A commenter left a message on my most brilliant post entitled “Obama’s Solution: More Government“. You can read my exceptional post and the commenter’s comments by clicking on the link.
What I found profoundly interesting was the commenter’s support of an Obama single payer plan. A Single Payer plan meaning government controlled health care. I would like to share those comments by the reader and solicit your comments for a reasonable and civil debate on the Obama’s proposal to take control of health care in this country. This is Hillarycare 2.0. make no mistake about this. It’s a bad plan and I am against it. Here’s why.
Look at what this country is already spending:
A comment from the Dr. Dean Edell Show: [paraphrasing]
If private business cannot compete against the government, then why hasn’t the United States Postal Service put the private industry carriers Fedex, UPS and DHL out of business. After all, you won’t see a Fedex person delivering a 47¢ letter.
Fair question I said, and a good one. How am I going to argue that point?
Entering into any hospital can be a daunting and frightening event. No one wants to be sick and no one wants to worry about a loved one in the hospital either. The fear, uncertainty and doubt can be overwhelming. My blood pressure goes up just going to the doctor for a simple checkup. Aside from the fear, it’s the bills that need to be paid after the doctor and hospital visits.
Unless you’re rich with pockets overflowing with money, then you don’t have to worry [congress]. Most people have an insurance plan to pay for their health care. If you do not have any insurance, then there are government welfare programs in the form of Medicaid and Medicare to help pay for your medical attention. Also, there are charities that help, but the amount charitable contributions are so small when compared to the larger costs provided by insurance and other government subsidies. Most health care in this country is either paid for through payroll contributions, private insurance premiums, or through some federal and state subsidies. Here in Hawai’i, we have a welfare population like in many other states. It does use up resources, but what are you going to do? Deny the sick help? Well, that’s against the law, so you cannot be denied health care in this country under the current system.
And that brings up the larger question. Is the health care you pay for only as good as the money you spent for it? Is the health care subsidized by the government any better or worse than private health care? Are insurance companies’ health care plans any better with higher premiums? Will the government plan offer more competitive plans? Or will the government try to control the escalating costs of health care by rationing care?
What happens when the government cannot afford health care costs? Who in the government will decide what medical care will be covered, and what will not covered, by a government health care plan? What do you do when the government declines your claims? Where do you go to appeal? What do you do if your situation is life threatening and time critical?
OK, here are the comments that a reader wrote to my most excellent post:
I’d take an Obama plan any day.
Here’s my story
My wife and I are self employed and over 60.
She has some preexisting conditions
We pay all our own heath care premiums…no employer or government helps us at all (unlike members of congress who have a wonderful publicly supported heath care plan) So you read about some Canadian who comes to America for heathcare.
Get this. Once a year we hop on a plane and fly 14 hours (plus 3 hour layover in Taiwan) to Bangkok Thailand so we can get affordable heathcare.
Because at our age and being self employed, our monthly Blue Shield Premiums are over $900 per month….and that’s for a plan with a $8000 deductible.
So we pay over $10,000 a year for insurance…and on top of that we have to pay for every doctor visit, operation, pill and test that we get.
Needless to say we can’t afford to pay $10,000 plus $8000 every year So we fly to Thailand where the heathcare is excellent and the cost is 1/10th that of the US.
So although some Canadian couple somewhere had to fly to the US for medical care….I know personally someone who has to fly from the US to Thailand for the same thing.
I appreciate the readers’ comments very much. My rebuttal is not an attack against the commenter. I am always seeking to understand. Therefore I will seek understanding about the readers’ comments so that I may receive needed clarification. So, reader, if you’re out there reading this. Please feel free to rebut my analysis. Or if anyone else for that matter has a better idea, I’m willing to entertain it. Help me understand why our system of heath care is not better than any other country in the world. When world leaders get sick, they come to the United States to get help. Why?
Not Taking Either Sides
Reader, there are parts of your comments that I am struggling to understand. I cannot account why your insurance premiums are that expensive. Maybe they are, I don’t know. I’ve never heard of an insurance plan that has an $8000 dollar deductible and with a $900 monthly premium. There may be such a plan, I’m not challenging that; However, let’s use your numbers as the basis for my comments.
