Monday, August 10, 2009

Concepts 101

Lately you hear in the same sentence:” We need health insurance, and everyone knows that the present health care system needs to be fixed.” Let’s break it down into two parts. We probably all need health insurance as we grow older. Very few will need it while they are young. Old age leads us to the second half of the sentence. “Everyone knows that the present health care system needs to be fixed.” What idiot can’t figure out that there is no way we can pay for the free health care plan for the over 65 crowd already in place? It is impossible!

The initial concept behind Social Security was everyone contributed towards their own retirement. Look at it from a Congressional point of view. Everyone pays more in taxes and Congress can spend more now. All of the Social Security money has been spent. The new concept is; the kids pay for mom and dad’s retirement through the SSI tax. If you think about it, the real bill that Congress passed was a law that stated the children have to pay their parents retirement income while they are still alive. Your parents don’t have to feel uncomfortable asking you to support them, the government is the intermediary.

Basically the present Medicaid and Medicare programs will fail miserably unless we can tax those who use very little in benefits to insure those that will be using a lot of benefits. Just imagine if everyone over the age of 75 needed $100K worth of health care a year. Who’s your doctor going to treat, the kid with an earache or the 75 year old gentlemen that needs a double hip and knee replacement? The present health care for those over the age of 65 will bankrupt the country; it needs to be cut drastically. Ask a Congressman, how will doing that get them re-elected? So that will not happen, ever!

Tomorrow there is going to be another one of those informal town hall meetings over health care presided over by Obama. This should be a very controlled agenda. The Democrats want to push “health insurance” and combine it with “Medicare and Medicaid.” If I was to write the bill, it wouldn’t be a thousand pages long, it would read: "If mom or dad gets sick the kids have to pay the bill, no matter how much it is."

Look for some key items tomorrow at the town meeting. A large American flag, references to patriotism, and “Doing what is right.” This town meeting will deliver a message, but I think the real message will be after the meeting. People are tired of being manipulated by the press. The real issues are not being questioned by the news media.

Everyone needs health care, the question arises, as we progress into our older years, is the present system really viable for the country? Congress has realized that it needs to be fixed. The concept that it is unaffordable is of no concern to our elected officals. Keep quiet and get re elected to Congress. Go figure


Sackerson said...

How do you like Denninger's idea of the government setting a minimum standard for medical insurance contracts, and then letting the market compete simply on price?

Rob in NS said...


You likely already know this but it is hard to argue against government mandated health care with the unwashed masses. Most people think it will be free. It is hard to make anyone realize that nothing is free in life and if it involves government inevitably it will be run badly to boot. As for free health care in Canada what they do here is get you in and out of hospital as fast as they can. Once out of the hospital you better pray you have good prescription drug coverage as you will be screwed the same way you Yanks are right now when you go to hospital. The only difference here is I get to pay upfront for health care that I will not likely use for another 20 years. I still think the system we have is better than yours but it isn't by much.

That argument though is secondary to point I think you are trying to make. The government is trying to find a new revenue stream and saying that your going to look after the sick is a great hook. Better than let's fix the financial health of Wall Street. You gotta hand it to Obama he isn't stupid. I just wonder what is next once he's done saving all the banksters with the money meant for Grandma.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Sack

Thanks for dropping by. There is a lot wrong with government reimbursement rates for health care already. They are setting rates that are below what most physicians want to accept.

20 years ago a friend of mine worked for a heart surgeon in Colorado. Well known people flew in from all over the world to be operated on by this doctor. He wasn't cheap, but he was damn good.

Denningers concepts of health insurance lacks focus. Hospitals are one issue. Doctors are another and malpractice lawsuits are a real big one.

Our hospitals are about to collapse because of lack of funding. The doctors just rent space in them. HMO's are kind of an assembly line approach to medicine.

Health insurance fills a need, but many people think that a policy is a blank check for services. It can't do that. Sooner or later, when you pull up to the emergency room with empty pockets, grab a number and wait.

If you've ever had a pet that needed emergency surgery, you'll see how the system should work. You'll be told the costs and it's cash now before they operate. You can buy pet insurance.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Rob

From the consumption side, there is probably little difference. I know two doctors that moved to the US because of Government health care, one from Alberta Canada and the other from Great Britain. It is not easy to get re-certified in a new country. It could take you a year to do it. Practicing medicine for the government is a dead end job.

Even if you have health insurance, you do not want to go to the emergency room. You could wait 4-6 hours to be treated. At urgent care, show a credit card and it is a 10 minute wait or less. You pay extra for quick service and skillful doctors.

Even if health care is not socialized in this country, I foresee many doctors moving out of country to practice surgery, lower tax rates and no liability insurance premiums. Right now you can schedule heart by-pass surgery in India for half the price and half the mortality rate stateside and that includes round trip plane fare.

While we are young and working, there is no real need for health insurance, it is pay as you go. But when you get to 60 years old, your thinking changes. When you retire, you will be living on a fixed income that could deteriorate fantastically with just one illness. And of course, this is the age at which most major health care consumption will take place, when you can least afford an unanticipated expense.

This health care plan as you suggest will just tax the young to allow present government programs to exist for maybe a few more years.