The Massachusetts Health Mess
Massachusetts shows how ObamaCare would really work.
In a rational world, the prognosis for ObamaCare would wait on the evidence in Massachusetts, given that the commonwealth's 2006 program closely resembles what Democrats are trying to do in Washington.
If the results were widely known, it might be dead on arrival.
The Massachusetts law, which was championed by former GOP Governor Mitt Romney, imposed an individual mandate, requiring nearly all residents to buy health insurance or else pay a penalty....
For 15 years Massachusetts has also imposed mandates known as guaranteed issue and community rating
-- meaning that insurers must cover anyone who applies, regardless of health or pre-existing conditions, and also charge everyone the same premium (or close to it). Yet these mandates allow people to wait until they're sick, or just before they're about to incur major medical expenses, to buy insurance. This drives up costs for everyone else, which helps explain why small-group coverage in Massachusetts is so much more expensive than in most of the country. Mr. Romney argued -- as Democrats are arguing now -- that the individual mandate would make that problem disappear, since everyone is always supposed to be covered.
...a useful case study comes from the community-based health plan Harvard-Pilgrim. CEO Charlie Baker reports that his company has seen an "astonishing" uptick in people buying coverage for a few months at a time, running up high medical bills, and then dumping the policy after treatment is completed and paid for
. Harvard-Pilgrim estimates that between April 2008 and March 2009, about 40% of its new enrollees stayed with it for fewer than five months and on average incurred about $2,400 per person in monthly medical expenses. That's about 600% higher than Harvard-Pilgrim would have otherwise expected.
The individual mandate penalty for not having coverage is only about $900, so people seem to be gaming the Massachusetts system.
"This is a problem," Mr. Baker writes on his blog, in the understatement of the year. "It is raising the prices paid by individuals and small businesses who are doing the right thing by purchasing twelve months of health insurance, and it's turning the whole notion of shared responsibility on its ear."
...he underestimates the extent to which it is rational for people to do this, considering the government-mandated incentives
....The combination of guaranteed issue and community rating actively encourages parts of the healthier population to forgo coverage and thus blow up voluntary risk pools. No doubt our politicians will conclude that the solution is to raise the penalty for going uninsured, though it would be easier and more rational to let insurance markets function without mandates.
Jul 26, '09
Private insurance is a "for profit" venture. Always has been. It is not about "people."
That's why private insurance won't work and that's why the costs of providing health care have reached the levels they are today.
There are 46 million Americans that are living proof of why the private health care insurance industry is a failed model in the United States.
That is 46 million Americans who don't have any form of "access" to health care in the most medically advanced country anywhere on the planet. Health care is
broken in the United States and private insurance is the reason why.
We have to create a universal health care system
. It's the only option that works in reality. Yes, I admit it too has it's flaws, but it's better to wait in line for health care or treatment, than the idea of having no health care at all. That's where 46 million Americans stand at the moment - NO health care.
Universal Health care is a "public" entity similar to our social security system. In addition, it's no more of a "socialist" entity than the social security system. Basically, It's just a public "safety net" administered by our government representatives and funded through public tax dollars etc. We can change internal policy if we want. We can also monitor how our money is spent and we can track how health care is being delivered to the public. (public accountability is created with Universal Health care) You can't do this with private insurance companies. They are private and profit motivated entities. Their primary objective is to profit from consumers and answer to it's shareholders. They couldn't care less if you are sick, are denied procedures and we have no control over them or when they should refuse such required services to us.
Universal health care offers "everyone" health care as a basic "right" similar to the right you have to an education in the public education system. You cannot be refused health care. Everyone is covered regardless of pre-existing conditions, the employer you work for or otherwise. Healthcare isn't an optional luxury, it's a requirement. The difference in a universal system is you actually GET health care.... That's what people are really "expecting" from private insurance companies, but that's not what they are getting... EVEN when the are paying
private insurance companies for it!! (There are literally 1000's of stories like this every single day and counting...)
Some proponents suggest that universal health care would bear an added burden on taxpayers who don't always use it or need it but they fail to consider that when people have no private insurance plans, this actually costs taxpayers additional money too... (see link below)
When something doesn't work. You need to change it. There's no point in placing a band aid on a major coronary artery as the solution to stop the bleeding.
Americans are bleeding and 22,000 are dying every year because they have little, restricted or no "access" to health care. - Have we become a third world country?
The link is to examine some facts pertaining what it actually costs taxpayers when people don't have private insurance. (Yes, like universal healthcare - that actually costs taxpayers money too...) That's why we might as well have a universal health care plan because taxpayers are going to burden the costs of the 46 million uninsured anyways.
I feel 46 million uninsured Americans is a pretty compelling suggestion indicating the obvious fact that the private insurance industry has failed miserably in it's intentions. It simply doesn't work.
