Friday, November 15, 2013

Obamacare: The Critcal Flaw ~ by AHB

Forget the website and it's problems, forget the massive health insurance cancellations (of which I am experiencing), forget everything you know and follow my reasoning for just a few moments.

Health insurance does not provide health care, nor does medicaid or medicare. Read that statement again.... and once more. Got it?

Health insurance is an industry, and they don't do business for charity's sake. Basically, health insurance companies wheel and deal for the best prices on medical goods and services and they guarantee payment at those prices. So when you need a 2 week stay in the hospital after a car accident or some such, and the bill comes to 90k, the health insurance people have secured their status as a premium payer, and the hospital facility is all too happy to take the guaranteed funds, and their discount for bulk payment makes their cost more like 60k... for what really should cost 5-10k in any sane world.

Health insurance companies aren't in the health care business, they are in the low ball bill paying business... as well as being in bed with the actual healthcare megacorps. Just like McDonalds corporate isn't in the food business, they make their money by leasing land, franchise rights and supply pricing... so essentially McDonald's themselves is a Real Estate company with brand and purchasing power. They are closer to Chase than they are an independently owned and marketed restaurant, who is ACTUALLY in the food business.

So with that being said, "Affordable Care Act" is a bullshit misnomer, intended to confuse and misdirect. Also, it combines the worst sort of government bureaucracy (Federal) with the worst sort of false capitalism (Corporatism) further saddling my generation and the subsequent ones with crushing legacy debt of which there is no sign of yielding.

We already have a form of free healthcare in the United States, it just sucks. If you stroll up to the ER with your arm hanging on by a vein, they have to admit you and treat you, per federal law. What happens when you can't pay later? In short, nothing. You may be hounded by bill collectors and what not, but in the end you got free health care, and the hospital largely has to absorb that.

You want affordable health care? Make health care itself affordable, not the insurance. For starters, you have to severely curtail the litany of malpractice lawsuits, promote a healthier lifestyle and the prevention of problems in the first place. You are never going to get to a place where the ER and other emergency services are not required, but you can ward off the vast majority of preventable complications by simply taking personal responsibility. Don't reward doctors for loading up the shotshell of drugs and seeing which one sticks, outlaw kickbacks, and force the market to be competitive by it's own merit and not by which megacorp it has in it's network.

I am sure somehow this is all George W. Bush's fault.


Silverfiddle said...

"Affordable Care Act" is a bullshit misnomer, intended to confuse and misdirect. Also, it combines the worst sort of government bureaucracy (Federal) with the worst sort of false capitalism (Corporatism) further saddling my generation and the subsequent ones with crushing legacy debt of which there is no sign of yielding.

Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! YES!!! YES!!!

I also especially agree with the last paragraph, with a slight, nick-picky addition: The way you incentivize people to make healthy decisions is to make them pay for their own damned healthcare.

Just as a life insurance company can legally charge smokers more, so should health insurance companies.

Jersey McJones said...

How would you suggest we "curtail the litany of malpractice lawsuits?" (Are you suggesting limiting the right to redress in the courts?)

How would you suggest we instill this "personal responsibility" in people? (I'm not sure how people can even take "personal responsibility" for most health issues.)

Have you no suggestions for what to do about the way we define "health insurance" in the first place?


Anonymous said...

Hoping to mire me in the details are you?

I have made the mistake too many times of addressing you as if you are genuinely interested in an actual conversation, and not trying to derail us into some sort of partisan discussion whereby you are the only person who is capable of empathy and sound judgement.

What usually happens is you take exception to all or just a small part of what I present, and when I respond you cite legitimate points as being some combination of silly, petty, or fanciful and you inject some sort of blast against republicans and vanish until the conversation resets.

I will respond to your questions on the condition you answer mine with legit answers not your usual "well you are just spouting non-sense, the republicans are responsible for every fail in the history of modern politics."

Without this little preface, I would wandered aimlessly into yet another snare of dogma and rhetoric after I gave my piece.

