Use access key #2 to skip to page content.

"Uniquely American" healthcare.

Recs

9

August 17, 2009 – Comments (17) | RELATED TICKERS: UNH , WLP , CI

Because I have had interest in the healthcare debate, I thought I would tune in to President Obama's healthcare town hall in Montana. In this debate he told us that he was seeking a solution to expensive healthcare that was "uniquely American".

By which I guess he means we should overpay, until we are rescinded when we need care because that is "uniquely American". Rescinded doesn't happen in Socialized Canada, or free market Rwanda.

Because the healthcare that exists in America today, is, if nothing else, "uniquely American".

In Canada, they say there are lists where you wait your turn for treatment. But there are lines in America too. Our lines are where you wait, when you cannot get treatment. Like in Zimbabawe.

In Canada you can pay a tax and get healthcare when you need it. In America you can pay an insurer and get rescinded when you need healthcare.

Health Insurers claim they need to rescind people who cheated when they filled out their insurance application. Cheating, like forgetting to tell them you got a prescription acne medicine 15 years ago. Or cheating like when your insurance agent puts down the wrong information, like a salesman mioght do to sell you a mortgage.

Of course if I was an insurer, I would want people who cheated. I would collect their money, and collect their money, and collect their money. I would even a pay a few inexpensive claims. But if a big claim comes up, then I'll check their application for mistakes. And if I find any, I'll rescind them and not give them a dime for healthcare.

I'm talking to you, Zitz-boy.

Don Hamm, Assuarant CEO recently testified to Congress on healthcare.

"Rescission is rare. It affects less than one-half of one percent of people we cover. Yet, it is one of many protections supporting the affordability and viability of individual health insurance in the United States under our current system."

Rescission never happens if you do not file a claim. It is very rare if you file a small claim. The question is, how big a claim do you have to file in order to have your policy checked for mistakes?

If, as I suspect, rescission is targeted toward the truly bankrupting cases – the top 1%, the folks with over $35,000 of annual claims who could never be profitable for the carrier – then the probability of having your policy torn up given a massively expensive condition is pushing 50%. One in two.  You have three times better odds playing Russian Roulette.

So how does Don Hamm's "one half of one percent" become 50%?

Read the link.

"Uniquely American" is playing "Lets Make A Deal" with your health insurance.

And remember, there is no rescission in Single Payer. Of course, paying less and getting more is not uniquely American. Many Countries succeed at it.

Single Payer HR676 pays for uninsured Americans by eliminating Insurance company overhead. It replaces your insurance payment with a tax. It is a system that costs half as much in every other Country that uses any version of it.

The number to the Congressional Switchboard is 202-224-3121

The middle ground negotiation between Single Payer and business as usual was competition from a "puplic option". Now the middle ground between a "public option" and business as usual is health co-ops. Health co-ops require an infusion of money to be solvent enough to be able to pay insurance claims. That money will come from yout tax dollar. 

You go, Republicans, keep up the negotiating.

 

17 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 17, 2009 at 3:15 PM, jstegma (29.39) wrote:

Going with single payer is problematic because of the incompetent way that the govt handles Medicare.  They are some $30 trillion in the hole.  Based on that, it is hard to argue that it will somehow be better to have the govt handle the whole healthcare system.

Obamacare died when the CBO said it cost $1 trillion after Obama said it was free.  His price estimates seem to be about as reliable as the sales pitches you hear for timeshares in Cabo.  

Sometimes you have have to look and see that this is some idea being pushed by the hard left and opposed by everyone else, and just say "no thanks". 

 

Report this comment
#2) On August 17, 2009 at 3:18 PM, awallejr (79.46) wrote:

S&P down over 2% and all 3 of your stocks in your ticker are up.

Report this comment
#3) On August 17, 2009 at 4:12 PM, devoish (97.30) wrote:

Thanks for the replies. 

awallejr,

I know. HR3200 is a good bill for insurers, compared to what they should get. Eliminate the "public option" and it just got better for them.

