About That Private Health Care…

US Census is Serious BusinessI don’t know where you are on the government health care debate, but we all have to take note of the declining quantity and quality of employer-funded health care and privately-purchased health care. The US Census Data show that, as a nation, over the last 10 years we’ve seen a steady decline in people receiving health care from their employer. The poorest Americans get picked up by programs designed to serve the very poor: the not-so-poorest wind up without any coverage at all.

Those with coverage are paying more for their insurance and/or receiving fewer benefits. Premiums are getting so huge, regular care is cheaper without insurance to get that $10 copay. And if you opt for a standard pay-as-you-go insurance system, watch out for the increasing deductible.

Honestly, the whole system is broken. If anyone so much as posts a blind comment that the market is always right, I’m going to shove his head into the subprime debacle, beat him with a rolled-up newspaper, and say “Bad Market! Bad Market!” over and over until he gets the big picture. The totally free market gave us snake oils and poisons in the early 1900s. Regulation got rid of most of the crooks: thank you government for protecting the citizens from bad guys.

And this isn’t about public health care, anyway. This is about private health care. It’s going away. Prices are consistently increasing at around 7% per year. As prices increase, employers are dropping coverage. Leave Obama’s plan out of the picture. Right now in America, the insurance companies, the hospitals, the doctors, the patients… NONE of them are getting the best of things, as a whole. Some are getting lucky, but most everyone complains about how awful things are. I hate to have to employ one of Dr. Phil’s brickbats, but the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.

If Obama’s plan isn’t the answer, what is? And if there is no other answer, why aren’t all the rabid anti-Obama pit bulls not spinning a few cycles on coming up with a solution? Or are they just that deep in the back pockets of the few big corporations that are making huge profits by arbitraging the sick people of America?

I’ll say that again: If you don’t like Obama’s plan, then where is your plan? I’d like to hear it. Honestly. I have my doubts about Obama’s plan, but I don’t see anything else but empty blowhard rhetoric from crybaby namby-pamby spoilsports that are either consciously or unconsciously serving a very limited and very powerful interest that would sell you out in an instant if it made them another dollar in profit.

Think hard before you post a reply, because I’ve got plenty of rolled-up newspaper and that subprime pile of whatsit is pretty ferocious.

14 thoughts on “About That Private Health Care…

  1. Raphael Yohannes

    Congress and the President are working to enact health care reform legislation that protects what works about health care and fixes what is broken. Texans know that inaction is not an option. Sky-rocketing health care costs are hurting families, forcing businesses to cut or drop health benefits, and straining state budgets. Millions are paying more for less. Families and businesses in Texas deserve better.

    * Roughly 12 million people in Texas get health insurance on the job, where family premiums average $13,525, about the annual earning of a full-time minimum wage job.
    * Since 2000 alone, average family premiums have increased by 104 percent in Texas.
    * Household budgets are strained by high costs: 17 percent of middle-income Texas families spend more than 10 percent of their income on health care.
    * High costs block access to care: 20 percent of people in Texas report not visiting a doctor due to high costs.
    * Texas businesses and families shoulder a hidden health tax of roughly $1,800 per year on premiums as a direct result of subsidizing the costs of the uninsured.


  2. Alyssa Anderson

    At the moment it seems that the most appealing plan being discussed is the ‘public option’ since it would result in lower health care costs without eliminating private insurers. However, implementing the public option involves more complications than merely getting enough votes in the House and the Senate. Questions arise about how the plan would be funded, where the extra doctors and nurses would come from, and what the public option would mean for the future of private insurers. So even though the idea of the public having a choice between either government-run or private insurance is an attractive one, it’s easy to doubt if such a plan is reasonable. A public insurance plan could possibly become so popular that it would mean an end to private insurers altogether, resulting in what many fear, a totally socialized health care system. There’s also a chance that government techniques to minimize costs on the plan prove less effective than hoped and the already staggering national debt would end up bearing the expense. In any case, most people would agree that there needs to be a change in health care and that it won’t be an easy one.

