This entire section speaks to Healthcare, however, every financial concept in here can apply to Education as well. If you apply the principles and change some of the issues to things like “textbook or tuition costs”, there is no reason we cannot find a solution for providing free college tuition and complete loan forgiveness for all student debt in this nation. The money is there, it is where we decide to tap the source that determines whether the government (and the people) get access to the amount of money needed to cover the costs of healthcare and education.
I will say up front that I agree wholeheartedly with Senator Sander’s desire and passion for healthcare (and education) to become a universal basic human right in the United States. It makes sense. Where we fundamentally differ is on the road to get there, but in my opinion, it doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of room to work together to find a solution that provides for all.
Wrecking ball Trump
I believe President Obama made a fantastic good-faith effort to solve the very complex problem of healthcare in this country. It is so distasteful certain people want to use their energy on earth to attempt to blast others when they don’t lift a finger to solve the problem themselves. Trump and his Party (Republicans) fit into that category of a wrecking ball attitude when it comes to healthcare.
One of Trump’s empty broken promises was that he was going to provide the best insurance that is second to none after he rids this nation of Obamacare. Well, where is it? Lying Trump completely deceived a whole population of people with a promise that it was going to be “so easy”. He said it over and over in his blah blah rallies.
It was, in reality, way, way over his head. He was unable to fulfill this promise, and it had nothing to do with Democrat opposition. He had both the House and Senate. And he kept supporting “nuclear” options to bulldoze. So what happened?
After the election, when he looked at the details of healthcare, he publicly said (near the end of February, 2017) something to the effect that healthcare was more complex than he originally thought. Of course his lying tongue would never admit it, but, essentially, he was acknowledging that Obama did an amazing thing to get something passed because it was very complex.
So, the lie he told to get into the White House was an empty promise of what? Nothing. Except, rather than give President Obama the credit he deserved, instead he proceeded to gut Obamacare! Destruction: what an accomplishment! Wow! We are ALL SO amazed and impressed, aren’t we? It’s like a child building a tower out of building blocks and a neighbor’s dog comes and knocks it down in 5 seconds, and we are supposed to applaud that? I don’t think so! It will simply become one more destructive epitaph for the tombstone of the Trump Presidency!
As of right now (April 2, 2019), Trump is trying his lie one more time to Americans saying that Republicans will provide great healthcare … after the 2020 election… after 2020 because he realized he put his foot in his mouth and it wasn’t going to happen. Even Complicit McConnell couldn’t give him that one! Hopefully not a soul believes his lying tongue this time! “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice,” … you know the rest!
And here is one final thought regarding Trump before I stop bringing him up, as we have a LOT to cover without him. The bottom line of our healthcare problem is we have a money-grubbing, greedy system willing to scrape money at others’ expenses. We have a President right now that appears to have the same exact attitude toward people and money. That means, if you, America, want this healthcare problem solved, you cannot possibly re-elect Trump for President. He cannot give what he does not have. He cannot stop greed if he is consumed by it! It is that simple.
Relating to the future, I want to be very clear: I believe in working very hard toward a system of low-cost or no-cost, low deductible, second-to-none healthcare coverage for ALL American citizens and any families legally working within the United States. In addition, I believe there are very clear ways to include provisions for contributing undocumented workers as well which I will explain at the end of this section.
When it comes to healthcare, we must be reasonable. The cost has to come from somewhere and right now, the burden of the cost is on the individual taxpayers, individual citizens and employers, and, at the moment, high-deductible insurance is becoming the only option many corporations are offering their employees because we have a horribly broken system. I believe there is a way to shift this cost burden and even mask it in various ways that will minimize it on middle class and low-income Americans.
If I declare candidacy and am elected President, this issue will be front and center, but I’m not going to present an overall plan here that will be easy. That would be impossible. This is a VERY complex problem and will require us to roll up our sleeves and do some very serious detailed work to get it done in a way that really solves the problem. “Sales pitching it” to America ad nauseum is just that! People are getting sick (literally) of hearing about the sales pitch. “Show us the final product” is kind of where we are at right now.
PART ONE – WHERE IS THE MONEY TO PAY FOR IT?
All the above being said about healthcare, this very complex problem is the most simple to explain. In 2017, the cost of healthcare in the United States was 3.5 trillion dollars (or just under $11,000 per year for every man, woman, and child) and represented 17.9% of our GDP. If we pretend, for a moment, that number is fixed and will never change (I know it is pretend), then every year, that amount of money has to come from somewhere to pay for all the healthcare costs for our nation. There are two options we have: either get the money to pay for it yearly, or get that overall cost lowered. That is the healthcare problem in the nutshell. Seems simple on paper, but the legal entanglements and all the endless polarization in Congress and the White House has made this almost impossible. So, how can we make this happen?
Short comparison of costs
Before embarking on that question, I believe a comparable perspective and very short analysis should be given so we all can begin to understand what we are up against in regard to the concept of free or vastly reduced healthcare for all. Without the simple breakdown, it is easy for politicians to throw numbers or concepts out there as though it will somehow fix the issue. I’d like to cover that here by just a couple of simple comparisons.
For ALL the federal income tax revenue brought in by the IRS in 2017, the amount was around 3.4 trillion dollars, $100 billion short of healthcare costs for the same year. Therefore, all the IRS tax revenue coming in for the entire year would almost solve the healthcare problem…. If we shutdown the military, and the rest of the federal government, all departments included, used IRS money only for Healthcare. Clearly, that won’t solve our problem.
Some have talked about taxing the super wealthy, which I’m not opposed to at all. But to put that in perspective, we can look at the wealthy’s assets, which will by far exceed their income at any given time. Let’s say we tax them at 100%, liquidating them completely, and that money was set aside strictly for healthcare purposes. In other words, we completely rob from the super wealthy to give to healthcare. Would it solve the healthcare crisis?
Let’s take a look. For the 15 richest Americans, ALL their reported wealth combined totals only around 900 billion dollars, only around 25% toward ONE year of healthcare costs in the United States. It doesn’t even put a small dent in it even if 100% of their wealth were liquified and contributed. Liquifying the wealth of the super-rich will NOT solve this crisis.
What about anyone who is a millionaire in the United States? There are an estimated 14 million millionaires in the US. That is equal to at least 14 trillion dollars or almost 4 years worth of healthcare, but that would require total liquidation of ALL millionaires assets, and it would be a one-time contribution to the system… completely impractical, because after four years, where will the future money come from?
Taking the wealthy or super-wealthy and taxing them clearly won’t solve the problem. In other words, if liquifying ALL their assets doesn’t solve this, taking a tiny fraction of that per year (percentage of income or assets) certainly won’t even come close either. This is clearly not the answer for the healthcare crisis.
Rob the Wealthy and Super Wealthy at 100%
|Total Wealth of top 15 US Billionaires||0.9 Trillion||No||0|
|Total Wealth of all Millionaires in US||>14 Trillion||No||4 or more|
In addition, it is also clear that taxing the super-rich, even at 100%, basically making them homeless, would not significantly cover these big projects. I’m not opposed to the concept of taxing super wealth, but I believe we should talk facts, not fiction when it comes to what the results will be. Ideologies are fine, but if they bring no real results, they have no practical leg to stand on.
