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Health Care_ a Plan

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									Health Care, a Plan

Our administration and representatives are negotiating the terms to take
over our health care system, in the belief that it is too expensive, and
will cripple our economy if the costs are not controlled. The human
element is the plea to cover people that do not have insurance, so they
will have access to the best care money can buy.

Rather than plow ground that has been plowed by writers more gifted than
I, my focus is how to provide health care to uninsured citizens. If this
is a national priority, let's not destroy the health care system that
stands between us, and the grim reaper in the process.

As a former County Commissioner, I had the responsibility to oversee and
fund the county health department. This health care facility provided
basic services to many who could not afford (or chose not to pay for)
access to private care.

County health departments exist throughout the nation, working quietly to
benefit society's poorest citizens. Free or reduced price, health care
is already being provided depending on your ability to pay.

The present discussion is about building a new bureaucracy and
restricting health access for everyone. Why not increase the funding for
County Health Departments around the nation?

In exchange for this added charitable benefit, the uninsured could only
be treated at hospital emergency rooms after hours, and only if
hospitalization was required. Hospitals would bill the county health
department for any services provided, at the lowest negotiated group
network price. Hospital emergency rooms would no longer be required to
accept anyone who walked in their door.

Funding should be allocated by population on numerical bases, and
disbursed to each congressional district. The Federal Government's role
would end at this point. Each Congressional District would have a local
board, composed of one commissioner from each county.

These district boards would be responsible to distribute the funds to
each County Health Department for the best impact in their area. County
Health Departments would have to expand to enhance services, but continue
to provide basic health services for the uninsured or poorest citizens.

To access these services, citizens would have to:

    Prove citizenship (are we going to provide free health care to THE
WORLD?)
    File a copy of last year's 1040 (verifies income)
    Prove residency (avoids shopping location)
    Develop other local regulations sensitive to local voter wishes.

To increase insurance participation, let individuals deduct insurance
premiums up to $3,600 per head of household, and $2,000 per dependent on
their federal taxes.   Let companies deduct insurance benefits on the same
schedule.

Require insurance companies to accept citizens with pre-existing
conditions. This would have two caveats:

    90 day exclusion period if the pre-existing condition was not covered
by insured's previous policy, or if they did not have insurance.
    Citizens would not be able to "insurance shop" for better coverage on
pre-existing conditions. Previous coverage would apply for 90 days on
any pre-existing condition.

In exchange for society offering this benefit, health care has become a
responsibility to everyone. If society is providing "free" care to the
poorest citizens, then those that can afford health insurance must be
required to:

    Purchase basic insurance in the open market, or
    Pay an insurance surcharge on their federal income tax return of 25%
the maximum health insurance deduction available to those that buy
insurance.

With this health reform plan, we accomplish a few beneficial goals, and
avoid some the worst outcomes.

    The costs are clearly stated in the federal budget, as a transfer to
congressional districts for health care.
    We stop health care for non-citizens.
    We eliminate cost shifting onto insurance premiums.
    The health care benefit is restricted to county health departments,
and basic health care.

This benefit is not intended to grant access to the "best health care
money can buy" for everyone, but to put in place a safety net under our
poorest citizens, until they get back on their feet and can afford the
health care they would like for themselves and provide for their
families.

Some may have a concern about the exclusion of non-citizens in our
coverage by the nation's taxpayers. If a non-citizen seeks medical
assistance at any county health department or hospital, they must first
sign an "agreement to deportation" document.

After being treated, they will be immediately deported by the County
Sheriff. The county health department will fund the cheapest
transportation to a hospital in their home country.

A few general points need to be emphasized:

    Health care is expensive because of government expanding coverage to
new illnesses: i.e.: alcoholism, mental illness.
    Health care is expensive because of tort lawyers.
    Health insurance is expensive because of low deductibles.
Addressing these three issues will slow the growth in health care costs.
Removing non-payers from the health care system will eliminate cost
shifting, lowering health care costs to everyone.

Medicare and Medicaid should be required to pay the lowest negotiated
network price for any services. This would further reduce the cost
shifting that currently distorts the market. It also sets reimbursements
at a localized cost rate, rather than a one-size-fits-all standard. It
takes the power away from the government to promise more and pay less by
force.

A side note:

If Oh! Bama is successful in gaining a public option for health
insurance; it must be a standalone agency without any support from
taxpayers. Wouldn't it be fun to watch bureaucrats try to compete with
private insurance companies? I always laugh when politicians say the
government needs to "keep the insurance companies honest."

Government subsidies should be equal to the "premiums" they do not
collect from citizens covered. In other words, only the premiums would
be subsidized by the government. The public option (government
bureaucracy) would have NO legislation that tilted the playing field for
them to compete. They would have to negotiate fees with health care
providers, just like everyone else. If they did not pay fairly,
providers could choose not to do business with them. With an absolute
wall to legislation or money, this charade would be over quickly and we
could return to a free market.

								
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