Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bipartisan Healthcare Improvements?

The GOP has bitterly complained about the individual mandate contained in 2010’s Healthcare Reform. Perhaps, they can improve the bill by working constructively in the 112th Congress:

Repeal the provision “requiring” the purchase of health insurance and replace it with “open enrollment” at the date that the “requirement” was going to kick in. Those who choose to opt out will not face a tax penalty. However, should opt-outs ever desire to opt-in, they would be subject to the underwriting standards employed today. They would be subject to rejection and exemption from pre-existing conditions, just as today. Finally, they would be fully responsible for the costs any healthcare consumed while uninsured, just as today. What self-respecting, government-hating conservative American would balk at such conditions?

Allow insurers to offer “health & fitness” discounts of up to 15% each in three areas: smoking status, height/weight, and drugs/alcohol. Those who are weight proportionate, don’t smoke, and/or provide clear drug screens would be able to receive significant premium reductions. All three areas are based upon personal behavior choices and would move the cost of insurance closer to the risk of same. Allow employers and healthy employees to split the premium cost savings. Incentives, of course, are very powerful. This “health & fitness” provision would probably be one the greatest acts to improve our health and consequently reduce costs since health insurance became widespread. Like the man said, it really would be a BFD.

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