"Insurance"

Yesterday I mentioned the Doublespeak definition of insurance as used in the health care field, when a public policy person can say with a straight face that a particular health care policy is "bad" because it only covers catastrophes.  Finem Respice had a good article several years ago on the history of insurance and current efforts to affect redistribution through mispricing risk.  The article is written about housing but could easily have been about health care as well.

No one has put a number on this, but my gut feel is that the largest new source of funding for health care in the plan is not new taxes (though they are large) nor price controls on doctors (though these are onerous) nor deficit spending (though this is likely to be substantial) but an implicit premium subsidy from young to old.  Since insurers are extremely limited in how much they can raise the price to risky groups, healthier and younger people will have to pay absurdly high premiums for what they get to subsidize the policies of the old and sick.   In a normal market young people would just refuse to buy such policies -- thus the individual mandate.  They must be forced to buy them, because their purchase of these overpriced, and to them, likely useless policies will fund most of the system.

  • http://profiles.google.com/maruadventurer john mcginnis

    You are already seeing cracks developing in the PACA system. 16 senators who voted FOR PACA are now requesting Reid bring a motion to the floor that the medical device tax be waved for an unspecified period of time. The 16 are concerned about the economic impacts.

    The idiots did not read the bill, voted FOR it and now want a mulligan on it. This is not a way to run a country.

  • nehemiah

    I urge republicans to refuse to tweak the law to fix items coming to light now. Full repeal or let the Dem's try to explain why all the pain that everyone is experiencing is for the good of the country. Unfortunately I think we may be at a point where only a real catastrophe will get the attention of the "folks".

  • Noah

    Don't feel bad about the young to old transfer as the young signed up for it when 65% of the 18 to 29 year olds voted for President Obama.

  • LarryGross

    yeah.. this is like saying that safe drivers won't purchase insurance because their premiums would go to pay for bad drivers... or people would not buy homeowners insurance because their premiums would go to pay for the careless.

    It also assumes that insurance companies could not turn down people - as they do right now for things like pre-existing conditions or bad driving records or a questionable claim history for homeowners.

    the continuing suspicion and ignorance of "insurance" is amazing.

    If you go to health.gov, you will see that insurance in the Obama exchanges is priced according to age, demographics, lifestyle, etc.

    if you buy a house and get a loan, the mortgage company is going to "mandate" that you buy insurance whether you like it or not and the state is going to mandate that you buy insurance if you drive a car.

    It's not like people who don't have insurance don't get health care. They do and it's expensive and we pay for it via EMTALA and MEDICAID already. All ObamaCare does is bring this subsidized health care under an umbrella that allows people to get attention for their problems earlier on when disease can be treated and kept from progressing and getting more expensive - for taxpayers.

  • Max Lybbert

    The comparison to car insurance and house insurance is funny to me. I recently blew my car's head gasket. Since the car is older, the repair cost about a third of the car's value. However, car insurance -- unlike health insurance -- only covers damage due to accidents, not damage due to failing to replace the water pump and then letting the car overheat.

    If car insurance were more like health insurance, not only would it have covered my head gasket, but it would have covered my oil changes and other routine maintenance.

    But, for what it's worth, most states require drivers to be insured against accident precisely because drivers believe their premiums pay for careless drivers and many wouldn't sign the contract if it were legal to drive without insurance.

  • LarryGross

    well, I actually AGREE with you but if someone wants to buy a gold-plated comprehensive policy and can afford it then fine. You can buy auto insurance that covers blown head gaskets also, you know.

    re: paying for careless.. ... vs... paying to insure against accidents. How would you discriminate on this? There are endless variations of "fault" in accident scenarios but it's downright dumb not to protect yourself no matter your suspicions and I note that the mortgage companies have no such qualms in forcing you to insure - even if there are people who scan the insurance companies.

    The realm is financial responsibility. If you are going to borrow money, drive on highways or be a human being who will inevitably need medicare care - then there is a personal financial responsibility aspect to this and some people will evade it if they can - and that's why it gets "mandated" by both private and govt entities.

