Thursday, August 24, 2006

Rising Health Care Costs are mostly the fault of our Government

Ron Paul is a Representative from Texas. He is a member of The Libertarian Party and The Republican Party. He is a small government type and a fiscal conservative. Ron Paul makes a lot of sense.

He has written a piece about the rising costs of healthcare. He talks about how much of the problem was caused by Congress and he lists solutions to these problems.

Tom Hayhurst is making the rising cost of healthcare a major Campaign issue. He needs to write something up and tell us how he is going to fix our health care problems. I realize that his solutions will differ from those of Mr. Paul; but, I want to know what his solutions are.

Please check this out:

<http://www.house.gov/paul/tst/tst2006/tst082106.htm>

Mike Sylvester

9 comments:

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mike,

I wanted to point out a few things:

1)Only one of these bills has a chance to lower health care costs and that's HR 3076 - an interesting bill that needs some more discussion.

2)If you buy the congressman's argument that people have become poor consumers for health care thus driving up the cost, then you must also come to the conclusion that every other bill listed will most likely have the OPPOSITE of the desired effect - namely they will only make the costs higher. This is because they will give people MORE money to waste on health care than they already are.

The truth is those bills would make it easier on me to pay for health care. Unfortunately, they will do nothing to stop prices from spiraling out of control. And in the process, it will add BILLIONS of dollars to the budget shortfall. That is not my definition of being fiscally conservative. It's more like typical neo-con pandering. Fail to actually solve the problem, but make people happy by passing the buck to the next generation...

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Jeff:

I am NOT in favor of all of those bills myself. I tend to agree with the text of his statement; and not the bills listed below...

I also tend to agree with your analysis...

We think a lot alike at times...

Mike Sylvester

Andrew Kaduk said...

That makes two of us, Mike-O. I think Jeff is right on the munny with his assessment here.

To extrapolate even further, I would wager to say that damn near ANY federal spending bill geared toward medicine/medical expenses will drive costs up. I have yet to see one that lowers costs, in theory or in practice.

William Larsen said...

Prior to Medicare doctors made house calls. After Medicare, prices began to rise. As health insurance took foot, prices began to rise. Medicare did not foresee an industry it created. Instead of people paying for what they could afford, the federal government decided to foot the bill and tax the worker. Then Medicare ran into problems and began to reimburse healthcare costs less than 100% and now is some where around 75%. This resulted in cost shifting to those not on Medicare.

Insurance companies who covered younger and healthier consumers began to see their premiums increase as doctors shifted costs to them. Insurance companies began to fight back by negotiating fees for particular services. This then led to higher costs for those not insured.

Add in Medicaid and the problem compounds. Anyone who thinks insurance should pay normal healthcare costs (broken bone, cold, physicals, shots, etc does not understand what insurance is.

Insurance is good when you have a low risk of occurrence, but that occurrence has a high cost. Insurance in this way pools a low probability of occurrence with a low fee paid by many to pay that very large cost to the very limited whom life throws a curve ball.

Think about home owners insurance where you want the policy to pay to vacuum your house if it gets dirty or wash the windows or pick up the leaves after a wind storm. I would not want to have to a premium for this type of policy.

Insurance now pays co-pays and process all these claims at a cost of $9 to $10 each above the cost the doctor charges. The insurance company does not pay this out the goodness of their heart, but charges a higher monthly premium.

If you want affordable healthcare then we need to get back to what insurance really is. We all need to pay 100% of all our families healthcare costs up to about $1,000 per person per year. If we did this, the cost of insurance would drop considerably.

For those who think the Federal government can do it better, you will only take home less in your paycheck. The question is would you rather decide what you do with your money or do you want some one else?

PS Anthem has a catastrophic health coverage for $150 a month for a Family of 7! Sure you will end up paying the cost of all doctors’ visits, but think about it. Would you rather pay $700 a month ($8,400) a year plus 20% of all doctors visits or pay $1,800 a year and pay 100% of all doctors visits and be covered for catastrophic costs? $6,600 goes a long way towards paying normal visits to the doctors. In 25 years my family has never had any one-year exceeding $5,000 and that was the birth of child. Excluding this, the most was just under $1,000.

Tim Zank said...

William points out some very true observations, all of which can be trimmed down to one simple premise:
Anytime the Feds or any branch of government become involved in BUSINESS (be it health insurance or life insurance or automobiles or education or concrete or whatever!) the consumer pays more.
Less regulation equals more productivity....holy cow, I sound like a libertarian!!!!

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I have been reading your comments for a long time Tim Zank. I read them on Fort Wayne Observed, Just for the Record, and here.

You are far more Libertarian then Republican...

Andrew is joining the Libertarian Party. I hope you do as well.

Mike Sylvester

Jeff Pruitt said...

Let me add another observation to Bill's list. Health insurance seems to be the ONLY type of policy that isn't risk-based. I mean why does an obese, 60-year-old smoker pay the same premium as a healthy 25 year old? How this even passes as "insurance" is beyond me. Healthy individuals are paying for the risks of others.

I think that promoting a true risk-based insurance would be a step in the right direction. It might also have the positive side effect of increasing public health in this country and that is something that would lower premiums.

Also, why does a family policy cover 7 kids the same as 4? This doesn't make sense - it costs more to provide health care to 7 kids than it does to 4.

I think things would improve if they would just let the actuaries do their job...

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