Mark Rieck said:
For your consideration...
In case you were not aware or have been misinformed, if you have an existing policy through an employer now, you can keep that.
Yes, you COULD - only if you could AFFORD Cobra! Which most cannot because in most cases employers would pay around 80% of the actual policy cost. A policy I was paying $250-300 per month for when I left my job in 2007, cost $12,000 per year under COBRA... so THAT particular law, forced on the "system" by the Left btw, sounded GREAT, but was unworkable... Typical statist solution though, COBRA; makes people FEEL GOOD and gets their VOTES, but doesn't actually SOLVE anything!
I agree that the existing system is poor. My wife just lost he job a couple of weeks ago, which is how our family was paying for health insurance. I think you may not be aware as to just how many are gainfully employed but do not have any coverage offered by their employer.
Firstly, the system is demonstrably NOT POOR - in terms of QUALITY OF SERVICE. We have the BEST quality of healthcare service in the world. Period. Full stop. So, it's COST that is broken. Not availability, nor quality.
For MOST small business and the self-employed, the choices are STARK. Your "pool" (amongst which the risk is spread which is the whole science by which any type of insurance works), is so small as to be unworkable. This means policies for such people are dreadfully expensive. I know this because it is exactly MY situation. I'm now up to $15,000 per year for my families policy.
Under conservative policy of the past 3 decades, along with jobs lost, literally millions that are still here have been trending towards offering only 30-35 hour work weeks in order to dodge having to offer any benefit packages at all(and at lower base wages to boot, so the other smoke and mirrors talking point about savings accounts are completely out of touch with reality).
I'm not even going to rebut at length the nonsense of net "jobs lost in the last 3 decades"... it's patently and self-evidently false. There are clearly far more employed today in the US than there were in 1980. The economy is larger (much) and more people are employed (many).
Employers will ALWAYS try to reduce operating costs as much as possible. Mark, I believe YOU run a business, no? You have precisely 2 levers by which to keep your company profitably in business... raise prices, or lower costs... So, when the GOVERNMENT enters into a system and "mandates" coverage, what are employers to do? Some reduce costs, whether via part time so as to not have to offer such costly benefits, others simply do not hire (fewer jobs), and the rest? Raise Prices! Raising prices is always a LAST choice for any company, because you lose customers when you do so.
If you have been buying into talking points about interstate competition, that is largely nothing more than a sham. The fact is that there are a small handful of companies that control health insurance in our country these days. A company like WellPoint already offers coverage plans in State A and State B, with rates for identical plans varying wildly from State to State. For example, within a given State rates offered by a WellPoint owned subsidiary and a Humana run subsidiary are already similar to identical for that State.
Under this smoke screen, Joe Smith will be 'shopping rates' from the same companies. In cases where a new player (like Blue Cross) is not currently operating in a State, rates quoted cannot be rationally expected to be lower than those from companies that do currently operate in that State. Need proof? Ask residents of States where 25-40% rate hikes have recently been requested. In other words, this measure does NOTHING to bolster competition, which is the root argument of this talking point. It's the same small handful of semi-monopolies no matter what.
Something we (mostly) agree upon. But lets take this to the next level. What was it that MADE it possible for those self-same health insurance companies to grow so big in the first place? Was it the private individuals paying money directly to their doctors (like it was in the 60s and before)? Nope (no insurance involved there)! The only health insurance - in those days - was for DISASTER health coverage, the medical equivalent to life insurance, or auto-insurance. You don't buy insurance to pay for your freaking OIL CHANGES in your car, you buy it for the rare, but extremely costly, major accidents! It USED to be this way with Health Insurance, you know...
Once Government entered into the subsidization of "basic health care business" with Medicaid and Medicare starting in the mid/late 60's, the whole game changed. There's MONEY to be made here! And the insurance companies jumped RIGHT in... Take them out of all that, out of all the administration, rules, guidelines, etc... and all that WASTED cost goes away... and that means funds available back into the broader "system"...
The only way to resolve this is to get the government 100% OUT OF IT. Anything less is just repeating the spiral into cost-oblivion we've already seen. Key to that is to have healthcare 100% paid by those using it - directly. Make ALL health expenditures tax deductible (insurance AND service/goods) to the taxpayer paying for it (with NO "floors" like under the current code. Then, and only then will each/every healthcare "consumer" be vigilant to police "what they get for what they pay"...
Want to know how to test if this is "valid"... watch the response of the Insurance companies to THIS idea! LOL
Many of us, myself included, witnessed an annual switch in health insurance providers all the way back to the 1990's. Despite holding the same position for the same company for years, I saw my coverage go from insurance company A to insurance company B....and then back and forth from A to B again! All the while, coverage was cut year by year. While opinions may vary, that's pretty clear to many of us that health insurance providers have their interests rooted more in the interests of shareholders than policy holders. For anyone that might disagree, I'd love to hear an explanation as to how this makes sense otherwise.
See above two comment blocks. Companies were shopping costs out of the equation, to the extent they could do so and comply with ever-changing governmental regulatory change.
Capitalism and profit are absolutely wonderful. Monopolies and quasi-monopolies are by their very nature, not competitive.
Precisely right, Mark. And that most CERTAINLY and demonstrably includes the GOVERNMENT. Look at what the "monopoly" on education has created... Kids who are behind virtually every developed nation on virtual every measure, and local taxes to pay for public schools that mean that towns like the one I live in are spending $12K per year per student! (When I can send my kid to private school for 1/2 that amount and get them a more solid education) - Madness!... The list goes on...
