The Motley Fool Discussion Boards

Previous Page

Politics & Current Events / Retire Early CampFIRE


Subject:  Reviving the GOP in one easy step Date:  1/30/2013  4:45 PM
Author:  tjscott0 Number:  669310 of 876089

This piece by Matt Miller sounds like a very good idea.

Of course I like it because it basically the method I am using to protect myself from catastrophic health care expense. A $5000 ded policy that also provides $400 annual coverage for doctor visits for preventative care.

So let me reveal a sure-fire way for a Republican governor to grab the national spotlight, earn a reputation as a problem-solving innovator and help the GOP seize the political center in ways that honor conservative values.

All that Republican governor has to do is this: Ask the Obama administration for a waiver to Obamacare that lets him or her implement universal catastrophic health coverage in his or her state.

First, let’s look at how the policy would work. Catastrophic coverage means that after a certain deductible, all medical expenses would be covered by insurance. Usually when conservatives peddle such high-deductible plans they make a fatal mistake: They fail to limit out-of-pocket expenses to some reasonable share of family income. A $5,000 deductible for a family earning $22,000 doesn’t make sense. So this GOP plan would define “catastrophic” relative to income.

The other typical flaw with catastrophic plans is that people don’t get the preventive care they need. So you need to make sure everyone can afford such care – either via pre-funded health savings accounts for those with modest incomes or by subsidizing some version of the emerging “fitness club” model of primary and preventive care, in which members pay, say, $65 a month for access to these services (with no insurer involved at all).

The GOP plan would also replace today’s malpractice litigation lottery with a system that protects doctors from liability so long as they’ve followed evidence-based best practices. This would put an end to the “defensive medicine” that runs up costs — a common-sense reform that Democrats reject as a sop to the trial lawyers who fund their campaigns.

At one stroke here’s what this policy would accomplish. Every person in the state would have true health security; never again would a family be at risk of financial ruin due to illness. This outflanks Obamacare to the left, because, despite frequent White House hints to the contrary, Obamacare will still leave 20 million to 30 million Americans uncovered when the dust clears.

The GOP plan would achieve this goal more cost effectively than Obamacare would, because it includes more incentives for cost-conscious purchasing of routine services (while still assuring full protection in case of serious illness).

Copyright 1996-2018 trademark and the "Fool" logo is a trademark of The Motley Fool, Inc. Contact Us