Bring on Obama-care…Why I’ve Changed my Mind – Guest Post
March 9, 2010 by admncc
Here at The Constant Complainer, in addition to my posts, readers can submit Guest Posts on topics they’d like to complain about. Neo Con Don is back with the below-Guest Post. His complaint is the proposed Government-run healthcare. Don asked that I post this immediately, before Rush Limbaugh steals his material. Here’s lucky I was on lunch. So enjoy, and hot off the presses, here’s Don…
I have this habit of looking at gov’t policy and political talking points, and taking a side based on my morals, or how they can be reconciled with the constitution, or even based specifically on the intent of our Founders. Very rarely do I look at things based on how they affect me, good or bad. For example, I have never voted for a tax increase…ever. Whether it was to raise the income of teachers, expand school busing, or to pay for special-needs children. Looking back, that seems strange since my wife is a teacher, my children have been affected by school bus policy, and I have a special-needs child. To me, it doesn’t seem right to force someone else to pay for things that would receive no immediate benefit.
Ever since President Clinton (the second and most recent president to be impeached) tried to create a gov’t run health care system, I have been a very vocal person on the “NO” side. The older I get, the farther I move into the “HELL NO” category. But, there is something about the program Obama is pushing that has me not only intrigued, but facing a moral dilemma.
You see, since my wife is a member of one of the most powerful unions in the world, she is exempt from being required to take part in the gov’t run health care plan, just as every gov’t “worker” is exempt. Personally, I just don’t see how that’s fair. Why should the gov’t class (the highest paid class in the country) not take part in the program that the rest of the country is going to be required to participate in? That’s right, REQUIRED…if you don’t purchase a gov’t approved health care insurance plan, you will be issued a fine; in some cases, up to $950 per family member. In my house, that would come to $5700. But there’s more, if you don’t have insurance AND have a pre-existing condition, the insurance companies MUST write you a policy, and it cannot exceed the limits the gov’t sets forth.
So I decided to look even further into this situation. It turns out that my wife and I pay $2,120.22, and her employer pays $13,063.78 for my family’s health care premiums (including dental coverage). In her contract, if she declines the health care coverage from her employer, she can be paid up to one-half of the difference…$6,531. Add that to the payroll deduction and she would bring home an additional $8,651.22 each year…righteous bucks!
With one exception, my family has never received over $13,063.78 in health care services in one year. There was a year when we had a child born, AND another child had his appendix removed…That was about a $20,000 year. Overall, the insurance company is making tons of cash on my family of six.
But insurance is not a “prepayment of health care services,” it’s designed to prevent a financial disaster if you become chronically ill. The reason our premiums have become so high is because we want every single doctor visit to be “covered” and our employer to pay for our insurance.
So here’s what my family is going to do…We’re going to cancel our insurance, and take the $8,651 and put it in a Health Savings Account (***note from The Constant Complainer – Health Savings Accounts are commonly referred to as HSA’s). We can make monthly deposits, and it’s pulled out before any taxes are taken out. Then, we’ll negotiate with our family doctor and pay cash for services and check-ups. If there is a major medical event that we can’t cover and can’t work out a deal with the hospital to pay cash for, we’ll simply sign up for the gov’t insurance plan where we MUST be accepted regardless of pre-existing conditions. We’ll work out a deal with the IRS to pay the fine. After the medical services are rendered, we’ll again drop our insurance and save the money until we need to use it again.
Hopefully, this whole “pre-existing conditions” thing will catch on. Maybe we’ll be able to drop our auto insurance until we’re in a wreck, and then force the insurance company to make repairs.
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Only one glitch with your plan – you can only contribute to an HSA if you have a high-deductible health care plan. You cannot hold the account independently. Not a deal-breaker, but you’d have to find an alternative savings vehicle.
Though, I suspect HSAs will go away altogether if this plan is enacted. They are, at their core, consumer-driven – the exact opposite of the theory/metholody/mindset that is being promulgated in Congress today.
Nothing like loophole-ridden garbage to “fix” the medical system. You couldn’t have spelled it out much simpler, so hopefully people see the ridiculousness of it and realize things are not as they seem. The whole thing is a scam to fill budget deficits. If this nonsense passed today, we’d start paying for it today, but no one would see a benefit until 2013. That is three years of massive tax receipts for the federal government, right in the middle of an economic depression, with no benefit extended to the people.
By the time 2013 did roll around, if we actually made it that far, this legislation would probably be deemed unconstitutional, which it is, and then scrapped. Maybe all those illegally-collected taxes would be stored in a “trust fund” somewhere, like Social Security, waiting for us when we need them. Of course, there is no trust fund for Social Security, since that stockpile was looted and replaced with IOUs, much like that million dollar suitcase in the movie Dumb and Dumber…
Speaking of which, it’s quite coincidental that language in this legislation allows funds to be diverted as necessary to Social Security. Why would we need to do that if Social Security wasn’t a massive pile of double speak?
