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Guest Post: Obamacare Is A Catastrophe That Cannot Be Fixed

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Obamacare is a catastrophe that cannot be fixed, because it doesn't fix what's broken in American healthcare.

I just finished a detailed comparison of my current grandfathered health insurance plan from Kaiser Permanente (kp.org), a respected non-profit healthcare provider, and Kaiser's Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) options. I reviewed all the information and detailed tables of coverage and then called a Kaiser specialist to clarify a few questions.

First, the context of my analysis: we are self-employed, meaning there is no employer to pay our healthcare insurance. We pay the full market-rate cost of healthcare insurance. We have had a co-pay plan with kp.org for the past 20+ years that we pay in full because there's nobody else to pay it.

What we pay is pretty much what employers pay. In other words, if I went to work for a company that offered full healthcare coverage, that company would pay what we pay.

Kaiser Permanente (kp.org) is a non-profit. That doesn't mean it can lose money on providing healthcare; if it loses millions of dollars a year (and some years it does lose millions of dollars), eventually it goes broke. All non-profit means is that kp.org does not have to charge a premium to generate profits that flow to shareholders. But it must generate enough profit to maintain its hospitals, clinics, etc., build reserves against future losses, and have capital to reinvest in plant, equipment, training, etc.

As an employer in the 1980s, a manager in non-profit organizations in the early 1990s and self-employed for 20+ years, I have detailed knowledge of previous healthcare insurance costs and coverage. As an employer in the 1980s, I paid for standard 80/20 deductible healthcare insurance for my employees. The cost was about $50 per month per employee, who were mostly in their 20s and 30s. In today's money, that equals $108 per month.

In other words, I have 30+ years of knowledgeable experience with the full (real) costs of healthcare insurance and what is covered by that insurance.

Our grandfathered Kaiser Plan costs $1,217 per month. There is no coverage for medications, eyewear or dental. That is $14,604 per year for two 60-year old adults. We pay a $50 co-pay for any office visit and $10 for lab tests. Maximum out-of-pocket costs per person are $3,500, or $7,000 for the two of us.

We pay $500 per day for all hospital stays and related surgery; out-patient surgery has a $250 co-pay.

So if I suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized and required surgery, I would pay a maximum of $3,500 for services that would be billed out at $100,000 or more were Kaiser providing those services to Medicare.

(Yes, I know Medicare wouldn't pay the full charges, but if Medicare is billed $150,000--not uncommon for a few days in the hospital and surgery-- it will pay $80,000+ for a few days in the hospital and related charges. All of this is opaque to the patient, so it's hard to know what's actually billed and paid.)

In other words, this plan offers excellent coverage of major catastrophic expenses and relatively affordable co-pays for all services.

The closest equivalent coverage under Obamacare is Kaiser's Gold Plan. The cost to us is $1,937 per month or $23,244 a year. The Gold Plan covers medications ($50 per prescription for name-brand, $19 for generics) and free preventive-health visits and tests, but otherwise the coverage is inferior: the out-of-pocket limits are $6,350 per person or $12,700 for the two of us. Lab tests are also more expensive, as are X-rays, emergency care co-pays and a host of other typical charges. Specialty doctor's visits have a $50 co-pay.

The Obamacare Gold Plan would cost us $8,640 more per year. This is a 60% increase. It could be argued that the meds coverage is worth more, but since we don't have any meds that cost more than $8 per bottle at Costco (i.e. generics), the coverage is meaningless to us.

The real unsubsidized cost of Obamacare for two healthy adults ($23,244 annually) exceeds the cost of rent or a mortgage for the vast majority of Americans. Please ponder this for a moment: buying healthcare insurance under Obamacare costs as much or more as buying a house.

A close examination of lower-cost Obamacare options (Bronze) reveals that they are simulacra of actual healthcare insurance, facsimiles of coverage rather than meaningful insurance. The coverage requires subscribers to pay 40% of costs after the deductible, which is $9,000 per family. Total maximum out-of-pocket expenses are $12,700 per family. This coverage would cost us $1,150 per month, and considerably less for younger people.

How many families in America have $9,000 in cash to pay the deductibles, plus the $13,800 annual insurance fees? That totals $22,800 per year. If some serious health issue arose, the family would have to come up with $12,700 (out-of-pocket maximum) and $13,800 (annual cost of insurance), or $26,500 annually.

Is healthcare that costs $26,500 per year truly "insurance"? I would say it is very expensive catastrophic insurance in a system with runaway costs.

The entire Obamacare scheme depends on somebody paying stupendous fees for coverage which then subsidizes the costs for lower-income families and individuals. How many households can afford $23,244 a year for Gold coverage plus $12,700 out-of-pocket for a total of $35,944 annually? How many can afford $26,500 for Bronze coverage?

Recall that the median household income in the U.S. is around $50,000.

How many companies can afford to pay almost $2,000 a month for healthcare insurance per employee? Even if employees pay a few hundred dollars a month, the employers are still paying $20,000 a year per (older) employee.

