Authentic Healthcare Reform

Whereas the primary problem with the current healthcare system is too little freedom in the healthcare marketplace NOT too much freedom in the healthcare marketplace;

Whereas the current healthcare system also suffers from a lack of transparency in the healthcare marketplace, obscuring the true costs of the products and services being provided and whereas the “Affordable Care Act” only decreases transparency;

Whereas the current healthcare system also suffers from a massive concentration of market decision-making in the hands of a small number of government bureaucracies, insurance companies, big business providers of healthcare products and services and employer-based providers of health insurance plans;

Whereas this concentration of decision-making has led to a very tight concentration of equity in the healthcare system, removing any equity from the vast majority of both healthcare providers and healthcare consumers;

Whereas the circumstances outlined above have led to a minimization of individuals’ ability or inclination to take responsibility for their own health care (and even their own health in some cases) and has also led to a reduction in small locally-controlled heath care service providers;

And whereas the vast majority of the responsibility for the current situation cannot be laid at the feet of individual participants in the marketplace but rests squarely on the shoulders of policy makers and consequently the responsibility to fix the situation and “make individuals whole” likewise rests with the government;

Therefore, we propose the following actions to lead to a healthier health care system:

  • Immediately shut down Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Health and Human Services, and all implementation of the “Affordable Care Act”.
  • Calculate the sum that would otherwise be spent in the next 24 months on Medicare, Medicaid, the Department of Health and Human Services, the implementation of the “Affordable Care Act” and use this money to immediately fund a Health Savings Account (HSA) for each man, woman and child in this country – the total sum of savings to be equally divided among these new individual accounts.
    • The result would be individual ownership of Health Savings Accounts funded with initial balances of multiple millions of dollars each.
    • These HSA’s would be transferrable at the time of death with no estate tax consequences.
    • Funds from HSA’s could be donated from one person’s account to another in order to pay for the healthcare of another individual in need – again, there would be no tax consequences for such gifts from one person’s account to another.
    • Individuals would be allowed tax CREDITS for additions (subject to annual limits) to their HSA’s.
    • Design rules for the use of these HSA’s that broaden their usefulness in addressing all health and age-related NEEDS of individuals while at the same time restricting their being squandered on frivolous purposes.
      • Of course, because the Department of Health and Human Services has been abolished, this design of rules will happen at the state (or even better, the county/city) level.
  • Revise the tax code to ensure that responsibility for health care and health insurance costs and decision-making rest with individuals and not with employers:
    • Make employer-provided plans a taxable benefit.
    • Give individuals a tax CREDIT for all health care expenditures.
      • A tax credit practice would mean that low-income individuals who had little or no tax liability would receive equal benefit as all others – and may result in them receiving an actual cash reimbursement for their healthcare expenditures.
  • Allow local communities (cities, towns and counties), small businesses, charitable organizations, healthcare cooperatives and other healthcare individuals and organizations to creatively implement systems to provide full transparency into the healthcare marketplace.
  • Implement tort reform.  To a large extent the courts’ role as a protector of rights and provider of justice would be replaced by the actions of a free and transparent marketplace.
    • Local communities and the healthcare community itself could devise a system to share information about the relative abilities and competence of various providers of healthcare goods and services.
    • A smaller role for the courts could be maintained with limitations on the sizes of judgments and significant limitations on the fees/awards paid to attorneys.
  • Encourage states to implement this same or a similar process – thereby pushing as much of the healthcare system down to the very local level as possible.
  • Allow individuals to contribute from their HSA’s to international health care aid organizations.
    • Allow individuals to bequest the balances (in total or a portion) of their HSA’s to such organizations.
The above proposal was sent to me by a friend.  At first glance it might appear to you as being too radical a proposal to ever be adopted by Congress.  However, it could form a broad blueprint for healthcare reform by Congress AFTER Obmacare is totally repealed.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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