Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cadillacs Anyone?

Insurance companies use a number of criteria for determining how much a policy will cost. Among these are the occupation of the applicant, the services that applicant wants covered, the applicant's age and location. This is not to give them an excuse for denying coverage. Businesses want to serve you-that's how they make money. It is rather to determine how much they will be likely to have to pay out during the course of a year's coverage. Jobs like carriage driving, construction and custodial work are far riskier than a typical office job. Higher risk = higher premium. Older people tend to have more claims than younger people. The body wears out. Older = higher premium. People who live in large cities have a higher risk of things like auto accidents or violent crime than those who live away from people. Living in a high risk area= higher premium. If an applicant wants to cover every conceivable medical test and procedure known to man, that's also going to cost more.

Unfortunately, Congress has decided to use the cost of any given insurance policy as a guide to what that policy covers. They have declared that a policy that costs ~ $23,000/year for a family or ~$8,500/year for an individual must be a "Cadillac plan". By which they mean to imply that such a plan is only purchased by the evil, greedy people who have "played the system" to be better off than "ordinary" people. They are using the cost of the policy as an easy button to convince the American people that those who can afford such policies, ought then to be fined so that everyone can get coverage. In addition to ignoring the risk factors that go into the pricing of health insurance policies, they are lying to the American people for yet one more power grab. One more huge shift towards collectivism.

The truth is that someone who works at a risky job in a big city will pay far more for the same coverage as someone who works at a low risk job in a small town. For Congress to ignore this, and penalize the high risk worker, essentially for taking a high risk job, is going to cost America yet more jobs and make it that much more difficult and expensive to get anything done that requires a high risk worker.

America is all about risk. We value the freedom to take risks and the freedom to fail. That includes failing to have adequate coverage. It includes the risk of incurring a lifelong debt to pay for the medical services that one would receive in extremis, regardless of one's ability to pay.

Our medical system is not broken. I have read that the real impetus for this legislation is that doctor after doctor and clinic after clinic are refusing to take Medicare/Medicaid patients on a non-emergency basis anymore, because those patients are served at a loss to the doctor/facility. That, rather than being conspiracy theory, type collectivism pushers, Congress is just so stupid as to think that by providing no way out for healthcare providers and insurers, and taxing the dickens out of the rest of us to pay for it, it will solve the problem.

If that's the case, I wonder what they will do when, in 3-4 years, all the baby boomers are retired and aging and the 45% of healthcare providers polled retire because they don't care to be forced to work under the provisions of this bill. How will Congress "fix" the healthcare system then?

The unions who supported this Congress and this administration into office suddenly realized that many of their members have healthcare plans that put them into that "Cadillac" category by price. Upon realizing this, did they throw their weight against the legislation? Did they have a sudden revelation of patriotism to impel them to protect their members through opposing this unconstitutional and unconscionable legislation that will destroy the American health care system? No, they paid to play, so they just went to their pet legislators and collected their payoff.

It is time and past for America's Union workers to remember that they are the power behind the unions and that they are Americans first. Congress isn't the only place that needs a change of personnel.

"Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it. " ~Duet 1:17


Soapbox Jill said...

Mom, You make some good points, like it is so unfair to not take the fine-tuned facts into consideration. The devil's in the details. But, since when was the government aware of fine-points or truth unless it benefits itself?
Thank goodness the healthcare bill may be stalled or stopped with Brown winning in Mass. yesterday. He is far from perfect, but he has pledged to vote against the health care bill.

Call Me Mom said...

I agree that Mr. Brown is far from perfect. I think there are a number of ways for healthcare to be passed without Mr. Brown having to vote one way or the other and then what have the people of Mass elected? Another RINO. But at least they didn't split the vote and "let" Coakley win by it, right?

I do so tire of hearing that lie. We are waking up, but we apparently haven't yet had our moring coffee.

Call Me Mom said...

Morning coffee, I meant.

Dr.D said...

"For Congress to ignore this,..."

Really, Mom! Congress has not paid attention to the nation's business in any realistic form in ages. They are like a bunch of small children, each wanting nothing so much as to preserve their own positions first and foremost.

Congress has no appreciation at all for the differences in various aspects of life as a person moves from place to place in America. Most of them think it is all just like it is inside the DC beltway (which it is not, fortunately!). They live in a bubble.

They imagine that they can strong arm the American people and make just about anything happen. They have forgotten everything they ever knew about the American people, including the excellent point that large numbers of our current medical establishment will simply quit rather than deal with what they are trying to impose. I just can't wait to have an SEIU thug giving medical examinations; wont that be just dandy? That must be just around the corner. They are the all-purpose fill-ins.

Soapbox Jill said...

Mom, speaking of senators, wanted to let you know I also heard Wisconsin's Tommy Thompson might consider going up against Feingold this fall. People know him (governor for years, as you know), and I wouldn't call him a RINO, but he definately is moderate in some areas. Kind of like Brown.

Really, there is no such thing as a perfect candidate, especially when they have to rise up through influence or money, not pure ideology...

Call Me Mom said...

Not giving up on the American people.
"It is to me a new and consolatory proof that wherever the people are well-informed they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights." ~Thomas Jefferson

Thanks for the heads up on Mr. Thompson as well as Mr. Westlake and Mr. Wall

Dr.D said...

Dear Mom,

Have you noticed that

(1) we no longer have TJ with us,
(2) the folks of whom TJ spoke, his contemporaries, are no longer around either.

We are roughly 200 years on from their time, and those folks have been substantially diluted, if not totally replaced, first by legitimate immigration, and more recently by unbridled invasions of aliens that our government has encouraged to come and invade us.

I don't have any quarrel at all with Jefferson, but I do question his relevance to the current situation. That which he spoke about was America; what we live in now is chaos.

Call Me Mom said...

Dr. D.
I understand the point you are making. We are not them. But the principle, if sound, should remain valid. How many of the folks you talk to are really informed about these issues? I would guess it's about the same ratio as that of church goers who actually know what they believe, doctrinally, and why.
The struggle of freedom in our generation, as it was in theirs as well, at least in part, is to get objective information into the hands of the people.

I think you are arguing that because the founding generations of this nation shared a Christian doctrine, and that because that generation was so much better versed in that doctrine than today's Americans, that the decisions made by such a people would naturally be sounder than anything we would come up with today. Am I correct?

Dr.D said...

Dear Mom,

You have understood in part, but not fully, I think. It is more than just head knowledge that it required. It is cultural background that is a major factor as well. The American colonist were (almost) all from a common British culture, with a common heritage and understanding of history, of common law, of the way society works.

The people flooding into America today bring none of those things at all, but rather they bring an entirely different understanding on every point. We cannot say to them, "read this book and pass this test and you will be a true American." It just does not work that way (as if very many of them were even going to be put through that much rigor!). It is the way people are brought up from childhood that matters, and that we cannot change in a matter of hours, or days, or even months.

Call Me Mom said...

You have a point. I think that, were we to have been more active about spreading the gospel, or even presenting the case for Christian/Biblical values as an appropriate guideline for the moral absolutes by which this, or any other country can reasonably operate, then we wouldn't be having this discussion.

I also think that, if those values can be taught to this generation, regardless of cultural background, then we can expect a restoration of the republic.