Economics editor Chris Farrell
First of, to Gene West of Ok, 500/month deductible for people making 60 and less! Are you kidding! And people making above that can opt out??!! Do you make 60+...hmm that would explain a lot!
Look it is simple...if we have universal health care the people with the money would have to take care of the people without the money!! Who has the money?? The rich! Only thing left now is to decide how much health coverage can be universal and how much should be beyond universal?! Nobody should be spending more than 8% of their yearly income on insurance premiums and co-pays! We already pay from 30% to 65% of our income in taxes if you count local, state and federal. That is before energy costs, utility costs and grocery bills. Any more increases and our discretionary income will be like 3% of our paycheck!! Talk about lifestyle cut backs!!
Also we need to cut back on the military! We spend 650 billion with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and 450 without them. We need to end the wars and cut back to 300 billion. Of course we will never do any of this....too many special intrests....only a crisis will move America now....I hope it is financial rather than anything else. God Help Us, All of Us.
Here's an idea for the "universal healthcare" issue, extend coverage for poor children and let everyone else pull their own weight. It is not the function of government to put a chicken in every pot or treat the infirm. I will agree to extend care to those who are otherwise helpless but not to everyone just because people want something. We CAN NOT pay for what we do now, what on earth makes people think that we will be able to pay for even more?
Someone with 11,000 of income can afford a $5 copay??? And someone earning 21,000 is supposed to be able to pay 50 at each visit to a doctor???
Signed, A Social Worker
Farrell went right for the bait and repeated the 3% of the GDP deficit numbers that this administration has recited for seven years. As he might know the debt ceiling has been raised yet again to about 10.8 trillion, three times the annual budget. No matter the annual expected shortfall is 'reasonable', multiple reasonable shortfalls has left this country in more debt as a percent of GDP since the Great Depression. Reference the site http://zfacts.com/p/318.html
If the annual shortfall were only 3% or thereabouts, the debt ceiling would only have raised 25% (3%x8yrs)instead of the 100% increase that has happened.
In terms of how to pay for universal medical care, the answer is simple: Don't make it universal.
That is, insure the lowest income brackets, and above that, employ a system of increasing deductables co-pays and premiums.
Everything below $10,000 for a single person might be free. Everything above that might include an increase of a $50 annual deductable with each thousand dollars of income, until one passes an income of $14,000, when the increase decreases to $20 per thousand, and at $19,000 it would become an increase of $10 per $1,000, and at $29,000 the deductable amount would stop at $400 per year.
Co-pays might begin at $5 at $11,000 of income, and increase by $5 with each thousand, until they stop at $50 at $21,000 of income.
There would be a cap on co-pays after the total reaches $500 in a year. The patient seeing a $500 per visit specialist who has capped out would then pay no co-pay for the rest of the year.
The premium might start at $10 per month, added to one's tax bill, at an income of $11,000. It would increase at $10 per thousand dollars of income until it is $500 per month at an income of $61,000 of income per year.
A person earning above $61,000 per year could opt out of the plan and buy private insurance.
In this way, people receive only as much benefit as they need, have an incentive to ration the resource, and pay only as much as they can afford.
Cost to the system is minimized, and ecoomic support is maximized. Of course, some subsidy would be necessary from the general fund, but not so much as otherwise.
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