And it is not because the insurers will spend more on providing your healthcare.

jstegma,

Medicare, costs a 2.9% payroll tax. My family policy is $17,000/year including my employers share. If my family policy was 2.9% of my pay I would be earning $586,000 per year. For anyone making less, medicare is a good value, and nobody gets rescinded from medicare. It covers age 65 and older, the group that is almost guaranteed to have medical expenses. It has not had a rate increase since 1993.

No private insurer even comes close to delivering the value medicare does.

Do you think a 50% chance having your health insurance policy rescinded when you need it most is worth your premium?

And if the Insurers stopped rescinding the most expensive 1%, what will that do to your insurance bill? Will it go lower?

And the plan being pushed by the "hard left" has succesful examples at half the cost.

Nothing "uniquely American" does.

Report this comment
#4) On August 17, 2009 at 4:22 PM, jstegma (29.39) wrote:

Why not just outlaw insurers from rescinding people after a month or two of being on the policy?

I don't know about you, but for me when the hard left says something is supposedly going to be good for me, I tend to say no thanks.  They just don't have my interests at heart.  I don't think they've ever proposed anything that I actually wanted.  They tend to want people to be government-dependent, and that's just not me.  I don't get welfare.  I don't get food stamps.  I don't get medicaid.  But I get the tax bill for them.  So whenever the hard left comes knocking, I just close the door and say "no thanks".  I have about as much use for the hard left as I do for Jehovah's Witnesses.

Report this comment
#5) On August 17, 2009 at 4:42 PM, devoish (97.30) wrote:

 Why not just outlaw insurers from rescinding people after a month or two of being on the policy?

And if the Insurers stopped rescinding the most expensive 1%, what will that do to your insurance bill? Will it go lower?

Would we have to pay more?

Aren't we already paying double what a dozen other countries pay that have Government run their healthcare and cover everybody?

Report this comment
#6) On August 17, 2009 at 5:04 PM, 4everlost (29.29) wrote:

devoish

I have a question.  Are you claiming that the Federal Gov't of the USA can take over the health insurance industry and provide health care for every person in the country more effectively and with greater cost efficiency than the industry that is in place now?

Report this comment
#7) On August 17, 2009 at 5:18 PM, bcnu6 (30.00) wrote:

4everlost -

devonish has not yet responded, but the answer has to be that the government almost certainly could provide health care for every person in the country more effectively and with greater cost efficiency than the industry that is in place now. 

My own health care is covered--I am one of the lucky people to have socialized medicine in the U.S. through the Veterans' Administration as a disabled vet--so have no personal stake in the debate.  My wife has single payer coverage--government provided insurance--through my military retirement.  Single payer and socialized medicine is alive and well within the U.S., and has proved itself to be effective, efficient, and popular with those who have it.

Report this comment
#8) On August 17, 2009 at 5:59 PM, devoish (97.30) wrote:

4everlost,

Yes.

Visit www.pnhp.org for information about Single Payer.

Visit Canada for a real world example without the lines we have in the USA.

Visit Sweden, Norway, Germany, or France for more.

All of these Countries are getting better results than the USA for half the cost.

All of those Countries need to make minor adjustments to their healthcare. Constantly to allow new treatments, move funding where it is needed, etc. We need to overhaul ours. Canada for instance could shorten some wait times by adding more providers. But their healthcare cost is half ours. If they bumped that up to a little more than half ours they would be fine. Some of their wait time issues are due to the spreading out 30 million people over a larger country than ours. Rural is harder, we should be doing better than they are, but are not.

I bring up wait times for Canada because that is the only negative raised by Canada's detractors.

This is an example of lines in the USA

If you read my blog you have seen this video before.

Report this comment
#9) On August 17, 2009 at 6:13 PM, Option1307 (29.99) wrote:

Devoish,

Isn't medicare completely broke? So, yes it has very little overhead in comparison to "private" insurers and the payroll tax is relatively low. But the system and program are broke, correct?

If you agree that the system is broke, how can you provide this as proof that single payer HR676 will be cheap? Isn't it logical to assume that this proposed single payer system may morph into the giant ponzi scheme that is medicare?

My family policy is $17,000/year including my employers share.

I have to say that is not a good plan, sorry about that one. I know I certainly don't pay that much for insurance. Then again, I have health insurance for true insurance purposes, catastrophic/serious problems. Isn't that what insurance is supposedly for?

