that having been said my solution to these sorts of problems (which I believe is what you are asking for) federal health insurance program covering what is traditionally encompassed in the concept of "acceptable minimum". for instance emergency room visits, a set number of GP and Specialist visits annually, and prescriptions drugs with say 30-40 dollar deductibles.
40 million people in this country are uninsured or underinsured. Insurance companies work on the principle of distributing risk among a large group of people. with each individual paying roughly the same amount amongst a large group of people you have a sizeable pool of money and only a few people using it at any given time. thus when you become part of that small percentage of people using it at any point its no big deal because a) you payed into it and b) everyone else who is not using it right now paid into it and can take up any slack. The larger this pool of people, the cheaper it is for everyone because risk is distributed over a greater number of people (corporations can afford to insure their employees because they get vastly reduced rates). with it distributed over 40 million people we're talking pennies on the dollar against most corporate insurance. if managed properly it could even turn a profit. I would suggest this "acceptable minimum" plan be the safety net for the uninsured and underinsured. preexisting condidtions should not be considered for this option.
I would also suggest offering a more andvanced, comprehensive and pricey version of the plan that would cover everything the above does not. this policy would be geared towards small business owners who cannot aford such luxuries. a sizeable chunk of the 40 million people fall under this category.unshavengod
suggested that The main cause of "rising healthcare costs" is the fact that we've invented too many diseases, and everyone is seduced by the attitude of "well everyone else is getting drugs, I deserve some too!
this is true and that is why we dont do traditional indemnity insurance anymore but largely rely on HMOs to control cost. Its like old school insurance companies that can look at what doctors do and say "No".
I would envision the "acceptable minimum" as something that would not cover long term treatments. it would be a safety net that provides more than medicaid but less than private insurance to cover those who dont qualify for medicaid but cant afford private insurance.
The whole concept of acceptable minimum is that the government has some obligation to provide for more than medicaid allows but not full coverage (which would as you accurately pointed out financially cripple the entire system). Acceptable minimum is what no person should be without. Emergency coverage, a small set number of doctor appointments per year, and coverage of prescription drugs (with some restrictions and limitations when it comes to refills). This safety net would also require built in mechanisms like HMOs have of detecting unnecessary medical practices and refusing payment to those doctors who engage in them.
So acceptable minimum safety net would indeed distribute the risk because it would limit the amount of benefit a beneficiary could receive from it. If its set up properly its a deal that is win-win. the beneficiary pays a negligable amount for minimal coverage.
the more risky venture would be the advanced coverage for self-employed and small business and so on. It would have to be set up carefully to minimize this phenomenon. It could work but it needs to be well thought out which unfortunately many policies made inside the beltway are not.hyperflow
, the original poster who asked for solutions on politicsforum, asked If full-blown nationalized health is say, $1.5T, how much would you guess this to be?
the answer is simple: this one requires people who want it to pay into it. its not a substitute for medicaid. it works like an insurance company but the risk is so spread out it works out to a fairly cheap way for people to get the bare minimum. it would work like a "government company" sort of like the U.S. Postal Service.
what does everyone think?