Thursday, June 12, 2008

Guaranteed Healthcare Access Plan would take employers out of the loop

This morning (June 12), Dr. Ezekiel Emmanuel appeared on the Today show on NBC to explain his Guaranteed Healthcare Access Plan concept, which is also outlined in a book that he authored and that is published by Public Affairs. The book is widely available by e-commerce.

The website is this.

The federal government issues each citizen a certificate, a bit like a social security card. The certificate allows each person to purchase health insurance under guaranteed issue (no pre-existing condition exclusion) from one of a set of competing plans (which might be like Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans). To fund this, the federal government starts charging a value added tax on many items. It was not mentioned in the interview if pre-tax dollars would be used.

The idea of a VAT could be controversial in an ear of rising prices. But Emmanuel argues that wages will rise because employers will no longer be in the health insurance business, which will help them compete overseas. Furthermore, the plan will take care of Medicaid also, and eliminate the need for Medicaid as it is today.

It was not clear from the interview if the plan would address nursing home care or custodial care at end of life, or how if could affect obligations on other family members.


Jerryann said...

If our goal is health care for all, the Dr's plan is lousy. He still involves insurance which absorbes $.30 for each dollar. I believe he still depends on Federal health agencies.Between Insurers and Medicare and Medicaid and SCHIPS (children services) about 2 trillion dollars are spent before any benefits are paid.
The VAT tax is not necessary. See my blog for an alternate

charlesclarknovels said...

The concept is a good start. However, there has to be some provision to protect against the esculating, exorbitantly high cost of healthcare, which then leads to higher premiums, deductibles, and co-pays.

Someone needs to analyze wherein lies the cost of health care that might be reduced by denying payment for medically unnecessary benefits and for self referrals by physicians to entities in which they have financial interest.