Health Insurance

Discussion in 'Politics' started by SolaSaint, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint
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    I need some help understanding Obamacare. The libs sold us a bill on health care based on millions being without insurance. I know a 20 year old girl who had a baby out of wedlock and she gets free insurance for her baby in the state she is in. I also know a lady in her mid forties who was diagnosed with cancer and she had no insurance. The medical folks she went to directed her to organizations that would pick up the tab if she made under a certian amount a year and she will get free medical care minus the doctors visits.

    So it seems there is compassion and help for those unfortunate and unable to have insurance. So why is the gov't getting involved if it is working without them. Why haven't we heard conservatives telling these stories?
     
  2. Gold Dragon

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    My understanding is the "millions without insurance" are those who have income that is too high to get Medicare/Medicaid or services like the woman in your story but too low to afford their own private insurance. Additionally some people are only eligible for partial Medicare/Medicaid coverage.

    According to the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, about 46 million people in the US are uninsured, 30 million of which are ineligible for Medicaid/Medicare. Of that number 25 million were under 3 times the federal poverty level ($45,050 for a family of three) which was arbitrarily determined to be the income level which health insurance affordability would be difficult.
     
    #2 Gold Dragon, Sep 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2010
  3. billreber

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    As I am sure you already know, it really wasn't about "providing healthcare for those who can't afford it". It is already against the law for a hospital to refuse to provide needed health care to anyone who needs it (with some restrictions, I am sure). The "Obamacare" package was designed to do only one thing -- to bankrupt all insurance companies and force everyone into a government-run system.

    I believe people are realizing that either health care costs under this bill will skyrocket and that all of us will have to pay much higher premiums and copays, or that somebody (read the "health panels") will severely restrict what procedures you will be able to have done.

    Vote the bums out this November, and get rid of this law!

    Bill :godisgood:
     
  4. Salty

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    and at least in NY she also gets free taxi rides to any doctors appointments. They used to give out bus tokens but too many people "lost" them. Since we can not deprive someone of going to the doctor, Medicaid decided to go to taxi rides.
    I will book 150-300 dollars a day (6-8 hr shift) and over half is usually Medicaid. One way rides of 30-50 dollars is not unusual. A few times I have had $80-100 one way rides. Of course then I stay at the location to bring them back. Which could be up to an hour or so - which means I cannot do any other jobs ( as we are not licensed to pick up in that city)

    Salty

    PS I wonder if Pete has the same situation
     
  5. SolaSaint

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    If charity organizations and Christian churches are covering the uninsured, why does the gov't need to get involved? Why is there not media covering this?
     
  6. Gold Dragon

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    You are assuming that charities and churches are actually covering the uninsured. A few isolated cases does not mean that they are actually able to successfully cover the millions of people uninsured. If these organizations were to somehow organize together and make a concerted effort to cover medical expenses for the uninsured in all 50 states, they would run out of funds in less than a week.

    Government involvement in medical insurance in the form of Medicare and Medicaid has been around in the united states since 1965.
     
  7. Salty

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    and what did people do before 1965???
     
  8. Crabtownboy

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    As I remember there were "poor farms" and "poor homes." I believe these were run by local governments or state governments. They were still in existence when I was a kid. They surely were nothing to brag about and were not places you wanted to end up.

    So even then it was governmental programs for the uninsured. Of course, percentage wise, almost no one had medical insurance ... at least not in the rural area like the one where I grew up.
    From Wikipedia:

     
  9. targus

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    There is no way you were a kid in 1965. ;)
     
  10. Crabtownboy

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    Are you attempting to derail the thread again.

    You should read and comprehend the post I was responding to. It read:

    My response was for when I was a kid and that was before 1965. He asked about before 1965.

    Please stay on topic and add to the thread. No more inane questions or comments please.
     
  11. targus

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    No sense of humor huh? :laugh:
     
  12. Gold Dragon

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    Here are a couple of good quick reads about the history of health insurance in the United States.
    Economic History Association
    Random History - In Sickness and in Health: The History of Health Insurance

    To summarize, it wasn't until the 1930s with the institutionalization of medicine, stricter accreditation requirements for medical schools and advances in medical technologies that the cost of health care was high enough to create a market for health insurance. Prior to that, people only bought sickness insurance that replaced lost wages while ill.

    The Blue Cross and Blue Shield started by networks of hospitals and physicians offered pre-paid coverage because traditional insurance companies didn't think health insurance would be profitable. But the success of Blue Cross and Blue Shield in targeting employed healthy clients lead to commercial insurance companies wanting a piece of the pie. The US government started realizing that healthy workers were also more productive workers and created tax incentives for employers to provide and contribute to employee health insurance plans.

    Of course the retired, elderly, children, sick, unemployed ... basically everyone who really needed health insurance but wasn't profitable for insurance companies to insure wasn't getting coverage and increasingly had difficulty keeping up with the rapidly rising costs of medical care. Enter Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

    Since then, the cost of medical care continues to rise dramatically as well as the cost of insurance leading to more and more people who cannot afford coverage with no real change in the system in 45 years to meet the demands of the changing climate.
     
