The Health Care Cure
Bollixed: The Current U.S. Health Care Situation:
Our private, mostly unregulated, profit-driven insurance system guarantees by its very nature that millions of citizens, many who are highly productive workers, are either uninsured or under-insured.
This situation cannot be improved significantly without eliminating private health insurance as the primary form of healthcare financing. Adding approximately 30% to the cost of healthcare (that's about $300 BILLION A YEAR!) private health insurance is parasitical in that it helps only the owners, stockholders and employees of the insurance companies and does essentially nothing to improve health care.
Converting from private health insurance to Single Payer Government Insurance - "Medicare for All" (MFA) faces formidable hurdles, which are addressed in this plan.
Hurdles. (I'm talking high hurdles, track fans.)
- The private health insurance companies are an immense political power with (a..) copious politician, party and “cause” monetary contributions and ( b.) extensive and broad-spectrum lobbying.
- There is general public acceptance of private insurance being the “way it is done” in healthcare financing partially because of the billions of dollars these companies have spent on advertising, PR and lobbying. There is a general acquiescence to the private insurance system among a majority of U.S. citizens. This public attitude translates into political power for the insurance companies.
- The philosophy of the Free Market for Everything is almost religiously believed by many citizens, frequently the most affluent. Many also believe that MFA is synonymous with “socialized medicine,” akin to the British system and object strongly to that.
- MFA is perceived as very expensive and “paid for by the government.” Little thought is given to how a tax plan will replace the huge sums paid in premiums or to the 26% savings in total healthcare costs.
- Hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens are employed by the private health insurance companies. Many more citizens hold stock and other investment instruments in these companies. Changing the way healthcare is financed faces the problem of disrupting all this.
- Perhaps the largest hurdle: Only Congress and the President in cooperation could create a single payer system, “Medicare for all.”
THE PLAN: Steps to Implementation
- Structure Medicare for All (MFA) to cover all U.S. citizens from birth to death, including coverage for physical, mental, dental, optical and long term care.
- Clarify in legislation that only the health insurance portion of the U.S. healthcare system is assumed by the federal government, and that all other aspects remain as private as their practitioners desire.
- Legislate that any policy held with a private insurance company can be terminated without penalty at the date of implementation of MFA at citizen discretion.
- Do comprehensive research on the current and projected cost for MFA, including the transition expense (5, 6 & 7 below), and devise a stand-alone progressive taxation (or purchase price) plan that will fully pay these costs based on a 50 year projection.
- Make all new jobs in the bureaucracy of MFA available first to qualified current employees to private insurance companies. For all who show no interest, provide unemployment insurance for up to 39 weeks.
- Exchange 30-year government bonds to all health insurance company common stockholders (who opt for the exchange) for the value of their stocks at one year before the beginning of legislative work on MFA.
- Inform and educate the public of the efficacy of MFA. This will require a long-term campaign using all the tools of advertising, PR and the bully pulpit of government leaders.
These steps address many of the hurdles. Electing a President and a Congress that will work together is a whole different hurdle, maybe a pole vault.Get active! Go here and go forth.