I think Mark Perry ignores a prime aspect on the current health care debate–which is the silence of the Insurers in Public. I would advance a very workable Solution, One that will somewhat define whether the Public Option is necessary to supply universal health care, or whether We can rest on Private options. It requires only the passage of a short federal law. You ask what simple law could solve such a complex problem? This gets me back into the law-writing mode, which Everyone detests because I come up with disturbing details; but here it is anyway.
All Health Care Providers must answer the following Questions in order that the American Public can understand the Problems. All Answers must be listed and published upon a Government-run Website accessible to the Public at all times. These Answer must be updated every Six months, until the Government decision to close the Website; an element which can only effected after the passage of legislation deemed as proper solution to the health care problem. Failure to Answer these Questions periodically will withdraw health care providers from license to sell health insurance until compliance with the law, where they are criminally liable if they sell Insurance or do not turn over their Accounts to a licensed health care provider within One year. The Questions will be very simple but direct, and are listed here:
1) What health care provision will you Underwrite for a $60 per month premium?
2) What health care provision will you Underwrite for a $100 per month premium?
3) What health care provision will you Underwrite for a $150 per month premium?
4) What health care provision will you Underwrite for a $200 per month premium?
5) What health care provision will you Underwrite for a $300 per month premium?
6) What health care provision will you Underwrite for a $500 per month premium?
7) What is the health care provision you will Underwrite for a family of 5 under the above premium limits?
The law should stipulate that the Answers are specific for the purpose of writing general policies which Government mandate might regulate; that all Questions must list the registration of financial limit for the services offered to the Insured; and the Policy structure must be outlined without small Print additions; the Whole without any previous health conditions provisions–meaning it is an Open offering to All without restriction. The law will also state that, to ensure honesty of Statement, health care providers will be held to each fulfillment of the Questionnaire for the following 3 years potentially. The law also stipulates that the Government can ask for the same Answers up to a $3000 per month level in increments of $500 per month if deemed necessary. All information derived must be presented at the Government-run Website, completely Open to the Public.
I am quite sure this is not what was desired of a Market-based solution, but I am quite sure that it will provide the information to both the Public and the Legislator to determine what is necessary. It might even help to reduce the amount of GDP which American devote to health care. I just know I will be loved by all Participants in the discussion. lgl