Mosler Health Care Proposal
- Government funding for a full time, $8 per hour job that includes full federal health care coverage for the worker and dependents.
- As a matter of economics and public purpose it is counter productive for health care to be a marginal cost of production.
- Long term vision subject to revised details:
This immediately triggers market forces that will result in all businesses providing health care benefits as a matter of competition.
No economist will disagree with this. Unless going to work makes one more prone to needing health care, making the cost a marginal cost of production distorts the price structure and results in sub optimal outcomes.
Therefore government should fund at least 90% of health care costs paid for by businesses.
- Everyone gets a ‘medical debit card’ with perhaps $5000 in it to be used for qualifying medical expenses (including dental) for the year.
- Expenses beyond that are covered by catastrophic insurance.
- At the end of the year, the debit card holder gets a check for the unused balance on the card, up to $4,000, with the $1,000 to be spent on preventative measures not refundable.
- The next year, the cards are renewed for an additional $5,000.
- Doctor/patient time doubled as doctor/insurance company time is eliminated.
- The doctor must discuss the diagnosis and options regarding drugs, treatments, and costs with the patient rather than an insurance company.
- Individuals have a strong incentive to keep costs down.
- Doubling the time doctors have available for patients increases capacity and service without increasing real costs.
- Total nominal cost of approx. $1.5 trillion ($5,000×300 million people) is about 10% of GDP which is less than being spent today, so even when catastrophic costs are added the numbers are not financially disruptive and can easily be modified.
- Eliminates medical costs from businesses, removing price distortions and medical legacy costs.
- May obviate the need for Medicare and other current programs.
- Eliminates issues regarding receivables and bad debt for hospitals and doctors.
- Eliminates the majority of administrative costs for the nation as a whole for the current system.
Patients can ‘shop’ for medical services and prices as desired.