If an employer can hire someone in a country with considerably lower social-welfare/healthcare costs to do the same work as an American costing them $2,000 per month for healthcare insurance, they'd be crazy to keep the worker in America, unless the worker was so young that the Obamacare costs were low or the worker was a contract/free-lance employee who has to pay his own healthcare costs.

Uninformed "progressives" have suggested that "Medicare for all" is the answer. Their ignorance of exactly how Medicare functions is appalling; recall that Medicare is the system in which an estimated 40% of all expenditures are fraudulent, unneccessary or counter-productive, where a few days in the hospital is billed at $120,000 (first-hand knowledge) and a one-hour out-patient operation is billed at $12,000, along with a half-hour wait in a room that's billed at several thousand more dollars for "observation." (Also first-hand knowledge.)

Medicare is the acme of an out-of-control program that invites profiteering, fraud, billing for phantom services, services that add no value to care, and services designed to game the system's guidelines for maximum profit. If an evil genius set out to design a system that provided the least effective care for the highest possible cost while incentivizing the most egregious profiteering and fraud, he would come up with Medicare.

Does Medicare look remotely sustainable to you? Strip out inventory builds and adjustments from imports/exports and the real economy is growing at about 1.5% annually. As noted yesterday in What Does It Take To Be Middle Class?, the real income of the bottom 90% hasn't changed for 40 years, and has declined by 7% since 2000 when adjusted for inflation.

Here is Medicare's twin for under-age-65 care for low-income households, Medicaid:

As I have observed for years, Obamacare and Medicare/Medicaid do not tackle the underlying problems of Sickcare costs in America. If you haven't read these analyses, please have a look:

Why "Healthcare Reform" Is Not Reform, Part I (December 28, 2009)

Why "Healthcare Reform" Is Not Reform, Part II (December 29, 2009)

Type sickcare into the custom search box at the top of the left-hand column of the main blog page and you will find dozens of essays addressing what's broken with American healthcare.

Obamacare is a catastrophe that cannot be fixed, because it doesn't fix what's broken in American healthcare. It is a phony reform that extends everything that makes the U.S. healthcare unsustainable sickcare.

 


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Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:06 | Link to Comment mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Obamacare Is A Catastrophe That Cannot Be Fixed

 

Strike "care" and you've got yourself a winner of a bumper-sticker.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:15 | Link to Comment freewolf7
freewolf7's picture

The black swan I've been waiting for.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:17 | Link to Comment icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

Gosh where have I seen this before... oh yes! I know where! I wrote it: http://thebullelephant.com/it-cant-be-fixed/

 

 

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:21 | Link to Comment Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

I don't think there is a single person in the current administration who has the slightest interest in addressing the actual root problems of our current sick care industry.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:35 | Link to Comment negative rates
negative rates's picture

I think the better question here is, do you see the end of the world a comin? Or is it a distant blurr??

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:39 | Link to Comment dryam
dryam's picture

Obamacare was only designed to be a stepping stone to the Fuhrer's ultimate goal.  When someone has grand plans they don't let all the cats out of the bag at once.  History is a good guide for that. 

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:15 | Link to Comment TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

That ultimate goal being a single-payer system/gulag.  But if Barry and Val think that Americans will embrace a total government takeover of our health care system, especially after the ACA debacle, they have another thing comin'!

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:56 | Link to Comment citizen2084
citizen2084's picture

Obombya sCARE is a total takeover of the healthcare system under the facistia model. Favored political allies own the means of production not the state but for the mere mundanes the end result is the same, death. 

Mr and Mrs America are not going to do any darn thing about anything.  They love thier techno/pharma/porno/circus servitude.  The only thing your fellow man will do is kill you for threatning thier massa's plantation.  

Not arguing with ya just sharing my perspective. 

 

peAce 

 

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 21:22 | Link to Comment Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Don't hate on the porno man. Think of the children...

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 19:12 | Link to Comment andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

I don't think they intend to give us any choice in the matter.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 19:38 | Link to Comment Bad Attitude
Bad Attitude's picture

Depending on how you want to count it, the FSA voters outnumber productive voters. The majority of voters will embrace total government takeover of our health care system because health care will be "free."

Dear Leader has three more years to irreparably break things. We have already passed the point where we can just "vote the bastards out" to fix things. The next step is collapse.

Forward (over the cliff)!

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 22:18 | Link to Comment rbg81
rbg81's picture

No problem.  Barry will just issue an executive order making it so.  All the pundits will gush that he fucked things up so badly that only HE can fix it.  And the sheeple will just bleet meekly.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:34 | Link to Comment therearetoomany...
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

You're right, there's no money in it for them.  

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:04 | Link to Comment sunnyside
sunnyside's picture

I don't think there is a single person in the current administration who doesn't want single payer heathcare. 

