Day after day, we here about President Obama’s crusade to fix the health care system in the U.S. This is a subject I’ve written about before, and I’ve criticized the ideas put forth by the Democratic-controlled Congress and the President as being poorly planned, bloated, inefficient and any number of other negative things. So, according to Rasmussen reports, I would be listed as an individual that is “Strongly Opposed” to the proposed health care reform. This is not to say that I am opposed to health care insurance reform as a generality, however, though my stance is consistently misconstrued as such a statement. Reform is required, but what the president and Congress continue to push on the American public under the guise of a “Public Option” is reform for reform’s sake, and will not solve many of the issues faced by the ordinary American citizen. A plan that may actually work, and that you’ve likely not heard of, is the expansion and implementation of Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs.
Not sure what a HSA is? Think of the health insurance plan you or your parents have now. They pay fees monthly or annually to keep their plan and to be covered. In much the same way, a HSA holder or their providing employer could deposit funds into their account monthly, and those deposits can then be used toward the price of doctor’s visits and other health care expenses. Right now, that’s pretty simple, but here’s the best part – if those deposited funds aren’t used by the end of the year, they officially become the property of the HSA holder, which means that you’ve just made back some, if not all, of the money associated with the account if you weren’t sick that year.
You can then keep that money, and save it for later health care costs, or you can use it as you please right then and there – and the healthier you are, the more you’re going to keep at the end of the year. This can act as an impetus for the policy holder to improve their diet and exercise routines, improving their overall health and reducing their annual costs further.
At the same time, the inclusion of the policy holder into the actual expense portion of the plan works as a deterrent against frivolous doctor visits, should you not really require the medical attention. Think of it like an iTunes gift card that becomes cash at the end of the month if you don’t use it. You could buy a few songs you don’t need, or you could wait a few weeks and then you would have cash to buy food or fuel instead.
This plan would also benefit those who are unable to have their preexisting conditions covered by letting them use their funds at the end of the year toward those medical costs. So now, a man who suffered through Leukemia and bone marrow transplants twice during his grade-school years could afford to meet with an oncologist, instead of having his insurance company deny his request. Now, his anything-but-wasteful visit could occur without making him pay more than he already does every year, and he might prevent further costs later on by an early discovery of an oncology-related condition.
With this plan, we could reduce medical costs as fewer wasteful visits occur, shorten the waiting lines, allow the patient to accept responsibility for their own health and related expenses, avoid the massively increased bureaucracy and tax burden as proposed by the Congress and President Obama, and even allow the patients to save and use their money the way they need to, when they need to.
This may not be the final solution to the problems the American health care system faces, but the consideration of other options is paramount to finding the right one, despite President Obama’s curious statement that “every argument has been made” in relation to health care reform.
Only 20 percent of Americans “Strongly Agree” with the President’s plan, whereas 41 percent “Strongly Oppose” it, all encompassed by a 42-53 split against this so-called “reform.” The American people have heard the arguments for and against universal health care as proposed by the President, and they’ve made their decision.
Mr. President, every argument cannot be heard unless you start listening to them.