So your insurance costs per year are about $10,800, including an $8,000 deductible factored into the total costs. You say you are over 60 years in age, are you not eligible for Social Security and Medicare?
Ok, let’s work with what you got.
Then you then say you fly to Thailand once a year, so you can get “affordable” health care. So once a year, you pay an average of $1,500 per person on airline tickets to fly to Bangkok Thailand, plus hotel, ground transportation, food and other expenses (not factoring the aggravation cost of traveling). I’m estimating about $4,500 to $5,000 dollars in travel expenses for two persons for a one to two week stay in Thailand. My calculations are based from where I live as a baseline for travel estimates, and my many trips to south East Asia as experience in calculating travel expenses.
The Frivolous and The Frugal
I can only guess what kind of health care you’re getting at 1/10 the cost in Thailand. You did not specify. It may be as good as the health care in this country and cheaper, I don’t know. However, when in Thailand, you say you are paying 1/10th of the cost of an American plan, so let’s say you’re paying about $1,080 in Thailand for a once a year visit for health care. Less your deductible.
OK, let’s total the costs and ask some important questions:
Why are you paying for American health insurance costs when you claim to get adequate care at 1/10 the cost in Thailand? Do you have some requirement to have health insurance in this country? In my own business, I’m only required to have life insurance. I pay for my own health insurance, but I don’t have any requirement to have health insurance. Maybe your state does, I don’t know. It seems to me, if you are getting as good, if not better, health care outside this country, then why are you paying for it here? It doesn’t make sense to me.
Insurance, Lawyers, and Patients, Oh My!
If as you say, the once a year cost of traveling to Thailand is better than the American structured cost system, then why would an Obama plan be any better? Have you read the Obama plan? It seems like many of the other Obama plans; no one in the Congress seems to be reading them before passing them. Well, I do read the what’s in the legislation.
Obama has said many times: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. So, when you hear the naysayers claim that I’m trying to bring about government-run health care, know this – they are not telling the truth.
Really! Then why does the Obama Health Care Plan have a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal?
From Investor’s Business Daily:
The provision would indeed outlaw individual private coverage. Under the Orwellian header of “Protecting The Choice To Keep Current Coverage,” the “Limitation On New Enrollment” section of the bill clearly states:
“Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day” of the year the legislation becomes law.
A free people should be outraged at this advance of soft tyranny.
You do know that the Obama plan is considering mandates for all Americans to have health care insurance and making employers share in the costs. Although the Obama plan has not defined individual and employer mandates, the bottom line is that the government will mandate “shared responsibility” eventually. Meaning you will be forced to pay for health care whether you want it or not. So how will the government mandated rates be determined? By medical preconditions? By individuals income and wealth? Here’s what you can look forward to with government health care. How much time will you need before your health fails waiting for a government run plan to see you?
If it’s life threatening, is it worth the wait?
From U.S. News and World Report:
Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S House of Representatives Laughs at Reading the Healthcare Bill Before Passing It
“I’m laughing because a) I don’t know how long this bill is going to be, but it’s going to be a very long bill,” he is quoted as saying. Hoyer’s audacity in suggesting, laughing as he did—LAUGHING—that a bill to increase the government’s control over more than 17 percent of U.S. gross domestic product won’t be read by the people who have to vote to approve it because it is too long suggests there are problems with the issue and the process. As Kerri Houston Toloczko, policy director for Conservatives for Patients’ Rights said, “If it’s too long to read, it’s probably too expensive to pass.”
A Bed For Rent?
Lets review. You say you pay ~$10,800 dollars a year in insurance premiums, have an ~$8,000 dollar deductible, and spend nearly another ~$5,000 to ~$6,000 in travel expenses for health care in Thailand. That approximately totals a yearly expense of…., say…. $25,000 a year. Just in health care out of pocket.
I go to see my doctor about once every two to three months to check on my cholesterol, my blood pressure, and miscellaneous other issues. I don’t have to wait to get my testing done. I walk into the clinic, they take my blood samples, I wait a day or two for the results to return from the lab and then review them with my doctor. I pay my out of pocket expenses, deductibles, and my monthly premiums don’t even total that amount you are paying, even with my preconditions. Let alone a trip to Thailand to which I would go for vacation and not for health care reasons. I’m not criticizing you, but I am questioning your plan and wondering if you should not be shopping around for a better health care plan. At least a health care plan with a better deductible and rate.