    Here is a Wall Street Journal article about the public option:

    And here is a concise, easy-to-follow video discussing health care:

  3. Ali Aenehzodaee

    There’s nothing BUT a need for reform. I’m not taking a political stance but protesters screaming “THIS IS NOT A GAME, ITS OUR MONEY” tend to have no real argument, and as you said, propose no real solutions. Lets take a demographic, say Berkner, how many people at Berkner are uninsured? 20-30%, maybe? Too many people are denied basic medical needs, that even less affluent countries seem to have mastered, not because they cannot afford it but because it is either backwards or unavailable.

    I tuned in the other night in the middle of an NPR broadcast over health care. An author was noting that our system is so distorted that it is actually more profitable to amputate the leg of a diabetic than to prevent it from happening. Pharmaceutical companies pay doctors based on the number of prescriptions they hand out. Our economic ties to these sort of things need to severed asap.

  4. Hugo Espiritu

    Come on Mr. Webb you’re just caught up in the recession, you know the market is always right haven’t you heard of the efficient market hypothesis. Don’t kill me, I’m just kidding. What I really wanted to say is that on top of insurance rates going up the healthcare system is so wrapped up in what is and isn’t covered by your insurance. Sure that’s important but shouldn’t the well-being of the patient come first?

  5. Emily S.

    Ok, I am a little confused. (please don’t hit me if I sound stupid!) Our health care system is in shambles right now, in part because of large companies taking advantage of people, and although Obama is in support of having a government option, people are worried that that will direct America towards socialism, which is bad.

  6. Emily Rohrer

    Well, what we do is we ostracize those without coverage. Maybe send them to Mexico where the government pays, what did you say?, like $800 dollars on their health care. It could be a trade off. We’ll take their immigrants, and they’ll take our medically uninsured. That should do it.
    Hmmm. Kidding.

  7. Katie Wilson

    The problem with the public option is that, although the government SAYS you can keep your private insurance, the truth is, government-run costs will be lower. This means that people will eventually have to switch to the government-run insurance, causing private insurers to go out of business. Yes, we need to reform, but we need to do it carefully.

  8. deanwebb Post author

    The problem with private insurers is that they’ve jacked up premiums over 119% over the last 10 years. I’m getting far less coverage for my premiums, and most of my health care expenditures are out-of-pocket. Thanks to my being self-employed as an artist/writer, I can take all my health expenses and deduct them as a business health care expenditure. That makes things easier, but I know it’s a bureaucratic loophole I’m taking advantage of.

    Newspapers are going out of business, as have many travel agents. If health insurers have to pack it in due to structural unemployment so the rest of the nation can have more efficient health care, so be it.

    And as for the death panels the idiot talking heads accuse Obama of proliferating, we already have them. They’re called claims agents. Whenever they deny a person coverage due to a pre-existing condition, that’s a seal on the health care of that person. No more from that point forward until there’s a life-threatening and wealth-eliminating emergency. Private insurance plans as they exist today target the very people that need health care the most and deny them coverage because to cover them would reduce their profits.

    Government can make no such distinctions and, therefore, would not be driving out private insurance in such cases. It would be going where no private insurer is willing to go.

  9. David Truong

    If Obama’s health care plan does happen, would that be the end of medicare and medicaid, or how would that part of it work?
    I think the best thing to do is to invest some money in to prevention education. I watched awhile back ABC’s Prescription for America special, and when they would cut to commercial, they showed little facts. One of the facts said that 50% of all money spent on health care went to three things: Diabetes, Heart disease, and Obesity (or something like that). All of those 3 are preventable if we put an effort to it and the results would be magnificent to people’s wallets and health in general.

  10. David Liou

    Type I Diabetes however isn’t preventable. And educating about health may not be magnificent to people’s wallets initially, since they can buy/eat all those cheap and unhealthy foods anymore, so there will be many skeptics. Therefore, in order change overall health of the general public will not be as simple as education. You would also have to remove all the temptations each and everyone of us.

  11. David Truong

    True but it should end up paying off for us in the future; maybe not this generation but the next, who are taught early on (like I was) what is healthy and not. The obese people now can’t possibly enjoy being that way and have probably made an effort to lose weight so they have motivation to support reform in dietary habits and support any methods that work, such as education.

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