WHY CAN'T WE HAVE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL?
We are Americans. We are exceptional. Why can’t we have the world’s best health care? Why can’t we have affordable health care for all? Are these mutually exclusive goals? We are Americans. Why can’t we have it all?
Perhaps we have a failure of vision. Perhaps we have a failure of leadership on this issue. Perhaps we have created a false dichotomy that our health care has to be either private or public? Free market or socialized? Republican or Democratic? Are these dichotomies insurmountable?
Why can’t we have a hybrid of both socially supported minimal health care for all with a free marketplace of additional health insurance for those who want to purchase additional coverage for elective and extraordinary care?
Here’s a vision with both Republican and Democratic ideas:
1. Medicare can be expanded to offer minimal health care to all Americans. This will be paid by all through a slight increase in taxes. Bernie Sanders has already researched the cost of this and found that it should save the average American $500 - $3000 per year: http://www.politifact.com/…/how-much-would-bernie-sanders-…/
This “minimal” health care would not cover elective surgeries, but provide everyone minimally necessary health care at doctor’s offices and clinics and keep people out of the very expensive “emergency room” situation. Americans do not want people dying in the street, so this would take care of that. This is the socialist, tax-based part.
2. Insurance companies can offer competitive policies (that cross state lines) to those who can afford to pay for additional health care and/or elective surgeries. People can “buy-up” into these plans either individually or through their employer or by joining other policy groups. This is the capitalist, free-market, competitive part.
3. No “death panels.” Minimal coverage includes the procedures and medicines necessary to keep you alive. We can place limits on what procedures are included and what procedures are not. This is not done on an “ad hoc” basis, but decided in advance by bi-partisan policy groups.
4. People can create pre-tax “health-savings accounts” on their own to supplement or supplant the minimal health care.
5. People can pay for elective surgeries and for extraordinary life-savings procedures through their health savings accounts or additional insurance policies.
Why can’t this work? No one has to worry about pre-existing conditions or being kicked off of policies or denied coverage. Americans can be provided a minimal health care to maintain life AND the all the additional extraordinary health care you can afford.