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.