Healthcare (and Education) is a continuous flowing stream of financial need in our society. The only way to solve this is to look at streams of money. The above only represents holding tanks of money. Holding tanks represent one-time supplies to a system and will not provide the needs of a flowing stream.
Tapping the Stream: finding the source of the money flow
Is there any other place this type of money (3.5 Trillion dollars) can come from consistently? We’ve tried to balance budgets, finance government, keep infrastructure going, avoid shutdowns, all on the foundation of mostly collecting income taxes. The federal government has its “tap” plugged in on the side of the stream where the least flow occurs. There are so many loopholes out of income tax that giant corporations pay zero dollars in taxes. What if we’re tapping a trickle the size of a tiny stream and if we just followed the money upstream, we found a giant reservoir? Could such a place exist?
Let’s find bigger numbers. We need to start thinking trillions and not billions. Yes, grains of sand add up, but seriously, how many grains need to be collected to create a mountain? Life is too short, and our needs are too many! So let’s look elsewhere, outside of income and billionaire assets.
The GDP for 2017 was over 19 trillion. The Gross sales (not Gross Revenue which is greater) for corporations, not counting individual businesses was around 17 trillion for 2017. Gross profits for corporations for 2017 was around 2.1 trillion dollars. There is a HUGE gap in between the 2.1 trillion (where tax revenue comes from) reported as profit and the gross sales. In addition, approximately 18% of these numbers account for the healthcare industry itself in the form of insurance companies, hospitals and doctors’ offices, medical supplies, and prescription drug manufacturers.
This is focused on the industry side of the economy and, yes, 3.5 trillion dollars could come from there, however, it represents a large chunk of the economy. Since the healthcare industry is part of that sector, lowering costs would be a part of working a solution within this realm. But it is still not part of the stream that would not be vastly affected by a 3.5 trillion dollar chunk.
But there is a flow further upstream where we start seeing the kind of money flow that could really make a difference. Here they are. Currently (in a recent year), The valuation of the entire United States Stock Market is approximately 30 trillion dollars, some of which is the healthcare industry, but, focusing on the flow rather than the valuation, the amount of money traded yearly in the US Stock Market was roughly 70 trillion in a recent year, and the US Bond market was roughly a 40 trillion dollar stream.
Even deeper upstream, there are the treasury securities markets. How much flows through that river? Recently, in one year in the United States, it was nearly 200 trillion dollars. That is quite a river! The cost of healthcare and complete loan forgiveness, plus turning ALL student loans into grants happens to be only around 3% of that stream.
We always talk about taxing the super-rich, and many present candidates are building their platform on it, but when we look at what that means, taxing the super wealthy is very little, even pennies compared to what we need to solve these BIG problems. But taxing the trade on stocks or securities could be a backdoor way to get the money flowing from Wall Street back into Main Street for specific purposes such as healthcare and education. Instead of tapping “profits” where loopholes abound, why not consider taxing the flow itself before it ever gets to the profit arena?
Don’t get me wrong. I fully understand there are heavy
ramifications to this. But, what about the heavy ramifications of people who
are hard working in our society and are living homeless or forced to declare
bankruptcy today through no fault of their own because of medical bills?
Something has to give, and it should not
be our nation’s dignity in favor of greed and opportunism at the highest levels
of our system. Why not explore?
What we need
|Total Outstanding Student Loan Debt||1.5 Trillion||No|
|Approximately new yearly Student loan accumulation||.1 Trillion (100 billion)||Yes|
|Gross Corporate Revenue US||>17 Trillion||Yes||< 20.5%|
|Gross Sales US||17 Trillion||Yes||20.5%|
|Gross Profits US||2.1 Trillion||Yes||N/A|
|US Stock Market Valuation||30 Trillion||No||11.7%|
|Total dollars Traded in Stocks in recent year||70 Trillion||Yes||5%|
|Total Bonds traded in recent year||40 Trillion||Yes||8.75%|
|Treasury Securities traded per year||200 Trillion||Yes||.0175%|
One beneficial fact about the flowing streams of dollars into and out of the these markets is this also represents foreign investments coming into and out of our country. It isn’t just American dollars flowing. So this allows us to get a small tax, not off of profits only, but off of the use of the stream itself. If foreign investors want to invest in our nation, they can contribute a “little” to America’s infrastructure. It makes sense. Stock brokers have done this since the stock market existed. They get you coming and going. Why isn’t it okay to have a tax revenue stream at the base of the economic flow instead of way downstream where all the games and hiding occur? In light of this, healthcare costs and free college education would hardly even dent the system.
Just consider Visa. They make money off of every transaction. The merchants, willing to gain more customers by operating options beyond cash payments, are willing to pay the 2.75% or so. People wanting to invest money in the United States, who may reap unimaginable profits, would be willing to pay a percentage up front. Sure, there may be a very small “blip” downward for a short season while the system adjusts. I would have experts determine the effect, but I believe the adjustment would not be catastrophic.
Who are the main ones affected by this? Since this “tap” would be on the investment side of the economy, they would primarily be people and groups with very large amounts of money to spend, like banks, Wall Street itself, foreign billionaires and corporations. Can’t they handle it? These are entities raking in record profits every year, paying bonuses in six or seven figures. They can handle it. Main Street has been handling it for decades (and suffering). It should be completely okay to shift the financial burden upstream.
I believe the healthcare and education crisis are both solvable problems. If I become a future candidate, I will be looking upstream, downstream, and for other streams to find the money to pay for the legitimate needs of society. And there are no better legitimate needs than Healthcare and Education. I believe it is there and it is a disservice to our nation to keep barking up the same tree without success. Taxing income and individual wealth, quite frankly, is a waste of time, energy, and resources in regard to solving these large problems.
So this section represented where we could potentially get the 3.5 trillion per year for healthcare and approximately 1.5 trillion to forgive all student loans and cover tuition costs for higher education. The next section is about an overall vision for setting up a new infrastructure in the healthcare system to shield it from greed, essentially, lowering the price and making certain our capitalistic system doesn’t overburden our economy and overreach into the socialistic realm of medicine. But again, if we can tap upstream resources in a way that minimally affects the economy, we may be able to get immediate relief in both healthcare and education while awaiting the final rollout of a solution.
And don’t get me wrong. I understand there are many ramifications to moving certain taxes to a different part of the money flow. Some foreign investments will be affected I’m certain. There would potentially be trickle down effect where the end consumer could pay for us going upstream, but that will take a while to trickle down. There could be needed regulation to prevent some of that. Meanwhile, healthcare and education is covered for ALL Americans. Not a bad trade off, right?
It is important to understand, our entire economy has been affected for years by us NOT considering this direction, and it has been to the demise and undermining of the middle class and below. No matter where the money comes from, it’s going to trickle into the economy. If Americans are strapped with health insurance, medical insurance, and income taxes, they will spend less. If we tap the source at the top, some prices will rise a bit. Sure. We cannot stop it. But the one direction that hasn’t been working is to continue to bombard Main Street with heavier financial burdens. That isn’t working! Why don’t we head upstream to Wall Street and the bankers, and let them deal with it for a while. At least they can still sleep at night. They are rich enough. We must explore these options and exhaust them. If we don’t, how are we going to fix the economic problems we face in our society?
