Matt Yglesias and Brad Plumer are discussing Leif Wellington Haas's plan for universal health care, which breaks down into another one of these individual mandate thingies. Sigh. I feel so left out. There was a time -- not long ago! -- when I'd have been the first to tear through Haas's 78-page plan, summarize it, and issue my pronouncement for its chances. But that all caught up with me come midterms and now I'm having to -- yawn -- do schoolwork. Major bummer. But since I can't discuss Haas's attempt, why not come up with one of my own?

This here is basically a way of organizing universal health care in Matt Miller's world. You know the rules: progressive ends, conservative means. Since a surprising number of you folks, my good readers, seem to work in the health care industry, I want your thoughts on feasibility. Deal? Deal.

In short, I'm asking about progressive HSA's of the sort I detailed yesterday, but with a few modifications for enhanced progressivity. Every year, the government would deposit $1,000 worth of health credits into your account. Unused portions would roll over, up to a total of $4,000 (at which point the government would stop depositing in your account every year, starting again when the build-up had shrunk). Once health care costs for the year had surpassed $1,000, individuals would be responsible for the next $X of costs, which could be paid out-of-pocket or through account build-up. You probably noticed up there that "X" isn't a number. Right you are. I haven't forgotten that these are progressive accounts! If you make less than $15,000 and have a dependent, you pay nothing. $25,000 would give you a $500 deductible, $50,000 would stick you with $1,000 bucks, $75,000 with $1,500, $100,000 with $2,000, and so on. After you'd paid through your deductible (which, you'll recall, only comes after you used the free $1,000 the government deposited in your account), it becomes a copay arrangement, with the government responsible for varying amounts depending on your income (say 85% for high earners and 95% for low). Also, all preventive tests and screenings (think mammograms) are fully covered, they don't cost you anything.

You need to be logged in to comment.
(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)