Wading Through Healthcare

Oh, boy.

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.

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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?

President Trump Says He’d Love to Work with Democrats to ‘Come Up With the Perfect Health Care Plan’.  Yeah, right.

Futures?

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

Chinese Authorities Crack Down on Streaming to Create a ‘Cleaner Cyberspace’.

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…

Tomorrow

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.

Comments

Wading Through Healthcare — 24 Comments

  1. “Healthcare, as we see it, is a Public Utility.”

    George you hit on it with this one.. that is in my opinion exactly what will happen in the future..
    in the eighties when they deregulated many of the public necessities they set the road on track to be taken over by government..
    Like fire departments and highway crews this is a necessity.
    Utilities, Health, home heating and cooling, are all on the list.
    the simple small increase in utilities here amount to one percent of an average employees wage. it doesn’t take a genius to see the implications if the upper management increase of wages tops that of society then they are outpacing society with only one outcome that will in my opinion make it absolutely necessary for those services to be taken over for the well being of the country.

  2. If you’re worried about those wrinkles on your face just smile a little bit more tense muscles don’t sag too much that keep you in shape just like you could be laying in your bed and you got a knee problem let’s say well the stats on the left knee while you’re laying in bed and you just pull that legs straight up is high and far as you can try to touch it do that as many times you can what happens is the muscles rejuvenate around the area of your knee cap compare it if you just get up and there’s no muscle supporting that area now you’re supporting it and that makes the biggest difference in the world I know

  3. Excellent title for today’s ramble, G!

    http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-pol-obamacare-repeal/

    Although who can figure out why Medical Device Makers, Insurance Companies & the wealthy paying less taxes will actually shrink the deficit (scroll down to bottom of article). Hint: stick it to the rest of us and say Ahhh….

    Trump’s still milking his ‘victim mentality’ platform by calling both plans ‘MEAN’. Let’s see how the Opioid epidemic works out with the new plan….
    http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/20/politics/trump-mean-health-care/

  4. While the Insurance companies are making a nice profit, it seems that people do not look at the prices that are being charged by Doctors, Hospitals, Labs, and X-Ray providers. The cost are out of sight, if you want a healthcare system that is affordable, you need to start at the point of sale. We are being raped by the Healthcare industry

    • Something had to be done.. unfortunately once it was deregulated and insurance companies allowed to openly discriminate..it started down hill from there.
      With roughly one out of three customers not being insured or able to pay the bill passed the expenses on to everyone else.
      Leaving the USA as one of the worst counties for healthcare in the world..move over Slovenia ..
      Eventually all necessary services that affect the people of any country if they can’t be fixed will eventually be taken over by the government. Health, utilities,

  5. Absolutely Medicare for all. My wife & I are both on Healthnet’s “Gold” plan which costs us $12 each per month and includes a generous $250 for eyeglasses and $10 visits to the Chiropractor or Acupuncturist. It also protects you from “backbilling”. My wife had hand surgery & the surgery center tried that trick to get an extra $250 out of us, billed directly. I called Healthnet and it was squelched.
    We absolutely must get the private insurance companies out of the loop. Medicare for all is the way to do it.

  6. George, the blue collar, rustbelt, coal belt, poor, and rural folks will suffer mightily under Trump-care. Tens of millions will lose their coverage. The upper 2% will greatly benefit on taxes.

    Far better just to improve O-care. Go to single payer as you suggest, and cut out the middleman. The D’s tried, but couldn’t get past the R’s filibuster, hence had to give the insurers a seat at the table.

    And so much for the R’s pledge to give more coverage to more people for less cost.

    But at least the R’s have put the wooden stake in the filibuster. In the long run, that will serve the D’s far, far better than the R’s. Best, Mike.

    • Like I said, just bracket down (over a few years) Medicare and we could have avoided this crapo and the 30 percent vig to the insurance industry / protection racket

  7. Q. Who does the republican bill hurt and help?

    A. It helps those who need it least (the young, healthy, rich and industry) and it hurts those who need it most (the old, sick and lower income folks).

    It makes perfect sense.

    • thanks to demos and reps we don’t have any young, rich,. You need to get in touch with some young with student loans, my freind

      • Don’t get me going. My motto is, and call me a communist or socialist or hippie pig, medical care based on need and education based on ability.

        I’m old and still paying off my student loans for my own education. Student loans shouldn’t be a profit center for government. When I consolidated my loans less than ten years ago after rates plummeted, you don’t float down to market rates, they do a weighted average.

        P.S. I pay the same for health insurance that I do for housing.

      • So what I think I hear is a) you agree with me on a Medicare for all and get the bandits out of healthcare and b) Set up a free gov’t online univer4sity for all… see – we ain’t that far apart win our thinking.