Again, please take note: in the above proposal, there is no need whatsoever to directly go after any individual’s accumulated wealth. That seems unethical to me. They played by the present rules and won. End of story. Now we punish them? That isn’t right. Rather than going after them, we can change the rules, and tax the sources upstream, and all of a sudden five Trillion is but a trickle in comparison to over 300 trillion! It is no longer that big of deal.
Bottom line: What are you saying to investors?
To discuss this from a completely different perspective, tapping the stream toward the top essentially takes money immediately away from investment returns. If they were making 7% and the government takes 2% up front, they now make 5% yield. That is correct, and that is exactly what I’m saying. So, who is going to invest in America then? Won’t they take their money and go somewhere else?
My answer is: the greedy ones, most assuredly, will take it elsewhere, if they can find the security America offers in their foreign investments. But patriotic Americans will not. Everyone knows our system is completely messed up. Everyone knows America is heading on a downward spiral and it is only a matter of time before the entire system caves if things aren’t done to fix these BIG problems. Many wealthy Americans have already said they are willing to pay more in taxes. Many wealthy investors would be willing to sacrifice in order to prevent the nation that made them wealthy from sinking.
In another sense, the big banks and investment firms do NOT have to necessarily pass all this burden to their clients. In fact, free market capitalism will encourage competition at this level and the big firms that “eat” the tax and don’t pass it along will get the clients. In that way, this particular form of tax would be directly visible only at the highest investment corporate levels. I would definitely explore a degree of regulation limiting what the large companies could pass on to their clients, but it could be that free market competition would do the job.
One way or another, I would try to find ways to make sure only ones affected are the large investment banks and corporations at the top. Essentially, they need to make less money! Maybe this is the time some of the big energy, big banks, and investment companies can finally pay America back for their FREE PASS they received when they tanked the economy and ransacked retirement accounts a decade or so ago, and then flew their golden parachutes into the sky, rubbing American’s noses in it. Also, maybe they will realize that continuing to invest in America is not only a good, patriotic thing to do, but by taxing at the top of the stream, it will likely stabilize the economy because there will be less sporadic trading because all trades would begin at a slight deficit.
This is an exploratory conversation. There are a lot of details and analysis to occur in order to make this happen, and I would get the best of the best to consult with on how to do this in a proposal that Americans and Congress would accept. This is big picture stuff. A lot of details need to be worked out. My main point is: Plenty of money is there for healthcare and education. We simply need to find a way to tap it.
If I ever declare candidacy, my sales pitch would NOT be primarily healthcare or education, but American Patriotism in a much deeper form than Trumpland. Trump is glitter without substance. My form of patriotism would be substance without the glitter. It would be tangible patriotism that truly affects America in a good way. And honestly, good things don’t need to be “sold” to anyone. They sell themselves. So, there really isn’t a sales pitch at all. And what better form of patriotism than for the greedy, large corporations to finally give back and feed the economy in a way that immediately benefits all.
A couple other thoughts before moving on. If we do seek the proper ways to change laws to tap the source of money upstream, this is all prototype work. Once we get the system working properly and enough money is flowing into the government to finance Healthcare and Education, there are so many other potential ways to increase the benefits to Main Street. This isn’t necessarily the “floodgates” opening, but to say only healthcare and education could be affected is not correct either.
And also, please make note that changing where we tap the source
of money flow is NOT moving our economy
toward socialism at all. The normal capitalistic flow still occurs. Nothing
changes except there is a little less money at the top of the stream, but
hardly noticeable in the grand scale of things. Approximately 300 Trillion
dollars flow through the combined systems yearly. 5 Trillion for ALL of
healthcare and education, even with their inherent greed flowing through the
two systems right now, is still a miniscule amount of money in comparison to
the source, and could be almost unnoticeable.
PART TWO – A NEW INFRASTRUCTURE
I believe Part One above gives the potential for real optimism for the problems we face with the Healthcare crisis. There is a potential way to extract money necessary for healthcare and higher education in the United States. It seems it is not only feasible, but might be possible to do in a relatively short period of time. I don’t know that for certain, and I do not believe this can come willy nilly. It must be carefully thought out with experts from all fields and Congress. But if moving the tap upstream gets us where we need to go, all we have to answer is: how do we change the rules of the economic playing board so the real needs of society are met without sending catastrophic shock waves into our economy? I believe there is a way. There always is. If I become a future candidate and am elected, this will be top priority.
Part one was the healthcare problem from the top down. Part two is from the bottom up. For this section, if possible, please “pretend” the above 300 Trillion dollar potential source to tap does not exist at all and the ONLY option we have is to lower healthcare costs, period. If read with that mindset, I believe it will be easier for us to immerse ourselves into the details and different viewpoint of the healthcare dilemma from the bottom up.
Lowering costs and setting up a new infrastructure
The other main pathway toward a solution for healthcare (and education) is to lower the costs in the industry. In order to do that, we need to dissect laws, and rather than have the Justice Department spend its time protecting a President who probably deserves to be impeached (but shouldn’t right now… please see section on Impeachment for a list of reasons), we could have them spend real time looking at the laws making up patents as well as other areas relating to the healthcare industry to solve these real problems for all Americans as opposed to the artificial problems created by the imagination of a wannabe dictator to benefit HIMSELF.
I know many are proposing a near government takeover of the healthcare industry with the idea of forcing Wall Street companies to “play ball” ethically. I believe that approach is analogous to a “nuclear” option and is riddled with long term unsustainable problems that could be worse for our economy because it is like mixing oil and water within our system. I cannot at this time tell you all those problems, because it needs real analysis, but as a software engineer who has worked over the last 28 years in various governmental and private systems, some involving the healthcare industry, I can tell you with 100% certainty unravelling the legal and economic entanglements is like cutting a random strand in a ball of yarn and somehow expecting it to “nicely” unravel without any problems. It won’t happen! It is too big of shift and that makes it unfeasible. And again, any blanket approach that declares the healthcare crisis solved is simply a sales job as I see it. It isn’t reality.
I have a very different approach to solving this overall problem from the bottom up which I will explain on the following pages, but I need to lay some foundational groundwork to get there. And I need to state up front: I cannot possibly deliver the miniscule details of the solution right here. No one can because it will require the highest degree of expert analysis from many fields of study. So if someone says they can, they are simply lying to you, or, I’ll be a little nicer, trying to “sell” you.
But what I can do here is present a holistic vision that does not need to be sold to America because I believe you will see that it simply makes sense as an overall direction for our nation. But I need to lay a solid foundation first.
A few immediate band-aids
There is the long-term plan for completely restructuring healthcare (climbing Mt. Everest), and there is the short-term plan of immediate fixes necessary in the present system (hills and valleys in between). The ultimate goal, if possible, would be to make adjustments to the present system that we can eventually use in the new one. This may or may not be possible and would require deep analysis and strategy.
