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Published:February 16th, 2009 13:25 EST
Universal Health Care The Only Solution

Universal Health Care The Only Solution

By Mimi Amaral

Health Care Crisis: We have a rising population of un-insured citizens, and the Medi-Cal, Medicaid system is now denying payments for doctor`s visits, medication and many surgical procedures.  Furthermore, the Medi-Cal, Medicaid systems may even stifle the growth of the citizens on these plans. Due to the stringent rules applied to this system, and the lack of options available, society labels these citizens as a drain on society. 

Universal health care would be the ultimate answer to this problem.  Until this is possible, would it be beneficial to make Medi-Cal an insurance provider for the people who don`t qualify for medical insurance; this includes the ill (that do not qualify for health care), the elderly, low income citizens and the un-insured.  Medi-Cal, referred to as government insurance, will be subsidized partially by the government. 

     The government will act and process all claims as if it were an insurance company.  Through this process the government would make sure that physicians would accept at least a minimal amount of government-insured patients. Once a person qualifies for this government insurance program they will not be kicked off or squeezed out by raising prices, unless a person is found using the program unlawfully.

     Is it possible to turn Medi-Cal into an insurance type program for people with multiple medical complications, those who are terminally/chronically ill, the elderly, low income and un-insured people? "  And, Would it help society to do so? " 

     This situation would allow the eligible citizen to fill out paperwork at the beginning of each year agreeing to choose a sliding scale option 1, 2 or 3.  Option one is the original Medi-Cal and Medicaid systems.

Option one: Option one would allow full benefits, which would include monthly income and full medical, up to the maximum for each citizen who needed the benefits, with no premium or co-payment. This would be for the person that has had a rough time and is out of remission and deep into their disease; it is very common for the chronically ill to come in and out of remission.  This would also cover an elderly person who is unable to help care for themselves and needs assistance.  This level is reserved for those who have medical complications and the elderly only. This is a brief example of the original process of the Medi-Cal, Medicaid system. 

Option Two: In option two the medically challenged citizen could work, make up to $30,000.00 a year, and still be able to keep government insurance.  At this level, the individual would have a low premium payment, and a low co-payment for each doctor visit, prescription, and hospital visit.  The premiums would be on a sliding scale and the co-payments would be $15.00 to $20.00 for doctor visits and $5.00 for prescriptions.  Here the government would save money because they would not be paying out a monthly income to the citizens that would otherwise collect SSI, SDI and Welfare.  Instead, the government would receive a low premium payment each month for citizens in this category.   This level would allow the medically challenged, elderly and low-income citizens to carry medical coverage and still be able to contribute more to society.    

Option Three:  Option three would be similar to option two, except the citizen would be able to make above $30,000.00 per year and still receive the government insurance.  Here the government, on a reasonable sliding scale, would charge a premium, plus a low co-payment for doctor visits, prescriptions and hospital visits. This option could be for everyone from the elderly that don`t want to retire but cannot work full time, to the low-income worker who wants to strive for a better quality of life, as well as the medically challenged citizen that aspires to better themselves without the fear of losing their medical coverage.

     At the beginning of the year each person would choose which section they would like to strive for, option 1, 2 or 3.  From that point until the end of the period, which would be one year, they would have to stick to that option.  For example: say a citizen opted for level 2 and six months into the year they relapsed; they would still have to stay in option 2 until the next option period.  However, there would have to be an emergency clause; this would only go into effect by the citizen`s doctor with a written letter stating that it was an emergency situation and that the patient needed to be put into option one immediately.  At that time to minimize paperwork the person would have to stay in option 1 for up to one year. 

     This idea could reduce the stigma that is placed on each of the citizens that are medically challenged, elderly, low-income, and un-insured, because each of these citizens will be better equipped to take care of themselves and contribute to society through working and paying taxes.  

     In options two and three the government would not be paying any monthly income support, except for the allotted S.S. benefits to the elderly, to citizens.  In fact, in option two and three the government would be getting paid through the low premium payments. 

     This process could make people want to go out and find ways to improve their lives rather than be scared to move because they are afraid of losing or not having medical coverage.  This idea may help society break some stereotypical barriers and allow society to view humans as humans. This could also help the self-esteem of society and allow the medically challenged, elderly, un-insured and low-income people feel better about their contribution toward society. 

     Another asset of this idea is that the insurance companies would still be around for the people that already have their service and it would not infringe on anyone`s profits, including the profits that are given to the government, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies.  Not only could this help everyone involved, it may even help increase the amount of money deposited into Social Security.  Through all the newly employed citizens, this idea should cover and protect everyone without stepping on toes along the way.  Without the concerns of health care, society could become more relaxed and have time to work together on other serious problems in our society. If everyone had insurance, it would improve the overall health of society, thereby contributing to a more positive outlook toward each individual and lessen the stress that is flowing through society.      

     I also think that any assets (house, car, spouse`s income) should not be used to penalize a person or used as part of their assets.  If everyone had insurance, it could improve the overall health of society. Thereby, contributing to a more positive outlook toward each individual and lessen the stress that is flowing through society; people are on edge about their health care and finances.  I thought if this idea was brought to the attention of the necessary government party and addressed by someone who relies on S.S.I and Medi-Cal, an elderly on Medicaid, low-income person or an un-insured person in society, they could find a way to make it work for everyone.  

For further information on the legalities of Medi-Cal, Medicade/Medicare Living Trust and how the whole system works today, call: Judd Matsunaga.

Idea Constructed by: Mimi