To be quite honest with all my readers (both of you), I’m really not that impressed with this “Obamacare” mandate that would require everyone to purchase insurance. As of this moment, the bill is still in the Supreme Court and I would not be at all surprised if it was ruled unconstitutional.
Now, before you all jump up and down and accuse me of being a closet conservative or something awful like that, the reason I don’t like it is because it is simply a nod in the right direction and not at all a solid step towards fixing the issues plaguing the American healthcare system. Therefore, please allow me to present my own genius plan. Some may call it radical – to others it is simply common sense.
First of all, instead of requiring a purchased insurance from a private third party, the government should simply levy a new tax. According to the constitution, this is one of the few things that it is allowed to do, so it is less likely to be ruled unconstitutional. Section 8 of the US Constitution has this to say on the subject of taxes:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…
What could possibly be more inline with the “general welfare of the United States” than the health of its own citizens? However, I do realise that no-one wants to raise taxes, particularly in an election year, but if you could drop your $10,000+ a year insurance scam, what would be the difference?
The new tax would be a progressive, tiered tax, based on your income. In other words, the more you earn, the more you pay. However, rather than simply adding a flat percentage tax to everyone’s paychecks, which would be a crippling burden for low income families, the tax only takes effect after a certain threshold, and increases as your income increases. (The numbers in the chart below are completely pulled out of the air and are in no way representative of any research whatsoever).
|Cumulative Annual Income||Tax Rate|
|Up to $10,000||0%|
In other words, everyone can earn $10,000 per year and pay no health insurance tax whatsoever on that money. The first $10,000 is tax free.
Everything you earn between $10,000 and $30,000 is taxable at 5%. Therefore, if you earn $25,000 in one year you must pay 5% of $15,000 in health insurance tax, which according to my numbers, would be $750 per annum.
If you earn $55,000 per year, then you must pay 5% of $20,000 (the $10,000 – $30,000 range) and an additional 10% of $25,000 (the $30,000-$60,000 range), which would be $3,500 per annum.
As I mentioned already, these numbers are completely arbitrary and represent no actual research on my behalf at all. I am well aware that they are unrealistic, given current insurance costs and so forth. If my master plan is accepted by the government, then I am sure someone with a little more fiscal knowledge than myself would be able to conjure up some more realistic figures.
However, the real point is that the actual system is very simple and above all, fair. It does not punish low income families by levying a percentage-based tax upon a minimum wage job. It does not punish the middle class, by pushing their insurance premiums higher and higher in order to pay for the uninsured. I will concede that it does appear to “punish” the rich, by making them pay higher taxes as they earn more and more, but at some point the “rich” have to do a little more than simply claim to be “job creators” and get a round of applause for it.
Furthermore, it guarantees every single citizen the right to healthcare – no questions asked. No third party, for-profit organization will be able to deny you coverage based on an arbitrary maximum payout, or be turned away for pre-existing conditions or have to file bankruptcy to pay their medical bills.
Yes, it’s a dreadfully socialist system – each person pays what they can afford into the pot and takes only what they need in return. I’m sure someone will come up with a counter argument related to fraud, lazy people and bogus insurance claims for a lifetimes supply of vicodin, but this happens already and your insurance premiums are already paying for it.
So there you have it. The New America, where all citizens are valued as an asset to the nation instead of a burden, where they are treated as valued members of society regardless of net worth, and indirectly everyone does what they can to take care of each other.