In the past I’ve been asked to lay out my health care plan straight and clear as if I was riding in that magical bus with McCain himself. Over the next few posts I am going to lay it out there for all to critique.
But first I must give credit to where credit is due. All proposals are built on previous proposals, previous ideas, previous studies, etc. Mine is no different. In order to do the academically responsible thing – the transparent thing – I must first cite an influential paper. The paper comes from – make sure you are sitting – The Heritage Foundation.
For those who don’t know the Heritage Foundation it is a staunchly conservative think-tank, and I am well, not staunchly conservative. I lean a tad left, but I liked what Stuart M. Butler has to say in his paper, “Evolving Beyond Traditional Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance.”
The basis of “my prescription” is that the foundation of our health care system is flawed. Superficial changes alone (even if they are big changes) will not cut it. Currently, our system is an employer-based system with a large safety net underneath it. The problem is that as the employer/employee relationship has evolved and the old employment-based health care system no longer works. It is leaving more and more people out to either fall into the ever growing safety net, or in the case of 45 million people, straight past the safety net.
So before we consider individual mandates, SCHIP renewal, privatization of Medicare and Medicaid, consumer-driven health plans, or whatever other fix-of-the-day let’s fix the real problem. In future post I am going to discuss why we have an employer-based system and why it no longer works. I’m going to argue that employers should no longer be sponsors of health insurance, but should act as facilitators. I’m going to discuss the need for tax reform. I’m going to argue that these changes should occur first, and then we should move toward universal coverage.