Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dump Obamacare, then allow every citizen to sign up for bare-bones Medicaid or take a voucher

    Hopefully the Supreme Court will overturn the Obamacare individual mandate this week and throw out his odious health car law in its entirety.
    There are a million problems with Obamacare, not the least of which is that it forces every citizen to purchase exactly the same insurance policy. We were told this wouldn't happen, but that's clearly not where we're headed with this.
    Obamacare is based on the notion that the government can simply wish any problem away by ordering the insurance companies to solve or cover it. The insurance companies are willing to go along with this scam by raising rates and cutting services to their current customers, since they know everyone is going to be forced to participate no matter how sorry their product or service.
    There is, by the way, nothing wrong with trying to extend basic, bare-bones health coverage to every American. In fact, it can be done. The problem is that most people who have insurance through their employers have luxury care, with lots of bells and whistles. They like these bells and whistles and are paying for them. It is a part of their wage. Reducing the quality of their insurance coverage and care is in effect a giant pay cut.
    While the nation was being sold this bill of goods we were ensured that Obamacare would actually reduce health-care costs. A well-thought-out health care plan can cut costs. Extending free or subsidized luxury care to tens of millions of Americans will cause them to skyrocket.
    To understanding what we need to do to provide health care for those who don't have it, we need to come to some common agreement:

    1. There is value in having a healthy populace.
    2. We are currently providing free but erratic national health care through our nation's emergency rooms. This care is outlandishly expensive, the hospitals are forced to provide it for free, and so they shift the costs to those with insurance. Even worse, they shift even more of the cost to the poor blokes who don't have insurance but who are able to pay for their care.
    3. The breakdown of the American family and the rise of single parenthood as a lifestyle choice is directly related to the fact that it is fairly easy for single mothers to get Medicaid and other care while married women have a very difficult time of it, even when they are relatively poor. There is thus utility to providing this care to everyone, not just the single poor.
    4. Medicaid, in its current form, provides very lavish, luxury health benefits that are sometimes better than those provided by private insurance. There is room to dramatically expand this program at no extra cost by making it a bare-bones, basic health program, similar to that in Great Britain.

    So how do we expand health coverage? The first step is to leave everyone who already has insurance alone. Right now everyone is seeing their insurance coverage going down the tubes, and it's all because of Obama, Pelosi, et. al. and their desire to control every aspect of our lives.
    Second, as a society I believe we need to look at increasing the minimum wage followed by the imposition of additional payroll taxes on every American to fund a bare-bones health voucher. Payroll taxes should be paid by everyone, and every citizen, regardless of income or wealth, should receive a Medicaid voucher, which can be used in one of two ways. The recipient can use the voucher to sign up for Medicaid, or the recipient can use the true cash value of the voucher to offset the purchase of luxury care private insurance that will allow doctor choice, non-generic drugs, a less-rigorously managed rationing system, and a generally more pleasant health-care experience.
    In other words, I'm suggesting that we make every citizen -- note the word citizen -- eligible for Medicaid voucher at no cost beyond a payroll deduction, regardless of wealth. Those who want more can pay for more.
    Giving every citizen a Medicaid voucher would provide basic health care to those who currently can't afford it. People with pre-existing conditions would automatically be covered by Medicaid, even if they couldn't afford a luxury care plan. Meanwhile, the rest of us would be free to use our vouchers to buy the type of insurance we've always had, insurance that would be relatively free from government control.
    That means we can still allow the Catholic church to offer insurance that doesn't include birth control. It means people who want high-deductible luxury plans can have them. It means that the lives of American people can again be free from government micro-management.
    Before we can solve our health care problems we have to first get rid of Obamacare. Hopefully the Supreme Court will see the overreach of forcing citizens to purchase a private product. Once we get rid of Obamacare we can go to work devising a plan to give every American a voucher to enroll in a bare-bones Medicaid plan, while those who want a little more can take their voucher, pay a little more, and get a little more.
    In other words, we can be free again.

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