First off, I am just about done reading that book that I posted on a current reading recently. Some of it does make a lot of sense to me but in the grand scheme of things I really can't get all that excited about the single payer system. In a lot of ways, it is, like Red has said in the past, a government health insurance plan and I'm just not sure I can jump on board that train.
That being said, I have done some other research about the health care debate. Some of which I posted on the previous post entitled The Uninsured. Here are some other thoughts I have come up with during the little bit of research I have done. Keep in mind that this research is ongoing and I may come up with some other ideas as time progresses.
As I see it, here are some of the "key elements" in getting everyone covered (everyone that wants to be that is):
1. Employer Mandates
I think we should make some sort of a requirement for all large companies to offer their employees some sort of health insurance. This would not be a big deal because at present time 62% of our people get their coverage through their employer (according to the EBRI Issue Brief No. 310 October 2007).
2. Subsidies to make coverage more affordable
This would cover the small to mid-size employers to assist them in giving them the option to offer coverage to their employees. According to the same previous study, 94% of companies with 50-199 employees offer coverage, 83% of firms with 25-49 employees offer coverage, of the firms with 10-24 employees, 76% offer coverage to their employees.
Point being, okay maybe a mandate or requirement might not be necessary but if coupled along with subsidies for the smaller companies, it would certainly be a step in the right direction (IMHO).
3. Medicare/Medicaid Expansion
Ok, this doesn't sound all that great when you first hear it but hear me out first.
I think the eligibility requirements for Medicare and Medicaid could be less restrictive. I honestly think that by expanding these programs to cover more of those citizens that want coverage but can not afford it, we can reduce the number of the uninsured by a huge margin. (As stated in the previous post, over 50% of those that are uninsured are not eligible for these programs but too poor to pay for it themselves).
4. Regulation of the Insurance Industry / Insurance Reform
Yeah I know, regulation of industry is considered a bad thing. Sorry conservatives, I am okay with a little regulation of big business.
I think the industry should be regulated so that they don't do things like deny coverage (or make the premiums astronomical) based on a previous illness or deny coverage (or, again, price the premiums so high nobody can afford them) based on a person's credit rating.
These are my thoughts based on what I have read thus far but in keeping with the title of the post, keep in mind that I may come up with more thoughts on it at a later time as my research progresses.