US Healthcare – vs Health Insurance

An interesting query/comment was put before me today that sparked the need for a blog – Healthcare vs Health Insurance – as a mandate. How could a basic coverage plan work and still be fair?  

  1. Basic coverage would exclude prescriptions, cosmetic procedures, dental, vision, and ambulance services. Long term care would also not be covered.
  2. Individuals making less than a specified amount, lets say $50,000 per year, would pay into the system a percentage of their gross income. All others would pay a progressive flat fee with a cap. Tiers for family’s would be progressive up to a maximum of two children per couple. All couple’s with more than two children would pay a flat fee for each successive child.
  3. Insurance company’s would no longer be the middleman unless someone wanted supplemental insurance coverage through an independent private insurance company.
  4. In order to access coverage an insurance card would be issued to each individual including children, with a picture updated annually.
  5. Medicaid and all forms within that conversation would be eliminated.
  6. Servicemen would be covered with the military picking up the cost 100% for any member earning below a threshold – say $50,000.
  7. The VA would be eliminated.
  8. Congress would NOT vote on the proposal, instead a vote would be made by all legal taxpayers, their status verified via a comparable analysis of Social Security numbers within the IRS computer system.
  9. In order to make this work over the long haul, the entire government pension system would be – eliminated. This would be voted on by taxpayers, not Congress.
  10. The government would fix the value of services.
  11. The cost of prescription drugs would be tied to a global mean amount so that US citizens are no longer subsidizing the world’s cost.
  12. Medicare would remain intact.

Currently, the federal government spends $1.1 trillion for healthcare, $583 billion for Medicare over receipts, and $430 billion for all other healthcare. Individuals cough up an additional $2.4 trillion per year. Of course this includes the average annual expenditure of Hollywoodites requiring $500k of plastic surgery per year, so the number has some skew room.

It is estimated that the US spends about $12,000 per year for each person on healthcare. That is double the next developed countries output.   That would indicate that the US spending could be cut in half from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion which includes ‘Hollywood excesses’.

However, simple averages in healthcare spending do not necessarily reflect true cost:

According to Kaiser, “In 2016, 5% of the population accounted for half of all health spending. The 5% of people who spend the most on health care spend an average of around $50,000 annually; people in the top 1% have average spending of over $109,750. At the other end of the spectrum, the 50% of the population with the lowest spending accounted for only 3% of all total health spending; the average spending for this group was $276.”

Even when comparing spending for people over the age of 65, 10% of that population accounted for 50% of the spending. People with a prior diagnosis of a disease spend upwards of 300% more than those currently diagnosed. And spending costs for those over the age of 65 is 2-3 times greater than those aged 35-45.

Between 2010 and 2016, Health insurers saw an increase in revenue from Medicare and Medicaid surging from $92.5 to $213 billion – an increase of 77% with the advent of Obamacare.   That income is mostly generated by taxing taxpayers to pay for the splurging costs incurred by those who have no wage, illegals, and/or welfare recipients.

As of 2017, the top six executives at United Healthcare raked in $1.75 billion in compensation.

In 2017, the US national gross income was roughly $19.6 trillion. From a simplistic standpoint, even an 8% tax levy on all gross income would pay for the entire healthcare costs assuming the above reductions in cost put the total annual cost on par with developed countries. If Trump’s tax overhaul were to bring back to the US income that is currently untaxable in foreign off-shore accounts, the flat percentage would be even lower.

How did Health Insurance even arrive in the US?

The brainchild result of FDR’s policies, insurance was invoked because FDR levied price and wage controls that stagnated capitalism in the employment industry.   In order to provide a benefit that another employer did not, so as to encourage a higher tiered worker, companies opened Pandora’s Box for the Insurance scheme.

