Monday, February 22, 2010

A different way to obtain a health care mandate

President Obama will be announcing his idea, again, for health care reform today. The plan is rumored to include the constitutionally debate mandate on all Americans to have insurance. Obama is missing a great opportunity to get a mandate implemented. The Constitution does prohibit the government to dictate citizens to purchase any item. Now, some will attempt to argue that car insurance is required to drive a car. Correct, in order to have the privilege to drive a car in Minnesota one must carry car insurance. This is not true of the rest of the United States as I am learning in my insurance classes. If Obama really wants to implement a mandate on health care he can easily accomplish it through Medicare and Medicaid.

To move closer to a mandate on health care, the President will need to come out with a plan that phases out Medicare and Medicaid for those younger than 55 years of age. As he phases out these two entitlement programs they are replaced by a Medical Savings Account (MSA). The MSA will become a bookkeeping change on our paychecks as the amount currently being deducted would go into our own MSA versus the big pool of Medicare and Medicaid. After the switch is made, President Obama can enact the second half of Universal health care. The second half is to have Americans use that MSA to purchase inexpensive health care option offered by the Federal Government.

By phasing out Medicare and Medicaid through the implementation of a MSA it will achieve the mission of Obama in regards to health care reform. The reform will be easier as well and would not see the same Constitutional fight that an outright mandate will. Plus, going this route will be less expensive and more subtle to the average citizen. Then in his final year of his term in office Obama can launch a federally run health care option that people can use with their MSA. This way we will all have some money in the MSA and in comparing the costs of escalating premiums in the interim; Americans will be more accepting of Universal health care.