What to do about Millions of Uninsured Americans

Depending on your source, there 45 or 47 million Americans lack health insurance . . . give or take a few million. The sheer magnitude of the problem suggests that temporary measures or expedients won’t solve the problem. The health system and the economic system supporting it need fundamental reforms to address the basic needs of all citizens in a just and economically viable way. The solution must restore, not sever, the sacred doctor-patient relationship. Finally, the solution must be one that keeps power spread democratically, not monopolistically concentrated in the State or a private elite.

First, through a sufficient level of tax exemptions and deferrals, leave enough money in people’s pockets so they can afford to purchase a high quality package of health coverage through the private sector. For those who cannot afford to purchase this coverage, health care vouchers should be provided. Second, to cover the budgetary requirements of universal health care coverage, tax reforms should ensure that there is sufficient revenue to cover all costs, while creating a more simple and fair tax system to balance the Federal budget.

We need a system that reduces the burden on the tax system to redistribute incomes, stimulates private sector growth, and creates widespread purchasing power among citizens so that they are freed from dependency on employers, government, or charity.

We need to spread out risk by pooling the entire U.S. population in the total annual cost of health care, to determine the per capita cost for every individual.

Individual, not Employer Health care coverage. This would maintain “portability,” consistent quality of care, and a long-term doctor-patient relationship throughout a person’s lifetime. This would provide to the individual the same kind of tax deduction for health coverage now received by employers.

No individual could be excluded from health care coverage because of prior medical conditions or inability to pay.

Allow citizens to choose and pay for their own health care providers, rather than putting control over health services in the hands of government bureaucrats and health insurance administrators. This would be done through a generous personal exemption, deductions for health care and other essential needs, and deferrals to allow citizens to accumulate a viable estate of income-generating capital assets. For those individuals and families with insufficient income to purchase health coverage, provide vouchers.

Pay from general revenues all entitlements and other government spending at present levels, eliminate the payroll tax on workers and employers, make dividends deductible to corporations, and balance the budget by substituting a single rate tax on non-exempt personal incomes from all sources. Merge the regressive Medicare and Social Security taxes into the general tax rate.
Enact a national Capital Homestead program to finance faster rates of “green growth” by enabling every citizen to purchase new capital assets with newly created, privately insured capital credit and money. A citizen’s capital assets would be allowed to accumulate tax-free (up to $1 million) in that citizen’s Capital Homestead Account, thus earning an independent second income for that citizen.