Arnold Kling ventured in a recent Post that he could not see the value to a universal health care system. Arnold is a Libertarian, but a gentle Soul, who would accept being taxed to provide health care for the Poor; he simply cannot ascertain any gain from a constrictual form of health care provision, along with disinclination to subsidize Those who could pay for their own but haven't. This Author could make many comments on this ideation, and he should try to match his Response to the intellectual attainment of Arnold.
The first clarification must state health care Costs are such almost no indivdual can finance his own medical care in the Shortrun; financial reserves lack liquidity, and by its very nature, medical care occurs in periods of interrupted Earning capacity. This is the reason for Insurance in the first place.
The second point states health care Costs have become unreasonable in terms of Personal Income, someday check the Average Cost of A Short Period Medical Ailment as a percentage of the Average Lifetime Personal Income of an Individual in American society. Over 90% of American Households would be stressed financially with in excess of Six of these Conditions. Health Care in America has become too expensive. Some constrictual system of health care must be engineered simply to hold down Costs. Arnold cannot lay claim to 'deadbeat premium Payers' when 90% of American Households cannot meet premium obligations if multiple usage of the Insurance incurs its normal expenses.
What can be gained from a univeral health care system?
1) uniform Hospital Room rates, standardized Nursing Care, localized Hospitals, and standard fees for normal medical service provision. Only complex medical conditions need to be centralized because of Speciality. Local Hospitals (We are talking Beds/Pop.) could be equiped for normal medical procedures and treatment, with Ambulance services for central provision of intensive care conditions. They would also serve as Prepatory treatment before transfer to specialized Medical facilities, as well as being designated as the Emergency Room Centers. The Author is examining Hospitals of Ten Beds (Single rooms) with Local Doctors and Nurses employed on Salary. Maintenance and Service personnel would be a Central service which would clean and maintain all Hospitals in Area; the Hospitals designed to be cleaned in a Day every three Days.
2) A set list of medical Procedure payments for the entire Country. A matching list for both Drugs and Medical Equipment also implemented for Costs.
3) Almost all Doctors and Nurses returning to the status of Salaried Employees, a situation which is invariably cheaper on All, and not necessarily a burden on the Employees.
4) All these medical services are to be financed by Taxation, except for One set Fee per Clinic visit, and One set Fee for Hospitalization throughout the Country. The Fees in both Cases are to be capable of recovery of 20% of the Cost of the Clinic visit, and 5% of the Cost of a standard hospitalization for 3 Days. Medicaid Recipients will be allowed Waiver of the Fees.
5) Arnold's nondeadbeat premium Payers will be allowed to pay for exotic medical services, or the Insurance for same at any time, but the basic Cost structure will remain the same. lgl