I was never a fan of the ACA primarily because of the punitive factor. I just do not believe our government has the right to make people purchase something at their cost and then punish those who choose not to. This does not make me, or those who agree with me, lack compassionate for those in need of care who cannot afford it. There is another way to provide citizens with reasonable health care without government butting into our lives.
What’s wrong with a tiered system funded by the taxpayer? A good example is a 70-80-90 plan which provides quality health care to everyone without punishing people who are poor. It simply requires Congress to reassess where they spend the taxes we pay for all the services we want so citizens are given equal care while those who desire more pay the added cost.
Under a tiered system, the government picks up the cost of 70 percent of our health care bills. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or broke, if you get sick, you go to your doctor, they take your card and bill the government the cost of the visit which is then paid back to the doctor at seven cents on the dollar. The remaining 30 percent is up to the patient.
Then you factor in wages earned to see if a patient qualifies for greater government coverage up to a 90 percent rate. Most doctors are happy to receive 90 percent payment from any patient who qualifies based on financial hardship.
But what if you do not qualify for more than 70 percent coverage? In all likelihood, you are gainfully employed at which time your employer can offer you with different level secondary coverages to cover the remaining costs of your bills. Again, most doctors love patients who have a secondary plan because they know they will receive greater payment for their services. Employers are happy because they are no longer saddled with having to offer high cost plans that either cut into their profit margins or require their employees to fork over several hundred bucks a month out of their paychecks.
Should you decide you want to go without anything other than what the government offers you, say 70 percent coverage, you are on the hook for the remaining amount you owe on your bills. You can take a chance this is the year junior doesn’t break his arm in two places, or your spouse is not diagnosed with skin cancer. You can tell yourself no one in the family will be hurt in a car accident and live with the bills if they are. You are free to literally gamble with your life and your income earned if you desire.
Another plus under this system is it is in the best interest of our government to offer more well care to patients with unhealthy lifestyles. An annual physical that catches a cancer diagnosis in stage one is cheaper than treating someone with stage four cancer. Dental and vision care become more affordable as well, something that is often left out of even some of the best plans now made available under the ACA, or in my case recently, Cover California.
This is all doable. However, it only goes to Hell in a handbasket when Congress caves into the likes of the major insurance firms and Big Pharma. However, ask yourself, who would you rather see our Congress and president regulate: the groups that have allowed our costs to spiral without regard to patients or the voters left to foot the bills that grow like an out of control cancer?
Congress has created this monster because they not only never stood up to the insurance industry or pharmaceutical companies, they did much worse, they hopped into their back pockets and came to expect their financial support come reelection time. This is the behavior that needs to end and if it takes government regulation and some major jail time by violators, that’s much better than punishing the millions of citizens who really do need and deserve quality health care.
Photos are YouTube screenshots
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.