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Some Ideas Seem Obvious July 14, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Government, Health Care, Politics.
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Robert Stein is posting about health care on his blog. He points out this most logical fact.

We get most of our mail through “a self-supporting postal corporation wholly owned by the federal government” while those who can afford it use FedEx and other private providers. Why not our medical care? We have the example of Medicare which is far from perfect but works reasonably well for older Americans.

In spite of the complaints that some people make, given what they deal with the USPS does a pretty good job. Not perfect, but damn good. One thing that this not-for-profit corporation would do is something similar to what I was involved with when I worked for Planned Parenthood of Greater Kansas City many years ago. I was the data processing department and worked for the CFO. A lot of the work of planning an annual budget was answering a very important question: “How little can we charge?”. Everything was on a sliding scale. The less you made the less you paid. If in fact the concept of this corporation being totally paid for by taxes is a non-starter why can’t it work on a sliding scale basis and what you pay into it depends on what you make? Companies could still subsidize employees expenses as an employment benefit but should someone lose their job their health coverage isn’t lost. If private companies adapt and become some kind of “premium” service they too can be a benefit provided by businesses. In addition I have another suggestion for this hypothetical health care equivalent of the USPS. Do not make a false distinction between anything that factors into health. Make certain that mental health is treated as seriously as physical health. Provide decent dental coverage. Help people with vision care. If you need a pragmatic reason for doing these things just think of how much more productive employees can be when they see what they’re doing clearly, aren’t distracted by a toothache and aren’t having emotional problems that aren’t being treated.

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