Monday, December 21, 2009

A Must Pass Bill

I've been told that the Senate Health Care Reform bill is very important. The insurance mandates are not an evil and advance the health of Americans. I've watched and listened with a certain amount of fury mixed with amusement.

If there are any actual teeth in the regulations proposed about health insurance practices, the owners of policies may see some improvements. May see some improvements, so far I don't really see where it isn't about you hiring a lawyer.

I was under the impression that the mandates were about the health of Americans. If nothing gets Americans into doctors' offices rather than hospitals that would seem to be a chimera. Health is about staying the hell out of hospitals, that is a place for real serious problems and most real serious problems can be short circuited by primary care.

The Senate seems to think that uninsured Americans can cough up with a month wages to buy an insurance policy that will ... well what will it do? Real basic health insurance has high deductibles and low limits and lots of co-pays. Once you've stripped out a month wage from people on the very edge; what do they have left for co-pays and etc? What do they have to pay the deductibles with? You've just gotten into the hospital and have a $5000 bill that insurance won't cover and you can do what with that?

I suppose the rationale left for mandates is that the medium big hospital bills won't get passed on to everyone else. You've left me as to where that benefits Americans health. I do see some pretty good things happening for private insurance companies.


ShortWoman said...

Well put, Chuck.

Chuck Butcher said...

I'd be a lot happier to be shown that I'm wrong.

Phil said...

This entire healthcare reform fiasco has reached the point where the only reform I'll support is single payer. Screw the corporations and kick 'em to the curb.

jeff said...


You say that this should bring good things to the private insurance companies, but I humbly suggest the opposite is true. There is no way they'll ever be competitive with an entity (the federal government) that can operate at a loss, for an indefinite period of time.

It's a lot like the grocery stores in my neighborhood. There was once a Harris-Teeter, which I happen to like for their ("Rancher Select") beef. They were competitive with the Lowes Foods and Food Lions, and most folks would prefer one place and occasion others. Then, the existing Walmart rebuilt itself into a Super Walmart, right next to my Teeter's, touting "competition" in the grocery market.

Because of the almost immeasurable size of Walmart's wallets, they could afford to sell anything and everything at this one store for half the price that Teeter's could afford. They could do this for as long as it took. People would sacrifice some value and selection for the enormous discounts. The Walmart choked the life out of the Teeter's, Teeter's closed down. Walmart's prices climbed back near the original Teeter's prices, but with far less quality and selection. Now, there's zero competition, diminished value and limited selection.

The concept that Government Insurance will be an impetus for greater competition within the marketplace is as insulting to me as that smiley-face Walmart price-drop sign.

The only thing this bill is for (and the reason it is being rushed through without scrutiny, relying on backroom sweetheart deals, and crammed down the population's throats) is expansion of (and dependence on) government.

Government feeding itself.

But, you were right about the question of where it begins to benefit the health of Americans. It doesn't. And never will. Everything about it is bad. The previous commenter was right, too. "Screwing the corporations" is exactly what's going to happen, and the biggest corporation, the federal government, is only going to make itself into a bigger, more-untouchable goliath, that breeds less option, less quality, less self-reliance, more dependence, and ultimately, far less real health or health care.

I have personal reasons for a deep-seated hatred of the insurance companies, but take it from me, the federal government having its hand in Health Care & Insurance is already part of the problem (regarding interstate commerce/competition and forcing the marriage of the insured to thier employers). As bad as the socialists and moonbats and wealth-enviers hate it, the only real cure to health care is a free market.

Chuck Butcher said...

I'm real sorry to bust your bubble Jeff, but there is nothing free market about health care. That piece of stupidity led to where we are now. You DO NOT have a choice about your health, you have it and don't need any of these pricks or you lost it and have to have them. A gun isn't a negotiating tool.

Right after you bitch about Walmart, you make their argument - laughable.

jeff said...

At first, reading your post, I was under the impression you were capable of coherent, rational thought. Since perhaps that isn't the case, I'll try to clear up my point.

In my analogy, Walmart is like the federal government, and the other grocery stores are like insurance companies. And that having one entity with limitless resources to undercut the others, leads to the death of those others. And there won't be any choice or competition. Without either, Walmart (aka government health insurance) can be as unresponsive, inefficient, and worthless as they deem suitable. Where else ya gonna go, know what I mean?

You say "that piece of stupidity led to where we are now." You say there's nothing free-market about healthcare (you are correct, sir!), but suggest that there has actually been a free-market system sometime before, and that system is somehow at fault. Au contraire, mon frere.

When was the last time you really had that much of a choice regarding your insurance? Doesn't your employer decide that for you? Could you even purchase the same insurance after leaving this or that company, at the same rates your employer paid? Are you afforded the same policies in your state and at the same rates as those in another state? The answer to all of that is that NO, it isn't "what we had." What we had was the federal government discounting employers who funded insurance coverage by way of tax breaks, which effectively married you to your employer if you wished to keep your insurance (or suffer another waiting period- there was a brilliant idea) and forcing group policies to cover fringe concerns like, wasn't it something like "transgender modifications"? True, this part of my analogy fails here, but not the way you imply. The difference is that government has been screwing up the concept of free-market competition (as regards healthcare), for a long, long time and now are pretending to be the ones to "save us" from the screaming nightmare THEY created.

And speaking of different things for/in different states, aren't you in Oregon? Hasn't Oregon already had a "Universal Healthcare" system? Since, what was it, 1990? How's that working out for you? If it was any good, would you ever be clamoring for a "Must Pass Bill"?

This phrase: "you have it and don't need any of these pricks or you lost it and have to have them" had too many dangling participles to follow logically. And I didn't get the gun reference. Who was it suggested negotiating with them (guns), and what's the relevance?

Seriously, I was more or less trying to reinforce your point that "left me as to where that benefits Americans (sic) health"... and it seems you've reverted to defending the bill at all costs. What's in it is still very much in doubt. How can any sane individual be supportive of passing such mystery-meat legislation? Who benefits from it? All for the sake of later being able to say, "we passed a law, by gosh"?

You'll have to dig a little deeper to find enough logic to "bust my bubble." I have a deep understanding (as I alluded to before) of all things medical/employment/insurance related. True there should be more oversight, leading to greater accountability in those vile insurance companies (I DO hate them, promise), and the term "pre-existing condition" needs to be stricken from the lexicon. Down-coding should be criminalized and medical malpractice should be practically unheard-of (instead of commonplace).

But I say again, more government is not the answer. Ask yourself who stands to benefit more. The biggest benefit is to the politicians. Anyone who suggests otherwise is just simply not paying attention.

Chuck Butcher said...

You don't have free market with your health, you can't shop a hospital when you need one, you have the policy you bought when you needed them.

You have a national problem with costs in the system being driven up by those who cannot afford the care being cared for. You are taxed for that by the for profit insurance industry because they are charged by the care givers to cover that cost. Somewhere the costs have to be covered. What this bill does is use the taxpayer as the payee to for profit industry.

I don't have a problem with the govt in health care and in fact would prefer it. I don't give a damn if the govt eclipsed them and sunk them or put them into the position of ins cos in other countries of being seriously regulated.

You act as though there is a product offered that could be done without, say toilet paper of a certain type, there is plenty of butt wipe in the world and you could substitute - say the evening paper. Health care is one of those products you either need or do not, you can't substitute or do without.

What exactly makes the risk spreading of health insurance companies equate with stores in your mind? From that store I will get a product with a warrantee if it has any particular cost. How many etc do you need? It isn't even remotely the same thing.