Thursday, March 04, 2010

Health Care Insurance for Dummies

Are there problems with the way we do health care in the United States? Yes. We do get sick and injured, and sometimes we've got to go to a doctor or hospital. Doctors and other health care workers should be paid for what they do. Various medicines also cost money to develop and manufacture. If our life is threatened by some illness or cataclysmic health issue, we will want to get the health care we need. We don't want ourselves or our loved ones to die because they couldn't afford to pay for what they needed. We also care about people in general and want others to have access to the people, facilities, and medicines that would result in good health for them.

When we talk about health care, we really are talking about how much it costs. People's interest in health care mainly relates to how much they will have to pay for what they need, the percentage of their total income that they spend on it. Then it relates to access to what they need. And last comes the quality of the health care. At the root level, people want to live and they don't want a lack of accessibility to end their lives. If you have ever been in a situation or have seen someone else in one where their health care saved them from dying, you can understand the intense interest here. And then they don't want their quality of life to diminish because they can't get the kind of care they need.

A lot of what most people do for health, they do themselves. They alter their behavior in a way that will allow them to stay healthy. This relates to what they eat and how much, to how and how much they exercise, the ways that they keep from getting sick, and the safety precautions that they take to keep from getting injured. With everything that most people do to stay healthy, for a large part of their lives, they can usually avoid having to do anything that will cost a lot of money in order to stay healthy. Even as you are reading this, you may be thinking that you haven't been to a doctor for a year or more. Perhaps you've never been in the hospital since you've been born. The ideal for people is to live in a healthy manner so that they won't have to spend that much on health care.

Of course, as these bodies in which we live wear down through usage and age, they often begin to malfunction in some way that threatens our lives. Sometimes we can't do much about it because it is a genetic issue. Other times, a choice we made in life is causing the problem, our eating, drinking, or an activity that endangered our health. Most of the money we spend on health comes at the tail end of our life because of the process of aging. The other concern is some kind of unforeseen cataclysmic event---car accident, cancer, tumor, etc.

Most people could pay most of their health care without insurance. Most people wouldn't even need health insurance until they were older if it wasn't for the possibility of some surprising event or a few ordinary situations that are very expensive, like childbirth. Without health insurance, most people could not afford to pay for the expenses of bringing a child into the world. And then there are those circumstances that no one could predict that cost more than what most people could afford to pay at one time. Because of the possibility of one of these unforeseen events, most people believe they need to have health insurance. What health insurance is supposed to do is to spread out the costs for our health care over our entire lives. As well, some people are going to need more health care than others. When everyone pools together money by paying for insurance, those who need it more will get more care even though they aren't paying more in premiums.

When we pay our health insurance, we'd like to not use it. We'd be OK paying for the insurance and not having to use it at all. And that's the way it is with many. They pay their premiums and they end up taking less care than what they are paying in. On the other hand, there are some who receive more care than what they actually pay in. In order for an insurance company to operate and pay their employees, they must take in more money in premiums than what they spend for health care.

The price of health care has risen at a faster rate than most other items in our nation's cost of living. We are paying a greater percentage of our income toward health care than ever before. This does affect the economy of the entire nation. The standard of living of the average American family diminishes because of what they have to pay for health care. It hurts other industries, because people cannot spend money on other things because they have to spend it on health care. When people are not spending money on those other things, those industries stop making those things and the people who work for those companies lose their jobs. When someone loses his job, he doesn't have an income from which to pay for health care. And yet he and his family still need health care. Somebody is going to give the health care and someone is going to pay for it too. Of course, that causes the prices to rise that everyone else is paying and this causes this whole cycle to get even worse.

So what's the problem? Why is health care so expensive? What would provide the most help for the cost of health care to go down?

President Obama believes that the solution to this health care problem lies with the government. He wants greater governmental involvement. He and the Democratic party in the United States are telling this nation that the government can solve this health care crisis by giving much greater charge of this nation's health care industry to the federal government. Is this going to work? Will this succeed? Will this be the answer to bring down the escalating costs? Health care is the biggest subject in the U. S. government for 2010, even as it was in 2009. It wasn't the most significant topic for the American people, but it is what the Obama administration has chosen for the government of the United States to deal with.

Will the government bring down the cost of health care? I think it is possible for the government to do that. I don't think that the government can or will do that, but I think it is possible for the government of the United States to bring down the cost of health care. Now for the government to do that, I also believe that the average lifespan of Americans will shrink, there will be greater national poverty, and our health will be much worse. However, health care will be cheaper. Everything will need to be much less expensive because there will be far less money for most people to spend due to the government involvement.

I know the government of the United States should not be involved in the health care industry and I hope that the people of this country will rise against this administration and his party in their attempts to bring health care under government control. Why?

First, the Constitution of the United States says nothing about health care. Health care is outside of the power of the federal government. The founding fathers wrote the Constitution in a major way to limit the power of the federal government. Government controlled health care is unconstitutional. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land and our federal representatives have sworn to uphold the Constitution.

Second, whenever the government tries to do something that is done by private enterprise, it costs more for the government to do it. We already see that the entitlements that the government presently operates are going bankrupt. The country is already massively in debt because of Social Security and Medicare. For the same health care that you presently get, you can be sure that it will become more expensive if the government gets involved.

Third, if the government gets involved with health care like they are proposing, you will lose more of your freedom. The government will control more of your life. Health care is a frightening tool in the hands of a corrupt government. Everyone needs health care and with the government in charge, it will be easier than ever for it to control your life. The government will be able to manipulate you based upon your need for health care. As the government controls more and more of private enterprise, in this case the health care industry, it can play on the greed and the fears of people with the use of health care. More people will be receiving benefits that someone else has paid for and will surely vote for the party that will keep those benefits coming at the expense of someone else.

More on this later. I will explain how we can actually lower health care costs if we would be willing to accept some common sense solutions. I will also explore reasons why the Obama administration wishes to do this despite the problems.


Don Johnson said...

Living with government health care, I don't agree with this statement:

Now for the government to do that, I also believe that the average lifespan of Americans will shrink, there will be greater national poverty, and our health will be much worse. However, health care will be cheaper.

There are lots of complaints up here and I suppose some have done comparisons, but my perception is that our life expectancy, wealth and health, etc. are generally on a par with that of the Americans.

Our health care costs are lower here, but that is because our system is quite different. Some costs are reduced by rationing care and having long wait times. But the major difference between our systems is the outrageous court settlements that American juries impose. This increases American costs astronomically, by motivating docs to run every imaginable test to cover themselves against malpractice and by the costs of the settlements themselves (not to mention court costs and legal fees).

Until the Americans get tort reform, they will never get a handle on health care costs, no matter what system they use. Don't hold your breath waiting for the Dems to provide tort reform.

Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Kent Brandenburg said...


I don't know enough about Canadian healthcare to criticize it. I'm happy if you like yours. However, I do know the U.S., and I also know that more government control will cause care to go down. I'll talk more about it in part two. So this wasn't a criticism of Canadian care. I could see how you might look at it through your grid.