by Andy Freeman
I’ve been giving the health care debacle considerable thought. President Obama’s call for reform will be devastating to our fragile economy – the Republican alternative is non-existent. With those sad options at hand I have reached the following conclusions:
* The Democrats want to throw money at the problem thinking they will do a good deed and lock up the White House and Congress for years to come
* The Republicans see the danger of growing deficits, but are so in the pocket of Insurance companies, Pharmaceutical companies and Mega Hospital chains that they are scared to reform for losing campaign dollars, clout and their big business political paradigm
* Nobody in the private sector is going to budge. They want to “get theirs” and titillate Wall Street with great revenue numbers
* Socialized health care has been “demonized” to the point that it cannot be considered objectively and tossed out for rational reasons
* Private health insurance will slowly fade away from increasing costs until employees opt out because they can no longer afford the premiums through their employer
* All of the above will result in one in three Americans without health care by 2020
So, I’ve decided to propose my own health care reform. This may seem a brutal plan, but someone has to put forward an easy to understand program that will reduce costs, improve health and put the burden on the right shoulders. Here goes:
* The Fast Food Industry will give back 10% of all profits to subsidize health costs for heart attacks and other cardiovascular emergency procedures
* The Tobacco Industry will give back 10% of all profits to subsidize health costs for lung cancer, emphysema and other emergencies caused by their products
* The Alcohol industry will give back 10% of all profits to subsidize health costs for liver, kidney and other emergency procedures caused by their products
* Makers of Candies, Cookies, Ice Cream and other sugary treats will give back 10% of their profits to subsidize health costs for dental and diabetic procedures resulting from their products
* The entertainment industry will give back 10% of all profits to subsidize health costs for mental and emotional therapy.
* A 10% tax will be levied on all of the above industries. These monies will be used to fund medicaid. Now, the list above is not comprehensive. We can easily add other addictive products that have a negative impact on weak-willed people. The second phase of my health care reform has to do with the existing private industry. My reforms are as follows:
* Health care Insurance for an individual of family will be provided at a cost of 10% of the the final taxable income number on a single or joint federal tax return. Dependents will be covered under this cost until they reach 18 years of age. After that age, they will receive their own coverage based on the 10% rule. If they are a college student, they may purchase coverage by semester as is currently available privately. So, if you make 50,000 dollars, your health care cost is $5,000 – if you make, $300,000 dollars, your health care cost is $30,000.
* Private Businesses and Corporations will contribute 10% of their gross annual earnings to cover the permanently hospitalized, handicapped and unemployed. The poor and elderly will be serviced under medicare and medicaid.
* Health care insurance companies, Pharmaceutical Companies, Doctors and Hospitals will give back 10% of their profits annually to fund medicare and medicaid
* A complete listing of charges for procedures will be published by every doctor, clinic and hospital and made available for all potential patients to see. This will allow competitive shopping for medical care instead of just accepting the inevitable in costs.
* Doctors, clinics and hospitals will be given an annual rating based on service and costs, much like restaurants. After all, who wants to go to a 78% rated medical facility when a 98% is 15 minutes further away.
* Health Insurers may no longer force the insured to jump through hoop after hoop and reject claims just to wear down consumers and net more revenue when the insured gives up and just pays the bill. Claims will be paid. If there is disagreement it will be settled between the medical provider and the insurer, not by grinding down the patient.
* Everyone who works in government (including the President and Congress) will function under the same guidelines and health care. The only exception being our U.S. Military who will receive free health care for themselves and immediate family during their term of service. After they leave the service, they will enter the normal 10% health care culture.
* The government’s role in health care will be solely to enforce these reform rules and guidelines and continue the management of medicare and medicaid, with the taxes provided by the health care industry lock boxed for this purpose alone.
O.K., folks, there you have it. The 10% Health Care Reform Plan. No political play, no lobbyists, no socialized medicine, no skyrocketing costs. An honest program that covers all and allows profit without government interference with a little help from everyone involved.
Give me your thoughts, criticism and advice. Just don’t play politcal favorites.