Here we go again into a terribly (politicalized) discussion of who should get how much healthcare and who should pay for it.
Going around today is the discussion of what kind of Medicaid cuts are coming in the (sickly) GOP healthcare reform of Obamacare.
The Washington Post has a pretty good article here – “Under the Senate bill, older Americans will pay more for less health insurance…” But as much as they try to simplify things, there are some key differences in terminology that you need to be clear on for this to all stitch together.
For example, do you know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
A lot of people don’t.
Medicaid is an income-based healthcare program for low income and disabled. Medicare, on the other hand, is the hand-in-glove healthcare component of Social Security. Main point right off is the MEDICARE is not on the table or under discussion. Medicaid is.
Medicaid presently serves about 4.6-million low income seniors. The income levels that cut off Medicaid are generally $7,390 for a single person or $11,090 for a senior couple. Asterisks for disabled and such. Nothing is simple in Washington.
Basically, an ACA Medicaid plan now pays 70% of healthcare costs and the Senate proposal would drop that to 58%.
Although it takes a little study of the Washington Post graphic in their story, what quickly emerges is that people making under $18,000 would be mostly unaffected.. People marketing $42,000 and up…yes, they would pay a lot for for a benchmark ACA plan.
But here’s where politics comes in: The graphic says age 60 and up. But people who are 65 and up are likely going with Medicare rather than an ACA plan because Medicare (at least in our study of it during last year’s open enrollment period) offered a lot better “bang for the buck.”
Talking to my doc about it, he said the best thing about Medicare was it covers just about any medical tests that a doc feels are necessary. But, as he explained to his (ahem, slow-witted) patient, not so with a lot of ACA plans. What they do is make docs for through this hoop, and that, in order to get a test approved in advance or payment for the test may fall to the patient.
Whether this is precisely correct can be debated by ACA no-change supporters, but as we look at the problem, it seems what the government has failed to accomplish is managing the profits of healthcare insurance companies.
According to a March 2017 NY Times article:
“UnitedHealth, the biggest of the managed care companies, with a market capitalization that is now more than $160 billion, returned 480 percent, dividends included. An investment of $100 in the company’s stock when Obamacare was signed into law would be worth more than $580.50 today.”
When we flipped over to the Yahoo Finance thumbnail of the UnitedHealth stock performance, we quickly saw how healthcare may be beggaring a lot of people, but it certainly has been a bonanza for investors.
This leads us to a very simple conclusion – the same as we reached when Obamacare was just a twinkle in the insurance speculator’s eyes:
For-Profit Insurance companies have no place in healthcare, or for that matter, auto insurance either.
To allow insurance companies to profit on government mandated spending of personal income – which is essentially a non-optional tax, backed up in the case of healthcare by IRS as a collection agency – is tantamount to abdicating governance to corporations.
IF government requires insurance, then it falls to government to make coverage available served by clean hands.
Instead, the Healthcare Insurance outfits are profiteers on misery.
Healthcare, as we see it, is a Public Utility. Just as we don’t see for-profit fire departments, and (prior to the equally noxious civil asset forfeiture scams) we didn’t have for-profit police departments, we should not have for-profit healthcare.
But now we run headlong into the reality of the crooked economy that is just about to roll-ver from being an analog of the Roaring Twenties to a replay of the Great Depression.
You see, without government scamdates (“Pay the insurance company their tribute for the paperwork…”), healthcare would be a lot better – and much more affordable.
Meantime, Big Pharma – which is the unindicted co-conspirator in healthcare becoming outrageously expensive – has gotten away scot free in the who cost of Healthcare debate.
There is a lesson here for all three political parties. The few democrats, the few republicans, and mostly the liars when it comes to party principles; those people we have flagged as wearing “labels of convenience.”
“Ya’ll better hurry along Internet licensing – with a big false flag that can be hung on the “free ‘net” because there’s a growing portion of thinking Americans who want a holistic solution to the structural problems that have plagued this once-great Nation for over a hundred years. Healthcare, poverty, education, and while we’re at it, how about the preferential taxes that reward hiring of machines and computers over people which are oh, so much noisier about being depreciated?
With the ‘net, though, large groups are assembling around websites like this one – peaceable assemblies and all – but just wait until the election cycle.
The middle is still pissed and this liar-labeled congress deserves contempt.
Medicare for All is a simple enough idea. And were it not for the K-Street henchmen who lobby the government into being the collection agency for their 10% (and more) vig for client insurance companies, maybe it could get a fair hearing.
Fixing the VA and opening it to all under Medicare might be possible, as well.
Isn’t the public health (and therefore) healthcare a public utility?
Almost laughably timed, a Forbes piece this morning tells the aware reader how this as been a screw-job from the get go. “Time to buy lagging healthcare insurance stocks?”
Thanks, but we don’t invest in financial misery.
The old playbook Report from Iron Mountain on the accessibility and desirability of peace” says after we spend ourselves broke on healthcare, the next scam to come along will be the faked aliens.
I can hardly wait for Project Bluebeam and all, but at this rate, thanks to declining healthcare, we may not make it.
You know what Switzerland, Canada, the UK, Germany, Japan, and Sweden have in common, right? They’re all better at healthcare than we are. M aybe because they don’t pay the henchmen to assist in public robbery.
Whew. Don’t get me started, huh?
“Stock futures little changed as oil prices edge up” and the Dow looks down 29 at the open.
Actual Climate Progress
Well, Hallelujah…and no Al Gore in sight: Norway Has Threatened to Cut Funds to Brazil Unless Deforestation Slows. No we’re talking change.
Meantime, Xi Jinping Is Set for a Big Gamble With China’s Carbon Trading Market. Gore, Obama, et al could be up against the 900 pound elephant here.
A Word to Militant Streamers
And in “Old” News…
A discussion of Interventions to prevent cognitive decline, dementia.
All sounded fine until we got to the increased physical exercise part…
Long discussion on a new way to look at playing poker in Peoplenomics tomorrow…and yes, that does relate to markets.
Off to the welding supply emporium…gotta fill my O2 tank for some cutting projects.
You know down here in Texas a 4-foot O2 tank refill is only $11 bucks? Makes welding super cost-effective, huh?\
Moron Monday, so to speak.