So What’s The Solution?
Reader: I sympathize with your situation. I wish there was a better solution to your health care needs, but I do not think you really grasp what an Obama health care plan will do to damage an already fragile health care system. Our system may not be perfect, but how do you define perfection? Not by having some bureaucrat making health care decisions, I hope.
You pretty much dismiss the Canadian story I outlined; however, you fail to understand the urgency the Canadian couple had. This was a life or death situation and the Canadian government run system could not do anything for the couples baby. These and other stories are replicated where ever government run health care is implemented. Canada, England, France, etc. all have tremendous wait times for specialized care. Socialized Medicine, i.e. Government Run Health Care, does not work. It destroys innovation, incentives and cost too much to run.
Consequence Of Government Care
There is no such thing as Free Government Health Care. Someone has to pay for it. That someone is you. The Tax Payer.
Here in Hawai’i, we have a real problem with health care. It starts with a lack of Doctors. Many of the doctors here simply will not take on new patients. Many Doctors are not fairly reimbursed by the insurance companies for patient care. The insurance for doctors to practice in Hawai’i is expensive. There is no problem with the quality of health care. The majority of what makes health care expensive is not the innovations, but the insurance costs to both doctor and patient. Recently, the Hawai’i State legislators overrode the Governor’s veto of the failed Universal Child Health Care. The plan was too expensive for the state to run and people dumped their private insurance to get on the state run plan. That’s what will happen if Government Run Health Care gets enacted. Employers will dump their company employee plans and force employees onto the government plan. That’s cost will be off the employers books and on the government. That’s frighting.
There has to be tort reform against frivolous lawsuits. For example, if the person making a frivolous lawsuit looses their case, then make them pay for the doctors legal expenses. Frivolous lawsuits drive up the cost of insurance premiums for doctors and patients alike.
I do believe there is an affordability gap in health care costs that are rising and making it harder to afford health care. I also believe there are several factors for the rise in these costs and that there are solutions to bringing the costs down:
- Insurance Reform.
- Tort reform.
- Policing of Doctors to rid bad doctors.
- Employer Incentives such as the Safeway plan.
This country spends almost 1/2 of its GDP budget on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare plans. These government programs are heavily in debt, poorly administered, and broke. BROKE! Who runs Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare? The Government. What makes anyone think the government could run a Health Care Plan for all Americans? Anyone dealing with Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare have had nightmares trying navigate the system of bureaucracy. Or should I say Barackracy.
Your New Government Health Care Card
I believe that Obama’s Government run, single payer system, will destroy the best health care system in America. One only has to look at the costs of supporting Medicare and Medicaid. Like other government run programs, take Social Security for example, the system is drowning in cost overruns and the system is deeply in dept and hopelessly broke. There are too many entitlements that diminish the value of basic health care needs. For example, why should the public pay for anti-pregnancy pills? Why is Planed Parenthood being subsidized?
Is this a really a basic health care need that we should be paying for? When we have people waiting and willing to adopt. Why are we paying to prevent the poor, the undesirables, the untouchables of society from having offspring by providing them free birth control at taxpayers expense?
Let’s not forget that the Obama regards getting pregnant as a punishment.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s comments about using abortion as population control:
Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of. So that Roe was going to be then set up for Medicaid funding for abortion.
This goes back to my most excellent post about how the Obama is stocking his administration with these so called “CZARS”. It appears the common theme among the CZARS is a preoccupation with death. I’m thinking Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a big fan of the “Vampire Diaries”.
And that comment from “Dr. Dean Adumbell” about comparing the USPS to FexEx and UPS;
Have you ever waited in line at the USPS?
The Government should never come between you and your doctor.
TQOTD: If the stimulus wasn’t meant to stimulate economic recovery, why is the website called recovery.gov?
What’s for Dinner?
Grilled Red Snapper on Steamed Jasmine Rice with Wok Charred Vegetables