Tonight we attended the health care public forum put on by the Commission on Health Care Reform. The crowd overwhelmingly supported the proposed Universal Healthcare Bill. From what I heard, I think people, myself included, are a bit confused on what we would be getting. I still need to study the bill myself, but it sounds like in the initial form, the bill would call for coverage of mainly preventative care. If you don’t have insurance you will be charged a tax. It would seem that the result will be the poor paying a tax for health care that they will not even use as most people know that it’s very difficult to sell preventative care. As anyone in sales will tell you it’s a lot easier to sell a cure than prevention.
I would prefer a system similar to the Swiss system of universal coverage that Hardy Machia, last year’s gubernatorial candidate, supported. Below is a brief description of the plan pulled from Hardy’s web site:
Purchase private insurance policies for medicaid users and uninsured. This will save $114 million, keep medicaid solvent, provide universal coverage for all Vermonters, and restore some of the benefits of free markets. (Figures compiled from 2000 VT Health Care Expenditure Analysis; Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration; Published October 2002)
The Swiss Universal Health Care System is also referred to as Consumer Driven Health Care. There is a safety net so the poor are covered, but the poor are covered in the most efficient way possible through free markets. You might think of it as food stamps for health care. We don’t have a government farm, government truck company, and government store to provide food for the poor. What we do is give people who qualify for food stamps a subsidy so they can go to a privately run store to purchase their own food.