But we still need tweaks regardless. One very frustrating thing for all of us is the seeming truth that rolling out even small changes in healthcare seems to take years to implement. It is understandable that it is a BIG system, but any new system we create cannot be riddled with untweakable issues. We need a layered system that is robust enough that when bad discoveries are made, tweaks can occur in days, weeks, or months rather than years. I know companies plan budgets, there are IRS regulations etc. etc. etc., but we need a way to cut through that type to slow down so we can see true robust results quickly.
In the software industry, we use a methodology called “Agile” development, which is an answer to the slow, lethargic process called “Waterfall” used by earlier software projects, which was originally developed for large manufacturing systems and originally adapted for software until it was considered unfeasible. It was too slow and lethargic for the fast pace and needs of the software industry.
Inside “Agile” is another form of process improvement called “Lean”. The purpose of mixing the two is to develop processes for development that are specifically customized for teams and project types. The system is robust, and able to adapt quickly to changes.
Just from being on the receiving end of our horrible healthcare system, it appears to me as an extremely lethargic, monolithic beast with almost no flexibility. The smallest changes can take years to implement, partially because of legal issues and requirements, and partially because of the “duct” tape mentality that appears to exist where parts of the system barely attach to other parts of the system, and the flow is simply a nightmare.
Sadly, we are limited on present tweaks that won’t take forever to implement. Hopefully we can find ways around that in a forward thinking way that can be used in the new system as well. If we do find ways, it will require all participants (including the profit seeking ones), to sacrifice and bring an offering to the table for the betterment of our nation. It will be a tough “sell”, but I’m up for the task if I eventually declare candidacy and am elected.
The games the industry plays
Concerning things that need tweaking immediately, there are a couple that represent only a sample I’ve personally run into that need immediate fixing. If I declare candidacy and a campaign begins, I intend on hearing from many of you about different experiences where you felt “slighted” by the healthcare system. I hope I get that opportunity. I will make a thorough list and every time I hear of a new situation, I will look add it to the list. If possible, we can attempt to tweak the current system as we build an overall strategy toward a new one.
Just one example that seems very basic is the Out of Network mystery charges that can show up on a person’s bill. In 2001, I worked for a company and we had an expensive hospital visit, and every single item was 100% covered! It was very simple at that time. Our deductible was something like $250 and beyond that, 100%. It was amazing. Not one penny went toward out of pocket expenses after the deductible. And my company paid almost my entire premium! Today, we try to avoid the hospital as though IT is the plague unless we are literally dying because the hospital may be “In Network”, but one particular doctor or anesthesiologist might be “Out of Network”, and WHAM! $5000 charge directly to the patient. And in addition, what other mystery charges do we need to be terrified will show up on the bill? This is tragic!
It is the worst possible nightmare in our nation that we are all to be ruled by fine print and have a healthcare system where one lives in more fear of attending an “In Network” hospital because of the mysterious debt incurred than the fear of the sickness needing hospitalized services. This is NOT society protecting its own. This is a capitalistic money grubbing system that rapes everyone it comes in contact with. This MUST change!
When someone is having a heart attack, it is a tragedy that we really need to shop around financially for what the best hospital is for our family. But if we do that, how do we direct the ambulance to go there if it is too far away? We’ll end up paying for that expense, and we also take EMT staff away from saving other lives (and feel guilty for doing so) while transporting to a hospital that could save us thousands of dollars.
As a family, we had already shopped it out and know where we would prefer to go, and it isn’t local, so in a real emergency, even after shopping, it would not be a viable option for us. And that lack of viability could cost us thousands of dollars, literally, and we have no choice in the matter.
The Healthcare Industry is in severe crisis mode and has created very difficult worries and burdens on our society. And greed sits at the root of the issue. This must change.
Another example: colonoscopy. I believe this problem has been fixed in recent years. I’m not sure if it was fixed nationwide, however. I discovered this several years ago ahead of time by asking the right questions to my insurance company and doctor’s offices, comparing answers and discovering truth. If you are 50 or so, and go in for a preventative colonoscopy, which is supposed to be covered 100%, if the doctor finds polyps, they don’t give an option whether or not to remove, they will remove them, period! We don’t have an option to decide. Instantly, WHAM! What was 100% covered as preventative has now become a “hospital surgical procedure”, and we are stuck paying potentially thousands of dollars for the entire procedure (because now our deductibles are thousands of dollars). Essentially, they become “motivated” to find polyps in a preventative colonoscopy because of all the underlying “deals” made between doctors, clinics, hospitals, and insurance companies. Oh, and if any of the physicians or anesthesiologists etc. happen to be “out of network”, WHAM! Double trouble!
These are examples of loopholes in a greedy, money-grubbing system. In a way, it is a very serious form of deception because very few people ask the questions necessary to know ahead of time about this.
It is much like the Credit Card fine print statements that no one reads, but are automatically legally bound by. Fortunately, people like Senator Elizabeth Warren were instrumental in at least getting the interest rates tiered toward the highest rates being paid off first when more than the minimum payment is made. That was tantamount to criminal in my opinion,.
This healthcare issue isn’t quite that level, but I believe much of it is “dirty” and unethical. On this particular issue, I happened to ask the questions before a scheduled colonoscopy and saw what the game was before signing on for it. I cancelled before joining the “game”. Later, during a yearly company meeting regarding health benefits for the company I worked for, I mentioned it. Those meetings always have experts representing the insurance industry who give demonstrations and explanations, and to my dismay, those working for the insurance company didn’t even know this game was being played. They gave the wrong information as I asked the basic questions. I had to correct them on their answers because they thought the opposite! They were as shocked as everyone else when I told them the truth about it. What an amazing game is being played on the middle class right now. It is frustrating, egregious, and must change!
This is not isolated. These little “gotchas” exist everywhere, and wherever money is to be made and responsibility can be pawned off to the insured, they do it, regardless of income or means to pay. It’s a game, and the government must step in to this game in a way that protects the insured and this must transcend state laws. This must be done at a Federal level or it will be a complete failure. People moving from state to state need to have confidence that their insurance will be similar and “like-kind” as the state they came from. Nationally, this issue must be transcendent and permeate all states. I do not support a socialistic solution, but I understand completely why this type of solution appeals to many people today. I really do! But we must have a solution that matches the true DNA for America. That is what I want to propose: a system where a minimum consistency exists in ALL states, but in certain states and regions, more can be offered depending on particular demographics and needs. Discussion in detail follows.
No more demolishing, start from where we are right now
I believe we must always start with where we are at right now in order to get to where we want to go, and presently, even though the Republicans (Trump Party) attempted to gut the ACA entirely, fortunately, the popularity of it and the late Senator McCain’s wise vote of “NO” stopped them. So we need to take inventory at our present system, as broken as it seems, and determine what is salvageable without political eyes. I doubt any democratic candidate disagrees with me on that.
As a whole, I am not opposed to exploring and gleaning from Senator Sanders idea of Medicare for all, however, in general, I believe the devil is in the details and blanket plans are good for the sales pitch, but when reality sets in, things fall through the cracks. In the case with Medicare for all, I don’t believe some of those cracks will appear until after the entire nation has committed to a new revolutionary direction. And by then, it will be too late. This concerns me greatly, and I believe it should concern all Americans.
