Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

Related Topics

Healthcare Reform: Looking Ahead (2)
The way to make certain you have enough -- is to have too much.

Summaries for the Book Jacket and Elsewhere.

Short Summary for Book Jacket:

This book presents a physician's viewpoint on a specific healthcare Reform. Much of the hidden economics of healthcare, a major topic of the first book, was omitted. In its place is an expanded description of Health Savings Accounts as they stand right now -- a dual provision linking medical advances with the expanding need for retirement income, the need for which is mainly the consequence of better health care. It is put to the public in two different ways: take care of your health or you won't get much retirement. Alternatively, invest your healthcare savings wisely, or you will never be able to afford retirement.

Most people don't really like to save, they like to spend. And to a degree, what you save reduces the income of those who need to help you. They aren't evil, but they will take your money if you offer it to them. Because of these two obstacles, I have come to feel spreading present Health Savings Accounts is all that can be accomplished in a decade. But improving the Account system could probably generate much more savings than the present one. Having some idea of where it all would lead, would greatly enhance the incentive to do some things the public ought to do, anyway. So a second section is added, for future generations to modify its future if they please, and if the whims of circumstance permit.

Once again, I express my gratitude to John McClaughry, the former Republican leader of the Vermont legislature and Senior Policy Adviser in the Reagan White House, for suggesting basic features. The flaws in such future features are all my own.

But remember, the classical form only needs a little tweaking. All you have to do is buy it and urge Congress to tweak its tax exemption to be level with every other plan. Removing small mandated benefits (which reduce the market power of high deductibles) might also help.

Originally published: Thursday, October 02, 2014; most-recently modified: Sunday, July 21, 2019