-- Individuals, not employers, must have choices among insurance options that meet their needs; no one should be forced into any one plan. People should be able to keep their coverage when they change employers. And importantly, people should be able to realize the savings - dollar for dollar - if they choose a less-costly plan, using clear information on quality and cost. This new competition would drive providers to minimize costs and improve quality.
The nation can establish such a market for quality, affordable universal health care through two key steps:
-- First, the federal government should establish independent regional "exchanges" as points of entry for people to choose among competing private health-care plans. This system improves on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, which also covers members of Congress. Everyone would be guaranteed any one of a range of private insurance plans. The plans could not charge more based on age or preexisting conditions (unlike the current individual insurance market). System standards would ensure quality and comprehensive coverage and protect consumers through standardized "fine print." Plan comparisons and an annual open season would help people to change plans - introducing competition into the health marketplace. Each exchange would "risk-adjust" premium revenue to insurers - paying more to insurers that cover more people with expensive conditions - to give insurers a greater incentive to cover, rather than shun, sick people. The exchanges would be supervised by a "Health Fed," modeled on the independence and structure of the Federal Reserve.
-- Next, every household would receive a fixed-dollar credit sufficient
to purchase the low-priced quality health plan in its region. Every
individual, therefore, could buy quality health insurance at no
out-of-pocket cost. Anyo
|SOURCE The Committee for Economic Development|
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