Sunday, October 28, 2012
Health Insurance, Who is really “Jerking Us Around?”
If you look at an insurance company, it’s a group of people insuring against a certain risk. It could be your home, your car, your life or your health to cite a few. For these insurance companies, it is quite easy to gage the amount of risk involved and charge accordingly. The insurance company is willing to insure to a limited dollar amount, while the the insured and Congress are expecting unlimited coverage.
When the government steps in to fill the void at age 65, it may seem like the right thing to do, but you have to ask only one question, what does government bring to the table to make it affordable to offer it to everyone? Deep pockets are the answer (AKA the National Debt checkbook).
The real issue isn’t that apparent. Once you limit what health insurance companies can and cannot do, and you limit their profit margins, you eliminate their ability to survive. Obama might accuse the insurance companies of “Jerking people around,” but it is the President who is jerking private for-profit-businesses around. The net result, the private health insurance industry will fade out of existence. Profits are the driving engine of competition. Private health insurance cannot compete with Obamacare; the government doesn’t have to make a profit to survive.
People that never even gave a thought to health insurance, (those from the age of 18 to 45) would suddenly find themselves in a situation where health insurance is now mandatory. The question they may ask is; “Why am I forced to pay for something I don’t feel I need?”
What makes Obamacare so insidious is the fact that they are dictating what sort of profit margins are acceptable for insurance companies to have. Bill Gates at Microsoft probably has a profit margin of about 85 percent. Pill factories probably have a 400 percent profit margin. Blue Cross was having problems justifying a 5% profit margin during a recent Congressional investigation.
Forcing insurance companies to insure people with previous conditions is a death sentence. Rates are determined by the number insured without problems. The government is now saying that preexisting conditions have to be insured. This changes the risk for the underwriters and negates all actuary tables that have been used previously. The new risk cannot be calculated, when people can sign up with preexisting conditions.
What happens in this case? The health insurance investors realize that there is no profit in writing coverage and move their funds elsewhere for a better return.
The end result, the insurance industry will continue to write home, auto and life and let you go to the government for your health care insurance. Think about it for one moment, is anybody accusing the life insurance industry or the auto or home insurance industry of “jerking anyone around?” You aren't being forced to take the government insurance as long as you can find a private provider.
So what happens when the health insurance industry drops dead? The government will add it your paycheck deductions and they can adjust your rates for this new “health insurance,” without having to ask Congress. It won’t count as a tax; it’s your health insurance. You might think I am kidding, but it will be about $6,000 to $12,000 a year (Your employer pays half, guffaw, guffaw).
Obama claims that health insurers are "Jerking us around." Let’s rephrase it, health insurers are pointing out the real costs of health insurance, and we have to make decisions on how much of it, we can afford. Life will end for all of us, and for a politician to suggest that government health care insurance will solve our problems is wishful thinking. That is the person “jerking you around.” He wants your vote and that new health care revenue stream. There is no free ride. Of course if you have nothing, the "free ride" is better than nothing.
Obamacare could be the biggest tax increase to ever face our Republic. It is the death knell for private health insurance. I'd rather they force everyone to get car insurance instead. This government is going to harness the working young to pay all of our debts. After you get your first job, here is what the "Company Store" wants from your paycheck: State and Federal taxes, Social Security, Student loan payments and the new one, health insurance. I remember when I was young; I had a hard time trying to afford girls and car insurance. So what Obamacare really boils down to is a tax on being young and dumb.
As a concept, I have no objections to Obamacare. But if you understand how Congress works, this new found money will be spent on anything but health care and will destroy the private health insurance industry by dictating their rates. Show me one thing that the government can do better than private industry for less money. One thing is certain; we are being jerked around, by a bunch of politicians in Congress promising "Surf and Turf" and delivering "biscuits and gravy."
The irony of history (tongue in cheek) it took a Republican to free the slaves, and a Democrat to put the chains back on.
Copyright 2012 by Jim Brubaker