.

Health Care Minimum in the next four years?

Health Care, for the discussion, omit what we have, might there be a minimum level on which we could all agree?

Health Care Minimum

Let me pick one item about which I feel very strong and would hope that the next administration will accomplish and improve.

Premise: I see children (birth to 18 years) as being separate from their parents. Suffice for simplicity I choose to give them absolute rights that are debatable for adults. I choose to become an advocate for those rights. For this opinion, I am speaking only of the children. Some are lucky (or selected by God depending on your belief) to be born to two intelligent, thinking, rational, and driven parents. They may even be educated or even also wealthy. Those children are likely not in my equation here.

There are others, at the other end of the spectrum (Did God select them for this mission too), who are born to parents who are not so caring, not so resourceful, and not so loving. These children's dental and doctor care is balanced against cost. They lose. These children’s mental and physical health (Not even considering outside influences such as love, positive reinforcements, psychological support) will lack based on what the parents choose or don’t choose which is affected by money, by caring, by knowledge, by convenience, etc. (If we are not in agreement at this point, perhaps your comments should address only my premise.)

Proposition: It is my belief and expectation that these children should be granted a right, a human right of decency by all who live in America, to have dental and doctor care. This is care regardless of the ability of their parents to pay. This is care to move their formulative years one small step closer to equality. This is care to enable them to better prepare to be adults.

I feel that we should all pay a small portion of some form of our taxes into a fund that covers this collective cost and that it becomes our obligation to these children. (I have no data to support but would believe that with all of us paying the cost per payer would be relatively low, perhaps lower than a policy for one’s own children.) I don’t really care nor here want to get into whether it is provided by doctors working for the government or whether they are given an insurance policy administered by our existing private insurers. That would be a discussion for “how” that should follow the “if” after agreement is reached on the “if”.

I submit that the “minimum” coverage insurance might not cover catastrophic illnesses or might cover all illnesses up to 12 years and non-catastrophic after 12. I would grant this concession only to get it passed while discussion continues. My choice would be to cover all, even catastrophic to age 18.

In the cases where parents can afford and can choose a better level of care for their children, they can purchase a “rider” that in effect gives them credit for the basic but elevates the coverage. OR, they could buy into, through regular monthly/annual payments, a “after 18” policy that is like a “college fund” in that it provides years of coverage after age 18 that helps the then-adult get a better start.

It would be my suggestion that Congress agree on the “if” as a matter of principle then work on the “how” with a deadline for a result. They would have to find some leaders.

In order to achieve what I have just stated, I believe we have a MUCH better chance with an Obama Administration. I have no hope, not a prayer, that anything even close to this could occur with a Romney/Ryan administration.  

I am not sure how our current Congress, based on the last 4 years, could come to any level of agreement. Shame on them if that is the case. (Key word is current)

I see nothing here with which a good American could disagree but I am sure that there are good Americans who will disagree. I am open to rational reasoning. I would like to read reasoned disagreement or agreement.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Brian September 13, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Rusty, No I don't think that there is a right to healthcare. That doesn't mean we should not provide programs to ensure access to care. You need to define what you think a right is and what their source is in order for us to discuss this further. For me rights are inherent, as in the declaration of independence, endowed from our creator, or by natural law if that suits you, they are not constructs of conscience or government because that would subject them to the whims of those in charge. I said it before, and will reiterate to be clear, when you say someone (even children) has a right to healthcare, you are saying that everyone in the medical profession must provide services to that person without regard to payment. If it is a right to how do you deal with doctors that refuse to treat people? Compulsion? Please define rights to me in your view.
Richard Hertz September 14, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Rusty: Is this another of your "fact-based" posts? The fact that you think you have the knowledge to design a health care system is laughable...especially since you apparently can't even distinguish between fact and opinion. What you have exhibited time and time again Rusty is the pretense of knowledge. Please give this little gem a read before your next attempt at designing a society of 300 million people. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/1974/hayek-lecture.html
David September 15, 2012 at 01:35 PM
If the premise is that all children should have access to healthcare, then the current structure of our health care system does not provide that coverage. Medicaid only covers women and children up to a specific percentage of the federal poverty level and depends on the state as to what level that will be. In the generous states that is only around 200% of the federal poverty level. That leaves a large segment of the population without any access to care, essentially the working poor. At last estimate around 47 million. These are not dead beats who want to have someone else foot their bill. These are people who work in place and with jobs that have no benefits. I know this for three reasons. I have worked in the health care finance field for over 34 years in positions where I have personally seen these people especially when they show up in our emergency rooms, have been involved in research on health care financing and have had family members fall into that status for a period of time. - More to come
David September 15, 2012 at 01:36 PM
So Medicaid does not cover every child today. However, society does pay for their care today when they do access the system like through the emergency room. How? In the healthcare financing world it is called cross subsidization. What Medicare and Medicaid and free care is not paid for to a hospital of doctor, the insurance companies which can pay pay for those cost pay for the uninsured by charging employers higher premiums. So those in society with the employer provide insurance or with their own insurance are actually paying already for the "uninsured" kids. The problem with this model of financing is that the access for children that fall within the 47 million uninsured is that that by the time they access the health care system they are into the most expensive model of care - the emergency room. In our emergency rooms we see case upon case where had the child gotten proper preventive care they would have avoided the emergency room and the cost would have been substantially lower. The Affordable Care Act changes that dynamic and makes it more transparent and open rather than hiding those costs in insurance premiums.
David September 15, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Go to Medicaid.gov to view the eligibility requirements. Not all kids are covered through Medicaid

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