Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I responded to this discussion on the U.S. Health care Crisis and the Disadvantages of the Canadian system with this comment:
There is a need to come up with new, simple, and elegant ideas for health care in the U.S.
For example, right now I think that people can only buy health insurance plans that are certified by their state. We could pass a federal law that allows people to buy any plan that is certified by another state. This would give more competition.
We could have a catastrophic national insurance plan. For example, the government could reimburse anyone's health care bills after they exceed $ 8,000 for the year. The idea is to set the deductible high enough so maybe 80% would not qualify, but so it is low enough that it provides enough of a cap for private insurance companies that they can reduce rates and insure more people. The deductible could be indexed to the rate of health care inflation.
Finally, prescription drugs are a big expense. An elegant solution may be to require drug companies to name 3 or 4 price points for their drug. For example, a company whose drug is now $100/month could set an 'A' price of $5/month, 'B' price of $35/month, a 'C' price of $80/month, and a 'D' price of $250/month.
The Social Security Agency gets your earnings each year anyway. They could issue everyone a card that lists you as having 'A', B', 'C', or 'D' pricing, depending on your income from last year.
Drug stores would be required to sell you the drug for the 'D' price unless you showed them your card.
This way, a person making $10,000 a year would pay less than Bill Gates, but the drug companies would still get their profits
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