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Healthcare Reform To Make You Ill

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 7, 2010 4:29 PM |

A loyal Sense on Cents reader asked me to comment on the dramatic rise in health-care premiums highlighted in an article, Soaring Health Premium Just Makes Me Feel Sick, from the Irish Independent. The author, Martina Devlin, writes of an individual in Ireland who just received her new health-care premium. Devlin offers:

I SERIOUSLY debated cancelling my private health insurance recently. When the renewal notice arrived in the post I did a double-take at the size of the bill, cross-checked the increase — which was almost 20pc — and gulped.

Value for money it wasn’t. In fact, it struck me as a hefty charge to cover what I regarded as an insubstantial risk. You can never discount the danger, but I’m still reasonably young and healthy (touch wood).

Reviewing the article immediately reminded me of a conversation that I had with my wife’s cousin, a doctor in a community hospital. I spoke with him over the holidays and asked him his take on the propsects for healthcare reform and legislation here in our country.

His take was as follows:
1. Insurance companies were bought off by the administration to support legislation without a public option.

2. Pharmaceutical companies were bought off by the administration.

3. 15 million uninsured (5 % of the American population) will clearly benefit.

4.  Those with pre-existing conditions will benefit.

5. The elderly will suffer as healthcare is rationed.

6. Doctors and others in the health field will pay in terms of lower compensation (bending the cost curve).

7. The American Medical Association (AMA), which came out in support of Obamacare, only represents approximately 17% of the physicians in this country.

8. Who really pays for the costs associated with the health reform plan? Largely, middle income American taxpayers who will be forced to pay higher premiums as highlighted in Ms. Devlin’s article.

Ultimately, the reform as drafted is a massive redistribution program.

In summary, he said that for this legislation to work it must have a public option to force the insurance companies to lower costs. Without that, it does not work. But to get the insurance companies to call off their lobby, the administration has to accede to legislation without the public option.

I am much more comfortable and familiar with Wall Street than I am the world of healthcare. That said, my wife’s cousin is a great guy and extremely trustworthy. I’ll tell you what. I felt ill about the proposed healthcare reform after speaking with him. I am not surprised that the American populace at large is also overwhelmingly opposed to this so-called reform.

All opinions, especially from those in the health care industry, encouraged and appreciated.


  • Aaron Kramer

    You know the Healthcare bill is nothing more than a giant tax bill. 10 years of taxes to pay for 6 years of benefits means the cost will greater than forecasted and taxes will go much higher to cover the shortfall in future decades. In addition the government will hold the taxes for the first 4 years in trust to pay for future benefits. The last time they convinced us this concept, holding tax revenue in trust, was a good idea was with the Annual Social Security surplus. Of course, the government spends that surplus every year and our future liabilities grow and grow. So just prepare yourself for the inevitable tax hikes because Congress just keeps spending and spending.

    One last thing, the idea that a public option would reduce cost is crazy talk. The US government currently provides 50% of the healthcare in our country through Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIPS etc. The problem is they only pay out 70 cents for every dollar in service. This 30 cent shortfall is made up for by charging those outside of the governments’ programs more than a $1 for a dollar in service. Price controls for those who do not benefit from the cap to pay substantially more to cover the shortfall.

    This is like going to dinner with a alcoholic, who order 2 bottles of wine with the meal while you drink water. At the end of dinner the drunk tells you that you owe 50% of the bill even though you didn’t drink and wine. If you contest you are labeled selfish, or cheap, when all you want is to pay your own way. If you don’t believe me look at the rate of medical inflation before and after the creation of Medicare. Medicare was supposed to slow the rate of growth in cost but the opposite has happened because the government is drunk.

  • Missy

    People vote their pocket book. The fact is this healthcare “reform” is going to hit a lot of people and small businesses HARD. The Dems know this. Those voting for this are frightened this legislation will push them right out the door.

    Senate race in MA, a Democratic stronghold, is narrowing.

    • Patriot

      Good point. The crowd in Washington know that people vote their pocketbook, they don’t vote the return of emerging market stocks or any other market segment.

      Perhaps those in Washington may be able to gain the votes of many from Wall Street but what about Main street. We’re seeing these incumbents quitting now because they know they are getting no support from middle America.

  • Fed Up

    Will Congress continue to receive its sweetheart health care or will they be required to participate under this “reform?”

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