Thursday, April 6, 2017

Health Insurance for the Healthy

The healthy need catastrophic major medical insurance with the highest deductible they can afford. This would give us  “Major Medical” coverage of “medically necessary” rescue and repair procedures. We prefer outpatient surgery and recovery at home.


We are happy to pay for doctor’s visits out of pocket. We don’t mind having a $1 million lifetime maximum. Before Obamacare, we got this kind of coverage for $200 per year with a $5000 deductible. We expect that if we have pre-existing conditions, our premiums will be high enough to cover these.


We need this coverage to ensure that the hospital won’t take our homes if we find ourselves saddled with medical bills that could amount to over $100,000.  Most of us, (50%) of us are in the “healthy” category. Our healthcare costs are very low. We are tired of paying excessive amounts of cost-shifted subsidies to support the healthcare industry as they overcharge the sick. 


I am one of the healthy. I have always viewed health insurance as my charitable contribution to medical research. I believe that medicine is a “trial and error” industry.


My grandfather was an MD and ran a general practice including internal medicine and surgery from 1905 to his death in 1962. He was an expert diagnostician and didn’t have or need a lot of expensive tests, drugs or treatments.


I was hired by Washington University School of Medicine in 1971 from Monsanto Chemical to establish the Personnel function at the Medical School and shepherd the University to develop federal regulatory compliance strategies. I did that and more, and returned back to manufacturing in 1975 at Schwan Foods.


In my work as a Personnel Director, I was responsible to serve as the “trustee” for the company medical plans. I wrote these plans and determined the coverage and the cost.


My background informed my views. I believe there are mistakes that have been made in Medicine that are responsible for the unsustainable cost of healthcare we face today. And nobody is addressing these causes.


The first problem is excessive federal funding of healthcare that started in 1964 with the passage of Medicare and Medicaid. Later, federal subsidies were increased by expanding drugs to be included in Medicare.  Finally, Obamacare was passed and costs became unbearable.


The second problem was that technology was available that could be applied to medical practice, but that would increase the cost. They didn’t care because the government was going to pay for it.


The third problem was that church owned and run hospitals were being sold to accountants with friends in the medical equipment business.


The fourth problem was that the curriculum in the Medical Schools was moving medical students to costlier solutions and forgetting to teach them basic diagnostic skills.


The fifth problem was that medical specialties were being pushed that would take physicians from being generalists to being specialists, also expensive.


The sixth problem was Malpractice lawsuits created “defensive medicine” waste in hospitals.


The seventh problem is government healthcare subsidies for illegal aliens and refugees. The cost of this is shifted to paying customers and taxpayers.


The demise of medicine was supported by the special interests to the detriment of the citizen consumers.


Our current method of paying for healthcare violates the laws of supply and demand and has no consumer control over prices. There are no consumer consequences for overusing health insurance.  


Currently there is no mention in the media of excessive federal subsidies as a primary reason for the high cost of healthcare, but it is massive. 


If the federal government even hinted that they were going to reduce federal healthcare subsidies, medical costs would drop like a rock.


Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

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