Thursday, December 3, 2020

Affordable Health Care Problem Solved (updated 2020)

The Solution to Affordable Health Care for All is Simple.

Affordable Health Care starts with doing away with letting the insurance industry dictate the price for treatment and services. Instead, the pricing for minor medical should be determined by what the market will bear.

Health insurance should be optional and only cover major medical treatment and procedures. Minor medical, such as treatment for a sore throat, should be priced according to free-market competition.

A typical doctor's visit takes about 20 minutes. Health care providers should be forced to provide quality services and a comfortable environment for their patients. Moreover, they should be transparent with their pricing, and the price should be determined by the socio-economic status of the area being served.

Amount of time U.S. Primary Care Physicians Spent with Each Patient as of 2018

It is plausible to use the analogy of food when speaking about health care: We all need food to survive, and there are several “quality” levels of food. Suppliers and vendors all strive to produce the best quality at each cost level.

For example, you can shop in many different grocery stores, and you can dine in a variety of restaurants, all for varying levels of cost.

Why not force the doctors and all their cronies to charge what the actual consumer will pay for their care and the environment they provide to the patient instead of what some insurance company's budget will pay?

Current Cost of Health Insurance Under the Affordable Care Act

In 2018, the average cost for an individual's health insurance was $440/month ($5,280/year). A family of two or more paid $1,168/month ($14,016/year).

Unsubsidized Individual Premiums Under the Affordable Care Act

Unsubsidized Family Premiums Under the Affordable Care Act

Who Has A Primary Care Provider?

In July 2018, the Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a national poll of 1,200 randomly selected adults. They found that 26% of those surveyed did not have a primary care provider. Interestingly, there was a difference among age groups: 45% in the 18 to 29-year old group reported having no primary-care provider; in contrast to the 28% within the 30 to 49-year old group; 18% of the 50 to 64-year old group, and 12% percent aged 65 and older without a primary-care provider.

Percentage without primary care provider by age
One-fourth of Adults and Nearly Half of Adults Under 30
Do Not Have a Primary Care Physician.
Source: KFF Tracking Poll

A Free Market Approach  

Imagine being free to choose your doctor for everything but major medical without insurance and pay a transparent fee for the visit, just like you do for food. Sometimes you dine at the top of the four seasons, and occasionally you eat in the basement.

Imagine having the ability to receive the attention of a doctor at a typical doctor’s office rather than wondering if your lack of the "Platinum Health Care Policy" will keep you from getting the best treatment.  

All of us are free to walk into any medical facility and receive a set price list for medical treatment (similar to the menu at a restaurant), healthcare, and pay for the services using officially recognized payment methods (i.e., cash, credit card).

Those of you wondering about malpractice are one of the reasons the doctors charge so much now. How about this, the care providers will treat their patients with the best procedures and products available? And, let’s move those complaints against providers under Tort Law, and yes, the providers will lose their license to practice and livelihood if found negligent in their treatment or care.

All physicians currently make a wage that sets them within the top 10% of all wage earners within the  United States of America.

How Much Would You Pay?

My plan would be to let physicians choose their own price for services. The smart ones would find out how much patients are willing to spend to have a clinician take a quick look down their throat, into their ears, and up their nose within 17.5-minutes. 

If you actually visit a doctor's office twice a year and pay an insurance premium of $440 per month, the office visits alone cost $2640 each. 

If you calculate this over 20 years, 18 to 38 years of age, when the person is healthiest, that a person on average will pay $105,600 for current health insurance.

That money, if invested conservatively, would earn just over $46,200 for a total of $151,800

So, even if the same person needed treatments totaling $100,000 over those 20 years, they would still have $51,800 remaining.

The Major Medical Care Issue

The problem of major-medical services must still be addressed. I believe a simple plan might be suitable to address this issue: increase the sales tax on all purchases to subsidize hospital services by 70%. The remaining 30% could be covered either as an out of pocket expense or through a private insurance policy. Which, of course, demands more consideration but to start, I believe we should:
  1. Establish private insurance companies that allow you to receive any type of medical treatment at any medical facility privatized (for profit) or public (non-profit) within the country.
  2. The purchase price of the insurance would be 5% of their income. Income could be the previous year’s annual income or the most recent pay stub. If a person does not have a pay stub, a formula could be used to determine their income: 15% of one's mortgage or rent to cover 1 adult. Each subsequent resident, you require an additional 5% of the housing payment up to a total of 35%. The 35% fee would cover 2 documented residents per bedroom. Therefore a 4 bedroom house policy could cover 8 people at 35% of the mortgage or rental note unless 5% of the total household income is established to be higher.
  3. The unemployed and homeless would be forced to rely on public medical facilities. These facilities would be established as the market dictated or use the emergency room of any medical facility. A portion of the sales tax allocated for these expenses would subsidize payment for this medical treatment.
  4. Illegal immigrants would not be eligible for the care described above. Instead, they would not be provided for in the same methods as those immigrating legally or citizens.
  5. Those on visas, resident alien status, or having otherwise entered the country legally for any length of time are eligible to use the pay for services system or purchase a short term insurance policy for a price that would be determined by individual insurance companies.
Reasonably, priced health care must first start with the reformation of malpractice insurance. Patients that are victims of malpractice should be given the right and encouraged to sue the responsible parties. However, before attempting to file suit against a medical professional, facility, and those working within the facility, there should be some screening that safeguards against frivolous litigation.

