Sunday, March 28, 2010

An Alternative Proposal for Health Care Reform

Guest Poster David JP offers this at Air Vent: An Alternative Proposal for Health Care Reform

This may be way too late given the recent events at our nation’s capital, but I hope not. As I mentioned in my post on the People Dependent thread, I had already sent these ideas to a main-stream media outfit. They have not responded to date, which does not surprise me. But even if they do, I realize now that it would be best if these important topics are debated in public.
Here are my ideas for health care reform:

The health care reform ideas are broken down into three main categories:

-Insurance company reforms

-Doctors, health care providers, and malpractice insurance/lawsuits reforms

-Intellectual property reforms

For each category I’ve made the following sub-sections in an attempt to organize things better:

-What society needs

-What society can give in exchange

-What the government can do

-Sticky left over details

Insurance company reforms (modified slightly thanks to feedback in the other thread)

-What society needs:

1. Open coverage to all at a fixed price with no preconditions (only one group). People enroll during the designated open enrollment period. Contract is for one year at a time.

2. Limits on company pay ratio as determined by a vote of the investors/shareholders. If bonuses are to be given out, they must apply to all at the same ratio and include sub-contracted workers.

3. Stock that pays profit dividends to investors.

4. Excellent service as judged by the survey results of customers (patients and doctors)

-What society can give in exchange:

1. No corporate taxes so long as the above conditions are met.

2. No income tax on the dividends for the companies that deliver excellent service to it’s customers (determined from the survey results).

-What the government can do:

1. Administer/manage the surveys to doctor and patients.

2. Provide income tax deductions to help people purchase the insurance based upon income levels/need (this replaces the benefit that large companies give their employees to purchase group insurance, my company currently pays about half of my luxury insurance costs).

-Sticky left over details:

What to do with the healthy folks that could afford to, but won’t purchase the insurance? First let me boldly say based upon extensive personal experience: if you aren’t rich enough to be self insured, it’s pure stupidity to not purchase health insurance if you can afford to do so. You stand to loose everything you have along with garnished future wages if something catastrophic happens to you and you don’t have health insurance.

The government and the insurance lobby seems to favor mandatory enrollment for those who don’t buy. I’m more in favor of the penalty for those caught sick without the coverage they could have afforded. The penalty could be the lesser of:

-paying for the costs outright (with a payment plan negotiated through the collection agency if you’re not rich)


-paying a penalty of 10 years worth of past insurance premiums (on a payment plan) with a further commitment to buy health insurance coverage for future needs.

Since the open enrollment will only occur for two weeks out of the year, and if it’s in November for selecting coverage the following year, then there isn’t much of an opportunity to game the system by waiting to buy the insurance the day you get sick.

There's lots more – this is a very long post.

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