Healthcare and health insurance are widely debated topics in America today. I can barely get a few minutes in to a good NPR podcast before hearing some debate over ‘repeal or replace?‘ Everyone seems to have an opinion on what is the best way to provide healthcare for all Americans. Some of these plans include spending your money for you while some simply eliminate Obamacare and let Americans fend for themselves.
I wonder if the answer is not somewhere in between? Can Americans decide if they want insurance or not and then pick and choose insurance in a free market environment while those who cannot afford insurance are not forgotten about? At the same time those who are wealthy enough may choose not to buy insurance and instead to pay cash for their family medical care as needed.
Simply put, the choice gets put on the individual. Chose to be insured or not. After all, insurance is not the desired end result. The desired end result is for everyone to remain healthy. For those who want to be alive to remain alive. Everyone has a right to live. Everyone does not have a right to insurance. There is a big difference.
Instantly critics will state the obvious, that everyone can not afford insurance and most can not afford to pay for services as needed. This is where the Altruism Fund comes in.
Altruism is defined as “the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.”
Thanks to the TV show, ‘Friends‘, we know that there is no such thing as a selfless good deed. However altruistic efforts are about as close as it comes.
I believe that if an Altruism Fund existed where donations are 100% tax-deductible, most healthcare issues would instantly be solved. The super wealthy and super liberal and anyone else are free to donate to the fund as they choose. People who are below a certain benchmark in yearly earnings qualify to use the fund for medical treatment as needed. Use of the fund could be on a sliding scale so higher earners could still utilize the fund to pay for a smaller % of their medical bills.
Insurance companies can still play their part, offering insurance in a free market environment. I believe that once the insurance companies stop paying for the uninsured, they will be able to offer a much lower rate for much better coverage. The improvements in the system would trickle down as costs decline across the board. As suggested by Senator Susan Collins, if insurance companies publish their prices the market will do the rest. I do not believe insurance companies should be forced to publish prices, after all that would be unnecessary government interference. I believe that an existing company or a new player will emerge, integrating a fair and open pricing structure and blowing up the market as we know it. This will force other insurance companies to change their business models in order to survive.
The end result? Affordable insurance for those who want it. Freedom to choose for all. Subsidized medical payments for those in need funded without theft via taxation. Most importantly, everyone who wants to be healthy is now healthy.