Our health care system has a broken arm, and Congress is trying to find Band-Aids to fix it. What we need is a new health care system, rather than patching a broken system.
First: start with a clean slate and, using the federal system as model, detail what would be the ideal program. Rather than building in existing programs and procedures, design a health insurance program that includes world-class or best practices benefits. The design of this program must include the input of all the interests, insurers, insureds, doctors and legislators.
Once we can agree on the design and benefits, then set it as the “ideal,” and working with the providers, arrive at a realistic cost for this plan. All insurers would bid on the same specifications and benefits, and everyone would be able to avail themselves of this benefit program if they so desired. Government would subsidize participants based on their ability to pay for their insurance. Insureds would be able to opt for this universal program or remain with their current programs.
Lastly, this health insurance program would be the one used to cover all elected officials in Washington.