Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Health Care Insurance

11.9% increase in our health care insurance premiums we were told by our agent.

Then he presented several options that would reduce the cost of our premiums. Of course this was achieved by either reducing some level of benefit or increasing the employee's share of medical cost or both.

But the increased cost of insurance is not really the subject of this post.

Rather I was interested in the discussion of health care and insurance and the ongoing political struggle.

The most significant thing I noticed was a stunning paradox. On the one hand there was uncertainty about the government plan we'd face in the future. On the other was absolute certainty that whatever plan the government ultimately enacted it would be more bureaucratic, less efficient, less effective, and more expensive.

The next most significant thing I noticed was the anger and disgust about the process that is underway to implement a broader government plan. It is the sense I think that the plan has been determined and is going to be forced upon the country period.

Our agent's clients are all relatively small businesses. He said there was not one among them that was not terribly upset about the prospect of increased government intervention.

I know something about government health insurance since I dealt with medicare for the last 10 years on behalf of my parents.

My experience does not make me very confident. I just imagine Medicare on steroids and there is this nightmarish vision of all the terrible problems I had with Medicare magnified by an order of magnitude that looms in my mind.

That's not to say that I am overwhelmingly positive about the current health care system.

It's just that I think if anyone can make it worse it is the government.


Lori1955 said...

I certainly don't have a lot of faith in the government running anything. What bothers me most though is that no one is talking about tort reform. Unless something is done about the lawsuits, I don't see how any health insurance can ever be more affordable.

rilera said...

Check out and make your questions and concerns known. The thing that is scary is that people are blowing things way out of proportion and the end result is that something that could help millions of people is being shot down. If we discuss this in a civilized way and get the facts (and those facts don't come from Sarah Palin, I'm sorry) then we can have an intelligent, productive discussion about health care reform in this country.

Lori, you are so right! We need tort reform so that doctors can do their job without having to do unnecessary tests in order to protect themselves from malpractice lawsuits. The same goes for the pharma industry. All drugs have a risk, you just have to weigh the pros and cons.

~Betsy said...

I think you know my opinion, Flinty.

I'm glad to see some people are actually asking intelligent questions. The health care does need some help, but as my grandfather use to say, "If you only need a new tire, why completely rebuild the engine?"

flintysooner said...

Robyn - the prevailing opinion here is that there is going to be a plan forced upon us whether we want it or not. I have never seen people so angry about something.

And the problem for the politicians is that a lot of people have actually downloaded and read the proposals (not me though). They can tell you what is written and where and overwhelming sentiment here is that there is a big lie underway.

And many of the politicians have not read the bills.

Also there is a huge complaint about how many of the politicians are responding to constituents - more like serfs than citizens - or that's what they say.

Yesterday a popular "r" representative had a pretty intense town hall meeting here. People are angry.

rilera said...

Terry, I'm glad that people are talking and researching! That is democracy in action. I have a problem with the inflammatory people who talk about "death panels" and "swastikas". People need to continue to educate themselves and become involved in the process, that sort of think makes me very happy. I think it can be done in a civilized and respectful manner though.

nancy said...

i ditto what lori said, many physicians are scared to practice how they might normally for fear of being sued so they order tests to cover their aaaaa. and then there's the cost for their malpractice insurance, also, does every hospital in major cities really each need to have all the up to date imaging equipment? couldn't they share????

terry, i really hope we aren't forced to accept this plan. i hope enough individuals keep speaking until their voices are heard.

~Betsy said...

Robyn - the Swastikas comment came from Nancy Pelosi. The attitude of these "elected public servants" is scary and downright insulting. The attitude of the Senator in Texas (Jackson - D) who actually took a cell phone call while a cancer patient constituent presented her case during a town hall illustrates the primary reason for the anger in this country.