5 Winners! Physicians' Best Ideas to Replace the ACA


May 15, 2017

In This Article

Mary T. Newport, MD, Neonatal Practitioner
Spring Hill, Florida

Mary T. Newport, MD

Highlights of Dr Newport's plan include:

  • Medicare for all

  • Phased in to add people working downward in age

  • Flat fee paid to doctors and hospitals

  • Increase in current employee/employer contribution

Dr Newport's Plan:

Medicare for all makes sense. Everyone who works pays into Medicare their entire working life, currently at 1.45% for the employee matched with 1.45% by the employer without a cap on the salary that these percentages apply to. So effectively we are paying for healthcare while not getting anything for it for many years (in my case, for more than 45 years) unless the employer pays for health insurance separately as a benefit.

Medicare is a good program that I heard few complaints about from seniors while I provided home hospice care for 3 years and just became eligible for myself, with great relief. There must be some percentage of employee/employer contribution for Medicare that all employed people pay now that could pay for this program.

If the percent contributed by employee and employer were increased by, for example, 2% more from each the employee and employer, we could pay for healthcare now that is age appropriate in the types of essential benefits provided. If people want more than the essentials, they could buy a supplemental plan just as currently happens with Medicare. The employer would no longer have to bear the burden of providing health insurance but could offer supplemental plans as a perk voluntarily.

Younger people tend to have fewer health problems, make less money on average, and would pay less than more established people who are older, make more money on average, and may have more health problems. The unemployed and seniors who need nursing home care would still have Medicaid, which also comes under the current employee/employer contribution.

Medicare for all could be phased in over 5 years, for example, to add people age 55 and older, then 45 and older, etc., working down in age. The Children's Health Insurance Plan could be expanded to cover all children up to age 18. Medicare is better at controlling costs than private insurance managed care.

There is a flat fee paid to doctor and to hospitals and other providers that is nonnegotiable, compared with the multilayered system in which patients coming for the same reason could be paying very different prices, like buying a car. The current system only encourages price gouging with the uninsured charged far and away the most in this flawed system.

Medicare for all paid for through an appropriate increase in the current employee/employer Medicare contribution could be an equitable way to get everyone insured.


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