 

The website fiasco is nothing but kickbacks to friends.  The real rotten meat is the bill/law.  I truly believe with as much conviction as I believe I would like to spend a weekend playing in Trish Regan's pants, that as the heathcare itself blows up, a public option of open Medicare to all will be made available at a monthly cost lower than any private plan.  Yellen will be printing the difference until it all collapses.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:34 | Link to Comment ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

Or any other problem other than "When is tee time?" and "How is the re-election campaign going?"

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:29 | Link to Comment max2205
max2205's picture

Price controls= no campaign donations....throw them all out

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:17 | Link to Comment Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

I told you guys I know Fortran!   So give me say $20 million and I'll fix it right.  Trust me!

Would I lie to you??   Reminds me of a song...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uhpu2N4rQZM

That should be Obama's theme song!

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:38 | Link to Comment ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

Sorry, the site was programmed in MAD. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAD_%28programming_language%29

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:22 | Link to Comment rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

"Uninformed "progressives" have suggested that "Medicare for all" is the answer."

Amen to that. Medicare is a mess. It is underfunded by $88 Trillion presently. Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program is underfunded by $22+ Trillion and that is a relatively new program (Source: USDebtclock.org) Adding tens of millions of additional people into an already dying program would kill the economy. But that's where this country is heading because that was the goal the whole time.

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 08:25 | Link to Comment Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Well, as an informed progressive, I have come to the conclusion that a diamond ring, a box of chocolates and a new Ferrrari are fundamental human rights. Anything less is the denial of the basic human right to love and self-esteem, and constitutes disparate impact and social injustice. If I can get 100 million useful idiots chanting that same slogan, we can make you pay.

s/ off

Cloward-Piven on. Total Systemic Collapse Imminent. Prepare for Civil War II.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:47 | Link to Comment doctor10
doctor10's picture

the legislation was written by and for the crooks. It was designed to open the pocketbook and bank accounts of very remaining nook and cranny of cash in the country-and empty out

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:18 | Link to Comment Freddie
Freddie's picture

Hope & Change.  It's the Democrats way.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:46 | Link to Comment More_sellers_th...
More_sellers_than_buyers's picture

Really? just think....they tried to tackle health care and never mentioned tort reform.  Joke from the get go...these people would not know what fiduciary resposibility(with tax dollars) is, if it fucked them in the throat

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:15 | Link to Comment Itch
Itch's picture

doh

 

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:39 | Link to Comment mr. mirbach
mr. mirbach's picture

This chart says it all!  DOH! isn't a strong enough sentiment!

http://kevinbrady.house.gov/uploads/Obamacare%20Chart.pdf

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:37 | Link to Comment Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

I didn't see DHS mentioned in therre? They are mentioned in the healthcare bill tho.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:08 | Link to Comment ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

"Obamacare is a catastrophe that cannot be fixed, because it doesn't fix what's broken in American healthcare."

Exactly.

$1,937 per month?

Yeah right.

Middle Class killer.

And it won't help Tiffany's or the sale of Mercedes and Porsche's either.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:26 | Link to Comment Goldilocks
Goldilocks's picture

"JACK SPRAT" nursery rhyme
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSU3bzaD_vA (0:26)

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:37 | Link to Comment SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Rich people still think this economic catastrophe is going to pass them by. 

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 06:54 | Link to Comment Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Let's make sure it doesn't. The Great Liquidation cometh. We must be ready to make amends.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:10 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

I think Obama(Don't)Care needs to sign up for Obama(Don't)Care.

Or did it already?

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:14 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yawn...

So the "market driven" reform originally proposed by the the Right Wing American Heritage Institute and enacted by Romney in Massachusetts is a disaster doomed to failure...

I never would have guessed that....

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:31 | Link to Comment csmith
csmith's picture

Not market driven at all. Phony-crony driven, more like it. The big players (pharma, hospitals, insurers) all got paid off early to help stitch together this Frankenstein mix of bad body parts (mandated benefits, fees, penalties, limits, controls, etc.) which is neither "market" nor "driven" by anything other than rent seeking. We deserve what we got - an awful mix of half-baked crap which drives costs UP and satisifies no one.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:37 | Link to Comment negative rates
negative rates's picture

And the holy roman empire was neither holy, nor roman, nor an empire.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:10 | Link to Comment BigRedRider
BigRedRider's picture

True dat.  Also, the Big Bang was neither big, since it started from a singularity (singularity is science jargon for "I don't know") nor did it bang, since sound doesn't travel in a vacuum.  Reference the allegory of the fabled tree falling in the woods without a sound because no one heard it.

 

I know...how Obama of me.  Sometimes I just out do myself.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:48 | Link to Comment Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

And Rhode Island is neither a road nor an island.

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 13:08 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

And do you think that I am disagreeing with what you said...

As for driving costs up, Americans have been getting close to a free ride for years on HC, bill is now coming due...

