A Plan for Universal HealthCare
1. Start with the basic Medicare plan as it exists today.
2. Issue a unique ID number to each patient. Not to use the current social security number.
3. Include drug coverage for common medications. Pay a fixed price for a given class of drugs, regardless of which drug in that class is prescribed.
4. Construct a Medicare sponsored supplement plan and offer it to all traditional Medicare clients.
5. Re-evaluate Medicare's computer and manpower infrastructure and enhance it as needed.
6. Dissolve the Medicare "Advantage" Plans and re-enroll those clients into the Enhanced Medicare Plan as above.
7. Take the monies currently ear-marked for the Medicare Advantage Plans and infuse them into the Enhanced Medicare Plan above.
8. Re-evaluate the infrastructure and correct as needed.
Medicare would now be a decent insurance product for its current clients.
1. Enroll people 0 through 17 years old into this Enhanced Medicare Plan. This age group is covered by a hodgepodge of private insurance plans as well as a multitude of governmental agencies.
2. Examine the sources of monies currently used to pay for this age segments' health care and, as appropriate, roll those monies into the new plan. This would include premium payments from parents and guardians.
3. Re-evaluate the infrastructure and enhance as needed.
The two extremes of age would now be covered.
1. As seems feasible at that time, begin enrolling the rest of America in the Enhanced Medicare Plan starting with the upper ages first and working backward, as infrastructure allows, till all Americans are covered.
2. As each age group is enrolled, begin collecting premium payments from them, much in the same way as they pay now.
3. Periodically the infrastructure would have to be expanded aggressively.
All Americans would now be covered by an insurance plan. Any care issues could be monitored. Tracking of fraud, abuse, waste, and medical errors would then be possible. Details to follow tomorrow.