Thursday, February 21, 2008

Less coverage is the answer

When politicians like Senator Obama talk about providing top quality health coverage to everyone, little is said about the cost. Obama’s plan may be the most costly idea of all the proposals. His specific plan is to offer the same health benefits that members of Congress have now to everyone in the U.S. on a universal basis! A consensus of economic opinion is that would cost about 40% of our GNP or, in other words, 40 cents out of every dollar we see would be allocated to provide this type of universal health care. Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that this estimate is much to high and that we could really get the job done for 33% of GNP. The next logical step is to ask how many families or businesses are willing to spend a third of their gross income on health care? That means that average healthcare costs for a household with $60,000 total income would be $1,500 per month. We would see very few takers for this plan and, ultimately, is why these politically ideal plans will not be successful.

So what is the answer? Simply provide less health coverage. Even if we cannot provide the absolute highest level of health care to everyone in our nation, we certainly can provide solid fundamental care across the board at a fraction of the cost.

It is no coincidence that low cost limited benefit insurance plans are gaining in popularity. Secure Lite Short Term Medical, for example, provides coverage with any doctor or hospital but adds the words “up to $xxx” for each type of covered medical treatment. The coverage lasts up to 12 months. By simply limiting the coverage to a to a reasonable length of time and dollar amount that covers most but not all of the possible bills, we can provide health insurance coverage to most people at a reasonable cost. It is not rocket science but is an answer that works for most people most of the time. Sure, this is not a perfect solution in an ideal world, but it works well here and now and this option is available immediately while we continue to debate other political options!

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