First: Some people already cannot afford healthcare, doctor visits, drugs, and emergency situations.

Do you believe that by passing a law forcing a primitive form of socialized medicine, magically people will be able to afford healthcare, doctor visits, drugs, emergency situations on top of a massive bureaucracy to lord over it?

Second: We only have around 350M people, which is a paltry 5% or so of the world population, surely we can do better than this from a cost standpoint. In Ohio alone, 20% of the state budget goes to medicaid, which would be more like 45% if medicaid was not federally subsidized. Medicare is wholly subsidized and the state pays nothing. Reading between the lines, our healthcare "subsidy" costs in Ohio would be in realm of 66-72% of the entire state budget if we had to manage both "programs"

Would you agree that if we could wrangle the actual costs of healthcare down to a manageable level, where folks could actually pay out of pocket and afford it, that we would make great strides in not only reducing our wasteful spending but loosening the stranglehold of corporatism that runs rampant in the healthcare industry?

The Smoking Man said...

Affordable Care Act, brought to you by the Ministry of Love.


Jersey McJones said...

Anonymous, stop pretending you are some pillar of maturity. You're not.

You can't have an out-of-pocket system for healthcare. It's utterly unrealistic. That's why only Americans are stupid enough to suggest it.


Anonymous said...

I secretly hoped you would attempt to dodge the conversation, and you didn't disappoint.

Backhanded character attack, check.
Notion of something silly about my comments, check
Complete and utter disregard for debate, check.

Bonus points- Getting caught in my trap and not realizing it.

You see, in my question I called "health insurance" "healthcare"... doesn't play nearly as nicely does it.

That's what all the hip politicians who have our best interests at heart do these days after all.

Anonymous said...

Anyways, on to your concerns.

Malpractice claims for optional surgeries like nose jobs, tit enhancements, tummy tucks.... that should mostly be thrown straight out. Gross negligence, obviously, could and should be considered.

Furthermore, malpractice claims where the patient has had some chronic condition or multiple surgeries should not be given to a bunch of non-doctors to judge. Doctors have their own language and their own logic that is separate from a layman.

Most of the other ones, I don't have a problem with, but we have to get this suit happy culture taken care of.

Personal responsibility, well for starters, there would be no ducking medical bills. Approximately 30% of all medical procedures are not paid for, or if they are, it is a pitiful fraction of the total bill. Even by the grand government "programs" the hospitals are done dirty. People who pay directly, no insurance middleman, should command the lowest possible price, period.

The hospitals get theirs in the end anyways, by gouging the shit out of people who do pay to cover the people who don't pay, which as I said is about 30%.

As for how I define health insurance, well I sorta slipped that into my question to see if you were paying attention.

Health insurance, for the most part, should be reserved for big ticket holy shit items. Cancer, car accidents, invasive surgeries, lengthy hospital stays, etc.

Tying it into bullshit like routine doctor visits, prescriptions, and other minor issues is just lunacy. I am paying insurance so someone else can get a cocktail of drugs smashed into their system, where they might get better, the doctor gets a kickback or three, and I am stuck with the bill both with my health insurance premiums and my state taxes... they are triple dipping.

I. Roll said...

Way to go, AHB. You scared off the leftwing progressive with facts and figures...

Anonymous said...

"Jim DeMint started the recession."

Jersey McJones said...

Bla bla bla, limit the right to redress in courts, bla bla bla, personal responsibility, bla bla bla, ignore preventative medicine, bla bla bla.

Conservative are dumb.


Anonymous said...

I think I finally understand how to get through to you, let's see if I am correct.

Obama, dear leader... in triumph we love you, in agony we love you more. Show us how to defeat the individual and lead us to the path of one nation under complete rule, with total control over our lives. We are weak without your guidance and your wisdom towards running our own affairs.

BE JOYFUL My liberal brothers and sisters, the government will ease your suffering in the soft nurturing womb of eternal childhood. All needs eliminated, even the need to think for yourself. Unburden your minds with rational thought and replace it with the knowledge that we suck from the same sweet teat of everlasting utopia.

