Last week’s edition attacked the direction we are presently going toward, which is socialized medicine.  This edition outlines a better way, which would be to reduce the involvement of government for people who are able to take care of their own healthcare needs simply to requiring each of them each year to invest about $5,000 in a Medical Savings Account.  This would be a separate ATM-type account that they would use to pay for their own healthcare needs.  In addition, they would be required to purchase catastrophic healthcare insurance, which would basically be insurance with a $5,000 deductible.  Research shows that most people spend less than $5,000 per year for their healthcare needs until reaching the later years of their lives.  So if they have an incentive to spend their money wisely, and know that the remaining amount will be rolled over into the next year’s account and eventually be available for their retirement, they will do just that.  This program will produce at least three beneficial results.  The first would be to increase competition for healthcare dollars, which will bring down those costs.  The second would be that the amount of money paid to healthcare professionals would be materially increased, and the amount paid to administrators and bureaucrats materially decreased.  And the third would be once again to encourage people more to act as active partners with their healthcare professionals in their own health.   All of these are good results.

       But what about people who are not able financially to take care of their own needs?  They would be provided with government-paid vouchers which could be used by them to pay for their own healthcare needs as well as insurance.  These vouchers would be provided on a sliding scale based upon each person’s financial condition, but there would always be some form of co-pay, however slight, to encourage responsible purchases.  This approach would then furnish the same basic results as set forth above.  Thus everyone would be encouraged to spend their money/vouchers productively thus bringing costs down.  In addition, more of the money would go to healthcare professionals and less to bureaucrats, which would also reduce fraud in medical billing.  And this approach would also remove inequitable tax breaks for employer-based insurance plans, and encourage everyone to act as partners in their own healthcare.  So what’s not to like?

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President