5. Allow premium adjustments by carriers.
This is in place already with many carriers, but it should be more standardized. In effect, consumers that choose to lead healthier lifestyles by exercising, eating better, taking routine exams, etc. should receive discounts on their premiums. On the other hand, consumers that choose to engage in riskier and less healthy activities such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, not exercising, etc. should pay a higher premium amount. This is fair as it allows consumers the freedom of choice in lifestyle while a riskier one would pay more.
4. Premium rates calculated based on age and sex, but not on health conditions.
It is unfair to punish those that through no fault of their own suffer from medical conditions. Except for those conditions that we do have control over (read above), this is an unfair practice by health insurance carriers that needs to change. We are all at risk for illnesses and we all should share in that risk.
3. Guarantee acceptance by health carriers.
If you are an insurance carrier and want to profit from providing coverage to consumers you cannot be selective and only offer coverage to the healthy and exclude the unhealthy or riskier consumers. This is not insurance, it is profit taking!
2. Make health insurance mandatory (except for those that qualify for government assistance).
Our government needs to subsidize for basic healthcare for those of us that cannot truly afford health coverage. Nevertheless, I listen to the objections that making health insurance mandatory violates our democracy’s principles and that it takes away our right to choose. Well to an extent this is true, and at the same time it is not. Our society today bears the burden of those that do not have health insurance to a large extent. If an individual is so ill that their life is in jeopardy, hospitals are required by law to administer care until their health is out of danger. So we are still all paying for those that do not carry health insurance. Yes, an individual without health insurance doesn’t receive the same care as someone with health insurance, but they do receive some care. More so, this type of care is realistically more expensive, since it is usually through emergency services at the hospitals and since the overall health of these individuals has deteriorated and worsened by the time they seek hospital assistance. Maintaining health insurance is a responsibility as much as a right and attempting to maintain our health is our responsibility to each other.
1. No government run insurance plan
This is simple. As much as we constantly listen to the ills of capitalism and business enterprises, this has been the backbone of our economy. A government has no business entering into the private sector and running any industry. This is the definition of a monopoly. Our government wants to disguise this plan as providing more competition, but in reality they would have all of the power and would force, over time, the demise of the private healthcare industry. This is not in our best interest. Simply take a closer look at Canada, England, and Cuba. Although popular Hollywood directors want to paint a different picture, the truth is that competition is good, period. We do need reform, but to simply do away with an industry that represents today more than 15% of our economy and hand it over to our government to run is not a good decision. No government insurance plan. Not as a competitor, not as a backup, not as a anything.