Power, Wisdom Dominion, Resources, and Money without end, oh great government. Amen.

Jersey McJones said...

You're projecting Anon.

Unlike you, I don't live in an ideological bubble. I try to see things for what they are and be realistic about how to deal with them. Also, I'm not functionally retarded, so I know the difference between "one nation under complete rule, with total control over our lives" and the ACA.

I'm reading a book now about China during the Mao years. You should read some history so you don't sound like a retard in mixed company.


Anonymous said...

Oh now I am a retard?

I would surmise you are the one projecting.

Again, you judge me without properly debating with me. I judge your words alone, not your character. From what I have observed you seem quite intelligent and willing to fall on your sword for principles that on the surface seem noble.

My "bubble" is simple. People more often than not can make the correct decision on their own, particularly when it comes to choices that affect them alone. If they couldn't then we never would have emerged into a civilization. It is this instinct, this natural feeling of power over one's individuality that is being stripped from us bit by bit.

People are not perfect, I certainly am not. That being said, surely you must see where this road ends.

I don't have any children and that probably will not change in the near future, I am not sure if you do, but if you do... consider that what we do here... now... has ramifications and consequences for them we can't even imagine.

You say you are realistic, and sometimes you are able to demonstrate this. Tell me, is this government intrusion into our lives sustainable? Is our world-wide empire sustainable? Is our reliance upon foreign credit and energy resources sustainable? Is our addiction to foreign labor?

I am only after truth, and the truth is while we are still the dominate society on the planet we are crumbling from within. We have become slaves to comfort, unwilling to flex those muscles that define us as individuals. We would rather slog down the street to wal-mart and buy cheap goods that men, women, and children in distant lands have sweat and bled for than to get off our lazy fucking ass and make our own way.

You see me as a conservative, I see you as a liberal. These are not all encompassing definitions and I was attempting to demonstrate that to you. Clearly you cannot read between the lines and need it plainly spelled out for you, so here it goes.

The country is bankrupt, both in finances and in the energy required to fight an ever growing cancer within ourselves. The actions of both parties, is pushing us to the brink of self-destruction. I have no idea why you cannot see this.

The old saying that men in power seek only more power is clearly proving itself. We sit here on these forums and blogs and bicker amongst ourselves while some professional con-man in Washington is grinning ear to ear knowing he has the war on the individual well in hand. If people like myself cannot get people like you to start pulling on the same rope, we are finished and they will surely win.

The federal government doesn't care about me or you, or our families. All they care about is our obedience, and they guarantee this obedience by slowly making us hopelessly dependent on their system of control.

Jack Camwell said...

"You should read some history so you don't sound like a retard in mixed company."

Interesting. Let's do some analysis of the comments shall we?

"Bla bla bla, limit the right to redress in courts, bla bla bla, personal responsibility, bla bla bla, ignore preventative medicine, bla bla bla."

and this one . . .

"The old saying that men in power seek only more power is clearly proving itself. We sit here on these forums and blogs and bicker amongst ourselves while some professional con-man in Washington is grinning ear to ear knowing he has the war on the individual well in hand."

Now, which one of these statements sounds retarded? Which one sound like a complete though, well articulated, and devoid of childishness?

Spoiler alert: Jersey, I'm afraid you're the retard in this discussion.

"Conservative are dumb."

Yeah, statements like that are definitely indicative of advanced higher-order thinking.

I love the irony, though I have a sneaking suspcion you were not trying to be ironic.

Jersey McJones said...

Just calling it as I see it - and as most of the world sees it. There is a time and a place for everything - health insurance should not be the sole purview of the private sector. It simply doesn't work. I you take off your ideological mirror shades for one moment, maybe you'd see that.


Anonymous said...

Calling what as you see it? Calling me a retard? Explain to me how the HELL it is "private" now as it is with all this government involvement??!??

Again the health programs would be 65%+ of the entire state budget of Ohio if we had to support both. So don't sit here and tell me the government isn't up to it's eyeballs in health insurance.