All medical professionals would be required to have some method of financially compensating victims of their malpractice. How this is determined could be by a federally mandated minimum of say $1,000,000 not to exceed $30,000,000. This fund could be provided either by an insurance company or held in a private investment account. Health care providers that choose the individual investment account must provide proof of the liquid assets quarterly to maintain licensure and operate legally.

Monday, February 24, 2020

OPINION: US Citizens Must Unite

United We Stand, Diviided We Fall

United States citizens should spend more time coming together and working toward solutions to our issues rather than allowing ourselves to be divided. Dividing ourselves into categories defined by labels such as far-left, centrist, and far-right removes our power as a united group.

More so today than I can remember, dating back to the mid-1970s, a strong faction is genuinely opposed to what the United States of America can produce and accomplish if we came together and presented a unified front.

To Overpower A Large Group, Break It Into Smaller Ones

If the goal is to conquer a large group, it is common knowledge that you should do your best to divide a unified group into smaller factions. Better yet, create a situation where the separate groups recognize and believe in the divisions and work vigorously (even violently against each other) to maintain the divisions.

This situation results in the spokesperson for one of the divisions and their followers publically speaking out against the other divisions. Of course, this is healthy and can strengthen the overall group if the objections are kept internal and not leaked to a larger, opposing, and perhaps equally formidable group.

Such a leak is powerful ammunition for the opposition. Strategic use of such divisive opinions from insiders can lead to a quick fall from power.

They don't want to see us unite:
all they want us to do is keep on fussing and fighting.
They don't want to see us live together:
all they want us to do is keep on killing one another.
— Bob Marley

Smaller Units Are Easy To Obliterate

You would agree that no human can snap a healthy, mature pine tree into pieces with only their bare hands, correct? But what if we could change the scenario and turn that pine tree into toothpicks? Thereby dividing the once strong and unified tree into much smaller units - toothpicks. 

Then, it is easy to snap that pine tree into bits of dust with your bare hands and with little effort. One toothpick at a time, the pine trees are destroyed.

Get the idea? Splinter the massive, powerful, wealthy, intelligent, unified force known as the United States of America into smaller groups or even into individuals, and use a team of three to take out each individual until they are no longer threats or eliminated. A three-on-one battle ensures victory for the attacking group.

Change The Rules Of Socially Acceptable Behavior

Can't wait until morals and critical-thinking become a trend again
Another strategy involves changing the rules of social behavior. For example, create a scenario where everyone is right based solely on their feelings. Just because you disagree with a particular set of facts does not immediately make your opinion correct.

Allowing all people to be "right" based on their emotional response to the events creates a paradigm where emotional responses are equal to those using facts and concrete evidence. Moreover, allowing people to use only their fanaticism and emotions to question and disrespect persons in positions of authority will only continue to divide us. 

Empowering Ignorant and Emotion-Based Inquiry

When authority is questioned, and this line of questioning is hyped up by presenting a limited scope of information and appeals to emotion rather than reason, a breakdown of trust is imminent. Public acceptance of disrespectful behavior results in disrespect toward all. This includes all you may encounter, from the stranger on the street to your family members.

Accepting this disrespectful behavior, the belief that all people in positions of authority should be publically questioned (even in front of the opponent) and the subsequent breakdown in the chain of command can splinter even the most robust units.

We Must Remain Vigilant And Focused

Those wanting to destroy what we have are all around us, bombarding us with false information and the promise of a better life. Breaking down the unified group into smaller groups. Convincing the smaller groups that the others are responsible for their woes.

This allows our opponents to infiltrate the smaller groups, and unless they are stopped immediately, the larger group is open to an attack from within. This attack might begin with adjusting what is acceptable behavior. Changing the landscape, empowering ignorant questioning, honoring those who engage in disrespectful behavior, and allowing emotion, not rational evidence-based, to define what is "right."

The only chance a country or a large group that functions best when unified has is to remain vigilant and focused on staying unified. Members must shun public defiance of the group's principles by dissenters and keep confederates from becoming members or maintaining membership.

I hope some event unifies us and "forces" us all to identify solely as Americans without the ridiculous classifications (far-left, left, left-center, center, right-center, right, far-right), just AMERICAN and proud. 

When unified, we can kick the opposition's butt and protect our way of life.