Friday, October 15, 2010

How to Get Health Care Reform Done Quickly

Make every senior citizen pay for the full cost of their health care for 1 week and all of the problems will evaporate like a bad dream.

Seriously.

Let's think about this for a moment.

The actual cost per senior citizen according to actuaries who get paid to do this sort of work is between $12,000 and $15,000 per year depending on age, health and life-styles.

Instead, the average senior today pays around $300/month for their share of the Medicare Part B premium.  The taxpayer, you, pay the $900-$1200/month remainder of the bill.  For 44 million seniors.  Each and every month. Of each and every year.

Why one senior who smokes 10 packs of cigarettes per day; eats junk and fatty food; drinks 2 six-packs at dinner and never gets off the couch except to get more Cheetos gets charged exactly the same as a perfectly healthy responsible senior defies the laws of sanity but that is another issue.

A one-week cost out-of-pocket would be about $300.

That is what most seniors pay per month for Part B coverage today!

But if seniors had to pay the full cost of health care for just one  week, the clamor for true health care reform would be deafening.

All of the cost drivers embedded in the current health care system would be tossed out the window like spent cigarette butts.

Tort reform? Done. Malpractice insurance reform? Done. Buying across state lines? Done.

Why?

Because senior citizens take the 'citizen' part of their names very seriously.  They vote in each and every election!  Why do you think over 1/2 of the $3.5 trillion annual budget goes to SS and Medicare today?

If they had any inkling that the ‘real’ cost of their health care was over $12,000 per year, or $1000/month, they would be screaming and yelling and beating legislators over their heads with umbrellas and canes. Legislators would pass comprehensive tort reform; malpractice insurance reform and even raise the retirement ages for future retirees like the Boomers and X-ers to 70 almost overnight.

When the structural upwards cost-drivers such as these are finally pounded out of the health care system in America, then businesses will be able to afford reasonable health care coverage for their employees once again and the federal budget will be balanced in no time flat…perhaps as soon as 2020 just due to the amelioration of health care inflation alone.

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