Report this comment
#10) On August 17, 2009 at 6:40 PM, Option1307 (29.99) wrote:

Devoish,

I watched the video again, thanks for reposting it. It does bring up some interesting points and is food for thought. The video got me thinking about a few random aspects. Here they are:

1) There is essentially no such thing as "uninsured" in the US. What I mean is that anybody, including illegal aliens, foreigners, etc. always have access to medical care in ANY emergency department in the country. Federal law mandates that ER departments see all patients, regardless of payment/insurance. I realize this is not perfect and does not replace having a regular internal medicine doc, but I kind of get tired of hearing people say, "we can't get no care". That is simply not accurate.

2) The video shows several people who admit, they work for minimum wage and have four kids...wtf? I'm not saying we should be invovled in family planning, but seriously. As a country are we expected to care for people who simply live beyond their means? And this certainly should include children. Should we provide them with healthcare and food eventhough they are having more children than they can relistically afford? I don't know, but it is an important question IMO. Btw, many in the video complained about not being able to afford insurance on minimum wage. Are they supposed to be able too, min. wage is not supposed to be a profession.

3) The founder of the RAM program mentions he wants universal health/dental/vision care. Are any/all of these intended to be universal rights for all Americans/people? Again, I don't know the answer, but I don't remember reading that anywhere in the constitution. If we provide these three items, is the country responsible for universal food, education, entertainment, etc.? How does one draw the line between what is a right and waht is a priviledge?

As you may remember me saying, I have recently started medical school and I come from a family who all are in the medical profession as well. I realize that our healthcare system is in need of repair; however, I'm not sure what the appropriate fix is. There are some positive aspects in allof the plans out there, but they all also contain a lot of negative in my eyes. IMHO I feel that we as a country are not evening have a realistic debate about the subject, and this is what bothers/scares me the most. There are serious issues that need to be discussed, regadless of your personal opinions and beliefs. However, the majority of them are simply taboo and not being discussed. Especially by the worthless politicians.

I do not have all the answers, nor will I ever. But I at least hope we as a country can discuss this issue in actual detail, without emotions, before the governemnt simply forces something through.

Report this comment
#11) On August 17, 2009 at 7:55 PM, devoish (97.30) wrote:

1) There is essentially no such thing as "uninsured" in the US. What I mean is that anybody, including illegal aliens, foreigners, etc. always have access to medical care in ANY emergency department in the country. Federal law mandates that ER departments see all patients, regardless of payment/insurance. I realize this is not perfect and does not replace having a regular internal medicine doc, but I kind of get tired of hearing people say, "we can't get no care". That is simply not accurate.

You replied "there is essentially no such thing as uninsured" then switched to "we can't get no care".

Both statement are clearly wrong. Many people are without uninsurance, which we both agree is different than without healthcare. Mixing health "insurance" with health "care" is a pretty common source of confusion. I do not think you did it intentionally, but some do.

As to "we can't get no care", obviously that is exactly what the people in the video are saying. In this country some people go without healthcare, just like Rwanda, but for now to a lesser degree.

2) The video shows several people who admit, they work for minimum wage and have four kids...wtf? I'm not saying we should be invovled in family planning, but seriously. As a country are we expected to care for people who simply live beyond their means? And this certainly should include children. Should we provide them with healthcare and food eventhough they are having more children than they can relistically afford? I don't know, but it is an important question IMO. Btw, many in the video complained about not being able to afford insurance on minimum wage. Are they supposed to be able too, min. wage is not supposed to be a profession.

Yes, we should. Find RAM's video of their LA event. I can and, if you try, you can think of many ways to wind up on minimum wage with four kids. Divorce, layoffs, sickness, death. The assumption you make that she had her minimum wage job with no other income, no working husband and went and had kids anyway isn't very well thought out.

You also suggest that we should all move up from minimum wage jobs. This year most of the movement was back down to minimum wage.

You also seem to assume that minimum wage workers, for the time they are minimum wage workers, are not going to get sick, visit doctors, break arms, or otherwise need healthcare.

