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If you had $140 billion and wanted to help peoplekind, how would you spend it?
I got to thinking... Let’s say instead of using $140 billion taxpayer dollars to mail checks to taxpayers, and give tax breaks to corporations... What say we use that $140 billion to jump-start Universal Healthcare?  I have a few ideas to start the discussion with, and if you care to follow below the fold, we can all collaborate and come up with a plan to give to our Democratic Representatives and Senators to propose this month.

Starting immediately, every woman, man, and child with a valid Social Security number, not currently under the Medicare Plan, will receive a Healthcare Card.   That Card will now be their "insurance/payment" card and will be used just like the former Medicare Card is used.

Also starting immediately, there will be NO MORE PREMIUMS PAID TO ANY HEALTHCARE INSURANCE COMPANY by ANYONE ...  by no individual or employer.

For the employers who were paying healthcare insurance premiums, there could be a couple ways to move forward.  One could be that the employer would now pay the employee what the employer had been paying in premiums.   And to give the "employer" a break, that payment could be 50% or 60% of what they were paying.  
And the employee would get a break because, number one, they would not have to pay into the plan as they were, and number two, there will be no more copayments or out-of-pocket expenses.

For the self-employed or individuals who had been paying insurance premiums, that would cease immediately, and those people would reap the reward of keeping that money to spend for other things, or save.

So this $140 billion gives us a jump-start.  Then over the ensuing weeks, quickly, the congress critters can work out how much and who would be paying back into the "Healthcare Pot" at more reasonable and affordable costs.

As far as the existing.... Or preexistent healthcare insurance companies, I really don’t have a plan for that, other than I know that once word got out of the impending Universal Healthcare bill forthcoming, I guess the stocks would probably have to be frozen.

Here are a few ideas, but I know there are smarter people than I who will come up with a good plan:  Maybe the profits can be used to buy back stock, although I have no idea if there will be enough.  (But we will have more money forthcoming to pay out all stockholders.)
Some of the $140 billion and money to come in can be used to retrain thousands of the workers who will lose their jobs.  But many of them can do a lateral move over to the government-run bill paying service and work alongside the Medicare employees.

Anyway, maybe this is just a naive way of thinking, but if you had $140 billion and wanted to help peoplekind, how would you spend it?

Originally posted to gooderservice on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 03:32 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for Universal Healthcare (18+ / 0-)

    I know... this may be the dumbest thing you're read here today, but why can't we do this?  

    One Year Later: It's an Escalation; not a surge. Can we please call it what it is?

    by gooderservice on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 03:33:15 PM PST

  •  To Establish a Massive Public Access Communicatio (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice

    system analogous to the high seas and government roadways.

    In the agricultural and manufacturing ages, society needed vast public "commons" of free-access transportation routes for democratic travel of people and trade in goods and services.

    Now that we have an information age, our private-property model for communication results in there being no meaningful "commons" for information and communication. Communication is feudal under our system, which is the root cause of our campaign problems.

    If it didn't cost to campaign for office, there'd be no demand beyond personal graft for corporate money and lobbyists. If it didn't cost to inform the public and for the public to debate ideas around the calendar, not just during campaigns, the entire domain of public discourse would be broken out of its present feudal lockup and become democratic.

    And then health care, militarism, international relations, social infrastructure--every issue of the people would be available for democratic consideration.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 03:45:06 PM PST

  •  Given that costs are rising over 10% per year (0+ / 0-)

    Any discussion that begins with 'who will pay' -- as most discussions do -- is misdirected.  The point is not how much can someone reasonably pay, but what should health care reasonably cost.

    We need to look at what we are spending our health care dollars for and why things are so terribly expensive.  Yes, the insurance companies are making money but so are a lot of other people.

    Why do routine procedures cost thousands of dollars?  Is there a cheaper way to provide reasonable quality care.  In the current situation some people get more care (i.e. procedures) than may actually be healthy while others don't even get basic care.  It depends on if there is an insurance company to 'milk'.

    •  Who will pay? (0+ / 0-)

      Any discussion that begins with 'who will pay' -- as most discussions do -- is misdirected.

      I've paid for healthcare insurance most of my life.  It used to be very affordable for me. Not a problem. I can still afford it, but not at the costs currently inflicted.

