An alternative to popular faith
A goal is to eliminate the preexisting-medical-conditions penalty from health insurance. But if people wait until they are sick, before buying health insurance, the premiums for everyone will go up markedly. Congress’s solution is to tax anyone who doesn’t buy health insurance, a silly and probably unconstitutional action. If people cannot afford health insurance, it’s hard to see how threatening them with a tax will improve their ability to buy it, and the Supreme Court probably would reject any tax having the sole purpose of advancing a federal law.
Here’s a thought for discussion: Rather than taxing people who don’t buy health insurance, why not reward people who do? What if the federal government gave every 18 year-old, who buys health insurance, an award of say $5,000. Nineteen year olds would receive say, $4,900. Each year the number would go down by some amount until a person turned 65, in which case he would receive Medicare.
Anyone who waited until he/she was sick, before buying health insurance, would forgo the years of federal payments, a strong incentive to buy insurance early.
Health insurance companies would consider only age, when selling policies. Since policies for young people are less costly than those for older people, young people would wind up paying very little, or even making a profit on their policy premiums.
Yes, this wouldn’t be revenue-neutral, but who else will pay to insure the estimated 40 million uninsured and those with pre-conditions?
O.K. those are the broad brush strokes. Can you see any way to build on this? What are your thoughts?
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell