One Percent Health Care Solution

One Percent Health Care Solution

Solving The Health Care Crisis Today

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The Solution

We can reach our goal of having a guaranteed health care system in California by creating a  tax system using the funds we already pay.  I think this plan is better based in each state than in Washington because I don’t  believe Washington can do anything  this simple.

The new system would require every provider to contribute 1% of its health care revenue to a California Health Care Fund. By every provider I mean from the first contact the system has with our money, the insurance company that receives our premium dollars down- step by step- to the to doctors and hospitals that provide our care.

If you collect  or disburse money for any kind of medical  care  (i.e. you are an insurance company, health group, pharmacy or pharmaceutical company, doctor, hospital etc. ) then you  are a provider and you will pay the 1% provider fee. The moneys would be  then be used to cover those working age persons who lack employer- based coverage. By doing this we can easily have “universal  health insurance ”  NOW.

Please note that this is NOT an insurance plan. As noted above the plan only pays for care given. The money is accumulated from the insurance policies we have  paid. It simply takes money from the payments alreay being made at each step and uses that money to reimburse doctors and hospitals  for care they have already administered to non-insured patients.

First, we need to state simply and clearly what are the two most immediate problems we face as American payers and American patients.  Well, American Medicine has two huge problems: (1) It doesn’t meet our needs and, (2) it costs too much. It is like having a fine coat that is too small. It doesn’t “fit” because 20% of the people who are paying for it are not covered at any given time. Try to wear it and it squeezes painfully.  But, we protest, we paid a lot for our fine coat. Fine, we will just let out the seams a bit. Our first step will be to use the “it costs too much” factor to solve the “it doesn’t fit” problem!

To do this we will take the bloated  medical budget (i.e. the sum of all of our private medicine premiums and all our growing “co-pays” )  and use the money to pay for ALL of us. Why not – it is our money! That is essentially the plan. The One Percent Healthcare Solution. We should tax every provider, from the top to bottom, 1% of their revenues, and use that money to give us the equivaent of an insurance card. Thus, when we are paying into the system, i.e. the 80% of us with a job at a “big ”company, we will still know we have guaranteed health care if we get sick or lose our job.

Why will we do this?  We will do this out of self-interest. Because we never know when we might  join the dreaded 20% of uninsured workers. No matter how smart and how successful we are we can become a traffic statistic in a matter of seconds. Because although this plan will inevitably be a 1% increase in our health insurance cost, it  will be the only increase we are likely to see in our lifetimes that we know will benefit us.  Because we know our health insurance cost is going up a whole lot more than 1%  anyway don’t we? Because we want a guarantee of health care NOW!

All we have to do is convince our legislators and Governor(s) to tax every provider at the rate of 1% of their revenue. We can only do this by making a giant and continuous noise until we get what we want. Making a lot of noise to get what we wanted is the first thing all of us learned. We know how to do it. I’m sorry but this is the only way we will make sure the folks in Sacramento and Washington enact laws to create the 1% Provider Fee.  We will have to drown out the hue and cry of the lobbyists and their jingling purses, their rustling packs of thousand dollar bills, their corporate jets, and – most importantly-their coercive and corrosive media propaganda.  We can do this. Its not that difficult. How do we do this? We let the politicians know that if they don’t do this:

We will never, ever vote for them again.

The moneys from the Provider Fees tax will then be used to insure the 20% of workers that are now left out. The provider system funds will be used to pay for the medical care required by the (formerly) uninsured. Reimbursement should be limited to Medicare amounts, without any co-pays.  We can have complete and “universal coverage” with the moneys we are paying today. This will add a large number of persons to a price-controlled program like, but better than, the price-controlled Medicaid program. Or the new program and Medicaid could be merged. This would dramatically improve the Medicaid  program.

Once  the plan has been in operation for several years it will be possible to compare how a large number of “small business” workers fare medically compared to the group funded by “big business” employers. My prediction is that there will be very little difference found between the groups at least in terms of the quality of their “medical lives”. Just as there is no real difference between us now and all other industrialized nations.

The flaw in Governor Schwarzenegerr’s s plan was therefore its identification of doctors and hospitals as the  only “providers” of health care. Doctors and hospitals are  at the bottom of the medicine food chain. The organizational and corporate classes listed above are just as much the real “providers” of health care as are doctors and hospitals. They dominate the cash flow sequence. The reason for this is the step-wise nature of the flow of funds in health care. Think about it. You and/or your employer don’t send your premium to your doctor or to your hospital do you? That was fee-for-service medicine. No: Your moneys go first to an insurance company or its surrogate, then to an HMO or Health Plan, and then to a Medical Group.  Finally, some reaches your doctor or hospital.  By taxing each step at the low 1% rate one can create a substantial pool of money with very little pain. That’s the 1% plan. We do not require any new money.    And,  there is nothing to keep the care-giving entities from raising their rates is there? They are going to do that anyway are they not?  Trust me -I’m a doctor.