  • marque2

    Interestingly I don't have insurance now, and I have found there are a lot of discount places to go for healthcare. I found a doctor that charges $45 per visit. This is better than I could get on my former high deductible plan, because the plan forced me to use in-plan physicians which charged $120 - but agreed to a 30% discount.

  • LarryGross

    And if you were in a accident and went to the ER .... what would the financial arrangement be?

  • marque2

    It is sad though, we have this old notion that old people are poor, and youth are OK, when it is exactly opposite. Youth are starting out on their $10 per hour jobs. The Seniors, just finished up their $50 per hour jobs, since wages go up with experience, have finished paying of home loans and such, and are now getting SSA, and pensions. The Elderly on average are rich. So why are we transferring money from the poor 27 year old kid, just trying to get started in a productive life, and giving it to a rich senior, who is kicking back and no longer being productive. I don't get it.

  • LarryGross

    some old ARE poor but others are not. They can receive up to 200,000 in retirement income and have a million dollar in assets and pay 100.00 a month for health insurance.

    and the reason they want it, ironically, is to preserve their assets so they can pass them on to their kids.

    of course, they are also passing on to their kids the debt associated with providing their parents with dirt cheap insurance even as their parents are not "poor".

    Now the kids are _not_ victims. They are expecting to inherit their parents preserved assets and at the same time they won't save for their heath care either and expect someone else to pay when they need it.

  • marque2

    - I will be on a plan again soon - I was having some issues, but have signed up for a company plan this time. But again I have the problem - high deductible but I have to use doctors on the plan or get penalized. I thought the point of these plans is that I could shop around and find the lowest rate in town. Apparently not, under the insurance I will be charged 2x as much per visit even with the discount.

    As for the accident. Even there, the risk isn't as great as folks assume. Mostly likely, I break an arm or leg - 3 grand. If I get into a serious accident (unlikely) there is a 50% chance that it is the other persons fault and the other person will have to cover it. Accidents at work are covered by workman's comp ... add it all up along with the low chance of getting whacked in the first place, and the great risk isn't there.

  • marque2

    I agree with your points - except that most seniors are not remotely poor. Look it up - they are the richest demographic. The poorest on average are those in their 20's. So we transfer from the 20 year old's to the seniors. What really should happen is seniors transfer wealth to other seniors.

    Look at your own life, how much did you have/earn when you were say 21 and what you have/earn now?

  • tex

    My daughter needed emergency surgery and I had no insurance. The doctors and hospital rushed her in and did a great job. When bill time came and I could not pay (it was many thousands), they set up a meeting resulting with my bills being turned over to a collection agency and I paid every month for the next 12-15 years. The monthly payments were less than a family plan and the collection agency was better than a bank, they even let me skip a payment one time.

  • Don

    I think you're optimistic. On both counts.

  • tex

    Auto insurance and homeowners insurance are required for liability to others, not for self protection.

    Our healthcare system is a government dictated mess which will get worse under Obamacare.

    Had the government desired better healthcare it would have

    1. Allowed tax-free payments to employees for such purpose. Big companies could self insure or provide insurance as they saw fit. Employees of small companies (from 1 to 100s) would be better served buying group plans from bigger groups (e.g. AAA, YMCA, churches and many other such groups would be happy to provide the insurance).
    2. Encouraged major medical insurance. About 40% of the cost of a doctor's visit is insurance company overhead, an enormous nationwide waste. Most should no more be covered for a typical office visit than have milk & break insurance, nearly doubling the expense of same.
    3. Placed no restrictions on the coverage so that providers could not force customers into their unwanted offerings. (Previously mostly state lobbying, but now all lobbying will move to DC – though I think mental health lobbyist have been lobbying in DC for years to have mandated unlimited coverage).
    4. Required hospitals to set up “walk-in” clinics when they passed EMTALA so that small things could be done for $100 rather than $2-4K and most poor would be able to pay the $100. (Note: Complicated subject b/c EMTALA does not require hospitals to treat non-emergencies, however, they routinely do, and receive ER rates via taxes to do so.)
    5. Not regulated doctors. I've watched over a long time my doctor, now retired, as the regulations increased and decreased the procedures he could do in his office greatly increasing the cost of healthcare.
    6. Not granted the doctors the ability to limit the number of doctors being trained (Milton Friedman's PhD Thesis showing how doctors limited their numbers to increase their income).
    etc.

