Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, July 23, 2017
ISSUE #912
The Rogers Plan for Health Insurance

I’ve been gone awhile, but not long enough for Congress to agree on a Health Insurance plan. Oh, we’ve heard plenty of complaints from all sides. Republicans say that the Affordable Care Act, passed 7 years ago, is a total failure and going bankrupt. Democrats say that with the Republican plan 20 million people will die.

There is a clear divide in the country. Half the people get health care without paying for it; the other half pay for their own health care, plus for the other half. (Yes, I know that’s exaggerating.)

Here’s a suggestion. Do it like they decide salaries for some baseball players: Go to arbitration. In that case the player picks a salary he believes he is worth, say $5 million. And the team picks a salary they are willing to pay, say $4 million. Then the Arbitration Judge picks one or the other. No compromising.

So, Republican Senators need to agree on their best plan. Of course the reason we’re going to Arbitration is because they haven’t agreed.

Democrat Senators have to agree on their best plan. Their plan seems to be keeping the ACA, only adding piles and piles of tax money to keep it afloat. And they can’t just tell us, “Pass it, then we’ll tell you how much.”

Since the goal of each is to come up with the most desirable plan, I’ll offer two ideas. One, take the trial lawyers out of the health business. If a doctor or hospital messes up, pay the victim a reasonable amount, not millions. That’ll reduce costs in multiple ways. Second, let insurance companies compete across state lines. The CEOs make millions in salary; let ‘em earn it by competing. Let Amazon into the insurance business. Facebook, too; have you noticed how much medical and health advice you see on Facebook without ever asking for it?

You may be wondering, who gets to be the Arbitrator? Well, that’s the secret to success for the Rogers Plan. We don’t announce it ahead. Keep each side in suspense; that way their plan might be reasonable enough to get accepted.

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

          “One day I was laying in the hospital [recovering from gall bladder surgery] and I just happened to have the only bright thought that had come to me in weeks. ‘Say, this thing I’m doubled up here with comes under the heading of sickness.’ … So I thought of those policies I had been paying on for years. This sickness is going to turn out all right at that…
So when my wife called I broke the good news to her. I says, ‘If we can get a bona-fide doctor to say that I have been sick and couldn’t spin a rope and talk about Coolidge, we are in for some disability.’  Well, I noticed the wife didn’t seem so boisterous about this idea….
Then the truth did slowly out; she told me the sad story of cutting down on the insurance. It read like a sentence to me. She said my physical condition had misled them….
So if you want to stay well, just bet a lot of rich companies that you will get sick; then if you can’t have any luck getting sick, have the policy cut down, and before six months you’ll be saying, ‘Doctor, the pain is right there.’”
  Ether and Me,  1927


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