      Why do routine procedures cost thousands of dollars?

      I think the answer to that is because too many people do not have health insurance coverage, and therefore, those that do, end up subsidizing those who don't.

      One Year Later: It's an Escalation; not a surge. Can we please call it what it is?

      by gooderservice on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 03:58:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's partially true (0+ / 0-)

        But not completely.  I suspect, for example, there are not all that many MRI's for the uninsured that are subsidized by the insured.  I would not expect the cost of the MRI to go down significantly if the uninsued could 'pay' their share.

  •  I like it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice

    I love it ...
    Too many people are looking at the small picture. $500 in your pocket will do what?

    Make a car payment
    Pay a credit card down
    But a couple dinners

    All very short term and near sighted.

    I like it. WooHoo! ... an outside the box idea that the Dem's could actually glam onto if they could pull their head out.

    "We dont neeed, no mor troubles" - Bob Marley

    by joeshwingding on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 04:08:53 PM PST

    •  I'm excited now. (0+ / 0-)

      I wasn't sure if it sounded stupid, but I'm beginning to believe it might be a good idea... even if it's just brought out by one of the dem leaders or a candidate... it can maybe bet the ball rolling.

      One Year Later: It's an Escalation; not a surge. Can we please call it what it is?

      by gooderservice on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 04:12:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  meant to say "get" the ball n/t (0+ / 0-)

        P.S.  I still would like to hear nyceve's opinion on my idea.  She's my idol.

        One Year Later: It's an Escalation; not a surge. Can we please call it what it is?

        by gooderservice on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 04:13:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have been reading so many diaries (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice

          Today on what amounts to a pay off being a good idea.

          Anything that Bush backs has to be a circle jerk idea. Who is to say they wont designate WHERE you can spend the money. Maybe they dont want you paying off bills or, god forbid, saving it.

          I am fully endorsing your W.H. cabinet position today.  :o)

          "We dont neeed, no mor troubles" - Bob Marley

          by joeshwingding on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 04:28:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  well one way to get UHC (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        Is to pit the USGov't against the Healthcare industry.

        No amount of health provider lobby money could stop it from going through if that was the case.

        Heck no ... THAT IS A GREAT IDEA.

        "We dont neeed, no mor troubles" - Bob Marley

        by joeshwingding on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 04:24:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  That would be a $400/month raise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice

    for me and still save my employer about that much as well.  Without co-pays and deductibles I'd be able to turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees instead of being so damned cold all the time.  I could get both my prescriptions filled on time without waiting for payday.  I could buy food that is good for me instead of cheap crap.  

    "We told the truth. We obeyed the law. We kept the peace." - Walter Mondale

    by luckylizard on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 04:35:27 PM PST

  •  Love the idea, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice

    what then happens to all the unemployed insurance company workers?
    I'd like to see universal healthcare as much as anybody, but
    we still have to figure out how to go about doing it properly.
    It's like bringing our troops home. I want to see it done,
    but I want to see it done right. Let's talk about that, too.

    •  We'll need more employees to do the duties (0+ / 0-)

      of what the Medicare employees do now.

      So some of them could go there.

      The others, part of the money could go to re-training.  The re-training could be for other jobs, or the re-training could be for healthcare industry jobs.  We always need more healthcare workers.

      Also, many people need not go to a nursing home; it would be cheaper if they stayed at home with in-house healthcare provided.

      For those workers who have the "calling" to provide care, we can provide them with no-cost education.

      One Year Later: It's an Escalation; not a surge. Can we please call it what it is?

      by gooderservice on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 05:11:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Immediate infusion to that $140 billion... (0+ / 0-)

    For those families or individuals who make over $60,000 a year, within 30 days of the start of this Universal Healthcare, those people, when provided with the information where to mail the checks, or deducted by the employer, could start paying $200.00 to $300.00 per month into the Pot... to at least temporarily increase the funds... until a matrix can be instituted.

    For those employees previously getting healthcare insurance through their employer, they would use part of the "kickback" that the employers have started paying them.

    For those self-employed and individuals previously paying insurance premiums, the $200 or $300 would be a significant decrease per month.

    One Year Later: It's an Escalation; not a surge. Can we please call it what it is?

    by gooderservice on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 05:15:57 PM PST

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