Healthcare 'Reform': First thing To Go Is 'AFFORDABLE'

I am going to attempt to make a list of the ways that the opponents of affordable healthcare are spinning the situation so they can keep healthcare costs expanding. They are already too high and they are going to get higher and higher, relative to most of our income, unless we take steps now to change that.

1.) Anything thats OPTIONal doesn't save enough money to make healthcare affordable. Why, because the two systems have to exist side by side, and as the cost of the armies of bureaucrats, is huge, and since also the cost of paying for healthcare for the sick is so expensive, its basically a choice, which one do we choose. If we keep both, we simply could not save any money, in fact, two options side by side means administrative costs rise, they might hit 40%

thats what happened in MA. net result, healthcare is LESS AFFORDABLE

2.) Schumer's proposal to make 'public option' "revenue neutral" means that the public insurance will soon cost MORE than private insurance. It will be better, but unaffordable to almost everybody. Sick people might find a way to pay, because they will need a plan that, for example, covers more, but the more of them who join, the higher the premiums will have to go thanks to Schumer's constraint. This is called "adverse selection", and the result will be prices getting higher and higher, soon the well wont be able to afford it. It will die and the right will say that universal healthcare "failed"

3.) Medicaid is not Medicare!!! BEWARE!Medicaid is a LOAN - for the indigent, and its only available once you have literally been rendered penniless by debt. Then it adds even more debt. At 9% interest. Medicaid will NOT HELP MAKE HEALTHCARE AFFORDABLE IN THE WAY MOST OF US THINK IT WILL. Expanding Medicaid will reduce insurers costs, because right now hospitals pass on those costs to others. The poor will have to pay them directly. No more writeoffs or free riders. THEY WILL OFTEN NEVER BE ABLE TO REPAY AND THE DEBT WILL MAKE THEM A NEW UNDERCLASS, LIKE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.

4.) Public option means that the existing system is preserved, even strengthened because the insurance companies will get to have the poorest pay back their loans, making showing up at the emergency room extremely dangerous for the poor if they want to keep their rented apartments, any car, etc.. The repayment of these Federal loans becomes a crushing burden for people who are low income. The principal keeps increasing, until its too high for them to shrink. Wages will be garnished. Loans rescissed if the application was not truthful (then the govt will sue to recover money paid out, retroactively) Eventually, this may drive many poor to flee the US or join some underground economy somewhere. That is why and how many Europeans came to the US. We should learn that lesson from our own history.

5.) Single Payer - Free Health Care could revitalize our economy. Many people's productivity is seriously impacted by lack of real healthcare. Insurance companies currenly give us mediocre to terrible healthcare. There is proof of the benefit. The improvement in health status after WWII, along with the GI Bill, is arguably one of the largest causes of the postwar boom years. People would be able to start businesses if they were not burdened with healthcare costs.

6.) Our current system discourages business from hiring workers, especially those nearing or over 40. The IEEE says that technology will eventually be smart enough to do almost any job. The question is not "if?" its "when?"

THAT MEANS A NEAR FUTURE WHERE JOBS WILL BE VERY SCARCE FOR MOST ALIVE TODAY. Do we really want to be discouraging businesses from hiring people in this way when most of our competitors don't any more? THEY HAVE UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE.


7.) Stress causes Brain Damage. that lasts for the rest of your life.

Tags: adverse selection, Medicaid, medicaid for all, Single Payer (all tags)



First to go?
So I guess we're down to:

Sounds fine to me.  Heck, I'm even willing to give up "THATS" and "ITS," but keep your hands off my "THE."
by TexasDarling 2009-05-18 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: First thing To Go Is 'AFFORDABLE'

Medicare paid for on a sliding scale basis must be opened up as a first step toward a single payer European style system. And it must be done on a state by state basis, by extending the laws that now control the Medicare program. Medicaid is as you indicated a road to poverty for already poor Americans.

This is one way in which the fed and the states can work together to move us toward a government run single payer system.

by MainStreet 2009-05-18 12:19PM | 0 recs
I agree.. The approach needs to consider income

and cost of living..

This is important..An example, $40k a year is a middle class income in the Midwest, but on the coasts, its fairly poor..

the Federal poverty level, is obscenely low.. but that will probably be their criteria for subsidies..

watch out.. I strongly suspect that they are getting ready to screw us..

by architek 2009-05-19 01:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Healthcare 'Reform':

Why do you keep saying Medicaid is a loan?  It's not.

by Jess81 2009-05-18 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Healthcare 'Reform':

A few years ago, deranged woman would wander through the alley behind my old aprtment at 6:30 AM, shaking her fists at the sky and screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs.


Then she'd sit down in an adjacent parking lot to scribble furiously in a tattered notebook.  Every day for like 8 months, you could set your clock to it.  Then POOF.  She was gone.  I've no clue what she was on about all those mornings, nor do I understand why the raving ritual was so important.  I like to imagine that she started a blog.

by fogiv 2009-05-18 08:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Healthcare 'Reform':


Between college and my first post-graduate job, I was ON Medicaid.  Great program.  No idea what he's talking about.

by Jess81 2009-05-18 11:30PM | 0 recs
Medicaid "Loan"

I can dig up specifics a little later, but as part of (I believe) the Omnibus Deficit Reduction Crock (or something like that) passed in 2005(?), for anyone receiving long-term care paid for by Medicaid over the age of 55, Medicaid will take the estate to probate upon the death of the recipient (or recipient and spouse if they live in the same home and own it) to recoup any of the aforementioned expenses. Typically this kicks in if the recipient owns a home but is otherwise destitute. Medicaid can force and will keep any money gained from estate liquidation up to the amount spent for recipient in long-term care aged 55 or older.

