Sunday, May 15

An alternative to Obamacare: Run a small-scale test *first*

Every rational, honest adult knows Obamacare--like all govt programs--will easily end up costing 3 times the official estimate. Given the federal govt's near-bankrupt condition NOW, this would simply hasten bankruptcy. In short, we can't afford it.

On the other hand, most Republican congresscritters would be far more willing to try repealing Obamacare if the repeal bill contained *some* kind of plan that showed the GOP was seriously trying to improve U.S. health care. So...let's do a small-scale experiment whose results could be extrapolated to get a better handle on cost of a national system. It would give us an idea of the incidence of fraud, and the potential benefits (if any) of increasing the extent of taxpayer-funded medical care for everyone.

Virtually all the alleged medical experts claim one of the big savings of "free" medical care for everyone is that by getting routine medical checkups people could be persuaded to start changing to healthier habits earlier, so as to delay (or even prevent) the onset of medical problems with lifestyle causes, like smoking, overeating, not enough exercise, incipient diabetes, etc. IOW the greatest benefit per tax dollar spent would be from early checkups.

So pick 4 or 5 *low-population* states scattered around the country (only from those that volunteer to be considered) and offer everyone making less than X per year a voucher that will let them get a medical checkup for just $35 out-of-pocket cost (what our co-pay is now with health insurance). If you're under 30 you'd be eligible for one every 3 years; 30 to 40 every two years; and over 40 every year.

The govt would pay the difference between the co-pay and some fixed charge. Doctors wouldn't be required to participate, which would provide an avenue for beginning docs to get a revenue stream and build patients without compelling across-the-board participation.

Run this test for, say, five years, seeing how much the program was used and the per-capita cost per year. Equally important, see what the *variation* was between high-cost and low-cost states, and try to determine cause and benefit differential. Then decide whether to take it nationwide, and how to tweak it if desired.

Point is, we'd know about 100 times more about the estimate cost of a national program than we do about the pig-in-a-poke called Obamacare.

I realize this isn't a full-on, taxpayers-pay-for-everyone's-care deal. It's not supposed to be. There's always time to add that later if the test program goes amazingly well and has huge benefits at a bargain cost. (Not that anyone expects that.)

Finally, the bill should include a *big* penalty for attempted fraud--and since you can't get blood from a turnip, that penalty would be loss of taxpayer-provided medical care for X years.

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