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:32 | Link to Comment nickels
nickels's picture

No insurance scheme can fix "health care". It's too expensive for a dozen different reasons and can't possibly be paid for by the productive labor of an individual. Use some of the tobacco subsidy money to make it easier for more medical people to get certified. Take some of the money from equipment that the military says they don't want and buy some diagnostic gear for clinics. It's the job of government to provide for the people those things that the people can't provide for themselves. It's not just about highway paving and defense.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:57 | Link to Comment pods
pods's picture

It is the job of government to follow the rules set up for it in the first place.

95% of the government's job is simply not the government's job.

Want it to legally be the government's job?  Simple. Amend the constitution.

"It's the job of the government to provide people those things that the people can't provide for themselves."

Like what, a rocket?  Boat?  Doublewide? Breast implants?  Midget masseuse?  

pods

 

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:40 | Link to Comment nickels
nickels's picture

"The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves — in their separate, and individual capacities"----- A. Lincoln. Sorry, should have provided footnotes--apparently the quotation is more obscure than I realised.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 19:11 | Link to Comment citizen2084
citizen2084's picture

This is what Linclon war was all about changing the federal system of goverment. He only had to kill 600k people to get his way - probably a lot less than obomb ya care will ultimtaley kill. 

 

peAce 

 

 

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 20:03 | Link to Comment artless
artless's picture

I was going to respond to the first entry but then you followed up bu quoting of all people Lincoln.

Yes, when you're up against it whip out a quote from a mass murdering, tyranical, racist, psychopath to back you up. Not such a good idea.

Look brother, Lincoln is Obama's fav prez because when all is said and done NO ONE was/is/will be a worse POTUS than Abe.

Okay, maybe FDR but I digress.

It is not "the government's job" to do anything. Whoopdee fucking doo there's this old shred of paper with some ideas on it that establishes this thing we call "government". Says something about the government by the people or something. Yeah, that's it the people. True it goes on to make a few (VERY FEW IN FACT) suggestions and directives as to what this thing "of the people" id supposed to do. But nowhere does it say anyhting about doing what needs to done or some such. I've read the damn thing front to back uoside down and in reverse and let me tell ya, IT AIN'T THERE.

Now I'm more than willing to throw the thing out tomorrow since it's pretty much been so steeped in the piss of guys like Lincoln, FDR, Roosevelt, LBJ, Wilson ...OH HELL every fucking president that has ever occupied that ungodly ugly white blob of shit on Pennsylvania Ave. And with that this compulsive obsession with the need to be governed. But I'm pretty sure that's not on the horizon just now so I'll compromise and suggest that perhaps we just do what the old rag says in the meantime.

""The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves — in their separate, and individual capacities"

If this is indeed Lincoln then he was a bigger fool than even I knew.

Here is how an intelligent person would phrase that.

"The legitimate objective of the entrepenuer, industry, and the division of labor and specialization, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot, as well do, for themselves — in their separate, and individual capacities"

If you believe otherwise then you are a fascist, socialist, marxist, stalinist, statist, totalitarian, maoist - take your pick.

Just notice what was left off the list.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 20:09 | Link to Comment artless
artless's picture

Amen.

Except for the amendment part. 16th? anyone? Yeah, not so good.

Of course it was supposed to be "the government's job" to coin money. They sort of bypassed the whole amendment thing there and sold it out to a cartel.

And then seemed to forget the part about silver & gold. Oooops.

That in a nutshell is the problem with the whole idea of "government" in the first place. And don't get me started on democracy! 

 

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:53 | Link to Comment Blues Traveler
Blues Traveler's picture

Flake, Howard Dean would call you a low information voter.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:14 | Link to Comment bearish1
bearish1's picture

BarryCare = Population control!!!

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:21 | Link to Comment kw2012
kw2012's picture

It wasn't meant to work. It was meant to get people to accept the idea of government provided healthcare and THEN TADA! SINGLE PAYER INSURANCE will be floated to save the day. That means MASSIVE rationing, health care shortages etc... Better get your cataract surgery NOW! not joking. My Mom's friends are already doing this. Their husbands are doctors or friends or doctors.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:29 | Link to Comment JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Healthcare prices in the US are completely insane and the so called affordable healthcare act isn't:. The US would have saved about $600 billion a year (total US healthcare spending $2700 billion a year) with a single-payer system but then how would insurance companies, big pharma and hospitals reap massive profits?

As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500

By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL DECEMBER 2, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — With blood oozing from deep lacerations, the two patients arrived at California Pacific Medical Center’s tidy emergency room. Deepika Singh, 26, had gashed her knee at a backyard barbecue. Orla Roche, a rambunctious toddler on vacation with her family, had tumbled from a couch, splitting open her forehead on a table.

On a quiet Saturday in May, nurses in blue scrubs quickly ushered the two patients into treatment rooms. The wounds were cleaned, numbed and mended in under an hour. “It was great — they had good DVDs, the staff couldn’t have been nicer,” said Emer Duffy, Orla’s mother.

