As we know, the Preamble to the United States Constitution begins with the line: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union.” This line suggests that the people of the United States of America can and should make laws to govern themselves based on the will of the collective citizenry. However, as we move further and further from the time of our Founding Fathers, power continues to shift away from the will of the American people and toward the will of those in the United States Congress and the corporations that influence those elected to represent us.
A perfect example of public policy that does not conform to the will of the American people is the Affordable Care Act. The healthcare bill was signed into law in March 2010 despite only about 40 percent of Americans being in favor of the law at that time. Since the law went into effect in 2010, healthcare prices have skyrocketed, placing a financial burden on many Americans. The will of a couple hundred members of Congress and the President outweighed the will of millions of Americans.
So, how would healthcare by the people and for the people truly look? Well, the answer already exists.
One healthcare option, known as healthcare sharing, operates outside of Affordable Care Act regulations thanks to an exemption written into the law. The purpose of these organizations is to return to the consumer the power to make healthcare decisions. One healthcare sharing organization that has been very successful in returning power to the consumer is Liberty HealthShare. By utilizing a Statement of Shared Beliefs, which each member agrees to at the time of enrollment, Liberty HealthShare members know exactly which types of medical expenses their money will be shared toward. This is just one aspect of the transparency Liberty HealthShare strives to offer its members.
As a non-profit organization, Liberty HealthShare serves not to record profits, but rather to facilitate the sharing of medical expenses across the entire membership base. As non-profit organizations, healthcare sharing organizations are not built to run up massive profits. Instead, they use members’ money only to pay overhead expenses and share members’ medical expenses. The goal of these organizations is to serve the needs of the members, not the needs of a group of wealthy investors, because there are no wealthy investors. The money comes from people just like you who want affordable healthcare and also want to help their fellow Americans afford healthcare for themselves and their families.
The “by the people, for the people” approach doesn’t stop with how these healthcare sharing organizations facilitate the payment of members’ medical bills. Many of these organizations, including Liberty HealthShare, utilize medical repricing to keep costs down for their members. This consists of a third-party company reviewing each bill that a Liberty HealthShare member submits and ensuring that the amount the member is billed for is a fair price for the treatment or services they received. If a bill is found to be overcharging the member, the third-party company negotiates with the provider who issued the bill to have the bill reduced. This process ensures that healthcare sharing members are getting the most for their money, allowing them to share in more medical bills from the same amount of money.
As a result of these “by the people, for the people” approaches, healthcare sharing organizations are able to offer substantially lower prices than many health insurance plans. For example, Liberty HealthShare offers healthcare plans starting as low as $199 per month for singles and $429 per month for an entire family, regardless of the number of children. These low monthly prices are coupled with a lower cost the member is responsible for each year, to make healthcare sharing a great value. The amount members are responsible for with Liberty HealthShare is $1,000 per year for singles and $2,250 per year for a family. This is the amount of eligible medical expenses a member must pay in a year before their expenses will be shared by their fellow members.
If you’re tired of the government’s will being imposed upon you, especially relating to your healthcare, it may be time for you to consider healthcare sharing. These healthcare sharing organizations return freedom and power to the member, by being on the side of the member instead of focusing on profits for wealthy shareholders. It’s truly people coming together to eliminate government involvement and fund their own healthcare. Healthcare “by the people, for the people,” just as the Founding Fathers intended.