Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Replacement Wish List - Part 1

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm pretty underwhelmed by the newest iteration of PubbieCare©. For one thing, it's much longer than it needs to be, which means it's more complicated and top-heavy than it should be. And I noticed that they simply swap insurance carriers for The Tax Man for mandate compliance [ed: what else would you call the 30% surcharge?].

And, of course, they switch out subsidies for tax credits.

Here's a clue, fellas:

If you have to subsidize it, it's too expensive to begin with. One reason is that, like ObamaCare, it seeks to keep the government's hands in the financing of health care at the retail level.

So what would I like to see?

Well, since you asked....

Let's do away with this notion that health insurance needs to cover every little nick, bruise and routine expense (physicals, pap smears, prostate exams - that kind of thing). Maternity and sex-change coverage is also a no-go. These are all either budgetable or lifestyle choices.

On the other hand, there ought to be a way to make these expenses more easily affordable, and that comes through competition, and that comes about through personal accountability: let's expand Health Savings Accounts to anyone that wants one (regardless of what kind of plan one owns, or even if one is insured at all).

Is this a panacea? Of course not, but it's a start. By restricting coverage to things that are medically necessary, we cut out a large swath of expenses that need to be covered, thus forcing premiums down. And that means that plans can be truly affordable, and usable.

I have zero objection, of course, to carriers choosing to offer these kinds of "benefits" as options - hey, that's what a free market should be about.

Obviously, this is simply a place to start; the problems created by ObamaCare loom large: narrow networks coupled with HMO model coverage, fewer carrier choices offering ever more expensive plans and higher out-of-pockets, the whole Medicaid expansion issue fiasco.
But there needs to be a first step, and PubbieCare© isn't it.

We'll have more over the coming days.
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