Author and Managing Editor of the Washington Examiner Philip Klein Discusses Alternatives to Obamacare

I'm Philip Klein, Managing Editor of the Washington Examiner. I will be discussing alternatives to Obamacare. For more, you can check out my book, "Overcoming Obamacare."

@garys.johnson: People are oftentimes persuaded by stories instead of data when it comes to politics. How can we get people to look past the idea that preexisting conditions should be covered by mandate instead of allowing the free market to decide when there are so many sad preexisting condition stories?  I do believe that advocates for national healthcare have always benefited by using stories of people who they portray as victims of a free market. Under Obamacare, which has seen people lose insurance, doctors, and/or see their premiums rise, free market advocates can point to a lot of personal stories of people who have been hurt by government interference. There are also ways to address the issue of people with pre-existing conditions without disrupting the broader insurance market, as Obamacare did.  

@horsey.wofford: Do you think a Trump presidency would ultimately empower Congress to rein in executive powers, and pass significant reforms of Obamacare?  Kind of two questions there. On executive power, there's little doubt that Trump would push the boundaries of executive power. Typically, parties only oppose executive power when they don't hold the White House. I'd expect Democrats to be hammering Trump on executive power expansion. Question is whether same Republicans who have been hammering President Obama for power grabs would be just as aggressive when a Republican is trying to expand power.

I imagine they'd be divided into two camps. Republicans who would stay true to principle and oppose him, and those who say, "Well, Dems use executive power when they're in charge to advance liberal ideas, so why should we unilaterally disarm?" Unfortunately, I think most partisans are outcome based, rather than focused on proper Constitutional checks and balances. 

As for significant reforms of Obamacare, I think that given the problems with the program, it will have to be changed in the coming years, no matter who is in power. Question is whether Trump is true to his promises to repeal and replace it, or whether he'd revert back to his previously stated support for universal healthcare, even single-payer. 

@grayson.kennedy: Under what circumstances if any would you consider a public option?  I would not support a public option under any circumstances, as I think it's just another avenue toward single-payer, which I oppose. Though advocates of the public option argue that a government plan would compete on a fair playing field against private plans, I don't think it would work that way in practice. 

@prince.allee: Which branch of government will undo Obamacare if Trump wins? If Hillary wins?  I think either president is going to have a hard time getting any Obamacare changes through. I wrote about it more here.

@garys.johnson: How do you argue against the idea that healthcare is a right and that everyone is entitled it's provision by the government?  There are a number of more market-based approaches to pre-existing conditions, a number of which I discuss in my book. The question is really how pure you want to be from a limited government perspective.

Most market-based plans acknowledge that the public demand for coverage of pre-existing conditions demands some sort of response, so they focus on ideas to remove that group from the broader risk pool, such as with high-risk pools. But there are other ideas.

For instance, John Cochrane has proposed health status insurance -- where you'd basically buy a separate policy that protects you against losing insurance in the case of a pre-existing condition. More at Cato.

@ken.m: Why do BOTH parties keep waisting time talking about obamacare when the thing WE all need help with is HEALTHcare... smh  We talk about Obamacare because it was a massive overhaul of the healthcare system. Depending on where you come from ideologically, a starting point for discussions of healthcare reform has to be either about building on Obamacare or undoing all or some of it to head on a different path. 

@philip.klein: Okay, gotta sign off now. Thank you for all of your questions. Stay tuned for @michaeljcannon of Cato for more healthcare talk.