        Ity’s just congress and the polparts keep it fox uniformed

  8. If there’s any way to bleed a penny out of a turnip ,George will do it, LoL

    • What if there was no digits no money just people on an island taking care of each other how could you handle that compared to what you have now everybody gouging lying cheating stealing and killing for a dollar, may all beings be lovingly fulfill so be it and remember thoughts do have wings and I’m not sure if you prayed hard enough that all the evil would go away but anyway go ahead and go for it maybe maybe it’ll work I don’t know
      I dunno in the reality that I live in there’s bad navel they’re always in conflict with each other it’s like a chart you know the evil takes over the good counteracts and in the evil takes over again same way with the Federal Reserve System where it’s been put out and let the treasury make her own money and then it you know it’s been over and over and over we’ve had so many instances in the United States where another entity was making our money instead of the treasury so, at least our universe that we know our reality that we know has a yin and yang now maybe it’s possible in another dimension another reality or something where everything is just really really nice and a lot of people think well when you die and you go to that place it’s going to be really really nice no problems you know but I’ve learned that it’s all been made up and we are reborn but not like they think we all come back we all redo it and then when you do get shocked out of your brain and you come back you don’t know nothing good just goes on and on so where do you want to start that’s why I always say start with an island and then progressed are you going to be an aggressor that’s going to take over another Island or you just going to try to live life contented on your Island but it seems the people that are on the positive side that want to have a good life and live in their Island never do a chieve that because there’s the other side of the force that’s pestering you and say no you can’t live that kind of life we are going to keep coming at you so I don’t know but I think there’s no place like people say home heaven or Hell I think that we’re always in suspension with all these different ingredients in tangling on mine our conscience or our spirit our soul and of course our body you know you never know where you going to end up at so the first thing that you have to do is say this is what I want to achieve for this day if I don’t well maybe I’ll have another day but at least put some priorities out there what you want because the more good priorities you have for more you resist and the more you encounter and the more you change the things that really matter to you first so that’s what you have to do you have to determine what it is first you want to do and lot of people that come back in life and I go this is what I blunt and I’m going to do it this way I’m going to change it from the last time I was here and then of course you have the opposite side and say the same thing so that’s why there’s always the yin and the yang and so where do you want to be do you want to be right in the middle of it or do you want to be on The Fringe area of it no on the outside I’d rather not be into the city unless that’s where I want to go for my education to learn about how they do things but I’d rather be out there on the friends on the outside for at least you have a buffer zone you seem coming you know if you lived in the City would you see the rule people coming at you how would you know if you’re in the rule how would you know the city people are coming for you something to think about it could work either way people say they’re coming for you well it may be the rule people that are coming for the city people change them how’s that grab you okay thoughts have wings but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to change things because the other people that have these other thoughts May outnumber your thoughts or they just may overwhelm your thoughts so anyway from Bryce lazy porch Garden my thing of advice would be to have a first put this is what I want to do first because if you do it second it will not be first so you have to understand what you’re capable of doing and you know what kind of time limit you have to do it in and just how big of an influence you will be or can be in the future of your future Generations y’all have a nice day and may all beings be lovingly fulfilled so be it

      • Don’t feel down just because you can’t achieve what you put on your list from a previous day because everyday is different you change everyday your Chemistry changes everyday the outside forces the weather the news the people you know change every day so do not try to do something every day when it’s impossible and do not feel down about it it’s just that means it’s time to do something else that you can do so every morning when you’re laying in bed before you get up unless you have a really urgent need to go into the bathroom lay there a few few minutes and figure out what you want to do that day and if you have a retarded idiot brain like me where I can’t remember what I just thought a second before the last thought then record it or write it down and you’ll see that when you write it down and you write a time limit for each one of those things that you want to do they become fast because what you’re doing is you’re competing against yourself those time limits that you have created compared to if you don’t put a time limit on it all a sudden you become creative and you don’t get anything done except a lot of creative thoughts

  9. A forced exercise program for this 79 year old senior has in one week produced great health benefits. (Worn out car has died and no money for a replacement.) Blood pressure medicine now reduced by 50% because I have to walk up and down “Cardiac Hill” to get places. Sludge is probably being removed from the arteries. LOL

  10. Damn George, Filling a similar O2 tank costs 2.5 times that here! Regulations and remoteness, I suppose. At least I don’t need O2 for the plasma cutter, but torches do have their place, as does a reserve of O2.

    Please drop the word “healthcare”. Prepaid medical services are hardly healthcare. Good food, sleep, regular sex, supplements, and lots of exercise are healthcare, and that’s all DIY. I wish the government would set a minimum level of emergency care and leave the rest of us alone – like they did before the Atrocious Crap Act from Odumbo.

