Q: "But what about people who still can't afford healthcare?"
March 20, 2016
This question has been posted time and again by different people; they all seem worried about people who can't afford healthcare in our present system somehow not being able to afford care in the PSYCH system.
First thing, more people will be able to afford healthcare because the cost of healthcare will be lower. Period. (Read previous posts to see how.) And since everyone gets their one yearly comprehensive visit (via their General Health Fee) if they don't get sick for the rest of that year, their out of pocket costs are zero.
"Yes, but what if they can't afford their General Health Fee?" Even if the fee was set at $1000 a year, people will be able to afford it since they will no longer have to pay employee contributions, Medicare and Medicaid. That'll free of much more than $1000 a year to cover the fee. (And remember: each state chooses what their health fee will be).
"Sure, but what if they STILL can't pay? Maybe something bad happened to them and they can't afford the bill?"
Okay, okay. First, think of how those people are provided for now: they go the ER, rack up insanely high bills, and either those are written off (i.e. the taxpayer pays), the person pays and is broke, or they declare bankruptcy.
Once the PSYCH system is implemented, people will know their financial responsibility before they even access care. But in the event they can't afford it, there're a myriad of other funding sources out there:
Churches: If the tax-exempt status was changed to allow just taxation on the property value on which churches sit, that would bring in quite a bit of money. To incentive the churches (and quell the political firestorm), a tax break/write off could be given for every General Health Fee a church paid into the system.
Charities: Charities already make millions of dollars in donations to help meet the health needs of the underserved. Many of them will be able to cover the General Health Fees of those they serve since the General Health Fund covers many of the non-lifestyle related maladies. (E.g. cancer care will be covered by the Fund and charities won't have to spend money on that.)
Citizen Gifts: Offering tax incentives/write offs for people paying for others' General Health fees (call it a Brother's Keeper gift) could be helpful.
Crowdfunding: The power of groups giving to help those less fortunate already exists (GoFundMe, etc). Now that more people will have money in their pockets to give to others, this method of wealth sharing will grow exponentially.
Community Service: Creating a modern CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) could address multiple maladies, including our crumbling infrastructure that we've put off for so long. They could plan trees, deconstruct blighted houses, create new recycling/reusing programs...the list is a mile long. For their work, they could receive a wage and a General Health Fee credit.
The goal is to be creative! With the new chassis that PSYCH creates, each state and the federal government can find ways to help those who struggle to pay their portion. Our nation is in the midst of a battle over "fairness" and I think PSYCH goes a long way to providing a fair safety net for all while incentiving us (both positively and negatively) to fairly take social and personal responsibility for our healthcare.