Make it like car insurance, everyone has to have it, but pay for it on their own.
Maintaining our private health care system is vital, because American health care and medical science are the most advanced and innovative in the world. If a national single-payer health care system is adopted, most medical progress will be stopped in its tracks, and we'd all have the same equally bad health care forever. The NAF proposal offers a way to maintain our private health care system, expand consumer choice, lower costs, and allow medical progress to advance. It isn't perfect, but it's a lot better than the more politically likely alternatives.
Well it's definitely better than a national healthcare system, and it's better than what we have now. But it will hurt some people. I didn't have health insurance, by choice, for a brief period towards the end of my college days. I suspect many of the uninsured are students, as I knew lots of other people in that situation.
Here is what I don't understand about health insurance. First of all, why do we act like people who don't have it won't get health care? A guy in one of my classes got sick and ran up a $25K hospital bill with no insurance. He got treatment, and worked out a payment plan with them. Sure, maybe no one will remove a mole or check your blood sugar without health insurance, but if you are dying you will get help.
Secondly, why do we act like we don't pay for insurance? I am amazed at how much people panic over health insurance, yet for almost all of us (except those who are very ill) we are getting screwed. For some reason people act like if the government or their employer pays the premiums, that money just appeared from nowhere, like we don't really pay for it. But we do, and as a society, healthcare would be cheaper if we didn't have insurance. But then everyone is afraid they will be the one who racks up hundreds of thousands in medical costs.
I have bad allergies, but when I turned 19 I got kicked off my parents' plan, and my allergy medication went from $10 a month to $65 a month. You know what I did? I took half a pill, I skipped some days, I used over the counter stuff more often. Yes my quality of life went down (and my 5-K times), but I lived.