With critics on both sides of the political spectrum reacting to the new Republican Trumpcare plan with horror and derision, Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and one of the stars of Shark Tank, has come up with a common-sense alternative to the dead-on-arrival Republican fiasco, that Bernie Sanders would be thrilled to see enacted.
It probably won’t come as a surprise that this visionary business leader rejects the entire Republican approach to the medical system in favor of a simple single payer plan to cover every American citizen. Most of the world, including most notably our Northern neighbors in Canada, have single payer health care systems that not only cost much less than in the USA, but have overall better medical outcomes for their citizens than we get here in the states.
Like most single payer health care proposals, Cuban’s plan would remove private insurers as middlemen in health care and make the government responsible for administering and paying for most medical costs. Unlike some other single payer initiatives, however, Cuban’s idea is to have 100% of the cost of every American’s chronic illnesses and life-threatening injuries covered by the plan, while less costly, more mundane medical issues could continue to be covered by private insurance.
Writing in his blog, Cuban says:
The premiums that we are paying to insurance companies as individuals or as company coverage for these significant risks would go from the insurance companies to the IRS. Only the cost of covering the what’s left would continue being paid to the insurance companies.
It would not be hard to do the math. Every insurance company does this analysis already. The government does this analysis already. We all would end up paying more in taxes, but less in insurance and healthcare costs over time.
There would be no mandates. There would be no individual penalties. No Tax Credits. No subsidies. No Offsets or deductions for buying higher end insurance. This will be single payer (Yes I know it’s a dirty phrase in this country) for chronic physical or mental illness and for any life-threatening injury.
Everything not covered by the above can be covered by insurance sold on the Free Market, managed by the states, sold across state lines, without government interference.
He also proposes a most-favored nations clause on drug pricing, with the government forcing pharmaceutical companies to charge them no more than the lowest price offered to any other of their customers. This is a big change from the current regulations which actually prevent Medicare from even negotiating with drug companies over prices.
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.