This week, the problem I'm solving is healthcare. I'll post my fix here, it'll get vetted by my very, very diverse fellow bloggers, then put into action. The only missing piece is any authority to enact it, but I can gloss over that...After all, Obama's administration keeps glossing over a bigger obstacle---no way to fund socialized medicine, and our national credit is maxed out already. So, here goes.
Every place in the world that has socialized medicine also has an upper tier level available for those who can afford to pay. We need to accept this now, then decide how best to have a two tiered system.
Every county gets a government run hospital. If you are un or under insured, that's where you go. There are NO televisions. Smoking is banned. The food is nutritious but bland. You are probably going to have to wait a lot, and if you are admitted, you are in a ward with many others; no private rooms. The actual medical care, though, lives up to government standards. It's the teaching hospital too.
The private hospitals are freed from government regulations. They have the right to refuse service, other than stabilization of the most critical patients prior to transfer to the County Hospital. ICD-9 coding is optional. Red tape nonsense like JCAHO is eliminated. If a hospital is good, it will thrive. If it is dirty and people don't do well in general, it will fail.
The government can set whatever standards it wants. If the care is better in the government run hospital, people will go there regardless of income levels.
Under my plan, no one is denied medical care. If you are sick, you will get treated; kind of like now, with ER care being primary care for the uninsured, but they wouldn't have to clog the ER's. If you chose not to be insured, you don't get a choice of hospitals. It's off to the county for you! If you worked hard all your life and made your future medical care a priority, and you sacrificed to get good insurance, THEN you might get a private room after your surgery you scheduled just last week instead of a year ago. Everyone wins---it's far cheaper since the private hospitals are unburdened with regulations. If you are pro-regulation, you have that option at the County Hospital, with all the regulations Health and Human Services can muster.
We already do this with schools. You'll pay for the government schools whether your kids go there or not. If you don't like the government curriculum, you can pay extra for private schools.