I have been following the health care debate closely over the last few weeks. One thing that stands out is the lack of clarity on what you want from it.
For me, health care reform should achieve three goals
- anyone who lost their job should not automatically become uninsured
more individuals should get insured
make health care more affordable for everyone
To this end, all the talk about public option and how or whether private insurance will be able to compete does not make sense.
Why should private companies compete with the public option - they should provide add-on health insurance.
It could be real simple - public plan declares what it is willing to pay for - a routine physical, or particular cholestrol treatment. There will be some physicians and hospitals that will accept this payment, and others that will demand more. If a patient chooses to go to such a physician/facility, either they pay the extra amount out of pocket, or their private add-on insurance pays for this.
Of course, public plan will need to pay a competitive price to ensure a certain percentage of physicians/facilities accept its insurance 100%.
You surrounded yourself with smart advisors during the 2008 election cycle. Your voucher scheme for fixing the education system was spot on, and that is very similar to what I propose above. Why are you letting congress and special interests take the lead on health reform?
Oh, and this proposal does address the question raised by Prof. Gregory Mankiw in his NYTimes column of Sep 20, 2009.