Last edit by Patient_Care_Asst on Jul 26, '09
Jul 27, '09
Quote from WORKINGWOMANINTN
Please consider this....
America is $$$$ BROKE $$$$ -- not the health care system.
America CANNOT AFFORD UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.
The argument that we MUST DO SOMETHING, & 'socialized medicine seems to work in other countries' is foolhardy.
America cannot afford to do nothing about it either... It costs taxpayers money either way you choose. Additionally, this is more than just a "money" issue., it's a "people" issue.
The insurance company is not 'the problem'.
The Insurance companies are the very reason why health care costs have skyrocketed and accurately explains the reason why 46 million Americans can no longer afford access to heath care.
And now hospitals provide health care to 100% of anyone who walks through the door.
100% of any legal or illegal person can come to an ED in America. WE HAVE ACCESS!
So who pays??? The people with insurance have had to pay for the non-pay clients.
Exactly. We pay either way. Taxpayers are already footing the bill for the uninsured. Another reason to propose a universal health care system instead.
So let's go back to how it used to be.
The individual pays his own bills.
No government 'handouts'. No insurance company.
THE INDIVIDUAL is responsible for THE INDIVIDUAL.
Simple. I will take responsibility for my own life.
I will pay for my own health care needs.
Well that's fine if you are rich and make a 7 figure income. But I don't know many Americans who can afford $40,000 out of their own pocket to pay for a medical procedure.
When something doesn't work out for the general population, you don't continue doing things the same way as the solution to the problem.
That sounds radical, doesn't it.
But isn't that what has brought America to the achievements that it now enjoys?
46 uninsured Americans is not an "achievement," but rather it's a national crisis.
Just consider it.....
(I pose this not as 'the solution' -- but in all the arguments about health care,
it is helpful to go back in history and remember how we got to this problem.
Then address the problem.)
Private insurance companies and "profiteers" is how we got into this problem. How else do you explain why an Aspirin costs $10 on a US hospital bill and yet over the border an Aspirin doesn't cost that much in comparison in the universal health care system? (Public accountability for the associated costs of delivering health care to the public is the reason - not something you get with private "for profit" insurance companies.)
Healthcare is broken in the United States. Private insurance is not working anymore. You only need to direct your attention to the 46 million Americans as a proven testament to that fact.
Last edit by Patient_Care_Asst on Jul 27, '09
Jul 27, '09
Quote from WORKINGWOMANINTN
HR3200 is an "alternative" to the Universal Health care model which provides citizens with "assistance" when it's needed. However, we are right back to square one....
What we need is health care to be considered as a fundamental right of every American, not just a select or "privileged" few who "qualify."
HR3200 is an attempt to "qualify" people to receive health care benefits. Of course, for starters.. half the people who apply for such benefits are never going to qualify for one reason or another. They always do in this sort of scenerio... So, it becomes yet another system that exists on paper for a select few. HR3200 is an attempt to appease the private health insurance and drug pusher industries because they give a lot of money in campaign contributions.
Sounds a lot like the same old "qualifiers" game private insurance companies are already playing with the public. It just doesn't work.
Now is the time YOU need to decide and choose which direction you would like to see the your own health go in the future.
It will change, but in which direction is the question.
Obviously we disagree... but that's OK.
We need to understand all sides.
Agreed. Actually, I have enjoyed reading your opinion on the subject.
You want to adopt Universal health care in the USA
due to the "46MM uninsured".
No, not "because" of the uninsured but rather because we need something that works in a universal manner for everyone across the board. Not just a select few.
Health care.., similar to public education, needs to be made available to every citizen in the country.
Health care should not be considered as an optional luxury for those who can afford insurance, but rather health care needs to be mandated as an expected requirement in our society. Similarly, we don't consider the public education system to be an optional luxury in our society any differently.
The public needs health care intervention regardless if they have pre existing conditions or not. Health care is not an optional requirement for people, it's a human necessity like eating food or drinking water.
I think Universal health care will give individuals a false-security
that "someone else" will pay, and so the system will be mis-used,
the root cause of the problem will not be addressed, and the end
result will be overall deterioration in health care.
The health care system is already being misused and there is a false sense of security because private health insurance companies don't guarantee you will be treated for pre existing medical conditions etc.
Just because you pay 1000's of dollars for private health insurance every year, doesn't translate to mean you will actually receive adequate treatment or needed hospital care.
Taxpayers are already suffering from misuse from foreign illegals using the American healthcare system, the root cause of the problems have yet to be addressed, and the healthcare system has deteriorated to the level of a national crisis.
...Are you suggesting that implementing Universal Healthcare will make things any worse than they already are? Interesting...
What is your perspective on HR 3200? Doesn't it seem too bureaucratic
Last edit by Patient_Care_Asst on Jul 27, '09