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Warren Mosler Headshot

A Progressive Health Care Proposal from a Tea Party Democrat

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The new health care bill has been signed into law with both great fanfare and with maybe half the nation indicating intense displeasure, including dissidents from both sides of the aisle. So let me ask you to leave that debate aside for a moment, and please take a hard look at what I'm proposing and have been discussing with representatives from the entire political spectrum. So far this proposal has received near universal support, but has yet to receive any consideration in the public debate:
  1. Everyone gets 5,000 on January 1 each year to spend on health care.
  2. $1,000 is for preventative care, and the other $4,000 is for all other health care needs.
  3. If you need more than that you are covered by a form of Medicare.
  4. At year end you get the unused portion of the 4,000 as a gift with no strings attached.
  5. You are free to buy any private insurance or medical plan you wish.

I used those particular numbers as a reasonable starting point for discussion.

Children under 18 would be covered by Medicare and not participate in this plan. I don't want to give parents a cash incentive to not take their children to the doctor.

This proposal is progressive because the $5,000 is worth a lot more to people with lower incomes than to people with higher incomes.

It also utilizes competitive market forces to help contain costs by maximizing personal choice and tapping into America's unparalleled ability and enthusiasm to shop.

It doubles available doctor patient time as doctors would have to discuss costs with their patients instead of with insurance companies.

It reduces the Medicare administrative burden for current Medicare participants as they would be on their own up to their first $5,000 of expenditures.

The cash back incentive serves to minimize overuse.

It is fiscally responsible as the total medical costs to our nation will fall dramatically even as available doctor/patient time dramatically increases.

It is a populist, bottom up solution for universal health care with appropriate incentives to minimize abuse, corruption, and fraud.

Everyone is free to select their doctors.

The government is not involved in the doctor patient interaction up to the first $5,000 dollars, and all are free to not use the Medicare option if they so desire.

Tax increases are not appropriate as the spending related to this proposal will not only not be inflationary but will serve to reduce prices and costs. In fact, the deflationary and competitive aspects may even lead to a tax cut to sustain aggregate demand.

This progressive proposal is more than consistent with core Tea Party and traditional populist Democratic values:

It reduces the participation of government in the actual health care process.

It employs competitive market solutions.

It increases personal freedom.

It works from the bottom up.

Additionally, this proposal removes all of the unfair financial burdens of health care from the States, and removes health care costs as marginal costs of production from small and large businesses alike.