My Healthcare Solution

Health SymbolHere are a list of things I believe would help healthcare greatly.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I believe this would help us get a lot closer to universal and more affordable coverage than would the proposed (or any) government run system.

1.) Give those who legitimately cannot afford healthcare vouchers (my guess is on the order of $5000) to buy the private insurance of their choice. This would cost $250 billion over 10 years, compared to $1 trillion – $1.6 trillion for the Obama plan, and I guarantee you that theirs would end up costing more than this estimate and deny people care (rationing) over time.

2.) Eliminate Medicade, and give those people vouchers as well. In net, I believe this would save money, and at worse, if would cost far less and be better care than giving Medicade or Medicare to everyone.

3.) Don’t allow insurance companies to deny coverage (remember we’re giving a lot of people vouchers that they can only use to buy their product), but allow them to price the coverage at a suitable risk. This may price people out of the market anyway, but at least it would give them a chance to buy coverage for the things they know they need.

4.) Eliminate required coverage. This one is ridiculous as is.  States mandate certain things be covered when you buy insurance, which means they are making the barrier of entry higher for those who would by insurance.  If people were able to pick and choose the things they wanted covered, the cost would drop tremendously and more people would buy it.

5.) Allow competition among states. Right now you can only buy an insurance plan that’s offered in the state you live.  Meaning if Indiana has a better and cheaper plan than the ones in Ohio, the Ohioans are barred from buying it. Competition lowers prices, we need more of it.

6.) Make the cost of care more obvious at point-of-purchase. If it cost $50 or $100 to go to the doctor, you would only go if it was worth that chunk of change.  This would ration healthcare based on each persons perceived need rather than by government dictation. Currently, it costs so little out of pocket to cause a large invisible cost to the insurance pool, thereby increasing the cost for everyone and giving the individual incentive to overuse.

7.) Create incentives for less expensive types of care. Maybe all you need is to ask a doctor a quick question, but instead you have to make an appointment because the doctor does not make any money for over-the-phone help. If the doctor was given incentive for this more efficient type of care it would reduce the need for the aforementioned more expensive doctor visit.

So, this is what I came up with on the spot, I’m sure there is more that could be done, but the above would be a great step in the right direction. Any thoughts?

By the way, I know I didn’t include enough reasoning or figures to defend a lot of this, but I wanted to keep it short and just give a taste of where I am in this debate.

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5 Responses to “My Healthcare Solution”

  1. Greg Sollenberger Says:

    All good ideas, I think. I’d add a couple more. Stop requiring businesses to give medical benefits to their employees, and either eliminate the tax incentive for them to do so. Simply make anyone’s private purchase of insurance tax-deductible instead, if we really need to keep the tax incentive. This will open up a new world of competition, instead of forcing every employee to select from a narrow range of policies (I was offered two identical health plans when I started my current job). This next one isn’t a policy issue, but an implication of the idea above: allow people to purchase high-deductible health insurance. Then they will be covered in the event of a personal catastrophe, but won’t be using their insurance for every little thing. This will certainly make insurance cheaper.

    • mikehinton Says:

      Yes, studies show that people with Health Saving Accounts and an High-deductible plan save a lot of money and are happy with their care, even if they aren’t young and healthy like everyone assumes they must be for it to be beneficial.

      If employers stopped picking our insurance and instead gave our benefit plans to us in cash, I think people would be surprised how much more they like the freedom of choosing their own plan with their own money. I wonder how many companies allow you to opt-out of healthcare and take the money they would otherwise spend on you for it. This should include how much they expect to have to pay extra after the claims you would make.

  2. Nick Harmon Says:

    All seem reasonable except for number 3 where you say insurance companies should be forced to cover people. Maybe you could elaborate on that. If you forced coverage wouldn’t you have to do that my implementing a price control? Otherwise you could make coverage prohibitively expensive which would be the same as denying coverage.

    • mikehinton Says:

      Really, No. 3 just comes out of my own curiosity to know how much it would cost to cover a pre-existing condition. Would is cost just as much to the buyer as not having insurance? Maybe since we’re giving the insurance companies billions of dollars more each year, they would have more leeway in their profits, and with competition, the cost of someone having their pre-existing condition covered would become affordable.

  3. Let the nerfing commence! « Where is My Mind Says:

    […] is no final bill, are not holding muster.  For my suggestions on how to reform healthcare see this post.  I have at least one more to add to it, but I think I will discuss it in its own […]

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