I really have to wonder what possibly could be so dreadfully wrong with our current system. Yes there are problems. All though I do not consider healthcare a right, I think that many people who don't have access to healthcare should. That also doesn't mean everyone MUST have "comprehensive" health insurance. Many people in this country, young, single and rarely in need of a doctor choose to carry major medical only. There is nothing wrong with that. I just struggle with what could be so dreadfully wrong that it warrants over 2,000 pages of legislation. In fact, I'll bet I could insure every american within 5 years in the pages of this blog.
Here it goes:
1) Dump the employer based system. Part of the problem is that in the old days people worked for their employers for 30 years. That is a good insurance model. Now people work for their employers for 5 years. Second, remember... you are not the customer, your employer is. My solution is that if you leave your employer, you have the option to retain your insurance permanently ( as long as you pay the bill). Eventually, that will lower costs, because insurance companies will have to compete for your business. Also require employers to pay sunbsidies uniformly. It shouldn't COST you to keep an insurance plan. This applies to dependents too. You should not lose your policy at 25. You should be given your own at the appropriate rate.
2) Treat all insurance premiums equally for tax purposes. If I decide to change careers and my new employer doesn't provide insurance, I need to have either private insurance or COBRA. Those premiums are not tax-deductible. Unlike my employer based plan which reduces my income by what I pay, AND the employer subsidy is deductible to my employer and non-taxable to me.
3) Allow competiton across state lines. This will drive down premims
4) Don't require me to buy a policy that covers Physical's, Doctor Visits for every sneeze or sniffle, and Mental Health care. A policy that will cover me in case I get cancer, break a leg, or some other problem is more than adequate.
5) Create an Assigned Risk pool for people with preexisting conditions, and apportion the risk across all companies doing business in the state.
6) Tort Reform - 'Nuff Said
Now clearly this will not fix every case...
So to fill in the blanks we have a model plan here in Connecticut, called HUSKY for people who still would not have insurance under this plan. And NOBODY goes to jail..
See? Wasn't that easy?