Sponsor

Letter to the Editor: Sponsorship could solve country’s medical debt problem

Last Monday’s edition of The Post Star featured a front-page story documenting the harrowing plight of those burdened with medical debt.

The article also mentioned the bankruptcy and loss of credit that resulted, as well as the emotional stress and anxiety that accompanied these difficulties. This is a shameful reflection of our society and needs to be addressed.

One of the solutions recommended was to expand Medicaid coverage to provide insurance for the uninsured. Although well-intentioned, this measure would only increase the waste of government bureaucracy and create additional public debt and more inflation.

Additionally, many people would go through coverage and eligibility gaps and still end up without insurance, as the article acknowledges.

A more effective, efficient and unique approach is the concept of medical sponsorship.

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For example, I currently sponsor several children through Child Fund International. Sponsorship allows these children to have access to education and health care services. Recently, the parents of one such child were unable to pay their child’s hospital bill.

No problem. My sponsorship donation took care of that – thanks to my Coca-Cola stock dividends.

If medical sponsorship can work in distant countries like Ethiopia and Uganda, there is no reason why it shouldn’t work in this country.

The main source of sponsors would be the ultra-rich, especially the Wall Street big cats who have billions to burn. Sponsor solicitations would be sent out to the wealthy who would be enticed (or should I say nudged) with a tax credit (the carrot) if they accepted the invitation or a tax assessment (the stick) on their assets if they refused the offer.

The wealthy could sign up for sponsorships on health scholarships and when care is provided to the uninsured poor, the hospital would then bill the sponsor(s). In Mrs. But’s case, her debt of $500,000 could be discharged (pun intended) by two sponsors contributing $250,000 each, 10 sponsors giving $50,000 each, or 50 sponsors paying $10,000 each. Any number of combinations would work.

The resulting tax assessments would also be available to pay for unpaid medical bills.

After all, if wealthy individuals can donate billions to build museums and art centers, they can certainly help a poor soul who has become impoverished because of the misfortune of falling ill.

I realize this sounds like a far-fetched idea, but now is the time to find an effective prescription to remedy this problem without the nasty side effects of burdening our economy with more opportunity costs.

American innovation and ingenuity at their best.

Chairman, EBC Investors,

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