Sales Tax, Vouchers a Unique Approach to Funding Healthcare Reform

G. Edward Tucker, Jr., suggests funding healthcare insurance through taxes, premiums and co-pays.  A Mississippi-based management consultant has an intriguing solution about the ideal way to fund the healthcare reform legislation that is now making its way through Congress.  G. Edward Tucker, Jr., suggests that if healthcare is a right, there is also an individual responsibility to fund insurance through taxes, premiums and co-pays.

Tucker’s “Health-Us” program calls for “a federal sales tax provides the funding, which synchronizes healthcare funding with the GDP because the sales tax is a function of what consumers spend.  The sales tax automatically considers ‘affordability’ for the family because it is a function of what the family spends.  Second, each U.S. citizen under the age of 65 receives two ‘defined contribution’ vouchers for healthcare premiums.  The voucher’s value is based on the age and gender of the individual and is a defined contribution for healthcare, not a defined benefit.  This approach makes sure that the government does not spend more than the sales tax collected.”

People would use the vouchers to buy private insurance from competing companies or HMOs, which must provide a standard set of benefits and fulfill financial and service criteria.  Insurers with excess profits would then funnel that money into members’ health savings plans.  Even more ground-breaking is that Tucker’s plan eliminates employer-provided healthcare coverage because everyone receives a voucher.

Tucker estimates that covering all Americans under age 65 would cost $2.2 trillion or 14.22 percent of GDP, based on government data from 2008.  His proposal assumes 4.97 percent of GDP savings from improved access to preventive healthcare, eliminating cost-shifting, and increasing competition for health voucher premiums, as well as empowering consumers.  Under Tucker’s program, all Americans would have healthcare coverage.

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