  • LarryGross

    Some are poor - they actually have their Medicare premiums subtracted out of their social security benefits but others are well off - and as I said - they are using subsidized medical care to preserve their assets to pass on to their kids... who are .... paying the subsidies.

    The 'entitlement' part of Medicare is that people are entitled to buy it no matter their health circumstances. There is no guarantee about cost and the cost should increase substantially for those who have 200K in retirement income and even more in assets.

    but young people - regardless of generation are, in general, not very responsible about financial responsibility either. Everyone - all generations - are trying to evade costs even if it puts them on others.

    there is no virtue in being young or poor when it comes to insurance or for that matter setting aside money for your retirement -even when you can do it with pre-tax money.

  • LarryGross

    re: "self-protection' ... how about when you show up at the ER needing thousands of dollars of treatment and you have no insurance?

    re: tax free insurance. isn't employer-provided health insurance already tax free?

    re: buying group plans - why did it not happen before and if it had there would have been no need/motivation
    for ObamaCare? right now : group plans = Exchanges.

    re: encourage major medical - they do. they're called HSAs, right?

    re: "require"... are you saying the govt should "require"?

    re: "regulations".... if you look at how private insurance works right now.. there is a pretty good level of top-down "regulation" from the companies themselves... for instance, they can and will deny you coverage or cap how much they'll pay or force you to go to doctors of their choosing - all of that - not due to govt.

  • MingoV

    "re: "self-protection' ... how about when you show up at the ER needing thousands of dollars of treatment and you have no insurance?"
    -- Then you tap into your savings or get a loan.

    "re: tax free insurance. isn't employer-provided health insurance already tax free?"-- Employees can only choose an available plan. It would be better if they could buy their own insurance with untaxed income.

    "group plans = Exchanges."
    -- You obviously don't understand Obamacare. The Exchanges offer health care plans with benefits that greatly exceed what many people would choose. Also, because of the pricing regulations, the new insurance plans will grossly overcharge younger and healthier people.

  • LarryGross

    and if you do not have savings or can get a loan do you get denied care?

    tax free health insurance for all - I agree .. what do the Feds force those without employer-provided to exceed 7.5% before they can claim it?

    re: ObamaCare - have you actually looked at the choices at the exchanges? If not, you should go look because catastrophic is an option for about $59 a month.

  • tex

    re: at the ER needing thousands of dollars of treatment and you have no insurance?

    Happened to me, see other post. Further, we are rich enough to provide healthcare to those that actually need it, and could do so readily without the current government burdens.

    re: isn't employer-provided health insurance already tax free?

    A big company employee can get $10K in insurance, but can't get $10K in cash to spend on healthcare, e.g. $8K/year in HSA, $2K/yr in major medical plan. If we could get healthcare tax-free cash, then 1-man companies could provide healthcare.

    re: why did it not happen before

    It did not happen before because employer-provided insurance was initially a perk to give employees tax-free wages when government set limits. There were many other such perks to avoid government limitations but they were eventually disallowed as the wage caps were discontinued and government wanted more taxes. The Exchanges will be a very expensive substitute for free market decisions.

    re: they're called HSAs, right?
    As I understand it HSAs will be eliminated when Obamacare is in full force.

    re: are you saying the govt should "require"?
    Nope! But, if you are going to require free ER service, they should also require cheaper clinics so the small stuff does not go into the expensive ER.

    re: "regulations"
    Regulations are bad whether by government or by insurance company. Bureaucrats are overhead and a terrible burden, even if necessary in some circumstances. It is best to avoid insurance as much as possible. Insurance companies (private or government) are a hassle and very expensive, even if necessary for unforeseen or unaffordable circumstances. For most, major medical would be much preferred, including for old folks -- there are exceptions. Some need more help than they could provide alone, and regulations would be involved and thus, freedom and personal decisions would be reduced, sad that, but only for a few of us.