Then the bills arrived. Ms. Singh’s three stitches cost $2,229.11. Orla’s forehead was sealed with a dab of skin glue for $1,696. “When I first saw the charge, I said, ‘What could possibly have cost that much?’ ” recalled Ms. Singh. “They billed for everything, every pill.”

A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch-tops-500.html?src=me&ref=general&_r=1&

Yes, there is no inflation in America. Keep buying those bonds.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:16 | Link to Comment moneybots
moneybots's picture

"Healthcare prices in the US are completely insane and the so called affordable healthcare act isn't:. The US would have saved about $600 billion a year (total US healthcare spending $2700 billion a year) with a single-payer system but then how would insurance companies, big pharma and hospitals reap massive profits?

 

How is single payer going to save 600 billion when more people would be in the system?  Any democrats ever call for an end to anti-trust exemptions and monopolistic protections?  What is single payer but a monopoly?

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:26 | Link to Comment JustObserving
JustObserving's picture
Friedman: $1 trillion in savings in first year of single payer system

UMass Amherst Department of Economics Professor Gerald Friedman has completed a new study for thePhysicians for a National Health Program that concludes upgrading Medicare and expanding it to cover all Americans would create $1 trillion in efficiency savings in its first year of operation, enough to pay for comprehensive health benefits for all U.S. residents and lower costs to most people and businesses. The report was unveiled in Washington, D.C. on the 48th anniversary of Medicare by advocates of a single payer health insurance system (Yubanet.com [Calif.], 7/31/13). Download the study.

https://blogs.umass.edu/econnews/2013/08/08/friedman-single-payer-savings/

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 20:41 | Link to Comment odatruf
odatruf's picture

@JO - you understood that the plan to which you link requires more than $1.4 trillion in new federal taxes. That's in addition to the current taxes plus all those already added by ACA.

You did catch that, right?

Further, there is no backing of the "$1 trillion in efficiency savings" that are claimed. At most, it's the $592 billion that the report asserts will be done "by slashing the administrative waste associated with the private insurance industry ($476 billion) and reducing pharmaceutical prices to European levels ($116 billion)."

Even if those figures are true, are we to believe that there won't be any offsetting increase in the administrative costs of the massively expanded Medicare program (in case they need some website work, etc.)?

And, anyone who simply claims that we can pay the drug companies the same prices that they are forced to take from price-controlled countries has zero understanding of health care economics and I wouldn’t credit them enough to make me a sandwich.

Seriously.

Bah, I don't know why I bother.

 

Sincerely,

Frank Grimes - Grimey to my friends.

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 01:02 | Link to Comment artless
artless's picture

Please explain why I can carry around a super computer in the palm of my hand-something that is completely unnecessary-for ever lower prices and better service / higher level of tech and PRICES (not costs)  continue to skyrocket on archaic things like sticthes.

It's okay, I'll wait. Here's a hint: one market is overwhelmed by third party money, regulation, intervention, fraud, fraud, cartelization, syndication, did I say FRAUD, waste, and inefficiencies while the other-and I'll give you a hint it's the market that dropped all the iShit on us- does not.

You are simultaneously stating the so-called "savings" that single payer would supposedly provide while demonstrating through the two emorgency room stories exactly what is wrong with the healthcare industry and completely missing it all.

Stitches DO NOT COST $2,000. I have had stiches recently. In an ER. My bill was $180. I was living in Austin, TX. However in a non competitive cartelized environment a vendor will charge WHATEVER THEY THINK THEY CAN GET. And in the case of Hosptital ERs they tend to function as they have the victim patient by the balls. Hospitals are cesspools of waste, mismanagement, and out right fraud. The enourmous amount of cash flowing through these places via the insurance industry (the biggest scam) and the federak and state governments is the problem. You say single payer is the amswer. Well 50% of ALL HEALTHCARE DOLLARS spent in the US are government. We're half way there. How's that working?

I can think of only one entity that is "single payer" here in the US. That would be NATIONAL DEFENSE. Now because of that little document that a mere fraction of the current states even had a say in adopting calls for a NAVY and SUGGESTS and army and leaves it to The Feds to deal with rather than some other entity like, say, New York or some private corporation, Washington, DC is the effective "single payer" for the defense of thid nation. They make every purchase, every allocation, AND EVERY DECISION. By your logic re: healthcare it SHOULD be the most streamlined, effective, efficient, well managed part of the government.

How's THAT working?

EVERY DECISION. Made by Washington, DC. About your healthcare. Let that sink in a bit.

Now I ask Are you fucking kidding me? Single payer will only make it worse and bankrupt this already bankrupt nation that much faster.

And yes all the Socialist Democracies in the "developed countries" are going broke due to their shitty messes of national healthcare which if you knew history is straight out of Bismark, then Marx and Lenin an is understood as THE way to gain enormous levels of control on a population.

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 13:42 | Link to Comment odatruf
odatruf's picture

Art - a very good post.  I agree with it all.

One thing that lets the costs of producing iCrap is technology and lowest price labor seeking. In health care, both are working in the other direction.

