This is somewhat a revisit and modified version (probably a better one at that) of an idea I discussed earlier. The revisit is in part because of the recent health care legislation. Some argue that health care is a “right” not afforded to some, something that everyone should be given regardless of income on ethical grounds. I’m not sure why health care is considered more essential than food, water, shelter, etc, but it is certainly where a lot of money is spent and made.
The government will provide relatively bare essentials deemed required for survival. These will include food, water, shelter, clothing, protection, education, occupation, health care, and probably some others that I can’t think of. They will be provided in whole by the government, directly, no intermediaries such as with food stamps, medicare, etc and with no fees. Provisions will be bare essential: For instance, food provisions will be limited to calculated nutritional need, and there will in theory be no overuse possible. The government services will be minimums, and will not place any limits on private provision of them that will favor the government provision. Quality will range from mediocre to craptacular, not only to follow real world precedence but also for providing incentive for folks to work hard and obtain better services from the private sector.