Give Me Liberty or Give Me Car Insurance
By dr.jeh on April 01, 2012
Ever hear someone compare health insurance to car insurance? Why should we pay for health insurance to see a doctor when we don't have to pay insurance to see a mechanic?
I can think of only two similarities between health insurance and car insurance: 1) Americans will soon be required to buy some form of both of these so-called insurance types; and 2) In both cases insurance executives will be the primary beneficiaries of this gambling strategy known as "insurance" which, like all gambling, is calculated to benefit the "house" in the short and long run.
This is where where auto and human insurance/coverage part ways. In most states people are only required to buy collision insurance for their vehicles; everything else is optional. If their care suffers from lack of care, at some point it will eventually simply die.
When people show up at the ER who cannot afford to pay, they expect someone will still take care of them without insurance. Ultimately it is the taxpayers who pay the bill. Theoretically the so-called "Affordable Care Act" is supposed to eventually take up the slack by putting everyone in the pay pool so that tax payers don't have the burden. But that won't happen until 2015 and when it does in reality it will only be another corporate payout to the 1%.
Rich people, including most members of Congress resent having to pay taxes to take care of others, which is ironic because most don't even pay their fair share of taxes (ca. 15-25% vs. 25-35% for average Americans).
Freeloading Tea Party members who now equate their "right" to not pay for healthcare with their liberty sure as heck aren't going to pay for coverage it if they can help it. They are standing of the steps of the Supreme Court to make that statement.
It is the moderates and progressives who willingly pay more taxes to provide services for the needy, but it is the poor that carry the burden of paying these taxes expenses disproportionately, especially if you live in a regressive state such as Nevada.
And any gains from the increases in health costs, like all income, 93% will likely go to the 1%. And the top CEOs in the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries make tens of millions in annual salaries. And then they buy off our government officials with the bribes we call campaign donations. That is the dirty secret about why our healthcare costs are out of control and our coverage is getting worse each year. What I don't understand is why the process of paying the middlemen in health care is called insurance; in most cases we are simply paying for access.
Back to the original question, why is it that we are not required to pay for a mechanic? Because truthfully nobody cares if you drive a beater, so long as you don't harm anyone else in the process. The collision insurance is to pay for the expense of hitting someone else with your vehicle, which would cause them financial and possibly bodily harm. In "health insurance" the harm can come from making someone else pick up the bill through an ER visit. That's the collision that can cause someone else financial harm.
So here is what I propose. We stop requiring any type of health insurance" other than emergency room visits and we call that catastrophic insurance, because we know if you pay half of what they charge for a typical visit to the E.R. it will be catastrophic to your checkbook.
Set up coop exchanges (WITHOUT THE INSURANCE MIDDLEMEN) which can negotiate with doctors and clinics for office visits, lab tests, and minor procedures perhaps even major procedures). And the government could help us set these up through oversight without actually paying for it. Shhhh, the government already does this through the existing Medicare process, as workers we could "buy" into the plan until we hit retirement age. I would be more than willing to pay for my share of this cost. Ultimately I would like Americans to receive a Medicare card when they are born and to pay into the plan when they are working, but that would be too Socialistic I guess, especially when the system is awash with dirty money to control what people think about this issue.
There are so many models to use to compare health care in the world but no matter how you cut it, we Americans are getting significantly less bang for our buck than any other industrialized nation, and the price is skyrocketing relative to the rest of the world. To understand why it is getting worse you simply have to follow the money.
Am I grateful that President Obama spearheaded a revision of health care in our country? Of course! But we didn't get the universal health care that so many of us fought for. Instead we got this "Affordable Care Act" which I think should have been called the "Health Coverage Act" because it obligates everyone to get health coverage. It is difficult now to see a doctor or use a health care facility without this coverage and more people are eligible for coverage than ever before. But, in my opinion, it is NOT insurance nor is it affordable care. It is coverage for the 1%, so that no matter who you are the 1% get their payday.
P.S. My car recently passed its smog check; I wish my labs were as good. But who has the money to see a doctor? My current deductible is $1950 (up from $500 a few years ago) and a payment of $125 just to see my doctor (compared with $20 co-pay last year) and don't get me started on recommended lab tests. Like many Americans, I am shopping around and finding I pay for tests and procedures "out of plan" with good old fashioned cash. Rumor has it our Public Benefit Employment Plan managed has earned over $30 million in "excess saving" over the last year since they spiked our deductibles and many of us no longer use our so-called health insurance. Don't worry, the CEOs of the health unsurance "providers" and big pharma and the hospitals still get their cut. Hurray for the money.
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