And, a single payer insuance system isn't inherantly worse than the system we have now, but it would inevitably become worse with the corrupt systems and rent seeking incentives in place.

 

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 15:13 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The closing of the your last paragraph is the existing system...

Corrupt with perverse renting seeking incentives....

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:35 | Link to Comment orangegeek
orangegeek's picture

line up and die folks

 

rationing has arrived

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:37 | Link to Comment negative rates
negative rates's picture

Coal dust all around, to fuel your dreams, and feed your stomach.

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 07:02 | Link to Comment Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

If I were still in the USSA, I'd get to know a veterinarian who likes silver.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:37 | Link to Comment Professor Fate
Professor Fate's picture

Fuck this Gold, Silver, Bronze crap.  I'm waiting for the Obamacare "Imperial Plan".  The much anticipated Imperial Plan pays 80% of your airfare and gets you into one of the fine private hospitals in Costa Rica.  There, you will be coddled and nutured back to health for about 15% of the costs here by excellent physicians.  Out patient therapy is conducted through the Blue Marlin bar at the Del Rey Hotel where you are afforded all the Imperial Cervasa you can guzzle.  And the only Spanish required is the obligatory command to the beautiful girl behind the bar..."Dos mas...pour some more".

Fate the Magnificent
"Push the Button, Max"   

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:54 | Link to Comment Z_End
Z_End's picture

Many choices out there.

http://www.patientsbeyondborders.com

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:00 | Link to Comment Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

You sound like a terrorist to me.  Are you a terrorist?

The new normal:  kick ya in the balls and call it healthcare.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:40 | Link to Comment the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

i get the feeling this goverment is tying to kill us

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:47 | Link to Comment ThisIsBob
ThisIsBob's picture

How can it work when aging and infirmity are juicy opportunities for monetization?

Health care industry & pharma make bankers look like rank amatures.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:48 | Link to Comment sbenard
sbenard's picture

STOP calling it Obamacare!

It's CALAMITYCARE!

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:36 | Link to Comment TheOldMan
TheOldMan's picture

Even better, call it DemoCare.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:52 | Link to Comment Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

    What ever you do, don't get sick! Use the money that would be spent on your ACA premiums to purchase an open ended airline ticket to the tropical destination of your choice.

   Should you develop some unforeseen chronic ailment, use said ticket and your stashed rounds of silver and gold for treatment.

  Otherwise, shop for concierge/cash doctors in your locale for non life threatening emergencies. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how much cheaper your costs are when you pay cash or it's equivalent for services rendered. ;-)

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:54 | Link to Comment q99x2
q99x2's picture

ObamaCare is a declaration of war against the United States of America.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:56 | Link to Comment tony wilson
tony wilson's picture

no it should be called we know what we are doing care.

we want all your money until your dead care.

 

in the rockafella rothschild  planning for 30 years

 

Hillary Clinton's Health Care Plan - Eustace Mullins

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6xsFcgHxIY

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:55 | Link to Comment Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

IT IS A FUCKING TAX !!!................OBAMATAX

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:00 | Link to Comment rustymason
rustymason's picture

Look on the bright side. Employer-provided health insurance was a trick to further enslave middle class Americans and make them more dependant on their employers and keep them from leaving. Now, however, with the insanely expensive cost and impossible hassle of Obamacare, many people will simply opt out and take their chances without insurance, and more doctors will go the cash only route.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 16:58 | Link to Comment Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

I wonder why over half of the top 1% consists of Doctors? 

 

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:06 | Link to Comment sluggo
sluggo's picture

Source, please!

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 01:07 | Link to Comment artless
artless's picture

Stuck on Zero  you are stuck on stupid. Doctors? Please give it a rest. Maybe one or two criminals like David Baltimore or Robert Gallo might be in the top 10%.

Ugh, Google them you are too uninformed to know who they are.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:06 | Link to Comment rustymason
rustymason's picture

From the same tribe that brought you the U.S.S.R., we give you the U.S.S.A. Ta-Da! Oy!

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:06 | Link to Comment kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

Obamacare is criminally Unconstitutional and enforcement (forcement) thereof is treason.

The cost is not dollars and cents but our Liberty.

 

"Ignorance of the Constitution and 'following orders' are not an excuse."

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:57 | Link to Comment Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

I propose that OdoofusCare be dumped in favor of my plan.  I will name this deviously brilliant plan ReaperCare.  Alternatively, Obama may steal it, claim the idea as his own, and name it WookieCare in honor of the truly lovely individual he claims is his spouse.

ReaperCare is sort of like a reverse mortgage, in which a homeowner signs over rights to any equity in home at death in exchange for cash up front, but in my genius of a health-care plan, the organ-owner (you know, corneas, heart, liver, brain, skin, veins, marrow) signs over rights to any remaining viable organs, and in fact 100% of his/her flesh, at death in exchange for 100% of healthcare paid by a third-party.  Also, any unused flesh will be cremated at no cost to policy holder or his estate. In addition to handing over rights to all organs, flesh, and metals (such as gold fillings), ReaperCare participants are obligated to donate blood twice per year if called upon to do so.  Children cannot be enrolled, only legal adults can make the decision to sign up.