Also, I really don’t think the political climate will ever allow a blanket “Medicare for All” socialistic answer unless it is bulldozed down everyone’s throat, something I adamantly oppose, even if Democrats win both chambers and the White House. So my concern is, even if the sales pitch makes complete sense, the political climate will completely stall it, and we could be spinning our wheels another four or eight years with no results, leaving us in an even more desperate situation or, if we get a bulldozer into the White House, they may get something through, but isn’t that just another version of Trump on the other side? We should NOT answer Trump with another version of Trump. That won’t solve our healthcare problem or our Constitutional Crisis problem. We need a holistic solution for both.
In addition, I believe the burden of government taking over healthcare will trickle into the economy in a myriad of ways that are unforeseen, and, once committed to, it will be all but impossible to reverse or change in major ways. The healthcare industry is so large also, that committing to a Medicare for all plan is almost committing our entire nation to Senator Sander’s plan for democratic socialism. Moving healthcare (18% of our economy) over to socialism represents the “foot in the door” for moving our entire economic system toward socialism, much like a black hole in which there is potentially no way of changing course once that first step reaches is taken simply due to the enormous size and needs of the healthcare industry. It is a gravitational nexus that will pull the entire economy toward socialism. Is all of America really ready for that plunge or would this be another cram like the Republicans have done? Could this left-polarizing reaction from Americans be the “rebound” from a “bad relationship” with Trump?
What do we teach our children? Don’t enter a rebound relationship! Don’t get involved with someone who is rebounding! It is fundamentally basic! They are trouble until they level out! But isn’t that what America will be doing if they reject Trump and lunge toward socialism? It will be a rebound relationship and every good sense in the world will be bypassed if America is poised to “lunge” that direction into healthcare. The price for our entire economy is much greater than we are thinking right now because of the sheer size of the healthcare industry as the statistics show above. But I believe there is a better way.
A solution that matches the American DNA
Even if I oppose a socialistic lunge, one thing we can all fundamentally agree with is that the United States healthcare system is broken! It must be fixed, and it must be a very high priority. Other nations are ahead of the United States in this arena today. People in our nation are suffering and falling through the cracks in horrific ways right now. This is absolutely true without any shadow of doubt, and it must be fixed. These statements we can all agree on.
What I don’t agree on is that just because other nations do it a particular way differently than we have done, and just because they have a socialistic system that works for them, we need to copy their approach and socialism is the only way to solve this problem for the United States because everyone else is doing it. That concept I completely reject, and I believe close to 50% of America rejects as well. Not only that, most of the nations we are studying regarding healthcare examples are almost equivalent to one of our “states” in size. They have a different DNA makeup in their own democracies, their regions, their local governments. They are on a completely different scale. So what works for them may not work at all for us. This is very important and leads to my next point.
There is an initial premise I want to go by to lay the groundwork for what I see as a holistic direction toward a lasting solution for a BIG problem. My intent is not to make a competitive statement toward the rest of the world, but a hopeful statement to the United States alone. JUST because other nations are way ahead of America in healthcare right now, it does not at all mean that we cannot do what we do best in this nation in the unique way we do it: come up with brand new innovation and new ways to think about healthcare as a whole, and solve this problem in a way that is second to none anywhere in the world!
This IS what America does best! That is what she has always done best! It is in our DNA! We don’t need to copy others through some kind of pressure like “everybody else is doing it”. That isn’t the American way, and it isn’t right thinking either. That happens to be a very mild form of bullying a crowd into compliance through peer pressure. Anytime we, as a nation, or as individuals, feel that spirit of “everyone else is doing it, so should we”, we should resist, or at a minimum, proceed with caution! In this case, such rhetoric, no matter how well intended is equal to “bullying a nation” to join into what “everyone else is doing”, and we should not succumb to that pressure. We do something because it is right for us, never because everyone else is doing it. THAT is the American way, and it has always been the American way!
The answer to the healthcare problem I believe is in the strength of our spirit in America. Our economic system completely supports that strength and we must capitalize on that right now (pun intended). That is what I intend to foster in healthcare, education, and other problem areas within our system. I’m only talking about healthcare here, but this principle applies to every aspect of our economy. It is time for an economic revolution, but it isn’t socialism. It is Responsible Capitalism! And this revolution is not bombs , grenades, and explosions! It is simple, gradual, peaceful, and puts our nation at internal rest rather than war. That is what we need right now, and it fits perfectly with the exact theme of a future candidacy, if I should ever declare it.
But sticking to healthcare only for now, I believe there is tremendous potential in a very promising arena of exploration which could include portions of the Medicare for all concepts and our EBT infrastructure, but in the plan I present, it would only be a part of a far more holistic solution that matches America’s DNA far better than a completely (or mostly) socialistic approach promoted by others. In the end, when we move toward solving this problem, we want the solution to be lean and flexible, able to adapt and maneuver. We need to be able to implement changes quickly, not years out for every miniscule change. We don’t want to form a monolithic government beast that eventually cripples under its own weight. We need changeable levers that can adjust certain parts of this system based upon the current state of our economy in America.
I don’t believe Medicare for all would provide that flexibility. I think it would eventually become that monolithic and very inflexible system unable to adapt to opportunities or crises. We need something better. We need a very stable system that is both lean and flexible. Most of us have experienced the dead, dry, government line we, once in a while, have to wait in. We should all have this image emblazoned in our minds when we think of government controlled healthcare, except, the line is full of sick and dying people. One size does not fit all, and we must have flexibility to build and adapt, not stagnate.
Being in the software industry, those concepts push my buttons because that is what I live for: build sustainable complex systems predictably with foresight for the future in such a way that allows transition from a present unsustainable system to the more sustainable approach with minimal pain during transition.
And at the outset, I believe working within our American DNA is paramount to solving this problem permanently for everyone, and it is very important, at the same time, to understand how American politics plays into the current stagnation in our system. We must, unfortunately, embrace this truth to holistically solve the real issues here.
Politics does play into it and we cannot deny it
Let’s be real: right now, healthcare is a “winner take all” political arena. Whichever group solves and gets the credit for solving the problem will have political capital for decades to come. And all politicians know that.
So, is it any wonder Republicans kept trying to completely gut Obamacare? It wasn’t because it was horrible. It was actually a very reasonable start! President Obama even acknowledged that intent. It was meant to get us out of the gate and moving. Nicely done President Obama! But what Republicans did was a political maneuver to destroy a direction and bring it to a screeching halt because it was a Democratic idea, not because it was bad. Of course, there are some fundamental ideological differences. Of course! There always are. But President Obama’s rollout was centered enough for both sides of the aisle to be on board. So it was a very politically motivated attack to attempt to gut it because it was a Democratic idea. It’s like a mud pit and everyone is trying to get out (Healthcare is a mud pit right now in this nation). As soon as the Democrats attempt to bring us out and gain ground, Republicans grab hold of them and pull them back into the pit. Unless we see this issue as both a political and a healthcare crisis, we will never climb out of the pit!
