Thursday, September 24, 2009

The suicide option health plan

There's private options, talk of a public option, how about a suicide option?

The suicide option health plan would most likely be private. It would be a lower cost insurance plan with a low lifetime benefits ceiling. For instance possibly $100,000 lifetime benefits cap. If bills added up to over $100,000 during one's lifetime, the plan would stop paying and dissolve.

A low lifetime ceiling would save money so the plan could offer more affordable premiums and still cover lower end medical expense. Deductibles and co pays could be figured into the plan also.

If no other source of money could be found after the plan dissolves, such as government assistance for instance, and major illness persists, a painless suicide would be recommended.

Laws would have to be changed so suicide could be an acceptable suggestion.

Sounds ridiculous?

Also sounds libertarian.

Just something to ponder? I'm not necessarily advocating this.

I prefer some sort of safety net where income can be transferred from the more wealthy to subsidize a better form of affordable health plan for those who can't afford market insurance rates.

Also, of course, healthy lifestyles and lower medical expenses across the entire population. Otherwise lots of people will have little choice beyond something like the suicide option.

Are we on our way toward some sort of suicide option without intentionally planning it if nothing is done to reform the current system?


Anonymous said...

being an old codger, im not too much in favor of the kill the old folks clause. how about if aal the states emulated new hampshire or mass. health plans that apparently work and the fed ive each state up to 50 billion to put it into effect according to population. lots of states already have a start plan that they are paying for.this would solve the problem and be cheaper on the fed.

Theslowlane Robert Ashworth said...

Good comment.

The private suicide plan I am half jokingly describing would not apply to people of retirement age who are eligible for Medicare. Hope Medicare remains solvent however.

I also like the thought of following some good ideas at the state level. Here in Washington State, we have the Basic Health Plan which subsidizes insurance premiums with a sliding scale. Revenue comes from state budget and patients who pay a sliding scale. Tax revenue makes up the difference between true cost of premiums and what the policy holders pay.

Unfortunately, Basic health plan is being cut back to save state revenue.

Some say, just have no private insurance companies and save lots of money with single payer. Worth thinking about.

As for the proposal that Medicare should cover end of life counselling, it's probably just as well that the proposal was dropped for political reasons. At the same time, open discussion of end of life planning should be available to all ages and be between the person and the doctor and the people closest to the situation.

Hopefully we don't fall into this because we are running, as a society, out of money.