Health Care debate continues
September 12, 2009
Ann Althouse as a very good commentary about the President's speech.
(Althouse comment:) It will cost less? I just don't believe that prevention and early detection will perform the necessary magic. And who will provide all this extra care?
As I have said earlier when I was looking at one of the Obamacare bills that there was nothing I could find in the existing bill that would limit how much insurance companies could charge. The Health Insurance Csar (not another one!) would i suppose set limits on premium. But I thought that that office would proscribe the loss ratio's that insurance companies would be required to have as minimum standards. If that is the case, then insurance companies would have to do 2 things 1) increase the pool of potentially healthy policyholders (may be difficult if they are limited by state borders as to where they can market) and 2) raise premiums. There is no way any insurance company can remain in business if their loss ratios get dangerously high. (loss ratio: is the ratio of premium collected to claims paid out.) If the taxpayer is funding a public system that means that the public health care would always run at a loss... i.e. there would never be enough "premium" to the number of claims paid out. OF course, the government has an unfair advantage now - there is nothing stopping the feds from raising taxes (in whatever form they want) to offset rising payment of claims. Private insurance will not be able to compete, unless they are given the freedom to operate whereever they can, and be able to set their prices accordingly.
(Althouse comment" Ugh. He says nothing more about the genuine concern that there will need to be rationing, that lines will be drawn, and that he himself has said things that suggest that someone will be deciding when older and disabled persons will get "the blue pill" instead of vigorous treatment.
Let's have an honest and open debate about health rationing.
We have it already - but it is driven by health insurance industry opting on what they are prepared to cover (at a certain price) and what they are not prepared to cover. We have it in the sense that market forces and the way policies are written will create rationing. Example - because X can't afford regular health insurance, then X will forgo the annual exams, and the annual nonsense stuff that we have all been bred to believe is going to keep us healthy.
Under a public option system I cannot believe we are not going to have health rationing - no more hip replacements for people in their 80's. We would need to concentrate our resources on the most viable recipients. We would have to set budgets for the amount of PT that would be allowed, the amount we would be willing to spend on mammograms. And what about the waiting period? Only the most urgent would go first.
Sounds logical? All well and good - I am favor of rationing as long as me, or my loved ones are not at the receiving end of it.
I can remember a time when you only went to the doctor when there was something wrong. And maybe after a certain age, or depending on your family history you did go for some additional check ups. Remember the time when Doctor's would make house calls? And it would be almost unheard of to go to the ER - you could simply call your doc. Or the doctor that was on call. Only in a very rare instance would you go to the ER.
Kevin had a visit to our ER when he twisted his ankle, and we thought he had broken it. Luckily we have insurance. The bill for the ER visit - over $800. For what? A place to lie in?The amount of face time we had with any medical professional was probably no more than 15 minutes. And the ER was not busy - just a lot of people hanging around and playing Sudoko. That doesn't include the 2 xrays, and an MRI it took to get a diagnosis. - a level 3 sprain.
So instead of lowering the standards for everyone - why don't we have a grant system for people that are unable to get coverage in the traditional way? And if someone doesn't want health insurance for whatever reason, let them be. If they need ER care, you can always put a lien on their house.