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March 15, 2012

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My Healthcare Solution

July 1, 2009

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.