Socialism will never solve this political problem, and selling enough people on the idea will simply pull the “Rubber band” of American ideology way toward the left temporarily. But eventually, when problems arise from that pull, it will snap back to equilibrium once again, but America will have already been committed to a system and the polarization in our country will simply worsen, and the cracks and brokenness will be exposed because Americans didn’t really believe in the plan, they were sold on it instead.
We cannot avoid this when we seek revolutionary left or right directions, no matter how hard we try because American DNA says two things: we are capitalistic and innovative by nature, but socialistic and benevolent at the same time. We cannot fight who we are as a nation any more than a Rhinoceros who wants to be a cow. It cannot happen. As long as we keep trying, it is like running our head into a wall over and over when a door is 3 feet away. We need to just walk through the door.
In the case of healthcare, we need to simply find the door, and I don’t believe it is too far from where we are already looking. It is just a different way of thinking about it. Revolutionary type change usually is NOT the answer in an already established Democratic society. Revolutions are for fighting tyrants and totalitarian societies, and for evening out rich and poor discrepancies, or social injustices propagated by government. We are not there yet, so we should not be pretending we are so we can push everyone way left or gut a fantastic start toward a future solution.
Politically, as far as I’m concerned, in the end, the healthcare issues
will neither be a Republican or Democrat problem to solve. It is everyone’s problem, and in the end,
“Team America” needs to solve this and everyone gets the credit. If I declare a
candidacy and am elected, we will find ways to strip “Democrat” and
“Republican” labels off of what we do. It is paralyzing for our nation. If we
cannot do that, then anything proposed will be doomed to failure in Washington.
This is a very important truth for
all of us to absorb! If we cannot recognize this as a nation, we will continue
to dwell in a pool of stagnate water and will go nowhere regarding big problems
such as healthcare. There is need in this nation for leadership at the top who
will force bipartisan support as the central mission of the Administration.
That is exactly what I would intend to do. If you decide to get to know me
better, you will soon understand how we will make it happen together, America! Make this book go
viral, and who knows?
United States Citizens and Documented Workers
For an immediate band-aid, I tend to agree with those like Senator Kobuchar who have stated that immediate action is potentially available and necessary which could provide small band-aids and some relief as a temporary fix within our present system as we seek to build a new infrastructure. She mentioned an idea about a public option becoming available in the market. I believe others are proposing “Medicare X”. I absolutely support it as a band-aid. I believe that could be one very pragmatic way to tweak the current system on the way to exploring the more permanent solution to our Healthcare crisis. And that “tweak” could very well carryover into the new system as well. There is nothing to say it can’t. We just have to explore it.
As a general philosophy, I am a firm believer in Capitalistic principals under the umbrella of responsible and ethical behavior. So, I resist a completely socialistic “revolutionary” type upheaval, though I’m not opposed to exploring that possibility in order to glean ideas from such an approach. There is no harm in exploring Senator Sander’s ideas, for example, without being labeled a socialist by Trump or other destructive, opportunistic dividers.
Why does a group of polarizing individuals always have to paint all socialistic principles as crazy? It serves no purpose other than to thwart real progress in our society and stir unneeded division! There are always good potential ideas available from all arenas and ideologies when we come to the table and discuss out of the box concepts whether they are extreme in a direction or not. Polarizing mud-slinging only squelches and destroys creativity! Searching out the boundaries, even if extreme, builds assurances we are on the correct path and have given serious thought to all the edge cases. Its good, not bad! In the software industry, this is what testers and quality assurance do, and it prevents future nightmare scenarios.
If I declare a future candidacy and am elected, I intend to have
an open mind in approaching issues. And I will find others in Congress and my
Administration who feel the same and I will work with them ahead of all the others.
That is for certain. If possible, I will find ways to put divisive people on
the fringes so they have little influence in the real decisions. If they want to play politics and games, they can
play those games in the corner with all the other children as far as I’m
concerned. As Trump has divided in an evil way, I will do my best to divide the dividers in a good way. If I have a say in it, they
will be left speechless in a corner until they learn that we will ALL work
together to solve our nation’s BIG problems!
Introduction to a Healthcare Proposal for America
Here it is: on the healthcare issue, to many others’ points, it is my belief under certain sectors of our economic system, due to the unavoidable greed factor setup in Wall Street, the profit motive does not always provide the best solution in all circumstances. In one sense, we have doctors swearing a Hippocratic oath to operate with not-for-profit type integrity toward saving lives, and we have an overarching monetizing system of hospitals, clinics, pharmaceuticals, and medical supply companies set up by law as “for profit” corporations, for purely profit motive business operations. Those two, in my opinion, are like oil and water. They aren’t mixing well.
Just like our politics, they are polarized concepts competing with each other in a zero sum environment instead of working in harmony and harnessing each other’s strengths. But that is the way the rules are written as they stand today, and it is preventing viable solutions. Corporate officers are legal fiduciaries to the corporations and their shareholders. While a corporation may not always have to maximize profits, money is always a primary consideration in decisions of most corporations with shareholder investments, and there is reasonable legal risk if a corporation chartered for profit decides to embark in a “non-profit” direction. This creates a major multi-faceted conflict of interest within the very DNA of the present healthcare system.
Healthcare is a very complex problem and adding to that complexity are the polarizing and debilitating ideologies between Republican and Democratic ideas which do not serve to help, but stifle new ideas and creative thinking toward lasting solutions.
But regardless of that, here is one of the main basic problems: on the one hand, the medical industry must have capital to meet immediate needs, continually build medical infrastructure, and forge ahead in research and development. If we lose the “capital” in “capitalism”, we lose a significant degree of potential for innovation. But on the other hand, we need to provide low-cost medical assistance to every American citizen and documented worker in our society, and in addition, we must find a way undocumented immigrants can both contribute to the system and reap the benefits as well without burdening it.
ALL within our borders must benefit from our Healthcare system. But simple supply and demand economics doesn’t solve this problem, for in the midst of this, there are a myriad of legal, unregulated “mini-monopolistic” opportunities for corporations who are bound by a fiduciary arrangement (and basic self-motivating common sense) to highly favor maximizing profits for their shareholders. Within the industry, there are so many legal loopholes that it makes the current system riddled and overflowing with unsolvable problems. Not only that, in certain circumstances, outright lying and fraud is more lucrative than integrity and is therefore encouraged because the penalties when caught are much smaller than the profits gained during the season of not being caught. They are simply written off as acceptable losses. This is truly a broken system! Simple laissez faire economics, as much as purist want to try to push for, doesn’t work here at all. It breaks down very fast.
But in our country, I don’t believe pure socialistic medicine could entirely work either. Medicare may be a system in place that could be utilized to a significant degree, but again, Medicare for all mixing in our Capitalistic economy and the pure potential tax burden it places on all Americans is like mixing oil and water on the other extreme side of the pendulum. I know there are strong attempts to stir passion in this direction by some, but, like a rubber band, uncharted promises have to be made by politicians and “sold” to a certain sector of our society. In this case, it appears to be primarily toward our younger generation. But when reality hits and the deadlock comes to Congress, or unforeseen problems arise, Boom! Promises broken once again and we are back to the blame game and tit for tat polarization! Like a rubber band that gets stretched toward capitalism until greed overflows, it snaps back to equilibrium. Then it moves toward pure socialism, and when problems arise as a result and our government becomes too big and overreaching, it snaps back to equilibrium once again.