There is this thing called Medicaid, perhaps you heard of it.

There is this thing called Medicare, perhaps you have heard of it.

As I tried to explain, the reason our health insurance costs are through the roof is because of the healthcare itself being through the roof. Why does the market have to be competitive when it can just be inefficient as all hell and leak like none other and still get paid.

As for the rest of the world, they don't have a massive prison, military and defense empire to run.

Take your precious France, they pay almost a flat 45% or so tax, and relies on the US to be the heavy for things "they don't want to dirty their hands with"

FreeThinke said...

The problem of escalating medical costs started very soon after we initiated MEDICARE -- a form of socialized medicine which seems on the surface to have helped a great many people through the inevitable depredations of old age. Unfortnately, this "help" came at far too great a price.

As you all know by now, I am pretty old, and I remember very well the time when it truly was possible for individuals to pay their own way. It might not have been easy, but it was possible.

I'll skip the standard lecture on inflation, if you don't understand it's terrible power by now, you never will. The problem has been that the cost of medical care has risen at rates that far exceed the rate of inflation since the early SICK-sties.

Because of Government Interventionism, which always PRETENDS to be based on a genuine concern for our well-being, but in truth is nothing but a scheme to rob us of our liberty and autonomy in order take totalitarian CONTROL of our lives. It's about CONTROL -- NOT "help."

At any rate, Industry -- in this case pharmaceuticals and doctor-hospital-laboratory- rehabilitation-nursing home conglomerate in order to save itself from the ravages of Uncle Satan has entered into an unholy partnership with Uncle Satan the result of which has been a de facto conspiracy against the public's best interests.

Disbelieve that, and you're fuggin idiot.

The taxpayers, who government believes have obscene amounts of limitless wealth they don't know how to spend properly, may be effectively robbed at gunpoint by this Government-Industry CARTEL. We citizens have been hoodwinked and manipulated into a position where we have no no real defense against this demonic alliance.

Take all of that combined with the predatory nature of opportunistic lawyers who have become monstrous SHAKEDOWN ARTISTS in the past forty years, and have mastered ways of milking and bilking The System that make the machinations of Mafia Dons seem trivial and rather sweet in comparison, and you have the stinking mess we are living with right now.

I'll soon be 73. When I was thirty, my Blue-Cross-Blue-Shield executive coverage -- the very best medical insurance available at the time -- cost me thirteen dollars a QUARTER. My employer paid an equal amount on my behalf as part of our "benefit package. That was fifty-two bucks every three months -- a mere $208.00 per annum.

There's no point in my continuing. Suffice it to say that by the time -- a mere thirty-five years later -- I reached sixty-five I was paying nearly EIGHT-HUNDRED DOLLARS a MONTH for a policy vastly inferior to my old Blue Cross executive coverage with a FIVE-THOUSAND DOLLAR DEDUCTIBLE.

PART of the reason this has happened also lies at the feet of nursing and hospital workers UNIONS who have forced salaries to tremendous heights never dreamed of in the old days, and that vast increase, of course has been passed on to the PATIENTS.

I see ALL this trouble as stemming from the very stupid desire on the part of too many members of the public to believe that a "FREE LUNCH" to which they are "ENTITLED" is available, if only enough pressure is brought to bear on the powers that be.

That's what SOCIALISM is -- a naive, greedy, and innately vicious assumption that someone ELSE should be forced to pay "MY" expenses.

As has so often been said, "The only thng worng with Socialism is that sooner or later you run out of OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY.

"When will they ever learn?"

ONLY after "they" have BANKRUPTED the nation.

Meanwhile The Oligarchs, who have craftily ENGINEERED all this, continue to ride high above us and retain the privilege of crapping on us at will.

FreeThinke said...


I forgot to wish you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING, Jack.

I do so now. I hope the day will make happy memories for you to enjoy later on.

Take care, and try to remember that life is much too important to be taken seriously all the time. ;-)