This system would streamline all healthcare programs in the country. Medicare, Medicaid, even the VA could all go away. Here is how it works…
No one would ever pay more than 20% of their gross yearly income for all of the healthcare they are responsible for in any one calendar year. The example,…A family of four where the total income is $50,000 a year would be responsible for the first $10,000 of healthcare bills in one year. Everyone would have the choice to purchase insurance to cover this amount, but if you didn’t have it the government could garnish your income. (The amount of garnishment would , once again be based on your income. I’m guess that if you make $20k/yr or less and are head of household, maybe 1%. If you make $2,000,000 a year or more, 25% would be reasonable.)
The thing is, most people would be able to get the insurance to cover the first 20% because it would be very inexpensive for one simple reason: Every insurance carrier would already know exactly how much they would have to pay out for any one client/family in any one year.
If you have no income you simply pay 20% of nothing. I think this system would stand pretty well on it’s own, there would be some details to work out concerning assets and other such things. If you make the average $50k and you have $100,000 worth of healthcare bills in one year the government will pay the $90,000. The percentage of folks who have catastrophic healthcare needs will be very low, probably less than 10%, and most of them will be seniors.
It will have to work much like Social Security does now. While you are young and in good health you pay into the system. Then if you don’t have any major healthcare bills throughout your life it is very likely you will use your benefits when your older. I would include preventative care for dental in children, but that’s it. I believe the insurance would be so inexpensive and competitive that most people could afford policies that cover a large part of their families dental needs.
Of course, it will be even less expensive for employers who provide insurance for their employees. Here it will save a lot of money and spur business growth. Of course, the money to pay for the above the 20% will have to come from somewhere. That will be a matter of negotiations. I would want to make sure that however we produced the revenue to pay for this system that it was dedicated to the system and that it doesn’t mingle with the general fund the way SS does now.
I really don’t know how much this would cost, but I’m betting it would cost less than the current system. To help bring down the cost of healthcare I would require all providers to post how much they charge from cotton balls to artificial hearts. I would also build 200 clinics across the country where doctors will be government employees for ten years. I would tap all students that are Juniors and have carried a GPA of 3.5 or better and offer to send them to medical school for no cost to them.
The catch is they would have to work the first 10 years at one of those clinics and charge what the government says to charge. This would be competition to the current system and it would bring overall casts down.
I think the main selling point of getting this going is that there is a significant amount of responsibility involved, which I can only assume conservatives would appreciate. Also, insurance companies would still be able to make some money from healthcare, but their role would be diminished. I’m sure there would be plenty of details to work out, but it would be much easier to understand for the average American than the programs we have now.