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O! Healthcare!

August 14, 2014

I’ve been pretty vocal about not liking Obamacare and equally vocal about not liking the old system.  Neither works.  After several thousand dollars of out-of-pocket expenses DESPITE having good health insurance, my first thought was, “How do poor people handle this?!”  (Seriously, it was my first thought.  I’m so proud of myself I could burst.)

One “bill” started at $3850 (for assessing my son’s concussion – no x-rays, just an 8 hour wait followed by a quick exam), then my insurance got a $3400 “discount” leaving me $350 to pay.  How ridiculous is that?  “Here’s the falsely inflated price, and here’s the bogus “discount” so you feel good about your insurance company.”  Well, I don’t.  This scenario is identical for anyone getting “free” healthcare through subsidies on the exchange.  The deductible is ridiculous. 

I pay just under $4000 a year for health insurance.  My deductible is $5000 per family member.  Between my son and my wife’s recent medical concerns, I’m $3500 out of pocket.  That’s less than I pay for insurance.  Had a Health Savings Account been available without a high-priced catastrophic policy required, I’d be better off.  If healthcare didn’t have to inflate prices because of insurance, we’d all be better off.

Truthfully, I’d be in favor of a single-payer system except for one thing: I don’t trust the government. Our officials are no better than insurance executives.

How sad is that?

A Canadian client related her wish that we had healthcare like they do.  I wish our public “servants” had the same values as their Canadian counterparts.  Canada doesn’t get involved in questionable wars, they didn’t treat their natives badly, and their politicians don’t seem money- or power-hungry.

I still believe our medical professionals need to be free and able to profit from their skill.  I do NOT think insurance should be protected.  What skill do they possess?

I’ve said it before, I like Ben Carson’s idea of HSA coupled with single-payer catastrophic.  We recently had a pollster come to the door asking if I thought our government spends too much.  Well, yes, but really I struggle with what they spend money on.  I applaud the intentions of Obamacare; the poor need better access to care, we all do.  The problem is that it still sees insurance as the base solution.

With an HSA base, doctors who want to serve the public could still have their own business and charge accordingly (without the insurance inflation), while doctors disinclined to have their own business could work in catastrophic care as either government (or carefully-watched agency) contractors.  Subsidies, rather than going to insurance, could go directly to a needy person’s HSA.

We should also reform the government, but that’s another post.

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