Sunday, June 25, 2017

Health Insurance

(an oxymoron) Excessive federal subsidies for healthcare are responsible for the continual quadrupling of healthcare costs, because providers have no incentive to do cost reduction. They do have every incentive to cover their ass. Health has become uninsurable.

The federal government is not going to do anything about this let alone admit that it’s true.  Congress is playing a losing game and it knows it.  The problem is the 5% who spend 50% of the 16% of GDP we now pay for healthcare.

Obamacare was designed to fail, so that Democrats could finally impose socialized medicine with a single payer government plan for everybody to reinforce their plan for a socialist economy. They have based this on the false principle that healthcare is a “right”.  It might be a “right” in Europe, but it is not a right in the US according to the US Constitution (as written).

The federal government has been violating the Constitution for over 150 years.  In the 1870s when it created national parks, the Constitution afforded them the opportunity to add this to their “enumerated powers” by passing an Amendment and sending it to the States for ratification. They didn’t do this, because US voters would have had the time to oppose it.

We do need a Bill that will restore healthcare to the free market economy in order to allow supply and demand to set prices.  This Bill should announce a firm schedule of federal subsidy reductions for at least a decade. If this Bill could be passed, providers would finally have the incentive to reduce their costs.

The purpose of insurance is to allow individuals the opportunity to buy policies that cover some of the cost of unusual expensive losses.  It is essentially a “cash-flow” mechanism.  Insurance premiums are based on risk and usage.  Those with a lot of car accidents in their history, typically pay a higher premium than those who have had no prior insurance claims. Democrat insistence on covering “preexisting conditions” violates this principle. Democrats seem happy with giving away free stuff until their “workers’ paradise” is established and the free market system is dead.

We have Medicare for sick and healthy citizens over 65 and this includes “end of life” care, which is currently very expensive.

We have Medicaid for the sick and healthy poor and children that has been administratively to include expenses like childbirth it was never intended to include.

Millions have access to private insurance plans sponsored by corporations that have been cost-shifted to unfairly by hospitals and government.

Many have had individual insurance policies they purchased and are looking for lower cost options.

Insurance rules should allow health insurance companies to offer individual and group policies across State lines and should have a charge for each coverage. Consumers should be able to buy a policy that covers what they want and can afford. 

The healthy might opt to contribute to their own health savings account and/or take a low cost, high deductible catastrophic major medical policy with not add-ons. The options they could add could include maternity (or not), mental health (or not) coverage for children to age 26 (nor not) and “pre-existing conditions” or not, etc.

Stop-loss insurance should also be offered to individual and group policies.  It is usually designed to pay 100% of covered charges above certain attachment points. For example, if the attachment was $10,000, the Stop-loss coverage would pay everything over $10,000 at 100%. The higher the attachment point, the lower the premium.

Those Billionaires who own their own Congressmen want the US to continue to be the leader in healthcare advancement. They want to be able to come to the US from all over the world and get the “best” care they can get and price is no object. They should be able to buy what they want.

US healthcare worked best in the1960s, before we passed Medicare and before we introduced Medical Specialists, overpriced life-saving pharma and lethal cancer treatments. The poor went to the county hospitals and county clinics. Doctors had “charity practices” they volunteered to do on their own time with no or little pay. Churches owned most hospitals and raised money constantly.  There were no malpractice suits and county Medical Associations took complaints from patients and policed providers’ behavior by suspending and revoking licenses and ordering training. This model did work and we should return to it as soon as we can.

Everybody else had the prices they paid government by the law of supply and demand and healthcare was very affordable. There were no government subsidies, no Medicare, no Medicaid and no “right” to healthcare.

Insurance companies are rapidly leaving Obamacare. The US has become Venezuela in healthcare. Providers are in a panic, because they won’t have insurance companies to bill.

If congress fails to completely repeal Obamacare and pass Bills to allow insurance companies to offer what we will buy, the hospitals and doctor’s offices will need to reduce costs or close. Hospitals are dangerous places where we can pick up flesh-eating bacteria and other diseases. Home healthcare should expand even more rapidly and house-calls could return.

Like the bank bailout we didn’t have to do, others will open practices and find lower cost ways to provide healthcare. We will notice how little we are affected and healthcare costs could settle down to half of what they are now.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

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