My first principle for American health care policy is all tax payers should have _the best possible_ health care.
In modern society I believe health care should be a fundamental benefit of society, not a privilege. But, the question is: how can we guarantee coverage and still promote a competitive dynamic to drive American medicine to be the finest possible care?
To start, we completely shutdown the health insurance industry. In its place the federal government provides health care spending accounts. Each person physically located in the US, who is either a citizen, green card holder, work visa holder, or a tax payer for 1 year, you get an account.
The accounts are funded based on a licensed and boarded doctor's assessment of your health. Doc says you have no problems, you get a small fund sufficient for your annual checkups and such. Doc says you have diabetes or cancer, you get sufficient funds to buy services and drugs from the best institutions.
If you show up at the Emergency Room and a doctor says you need emergency care, Uncle Sugar picks up the tab.
We train physicians to make critical decisions. We should empower them to make those decisions and hold them accountable to the highest ethical standards. Our best minds should be drawn to medical professions by high esteem, social and ethical conscience, and pay commensurate with their talent. (Bias alert: My wife is a doctor).
If a medical professional acts fraudulently to score government dollars: jail. Real jail.
With your spending account, you can buy health care from any accredited medical provider. You can spend on whatever you deem necessary. Under normal, healthy conditions, when you run out, you run out. If you have a serious disease or condition, we as Americans commit to caring for each other; the ill should essentially have a blank check.
If you are wealthy enough to afford supplementing your account: God Bless America. But if you become sick, rich or poor, you receive the best care we can muster and the rest of us pay for it. We pay for it because we can, because we are in life together, and because caring for one another will restore a basic dignity to American society.
My plan will cost an absolute fortune. However, it is the most pervasive and sustained stimulus facility possible. We'll drive job creation in nursing, doctoring, pharmaceutical research, medical devices, imaging equipment, and fitness. Businesses will stay in the US because workers will demand the best health care. Those who can will compete for jobs here and we will restore immigration as one of the most potent drivers of American economic growth. We will relieve american business of the health care albatross.
Welfare state you say? Bunk. We throttle spending based on doctors' diagnosis of illness. We only release dollars for medical care. We spend on people when they need it. Medical service providers will have to compete on quality and on cost. If you want a car, a house, some pizza and tickets to the movies: get a job.
If you, as many people do, travel from abroad to seek medical treatment, you are welcome. You'll just have to pick up your own tab. Medical tourism could be a huge, profitable, and taxable industry.
If you are an illegal alien: you have to pick up the tab. If you played by the rules, and you have a work visa, we cover you.
Ultimately, we should double the student population at medical schools, nursing schools, and technician programs.
Without the perverse incentives of health insurance, where inefficiency means lower costs, healthcare efficiency and effectiveness will accelerate to an incredible degree.
Overall, we'll spend more on health care. But we will finally get what we pay for: the best medical system possible.