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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.

McGibblets September 08, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Maryland Medicaid, the end!
Rusty Vaughan September 08, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Come on McGibblets, Be constructive. I would not expect you to agree but I would expect you to stifle yourself or make an intelligible comment. This could mean... 1. You are screaming that you want to end Medicaid in Maryland or 2. You are screaming that this is the end of Medicaid due to some reason that is eluding you, or 3. This suggestion, if enacted, would cause an end to Medicaid for secret reasons you don't have time to reveal to the rest of us. What I am suggesting need not be the end to anything nor the beginning of anything else. It is what it is and could be conditional on replacing something or not replacing something. Please take a slow breath and respond with a complete thought, absent of emotion. OR refrain completely.
McGibblets September 08, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Exclaiming is not screaming, for starters. What you are describing is essentially the role medicaid plays, if nothing else I'm curious to see why you think we need another medicaid and how that will solve the 'problem' you allege we have. The end is referring to the problem you find us having and that its already been solved, at least in the manner your plan entails. Do tell, how this will differ from medicaid, or better simply substantiate your claim that we 'need' what youre proposing.
Rusty Vaughan September 09, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Thank you. That is meaningful. I am not aware that Medicaid covers health and dental care for all children regardless of their parents income and initiative. I believe it might be "essentially the role Medicaid plays" but not completely. I am talking about regular care (visits,shots, prevention) as well as catastrophic care. If every child has care with no qualification other than age, from Medicaid, I am pleasantly surprised. If, as you are suggesting, there are no children without health care, then the program will need no funding. I am suggesting that there are children NOT covered and children who do not get care. Do you agree in principle that children should have health and dental care? All children? (That should be the first answer in order to proceed to how it is done.)
McGibblets September 09, 2012 at 12:44 AM
But Rusty, have you forgotten: "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." Aside from the fact that your plan doesnt account for children who have bad parents and still, in spite of access, choose not to get their children the care that you think they need. This to me reads more as a fund raiser, you have a plan to create a tax to raise revenue for a cause. Simply stating: "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." Rather than coming up with "if" then worrying about the "how", given govt's less than stellar history with finances and estimates, come up with the 'how' before a dime is collected. Only in the public sector can you get away with paying before you know what youre buying. Or rather, charging someone without telling them what its for or how you plan on incorporating it.
Rusty Vaughan September 09, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Thank you for your contribution, McGibblets. I'll move on now. I appreciate your sharing your thoughts. I'll take your words to mean that you do not believe there should be any kind of legislation or program in which all children are assured of health and dental coverage. That is where we disagree. I am rather certain that will not happen with a Romney/Ryan administration. I feel that has at least a slight chance of happening with the current administration. We may well agree on ways that many would suggest to finance it. Sure I can suggest many that are bad and not acceptable. Funding is another issue and much more complicated but there are creative ways. At the outset, I was interested in addressing the need/importance rather than the how. Seeing no need, you could not enter a discussion on financing. Perhaps someone else wants to share their thoughts.
Chris W September 09, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Rusty, the problem with all of the freebies that the Democrats love to give is that they are going to illegal aliens as well as citizens. I would not have a problem with your premise were it not for the fact that we have millions of illegal aliens in this country that make many of of social safety net programs unsustainable.
Brian September 09, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Rusty, What in your mind is a right? I believe you are misusing the word. By saying that anyone has a right to something that is provided as a service or commodity by another you are making a slave of the provider. Do you support slavery? I see nothing wrong with laws ensuring access to healthcare that will save life, limb or eyesight. We already have these laws. When will the adults who bring children into the world be held accountable for there actions in your mind? If the state, we as the collective, have a responsibility to provide healthcare for these children, then maybe we should also have the right to remove them from the homes that have failed to provide such a basic necessity that you would call it a "right". Seems logical to me if the parents have failed in their ability to provide, we cannot trust they won't fail in other areas equally important. A side note for any who think I actually advocate the position of state intervention, please calm yourself, I do not. I take issue with the basic premise offered by Rusty that healthcare is a right. I suggest Rusty, that you gather your like minded friends and start a non profit healthcare provider (see the Shriners, Ronald McDonald House, or St. Jude) and stop asking the government to pay the bill for something the individual/family is responsible for.
