October 26, 2021
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Here’s a short little story for you all. I grew up without health insurance. The interesting thing is that I didn’t go to the doctor whenever I had a sniffle. If I had a sniffle, I slept it off. I also seemed to deal with sicknesses in about the same amount of time as people who went to the doctor. Once in a while something bad enough would send me to the doctor, and my parents would foot the bill. Fortunately, nothing catastrophic happened, and we didn’t end up owing a hospital a whole lot of money. Ok, fast forward to now when I do have health insurance. The oddest thing to me, is that I don’t consider how much a procedure costs. I just flash my insurance card. If I’m unsure about a health condition, I go to the doctor. If he says I need a test, I go to take the test. BUT WHEN I GO TO TAKE THE TEST, I HAVE NO CLUE HOW MUCH IT’S GOING TO COST. I DON’T ASK AND THE OFFICE DOESN’T TELL. IT ISN’T UNTIL THE BILL IS IN THE MAIL THAT I FIND OUT HOW MUCH THE PROCEDURE WAS. DOES THIS SEEM WEIRD TO ANYONE ELSE? IN WHAT OTHER PURCHASING DECISION DOES A CONSUMER NOT CARE HOW MUCH THE COST IS? IT SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO CONTROL COSTS WHEN CONSUMERS DON’T FEEL THE COSTS DIRECTLY. What do you all think about this?

Before we can even address health care reform (and I agree with Whole Food’s John Mackey), we have to address “motive.”

Just what is the under girding “driver” for reform? As I noted this morning, it is not the pretentious “concern” for the 10% of Americans without health insurance that Obama and his cohorts assert it is.

http://markepstein.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/%E2%80%9Cthere%E2%80%99s-way-too-many-black-people-in-ohio-%E2%80%9D/

Sorry, but number 4 is wrong. Forcing health care on people that don’t want it, would be like, using your own analogy, forcing everyone to buy a house. Some people don’t want to buy a house or can’t afford a house. They rent according to their means.

Same for healthcare. They are young, single, and feel they don’t need it. For most, that is true. When I was that age, I felt the same way. I was working for a large company and when I had a chance to get health care, I went for the cheapest possible. I got married, had children, and then my health care needs changed. So did my living needs. I rented before, then I bought a house.

If you REALLY want to fix health care, you would do it this way. First off, I have no idea what percentage an employer pays for the employees health care. With that in mind, say it’s 50%. Because I really don’t know.

Keep the employers OUT of the business of choosing health care. The employee makes the entire decision. The employer can still offer various plans but the employee can choose whatever they want. Even something the employer does not offer. And the employee must pay the percentage that the employer does not pay. So, in the example, both pay 50%. This will force the employee to be more discerning about their choice.

Let’s say a small business has 100 employees. If the employer offers the lowest, cheapest, plan from Acme Health, no one is required to take it. Say 95 of the employees go get the most expensive plan from Acme Health. They like Acme, they like their doctors, they just want better coverage and are willing to pay for it. Now the employer has a choice. He can ignore 95 of his 100 employees or he can offer the best Acme plan at a reduced rate and get some savings. This is pretty much a no brainer.

The other 5 employess choose a Zephyr Health plan. The employer will have to pay a percentage of those as well. Since his membership is low (only 5) he won’t get any benefit from having it as a competing plan. Or maybe he can join up with some other small businesses in the area and get a group rate.

This allows the employee to keep their health care. It is completely portable. It cannot be used as a reason for employment or for termination. Everyone gets the health care they want, at the price they can afford. And since they have to pay for a pretty good chunk of it, they are more likely to be better informed about it.

My two cents…