a) Two Tier System
- The government provides catastrophic insurance for EVERYBODY. This would cover minimum health coverage such as basic primary care. ED visits would have hefty copays to discourage overuse.
- Voluntary insurance would exist for those who wanted to have protection against fee-for-service (outpatient) office costs. The rest of people would have to pay cash.
b) Insurance Mandate
- EVERYBODY must purchase insurance. No insurance company can reject an applicant – although the rates could be quite high depending on their medical history. There would be both private and government-sponsored insurance plans available.
I am against the voucher program proposed by Romney-Ryan. The voucher system is far too complicated. We need a nationalized health care program. I think Medicare can remain financially viable if real cost-saving measures are enacted. I envision a continuation of Medicare for those over age 65. Medicare should be able to negotiate lower costs on pharmaceuticals – just as the VA does. The government will need to establish and enforce ‘best-practices’ protocols. These would prevent many expensive tests and procedures from being performed until certain criteria had been met. The US population will have to become comfortable with the concept of rationing – not every procedure can be covered. Quite likely, the very wealthy will purchase ‘supplemental Medicare insurance’ which will allow them to have carte blanche while the remainder of the elderly have good healthcare. Basically, a two-tier system will be in place – even after age 65.
The benefit for establishing nationalized health care is that it frees small and large businesses of the obligation of providing costly healthcare to their employees. Employees no longer have to remain at jobs they despise – simply to keep health insurance. Hospitals no longer will be forced to provide emergency care for free simply because a person arrives in their hospital. Currently, hospitals argue that their charges are so high for those with insurance so that they can shift the coverage for these patients who arrive in the ED without any insurance. With a nationalized health care plan, hospitals should be able to drop their inflated charges and everything will become more transparent.