  13. billwald

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    Blue Cross and Blue Shield were "major medical" plans which only covered overnight hospital admissions and accidents. "Seven dread disease" insurance was pushed through the public schools. The big fear was polio. Most Blue Cross policies were company group plans. Individual insurance policies required a medical exam except for low dollar limit policies called "industrial insurance" with weekly payments. I (theoretically) sold the stuff for a half year in 1964.
     
  14. rbell

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    Of course, this 46 million is a laughably inflated figure.

    Some are young adults that choose to do without.

    Some are folks who "can't afford health insurance," but manage to have a cell phone, cable bill, car payments, and nicer stuff than their parents had at their age.

    I've been under that "arbitrary figure" for much of my adult life...yet I've always managed to get health insurance.

    Yes, there are many who are in a bind, and there are many who cannot afford it.

    But two facts remain:

    -Basic, emergency health care is available.
    -If they'll be more honest about the figures, maybe an honest discussion could be had.
    -For many, healthcare is an issue of priority.
    -And being honest, for many, it is unaffordable--and hopefully something can be done. Suggestion: Make healthcare portable across state lines. Offer "a-la-carte" care which would allow for inexpensive, catastrophic policies.

    Finally, get Government out of it! Want to see how they run healthcare? Go to Walter Reed Army Medical hospital and see what kind of mess they've made of things.
     
  15. Gold Dragon

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    That number was for a family of three. The figure is different for a single adult and other sized families. I didn't want to list every bracket. The concept they used was 3 times the FPL (federal poverty level) which is different for different family sizes.

    For a single adult, 3 times the FPL in 2008 (when the study was done) is 32973. Link. What that means is that they consider people who make less than this will pay over 14% of their income in health insurance which might be "affordable" for those at the upper end of the bracket but will cause a significant burden on their income that might deter them buying insurance because of the cost and not because of ideological reasons. Affordability is obviously a subjective thing and some arbitrary figure needs to be chosen. 3 times the federal poverty line is a reasonable measure. Do you have a better way to calculate affordability?

    Yes. There are people eligble for Medicare/Medicaid who do not sign up. There are also people who can afford to pay for insurance but choose not to. The 25 million figure removes those two populations from the 46 million figure.

    An FYI that this study is done by the Kaiser Family Foundation which is the health care policy arm of the Kaiser Permenante organization of hospitals and physicians.
     
    #15 Gold Dragon, Sep 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2010
  16. billwald

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    Everyone who receives wage income is required to pay for medicare. If some refuse to file a claim . . . thanks, whomever you are.
     
  17. rbell

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    I'm part of a family of 4. One-income, too.

    Yes, at times it was very tough doing health insurance. But we got it done.


    Any number will have a degree of "arbitrary-ness" to it. I'm trying to split the "extremes" here:

    one extreme: pretending that everybody, everywhere can afford health insurance...denying that for some, it is an affordability issue.

    the other extreme: pretending that all 50 million folks are simply unable to pay for healthcare, and completely ignoring issues of personal finance, budge, prioritization, etc.

    Not every American without health insurance can do what I did, but millions of them can--and that means sacrifices, discipline, and the like. But because I did that--I saved myself from financial ruin when my daughter's first two weeks of life racked up a near-$100K hospital bill.
     
  18. Gold Dragon

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    Another thing to remember is inflation. The same figure 10-20 years later is significantly less money.

    And I think the study did a good job of "splitting the extremes" by eliminating those who are eligible for Medicare/Medicaid and those who can afford health care but choose not to with the 25 million figure.

    A good decision by you in hindsight. One that you admit was a difficult one. Getting health care insurance should not be a difficult decision because of finances. It should be an automatic one that should be weighed against luxury expenses in terms of what level of coverage one wants to get but getting heath insurance should not be weighed against essential core expenses (food, rent, etc).

    As you said, financial ruin is a very real possibility without health insurance and many people who take that risk are not aware of the type of risk they are actually taking. Risk calculation is a difficult thing for specialists in the field, not to mention the average person on the street or the below average person in terms of education, finances, information access.
     
  19. Steven2006

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    While I appreciate your point, I am not so sure it is reasonable for a person to be expected to not buy a car, phone or watch television in order that they might afford health insurance. Our system is out of whack and premiums are much to high. So yes, while it is prudent for people to make sure they have health insurance, something is clearly wrong when families are financially drained just trying to do so.

    I consider myself blessed that I can still afford the premiums for my family, but over the past approx fifteen years I have seen my premiums go from about $1000.00 a year to about $11,000.00. While we did grow from a family of two to four in that time it is still crazy. Plus in order to keep the cost as low as possible over the years I have increased to a very high yearly deductible, downgraded our coverage, and went from no lifetime limits to added lifetime caps. Plus I can only imagine the huge increase I will see this January ( that is when they set our new premium rates each year) since the disaster called Obama care was passed. If something doesn't change I don't want to think about how high our premiums will be in the next ten years.

    The real problem is that Republicans when they had control did nothing to address the very high cost of health insurance in the country. Because of that once Democrats did get in office that gave them the excuse to pass a nightmare of a bill which will only make things worse. Both parties have failed us on this issue.
     
  20. Gold Dragon

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    I think some good discussion is happening in this thread and it doesn't really belong in the News forum where it can get locked soon. Can this be moved to the Politics forum?
     

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