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Options for Health-Care Reform

Single-Payer isn’t the only possible healthcare reform. My preferred solution would be something like this: (1) use tax incentives to encourage doctor’s offices to switch to a direct primary care model, which would greatly reduce cost [i.e. encourage doctors to charge a monthly or yearly fee for service rather than charging per visit, so that primary care physicians provide service on a more "lodge practice" basis, like we had when there was a genuine free market in healthcare], (2) reform patent laws to prevent pharmaceutical and tech companies from charging ridiculous prices [this could possibly be done along Georgist lines by taxing intellectual property or even more directly by price controls], and (3) have government provide “universal catastrophic insurance,” as conservative intellectuals like Milton Friedman have proposed. This would mean that you’d have single-payer in case of emergencies, but government wouldn’t pay for your regular doctor visits. While regular doctor visits and prescriptions wouldn’t be covered by government insurance, they would be much cheaper and more affordable with doctor’s offices doing direct primary care or concierge medicine and pharmaceutical prices being regulated.

Then, as a supplement to this, implement a "guaranteed minimum income" (or, as I prefer, a "universal basic income"), which would ensure that people have enough money to afford food, shelter, running water, and regular doctor's visits. A basic income or minimum income would not be large enough for anyone to just drop out and live in luxury on the dole, but it would be just enough to ensure that everyone has access to the basic necessities of life, which is the first "unalienable right" enumerated in the Declaration of Independence.

For the time being, I support Single-Payer (Medicare-for-All) because we need reform. We need to guarantee universal access to healthcare. Single-Payer is a decent option, even if imperfect. In spite of its flaws, it has many virtues and is infinitely better than the system currently in place.

The only reason that conservatives hate ObamaCare is because the legislation was put forth by Obama and the Democrats. The plan originally was put together by conservatives at The Heritage Foundation, then championed by Republicans like Newt Gingrich, and even implimented by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. The Republican Party would almost certainly have supported the legislation, with Ron Paul being the only opposition within the party, had a Republican majority and a Republican President been in power. Also, any conservative that argues that the individual mandate is unconstitutional is a God-damned idiot, because the men who wrote the Constitution didn't think so! They actually passed a socialized medicine, single-payer system with an individual mandate for all sailors to have insurance just after creating the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams all three saw no conflict between the individual mandate and the Constitution.

That being said, ObamaCare was a shitty plan. Democrats supported it as a compromise. It wasn't even the best of the conservative plans. But the Republican opposition to ObamaCare mostly demonstrates that partisan politics has more to do with cult mentality than rational thinking. It's a good policy when someone in my sect proposes it, but a bad policy if someone in the other religious cult proposes it.

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