Why not just start at equilibrium, accept that reality, and solve this problem without empty dreams and a forced “revolution” that must be sold in order for it to be backed. When such a “revolutionary” system fails, it leaves people more angry and bitter, resentful and hopeless, and the polarizing pendulum swings one more time in the opposite direction, and our nation heads further down a divisive path toward ruin.
A true proposal for a system that will work for America needs to be thoroughly explained to the public, but it does not need to be “sold” to anyone. Real solutions to problems like healthcare will sell themselves and will make complete sense, not just for the healthcare industry, but for our entire nation as a whole, including other areas like one dear to my heart: education. But we’ll talk about that at another time.
I believe the true answer for our healthcare system lies, once again, between two extremes near the center with a new economic infrastructure between five specific sources of capital necessary for sustainability. If I eventually declare my future candidacy and am elected, I will immediately begin enhancing the various concepts mentioned below in order to refine a solution that works for all Americans, and satisfies polarized Washington as well.
The actual Healthcare proposal
I know it has taken a “few” pages to get here, but this is the actual proposal right here. I truly apologize, up front, if I lose some of you in the details. I believe many want reasonable details, so here they are. It isn’t good enough to simply say “ we can do it” without providing some sort of detailed plan. The following paragraphs are easy to get lost in. If I have the opportunity to speak about this with you later, I will patiently explain whatever details people want or need to hear, and understand, the “microscopic” details cannot possibly be given because it will require many experts from many fields and a solid analysis of our economic and legal system to unravel the mess completely. Again, my hat is completely off to President Obama for making the first sweeping round of trying to solve this problem. But it is time now for round two, and whoever is elected needs to take this on, front and center.
My proposal for the healthcare industry is to explore a way to satisfy the majority in both political parties by the creation of a new mini hybrid economic system. This mini-system would be within our legal and economic structures and would provide the ability to balance between factors of medicine, a socialistic discipline in and of itself, and capital in the form of investments, tax revenue, individual contributions, employer or other contributions, and charitable donations. Those five areas represent capital potential, and presently, they all appear to be very segregated within our system and not holistically working together as they potentially could.
The present laws do not appear to allow for good integration of the five areas, so they are not in harmony, especially not in the healthcare industry. It’s as though, legally and economically, the five work segregated and isolated in various ways with a myriad of red-tape, mazes, and legal mirrors with doors for legal jeopardy between them. Any entity finally getting through the maze of difficulties is exhausted and never wants to do it again! This creates a monolithic, lethargic system. We need to fix this.
If we can pull the veil back and look at restructuring laws relating to such in certain necessary sectors of our system, I am convinced a reasonable, workable solution is within our grasp, and because the laws would be contained within a sector, other parts of the legal system and economy would not have to be drastically affected. Essentially, in software lingo, we would build an interface model of our present system, and create the same or similar model in the new system which allows information flow, then under the hood, behind the interface, we could go to work building the new system with minimal disruption. This is high level talk, and there WILL be problems to solve, BIG problems, but we can do it! Again, back to simplicity, our main goal is 3.5 trillion dollars per year or get the costs lowered significantly, as simple as that, and as stated in the beginning analysis, there is a huge gap between 17 trillion in sales, 19 trillion in GDP, and 2 trillion declared profits from corporations… and we have a 20 trillion dollar stock market to consider as well as the entire area of charitable giving. The main simple problem doesn’t change.
We have the opportunity right now to think out of the box and see if there isn’t a system which could be created in a more integrated approach toward raising capital so it could help solve our healthcare problem. As just one example, giving very real and lucrative tax breaks for those who represent the “one percent” of the wealthy, if they donate or invest toward our countries new medical infrastructure could be one type of incentive where Tax Revenue, investments, and Charitable Donations could complement each other. One could look at this and say that one simply offsets the other, so it is a wash. But that is only if we don’t meticulously design this new “mini” economic system the correct way. If we go off of the present system, everything is a disconnect. But a new, integrated mini-economic system within the larger system, could provide the specific levers to make sure the system provided funding for healthcare.
I believe we can carefully develop a system that integrates the five capital potentials under very controlled and specific areas. It would represent a mini-hybrid model of our capitalistic system that include very reasonable socialistic tweaks. As a result, I believe we would be able to create an infrastructure positioned between profit, tax revenue, individual and corporate contribution, and charity which could fund healthcare and provide the appropriate balance at any given time and economic situation.
I propose creating a system would have regulatory levers that are tweakable at analog type microlevels very similar to interest rates, much like a minified and specialized version of the Federal Reserve System, but just for Healthcare, whereby, based upon economic climates, profits, charitable giving, individual and corporate contributions, and tax revenue etc., the levers could be modified openly and publicly to make sure the system stays in balance, is continually funded properly, and works in harmony with the rest of our economy. We would also want the capital funds to be fluidly available where they can move around the nation to meet specific needs, such as an outbreak, or an earthquake or hurricane where many people could be injured etc.
In addition, we would not bypass states or local involvement, for they are very important for breaking out of the “one size fits all” federalization concept. The federal government is an abstract and cannot possibly create a “one size fits all” system that works for everyone equally in our diverse nation. It is impossible. It doesn’t make sense that a federal one-size system working in New York City or Los Angeles, is going to work perfectly for the residence of Iowa, Nebraska, or a remote rural area of some state. Therefore, every state and many localities need the ability for special customization to adjust micro levers as well. The federal government would create the infrastructure, and states and localities would be two of the beneficiaries of the system. Like I said above, it is VERY complex, it is NOT going to be a cake walk, but it is not out of bounds either. What we would do is create a federal model that would be abstracted and used by states and local governments as necessary to handle localized needs for possibly channeling further funds into healthcare through the various forms of capital injection which could come locally, statewide, or nationally.
Also, and very important, in the software industry, we have what is called an adapter between two different systems. Each system has what we call a black box interface, and an adapter is created between the two in order for communication to occur between two unlike systems. I see something similar here. We would create a filter or adapter between Wall Street and the new system which would allow the two different economic systems to communicate by transferring goods, services, and money back and forth. At the same time, we could setup and make sure a buffer on the medical side would strongly protect against greed and corruption, while not becoming a dead, monolithic system of stagnation on the opposite end of the socialistic spectrum.
If we create such a system and use it as a buffer between the medical field and the profit sector, we could potentially have doctors, medical insurance, pharmaceuticals, hospitals, and certain medical equipment supply companies protected and buffered from the greed and profit motive in the rest of our economic system, and at the same time, find a way to continue to foster advances and innovations, the very heartbeat of a thriving capitalistic society. Responsible capitalism with socialistic elements in certain sectors is what I aim for, not purely greed motivated capitalism, nor purely government-controlled socialism. Neither will work in our nation for the healthcare industry in my opinion.
