Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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(3) Obamacare: Speeches
New topic 2015-09-25 21:48:47 description

Two Exceptional Health Coverages

There are two exceptional situations which might also be considered for universal coverage, even mandatory coverage if you insist. They are the first year, and the last year, of life. Some people get Tuberculosis, some people get cancer, some people live to be a hundred. But absolutely everybody is born, and everybody dies. Those are the two most expensive years of most people's lives, they almost always occur in hospitals, and nobody can fake them. The hospitals and Medicare keep careful records, so we know what they cost, both individually and on average. If we reimbursed the average cost to whoever paid it, the administrative expense would be small. The reason for doing this maneuver would be to take these costs out of the catastrophic insurance cost, both smoothing it out, and reducing it by 15%. There would be a transitional cost, because of the differing number of years before death appears. On the other hand, it would take a number of years before the births came up to average. But two major health costs would be universally covered.

Originally published: Friday, September 25, 2015; most-recently modified: Friday, June 07, 2019