  • LarryGross

    yeah I saw your other post. so the hospital has to give you a free loan with no interest so you
    could pay your bill? what happened if you did not pay? who would pay then?

    re; we are rich enough? are you advocating tax-subsidies for health care here?

    re: one man companies .. i doubt it . if you have a serious illness, it could bankrupt you.
    re; HSAs - they will not go away but they will change... in some areas.

    re: cheaper than ERs.... that's called MedicAID right?

    re: bureaucrats - well in both situations, they are trying to protect other subscribers from rate increases.

    it SOUNDS LIKE you support Govt assistance for health care. am i wrong?

  • tex

    RE: free loan . . .
    I think the collection company bought my bill from the hospital and doctors at some discount. I understand that Ins companies pay substantially less than the bill. Perhaps they could have bankrupted me and received much less or none, so it was in their interest.

    RE: who would pay then?. . .are you advocating tax-subsidies for health care it SOUNDS LIKE you support Govt assistance for health care. am i wrong?
    The free market has some holes which economists call “externalities.” Assuming healthcare for the poor is one for which no one else (charities, churches, etc) would fill the gaps, then, yes, I don't want people to suffer, die on the streets, etc, and it is my opinion that we are so rich that we could collectively provide healthcare where necessary, but as a last resort. More doctors would help (there is an artificial shortage), and historically doctors provided free care for the poor. All would be better if government were not involved, and certainly if government were no impediment, e.g. did not limit what nurses, dental hygienist could do, hence increasing options and lowering costs – people get more stuff that way. Suppose I was too great a risk for the collection company. Maybe the government should loan me the money under student loan terms – very tough. For those where the bill is out of reach, maybe the government could chip in, but still hold me accountable for what I could pay over time. For the very poor, maybe the government is the only resort. For most of us, leave us the hell alone.

    RE: one man companies .. i doubt it .
    A one man company that could give its sole proprietor $10K/yr tax-free for healthcare would greatly boost coverage.

    RE: that's called MedicAID right?
    No, the walk-in clinics in my area charge about $100 for a visit while the ER charges $2-4K for a routine visit, e.g. a few stitches.

    RE: bureaucrats - well in both situations, they are trying to protect other subscribers from
    rate increases.
    And the bureaucrats greatly add to cost. If you could purchase insurance to cover your bread, you would pay much more for such insurance than if you just bought the bread yourself, and you'd have fewer choices. Things should be structured to avoid, where possible, A receiving goods/services from B and paid for by C, cuz A doesn't give a dam what it costs.

  • LarryGross

    re: die in the streets. That's EMTALA but EMTALA alone would bankrupt the hospitals and that's how MedicAid got in the game but because some do not qualify for MedicAid - they use the ERs like you did and that imposes costs are others also. It costs the hospital money just to collect from people and those costs get absorbed by others.

    ObamaCare ought to help in that regard and ObamaCare does support Community Clinics:

    http://www.healthcare.gov/using-insurance/low-cost-care/index.html

  • gggggggg

    ". They do and it's expensive and we pay for it via EMTALA and MEDICAID already"

    THis is not true. I do not. Please spend less time parroting the government web site and do some reading of other sources.

  • NowThatIsAWhopper

    There is auto INSURANCE that covers head gaskets? SOURCE!??!?!????

  • LarryGross

    you don't pay for EMTALA and MedicAid?

    re: "parroting" - my intent is to point out that ObamaCare is not exactly what is being propagandized.... i.e. the small business myth - and others.

    what I advocate is finding out the truth for oneself - by visiting the site to get the facts and yes...
    I would advocate using other credible sources to validate but i do differentiate 'credible' as the "ObamaCare will kill small business" made the rounds on a number of non-credible websites.

