No Cross, No Shield

I’ve devised a way to bring government-sponsored health care to many presently uninsured Americans without adding any fiscal hardship to the Nation’s taxpayers.

Under the plan – let’s call it No Cross, No Shield – we wouldn’t necessarily see a drop in the actual number of uninsured. But the plan would guarantee health coverage for a substantial chunk of the millions who currently have none.

Essentially it’s an exchange plan. Here’s how it would work.

We’d begin by approaching Americans who currently receive Medicare BUT who also wish to see the socialist leaning government keep its hands “off their health care.” No problem.

Under this plan, we’d offer those same folks, who presently visit the doctor on the U.S. taxpayers’ dime, a provision to opt out of the 100% Government Run Medicare program. They would, of course, have to permanently waive their right to receive any government sponsored medical services in the future. That would free them to pursue medical services to their hearts’ (and wallets’) content with out pesky old, meddlesome old Uncle Sam rationing their services or telling them what doctor they could or couldn’t see.

In turn, we could fill the vacancies they leave behind with effusively grateful men or women who may have lost their jobs last year, for example, and currently are walking around with no health insurance.

It would be a win, win; that disgruntled, town-hall-meeting-shouting, gun-toting, tea-party-attending, Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck-loving former Medicare recipient would indeed have the government out of their medical business. And on the flip side, someone who right now visits the emergency room for basic health services can begin to see a primary care physician for regular check ups – no more waiting 10 hours in an emergency room to have a doctor treat your cold. Brilliant!

Why stop there?

How about if we provide a similar option for those veterans who also believe government health care is a bad idea. They could waive their right to Veterans Administration hospitals services.

Now, in absolutely no way am I advocating taking away any veteran’s federal health benefit. Let’s make that crystal clear. To be sure, anyone who wears our country’s uniform should receive nothing less than our total commitment to their health and well-being.  But certainly, we’d want to allow the men and women who fought for freedom their own freedom to reject out of hand their right to an inherently flawed government-run health system if they choose.

How many more people could we insure with those VA vacancies? Who knows.

Let’s accept – as recent polling suggests – that nearly half of Americans are now opposed to health care reform. Let’s also assume that a great many of those people, who say they oppose it, receive some form of government health care right now.  A quick mental calculation (plus or minus 10 million, carry the one) yields promising results. Our little exchange program likely could provide most of the uninsured new insurance benefits right away.

No plan is perfect. And this one would have its downside too. Doubtlessly, many of the persons who opted out of Medicare would be unable to find private insurance due to preexisting medical conditions. Without health care reform, insurance companies wouldn’t be compelled to cover them. And it’s also possible that out of control or catastrophic illness medical costs would drive a healthy dose (no pun) of the opt-outers to the poor house.

But on the upside, we’d weed out all the hypocrites who talk down on government-sponsored health care while receiving aspirins and bandages at the public trough.

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