Social Security

 

Simple:

 

  1. Raise the retirement age 1 year ever 5 years for the next 25 years until the retirement age reaches 70.
  2. Reduce the payroll tax from 6.2% to 5% but eliminate the payroll tax cap.

 

Health Care and Medicare

 

If you go to your doctor for a procedure, do you have any idea how much that procedure costs?  No.  Thatís because our current health care system has completely removed the consumer from the supply/demand equation.  You donít know, you donít care.  Your insurance covers (or maybe it doesnít cover it) the procedureÖor maybe you donít even have insurance and someone else (the government or the hospital) covers it.

 

We cannot prevent upward spiraling healthcare costs by government fiat.  Look what happened when the Obama administration suggested that it might not make sense wasting healthcare dollars forcing heroic efforts in end-of-life care in hospital even when people donít want it.  The Republicans declared: ďDEATH PANELS!!!Ē  No, only the consumer can control costs by choosing how to spend his own dollars on his treatment.  How can we achieve this while still providing health care for all citizens?  By having health savings accounts.  There will be an individual mandate but that mandate will be for people to save their own money into tax-free health savings accounts.  Those that cannot afford their health savings plan contributions will be subsidized by the government.  The health savings accounts will be used to pay for health care and medical providers will be required to provide complete cost information to the consumer so that the consumer can make informed buying decisions amongst his or her medical provider options.  Catastrophic illness will be covered under a federal, single-payer coverage plan.  Health care savings that are accumulated from oneís own contributions (as opposed to government subsidized contributions) but not spent by retirement can be withdrawn at a pre-determined rate.

 

This plan will (a) encourage savings towards self-insuring against health care costs, (b) allow market forces to control health care costs, (c) make health care providers compete on quality and cost and (d) create universal coverage for all Americans.

 

There are many flavors of health care throughout the world. Letís take a look at the best and use that as a starting point for fixing our system. A good place to look is Singaporeís health insurance system. Singapore spends only 1.3% of GDP on healthcare (the US spends 14.6% and that percentage is growing fast).Yet, by many measures such as infant mortality and life expectancy, Singaporeís system is superior to ours.

  • There are mandatory health savings accounts: "Individuals pre-save for medical expenses through mandatory deductions from their paychecks and employer contributions... Only approved categories of medical treatment can be paid for by deducting one's Medisave account, for oneself, grandparents, parents, spouse or children: consultations with private practitioners for minor ailments must be paid from out-of-pocket cash..."
  • "The private healthcare system competes with the public healthcare, which helps contain prices in both directions. Private medical insurance is also available."
  • Private healthcare providers are required to publish price lists to encourage comparison shopping.
  • The government pays for "basic healthcare services... subject to tight expenditure control." Bottom line: The government pays 80% of "basic public healthcare services."
  • Government plays a big role with contagious disease, and adds some paternalism on top: "Preventing diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tobacco-related illnesses by ensuring good health conditions takes a high priority."
  • The government provides optional low-cost catastrophic health insurance, plus a safety net "subject to stringent means-testing."