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Friday, August 14, 2009

What I Believe - The Solution to the "Healthcare Crisis" - Part 2

If you have not read part 1, please do that before proceeding. It is the post just below this one.

When I think about insurance, I usually think about the insurance on my house or my car. With my car insurance, I pay the premium and drive away. I buy the gas, change the oil, buy new tires, pay for a wash etc. If I should have an accident, then and only then am I covered by insurance.

Now let’s think for a minute about this monstrosity we call health insurance and lets think for a minute how things would be if car insurance were like health insurance.

If this were the case, then I suppose we would pay the car insurance at the prescribed time. If we had a wreck or if the car was a victim of a hailstorm then the insurance would kick in and pay the damages as we would expect. Time to get gasoline. It’s going to cost 50 dollars to fill the tank, but wait, we only end up paying 10 dollars. Our insurance will pay the other 40 dollars.

Time for an oil change. The oil costs 10 dollars and the mechanic’s labor is 25 dollars. Again we only pay 10 dollars total for the whole thing. The insurance pays for the rest.

Your right front tire needs air. You could take care of this yourself but you take it to the service station and let Joe air the tire. He charges you 5 dollars which you discover is not covered by your insurance. You raise hell at Joe (for no good reason other than you think it is your right to have your tire aired for free) and then you raise hell at your congressman. A couple of months later the gubment come out with a mandate requiring your auto insurance company to pay for airing tires.

Sam your neighbor buys an old clunker on the cheap. Parts are always falling off of this thing. Sam is distressed because the auto insurance company won’t write him a policy on the old clunker. Both you and Sam raise hell with your congressman. A couple of months later a mandate comes out requiring the insurance company to sell a policy to Sam. Sam thought about looking into the Cash for Clunkers program but that had long been disbanded since after Obamacare and Cap and Trade were enacted the national debt went to 20 trillion dollars and the Red Chinese were thinking about calling in our debt.

For a short time, everything seems hunky dory until you get your premium bill from the insurance company. Your premium has gone up by an enormous amount. A couple of months later you get hit again, and again, and again. You call the insurance company and raise hell to no avail. They tell you they have had to compensate for increased costs. You get so upset that you have a heart attack but you find out you’re going to have to wait six months to get your needed heart cath under Obamacare. If you had been just one year younger, you could have gotten the heart cath in three months.

You know it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what is going on here. The insurance company is not going to provide you a service for free. They are in business to make a profit. If you pay 10 dollars for your tank of gas and they pay the extra 40 dollars, they are going to pay themselves 5 dollars for providing the coverage and figure this into your premium of an added 45 dollars. So a tank of gas that would have cost 50 dollars ends up costing you 55 dollars because you have unwittingly added a middleman.

That oil change which would have normally only cost you 35 dollars is now 40 dollars in premiums from the insurance company.

They figure in 10 dollars extra in premiums to bill you for the air in the tire. They pay Joe 5 dollars and pay the other 5 dollars to their stockholders.

Then there is no telling how much of a premium increase you’ll see because they are now forced to insure Sam’s old clunker.

You think to yourself how much better things used to be when car insurance companies only covered you for car wrecks and hailstorms, and back then you could specify the exact amount of coverage you wanted. There were no mandates with which to contend. Your chest pain gets worse………only 5 and a half months to go until heart cath time.

People, the parody I have presented above is exactly what is going on in healthcare today. Where else but in healthcare do you find insurance paying out claims on anything other than catastrophe or loss? This health insurance problem is exacerbated by the fact that there are a whole bunch of people out there with the entitlement mentality who think healthcare is their right and they should have to pay NOTHING for it. This is further driven by mandates from the gubment, requiring insurance to cover this thing, that thing, and the other thing, and people buying the policy are required to take the coverage for these extras at an inflated price whether they want it or not. It’s no wonder health insurance is so damned expensive! People are running in droves to doctors offices and emergency rooms with mosquito bites, splinters, and snotty noses, cause IT’S FREE! IT’S FREE!

Seems to me that the answer to this problem is rather straightforward. I have some suggestions:

1. Make insurance insurance again. Insurance should cover the big things, the catastrophic things, the things that would put you into financial ruin if you had to pay for them yourself. Plan on paying yourself for office visits, routine tests and other stuff like that. Perhaps enrollment in an HSA like I described in the previous post would be good for you.

