Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Serious Alternative to Obamacare

First the disclaimer: This is a theoretical plan. I don't have access to all the numbers that need to be crunched, and I'm not the ideal person to crunch them. I am a word nerd. Well, in cyberspace a math geek is never very far away. I hope math geeks, legal eagles, and political junkies will all do their thing with this proposed alternative to Obamacare.

Next a procedural suggestion: I'm typing this post, which isn't what I'd planned to post today, in response to a Blaze article: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/15/no-trust-how-does-the-irs-inquisition-impact-obamacare/. Blaze comments on this topic range from snarky to hostile. That's all very well for The Blaze but the people who need to be convinced that this alternative is viable are the ones who really want some sort of national medical care plan. Well, I think we should have something for elderly, disabled, and overwhelmingly disadvantaged people too; it's the idea of being forced to buy into the insurance racket that bothers me. I recommend that youall at least recognize that some Democrats are sincerely concerned about poor people...and that insurance companies are concerned about boosting their own profits at the expense of both doctors and patients.

Here's the basic plan:

1. Require all medical care providers to offer treatments to patients who pay the actual cost of treatment within a year from the time treatment is provided, in cash if possible, and on an anonymous basis if they pay in advance.

2. Allow medical care providers to collect private donations to maintain funds that partly subsidize treatments for people below a certain income level. (This should not be the main source of funding for medical care, but it might keep some smaller providers afloat during the time allowed for patients to pay their own medical bills.)

3. Allow a minimum of one year for patients to pay their own medical bills. Don't involve the federal government in tracking payments made within a year...the federal government shouldn't waste its funds on researching things some people prefer not to disclose.

4. After one year, allow patients who have tried to pay their medical bills, and not succeeded, to apply for federal (or state) medical funds. If patients' income has been much lower than it was before they needed treatment, these funds could even be allocated to compensate patients for payments they have made.

That's it. That's all. If you like it, please supply the budgetary details; I know this plan will cost much less than Obamacare, but I leave it to the math people to demonstrate how much, worst-case or best-case.