3) The founder of the RAM program mentions he wants universal health/dental/vision care. Are any/all of these intended to be universal rights for all Americans/people? Again, I don't know the answer, but I don't remember reading that anywhere in the constitution. If we provide these three items, is the country responsible for universal food, education, entertainment, etc.? How does one draw the line between what is a right and waht is a priviledge?

"Promote the General Welfare", can be intrepreted to promote healthcare.

The Constitution gives us lots of options. We can elect a communist or libertarian to end representative Democracy. The Constitution gives us that right. It also gives us the right to elect Representatives to deliver healthcare, and raise taxes to do it.

Neither of us has all the answers. But the answer to the big question is easy. The little questions within it are easy too, once we get the big one right.

Report this comment
#12) On August 17, 2009 at 8:58 PM, Option1307 (29.99) wrote:

Let me rephrase # 1) from above.

What I was trying to state was that everybody in the US has access to healthcare, regardless of income, insurance, citizenship, etc. Many people claim they have no access to see any sort of doctor, I am simply pointing out that this is not an acccurate statement. They do have access, all do.

I can and, if you try, you can think of many ways to wind up on minimum wage with four kids. Divorce, layoffs, sickness, death. The assumption you make that she had her minimum wage job with no other income, no working husband and went and had kids anyway isn't very well thought out.

Fair enough; however, I was making a point. Let me try again. I agree that many people have unforseen circumstances that lead them to dire economic situations, but I can almost guarentee there is an equal number, that did NOT have these unforseen problems and simply chose to have large families without the resources to pay for them. Do you not agree?

You also suggest that we should all move up from minimum wage jobs. This year most of the movement was back down to minimum wage.

Yes, everyone should move up from minimum wage jobs. For the most part, with certain exceptions, people should not be in minimum wage jobs their whole life. I may sound like an arrogant a**, but I have witnessed my entire family come from dirt poor parts of Mexico only to succeed based on hard work and dedication. Did all of my family work for less than minimum wage at some point, sure. But with a focus on school and dedication, eventually everyone has prevailed. Some people say that is luck, well I consider it hard work and a desire to excell. I'm not trying to offend anyone, just make a point. Minimum wage jobs were never intended to be a person's entire profession. Maybe we should focus on raising people out of minimum wage instead of making things cheap enough for them to afford at that level.

"Promote the General Welfare", can be intrepreted to promote healthcare.

Again, fair enough. I don't agree with that interpretation, but lets go with it for a moment. I have to ask you, what else can be interpreted as promoting general welfare? Does eating healthy, having entertainment, the number of toys all count as promoting general welfare? Seriously, does this not leave open the possiblity for basically anythingto be considered a constitutional right as an American?

 

Report this comment
#13) On August 17, 2009 at 10:40 PM, devoish (97.30) wrote:

Let me rephrase # 1) from above.

What I was trying to state was that everybody in the US has access to healthcare, regardless of income, insurance, citizenship, etc. Many people claim they have no access to see any sort of doctor, I am simply pointing out that this is not an acccurate statement. They do have access, all do.

I understood what you are trying to say about access to a doctor. The people in the video say otherwise.

I can and, if you try, you can think of many ways to wind up on minimum wage with four kids. Divorce, layoffs, sickness, death. The assumption you make that she had her minimum wage job with no other income, no working husband and went and had kids anyway isn't very well thought out.

Fair enough; however, I was making a point. Let me try again. I agree that many people have unforseen circumstances that lead them to dire economic situations, but I can almost guarentee there is an equal number, that did NOT have these unforseen problems and simply chose to have large families without the resources to pay for them. Do you not agree?

I do not agree. I hear that idea suggested many times. If you can guarantee that equal number, do it. I would like to know percentages and actual numbers.

You also suggest that we should all move up from minimum wage jobs. This year most of the movement was back down to minimum wage.

Yes, everyone should move up from minimum wage jobs. For the most part, with certain exceptions, people should not be in minimum wage jobs their whole life. I may sound like an arrogant a**, but I have witnessed my entire family come from dirt poor parts of Mexico only to succeed based on hard work and dedication. Did all of my family work for less than minimum wage at some point, sure. But with a focus on school and dedication, eventually everyone has prevailed. Some people say that is luck, well I consider it hard work and a desire to excell. I'm not trying to offend anyone, just make a point. Minimum wage jobs were never intended to be a person's entire profession. Maybe we should focus on raising people out of minimum wage instead of making things cheap enough for them to afford at that level.