McGibblets September 09, 2012 at 03:03 PM
"I'll take your words to mean..." Traditional entry point of the straw man fallacy. "I was interested in addressing the need/importance rather than the how" Do tell how this need has developed IN SPITE OF programs that already exist modeled in your format. When anyone, anywhere is coming up with a solution to the problem do they first think well i need money and once i have a lot of money ill then find the solution? Or do they say let me find a solution and then i'll finance it? Give a solution and then we'll justify the actual financing of it and who should pay their fair share of what.
Patrick H. September 09, 2012 at 09:45 PM
All Americans deserve Healthcare even if their parents are here illegally. It's the parents I have the issue with and want them deported IMMEDIATLY unless they have applied for citizenship. Save the kids BUT put their parents in jail and then deport them like the common criminals they are. And don't give me a song and dance about breaking up families. If that is how they fell they can take their kids with them when deported.
Shanna September 10, 2012 at 10:05 PM
I believe everyone deserves health care. I work in the healthcare field and I watch insurance companies now...tell people they won't pay for needed exams. I don't agree with it. I especially agree with the children needing healthcare. And even though Maryland Medicaid does cover a lot of these children, it leaves a lot left out. There are children that their parents exceed (usually by a slight margin) the income requirements but are still unable to afford private healthcare. And for the most part, if the children get the insurance, most parents do utilize it. There are some that are so uncaring that, even with insurance, they don't take their children like they should. Now even though I do not want any "new" taxes, some things I wouldn't mind paying a little more for, and this is one subject that Iwouldn't mind paying extra for. I know if I am sick, injured, or dying....I don't want to go to ANY hospital and be told that I can't be seen because I don't have a way of paying for it or that I can't get the treatment I need because my insurance won't cover it. And I am positive that I don't want to tell someone else the same thing, especially if it concerns a child.
McGibblets September 11, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Two excellent points to highlight from your post Shanna a. "some things I wouldn't mind paying a little more for, and this is one subject that Iwouldn't mind paying extra for" When was the last time you donated to Shriner's or St Jude? How about the next time you do think of this post and pony up some more. b. "I don't want to go to ANY hospital and be told that I can't be seen because I don't have a way of paying for it" It is illegal for a non profit hospital to practice in that manner.
Rusty Vaughan September 11, 2012 at 12:33 AM
OK, two of the rights I believe should be available to every child born in America. That means to me that we, the citizens, should make health care available regardless of what his parents do. Whether and what the conditions might be on his parents responsibility is another discussion. I am still trying to limit it to the children. 1. A right to a K-12 education 2. A right to health care and dental care I infer from what you have written that you do not believe a child has a "right" to health care in this country. That we have no responsibility to see that it is available to him/her. Thank you for sharing your opinion.
Ella Vader September 11, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Maryland Medicaid has very low reimbursement so only certain providers are willing to accept patients with this insurance. I am not sure that government issued insurance to children in need is the answer if you want to add "quality care" to the equation.
Ella Vader September 11, 2012 at 01:28 AM
For most of the "social safety net programs" you speak of, you need to have a valid social security # (thus be a citizen). "Illegal aliens" will not have this number and most do not go out advertising that they need help. The children who are born here (citizens) can receive help (rightly so).
Rusty Vaughan September 11, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Thank you, Ella. Apparently, from your comments, you believe Children should be covered. How do you feel this should be available to them?
JfromOdenton September 11, 2012 at 05:25 AM
My wife and I were receiving medical assistance along with are kids. When we got a letter stating we were making to much money. So my kids got insurance and we got booted. The best part was we were both on unemployment. I also have a medical condition that requires blood work and pills on a frequent basis. BUT your stupid idea is that health care is debatable for adults. Why? I worked got laid off got coverage and got booted. You want me to pay taxes to a greedy government who can pick and choose who to cover. Well like McGibblets that sounds like Medicaid and who would want that. How about the government lowers my taxes provides incentives to doctors so they can treat cheaper and I will pay for my own healthcare. Wait I already pay for someone else's with my taxes against my will and I can't get covered.
Rusty Vaughan September 11, 2012 at 10:54 AM
Jay, thank you for your comment. It is good for us all to consider the real situations that exist such as yours. I do apologize if I stated or implied that there should be no health care consideration for adults. That was not my intent nor my belief. Rather, I began this discussion with the sole purpose of getting people to state simply that children of this country should be covered. I thought that I would surely have agreement as long as we were not discussing how to pay for it and if we discussed only children. It seems that rather than find agreement, some people like to re-frame an issue to something with which they disagree. We must have some of our representatives commenting here, They do that so well in Washington.
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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