  • LarryGross
  • FrankW

    Hmm, I went to health.gov but was unable to find the info you referenced above.

  • Jerryskids

    It bothers me somewhat that you say your 'gut feeling' is that the largest source of new funding for Obamacare is going to be the young. I thought that it was rather obvious all along that that was the intent. The aging baby boomers demanding expensive medical treatment is the big driver of healthcare costs. Young people, for the most part, don't need insurance - once you get past the childhood diseases, childbirth is about the only expensive medical procedure you are likely to need until you get into the heart attack/stroke age range.
    Young people are simply being forced to buy health insurance they won't use so that their premiums will subsidize Grandma's hip replacement surgery. There's no 'gut feeling' about that, it's a simple fact.

  • LarryGross

    you need to go to http://finder.healthcare.gov/ and then follow the navigation.. starts off saying select state... then once you get inside and further along, you'll see various options and choices.

    below state you ought to see: question asking your personal situation...etc.

  • LarryGross

    like 26 year olds getting on their parents policy? Are you sure you understand that obamacare is not Medicare? Medicare is for seniors and has been around for 50 years or so.

    Medicare Part A is paid for through FICA taxes on paychecks. The people who now use Medicare Part A paid into it when they were "young". In other words they set aside money for their health care when they got older.

    If you are young and healthy and don't feel you need insurance, do you need to put aside money for your medical needs when you get older?

    young people would also not buy auto insurance or other kinds of insurance if they could get away with it.

    for some, it's gotten to the point where they consider insurance as similar to govt socialism.. even if the insurance is private.

  • tex

    Don't know what you mean "how MedicAid got in the game." MedicAid started in 1965 while EMTALA started over 20 years later, 1986.

    My use of the ER costs others? Prior to MedicAid and EMTALA people with emergencies went to the ER, and certainly some had to pay over time, the same as me.

    We absorb the costs of all business collecting debits from their customers and healthcare collections are no different. The ER is full of minor ailments which could be handled by an attached "clinic" and getting paid $100 instead of $2-4K is much easier. We don't need Obamacare. We need freedom for nearly all, and help for the very few.

    Obamacare is gross overkill and very harmful to our economy, our national wealth, and in the long run to our quality of healthcare. We may agree I should kill a malaria carrying mosquito on your forehead, but hitting it with a hammer is going to do a lot of damage.

    Obamacare is even worse than overkill as it is a government program based upon politics: with taxes on medical equipment (reported to be Obama retaliation for not having industry cooperation) and outlawing doctor owned hospitals (reported to be a result of HCA lobbying to reduce competition) - blocking 45 (as I recall) hospitals already on the drawing boards and the expansion plans of an unknown number of existing doctor owned hospitals. It adds 10s (100s?) of thousands of bureaucrats and no new doctors. It will dictate treatments as "best practices" when in some particular circumstances don't apply at all.

  • LarryGross

    You are correct about the timeline for MedicAid, EMTALA. I did get that wrong.

    Your use of the ER DOES cost others. Hospitals do not print money and have to recover costs for charity care even if they get some from the patient. When you say "we absorb", who do you mean? those with insurance and taxpayers? who absorbs?

    If 'attached clinics' were the answer how home they did not happen 'enough' and were not a part of an alternative to ObamaCare before it came along and even after it was proposed? Where was the alternative proposal from those who were opposed to ObamaCare?

    please explain what a better alternative to ObamaCare would have been and why it was not a competitive alternative. Calling it overkill when we have twice the per capita costs for health care than every other industrialized country in the world ... geeze... how many jobs are involved when our health care is 17% of our GDP and slated, if not changed to go to 30%? Besides if more
    health care providers are one result of ObamaCare doesn't that INCREASE jobs?

    increased bureaucrats? Didn't ObamaCare hold all insurance to a higher standard on administrative costs? was that good?

    i do not believe that ObamaCare is the best thing since sliced bread but I also say if the opponents had actually put forth a competitive alternative - we might have ended up with better but the opponents only had one tactic - opposition. There was no "replace" after repeal.

