I've been working on this for a couple weeks now. My basic idea is to have three government plans, of varying levels of coverage, along with private health insurers. My plan also provides vouchers to the poor so they can afford their premiums, and it eliminates the incentives for employers to provide health insurance so that individuals could buy affordable plans on their own if they didn't like the federal plans.
What do you think?
1. It shall be illegal for any public or private health insurance plan to discriminate, deny coverage, and/or charge different premiums based on gender, age, race, sexual orientation, genetic profile, or pre-existing conditions.
2. Federal Health Vouchers shall be made available for individuals with incomes below $20,000 who request them, to purchase a public or private health insurance plan, using the following formula to determine the per-month stipend: ($1,000 / Income) * $750. Vouchers shall not exceed $75 per month for individuals. The voucher shall be paid directly to the health insurer.
3. Federal Health Vouchers shall be made available for families with incomes below $32,000 who request them, to purchase a public or private health insurance plan, using the following formula to determine the per-month stipend: ($1,000 / Income) * $2,250. Vouchers shall not exceed $225 per month for families. The voucher shall be paid directly to the health insurer.
4. All persons residing within the United States or its territories shall be required to have health insurance for themselves and all of their dependents. Failure to comply with this provision shall result in the offender and/or his or her dependents being retroactively registered for the US Green Plan. The offender’s wages may be garnished to pay back premiums.
5. Foreigners in the United States on a temporary work visa or student visa, or foreigners who are in the United States for no more than three months, shall be automatically covered under the Green Plan unless they have health insurance of their own. It shall be illegal for foreigners to travel to the United States specifically to use the Green Plan.
6. The federal government shall offer the following health insurance plans to all US citizens and permanent residents, beginning on January 1, 2011:
a. Green Plan (Individual/Family) - $40/$120 Premium per Month. $2,000/$4,000 Annual Deductible. $6,000/$12,000 Annual Maximum. 60% of hospital services. 60% of newborn care. 80% of physician visits. 70% all other services. $100 co-pay for emergency care. $30 co-pay for urgent care. $20 co-pay for physician care.
b. Blue Plan (Individual/Family) - $100/$300 Premium per Month. $500/$1,500 Annual Deductible. $3,000/$9,000 Annual Maximum. 80% of hospital services. 80% of newborn care. 90% of physician visits. 80% all other services. $100 co-pay for emergency care. $20 co-pay for urgent care. $10 co-pay for physician care.
c. Red Plan (Individual/Family) - $120/$360 Premium per Month. $250/$750 Annual Deductible. $1,250/$3,750 Annual Maximum. 90% of hospital services. 90% of newborn care. 100% of physician visits. 90% all other services. $100 co-pay for emergency care. $15 co-pay for urgent care. $10 co-pay for physician care. People receiving Federal Health Vouchers are NOT eligible for the Red Plan, unless they are a current or former member of the Armed Forces with an honorable discharge.
7. Each plan will run for a two year session. No one registered with a government plan may cancel the plan and/or switch to another plan until the end of the session. Anyone who signs up for a plan in the middle of a session may not cancel until they have participated for a full session.
8. Any person who files a false or frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits shall pay the court costs and legal fees for both parties, and be fined up to 25% of the compensation which they sought.
9. No medical malpractice lawsuit shall award more than $5 million for a wrongful death. No medical malpractice lawsuit shall award more than $750,000 for pain and suffering. There shall be no maximum on compensation for medical bills resulting from a medical malpractice lawsuit.
10. The federal government hereby establishes the Federal Malpractice Database. Any medical professional who has been found liable for medical malpractice on more than one occasion shall have the details and circumstances of the cases published in the Federal Malpractice Database, which shall be publicly available to all consumers.
11. The federal government hereby authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to establish best methods and practices, including a National Health Database through which doctors may access patients’ medical records if the patient signs a release. No information from the National Health Database may ever be sold or made public, except with the consent of the patient. No information from the National Health Database shall ever be turned over to law enforcement, except with the consent of the patient or under court subpoena. Violators of this policy are subject to a $500,000 fine, up to six years in federal prison, and the permanent revocation of all medical licenses.
PAYING FOR IT ALL
12. In Fiscal Year 2011, 20% of employer-paid health insurance premiums shall be taxed on the employee’s income and payroll taxes as ordinary income. In FY2012, 40%. In FY2013, 60%. In FY2014, 80%. In FY2015 and every year thereafter, 100% of employer-paid health insurance premiums shall be taxed on the employee’s income and payroll taxes as ordinary income.
13. In FY2012 and every year thereafter, all income over $3.5 million shall be taxed at a rate of 42%.
14. In FY2011 and every year thereafter, all out-of-pocket health expenses (excluding cosmetic surgery) and all health insurance premiums which are paid by the consumer and/or the consumer’s dependent shall be tax deductible.