But maybe it isn’t all that bad. Maybe all the shiny new bureaucracy required to run this would add to the brilliant economic stimulus we’re already seeing and save or create another 10 billion mystery jobs. Of course, there is the problem where government jobs are inherently-parasitic and cannot possibly increase the economic production of the nation, but we can count it towards GDP anyway so as to continue propagating the “recovery” lies until our entire society implodes under its own weight.
I’ve still got my chips on red…debt, fire, and blood. Could do black for cancer, too, that’s another good analogy… or “0” for that matter, since that’s where we’re headed. Looks like the house loses no matter where the ball lands!
By the way, f*** the census.
Faye is right. An HAS is a high deductible plan. And you risk paying thousands out of your pocket first. Not all doctors will negotiate, Don. And the problems with teachers’ unions is another post in itself.
Sorry. Meant HSA, not HAS.
That’s my point Jane…any deductible under $13,063.78 is break even…So even if my wife had a baby, I’d spend less paying cash than I would buying insurance. Plus, there are very few regular procedures that exceed a few thousand dollars anyway, and any doctor that wouldn’t negotiate is not a doctor I’d use… I know several doctors, and they all negotiate because it’s far less expensive for them to accept cash when services are rendered than waiting for the insurance checks.
If a major medical issue like cancer, or the need for a transplant came into effect, we’d sign up for health insurance, and the insurance companies would be required to accept us under King Barry’s plan. But basic surgeries, ER visits, doctor visits could be paid with cash out of the HSA and we’d be farther ahead.
I guess the reality is that ObamaCare will not solve any problems, and will create many more…plus costs will skyrocket. I’m just thankful that I’m in a situation where I don’t need to rely on the gov’t to provide mediocre healthcare….I’ll pay for quality care.
Actually, with the HSA it seems that you might pay more out of pocket because of the high deductible, but that turns out not to be true.
Most HDHP have a deductible around $5500 for families. So for a family of 6, or anyone who has a chronic illness, the HDHP ends up saving you money in the long run, when you factor in the tax-preferred status of the HSA, because those groups almost certainly hit their deductible every year.
The person who ends up getting stuck is the younger person with no family who is in relatively good health. They end up paying for every procedure. However, their deductibles tend to be around $2500 with the HDHP, and they can still save this in their HSA and enjoy the tax benefits.
As an aside, the amount you can contribute to an HSA each has a ceiling that is equal to your deductible. You can’t just keep contributing to it when you have extra cash. That would mean that you are saving for a rainy day, and would make you far too personally responsible for this brave new world.
BTW – I used to work for a software company that supported an HSA/debite card/investment vehicle product. I’m not just a super-nerd who loves HSAs. 🙂
But seriously, they are a great deal. If you have the opportunity to take advantage of one, you should do it!
HSA’s are excellent if you know how to budget and/or understand the up-front money theory. But for others, they can be a quick trip to medical bill debt collection.
NCD, I am a Government employee and I am treated just as the rest of the country is when it comes to insurance. I will be requireed to accept government insurance, which I gladly will. Your numbers a re greatly WSRONG. Your wife’s Government run healthcare sucks. I paid about $2800 last year and the government paid about $13000 of premium. Last year my son was born at Hillcrest hospital…the insurance, Mailhandlers Benefit Plan, ended up paying around $14000. My Governemt run health plan is run as healthplans are suppose to nbe run…for the benefit of the plan holders, and is awesome. before you or your wife makes that greaty leap into to world of the uninsured, IK reccommend you do your homeworkl and find a better solution/plan, ASSHOLE! To risk the well being of your family of someone else’s generosity would be irresponsible!
If it were only you, I’d say go ahead and test your theory. Because if you were to never again post on CC, it would be a log time coming. But, if your wife were to lose her faculties, who would I call for some easy hardcore monkey sex?
Looks like Obama-Care is never going to happen. I guess we still teach our children about the importance of our president obeying the constitution. But if it did, I’d drop my family’s insurance right away and wait until we needed to file a claim to purchase it again. Why pay the premiums if I don’t need to?
Don, I believe I have said it before but in case you would get the wrong idea from my post I am 1000% against gov’t run health care. My question to you is what if you dropped your health insurance and you or your family was involved in a terrible accident like an automobile crash or something of the sort. Im guessing that wouldn’t be covered under pre-existing condition loophole that you have found, and having no health coverage at the time of the accident would most likely leave you in a dire financial situation.
