Via Smitty at The Other McCain, Bill Whittle describes the Fenwick-Sudgen plan for health care. It’s not for everyone, lefties who believe that the government should be in charge of everything probably won’t like it. But self-reliant people with common sense might find it (or a similar free-market variant) to be an excellent idea.
The Fenwick-Sugden plan is very simple, really, and it has one goal: keep the money in the hands of the patients, because if it’s your money, you’re going to care whether that aspirin tablet you get billed for is going to come in at two cents or twenty dollars per pill.
Rather than paying a traditional insurance company, your employer would put that same amount of money into an Insured Contingency Escrow, or ICE account, with your name on it. It is nothing more or less than a personal savings account, held in escrow by a Savings & Loan. It can only be used for clearly defined contingencies, such as healthcare, disability and retirement. You would pay into the account too, as you do today for private insurance.
Individuals would then be able to chose and join a “chapter:” a collection of other people pooling their money so that they collectively get the best rates on procedures and bulk discounts. Included in these chapters are “co-pilots”: professionals who know the ropes, do the negotiating and help you make your own decisions about what to do with your own money. These people don’t work for the hospitals; they don’t work for the insurance companies; and they don’t work for the government – they work for you.
Any small items: a sprained wrist, sore throat, etc, would be paid for, in cash and at cash rates, from that individual ICE account. And any money you don’t use at the end of the year gets rolled over into the next. (Read More)
The biggest problem I’ve had with health savings accounts is that they make you “use it or lose it.” How stupid is that? You put money aside in case unexpected medical bills crop up, but then if you’re lucky enough not to have unexpected medical bills you’re punished. Even if those bills are expected, if you over-estimate the costs then you’re still screwed. Why not let people carry the money over, and if they stay healthy and don’t use it all let them carry it over into their retirement accounts? And with this plan, if you do happen to come down with a catastrophic illness like cancer, you’d have an insurance policy to cover the related expenses. What’s not to like?
Here’s the video. By the way, don’t you wish Bill Whittle was president?