Any non-participant who receives medical care whilst uninsured and does not promptly pay for the care provided out-of-pocket is automatically enrolled by default in ReaperCare for life.  Same goes for any parent with an uninsured child incurring unpaid medical bills.  All ReaperCare participants have full access to organs should they need them, and free care for life.  There is no exiting the plan once enrolled.  Those who elect not to participate in ReaperCare must carry private health coverage at all times, and they have no access to ReaperCare organs.

The marketing theme will be 'You like your organs, you can keep your organs', which is, of course, a bald-faced lie.

Of course, ReaperCare will be a Ponzi like any other gubmint program.  Any funding shortfall is handled by the Federal Reserve printing dept.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:53 | Link to Comment Parrotile
Parrotile's picture

You probably won't need your organs / "harvestable tissues" after you die, but many of the current "voluntary donors" see transplantation as a way of having a little bit of them carry on living after their death (albeit in a "new home"), which is an interesting viewpoint.

Note that post-transplant costs are far from budget - http://www.americantransplantfoundation.org/2011/10/petition-to-congress-support-anti-rejection-drug-coverage-bill/ and have not changed significantly since this was published. That's all "after-tax" dollars, so a very big dent in disposable income (on top of any additional healthcare insurances / costs).

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 19:08 | Link to Comment andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

So, instead of making you shovel-ready, ReaperCare will make you Reaper-Ready.

I'm sure the system will retain a call-option on your organs at all times, so that fresh viable organs are available to paying participants when needed. Sort of like being in a Chinese prison.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 23:10 | Link to Comment Milestones
Milestones's picture

Yes we can; very droll tongue  in cheek. Got a good chuckle.                 Milestones

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:37 | Link to Comment assistedliving
assistedliving's picture

You can depend on Americans to get things right....after they have exhausted all the other possibilities

WINSTON CHURCHILL

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:50 | Link to Comment Duc888
Duc888's picture

CHS misses the whole fucking point.  Completely.

 

It's a tax.

 

IT'S

A

TAX. 

 

There's nothing to "fix".

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 07:05 | Link to Comment Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

A tax + takeover of the economy + destruction of the middle class. Three birds, one stone, and nothing at all to do with care.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 17:56 | Link to Comment tahoe1780
tahoe1780's picture

And this today:  http://healthimpactnews.com/2012/medical-care-is-the-number-1-cause-of-death-in-the-u-s/     Now that more people have access we can expect the death toll to rise?

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:21 | Link to Comment stant
stant's picture

democare is democide

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 18:24 | Link to Comment ILikeBoats
ILikeBoats's picture

CHS if you want to have more bullet-proof examples you should get ahold of a bill with billing codes. From there you can look up average prices that Medicare/Medicaid pays per billing code.

An example, suppose a guy has an umbilical hernia - there is the surgeon to pay, the time in a surgery center or hospital, plus some other stuff needed. See this:  http://www.ethicon.com/sites/default/files/EES_Reimb_2012_HerniaRepair.pdf

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 19:10 | Link to Comment czarangelus
czarangelus's picture

$1,200? That's almost as much as my goddamn rent! Who is paying this shite? I'm a working class 30 year old with a 40 hour job and $14,400 a year would be a significantly larger percentage of my income than I'd care to admit. Who in God's name can afford this kind of bilking?

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 19:15 | Link to Comment sunnyside
sunnyside's picture

You are correct, but you are thinking too hard to figure this out.  They don't want you to be able to afford it, they want you ready and anxious to enroll in single payer.  Medicare for all say the naive socialists.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 19:20 | Link to Comment czarangelus
czarangelus's picture

I hear this theory a lot, but I actually kind of doubt it. Congress and the lobbies want a system that costs the working person the most while providing as little treatment as possible. Under a single payer system - which I readily agree isn't the best solution by any means - they'd run the risk of actually having to treat people's illnesses once in awhile.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 22:36 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Understand this:  You're not just paying your bill, you're also paying for others that cannot/will not pay their own bills!

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 10:37 | Link to Comment roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

$14,400 per year = zero cost after subsidies.

Sat, 12/07/2013 - 10:38 | Link to Comment roadhazard
roadhazard's picture

$14,400 per year = zero cost to you after subsidies. Whine on, son.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 19:25 | Link to Comment Mediocritas
Mediocritas's picture

Obamacare is a catastrophe that cannot be fixed, because it doesn't fix what's broken in American healthcare.

Nails it. We know what's causing sickcare in the USA (and increasingly around the rest of the OECD as the USA exports its sickcare model within various free trade agreements such as the TPP).

So what are some feasible solutions? How do we get the lobbyists out of their positions of privileged access to politicians from where they steer policy? How do we get the money out of campaigning that forces politicians to primarily represent campaign contributors rather than the citizenry?

