Friday, March 24, 2017

Kick Insurance out, and Turn the Individual Mandate on its Head

   Kick the insurance companies out of the house. Low health-care prices cannot be achieved as long as those with deep pockets are paying the bills. If you want low prices, let the health-care providers get no more than what Joe Blow can afford. The only way for prices to drop is to limit the providers to no more money than what we poor souls can pay. When we bring in deep pockets -- insurance companies -- we only set the stage for high prices.
   Turn the individual mandate on its head. Instead of mandating that everyone buy insurance, mandate that medical providers must sell to their health-care products to everyone. And, when they cannot get the price they want, they must sell at the price the buyer can pay. Medical assistance is something everyone has a right to receive. So, we will not have a system that works unless everyone has access to all non-elective services. If only the rich can afford life-saving care, we have failed.
   Create an arbitration board. When the consumer says he cannot afford the price he is charged, bring in the arbitration board to set the price at a level the consumer can afford. Since we cannot just drop the insurance companies out in one fell swoop, and since we will drive providers out of business if we force prices down too quickly, the arbitration board will decide when individuals will go off insurance, making those funds no longer available. If the insurance companies fail too quickly (as perhaps they are even under Obamacare), government insurance will provide the bridge to where insurance are out of the system. The arbitration board will oversee the transition, operating in a role similar to the Fed chairman setting the prime interest rate in accordance with economic needs. Even so, the board will decide how fast insurance is eliminated by gauging how much medical providers must be supplemented so they do not go out of business. A board chairman will establish the rate of insurance money allowed. If he sets it at 9 percent, for example, that means 9 percent of the money providers take in will be allowed to come from insurance instead of directly from consumers. The board then implements the chair's rate by selecting which individual situations will be funded with insurance money.

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