Of course, the whole theory depends on adults who are capable of caring for themselves.
therein will lie the problem. the very people you want to help are the least responsible. you can ding me for hating the poor, but they are the ones who have the highest rate of smoking, highest rate of obesity, eat the crappy food, and don't take advantage of what is already available, or they abuse it.
there are basically 3 groups of people in medicine.
1. poor (not temporarily in trouble, but generational welfare trash)
2. working poor
3. insured or can pay for care.
the poor already have programs which they either don't use, or abuse. they still use the ER for care because it's faster. they bring kids in for every snotty nose. they skip appointments without notice. they tend to be drug seekers, drug abusers, have criminal backgrounds, etc. they are poor for a reason and laziness is one among many.
these are the parents who won't register their kids for care and don't get them immunized until the schools threaten to kick them out. preventive care is wasted on this group. if they can't be motivated for anything else, they won't go get a mammogram.
among this group are the uninsured kids estimated to be as many as 10 million. they qualify for programs but have not been registered. i think the 10 million number is a bit high....but......
2. this is the group that really needs some help. it is a relatively small group. it also tends to be younger and healthier as many of these are kids working minimum wage jobs while in school, etc. this group is estimated to be around 15 to 20 million. they do not qualify for public programs already in place and can't afford to buy more insurance than they get though work which may be little to none.
covering this group would have been fairly easy and relatively inexpensive.
a number of solutions have been proposed over the years including my favorite which is the low cost, based on income, insurance pools.
3. the last group of uninsured are uninsured by choice. they pay out of pocket for care. it is far cheaper to do this if you are healthy so rather than pay for insurance they feel they don't need, they use cash. this group is estimated to be around 10 million.
so why did we write a however many thousand page bill that messes up the entire health care system for the sake of a few million? why are we driving people from the insurance they have and driving cost up for the sake of a few million?
So, clearly my "free" yearly physicals are not "free," but they should save the healthcare system a lot of dough in the long run.
they won't because the people who should use the services won't, the wait time will go up, and as the system overloads, the treatment will degrade and the time to treatment will go up.
imagine being diagnosed with breast cancer and being told the you can't begin treatment for 6 months. or..your father is told that he needs bypass surgery. in fact, he's so sick that he needs to stay in hospital....for months....until a surgeon is available. this won't happen over night, but i bet it will happen faster here, than the 40 years it took to degrade UK health care.
of course, the wealthy will still get the care they can pay for and the rest of us will be left with what there is.....and the poor will still scream that it's not fair.