• Beej Das

Universal Health Care; Fix Single Payer and Keep Private Insurance Private

Updated: Dec 8, 2017

There is no difference between cancer and terrorism. Both are terrifying and the government must provide universal protection against both

The critical flaw with the current approach to health care is that none of the important stakeholders is achieving a sustainable deal. Small businesses pay premiums that are too high, while the resulting balance premium to individuals along with out-of-pocket expenses are too high and still coverage is often limited.

The Affordable Care Act forces public subsidies into a private health insurance system ill-equipped to handle it. This ensures two very detrimental impacts: no centralized cost controls (and hence higher overall systemic cost to provide care) and higher distributed costs (both employer and employee pay higher premiums). We must change our approach.

Single payer + private insurance

The better approach is to allow an improved single payer system to provide a base level of care for those individuals without the resources to opt-in to a private insurance system. Moving to single payer is sensible because the federal government will need to improve on the currently dismal single payer system operated by the Veterans Administration (VA). That critical improvement -- which absolutely must be done -- yields an opportunity to scale the VA to address a larger population of patients.

Under my proposal, a federally funded base level of coverage would provide basic health care services, including annual physicals, contraceptive coverage, basic dental coverage along with critical care coverage. This lowers the systemic costs associated with low health care adoption by providing free coverage while at the same time liberating private insurance from the burdens of providing a subsidized marketplace. Private insurance would be available, and most research suggests, taken by a large number of participants for whom convenience, comfort and choice are premium options.

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