Timmy is right. Don, you sound kind of foolish when talking about dropping your insurance and/or stopping the payment of your premiums. You pay so you’re covered if there’s a serious incident. I find it very unlikely that the dinal form of any government insurance would allow dropping it and/or picking it up at any time (without any pre-existing condition regulations whatsoever). They would have to police people doing exactly what you’re talking about – particularly with major claims. Or perhaps you’d owe back premiums for time where you didn’t have credible coverage. How Ÿou describe being able to benefit from it is the exact reason most insurance experts are against it.
Both Timmy and TCC are incorrect. The legislation removes all pre-existing conditions as a trigger to deny insurance coverage…i.e…an insurer (likely the federal gov’t) must provide insurance at a reasonable cost.
But, both of you are thinking on an extremely linear line…If it’s an automobile accident, auto insurance has a bodily injury claim that is triggered before health insurance. If it’s cancer, I’d simply sign up for the federal program after the fact. Regular doctor visits and ER visits, and surgery can simply be paid for with cash.
Additionally, every single insurance company will go out of business within a few years of the legislation, and the doctors will begin offering flat rate services (some do that now). So a person will either make huge premium payments to the federal gov’t and be put onto massive waiting lists and death panel meeting agendas, or will not pay premiums at all and still get free healthcare, or they will pay cash for services from private doctors…
…OR, enough states will leave the union and the people that love freedom, liberty, and the constitution will form a new union under our founding principles. That’s the future that I’m betting on.
NCD, See Ya. Wouldn’t wanna be ya. Don’t let the door hit ya in tha ass on the way out the door.
To put your familiy’s well being in danger just to save money or to prove your political point of view would be totally irresponsible. I want to keep NCD on his insurance plan and, therefore, save my piece of ass, his wife!
Don, although it may sound like it now, there is no way that final legislation will go through as you described – people being able to pick the insurance up and/or drop it at any time (and without the payment of back premiums). As setting it up like that is a money loser. Believe me, the gov’t run healthcare you describe will look different before it’s implemented.
Are you suggesting that the Obama plan would not cover the uninsured in a catastrophic case?…or in any case? What would be the incentive to pay a back premium, and how could they ever collect it? When people don’t pay it, what will they do? There is nothing they can do…but it’s illegal in the U.S. to deny necessary life saving healthcare…even if you don’t have insurance.
Here’s the real deal when it comes to gov’t run healthcare. Obama’s plan is to end the private insurance market completely, and his plan will do that.
People do what I described now. I know at least a half dozen small business owners that do not have a health insurance plan and pay cash for their family. It’s less expensive for them. Unless a person is diagnosed with a major illness like cancer, or needs an organ transplant, it’s usually less costly to take the money you’d put into premiums and save it in an HSA. Most major medical issues don’t occur until after medicare age, and at that point, you are forced into the program.
Finally, the CC hit the unconstitutional nail on the head when he said…”there is no way that final legislation will go through as you described – people being able to pick the insurance up and/or drop it at any time (and without the payment of back premiums).”…
The Federal Gov’t does not have the authority to force anyone to buy anything…Who does the President think he is to say that I MUST purchase health insurance….He’s a TYRANT.
The president doesn’t want you to buy insurance, Don. He wants you to give him your money and pretend to buy insurance. It’s a tax scam, just like Social Security, that our elected leaders are desperately trying to proliferate in order to accomplish the impossible task of correcting terminal budget shortfalls without anyone knowingly making any sacrifices or diminishing overall quality of life.
They talk about the dangers of our debt-to-GDP ratio approaching 100% and how ratings agencies will demote us to AA…it’s all a charade. Our debt-to-GDP is already over 500% if you include obligations to future generations. We are sitting on a powder keg and it would be naive to think that the con-men in Congress aren’t aware of this. The legislation is going to go through one way or another because the only necessary components are the tax and enough perceived benefits so that people tolerate the tax. It’s the next generation of Clinton accounting and I agree it will likely be the last straw for revolution or secession.
So Zig, you paid $2,800 on a $14,000 bill and you think it should be the same for everyone. Let me suggest you do a little reading on double entry accounting so you can see how entirely-foolish that is. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Who is paying the other $11,200? Doesn’t matter as long as it’s not you? That works fine until it becomes you, and it will. Not only will you pay for your own, you’ll pay for everyone else, too. I hope you aren’t too comfortable in the middle class, because that ain’t gonna last.
There will come a point where you will “put your family’s well being in danger” and fight or you will be crushed into poverty. Someone has to hold up the establishment and it isn’t going to be the establishment. The only alternative to that is to remove the establishment. It’s all about risks and rewards, but usually being a submissive coward is more dangerous to your family in the long term than taking them with you right into the fire.
You’re right about the Tyrant in the Whitehouse not wanting me to buy insurance, he need my premium payment to pay for social security.