Of course I have my own ideas but they fail on feasibility by being too threatening to entrenched interests. Given the power of entrenched interests, the fix has to start covertly and sneak around to go for the backstab. Ideas?

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 20:02 | Link to Comment I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Charles, with all due respect, I don't think you've grasped the situation.

A a glance it looks to me like your current policy and the three Obamacare policies all from Kaiser give about the same value, and I'll bet Kaiser could provide the assumptions they used to price it all.

Which is to say you are paying the SAME rates on your non-Obamacare policy, for a slighty different array of benefits.  IOW we are ALL suffering under the same structure, which is after all not that different today than in 2007, except for continued inflation of the general economy and especially health care.  FWIW, my Blue Shield policy is more or less the same rate, too.

Now, compared to policies twenty years ago, these policies ALL stink and are quite expensive, but that's because the inflation of actual medical care has skyrocketed continuously for that whole time.  Plus the whole population now averages older, which especially affects universal programs like Obamacare.

So bottom line?  Obamacare has probably had no net effect on anyone, except to siphon off billions for broken web sites and new enforcement agents to enforce nothing on all of us.  Maybe Justice Roberts is right, the whole thing is a tax, and contributes nothing to medical care for anyone, period.

 

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 20:27 | Link to Comment Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

The Marxist con man is prepared to take everything down with him including the Democratic party. This should get quite interesting to watch over the next couple of months... Who is going to jump off this Titanic party first?

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 20:49 | Link to Comment Seal
Seal's picture

It was never intended to be about anyones HEALTH. ObombaCare was dremt up as a way for BO/Rahm/et al to extort campaign contributions from the "health care" industry after BO tapped the banks in 2007-8 giving them the bailouts and QEs. 

Why did Congress pass the ACA??????????? They could care less. They have their own cush, Cadillac plan [along with an over-the-top pension plan]. Congress's plan is so over they had to amend the definition of Cadillac in the ACA finagling so they wouldn't be charged for it. As Casey Stengel said, "You can look it up."

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 21:14 | Link to Comment honestann
honestann's picture

Correct.

I can see only two possibilities.

#1:  Obamacare utterly destroys the economy in the USSA.  The rich do just fine, but the entire middle and lower class are screwed.  Also, older folks are royally screwed, because they will NOT be taken care of.  Many folks refuse to accept this, but refusal to care for older folks is part of this plan, and WILL BE fully implemented (they have no choice, because the inefficiencies of this atrocity must be paid for from somewhere, and this is the only place enough "savings" can be found).

#2:  People don't sign up for Obamacare, and health-insurers go bankrupt because mostly only people with expensive conditions sign up.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 21:19 | Link to Comment Notarocketscientist
Notarocketscientist's picture

You cannot imagine just how happy this makes me.  The corporatocry has OUTDONE itelf!!!

In their quest for MOAR - the greedy fucking fools are going to take down the United States :) 

It's a race between the healthcare and banking industries to rip down this bloated, corrupt nation run by evil fuckers.

2014 may be the year

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 21:53 | Link to Comment Randoom Thought
Randoom Thought's picture

The problem with healthcare in this country is that there are too many cooks in the kitchen interfering with the doctor-patient relationship and quality of care. Too many self-interested third parties have their hands in the pocket of the doctor and patient and are dictating how care must be done, not for the benefit of doctor or patient, but for their own benefits: Insurance companies, pharma companies, the AMA, medical colleges, research and peer review, all governments (including their politicians and agencies), other supporting companies, the litigation industry  and hospital corporations all demand their cut and make both the doctor-patient relationship and the cost of healthcare an inefficient and ineffective clusterfuck.

Obamacare does not fix the inefficiency and doctor-patient relationship. It make it much worse by institutionalizing and dictating that the worst of the current problems can NEVER be fixed. Obamacare only protects and emboldens the self-interest parties and gives their parasitism legal standing.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 23:16 | Link to Comment virgilcaine
virgilcaine's picture

Don't get sick and you won't need their bogus healthcare system.  If you do try home remedies or holistic . Avoid the NWO products as well.. anything advertised on the tevee. Alcohol Tobacoo, Mcd; etc.

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 23:35 | Link to Comment bunnyswanson
bunnyswanson's picture

Stress is sending middle aged people into the ER.  Heart attacks, cerebrovascular accidents in 50 year olds is going up and if I spent some time on it, I bet there is data available which shows that this has occurred in the last 5 years.  Stress is a killer.  We know this.  When you are losing everything, and the future is a dead end road, how to you stay healthy?  Have you ever been this stressed?  It is all encompassing.  Sleep is elusive.  Appetite is as well.  You are in constant state of fight or flight.  This is an arterial wall disasterous setting.

 

The middle class of the globe is being eliminated while their wealth is being used to fund the NWO - i.e., no middle class, a labor class and a wealthy class with management/control somewhere in between.  Fascism. 

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