The Basic Health Plan In Detail

Currently the US is spending $3.3 trillion dollars a year on health care. Averaged out over the current population of 320 million, this is a bit more than $10,000 per capita. Much of what is driving this is due to government interference in the health care system. We are also financing a very inefficient system of private individual health insurance policies where coverage has been decided by the federal government by the Affordable Care Act that former President Obama and the Democrats in Congress forced through Congress. With very little debate or consideration as to what was in it. As former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass it to find out what is in it.” Perhaps the “most stupid” comment made by a member of Congress for a long time! Things are simply not done this way by rational people! Personally I would have demanded a referendum by the American people on this poorly designed plan that certainly was not by any means “Affordable”! Absolutely “NOTHING” was done to reduce the cost of health care except to take money from those better off and paying taxes to provide subsidies to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it! Personally I’d be ashamed to have my name on a such badly thought out plan!

Assuming we actually want to join the rest of the developed world in providing at least a basic level of health care for all our citizens, one that doesn’t have government controls written all over it, we need to decide what exactly we need and how to pay for it. I am not a friend of the monopolists. I consider the professions, the licensed occupations, labor unions as government enforced monopolies upon the rest of us! We”d be a lot better off if the government wasn’t allowed to do these “favors” to some people while at the same forcing the rest of us to pay higher prices for everything we buy, every service we have to pay an inflated price for needed services to one of these monopolists! I’ve made some estimates and it looks like we’re paying a couple extra trillion to these people just because they bought “protection” from Uncle Sam, the Monopoly Man! I’d much rather keep my share of those two trillion for myself…

Lets now look at what “de-monopolized” health care would look like. First, it’s a lot cheaper. You get to make most of the decisions for yourself. You have the legal right to purchase medicine for your own use from who you want world wide. Need medical services? Same thing. You’d also have a choice of computer software programs so for most things you could take care of them yourself. Of course you need to “educate” yourself, but there are books for that. Both paper and electronic. Plenty of web sites. Plus you will be able to ask the druggist once we change a few laws here that the AMA bribed Congress to pass so they wouldn’t have “competition”. So everyone should be able to take care of common chronic issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, high blood sugar, glaucoma (eye disease), along with the prevention of heart attack and stroke. None of this is really very expensive to treat. Or to prevent which is better than trying to fix the problem later on. Still, there will be times we need to be able to pay for medical care and it can get expensive pretty fast the way it’s designed.

One reason for this is that instead of using the lowest necessary level of care, the entire thing is set up on the basis of “doing everything possible” regardless of cost. You can’t even get an idea of costs because there is no real established price except for the uninsured and then its charging about ten times what the actual cost is. There’s a term for that.  It’s called “extortion”. It’s what absolute monopolies do when they get the chance. Back in the 19th Century, the railroads did it when they didn’t have any competition. They’d charge double and triple prices because they knew they could get away with it. This is why the rest of the developed world doesn’t allow the medical profession to set prices for their services. This is also why they pay a lot less for the same service than us unfortunate Americans end up paying. When you don’t have the free market controlling prices, then you have to have government to do it for you.  Not the best way, but with professional monopolists, probably the easiest way to do it…

People always think the longer someone spent in institutions of education, the more that they know. However it doesn’t mean that they retain all they once learned. The human brain doesn’t work that way. You retain only what you use at least occasionally. Everything else just disappears. I understand that under hypnosis a person can recall everything they ever learned, but that really isn’t too practical in most cases. If you want to learn something, just “Google” it. Or “Wiki” it. That works pretty good too. In general, the specialists do pretty good at dealing with issues in their specialty. Some are better than others however. The really top notch guys really do “know their stuff”.

However, most of the time you don’t need that level of expertise, so there is little if any reason to pay for it. A lesser trained person will likely be satisfactory. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants can handle maybe 90% of what most of us require. The same is true of hospitals. You shouldn’t have to pay for what you don’t use. And this is really where we need to take a serious look at things… And only pay for what we need.  The famous VW “bug” got people where they needed to go. And it cost less than what “Detroit” was making along with an excellent level of workmanship. That’s really what we want. “An economy version of health care”. Does such a thing exist?  Yes, it does. We only need to change the way that it is financed to make it work. We also want a system that people can “buy into”, suppliment with private insurance if they so wish. I also believe we should have one basic system on which to build upon. Everyone in, no body out. A basic plan upon which you can expand to meet your needs. I call it the “M/M” plan. Medicaid/Medicare joined together into one complete plan.

Financing should be through a financial transaction tax. This is the most fair and universal system possible. We also already do have an administrative organization to run it. Instead of the inefficient complex we now have, we get the best of both worlds. A national health care system along with a far greater level of personal choice through the private health insurance industry. We also resolve the existing medical conditions problem that Obama tried to resolve through the Obamacare mandate. We also remove the “over doctored” problem where physicians seeking extra profit encourage excess use of the medical system. The plan is “individual”, not employer based. People will be encouraged to purchase added insurance through the existing private health insurance industry. Unlike existing Medicaid, people will be expected to pay an progressive income determined deductible to obtain medical services. No one gets “free care”… Health savings accounts will be encouraged to help pay for drugs and the more simple medical services. Setting a system of income based deductibles keeps prices lower and discourages over use of the system. People are encouraged to take care of their own health as far as possible. I believe we should teach basic health maintenance in the high schools. Such things as diet, the avoidance of excess carbohydrates, regular exercise so that one can maintain a healthy weight. These are all things to be considered. Hopefully there will be enough support to get things going…

 

 

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About muskegonlibertarian

77 year old retired owner of a security guard agency. Member of the Libertarian Party.
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