Source: Lewis Dovland
We must prevent the Marxist progressive takeover from controlling our access to healthcare. Period. Still, it’s true that, in a free economy, everyone has the right to access care but if you can’t pay for it, access is meaningless. Meanwhile, with a single payor system, you no longer control your access because you aren’t the one paying for it. The only answer is a true market-based reform of our current healthcare system.
There is nothing to stop an authoritarian government from withholding medical coverage to punish people who openly disagree with its policies. We got a taste of this when Pierre Trudeau used draconian measures to violate the truckers’ rights (as when he seized bank accounts from people who merely donated to the cause). Here, in America, we’ve seen January 6 arrestees locked up without bail or trial for more than a year for what appears to be, at best, misdemeanor trespassing, blatantly violating Sixth Amendment protections.
So, don’t think it cannot happen to you. Being seen as politically incorrect can cost you your life, especially if the canceled culture and wokeness dominate your access to healthcare services.
Our third-party payor system is a key factor in out-of-control healthcare costs. Because patients are protected from the true cost of the care they receive, they have no incentive to use medical resources efficiently or to price shop.
Currently, our system has three different groupings when it comes to medical coverage:
- People from birth to age 65 who depend on commercial policies, accessed either through employer plans or purchased personally in the open market. Current purchasing includes both buying a commercial coverage or going on the PPACA (Obamacare) exchanges. This is also the largest segment of the U.S. population, representing about 210 million people (or 63% of the population) after removing Medicare and Medicaid enrollees.
- People aged 65 and older who are on Medicare for their Part A (hospital), Part B (doctor office), optional Part C (Medicare Advantage), and Part D (prescription drugs). This represents about 54 million people.
- People receive Medicaid for indigent coverage, veterans covered under the Veterans’ Administration, and means-tested programs such as FQHC and Public Health Clinics. This represents about 78 million people.
To fix this complex system, we need to approach it in bites, fixing each of the above groups in order. The biggest fix and the beginning point must deal with Group 1, which represents about two-thirds of the US population. The way to do this is through a Health Savings Account (“HAS”) that their employees fund and that they add to with the premium dollars they already pay to carriers. Funds grow tax-free, incur no income taxes if spent on medical costs, and, just like an IRA, are an investment vehicle that is part of the estate. At this point, the annual premium dollars for a family of four average $21,000, so the dollars are not insignificant.
TRENDING: Regarding Mitt Romney.
Everyone in Group 1 would be required to purchase a low-cost (about $200 per month) umbrella and/or major medical coverage from this HSA. This would cover any emergency or high-cost hospital type charges and protect the member from bankruptcy. For all other care, such as doctor office visits, routine healthcare, and medicines, the member would pay by a debit card that draws from the HSA.
The benefit of this system is that members will shop for both cost and quality to control spending from their HSA funds because it is their money. In return, physician offices would discount their prices to reflect being paid in full at the time of service—the ‘cash’ price. Because current medical costs reflect at least a 25% premium just to offset the costs of managing modern insurance systems, doctors can reduce their charges by 25% to 30% yet take home the same net income. And of course, the government would have no say in your access to healthcare because you are the one paying.
Then as those in Phase 1 age into Medicare, they would continue the same method, except that Medicare would pay the funds into their HSA. Today, the payment Medicare pays to Medicare Advantage plans is either $10,000 or $22,000 per member per year, depending on a person’s health status. Within 20 years, most Medicare members, already trained in the use of the HSA process, would be on this plan. At that point, about 80% of the population would be freed from government control.
Keep in mind that PPACA (Obamacare) greatly harmed the self-employed middle class by replacing affordable commercial coverages with that plan. I have family and friends who were self-employed professionals, tradesmen, and others who did not have employer-provided insurance. They saw their annual cost of premiums plus deductibles (before the first dollar is paid by insurance) jump from $8,700 to over $25,000, which is a bankrupting factor for many families.
Progressives’ long-term goal is to drive us to a single-payer system by making healthcare unaffordable. Some refer to the solution as ‘Medicare for All’, which is not workable. Government is not just a regulator of healthcare; it is a major purchaser. That power means that hospitals lose money (estimated at -15%) every time a Medicare patient checks in, a loss they make up from commercial patients. Without commercial payors, the plan collapses.
Additionally, the answer from the government for cost control is to suppress wages. Once doctors’ only employment is working for the government—because the hospital and clinic network was bankrupted by these policies and taken over by the government—their wages will decrease. That’s when the best and brightest abandon the medical field.
All of that, of course, is just the big outlines of this market-based plan, but it’s easy, to sum up the benefits:
- Patients control their medical spending to a large extent.
- Shopping for cost and quality reduces medical spending.
- Patients build up additional tax-free growth savings in their HSA which become assets to their estates
- Doctors earn the same net compensation.
- Patients (for at least 3 of the 4 personality types) will realize the benefits of living healthier lifestyles because bad health costs them money
- Most importantly, this will turn us away from an eventual single-payer system and will prevent authoritarians who rise to power from holding us hostage because they control our access to healthcare. It keeps the sticky fingers of Marxist progressives out of our lives by denying them this control.