in control; people in control of their own healthcare….not government.
    wasn’t it George Washington who said something like ”Government is not eloquence, it is force; a fearful master and a dangerous servant”. be careful what you ask government to do.

  8. My hand surgeon billed the insurance company for $9,000 — my insurance company “negotiated” it down to $1800. I’m told that if I didn’t have insurance, they might have billed me for $3 thousand, 4, 5, who knows? You never know until the bills start rolling in a month later.

  9. Health Care cost reduction requires a reduction of sickness. Most sickness is now caused by poisons deliberately added to our air, water, food, medication and vaccines. http://Opinion.FarTooMuch.Info/HealthCare2.html .. The main poisons are fluorosilicic acid added to our water, glyphosate [Round-Up], 2,4-D [main ingredient in Agent Orange], Bt-toxin, added to our food, toxic compounds of mercury and aluminum, formaldehyde & fetal tissue in our vaccines. These poisons are killing us. http://useugenics.FarTooMuch.Info

    1. No, he’s a brown-nosing, self-interested career politician just like Pelosi. Hence why he presents Obamacare Lite instead of some more sensible Ayn Randian-type solution.

  10. Thank you for this article! I’m so glad to learn that ANH truly supports individual freedom. Government interference is what has caused the health care crisis, and more government tampering is not going to fix things. The free market is the only thing that can solve the problems of access and affordability, and this new health bill is just more of the same cronyism and regulation that keeps prices high and treatments ineffective.

  11. Why is everyone so surprised? We all knew who Paul Ryan is. Why would anyone expect a different version of a lack-of healthcare bill that supports the banksters and Big Pharma as well as the INSURANCE INDUSTRY!!!

  12. The “other” Party has had 8 years to come up with a fix for healthcare (America does not have a healthcare system, per se. It has a medical treatment system). I had hoped that Tom Price, long an opponent of the ACA would have had some cogent ideas. Instead we have this abbreviated mish mash of a bill that will cost as much, fix nothing, and the Trump Presidency is being wasted on this. Makes emigration look more inviting.

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