Here's the thing about minimum wage though. Visit the video from RAM in Inglewood Ca. Look at the truck driver and the farm hand. They do not say they are minimum wage workers. The farm hand has three kids. Maybe the oldest is 17 and he started his family 17 years ago and has since slowly watched his standard of living fall due to the poor tarrif policies, cheap illegal labor, etc. I implore you visit the RAM video from Inglewood. Most of the people at that clinic and some of the ones interviewed in Tennessee had health insurance.

"Promote the General Welfare", can be intrepreted to promote healthcare.

Again, fair enough. I don't agree with that interpretation, but lets go with it for a moment. I have to ask you, what else can be interpreted as promoting general welfare? Does eating healthy, having entertainment, the number of toys all count as promoting general welfare? Seriously, does this not leave open the possiblity for basically anythingto be considered a constitutional right as an American?

Promoting the general welfare in my value system includes environmental standards, health standards, product quality control standards among other things. Your question does this leave open the possibility... Yes it does. That is why we vote, elect representatives etc. To decide where the line is.

In the last two elections democrats won 70 seats in the house and swung the Senate from a minority to a strong majority in large part because they promised healthcare.

A public option was a weak compromise that never should have happened.

Report this comment
#14) On August 18, 2009 at 12:24 AM, Option1307 (29.99) wrote:

Thanks for the responses/discusson big D, I'll look up the RAM video from inglewood ca when i have time tomorrow.

I guess we'll leave this thread as, agree to disagree...

Report this comment
#15) On August 18, 2009 at 12:23 PM, jstegma (29.39) wrote:

This is like the exact opposite of David's post saying the free market could determine everything, and it's equally silly. 

You are saying that the way to do things more efficiently is to have the government rather than the market determine the allocation of health care resources? 

Come on.  We're discussing this here on the Fool, not in some Marxist class room in East Germany.

Saying that the government via some sort of socialism is going to give us more for less is about as intelligent as a 5-year-old suggesting that we should ask Santa Clause to bring the government more money. 

Maybe we could just get more people to watch Binny Hinn on TV.

Maybe we should take up a collection from Chinese villagers - "We're having some trouble paying for higher quality healthcare than we can afford.  Would you mind chipping in a few yuans or maybe some of those excess dollars we've been sending you?"

Or maybe we could ask Zimbabwe?  I'm sure they'd contribute a least a few trillion Zimbabwe dollars.  Maybe even $30 trillion - enough to make up for the Medicare shortfall.

Or we could offer people "end of life counseling" and try to cut down on....well, never mind. 

 

 

Report this comment
#16) On August 18, 2009 at 12:50 PM, devoish (97.30) wrote:

Foolish?

Because it is the wrong classroom?

Fools are smart jstegma.

They can look around the world and see for themselves that Norway, Canada, UK, Sweden, Qatar, France, Germany and others Government run systems are ALL delivering better healthcare, at lower cost. And there is not one single "free market" economy that does.

Or at least I can.

Report this comment
#17) On August 18, 2009 at 1:03 PM, farmnut1985 (32.29) wrote:

I find it hard to believe that the government can conduct healthcare more efficiently than free market.  Check DaretothREdux's blog "I Lost a Bet about Gov't Efficiency" , I know that you have read and commented there devoish but wanted the other folks reading this to see it as well.  

I think the gov't can do things to improve healthcare, but taking over it is not the answer.  I think the government knows about as much about making cars as they do healthcare if you follow me on their recent investment of our money.  I will not argue that something needs to be done to help the problem, but again the government taking control of the situation is not the solution as it will end up similar to SS and other government welfare programs.  

I would like to pose a question.  What could the government do to improve healthcare without costing the taxpayers more, and would not require the government to start providing healthcare?  I do not really have an answer, I just want to know what other fools think.

 RPM 

Report this comment

Featured Broker Partners


Advertisement