Vehicle surcharge could finance health insurance
To the Editor:
In the last month, it has become apparent that the United States government cannot provide affordable health care to its citizens. Having to use a poorly developed website to find a suitable health care plan that would cost twice as much does not make sense. Rhode Island and the United States should go back to the system we had before Obamacare, where each state controlled the sale of health care insurance to their citizens.
If the price of health care insurance in Rhode Island could be reduced, most employers would be able to provide affordable health care insurance to their employees. This could happen if Rhode Island allowed all health care insurance companies to compete for business and provided funds to help cover the cost of pre-existing conditions and catastrophic health care problems.
Rhode Island could provide $50 million each year to help pay for pre-existing conditions and catastrophic health care problems by putting a $50 yearly surcharge on each vehicle liability insurance policy sold in the state. There are about a million covered vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs, etc.) in Rhode Island. The federal government would be required to match these funds.
Next, computer technology would allow all health care insurance companies nationwide to submit a list of health care plans, prices and deductibles that they offer. Each employer would contribute $8,000 and each employee would contribute $3,000 each year to pay for the cost of the health care insurance plan chosen by each employee. Each employee would pay the additional cost of plans that are more expensive. Rhode Island and the federal government would share the employee cost of those employees below the poverty level and for those citizens that are unemployed. These citizens should get their health care from free and low-cost clinics.
Lastly, each employer and each employee would be allowed to deduct their health care expenses from their state and federal income tax liability.
If the cost of an average health care insurance policy were reduced by only $1,000, a company with 50 vehicles and 50 employees would pay $2,500,000 in surcharges and save $25,000 in health care insurance costs every year. Each individual would pay a $50 surcharge for each vehicle they own and save $500 each year on their health care insurance costs.