Vail Daily letter: OK, pay your own way |

Vail Daily letter: OK, pay your own way

Jim Cameron
Avon, CO Colorado

More than 20 states have sued the federal government’s health care reform bill, primarily over the statutes’ individual mandate provision that requires all adults to purchase health care insurance or face a fine. Opponents of the mandate have used the Constitution as the legal source to claim “unconstitutionality” of the federal law.

Unfortunately, our Founding Fathers were not sufficiently clairvoyant to work this particular federal power grab into their prohibitions of federal authority.

So, let’s revert to the true conservative way of handling this debate. Let’s make a deal.

First, no individual should be required to purchase health insurance. Period! The choice is up to the individual and, like all choices, the decision carries a cost whichever way you choose.

The cost of electing to take health insurance is paying some portion of the premium (all to none depending upon your individual circumstance). The cost of electing not to purchase health insurance is that no individual will ever be involuntarily required to subsidize any part of your health care costs should you require health care.

Sound good so far? OK, the first thing to establish is that your decision, upon first being offered and made, is a lifetime decision. You can’t decline health insurance when you are young and healthy and then get to decide that you want it later when you develop a costly chronic condition. That is called gaming the system. Not allowed.

Secondly, paying for your own health care costs is the most preferred method of taking care of your health care costs. If your church, friends or a charitable organization want to contribute to your health care costs, that is certainly allowable.

Providers (hospitals, physicians, ancillary services, etc.) will be disallowed from claiming your health care expenses as bad debts, aka “free care” (should your expenses not be paid by some other source). These providers do not get to deduct these unpaid expenses from their revenue. If allowed, it would constitute a subsidy from a tax perspective.

Further, this same provider community will not be allowed to shift the cost of your unreimbursed care onto its budget in any other way; e.g., increasing its fee schedules to other payer categories to offset the loss of revenue for care delivered to you. These restrictions are necessary to prevent other payers (insurance, self, government, etc.) from subsidizing your care.

There are also requirements of you. Your accumulated health care debts will be lifetime debts. They will have first priority on your assets should you declare bankruptcy. Ultimately, what is more important, your house or your health? If you can’t maintain your health, you won’t retain your home anyway. Upon adjudication of your trust-will upon your death, your health care debts will be retired prior to any inheritance distributions to your heirs. Why should they inherit money that taxpayers contributed to your accumulated health care debts?

Still sound OK? Hope this doesn’t sound too brutal. This is just what is necessary so that other citizens don’t subsidize your choice of whether or not to purchase health care insurance. The true conservative way is to pay your own way. This assures that will happen.

Ready to make a deal?

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