    Mr. Romney might have fared better had he actually proposed a better alternative to what he would have done after day one "I will kill".

    opposition for opposition sake and no real competitive alternatives is what brought us ObamaCare.

  • marque2

    There are two components here First is the requirement that the top rates can be no more than the lowest rates - and secondly there are all sorts of fees and taxes in the bill to help out with the medicare crowd, which we all will have to pay for. Granted if you have a good relationship with your parents, and they have a plan and a decent plan, you can opt out of the 2 grand a year penalty until you are 27.

    Of course the whole bill was designed to make our healthcare system fail, so that the government can come in in about 4 years and "save us" from the health debacle which will exist. The parents will be dropped from company plans so neither 26yo or parents have insurance, the demands for more government mandated services will be made so high that private insurance will no longer be able to underwright the cost. They did the same for student loans - artificially made rates too low, and when parents/students cried, took over the whole program, to save the college students.

  • marque2

    I don't know if the no interest loan part is true. I think the hospitals charge fees and penalties and make arrangements for repayment with an interest rate. Yeah, I believe you are now officially trolling.

  • marque2

    Maybe the problem is with the mandates?

  • marque2

    you can actually buy bumper to bumper warantees for cars of almost any age. You ten year old car will cost significantly more than a new car's warantee. When I purchased my car new, I stupidly purchased the three year warantee for $850 (it was talked down from $1200), the purchasing agent at the dealership showed me a plan he sold to someone else for a 6 year old car, it was 3 years for 5 grand.

  • tex

    Blog comments are not free speech areas. Much is suppressed w/o explanation. My response was deleted. To post those replies the censors will tolerate, I am breaking my deleted response into pieces:

    1. RE: Your use of the ER DOES cost others.
    Like my car loan? In my case the collection agency (CA) discounted my bill less than Ins and paid immediately. An ER visit under my wife's ins: A $6K bill fully paid by ins company for $2K. The CA's discount had to be less for my daughter's operation or they were charging me mafia rates for 12-15 years. The hospital made more from me and got their money quicker than from an ins company, and with less paperwork – the meeting was quick. I signed a simple note at the short meeting – less time & paper than the ER admission. My daughter's case is not important except that not all uninsured ER visits are paid by others.

    2. RE: "we absorb", who do you mean?
    Part of my car loan, my cr card fees/interest, etc. all “absorb” the cost of collection from others.

    3. RE: ER If 'attached clinics' were the answer how home they did not happen 'enough'
    The hospitals have no incentive to offer a cheaper attached clinic – They WILL be paid. A relative's neighbor is an ER doctor who makes $400K/yr – you think he wants competition from a clinic next door? I have seen enough of government motives to not be surprised if we discover some hospital lobbyist started the EMTALA to increase business, HCA does very well – like CFL bulbs, windmills, and ethanol.

  • tex

    Part 2:
    4. RE: A better alternative to ObamaCare
    FREEDOM! A free market for most & help for the few that need it. A previous post listed 6 steps on the way. My last doctor (MD) charged me $50-75/visit with a discount for cash. He charged me $125 on my last visit. I complained so he reduced it to $75 but said future visits would be $125. I've already found another for $100/visit, but still shopping. I just bought my Xmas tree. Price tag $140. I offered $120 and they accepted.

  • tex

    Part 3:
    5. RE: why it was not a competitive alternative.
    Ds&Rs= TweedleDees & TweedleDums, both prosper by gov growth – their job has been described (paraphrased) as: “plucking the goose with the least hissing.” In the debate R could not explain the $2B excess R's want over DoD's budget. The gov grew under Reagan. He reduced rates but eliminated the interest deduction, increased the tax take and spent even more. The Rs mouthed a few helpful things like allowing cross state selling of health ins, but Obamacare, like Bush's DHS, are new opportunities for lobby income, jobs for friends and family, and Rs can blame Ds, like O blaming Bush.

