This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The root problem to our health care mess is that the United States is almost unique in the industrialized world in charging fixed premium amounts for coverage instead of a percentage of income. The Affordable Care Act won't change that either.
We use the latter approach to finance our public school system. If we charged every parent $6,000 a year to educate each child, we would have tens of millions of uneducated adults, just as we have millions of uninsured people. Neither one is good for society.
Half of all households earn less than $50,000. The average premium for a family of four is $12,000 a year. Simple math and the realities of life dictate that tens of millions of households cannot and will not be able to afford insurance. We recognized that when Medicare was implemented.
That program insures all seniors and is paid for via a percent of income through the Medicare tax, which is a deferred insurance premium. Everybody pays in, so it's a mandate which in turn ensures coverage when we reach age 65.
We can limp along current lines for a few more years, but eventually the only sensible system is Medicare for all.