Why fight over a puny $60 billion reduction in budget that creates major confrontation and even the threat of government shutdown? There is a much better alternative: a private business initiative that Republicans, Tea-Partiers and even Democrats could love and cannot say no to.
First, repeal the entire health care legislation of 2009 and simultaneously replace it with a private, nonprofit insurance company through which people and the government can voluntarily buy their health insurance.
All existing health insurance companies can continue their business alongside this company.
If Medicare and Medicaid choose to buy their policies through this insurance agency, the savings per year for the government has been calculated to be a staggering $1 trillion per year without cutting out anyone, including seniors and the needy.
The details of the structure and bylaws of this insurance company have been outlined in my articles and the book (Health and the Economy: A New One-Step Solution), published in 2010 but not yet widely distributed.
The new structure will cut our country's health care expenditure, now at $2 trillion, by more than $1 trillion/year. It is a private initiative, not "socialized medicine," and it is simple to manage. Businesses, manufacturers, and even unions will love it as it cuts their healthcare cost substantially. Physicians and other providers will also love it because their median income goes up by 25%. The malpractice cost goes to zero and they do not have to bill or fill out insurance forms. They only practice medicine. It is administered privately by directors elected by policyholders. There is no expensive claim processing, by Medicare or Medicaid. This alone will save approximately $364 billion per year, and doctors will be able to spend their valuable time taking care of patients instead of filling out forms and practicing defensive medicine. Around $120 billion will be saved in costs associated with billing fraud; the recent $225 million Medicare fraud discovered and reported in the press is only one glaring example. With no billing there can be no billing fraud. Cutting back on provider overhead will save another $150 billion. $700 billion will be saved by eliminating all the unnecessary tests and procedures which are carried out under the current model (the figure of $700 billion comes from the Congressional Budget Office's estimate of how much money is spent each year on procedures that either do not improve patient health or actually harm patients).
Looking at all this, can any reasonable person or group of people choose to ignore such an approach that will save $1 trillion per year each and every year? We should rein in the health care cost which is a major part of the entitlement problem, without jeopardizing but improving the quality of health care for senior and needy and other policyholders. Sometimes, in order to make a creative jump in the efficiency of use of our resources, we need to be able to think outside the box. I would be willing to debate anyone who may have objections to this approach, or thinks the idea can be improved upon.