Fostering continued growth and control of such a large and vital segment of our economy is a far cry from the ideals of American capitism. Monopoly busting is not the dreaded socialism talking heads are playing to. Heck, one can argue it's an American tradition rather than some nefarious plot. The same founding fathers spin doctors quote on a weekly basis also made it very clear controls may have to be implemented from time to time, yet quoting ONLY those statements that support a one sided argument trying to be sold at the time is common with 'political entertainers'.
The only "growth" the government has "fostered" in the Medical sector has been 100% inflationary. Unreal. Unsustainable.
And, the controls would NOT be needed if the government weren't involved in the first place. The profit in the system - which has swung AWAY from Doctors and TO the "system/bureaucrats" (insurance companies and the politicians of both parties they BUY) - would move back to the Doctors/providers - where it belongs, and the expenditures back under the purview of the consumers whose money it is, where the CONTROL in the transactions belong.
Before this debate began in earnest, both conservative and liberal economists could concur that one of the leading reasons American business has lost a competetive edge in the world market is due to benefit package costs, which comprise a substantial percentage of labor costs. For a vast majority of Americans that means one thing, health insurance. In other words, health care cost that compromise 1/6 of our economy is vital not just to our physical health, but our economic health as well.
Unfunded promises and commitments are just that. So the liberal/left ANSWER is to model our "solution" to this anti-competitiveness after the rapidly bankrupting example of Europe??? Huh? How does creating yet MORE entitlements solve THAT problem... Giving the state control over another 15-20% of our total economy is NOT the answer, sir!
Economists (and average Americans) with widely differing ideological approaches could also concur that a large part of skyrocketing costs of care itself is driven by those insured and out of pocket paying customers having to pick up the tab from uncollectable emergency room visits; which is how those who have lost, or cannot afford, or can no longer afford health insurance coverage now obtain care for no only catastrophic care needs, but also common for common ailments and minor injuries.
Firstly, why do we think that there should be some type of government insurance to pay for routine healthcare? Insurance doesn't work that way! I suppose you COULD perhaps find an automotive insurance policy that would pay for routine maintenance, checkups, etc... but it wouldn't be COST-EFFECTIVE. This is precisely why health insurance should ONLY be for the "big stuff"... everything else must be a cost that INDIVIDUALS must factor into their life/expenditure decisions!
And, funny how those "picking up the tab costs" weren't a big problem BEFORE the government started it's involvement with Medicair/Medicaid... They weren't a problem because there weren't multiple additional layers of value NON-ADD (Government, Lobbyists, Lawyers, Insurance Companies) sucking up most of the money in between the consumer and the provider... The system then was Consumer to/from Suppliers
The left may argue covering all Americans is a moral imperative, and I get their point.
Maybe, but certainly NOT to the 20-30 MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS!!!! Screw THAT! Kick em OUT.
The right may argue tort reform is vital to cut costs, and I get their point. Still, IMO both arguments tend to be slightly off topic since few on either side will argue reduction of the enormous costs already being saddled to every American in this regard is a dollars and cents issue no matter how you look at it.
The Becks, Boehners, and Grassleys of the world are offering the public only half of the truth. Profits for and dividends paid insurance companies are a prime example of how one side can play with the numbers(leaving out the whole truth in other words) in order to gain support from policy holders when in fact, revealing the whole truth indicates a far different picture that grossly favors shareholders at the expense of those same policy holders.
By your logic above apparently somehow "shareholders" are not ALSO citizens who have to pay THEIR bills? They're something *different* and, apparently, somehow "evil"?
I make darn sure I obtain information about topics and issues from multiple sources, and strongly suggest every American do the same. Why? When one does, the whole truth is then often presented, from which a more fully informed citizen can then come to their own conclusions. Whether those opinions lean towards either end of the political spectrum does not matter. What does matter is that those in Washington might be forced to adhere closer to the truth when presenting their arguments.
Agreed. Both parties and ends of the political spectrum are totally disingenuous on this so called "crisis", just as, unfortunately, they were on the 2007/2008 financial crisis (which they also caused!). The healthcare crisis was 100% created by the government and it's ill considered policies over the last 40 years, just as the financial crisis was created by the government and it's ill considered policies (and regulations) over the last 30 years - or 80+ years if you include the ponzi-scheme that is Social (in)Security.
There is a deliberate agenda of inducing fear via misinformation intended to demonize both MSM and fellow Americans that may not share a common opinion. This in turn is making easy pickins' of those that have been led to believe that both fact and opinion are one in the same. The very survival of our two party system and it's ability to govern effectively is at stake, not just how we and our neighbor might pay for knee surgery next year.
Screw the Republicrats and the Democans... They are, for all intents and purposes the same at this point. We must return to a truly (educated) citizen-legislator model, get the government OUT of as much of our economy as possible, as quickly as possible, or it will be too late.
We are already on the cusp of the ugly reality that approximately half of all Americans pay no federal income tax... when that swings only a tad further - which is Obama and the Democrats stated goal ("increase taxes on the Rich"), it will make the current situation and crisis irreversible.
Just for yucks, sometime, go check out the IRS website and find out where the taxes actually COME FROM these days... And find out the share the "rich" (anyone above $200K) is already paying...
Any Rand was right in 1957... It's time to SHRUG!