Apparently there is a new report claiming the US has an addiction crisis, and that we need to dramatically increase taxes on those without addictions to treat the victims of addiction.
IMHO, the Medical Savings and Loan structure is the best possible program for handling addiction.
The program starts with the assertion that those who can self-fund their care should self-fund their care.
To determine who can self fund their care, the MS&L creates a new position called the Health Care Advocate.
The advocate works one-on-one with each client to create a model of the client's income and health care expectations.
The advocates will work with computer programs driven by real world data about health expenses.
If a client smokes, drinks, gambles or engages in other addictive behaviors, the client will see on a computer screen how that behavior is likely to affect income and health.
If a client smokes a carton of cigarettes a month, the client would see the full expected cost of the habit along with additional health care expenses related to the habit.
NOTE, the advocate does not need to give a morality lesson. The goal of the program is to treat people like adults and to help educate people on the cost of lifestyle choices so that they can make their own choices. Advocate are wise to avoid any hint of a moral condemnation because it might lose the client.
Anyway, each client is presented with a mathematical model driven by real world experience about the cost of life style choices, in a judgment free setting.
The program will help identify people who are on track to being impoverished by their addiction well before the person actually is reduced to impoverishment.
When an advocate identifies a person who is at risk, the advocate has a responsibility to the client to seek intervention and would help the client research treatment options before the inevitable financial crisis occurs.
Americans are a charitable people. There is a lot of money and resources available in this country to help people who are on a path to crisis. When an advocate identifies a person in trouble, the advocate will be able to find help for the client.
Remember, the mantra of the Medical Savings and Loan is that those who can self-fund their care, should.
When we identify people who can't self-fund their care, Americans band together and helps that individual.
So, the Medical Savings and Loan uses a network of Health Care Advocates to make a full mathematical model of each individual. Every client in this program will sit with their advocate to see how how decisions affect their personal life.
The program is centered around self-knowledge. Self-knowledge is extremely powerful stuff. It is more powerful than most medicines.
In contrast, the communitarian approach to treating addiction is absurd.
The communitarian starts by raising taxes on people who've avoided addiction. The communitarian funds treatment programs that lack adequate incentive to help people stave off addiction. Eventually, the government funded treatment falls back on moral condemnation or criminal punishment of the addict to treat the addiction.
Reviving the concept of self-funded care would be a powerful tool in treating addiction. If the self-funded care is administered in a data driven program that educates the public on the cost of addiction, the people in the program would create natural incentives to help people struggling with addictions.
If you know of a group willing to learn more about the Medical Savings and Loan and Self Funded Care, please contact me.