Increased Health Care Access for the Uninsured

Besides costs, critics site access to the US health care system as a major problem. It is estimated that there are between 15 and 40 million uninsured people in the US. The real number of uninsured US citizens is around 20 to 24 million, well less than 10% of the US population.

Despite the small percentage of uninsured in this country, our Congress and president feel the need to revamp our entire system, with increased cost to tax payers (who for the most part are happy with their current insurance) and more government control. Why would anyone want their health care run with the same compassion, efficiency, and customer service as the DMV or IRS? These politicians want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

How is this for a simpler solution? If we are really concerned about taking care of the uninsured instead of drastically increasing government bureaucracy, why don't we focus on the uninsured alone instead of changing the system for everyone.

Who are these uninsured? The impoverished have Medicaid, so they are insured. The elderly are insured by Medicare. Some young adults choose not to be insured which is their right. Some however are caught in the middle somewhere. These people may have lost their jobs recently or for other reasons may have fallen on hard financial times because of economic downturns. Some are uninsurable because of pre-existing conditions. These are the people we should help.

Our solution? Identify theses citizens by setting up private organizations, perhaps staffed by volunteers, or by county medical societies. Citizens that meet certain criteria of low income, unemployment or other factors apply to these private organizations for approval. These criteria are either set by the county or state, but never the federal government (10th Amendment).

If the citizen and his family meet the criteria, they are given an "insurance card". They may use this in any hospital or doctor's office of their choosing. The provider will get reimbursed with a tax credit equal to or slightly greater than Medicare reimbursement. Not for profit hospitals and clinics would be obligated to take these citizens as patients to maintain their tax exempt status. Private doctors and hospitals that take Medicare would have a choice whether or not to participate.

The citizens truly in need would now have health care, willing providers will be compensated with tax credits, and the vast majority of Americans that are happy with their insurance will be able to maintain it. This is without out of pocket costs for state or federal governments (our money anyway) and without a government take over of our system.

This is a blueprint for a simple solution to access of health care for the vast minority of Americans that are truly in need. The details can be worked out. DICCF will volunteer to help.


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