And, by the way, what I’m proposing is not for all healthcare professionals to immediately take a vow of poverty either. Not at all. I believe there are ways to make this system work without destroying the American dream in a huge sector of our society. But that being said, I believe healthcare professionals should choose those careers because they want to help people, not because the pay is lucrative, so maybe in the new system, the multi-multi millionaire doctor could settle for simply being a millionaire doctor… that is just an example. Again, money should NOT be the reason someone gets into medicine.
And in the realm of capital investment, one area of exploration I would like to pursue is the possibility of setting up healthcare government bonds, treasury notes, or some form of long-term, stable investments that are specific to the healthcare industry. We need to explore any and all options to bring money into the system with limited volatility. It could potentially raise capital, but not be tied to the individual corporations that appear to drive stocks up based upon company profits. I would like to explore this or other similar options.
Overall, I believe the solution to healthcare could become one of the most complex economic and legal undertakings in our country’s history. We will have to look at potentially changing or creating special Trademark and Patent laws as it pertains specifically to the medical industry, and find ways to handle new drugs and make sure greed cannot get into our medical system anywhere. It is a giant undertaking, but it is time, once again, to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty like President Obama’s Administration attempted. I’m ready to take this on and finish the work his Administration began.
In the same way I believe there is a sweet spot in our political system for the Democratic Party to be assured of victory in 2020, I also believe there is a sweet spot in this polarized field of healthcare that doesn’t seem to cater to pure capitalism or pure socialism. Balance and innovation are the keys to a permanent solution, and if eventually declare candidacy and am elected, I will work to implement some immediate tweaks to our current system similar to what Senator Kobuchar recommends, or the “Medicare X” plan, while exploring the much bigger picture for a final solution to the healthcare crisis.
The devil is in the details. I get that. And I don’t have the experts together right now to provide all those details. I have the concept and I am very confident we will find a solution. But if elected, in order to make it a reality, I will get the very best economists from multiple philosophical positions, experts in legal, healthcare, tax regulations, sociology, non-profit, the banking industry, the insurance industries, and the medical industries to work at solving this enormous problem.
In addition, I would like to, rather than Tweet insults at people like Jeff Bezos, ask for his and perhaps Bill Gate’s assistance as well in creating the virtual models we need for the real time world of healthcare. I’m sure if I treat them with respect and dignity, which they deserve, they would be willing to serve the nation that provided the means for their wealth and help this crisis find a resolve. And I believe it could be done in almost lightning speed, relatively speaking. I know these companies and they can specialize in creating the right kind of engineering teams to get the job done efficiently and effectively.
If I declare candidacy and am elected, we will find the road to a permanent solution while doing our best to stop the bleeding in the current healthcare system. We will solve this problem or be well on our way by the time my four years are complete. I cannot control what Congress will do, but I can and will put strong pressure against the dividers and gameplayers so they won’t be able to stop people who simply want to find solutions instead of slinging mud. We will work together to make a strong and viable, reasonable proposal for our lawmakers to move on. That would be a campaign promise should I ever declare a candidacy and win!
Even though it should be a given for anyone, I’ll go ahead and say it just for the sake of it: I completely support coverage for pre-existing conditions. In the system I support, it will become a moot point. There will be no such thing as pre-existing conditions. A person will simply be covered as they move within the system we create.
For undocumented workers or other non-workers in society who are not protected the same as non-workers such as disabled etc., we must solve the problem of them not paying into the system through taxes and deductions and find a way to include them as well. Being able to receive some or all of the benefits of what America offers to those who are citizens is important, and I support it, and at the same time, I do NOT believe in continuous free lunches. A few is fine, but dependency without contribution by able bodied members of society must be limited.
It is circumstances like undocumented workers benefiting from our hospitals etc. that help fuel and feed the horrible racist Trump rants about building a wall on our southern border because we “have to support” people who are not paying taxes, etc. etc. blah blah, and the healthcare issue is at the forefront of that general attitude.
Relating to healthcare and undocumented workers, my proposal is to, first of all, do everything possible to remove fear from undocumented workers and others from registering in our system. That is paramount. We cannot have Trump paranoia running rampant in undocumented communities. That is an utterly abhorrent approach and it is riddled with problems stretching well beyond healthcare to things like reporting of crimes, etc. It is a failure at the outset to harbor that repugnant philosophy.
But what I see is using our EBT or a similar system for, not just EBT purposes of receiving benefits, but also for a special system of a “sales tax” added at the registers for those undocumented or non-workers who want to use the EBT as a medical benefits card. If they want to use it for medical benefits, they must pay a federal sales tax that tracks their cumulative tax payments into record toward their fair payment into the system. Their payments would make them eligible to receive medical coverage at a doctor or hospital visit. Each card could be adjusted by the individual holder at either a percentage or a flat rate federal sales tax, or by selecting the type of coverage they want, the system would automatically determine the sales tax they would be charged related to any purchases they make using the card, and this will allow them to have choices on what type of benefits they would receive. In a sense, it would be similar in concept to a modified FSA or HSA, but would have added benefits of the actual coverage they would receive via the system itself, depending on what has been paid so far. It could be similar to unemployment insurance benefits with tweaks like providing choices of different coverage, for example.
If a person opts out of the EBT type option, then a normal doctor’s visit would require cash out of pocket similar to today, or a private but ethical arrangement between the patient and the doctor’s office.
For emergency or life-threatening medical need, the same policy would be in place today. A hospital is always under obligation to save lives, and that must be on the burden of the entire system to cover regardless of economic circumstances.
This is how I see it, and I believe a system such as this could resolve the much needed rant of Trump about one of the areas where undocumented workers are not paying their fair share. There will need to be a lot of thought put into the implementation. This is just a brief overview of the plan, but I don’t see failure here, I see success!
I see optimism and a clear pathway to get the needed funds for, not just healthcare, but many other areas where Americans are struggling. We need to get polarization to stop. In order for that, I believe many who have purist left and right ideologies need to be willing to come to the center and have real discussions about solving the problems. Obstinance must be left at the door and our politicians in Washington will need to quit jockeying and playing games with American’s lives. I would really like to see fat and pork in the bills diminished. We shouldn’t have to bribe Congress for votes to do something good for Americans. We should streamline the writing of laws so they are focused and written to solve one problem at a time.
If I should ever declare candidacy and become elected, I may not completely succeed in changing the atmosphere in Washington. That is a monumental task larger than healthcare because so many games are played at so many levels. But I can certainly foster a spirit and put pressure in directions to dampen it significantly. If this direction moves forward, that is exactly what I intend to do, and I believe center ring will be fixing the healthcare crisis which I am very confident we can do. I hope the above has been adequate to explain enough detail as to where we could potentially go as a nation relating to healthcare. If we generalize the concept, there really isn’t a financial issue we face as a nation where we cannot find solutions. Perhaps one day I’ll be able to speak directly to many of you as we work toward permanent solutions to big problems in our Great Nation.
The above section is written in the form of an assumption that on some future date, I will have declared a candidacy for President and will have won the 2020 election. I have not declared any candidacy for President yet.