If you’re been following the ongoing cyber-debates about how to reform health care, you’ve no doubt run into a lot of wishful thinking, as in, “If the government pays for health care, then it’s free.”
Wrong for all kinds of obvious reasons, most notable of which is that either you or your employer is going to have to pay for your coverage–unless you qualify under a government program because of age, disability or low income.
However, one savvy professor of health policy (and attorney) writing for the New England Journal of Medicine has figured out a quick and simple method that will provide health care for all without a huge national bureaucracy. In fact, this health care delivery vehicle already exists.
It’s called–hold the drum rolls please–Medicaid.
I can sense shivvers going up and down everyone’s spine just upon hearing the word, which bespeaks poverty and welfare. However, it could be aptly renamed and expanded at the same time. MediCure is available, as is MedAdvantage and all kinds of nifty titles.
Anyway, this is an idea that’s so sensible and easy to implement that no one in Washington, D.C., would ever consider it. After all, the whole point of health care reform is to create legions of bureaucrats (read: the politicians’ cronies and supporters) and put them into lifetime sinecures.
(One compelling, negative factor in Medicaid, as the author admits in his proposal, is its low payment schedule for doctors. In fact, many doctors refuse to accept Medicaid patients, forcing them to rely on emergency rooms, as the American Enterprise Institute points out.)
I strongly suggest reading “Medicaid and the Path to National Health Insurance” by Michael Sparer, Ph.D. and J.D. His plan cuts to the quick and solves a zillion problems in one stroke.
Problem is, practicality has nothing to do with politics. Money and power do.