It’s late at night and I cannot sleep. I think my insomnia stems from too much reading the news because instead of counting sheep to fall asleep I found myself thinking about healthcare.
With all the chatter lately by people who are not experts in the field and know very little about the complexities involved I started to feel a bit left out and decided to come up with a healthcare plan of my own to join in the fun.
Therefore I present:
HEALTHCARE DESIGNED BY ME
It is quite obvious that we cannot agree on a national healthcare plan in this country and I say why should we. We are different people with different needs and priorities so why should healthcare be one size fits all?
For my healthcare plan you can either be in or out. If you are out then godspeed and I wish you the best. If you are in then here is how it will work.
1. We all pay into a pot in unequal amounts
– First we develop a complex mathematical model which keeps track of every single member of our plan. Those that are using the services more than others would at first have to pay more. Yet, our model would also take into account which members contribute more to society. We’ll have to come to agreement on what accounts for “contributions” and the value of these contributions but it would be a wide range encompassing scientists, social workers, valuable service providers (police, trash collectors, fireman – things society needs) teachers and so on. We’ll work on the amount of weight each service provides later. We can try by democratic methods but as you know a camel is a horse designed by committee so I retain the title of dictator should we not be able to agree.
The people that provide valuable services to society would get bonus points and even if they used the medical services more than others, the points would lesson their payments a bit due to the valuable service they provide. Whereas criminals would not necessarily be kicked out of the plan (maybe the guy stole bread to feed his family) but would definitely have points deducted and his premiums would go up.
We take into account the financial health of our fund and if a member needs a serious treatment such as a heart transplant we take this need, determine the impact to the fund and then they would have to pay accordingly. If they cannot pay then we send a “request” to our healthiest members to chip in for this specific treatment (perhaps also with a profile) which would equal bonus points for them and thus they would have to pay less on a monthly basis for this good deed. They would also get a gold star by their name and would probably feel good about helping out another human being which is enough reward in itself. (but in case they are not into the whole karma thing they still get the bonus points)
If we do not receive enough contributions and the treatment is still outrageous then the member would have to pay a hefty amount but could also opt for the “nuclear option.” The nuclear option is that the plan would pay for the entire expensive treatment but then the member would be out of the plan afterwards. How many times does a person need these types of treatments anyway? This sounds harsh but I have this worked out a bit depending on the financial health of the plan (keep reading)
Granted there are still some kinks to be worked out regarding the super expensive treatments but I think this is a good start.
2. Cost Cutting
– We would have various levels one could go through before they have to visit a hospital or doctor. With socialized medicine such as in Japan we find that people go to the doctor for simple things such as a cold which costs quite a bit. We could have low payed college students search Google on sites like WebMD to find basic cures for the simple problems. Heck, I went to the doctor once and he told me the exact same information that I found on Google afterwards only he charged me $150 and Google cost me $0.
If the problem remains unresolved they go to the next level which would be a midwife. In many areas where there are no doctors and in many other societies the midwife is still very useful. Here in the USA we forgot about her. Granted, many of them may have been practicing pseudo medicine but perhaps we could give them a test or something and as long as they received a B or above then they get to be a midwife in our program.
If the midwife still cannot solve the problem then we will send our member to a real certified doctor. AND perhaps we could incorporate this into our point scale. By using our low payed college students who surf the web for cures no points are deducted. The midwife would be low point usage and the doctor high point usage.
We could also steal a model from the electrical companies in which some users actually provide power onto the grid which pays them money! In our plan, those which serve as midwives would be given extra bonus points and perhaps even make money off the plan if they never ever get sick but have healed others! Just think, you could study to be a midwife, get licensed and still keep your day job!
A great advantage of this plan is that you are not “job locked” in that you’ll still get healthcare so long as you pay into the program. Perhaps we could also take into account that you have no job and lesson the premiums for a certain amount of months.
This may sound quite silly but why should that be? Currently, we work and our employer negotiates with an insurance company who negotiates with hospitals, doctors and drug companies. The insurance companies have models which determine the risk of the people in the plan and make billions! At the moment, the government is taking over healthcare and will do roughly the same thing but I really wouldn’t count on the government to make any profits. Our plan would also determine risk but is more humane as outlined below. If we get big enough we could also leverage our size and negotiate the crap out of the hospitals and drug companies.
Perhaps we could also work out a marketing scheme with the drug companies to lessen the financial impact. Those members that need drugs but are not very smart could walk around with T-shirts promoting the drugs the company sells which would equal a discount on the cost of the drugs for the marketing services provided. Smarter members could advertise the drugs on the internet and get a pay per click discount off their meds.
The benefit of our plan is that it will be non-profit since healthcare is very important and it is the noble (shall I say chivalrous) thing to do. If we make billions we just reinvest it into the plan, find out which of our members is best at investing and let him/her make more from the stockmarket. Then, we could take even better care of our members.
Every member would receive a monthly statement regarding the financial health of our plan. By understanding where we are at financially one might consider how necessary a treatment might be. Again, points could be put into this and if someone wanted to get liposuction when we were hurting financially they could technically do so but would get major negative points and a higher premium. Or conversely, if one really needed a liver transplant when the plan was super healthy and they are not rich then it might not cost any points or money at all! What I’m trying to get at here is that everyone is responsible for the plan and we’ll use our points and premiums to even things out.
So again, I have absolutely no expertise in the matter but instead of regurgitating the nonsense I hear in the news I just decided to create my own plan. I’m still working on my plan for world peace so please stay tuned….