President Barack Obama discusses the Affordable Care Act during a recent news conference. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Renowned neurosurgeon and Obama critic Ben S. Carson writes at the Washington Times that it's time to consider alternatives to the Affordable Care Act, just in case it fails. He explains what one option — patient-controlled health savings accounts — would entail.

Rather than complain about Obamacare, it might be useful to begin to discuss some enhancements or future alterations that can make it work effectively or provide an alternative if it fails. The first question is, what do you need for good health care in America?

You need a patient, a health care provider and a mechanism of payment. Along came a middleman — namely, the government and the insurance companies — to facilitate the relationship. Now the middleman has become the primary entity, with the health care provider and the patient at its beck and call. The whole enterprise has been turned upside down.

In order to right the ship, we need to return the responsibility for good health care to the patient and the health care provider. One of the best ways to do this is through health savings accounts, which patients can control. Even if the federal government provided such an account for every American citizen that was increased by $2,000 each year, it would cost less than $700 billion a year and everyone would be covered.

Keep in mind the fact that more than 150 million Americans are employed and their $2,000 per year in most cases would be happily supplied by the employer if that was their only health care obligation. This would make employers much more likely to want to expand their businesses and hire more people, and it would decrease the government’s entitlement obligations by hundreds of billions of dollars per year.


Read Ben S. Carson's entire piece at the Washington Times.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.

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