    6. RE: twice the per capita costs for health care
    This is a lengthy subject all to itself and we have exorbitant gov induced waste.

    7. RE: Besides if more health care providers are one result of ObamaCare doesn't that INCREASE jobs?
    Jobs are a “cost” not a “benefit.” Our enormous wealth vs the 1800's is the result of agriculture's reducing jobs. About 3% of us now grow more food than over 90% of us did in the 1800s. The same has been happening in mfr. We lead the world in $-value of mfr goods increasing our wealth. Our food and goods cost a smaller part of our income than before. The Obamacare job holders would be doing something else that will not be done because they work on Obamacare. Maybe building roads, cleaning up sewage (much sewage is insufficiently treated), or curing cancer. The world would be richer.

  • tex

    Part 4:
    8. RE: all insurance to a higher standard on administrative costs? was that good?
    No. To the extent possible it's better (lower prices, more and better choices) to deal directly with the provider.

    9. RE: opposition for opposition sake and no real competitive alternatives is what brought us ObamaCare.
    Obamacare is the result of politician's motives & work – Their soln to any problem, real or contrived: grow. I think one said “Don't let any disaster go to waste.” - meaning tax more, spend more. The pols now have plans for taking private retirement plans (401Ks, etc), for your own good, of course.

  • LarryGross

    wasn't our health care going to fail without obamaCare? Maybe it's not as good as it should be, maybe it will turn out a disaster but it was a principled attempt to do something UNLIKe those that opposed and obfuscated.

    If BOTH SIDES were actually competing against each other to come up with a plan, we'd have a real choice and perhaps some middle ground compromise but when one side is doing everything it can to destroy whatever is done and they have really nothing to offer that would actually address skyrocketing health care costs in BOTH the private and public sector...

  • tex

    Good News for LarryGross et al at BusinessWeek.

    Article: Is Concierge Medicine the Future of Health Care?

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-29/is-concierge-medicine-the-future-of-health-care#p1

    Brgds to all,
    --tex

  • marque2

    "wasn't our health care going to fail without ObamaCare?" Um, no. It wasn't failing at all. That was just left wing tripe to try to scare us into wanting Obamacare. Sure the world is all better now, and the women and children and minorities have all been saved.

    Here is a plan, why not get government out of healthcare all together - you know before Obamacare the Federal government controlled insurance for 50% of the population already - all the plans folks love to complain about. Medicare, Va, and the worst The Bureau of Indian Affairs plan which provides enough funds for about 1/4 of the year. Why not keep the government out of it and see what happens when we truly have a free market, not distorted by all the government programs.

    Troll.

  • tex

    Troll does not apply to LarryGross. He seems sincerely concerned and there is every reason to assume he does want things right.

    Now the Good News - There is hope for good healthcare in spite of Obamacare. See Article at BusinessWeek:
    Is Concierge Medicine the Future of Health Care?
    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-29/is-concierge-medicine-the-future-of-health-care#p1

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ mesaeconoguy

    Larry is an ignorant troll. Most of his postings are outright false, or simply administration regurgitation of fake talking points. Read with great skepticism.

  • Brotio

    Auto insurance is mandatory if you're driving on public roads, for the purpose of reimbursing victims of your negligence.

    Mortgage lenders require you to carry homeowner's insurance in order to protect their property from your potential negligence (it's their house until you pay the mortgage).

    If you are without medical insurance and are stricken with medical misfortune then you are the victim of your own negligence and I have no legal or moral duty to ease the penalty you pay due to that negligence. Compelling me to bear the burden of others' negligence only encourages more negligence.

  • Brotio

    If you go into an ER needing emergency help, you'll get it and they'll ask about payment later. There are very few people who cannot afford a monthly bill, but they might have to give up cable, and mobile phone service for a few years until they pay off that ER visit.

    If it is truly an instance of having no means, then there are charities that would help. Liberals hate charities for many reasons, but chief among them is that charities require sacrifice from the recipient. They also hate charity because it's not nearly as compassionate as sticking a gun in my face and forcing me to pay for others's negligence.