We are bombarded daily with the plight of the “uninsured”, the people without health insurance. I am certainly sympathetic to the plight of the people that fall into this category. The question is. who, actually falls into this group. I think it is fair to mention that no one goes untreated in our present situation in the United States unless they fail to present themselves at some medical facility or fall down in some place other than a public or semipublic area. The problem that is real is the fact that the “uninsured” are charged at rates that are far in excess of those allowed or paid by insurance companies or Medicare. If you have ever been treated at a hospital or medical facility look at your bill, you will find that there is an amount listed as charges followed by a figure that states what is allowed and finally what was paid and how much is still due. The “uninsured” gets a similar bill but there is nothing mentioned about what is allowed, he or she is expected to pay the full amount. Failure of the individual to pay can easily result in bankruptcy for the family. The indigent are usually covered by Medicaid in California and there are probably similar mechanisms in other states for the indigent.
What is needed: First of all it should be possible for all people to purchase health insurance at a reasonable rate. Past medical problems should not be a cause for refusing to issue a policy. Charges for all medical treatments, hospitalizations and emergency room visits should be uniform without the disparity in charges for different insurance companies and Medicare and so forth.
Requiring all individuals to buy medical insurance would be a good place to start.
Disrupting everything we have at present seems extreme overkill. There are of course many items that can be improved in the future in an evolutionary manner. Visionaries should stay grounded in reality and not get seduced by “compassionate verbiage” and ell elocutionary rhetoric.