So for that limited group, it is in a sense a loan, though one not due until after the recipient has passed away.

Also, Medicaid has stringent rules regarding gifts given by a potential recipient for the 5 years prior to them becoming eligible. This makes some sense, as you wouldn't want someone signing their million-dollar estate over to their children, then claiming destitution and expecting Medicaid to pay for all their medical expenses for the rest of their lives. However, Medicaid's rules are almost fascistic, though their application varies from state to state.

In Maryland, for instance, as of 2006, every $4,300 given away by a potential Medicaid recipient during the 5 years before they became eligible will be required to wait 1 extra month before becoming eligible. It's pretty harsh, as that one-month waiting period doesn't kick in until the day you become eligible by every other measure - then you must wait however long your gifts dictate.

Besides gifts, there are also similar rules regarding charitable contributions and annuity purchases. Any annuities purchased in the 5 years prior to eligibility must be signed over to the state or they will interfere with your eligibility.

Anyway, anyone found to violate the above dictates after eligibility has been established and payments made must pay back the portion of payments that was made during the period when the recipient shouldn't have been eligible.

For them it would also be a loan, more literally.

by RecoveringRepublican 2009-05-19 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Medicaid "Loan"

as you describe it, we could call the proceeds of a bank robbery a loan if we apply achie's logic. Get caught breaking the rules regarding withdrawals, and you'll need to give it back. You could argue that it's unfair that some people get to withdraw more than others, so that those who have nothing to withdraw are 'getting screwed'.

I hope archie's ideas catch on. I could use some plastic surgery on my nether regions - I got seriously gypped!

by QTG 2009-05-19 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Medicaid "Loan"

My bad - it isn't obvious, but I was only trying to stretch the 'loan' concept as generously as I possibly could; I also thought that if anyone picked up an anecdotal tale about someone paying back Medicaid - perhaps 2nd or 3rd hand - it might have been portrayed as paying back a "loan" from Medicaid.

Anyway, I was trying to come up with scenarios where logistically the process, on the part of the recipient, would appear to be that of paying back a loan.

And after looking at my latest bank statement... I am definitely "getting screwed"!

by RecoveringRepublican 2009-05-19 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Medicaid "Loan"

Thanks - I actually read the attached document and it's as you describe - if you are in a long term in patient facility AND you are over 55 AND a few other conditions, the state can (1982) - must (1994) recoup part of the expenditures from your estate.  After your dead.

I would love to take out a loan under those conditions.  Of course, since I'm 26 now, I'd take out a gazillion dollars and never pay it back.

by Jess81 2009-05-19 10:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Medicaid "Loan"

Thanks for clearing that up - for some reason I thought the 'must' was much more recent.

And it's funny how the conditions you accept for certain things change as you get older. I'm 42, and I read a story online about some young guy who committed some crime and, doing the math as presented in the story, would go to a max security prison for 5 years and get out when he was 26.

I thought, "hell, I'd do 5 years in a max security prison if I could walk out and be 26."

by RecoveringRepublican 2009-05-20 03:25AM | 0 recs
If they expand medicaid to stop free riding

you better beleive that they will seek repayment of the loans from anybody who can pay (by their definition)

It will be like student loans, your wages will be garnished and your assets will be seized if you default.

God forbid that somebody has one of these actions going on and then gets sick again, my guess is that the experience will be so terrible that people will avoid doctors and hospitals, creating a new class of illegal immigrant like citizen underclass of financial targets.. people who if they have a job, will have their income taken.. some of these hospital bills are huge, six figures..

the bottom line is that the upper middle class has NO idea of what is fair or possible any more for the working people of America..

by architek 2009-05-24 08:19PM | 0 recs
Cars are assets..

Try keeping a job without a reliable car.. well, you'll have to.. as it would be too large of an asset..

Public transportation is extremely unreliable, but its all you may be able to use.. you might spend two hours traveling each way, two busses and a train each way, four to five hours a day total.. try doing that for years..

Its expensive, too.

by architek 2009-05-24 08:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Which just proves

 that Obama sucks. Why is public transportation not free? Why doesn't everyone get a free car and free gas for life? Why do some kids get lots of presents at Christmas but none at all for Hanukkah? And vice versa?

by QTG 2009-05-26 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Healthcare 'Reform':

you make a set of assumptions about a non profit option which are just talking points- ie, you say that it will soon cost more than private. how is that even possible? you assume that healthy people will not want to go with the non profit carrier?

by bruh3 2009-05-18 07:59PM | 0 recs
Adverse selection is basic game theory

"you make a set of assumptions about a non profit option which are just talking points- ie, you say that it will soon cost more than private. how is that even possible? you assume that healthy people will not want to go with the non profit carrier?"

Read a little bit about insurance risk pools and adverse selection..

"Death spiral is a term used to describe an insurance plan whose costs are rapidly increasing as a result of changes in the covered population. It is the result of adverse selection in insurance policies where lower risk policy holders choose to change policies or be uninsured."

Death Spiral or Euthanasia? The Demise of Generous Group Health Insurance Coverage WP/BWP2004-2.pdf l_(insurance)

by architek 2009-05-19 12:55PM | 0 recs
I think the burden of proof should be on YOU

and Obama, etc, to tell us where the money is going to come from out of thin air, when even his own head economist called him out on this last year, admitting that the money for subsidies IS NOT THERE.. ive been calling Senators trying to get a feeling for what is emerging and NO WAY are there going to be subsidies for the middle class, so expect the cost of "public option" insurance to be similar to those of guaranteed issue high risk pools in the states, which is to say so expensive as to be almost irrelevant in the day to day affordability of health insurance for 90% of us.

There is one of those public options in my state, I can't afford the one that I would need. Its well over $2000/month

by architek 2009-05-24 08:13PM | 0 recs


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