Thursday, August 13, 2009
More ideas to consider for our List of Goals
18. Remove *all* current legal obstacles which inhibit the creation and access to high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs). This will provide additional access to cost-effective choices and options UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE CONSUMER to aid in their self-management of available insurance proposals.
19. Make the ACTUAL medical billing costs - regardless of WHO PAYS THE BILL - transparent so consumers can understand *exactly* what their health-care services and treatments cost. The idea here is to assist with the creation of INFORMED consumers so they can take an active (not passive) role in selecting / managing their own care. This reporting should not be limited to after-the-fact billing. There should be a provision for non-immediate treatments (and "optional" ones, which are not necessarily the same thing) to have a disclosure of the expected costs of the various options available. While I am certain any option with the greater chance of success will *always* be chosen, there are frequent situations where the costs of doing things in a particular sequence vary with little/no impact on the expected results.
20. Provide a mechanism which will enable people to easily make a *voluntary* and tax-deductible donation to assist people who have no insurance and aren't covered by Medicare, Medicaid or SCHIP. This should be an attractive option for those who are truly concerned about the health care 'for those in need'.
It goes without saying that whatever system we devise - either the rational one we are working on to Directly Address the issue; or the "let's turn it over to someone else" approach - it is essential that they be financially responsible, and that we have the freedom to choose doctors and the health-care services that best suit our own unique set of lifestyle choices. We are all responsible for our own lives and our own health. We should take that responsibility very seriously and use our freedom to make wise lifestyle choices that will protect our health. Doing so will enrich our lives and will help create a vibrant and sustainable American society. Clearly, the government cannot FORCE free individual to "do the Right Thing", but those funding the system (i.e., taxpayers) should not be in the position of supporting (rewarding) those same self-destructive habits.
More to come.