Tag Archives: high cost of healthcare

Health Care Reform Discussion Update – May 2009

I ran across a few new articles on the net this morning that I thought should be shared with blog readers. As most of you know, I have taken a sit-back-and-watch-the-circus approach to this health care “reform” discussion. Inevitably, if you’re quiet long enough, someone else will speak up in support of positions you favor. Here are two such examples from this morning’s review of posted articles on the net (5/8/09).

First, here’s an interview with Joseph Antos, a health economist, posted on MSNBC. In this interview, Antos makes several well-reasoned points, including:

    The main problem with our system is its ever rising costs
    Our current system is designed as though it has no financial restraints whatsoever
    Dealing with cost is the most important factor we should look at
    We should eliminate spending on unnecessary expenses, which is not popular with politicians

But he may have saved his best advice when asked what Obama should do:

    He should reduce his promises and the rhetoric
    The focus should be on 1) reforming Medicare and 2) taxing health benefits

I found nothing in that interview with which I fundamentally disagree.

In another article, Arthur Foulkes from Terre Haute, Indiana makes some great points about how government is running up the cost of health care by excessive mandates.

For example:

    Today, about 80 cents of every health care dollar spent is paid by insurers, which means people are not bearing the brunt of the cost – someone else is.
    Real insurance should protect against catastrophic losses, not the little stuff. It is very inefficient when the opposite is true.

Here’s the real eye opener:

    In 1965, there were a total of 7 state mandated benefits in place around the country. Today, at best count, there are more than 1,800 state mandated benefits – and every one of them drives up the cost of insurance.

This is something I have been crowing about forever. Yet, politicians continue to ignore me, so I have more or less given up.

For some insane reason, legislators simply DO NOT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND that when you force insurance companies to offer any specific benefits, the cost of the insurance MUST GO UP to fund those benefits, although they are going to be paid out for only a relatively few insureds, everyone must pay more to fund the mandates.

Our agency has essentially stopped doing business in some states where it is almost impossible to get a new policy issued due to ridiculous state mandates. This includes states such as Minnesota, Michigan, Oregon, and of course, virtually all New England states. Politicians in those states are utterly ridiculous in their failure to understand that state mandates are killing their own state insurance plan options.

The real problem is that you have ill-informed politicians monkeying with something they do not understand – which of course, is precisely what they are elected to do.

Ever the pessimist on this subject, I’m afraid I still so no light at the end of the tunnel. The train continues on its runaway course.