Thursday, February 25, 2010

One Percent: The explanation.

I've been off and on enraged and depressed about the state of health care in this country for a long time.

The health care problem first became an issue for me when I heard about Mateo and McHale Shaw, who longtime readers of my blog will remember are twins who were born conjoined. About a billion surgeries later, they've outlived their doctors' expectations and are doing wonderfully. But they require more medical attention for a variety of issues, and already they've used up their entire lifetime supply of medical insurance.

That's right: They're not yet five years old and they can never get medical insurance again. They've used up their coverage on their first plan, and what insurer would take on the pre-existing conditions they've got?

So the Shaw Twins survive on donations and the kindness of the medical workers who care for them and hope to get paid some day.

Then I read about people like Nikki White, who died of a horrible -- but treatable-- condition, because she couldn't get someone to sell her health insurance.

And on, and on, and on... while the politicans take money from insurance companies and vote to let people die, until I can't stand it anymore.

So from here on out, until we have 100% universal health care coverage in this country, I'm not going to let the issue rest. Anyone who doesn't want 100% universal health care coverage is a selfish monster... and ignorant, and I'm going to do what I can by continuing to press this issue and bring it up in a number of different ways... daily.

As for the title of these posts and this series, it goes back to what I've always said: All it would take is One Percent of our income -- one percent from each of us -- to pay for health care reform and provide medical care to everyone. Here's my simple four step plan-- I've added a step:

1. Impose a 1% income tax surcharge on the income of every taxpayer. If you earn $50,000 per year, that's $500 -- or $1.36 per day.

2. Require all insurers to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. But let them charge whatever they'd like -- as high or as low as they want.

3. Provide a public option insurance plan that anyone can buy, basing the premiums on their income. So if Bill Gates buys into it, he pays a lot. If a homeless man wants it, he pays nothing.

4. Require everyone to buy insurance; if they don't, enroll them in the public option and bill them accordingly. We require people to have car insurance -- but not health insurance? Why?

That plan -- and nothing more -- would provide 100% coverage with little actual cost to the government, and would spread the cost of covering expensive pre-existing conditions among the public, while encouraging insurance companies to lower their prices to avoid losing all their customers.

It's terrible that in a country as rich as the United States, people are too selfish and companies are too profit-driving to actually take care of the people who live here, and it has to stop. I'll do what I can; you should, too.

No comments: