Sunday, November 08, 2009

Affordable Private Insurance is Currently Available

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According to a recent study by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), "Individual Health Insurance 2009: A Comprehensive Survey of Premiums, Availability, and Benefits":

In the summer of 2009, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) conducted the latest in a series of comprehensive surveys of member companies participating in the individual health insurance market. The data on premiums and benefits are based on nearly 2.6 million policies in force during May or June 2009, covering approximately 4.2 million people.

Nationwide, annual premiums averaged $2,985 for single coverage and $6,328 for family plans in mid-2009. For single policies, annual premiums ranged from $1,350 for persons under age 18 to $5,755 for persons aged 60-64. For family policies, premiums ranged from $2,573 for policies covering children under age 18 to $9,952 for families headed by persons aged 60-64 (see chart above).

MP: Do we really need Obamacare with a public option when individuals under 40 can buy private insurance right now for about $200 per month or less (see chart above), and families in the group below 45 years old with up to 3.5 average members per family can get private insurance right now for less than $500 per month ($142 per family member)? We keep hearing how expensive health insurance is for the average person, but private insurance seems pretty affordable according to the data from AHIP, about the same or less as a monthy car payment.

52 Comments:

At 11/08/2009 10:44 PM, Anonymous American Delight said...

But. Mark! I don't want to have to do research and actually price competitors. And I certainly shouldn't have to pay any premium out of my own pocket--health care is, after all, a right.

And even if I were willing to pay premiums as low as these, I certainly couldn't afford it what with my cable bill, luxury car note, and mortage payments for the house I couldn't really afford in the first place.

It would all be so much simpler and fairer if you just paid for my health care through your taxes. Because you're rich!

Really, Mark, you're just full of silly ideas! (sarc/off)

 
At 11/08/2009 11:09 PM, Anonymous Ian Random said...

Yeah, but what about people who have pre-existing conditions that can't get private insurance. That's why we need the public option. Oh, wait don't people have that already:

http://www.omip.state.or.us/

 
At 11/08/2009 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From a quick scan of the link, it appears that this is $5000 deductible single, or $10000 deductible family, right? Essentially major medical, insuring against catastrophic illness. The insured essentially serve as their own rationing agents, and pay their OWN bills.

Not complaining. That's what my family has had for many years. We started with $250, then $500, then $1000, then $2000 (the point of no return without re-application), and then $5000. I never hit the deductible until having a baby. The nice thing about it is that the DR. considers me a CASH payer, so none of my activity is reported to the medical bureau or my insurance company. As far as they know, none of us has been to the DR. in a long, long time.

 
At 11/09/2009 6:25 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"Consider: 27 million people are covered by health insurance purchased directly, i.e. outside employer-based plans. The average cost of an insurance policy with family coverage in 2009 is $13,375."

The quotation above is from the Martin Feldstein article in the posting immediately below this one, and it is much closer to what most professional financial planners estimate. Everyone can figure out their own finances and protect their assets, but they should do their homework and not underestimate their potential liabilities.

 
At 11/09/2009 9:24 AM, Blogger Bill Reeves said...

Mark:

But in the deep blue states they have reformed health care to the point that it is unaffordable. MA costs over 8,000 per year for single coverage, NY almost 5,000. These rates are average. 'course in a lot of red states, the rates are even lower.

 
At 11/09/2009 9:27 AM, Blogger Brian said...

Isn't there a difference between average insurance costs and average *available* insurance costs? I can tell you that my family's insurance is $1,200 a month and that is pretty close to the best rate I can get. I would like to have access to the lower rates in other states and hope that any health care legislation at least attempts to make that a possibility, but I think the chart in your post only tells a portion of the rate story.

 
At 11/09/2009 10:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This bill is a massive transfer of wealth from younger Americans to the elderly. It will require younger people to purchase more health care than they need at higher prices than they would pay right now.

The young, brainwashed by their college professors and the MSM into a leftist cult, are about to get their "Hope and Change" - and get it good and hard.

 
At 11/09/2009 10:43 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

If you want to protect your assets, you need to figure in out-of-pocket expenses and lifetime maximums, too. You can't just look at insurance costs alone to determine yearly health care costs.

Of course, if you don't have any attachable assets, you don't need to worry about health care costs--just declare bankruptcy if you are hospitalized and let those who have insurance pay the bill.

 
At 11/09/2009 10:54 AM, Blogger JimJinNJ said...

I am against anything resembling the trash passed by the House last Saturday.
But.....this survey is obviously slanted to convey a message that is essentially false and misleading.
As WaltG has indicated above, preexisting conditions render these numbers useless.
Example from 2 wks ago of my peronsal experience.
Daughter, 20, healthy, drops out of college. Since no longer a FT student, she falls off my plan here in NJ. I can get a very reasonably priced policy for her in NC where she is living. Ooops--she takes several Rx's costing retail $300 per month. She is uninsurable. This makes sense--her Rx cost more than the premium. But interestingly, there is no policy in NC she can get even if she was willing to pay more or exclude those med's. In NJ, where we have mandatory acceptance, the premium is 2X but at least she can be insured.

This must be soluble without putting the entire country in debt and wrecking 17% of the economy.

The silliness the GOP offered last week was laughable and really stupid politically. It gives the average guy the idea there is no alternative PelosiCare.

Mark, I appreciate the post but your comments are vastly uninformed. Want to buy a bridge??

 
At 11/09/2009 11:00 AM, Blogger JimJinNJ said...

One issue that doesn't get much coverage is: What should a typical citizen/family be expected to pay out of pocket for their own healthcare?
10%, 20% 40% ???
A neighbor, widow, 64 yrs old is complaining bec she pays $850/month for med insurance. Is she on solid ground? I don't think so. At $10K per year that seems fair to me. She's living in a $425K condo (remember, its NJ), BMW.
The point is we as a society have somehow concluded that "I" should not have to pay anything for my own healthcare. Or very little.

$10K isn't bad for the option to get unlimited stateoftheart treatment for say bladder cancer, diabetes, etc.

For some lower income folks, $10K is undoable. So how do we get them care (via insurance or otherwise)? Surely there is a way.

 
At 11/09/2009 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walt G.,

This story's for you:

A state worker is recovering after a bloody brawl at a union hall. He says members of the local SEIU 1000 beat him up and sent him to the hospital all because he wanted to expose allegedl corruption within the union.

Ken Hamidi is a state worker at the California Franchise Tax Board. Last night he walked into a union hall in Sacramento for an SEIU local 1000 meeting.

“We had every right to be here, very simple; it wasn’t anything private or anything exclusive,” said Hamidi.

But Hamidi says the union members did not want him there.

“Three, four people jumped at me, wrestled with me, then did all that,” said Hamidi. “I was covered in blood and then over to the emergency room.”

Photos of Hamidi in the hospital show him bloodied from the brawl. So why did this happen? Besides being a state worker, Hamidi says he’s an unpaid reporter for a cable access show and a vocal critic of the SEIU. He calls the state workers’ union corrupt.

“This is a union hall that is leased and is being furnished and equipped and everything with our money,” said Hamidi.

Hamidi says he came to the hall to expose how he says SEIU union leaders are spending tens of thousands of dollars on a political race, he claims, they have no right to do. After he and a photographer walked in to the meeting, it didn’t take long for Hamidi to be right out the door and on his way to the hospital.

CBS 13, Sacramento

 
At 11/09/2009 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no interest in Obamacare, but I'd be curious where one could get this plan. I was out of work for much of 2008. I have a family of 4 with no preconditions, and I live in NY. My insurance cost to get regular coverage - over $2k. A stripped down coverage that only gave me emergency care - $700-900.

 
At 11/09/2009 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in NY

Unfortunately, that's the problem. NY has some of the highest health care costs in the country. In large part that's the result of state imposed mandates on insurance companies. These mandates result in you being forced to buy insurance for things you may not need or want.

There is a reason for the large differences in health care costs from state to state - politics.

 
At 11/09/2009 12:32 PM, Blogger JimJinNJ said...

I live in New York--

LIke NJ where I live, insurance companies must accept your applic for insurance--mandatory acceptance. I believe eight states are like this. As the other Anon says, all states determine what insurance co's MUST offer in a policy. Put those two together and you will pay much more.
There is no FREE LUNCH. Your premiums are high bec the insurance co's must give equal insurance to the guy from say Missouri who moves to NY in order to get covered as he is uninsurable there.
That also includes the 425 pound couch potato diabetic who refuses to forgo McDonald's and cheetos, NFL full season pass on cable, does no exercise, votes for a lib etc.
Call it what you want, it is socialistic. Those who get are forced to give it away to those who are slugs.

Some who are needy in the old fashioned sense, can't get coverage unless we all insure the slugs.

It's a slick system if you are a politician. But mark my words, PelosiCare is a boondoggle too far.

 
At 11/09/2009 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horse manure.

You go out and try to buy what is offered, and find out what you rpre-existing gets you.

Hydra

 
At 11/09/2009 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re high deductible.

I have an Irish friend who goes that route.

But if his expenses look like they will be more than his airfare, he just flies home.

Hydra

 
At 11/09/2009 2:40 PM, Anonymous Benny Truth Man said...

Gee, so affordable--if you happen to be young. A guy in his 50s or 60s? With a family?

You are talking some serious money.

MP, not all of us have university salaries and full benefits, paid for by taxpayers.

 
At 11/09/2009 2:57 PM, Anonymous j1948 said...

Glen As always you have some terrific points that you are making, but as everyone, including AARP is forgetting is the guy who is retired 61 years old. In between Medicare and living off a retirement income. I mean no offense but you, Rush, Sean, you are making a lot of money from your books, tv shows, and personal appearances.

I know you mean well by saying you represent middle America, but those days are long gone for you and the above mentioned people.

I am an adjunct instructor at a university and we discuss this issue regularly in our Humanities and Creative Arts Class.

We need some change in our present health system because free enterprise is killing middle America.

The answer is not the government, but we need to make alterations in the present system.
As an educator I served in the capacity of negotiating Health care rates several years. I support the free enterprise system, but not when someone at the top is making a 45 to 50% profit. Come on whose wallet is getting fat here?

We have to come together as a nation and come with up a plan that is flexible enough for everyone not just the rich or the poor.

Think for yourself as an American citizen what is best for you and your family? You have to Health insurance ,or if a catastrophic illness happens goodbye savings, and maybe even your house.

 
At 11/09/2009 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark;

That article is way off on health insurance being affordable. We currently pay $944 a month premium. A year ago I tried to apply for lower cost health insurance they excluded my husband for hypertension and cholesterol treatment as well as an abnormal EKG from 9 years ago, they did a angiogram and nicked an artery but didn't find anything.He also had an abnormal Lung X-Ray from 8 years ago when he had a bad lung infection that took several months to eradicate. He is a nonsmoker and has no other health issues. Golden Rule turned him down. We just applied for a MSA plan with a $10,000 deductible from Humana and once again they excluded him even though he only goes to the doctor once a year to get labwork done and renewal of prescriptions from his doctor. So the idea that health insurance is affordable unless you're part of a large group is laughable. Health care reform needs to concentrate on tort reform and allowing people to obtain insurance across state lines and making insurance companies take everyone not just people who don't have any pre-existing conditions.

FED UP with the insurance companies and the government

 
At 11/09/2009 3:22 PM, Blogger L.A. Burnham said...

I don't know where 'american delight' ever got the idea that health care is a 'right'. He needs to go back to school, learn how to read, then read the constitution, and find that right. He does however have the right to pack his bags and leave this country. These are the worst kinds of idiots.

 
At 11/09/2009 3:26 PM, Blogger JimJinNJ said...

One can get scalped for what I'm about to say but...
I have my own business (me and my wife). NJBCBS for the two of us is $1000 per month. I could pay less if I chose an HMO for example. My choice.
I have a $2500 per person deductive to keep the prem's as low as I can. I actually call provider offices and negotiate rates (a recent MRI listing at $2500 was available elsewhere for $500.) How do I do that? I educate myself. And it pays. It is my money and I want the best deal. Just like my car insurance.
If you receive employer provided health insurance:
1. you're fortunate.
2. if you don't like the coverage or the behavior of the insurer, you beef is with YOUR employer--he or she chooses it and its features.

Insurance companies average 3.03% margin according to yahoo finance. As I've written here before, their exec's are also one of highest paid groups.
If you don't like that, beef to the shareholders, sell your stock if you own it, go to another one.
Ask yourself how much you think you should pay each year for your insurance? as much as groceries, cell phones, cable, paper clips, newspapers etc. Most people seem to think it is close to zero. why?
are you so special? and just who do you think is supposed to pay for it?

the unthinking depth of entitlement in some of these comments is embarrassing. Let's have some honesty rather than shallow rationalizations for why "I" should have a valuable service with little to no responsibility or contribution.

All that said, I firmly believe that in this country we can figure out how to cover those who can't make do for themselves. But I consider it basically welfare in the broadest sense of the word. Build on Medicaid or Medicare, set stringent means-testing etc. The idea that one can just sit back and have their neighbors pay for their healthcare is sickening.

OK, lock and load!

 
At 11/09/2009 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ian Random, I have a pre-existing illness (cancer 2 years ago) and I have "guaranteed" insurance. Since I previously had insurance, there was no waiting period. Although there isn't prescription coverage (I did receive a discount card for meds), I DO NOT want a public healthcare program. What I have isn't the best there is out there but it's something and something is better than the government controlling my healthcare!

 
At 11/09/2009 3:45 PM, Blogger Cheryl said...

I understand all of the issues that are posted here about lack of affordable coverage and this article is a little misleading for some people. Please realize that GOVERNMENT caused these problems, albeit many times it's the STATE lawmakers doing this socialism thing. We own a small business in Texas and have had to get individual coverage for more than 20 years. Yes, the rates have been creeping up but we have a major-medical, catastrophic family policy for less than $500/month and have an HSA savings account to pay our regular office visits and prescriptions with pre-tax dollars - money that is ours to keep (IRA-style) if we don't use it. ObamaCare will void HSA accounts (gee - personal responsibility to spend my own money? of course not!) and, in addition, I will be forced to pay, probably double that, for a super-duper policy containing things I don't need or want to pay for. The reason you guys in lots of other states are paying so much is because your state governments are forcing you to buy policies to cover things you don't want or need. Capitalism, free-market will work if ALL government (including states) will get out of the way. If law allowed insurance companies to compete across state lines, those insurance companies having to sell policies in states that have ridiculous requirements will quit selling them because no one will buy them. If the policies I can get in Texas were available to you guys paying those high rates, wouldn't you get on the internet and order one tomorrow? The GOP has the right idea - they are just doing a really lousy job working out the details and selling it.

 
At 11/09/2009 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being self employed, I have a private policy like the one described. One good thing about this debate is it made me curious and I did some research and found I can get an even better policy for less from someone else!

I do have a frustration w/ private insurance in that they "reject" my Drs. requests for tests as much as possible. But I can shop around or bring a complaint against them.

God forbid the govt. should take over our health care -- then there will be NO ONE to turn to when they decide you don't need what the Dr. ordered.

 
At 11/09/2009 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

for those who say free enterprise is killing america, you need to take a closer look. as it has been pointed out in many places, the goverment both federal and state put mandates and restrictions on what health insurers can do. it's only when free competition can be attained that the system can work. just like with housing, when the goverment started requiring banks to give loans, they came up with ways to do it and make huge cash. but when a company has to be accountable to the consumers instead of saying "oh it's because we have to cover this this and this by law" that it cost so much, prices will come down and so will the big profits, because gasp.. if you can get cheaper, better insurance, elsewhere they will lose your buisiness.

 
At 11/09/2009 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could someone please show me where in the Constitution it says that the Federal Government can force anyone to buy any "Goods and/or services" under threat of fine or prison? Are we making this all up on the fly as we go along or did I not hear that the Constitution was abolished some time back? This entire argument about health care seems strange when you try to find a Constitutional "right" that the Federal Government has to force "We The People" to agree to anything they are doing at the moment. Seems to me we should be trying to find a way to create some jobs or something like that. Just sayin'.

 
At 11/09/2009 3:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's really disturbing is that this is a battle of semantics. Health Care and Health Insurance are two TOTALLY seperate things. People need health care, but everyone will be forced to 'buy' health insurance. That's the problem. Another gapping hole is the issue of what health insurance covers. Why does it cover EVERYTHING. Insurance is supposed to be for catastrophic issues. Not, my tummy hurts or my nose is runny. If your car insurance covered everything, you would be paying a ton of money for it too. And the Gov't mandates you have insurance before you get a license. Just think of the uproar then...

 
At 11/09/2009 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I manage the firm's health ins. plan. We just found out there will be a large increase in our health ins. cost next year. Why? Because of the government. Who will end up paying for the increase? Mostly our middle class employees.

Part of the so-called Stimulus program of Feb. 2009 was a 65% government funded subsidy of COBRA. Since that date and as predicted, health insurance claims (under COBRA) have increased and because of rising unemployment, it will continue to increase http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2009-08-17-unemployed-insurance-cobra_N.htm http://www.insurancenetworking.com/news/insurance_COBRA_health_care_Aon-12159-1.html?ET=insurancenetworking:e543:20474a:&st=email

Therefore, and as a direct result of the STIMULUS regulation, our staff will experience a twofold increase in ins. cost through Aetna. Staff’s bi-weekly health ins. contribution was $39.79 for the lowest priced plan. Effective January 10, it will be $83.38 bi-weekly. Our firm's contribution will also increase in order to absorb some of the rate change.

If this monstrosity called Obamacare passes the senate, our staff will also have to contend with fed imposed Taxes on their health insurance, plus a reduction in pay- to compensate for the 72% fed imposed employer contribution (to health plan).

I am going to ask the staff how they like their Hope and Change so far.

Call your legislators.

 
At 11/09/2009 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Affordable for who? Definitealy fonot for those above 60! and on a fixed income.

 
At 11/09/2009 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JimJinNJ, Just buy your daughters meds outright and quit crying and acting like you aren't free to buy something without your neighbors help. You're pitiful man. I had to pay for an appendectomy out of pocket. It wasn't cheap but it was fair.

 
At 11/09/2009 3:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter what private insurance costs with or without deductible. Government 'anything' will cost many more times any estimate that any politician quotes and fraud will never be recovered to any extent. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are already government sponsored and those plans are already broke. Each can be changed anytime politicians feel the need to generate more money for themselvs. Keep in mind that Soc Sec funds were supposed to separate from Federal General Fund dollars. That was changed by DEMOCRATS. And regardless what gets passed now, DEMOCRATS (politicians) can and will change it later when the rage has died down. You can count on it.

 
At 11/09/2009 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have spoken with thousands of people over the course of the last three-four years about their health insurance plans. #1) Many people want to be able to have a say in what physician they go to, to the point of choosing one plan over the other. If the house plan goes through, the shortage of good practitioners will quadruple. Then, we will be forced to go to the "participating" doctors that might or might not know what they are doing.
#2) There are many people I have spoken with that say they are eligible for Medicaid, but don't fillout the app for one reason or another. Also, there were families that were eligible for the CHIP plan for their children, that just didn't take the time to do the application. What is that about? #3) Did anyone notice that in the house bill, there is a clause that says that if their public option funding goes broke, the government has the power to a. ration care, b. raise premiums c. raise taxes to pay for the added expense, etc.
#4) The managed health care plans that the government already has in its control is idealistic but a flop. Why not fix that FIRST!
#5) I am self employed, and pay for a private plan. There are people that have applied for underwritten plans and been denied, but there is always a plan out there to get on. Why should I have to pay the extra burden of those peoples health care? That would be like expecting a person that drives a neon to help pay for auto insurance for the driver of a Jaguar. How is that right?
5) Other programs the government runs have been a flop. (BTW - The government has independent companies writing the medicare advantage plans because they said the private companies can do it more efficintly than the government!!!) Being self employed, I pay twice as much into social security as those who work for a business. There will be nothing there for me when I need it because of the incompetence of the government to control spending, and to police its own problems! They allow people that believe they are entitled, to abuse the system.

Speak with those from countries that have socialist health care. Find out how they feel. See why they come here for treatment. They can describe to you what it will be like if the house bill gets passed. If it does, look out cause your going to have to spend the money in bailing out the government next!

 
At 11/09/2009 4:13 PM, Blogger Sam Clarke said...

Private insurance is affordable and can be payed for with tax-free dollars. The IRS now allows an employee to pay for their private health insurance tax free through an HRA or section 125 Premium-only-plan.

See more blog posts about tax-free private insurance on www.clarifyinghealth.com

 
At 11/09/2009 4:14 PM, Blogger Pamela said...

The obvious answer is less government interference. The government has made it illegal for insurance companies to compete across state lines; the smaller the market the higher the prices. Nationwide competition, as well as larger companies, would result in lower prices. You hate the fact that medications are expensive? Vote for less FDA regulations for the pharmaceutical companies. Yeah, health care is expensive, but isn't your health kind of important? If it's a priority, then what's the problem with it being your first or second biggest expense. If your health isn't important to you, then pay less for it. It's your choice.

 
At 11/09/2009 4:50 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Gee, so affordable--if you happen to be young. A guy in his 50s or 60s? With a family?
"...

Boo! Hoo!

Well you're in luck, you voted for the right guy to help you out...

 
At 11/09/2009 5:08 PM, Blogger wen said...

That Gov Controlled Heathcare Bill is a MASSIVE USURPATION OF YOUR UNALIENABLE RIGHTS.THE GOVERNMENT WILL OWN YOU.YOUR MONEY YOUR LIFE ITSELF.SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR FREEDOM. YOU WILL JUST GAINED YOURSELF YOUR OWN ENSLAVEMENT...

AND-it isn't going to be free for anyone and the worst of it's price is accepting "Dictatorship Rule" over all aspects of your personal life,your family,your children...

How will you explain why you sold them to the government?How you could stand back and allow the Gov to steal their Liberty-their freedom? And why you didn't even try to fight for them,for their unalienable right to live as Free Human Beings?What will you say to tomorrows slaves-tomorrows children because you thought you'd get something for free?? You should be ashamed now cause you will be then....

Don't believe in the lies,Don't accept the deceptions of this government.Stand up for Liberty, your freedom.They can fix these issues through regulation and stay out of the healthcare business... The Gov just wants the Money and Control over the lives of the American People.SAY NO!

 
At 11/09/2009 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, as long as you don't get sick, are under 35, don't have a family, and don't have *any* pre-existing conditions, or your family does not have any 'indicators'. And, you're not one of the 25 million either out of work, or discouraged from finding work at their previous incomes. Of you're not one of those few, then you're screwed.

As far as "affordable", affordable my ass. We had a very good health insurance plan at my last company. I asked what they paid per year, for an employee, on a family plan: $32,500.00.

So, exactly what does your sample $5,000.00 a year plan cover? Squat. And you'll get canceled faster than a drunk's with 5 DWI's gets his car insurance canceled.

 
At 11/09/2009 5:25 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"AND-it isn't going to be free for anyone and the worst of it's price is accepting "Dictatorship Rule" over all aspects of your personal life,your family,your children"...

Hmmm, I do believe you've hit the nail squarely...

 
At 11/09/2009 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you folks know that if the Pelosi-Obama final Bill passed as is, (which it will not) union members will "not" be taxed for heath care when they use it but if your retired or no job etc. etc. you will be taxed by the language in the Pelosi-Obama health care bill.

How is that for unfairness ?

You know, this ultra liberal / socialist / pro union administration really sucks !.

 
At 11/09/2009 6:13 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Let's see, we had a Democratic controlled congress that gave us Social Security...

A Democratic congress that gave us Fannie Mae...

A Democratic congress that gave us Freddie Mac...

A Democractic congress that gave us medicare...

Is anyone else seeing a pattern here?


(Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present)

 
At 11/09/2009 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the biggest misconception is people think that the "public option" means free health insurance. It doesn't and no one has told us how much it cost for us to buy it yet?

 
At 11/09/2009 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a little bit disturbed by the CNN news story about different health plans that put down HSA's and high-deductible insurance policies. The beauty of the HSA is once you get it funded, which admittedly may take some years for a family, those savings carry forward to cover deductible expenses year after year after year. This leaves you with low premiums for catastrophic illnesses. Without the savings, you must meet the deductible in any given year. And, we don't save enough in this country, anyway. It's just common sense for families to build savings for everyday health issues, like flus and broken arms, and not depend on insurance for that. Whateve happened to the concept of saving for a rainy day?

 
At 11/10/2009 1:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the doctors will provide a year's worth of visits for $1,800. Work with your primary care physician to see what a cash basis would cost? The doctors are more willing to do a cash basis instead of dealing with insurances. Most ailments also can be dealt with by using good old folk medicine and vitamin supplements. Let's teach these insurance companies and the government a strong message, that we aren't going to have this crammed down our throats anymore! The prescription medications don't cure the ailment, but just masks the symptoms to become worse. Insurance should only be for catastrophic illnesses.

 
At 11/10/2009 7:35 AM, Blogger SelvaGanesh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 11/10/2009 8:25 AM, Blogger Mountain Goat said...

This issue is quite simple. Four, possibly a fifth law passed, problem solved.

1) mandate that all reputable insurance providers be allowed to sell in all States. Right now, there are MANY blocks to competition. This will lower costs, increase choice, and increase innovation.

2) Mandate that all insurance carriers provide low premium high deductible policies. All individuals and families to set aside the decuctibles in pretax accounts, or even tax-free accounts.

3) Mandate that all States allow carriers to sell directly to individuals. This is so patently obvious one despairs of this nation ever thinking right again. This is blocked, now, in roughly half the State by the Unions, who need to be the locus of benefits to keep many of their members. This needs to end.

4) Require everyone over the age of 18 to carry a policy from someone.

5) Option: tort reform. National limitation of $250,000 or some other number on malpractice damages, possibly connected with an increased ability of the AMA or other organization to enforce national sanctions on individual doctors, who are now licensed by the States.

This will work. Anyone currently without coverage can be folded into Medicaid. Rejections for preexisting conditions will go down, then disappear, if everyone is required to carry coverage.

We discussed this issue and others at some length here: http://www.crossfit.com/mt-archive2/005037.html

 
At 11/10/2009 8:44 AM, Blogger Mountain Goat said...

In particular, for anyone who clicks on the link--and I know we are all overwhelmed with opinions--read #141 and #172.

That is as comprehensive a treatment as you will find in a short space both of the problems we are trying to solve, and of the solutions.

 
At 11/10/2009 10:40 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Require everyone over the age of 18 to carry a policy from someone"...

Hmmm, quite the pugnacious little socialist, eh?

 
At 11/10/2009 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is even a better option that can help everyone. Stay healthy! Ah, what a novel idea. 'Health care' insurance is really 'drug care' insurance - that's what you're really paying for. Take care of yourself, stop stuffing yourself silly with processed foods, stop smoking and drinking, get out and move a little instead of drinking and sitting in front of the TV. Oh wait, can't inconvenience you do that! It's too hard! Unfortunately this is reality in the US (and most of the developed world) today. Most don't take care of themselves and then expect the 'health care' system to take care of them. Sorry, a little tough love here - personal responsibility IS necessary. No one is responsible for your health except for you. And having the government take care of your health care is NOT a right. This whole issue is crazy. I haven't been to a doctor or sick for years. Haven't paid a penny in 'health care' insurance because I don't need it. If you take care of yourself like we're meant to, stop eating all the processed junk they call food today, we'll all be better off and wouldn't have a need for a 'drug care' system. Peace.
Mark

 
At 11/10/2009 6:31 PM, Blogger johnathan said...

People complain all the time about "pre-existing" conditions, first and foremost private businesses are run FOR PROFIT. If an insured individual has a higher probability of costing more, than of course the premium is going to be higher.

Much the same way that car insurance for teens is more expensive than someone in their 30s. The only way for everyone to get the same rate is EVERYONE pays the highest, or for the insurance companies to be backed by taxpayer money thus taking the profit factor out of the equation. I want neither to happen.

One other logical solution, other than government, intervention is for there to be a cap on how much the insurance companies will cover per year. The higher the risk the less the cap would allow. This means that the insurance companies pay less and you pay more. The sliding scale would increase the cap for the less risky.

 
At 11/10/2009 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, now you're scaring me...do you really think this represemts affordability?

Both the left and the right are so freakin' out of touch...the right has done nothing to encourage competition by eliminating ant-trust, nor has the left...

It's a no brainer...I am a true, registed Independent...a Centrist...don't co-op our movement.

You both suck.

 
At 11/10/2009 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think those monthly premiums are low at all.

 
At 11/10/2009 8:59 PM, Blogger Ragnor said...

Your life is yours, if nature and genetics dealt you a lousy hand, it is still your hand and life. I and this nation owe you nothing, you are not entitled to anything. If you failed to get an education, training, take care of your health, smoked, drank, took drugs, failed to exercise, these were your choices, if you have more children than you can afford, a house to large, a car too expensive, it is you choice and your life; suck it up and deal with it, you are entitled to nothing. Health care is your responsibility, not mine. If you voted for liberal idiots, you are the problem that created the current problems; liberal interference in the business sector since FDR, has destroyed the natural leveling process of competition. Government interference in business has made every business they screwed with more expensive, to us all. Liberal parasites are responsible for everything wrong in this country, from education to health care. Business are in business for a profit, the will operate lean and mean to maintain a profit, or will fail and go out of business. Governments, do not operate for profit, and therefore will not operate lean and mean, they will just raise taxes when there business fail, to stay operational, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, Fanny mea, Freddy mac, these are all failed Government ideas created for no profit, the have or will fail. If these were private sector business, they would be profitable, successful, and cheaper for us all. You idiots that believe in Government answers to everything are the problem, if we deport you all to some liberal country, we can have a successful country, with low unemployment, small Government, and affordable everything else because of low taxes, every current social program would be self supporting as a private sector business, instead of sucking the blood out of the best of Americas people; the ones who want nothing, except what they earn. I believe a very large part of Americas population is not good enough, to shine my young Marines boots. He is a third generation warrior patriot, you liberals insult everything he stands for, fights for and my die for, sempri fi. There are no rights, entitlements, the only certainties are death and liberal taxes and what you do with you own life, you made it, you live it, suck it up, butter cup.

Honor and respect

Ragnor

 

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