2 min read

I Must Be Taking Crazy Pills…

because this article about health-care actually make sense. (My comments in footnotes).

  • Equalize the tax laws so that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits. Now employer health insurance benefits are fully tax deductible, but individual health insurance is not. This is unfair. [1]

  • Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. We should all have the legal right to purchase health insurance from any insurance company in any state and we should be able use that insurance wherever we live. Health insurance should be portable. [2]

  • Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. These mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying. [3]

  • Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. These costs are passed back to us through much higher prices for health care.[4]

  • Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost. How many people know the total cost of their last doctor’s visit and how that total breaks down? What other goods or services do we buy without knowing how much they will cost us?[5]

  • Enact Medicare reform. We need to face up to the actuarial fact that Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy and enact reforms that create greater patient empowerment, choice and responsibility.[6]

  • Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.[7]

via John Mackey: The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare — WSJ.com.

Aside from his reform ideas, Mackey provides one other insight that sticks out

At Whole Foods we allow our team members to vote on what benefits they most want the company to fund. Our Canadian and British employees express their benefit preferences very clearly — they want supplemental health-care dollars that they can control and spend themselves without permission from their governments. Why would they want such additional health-care benefit dollars if they already have an “intrinsic right to health care”? The answer is clear — no such right truly exists in either Canada or the U.K. — or in any other country.

Overall this is a very clear and succinct article about what is wrong with health care, what trade-offs exist, and what choices we make.

  1. This IS unfair… it’s worth repeating. ↩︎

  2. Amen, but to do this you have to do the next one first… ↩︎

  3. Agreed completely, although we might need to do a makeover of how we explain what is covered and is not… for instance, right now my medical insurance would not cover an annual eye exam, but if undetected glaucoma blinded me and I needed eye surgery, I’d be covered… very intuitive and easy to understand as always. ↩︎

  4. Agreed in theory, but calling for tort reform is kinda like sayiing your want to eat healthier — its much easier to say it and bury your head in a box of fried chicken than to actually do it. ↩︎

  5. I don’t think anyone knows what medical care actually costs — there is what providers bill, what network plans pay, what non-network plans pay, and what medicare pays. Giving consumers a copy of the bill would be a step in the right direction, but part of the problem is that it often takes weeks of back and forth between providers, patients, and insurance companies to find out who pays what and how much. ↩︎

  6. Sure, easy. Let’s do Social Security too while we’re at it. ↩︎

  7. Of the many things about taxes and tax forms that need revising, this is pretty low down on the list. ↩︎