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My healthcare rant. v.0.8

What follows is a small back and forth triggered by an email forward from my family. (which means if you want the timeline read it from bottom to top.)
I reposted it here because I want my friends to fact/sanity check my assertions and provide feedback.



I attached the resolution for ya all if you want to see it. Not much there, just that he wants congress critters to forgo their benefits program and instead enroll in the public option. To me, as Michelle and Thomas said, it kind of misses the point of the public option.

Carol, I can't imagine a situation where your insurance would change because insurance was being covered for others. That's like saying medicare is causing your blue cross rates to rise. They're different entities with their own bank accounts. As I understand it, the worst thing that would happen is your taxes could go up subsidizing the public insurance for people who couldn't pay their own way. A more likely outcome if all goes well. (who knows?) Is that your rates will drop as your insurance company is forced to compete with that public option.

Here's the problem as I see it. Emergency rooms are packed with people that have sniffles. Even worse, emergency rooms are packed with people who have problems that would have been a sniffle if they had access to a doctor, but since they didn't they waited a month and rolled into the ER with full blown pneumonia. Sniffle: $100 visit. Pneumonia treatment: $10,000 Guess which one the doctor, patient, and insurance company would probably prefer to deal with?

So.. If you can get that guy with the sniffle access to a doctor of any kind to take care of his sniffle, you save 9,900 in ER rubber gloves, hose, sheets, and all the other crap hospitals waste. ; ) (can you tell i just spent a week there recently?)

Don't kid yourself, you are all ALREADY paying that $9900 to your insurance company, because the hospital has to recoup those funds somewhere. They recoup it from the person who HAS insurance, who then pays $300 for some IV tubing that's $12 at a hardware store. ; )

So, we can resolve that by insuring everyone at some level and getting them access to treatment.

Now, Why the hell are "most of us" paying 8-900 a month to insurance companies? Other countries pay far less and get far better health outcomes. We're at the bottom of the list for health outcomes in developed nations. Our healthcare system is a mess.

Want my theory? Publicly held insurance companies. Any publicly held insurance company has share holders calling the shots. What is the primary concern of a shareholder? Providing affordable insurance to the american people? No. Making a profit. Period. Therefore, that insurance company's primary motivation becomes making a profit.

The whole point of insurance is to distribute risk. We all pool money so that when something horrible happens to one of us, they can get bailed out by the rest who aren't having horrible things happen.

If the company's motivation is to make profit first, and distribute risk second... well, that fucks that up a bit. You get crap like rescission:

where companies dump the sick, because they need to actually use their insurance.

You get ever increasing insurance rates because the company is constantly looking for more cash they can funnel to share holders.

Want it all to stop? Make them compete with someone who's actually doing the work. Make them compete with an insurance company who's PRIMARY motivation is only to distribute health risk. As it is, they're only competing with other companies doing the same thing. It's almost like a price fixing scheme.

You can do that a couple ways, but as I understand it, the public option was going to have the government kick off an honest to god NON-Profit insurance company. A company who's primary motivation was only to distribute risk.

Now, as an insurance company executive, you're thinking this is a horrible plan.. because.. yeah.. it'd seriously hurt your bottom line. At this point.. Who the fuck cares.. They've turned american healthcare into a steaming pile of slag. I say fuck em. Provide actual distributed risk at a price I can pay, or go to hell.

Here's a pretty good video that simplifies this subject a bit better than my crazy rant.. ; )

I should probably get back to work.. so i can afford our health insurance. ; )


On Oct 12, 2009, at 9:18 AM, Carol wrote:

I have heard that the people who do have health care options will be paying more for their premiums to cover for the people who don't have it. It's already getting too expensive for some people to pay the insurance premiums their employers offer and I don't think it's going to get any easier! This in itself will force those people to take the government health care options if it's even available for them. I'm afraid that this is their round about way of forcing people to go with it.

If anything why can't the average worker be offered the same health care coverage that government workers get, at the same low premiums? I think they pay something like $35/mo and have the best coverage available. That beats the $800-$900/mo most of us are paying!

----- Original Message -----

From: Michelle

To: Tom

Cc: Tom L ; Aaron ; Kirk ; Celeste ; Julie ; Carol

Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 8:40 AM

Subject: Re: FYI --- HR 615

i'm pretty sure the only people being "forced" to take the health care option are those who currently have NO health care. everyone else will keep whatever plan they want.

On Mon, Oct 12, 2009 at 7:39 AM, Tom wrote:

Is there any legislation that will impose a particular health care plan on everyone? I don't believe there is which makes this campaign kind of pointless. If I'm wrong, please let me know.

From: Tom L

Sent: Monday, October 12, 2009 6:34 AM

Subject: FW: FYI --- HR 615

Subject: HR 615

On Tuesday, the Senate health committee voted 12-11 in favor of a two-page amendment, courtesy of Tom Coburn which would require all Members of Congress and their staff members to enroll in any new government-run health plan.
Congressman John Fleming has proposed an amendment that would require Congressmen and Senators to take the same health care plan that they would force on us. (Under proposed legislation they are exempt.)
Congressman Fleming is encouraging people to go to his Website and sign his petition. The process is very simple. I have done just that at:< /b> .

Senator Coburn and Congressman Fleming are both physicians.

Regardless of your political beliefs, it sure seems reasonable that Congress should have exactly the same medical coverage that they impose on the rest of us.

Please urge as many people as you can to do the same!


Wow. Good stuff. Here's my take to add fuel to the first:

First, to Carol: Your information is wrong! Taxes will not cover the public option insurance plan. The public option is simply a guarantee that ONE insurance company, managed by the government, will provider coverage come rain or shine, cancer or AIDS. It will be funded just like other insurance companies: Member premiums and investments.

Rather than post the World's Longest Comment, I took the rant over to my own site. It's really great reading, because I'm right about everything. :)