By Stephen Scarfo, CPA
There is a lot of talk about health care. Some people do not like the current system. I believe there is only one solution. We have Social Security because we have a Social Security Tax. We have Medicare because we have a Medicare tax. No one would think we should be without these taxes or benefits. However, when we talk about health care, no one speaks of a health care tax. If we want universal coverage for all citizens, we will need to have a health care tax.
Many industrialize nations have a universal health care system. The population is tax in some way to provide for the health care system. Many Americans think are system is best. But we would be wrong. Our health care system is rank 37Th in the world. Most industrialize nations are paying about 11-12 % of GNP and we are paying 18% of GNP. Do they know something we do not know?
How can other nations provide universal health for less? Most European citizens have more doctor appointments per year than Americans. We need to take a closer look at what they are doing to improve our own system. Examining their systems might help us to make a better system for Americans.
First, the system should cover all Americans. Second, a payroll tax on the workers would be assessed like a Social Security Tax. It would be match by the employer. Those not working would be covered by expanded Medicaid or Medicare. Third, the government should set up some health control requirements. For example, encouraging the population to exercise on a regular basis and give tax credits to those who have proof from their doctors. A reward tax credits could be given to the taxpayer for exercising and eating healthy. Fourth, the government could place regulations of the food industry to providing healthier food choices to our citizens. For example, require fast food restaurants to provide better tasting salads and vegetarian choices. Challenge them to make healthy foods to taste as good as the bad food choices.
Of course, there is a responsibility for all Americans to take a role in eating and exercising regardless of any government benefits. The government could provide subsidize exercise facilities and a programs to encourage Americans to take the right measure to have better health. If many of feel that the government should help to provide universal health care coverage, then we should take measures to make sure that the system is not abused and works to promote good health.
The main intent of a good health care system is to help a person to maintain a good health. Preventative medicine should be emphasized. It would be better for people to be encouraged to eat right and exercise than to have a system that just repairs the abuse of unhealthy habits. It short, it would better to use an ounce of prevention to avoid a pound of trouble.
Of course the health care insurance companies would not like this, since they would lose their profits from health care premiums. They could still sell supplemental polices to cover the 20% not covered by the government. Also, lessen the impact; the government could subsidize the health insurance industry in a phase out program over a period of five to ten years. This would provide an opportunity for insurance companies to go into other forms of business.
It is time for a change. The system is broken. Let try to make a truthful and honest approach to solving this problem. Obviously, this short statement is only to give a direction to find the right solution. Please take the time to express your opinion to your congressman or senator.
Scarfo and Company CPA’s / Stephen Scarfo is a Clearwater-Dunedin CPA firm providing comprehensive accounting and tax services for businesses and individuals. We are a well-respected firm with a reputation for expertise and integrity.
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