The administration keeps on telling the world that there are 40 million people in the US without health insurance. It’s as if they want it real bad and can’t get it. Are the 35 million people on food stamps a part of this group? How about the 10 million people on unemployment? They interviewed a gentleman the other day about health insurance. He said he was doing without, because he was putting his daughter through college. Now if they were to pass health care, he wouldn’t have the option to make that decision; the money for his daughter’s education wouldn’t be there.
Once you buy the idea that there are 40 million people that have no health insurance, then they hit you with the statement that these same 40 million people can’t afford health insurance. Back up and look at it a different way. 40 million people are self insured; they pay their doctor bills out of pocket. All insurance is, is a way of paying for future health costs in advance. Some choose to pay as they go. That plan works OK unless they have a very serious illness. Of those 40 million people that choose to be self insured, it takes a major illness for them to consider health insurance as unaffordable. It’s not the insurance that is unaffordable; it is the 20 to 40 years of missed payments that come due when you get sick. The idea that the government can manage anything cheaper than private enterprise has got to be a joke.
In my 64 years, I have spent about $4,000 total (including insured amounts paid) on doctor bills. Being self insured would have saved me quite a bundle, probably about $20,000. Oddly enough, I have spent probably over $8,000 sitting in a dentist chair. It is interesting to note, as we grow old, that Medicare doesn’t pay for dental fillings or dentures. I guess that’s why you don’t look a gift horse (Medicare) in the mouth.
Last Wednesday a Congressional committee grilled Angela Braly the CEO of Wellpoint Health Insurance (Anthem Blue Cross). House member Bart Stupak was upset that Angela was paid a million a year and the Company made 2.7 billion dollars. The fact that it was a 4 percent return on investment, didn’t sink through Representative Stupak’s head. He kept referring to the 2.7 billion dollar profit, being a lot of poor people’s insurance premiums; that was just too much profit for a private insurance company. He thought that a 39 percent increase in premiums was outrageous. As an investor, a 4% return is pretty poor also. Common sense suggests that no company would raise rates 39 percent just to make a profit. Irritating your policy holders isn’t doesn't help when it comes to renewals.
It's hard to believe that health care costs are increasing at 12 percent a year. Look at it other way; we know the government is printing too many dollars, their decrease in real value leads to the false assumption that prices are increasing. To the man on the street, if wages and prices increase together, it’s inflation. If your wages stay the same, those price hikes are real. Ouch!
Health insurance is like buying a car, cost is an issue. If you want a Lamborghini, you need big bucks. If you want to buy a Ford pickup, it is probably well within your budget. With the government's proposed health plan, you are "entitled" to the Lamborghini. The trouble is, you order the Lamborghini and you get a Ford pickup. Gee, how did that happen?