Tuesday, February 28, 2017

More Fire Insurance Saves Lives

Obamacare Has Not Saved American Lives | National Review:

Being a Democrat means never having to consider if your statements have any remote connection to reality, the MSM will make it seem like they might.

BOcare was about INSURANCE, not medical care! The fire department doesn't check your insurance before they come out, nor does the emergency room when you are there for something serious. Nobody asked for insurance information as I went in with my paralyzed wife in the ambulance last summer.

It is quite likely that a BUNCH of BOistanis have and will continue to die because of what BOcare did to health insurance, but repealing it at this point isn't likely to fix that. What it did was HUGELY increase deductibles, which means that for many (most) BOistanis, they effectively have NO HEALTH INSURANCE of the kind that they think they need. Most people's deductables and co-pays have risen from a few hundred dollars to $5K or more, which for many people means that they effectively are uninsured in ways that count.

First, since the vast majority of BOistanis have no concept of basic economics or personal finance, a little background:

INSURANCE -- Something you buy to protect you against losses that might ruin you. A rational person NEVER purchases insurance against losses that they can afford to cover, because it is obviously not to their economic advantage since the insurer is making a profit in selling you insurance and betting that you will not have a loss -- he has all the statistics and is making a smart bet or he would not be in business. The normal place you see this is on consumer electronics -- they REALLY want to sell you the extended warranty because it is nearly pure profit for them!

"Affordable" -- Most financial advisors recommend that you keep 6 months family income in savings, so if you are a "reasonable person" and have a $50K income, you should have $25K in savings. This means that you can "afford" losses up to $25K max, although $10K would be a more reasonable level -- you are really holding the savings to guard against losing your job.

Health BENEFITS -- Most Americans really didn't have health INSURANCE, they had health benefits. Since payments for medical care could be deducted by an employer, and were not charged as income to an employee,  it was a great way to give employees a benefit unencumbered by taxes. Typically, a family would have to pay "30%" of the cost of a doctor trip up until they had a total family bill of "$300", and then "insurance" (benefits) covered it.

Unfortunately, most BOistanis are financially illiterate because the schools have helped encourage financial illiteracy, so they have ZERO savings. Therefore, when you go to buy anything you get offers for "maintenance contracts. Since people have ZERO savings, they envision (and the salesperson helps them envision) a car repair of "$2K", or broken $1K TC, and with the consumers zero savings and likely tapped out credit lines, they see it as a "good deal", since they can't afford an unexpected $2K bill.

So back to health insurance. In the BOcare world, typical deductibles and co-pays are thousands of dollars, so all the people that have effectively no savings have NO HEALTH INSURANCE. If they go to the doctor, they need to pay THOUSANDS of dollars before they get any help from insurance. They don't have thousands of dollars, so unless they have an emergency they are unlikely to seek medical treatment unless they feel they have to.

Clearly, BOTH the old system and the current system are INSANE. I've covered some ideas on how to fix  them before, but the "big picture" is:

  • In order to be a free people, the population MUST understand basic finance. I'd argue that after age "21", having 6 months living expenses in savings ought to be a pre-requisite for voting! How can anyone be a "responsible citizen" and not be able to financially care for themselves?
  • People need to realize that basic healthcare is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY ... pick a suitable % of income number by age "6% for young, 20% for elderly" and assume that is going to be the YEARLY healthcare cost. Put it in a tax free savings account to level it out over lifetime.
  • Work to change the healthcare system to RESULTS BASED vs fee for service as it is now. Allow competition for "all the standard stuff", so you see what it costs for a given RESULT and can shop (it is YOUR MONEY after all).
  • Reform medical liability. Medical errors are "fined" to a max of $10K a pop, and on the "3rd" in an x year period, the Doctor (or other health practitioner) is reviewed for remedial education or removal. No more ambulance chaser ads on afternoon TV! 

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