Founded in 1929, Blue Cross and Blue Shield was the brainchild of Democrat Justin Ford Kimball.   As VP of health care facilities in Dallas Texas, the recipients were teachers who were guaranteed 21 days of hospital care per year for $6.   The tax exempt status of Blue Cross helped achieve increased costs.   At the time, it is estimated that the above average wage earner spent roughly 2%-3% of their income on healthcare.   Most people utilized friends, neighbors, midwives, Indian medicine, herbal cures, etc…

Eliminating the Middleman is key to lowering healthcare costs.   Obamacare did the opposite, it made more money for the Insurance Industry while enslaving the worker and businesses to an ever burgeoning cost that is now double any other industrialized country in the world.

Double. Let that sink in.

Simply rolling back Obamacare will NOT have the reduced cost effect that is necessary to bring the healthcare of the US to par.   And while this is not Medicare for all, or Universal coverage, it is an elimination of a middleman that has profited serendipitously at the expense of you and I.

My annual percentage is now over 20% of gross income.

Obamacare Is Working! For the Poor

Before Obamacare my annual deductible for a family was $500 and my monthly premium was about $350…  Today, my annual deductible- out of pocket is between $10,600/$20,000 and my family premium is nearly $1500 per month!

But HEY – It’s Working according to Obama…  Really?  Where?  In Uruguay?

Obama – Unemployment Down – Spending Up

Obama says he has single handedly put the economy back on track and brought unemployment down to under 5%!! WOW!

Of course, that self lauding can be means tested easily enough through a simple look at Federal Spending on the government website:

2008 vs 2015

  1. Healthcare is the largest budget item on the board with the Federal share topping out at $1.0186 trillion. In 2008 before Obama took office, that number was $671.4 billion. An increase of 51.7%.
  2. Pensions, the second largest Federal budget item were $668.7 billion in 2008 and have grown to $959.1 billion in 2015 – an increase of 44.3%.
  3. The third largest expense is Defense spending. In 2008 $729.6 billion compared to 2015 $799.7 billion – an increase of just 9.6%. Within that figure the largest increase in spending was in ‘foreign aide’ which increased by 68%. Actual Defense spending was down and spending for Veterans was up.
  4. The fourth largest budget item is Welfare. And this is what makes Obama’s statement about everyone back to work a bit odd. Welfare spending is up. If in fact everyone was back to work, if in fact unemployment was slashed, wouldn’t Welfare handouts also decrease? They didn’t. For some odd reason Welfare benefits (not including healthcare) went up 17% during the same time that unemployment was ‘slashed’.
  5. If we compare Welfare to the 2007 Budget which Obama references as the height of the crisis, it is even more disturbing. Welfare is up 44%. Unemployment in 2007 was roughly the same as what Obama claims it is now – just under 5%, yet Welfare spending went from $254 billion to $366.5.
  6. One other Budgeted expense that should be noted. Payments for police services – went down between 2008 and 2015.
  7. In 2009 when Obama first took office, the unemployment rate was the same that he states it is now – just under 5%.

While 2016 is obviously still a budgeted item with no real numbers available, Healthcare Expenses are expected to continue to rise by about $100 billion, Pensions will rise by about $40 billion, spending on Education will drop, Foreign Aid will increase by 18%, and Welfare, a projection of employment vs unemployment, that’s expected to increase by another $30 billion or roughly 8%.

If we factor in the Welfare Benefits paid for Healthcare on a Federal, State and Local level with standard Welfare, the 2016 Budget Estimate is $1.0564 trillion. In 2008 the payments were $731.3, a rise of 44.45% despite the fact that unemployment is supposedly equal.

What that says?

It explains why Obama tooting his own horn at how better off everyone is now that he’s fixed everything, doesn’t add up mathematically. It shows that the actual cost of Healthcare continues to rise despite the notion that Obamacare will make it ‘more affordable’. It shows that there is either some monkeying around with the unemployment numbers, or being on Welfare is much more profitable that working. It shows that spending on Foreign Aid is another type of Welfare – just that it is for other countries. And that the budget might be well below actual Truth given it makes no reference to Syria, Yemen, Ukraine or Iraq where we are well aware that $$$$$$$$ will fly.

And it explains why we just no longer trust ANY politicians, they fudge the Truth to the point of absolute Betrayal.

Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” JK Rowling.