    Just my POV. I would much rather pay fee for service in a fair market(cash gets lowest price). He who pays the bill calls the shots, and TPTB is doing all it can to prevent people paying their own way.

  11. After 45 years in the health insurance biz…….. it will have to collapse befire anything good happens. Fortunately that is close. The real message is clean up your diet and lifestyle enough that you can self manage your health care by self ordering your own tests and find a functional medicine provider that cares about cures over symptoms. Its gonna be a rocky ride so get ready!

    • Yes indeed. Until the bloat is taken out of the healthcare system, everything relating to reform is just a distraction, because it cannot be reformed until this happens. The actual cost of medical care in the USA is 10% of what is being billed. The rest is for overhead and bureaucratic profits. 17% of USA GDP for healthcare, last I saw.

      In Ecuador, healthcare is consistently 15% of the cost in the USA. I’ll gladly give them that extra 5%. Recently, I fractured a genetically defective molar. Cost for a new crown, $180. That is the same cost for the full mouth X-ray’s required by my last USA dentist before he would even look in my mouth just to get my teeth cleaned. He was just fishing, hoping he could find something to do that would be covered by my nurse wife’s excellent medical insurance. Teeth cleaning here is $35, no X-ray’s required.

  12. Why do we keep confounding healthCARE with healthINSURANCE? What is so difficult about a plan like Medicare for everyone? Politically, set the amount that we as a country can afford for health care (%GDP?). Revise occasionally (every 4 – 6 years?). Establish a panel of medical professionals to determine what medical procedures (after negotiation for price of procedures) and medicines (again with negotiation on prices) provide the most bang for the buck for the population as a whole. Heavy emphasis on preventive medicine. “Adequate” healthcare for everyone. Then allow the insurance companies to have at it for supplemental insurance plans for those that want the best. Everbody wins, except maybe big pharma. And maybe that’s a good thing (xanax nation, prescription opiode epidemic, etc.)

    • Too simple and too much common sense; so that is the answer of why. Canada allows 4% administration fees on their plan. AMERICA via Obamacare allowed 20% administration fees! WOW! Is it any wonder that their profits are off the charts! We are in a For Profit Industry/Country. The way we got around the obamacare destruction of our once perfectly affordable health care plan was to quit cold turkey all insurance agencies. We have become Samaritan Ministries members and send our monthly share to a family in need. We no longer pay those exorbitant monthly premiums along with the exorbitant deductibles. We found a health care provider with a doctor and a physician assistant and a lab, and we pay as we go. Annual physical with ALL labs less than $350.00 a year. If we need surgeries that we can plan for, we shop around for the best upfront price. If it is an emergency, we go to an ER outside of a hospital (not a hospital ER), and submit our claim afterwards. Oklahoma hospital has put ALL of their surgery prices on line and prefer cash. No longer does a consumer have to be jacked around by the for profit insurance industry; no longer do you have to pay the exorbitant salaries of these thieves. Just quit em like a bad habit. Health sharing groups are not affected by obamacare so once you join you are not penalized by the obamacare mandates/tax/penalty. So all this bellyaching about the Repubs, when the Demos, did a demolition on health CARE in America, and the MSM paid off prestitute press lied to everyone about that destruction. I am not holding my breath about this latest round of BS since they never pulled a roundtable of Doctors, nurses, brokers, patients, and citizens together to come up with an expert plan. You didn’t really think obamacare was an expert plan did you, even though it took a billion dollars to put into play and is costing us taxpayers billions of dollars a year just like we were lied to about the costs of it, yeah, year after year, another lie to the American people, while the ones that get subsidized and freebies cry the most and the others, like us, who have to pay for everyone else get screwed. Well, we pulled ourselves out of the screwing and you can, too. P.S. Getting screwed by obama – you can keep your doctor, your health plan, and each family will save $2,500, and nancy pelosi – you gotta pass it to see what’s in it, and goober – was paid millions to help craft the obamacare to con artist the American citizen – is really a multi-cultural, multi-sex screw job that WE did not consent to nor enjoy. JUST SAY NO!

  13. Once you turn 65 & are eligible for Medicare you no longer qualify for Obama care. You must apply for Medicare when you turn 65 & are eligible for Medicare if you want health insurance coverage. I have used both Obama care & Medicare & Medicare is by far the better program & less expensive. Please note, my Obama care experience was in a state that did not adopt the Medicaid option. The Medicare supplemental insurance option at extra cost can limit your out of pocket costs to under $200 annually and your total health insurance cost would still be less than Obamacare.