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A Modest Proposal

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Josh Mitteldorf     Permalink
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Dear Representative:

Attached herewith is the text in full of a health care bill to replace the 2000 page behemoth that is now before Congress. The proposed bill has the virtues of
  • Transparency it is readily understood, with no need for expertise.
  • Universal coverage
  • Cost savings after the first year it will cost less than what we as a nation are paying now, despite the fact that 40 million more people will receive care.
  • Political viability it is guaranteed to be approved in both houses by overwhelming margins.
Full text:

Sec 1. The Medicare act of 1965 shall be amended, removing the words "more than 65 years of age". All citizens of the United States and all landed aliens shall be eligible for the same health benefits that are presently reserved for persons over 65.

Sec 2. Every Congressional representative and every Senator who votes for passage of this bill shall receive from the U.S. Treasury a campaign donation of $1 billion, payable upon the day when this bill is passed into law.

Sec 3. The CEOs, Board Chairmen, and CFOs of the following companies, being the ten largest health insurers in the United States, shall each receive from the U.S. Treasury a one-time payment of $1 billion: UnitedHealth, WellPoint, Aetna, Humana, Cigna, Health Net, Coventry Health Care, Amerigroup, Universal American, and Centene.

Sec 4. The CEOs, Board Chairmen, and CFOs of the following companies, being the ten largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the United States, shall each receive from the U.S. Treasury a one-time payment of $1 billion: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Merck, Wyeth, Brristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Amgen and Genentech.

Note: Paul Krugman has calculated that overhead from our health insurance companies costs patients $150 billion per year. For comparison, the additional cost of universal coverage would be $125 billion. Thus 1 of this bill generates net cost savings of $25 billion per year, that will cover the up-front costs in 2, 3 and 4 over a period of 20 years.

Thank you for considering this bill.

Yours very sincerely,

[Your name here]


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Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at Read how to stay young at Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical modeling in a (more...)

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