2. Eliminate gubment mandates. Let the insurance companies and the consumers decide which coverages they want and don’t want. If you have some of the entitlement minded crowd out there that want insurance to pay for their gas and oil and wiping of their butts, FINE. Sell them the policy for a price. Just don’t force me to buy the same policy.

3. Implement tort reform for healthcare providers, capping non-economic damages. Also implement a “loser pays” legal system in America. This would enormously reduce the cost of healthcare.

There is no doubt that there are plenty of people out there who are truly in need and are unable to provide healthcare for themselves. No doubt there needs to be a plan for these people, but I daresay it could be done for a fraction of the cost of this monstrosity called Obamacare.

Oh, NO HEALTHCARE FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS! PERIOD!

In closing I want you all to remember one thing. This whole Obamacare thing is not about providing healthcare. The Cap and Trade thing is not about fixing global warming. People it is about CONTROL OVER EACH AND EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIVES. This what the liberals are after. There is nothing in our precious document called the Constitution that empowers the federal gubment to force these things upon us. Be strong and be wary. Good night!

For more smiles in case you missed it, read my previous post:
Socialized Auto Repair and Car Care

3 comments:

  1. I have health insurance. It pays for routine doctor's visit, necessary tests, and G-d forbid, Emergency or Hospitalization. I also pay for this coverage out of my pocket. I like what I have.

    Under this proposal, I would be forced to change my plan. Instead of a co-pay (reasonable in my opinion), it would all be free. Uncle Sugar would pay for it all.

    While I wouldn't abuse the program, too many would. The result would be nothing for anyone.

    You are right about tort reform. Too many tests and procedures are done to cover a malpractice lawsuit, and not for medical reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Grouch and Findalis, tort reform is not even a part of any of the 5 proposed bills in Congress now. This reform would make a HUGE difference in health care expenses.

    If you have insurance that pays for routine doctor visits, great. But I don't think the entire US population should EXPECT that the government of any health care insurance should pay for every hang nail, cold, etc. that we have.

    That was not the purpose of insurance from the beginning.

    Just my opinion.

    Deborah F. Hamilton
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, Grouch, we have stomped this ground before and I am afraid we will stomp it again for some time to come.
    Let me tell the world right not that I am not a MD, physician or even remotely related to any profession related to healthcare.
    As my sweet bride and myself were motoring to the Huntsville Hamfest (from which you were not even missed) I said to her that when I was a lad, that we as a family DID NOT HAVE ANY HEALTH INSURANCE!
    Gawd, what an unthinkable situation. Healthcare did not cost an arm nor a leg at that time. If you went to the doc, it cost you about ten to 20 bucks, a chicken, a meal, whatever. It was not until I was grown and working for a living, era 1970's or so that health insurance became such a big deal. It became rapidly, one of the benefits you worked for. Bluecross, blueshield, whatever.
    Now, granted, 10 or 20 bucks were sorta hard to come by in those days, but the MD's and such would work with you. Eventually you could get em paid. Also, granted, heart surgeries, liver transplants, etc were almost UNHEARD OF!
    Now, I don't profess to know exactly when things got completely out of hand, but they did! I am STILL of the opinion that insurance drove up the doctors costs as did malpractice suits, McDonald's Hot Coffee lawsuits and welfare. I could go on for hours, but I am not.
    I have no problem with a Dr. making a good living. After all, he has devoted at least 8 years of his life learning his trade. He gets a piece of wallpaper, and opens an office. Immediately, he has malpractice insurance, staff payroll, office rent, utilities, office supplies and so forth ad nauseium.
    He has to charge more than 10 bucks for an office visit.
    However, in 1967, I made 2 dollars an hour. Now, I make considerably more than that. I do believe that healthcare costs have risen to a greater degree than my wages, but in 1967, I would have probably DIED from a clogged artery. Now, it is an outpatient proceedure.
    Damn, I'm running on.
    FACT OF THE MATTER, nowadays, you have a choice, either be rich, have good insurance or DIE! Simple equation!
    Work and have your own insurance, stiff the hospital, or die and get outta my way!

    ReplyDelete