< meta name="DC.Date.Valid.End" content="20050825"> Amendment Nine: What if...?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

What if...?

Here's an idea chrisschross and I were trying out. She seems to think it works out well, and she would have posted here but Federalist is nowhere to be found to give her access... so I'm posting in her place. We both assume this will be an unpopular idea for many of this site's readers, but we like being unpopular! Chriss has promised to be "around" in the comments, so feel free to let her have it as well.

What if we didn't have health insurance? Yeah, NO HEALTH INSURANCE! All you would have is catastrophic coverage, or disaster coverage, or even perhaps emergency coverage for those in more fragile health conditions. But no health insurance in the way we have it today. All medical costs would be OOPs. Trips to the doctor for routine checkups would be paid for in cash (as they are in many Asian societies), and all of us would have to start taking more control over our health care and health maintenance. We could no longer just say: "well, my doctor told me take these pills", we could only say: "after talking to my doctor, I decided to take these pills". You could even have supplemental pharmaceutical coverage for people needing such, but it would be just, supplemental, not part of a comprehensive plan. And most importantly, employers would no longer be required to offer coverage.

Everyone I know asks the question, usually at first, what about people who can't afford emergency or disaster coverage? Well, the government could offer vouchers for the poor to cover those. In fact, with the decrease in administrative costs, the government could probably afford to cover a lot more seniors AND pay for their pharmacy requirements as well. But those are details, this is just big picture. And the picture we're trying to paint is one where people are empowered to make more decisions for themselves, because statistics show those are usually closer to optimal decisions. So what do you say? A no healthcare insurance regime...?