Does Social Security work with healthcare reform?
Social Security now doles out more money in benefit checks than it takes in from taxes, and its trust fund is projected to run out of cash in about 26 years. So this is a good model for healthcare reform? Yes, indeed, says Philip Bredesen, a former health insurance executive who just completed two terms as Tennessee's governor. In his book, "Fresh Medicine," he argues that a key element of meaningful healthcare reform is creation of a Social Security-like trust fund that would raise money from payroll taxes and issue vouchers to all Americans. Those vouchers would be used as cash to buy services directly from healthcare providers. Private insurers as intermediaries would largely disappear. Bredesen points out in his book, this approach would cover everyone (which is no small feat) and help rein in costs by making doctors and patients more aware---and more in control ---of treatment costs.
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