Tag Archives: medical insurance

Sickcare is the Knife in the Heart of Employment–and the Economy, by Charles Hugh Smith

Employee insurance is a benefit many employers cannot afford. Its cost and the costs of the medical system are too high and rising too fast. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

We need to change the incentives of the entire system, not just healthcare, but if we don’t start with healthcare, that financial cancer will drag us into national insolvency all by itself.

American Healthcare is a growth industry in the same way cancer is a growth industry: both keep growing until they kill the host, which in the case of healthcare is the U.S. economy.

While a great many individuals in the system care about improving the health of their patients, the healthcare system itself only cares about one thing: maximizing profits by any means available, including sending many patients to an early grave via medications which corporations declared “safe” and rigged the political-regulatory-research systems to comply.

I call this maximizing profits by any means available system sickcare, for obvious reasons: this system profits by managing sickness, i.e. chronic diseases, rather than addressing the causes, which in most chronic disorders trace back to lifestyle: SAD (standard American diet), poor fitness and a generally unhealthy lifestyle of convenience (i.e. sedentary), heavy work/financial stress and addictions to meds, drugs, social media, etc.

Sickcare’s single-minded profiteering would be bad enough if we could afford its spiraling ever higher cost, but we cannot: as I noted way back in 2011, Sickcare Will Bankrupt the Nation all by itself. three years ago I noted that U.S. Healthcare Isn’t Broken–It’s Fixed (5/26/18), as generic meds that cost $22.60 for a month’s supply are pushed by Big Pharma as branded meds for $1,120 per month. Such a deal!

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Health Care Laws Should Be Abolished, by Doug Casey

Free markets in medical care and medical insurance would produce far better health care and at much lower cost than the present abominations. From Doug Casey at caseyresearch.com:

Editor’s note: The ninth democratic debate aired on Wednesday night. Six candidates qualified (including billionaire Mike Bloomberg) and the event is being compared to a “Vegas boxing match”…

One of the biggest topics up for discussion (and beatdown) was healthcare – who should pay for it, whether it’s a human right, and whether frontrunner Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan is in any way feasible.

Of course, Casey Research founder Doug Casey has a lot to say on the subject… and his proposed solution may shock you…

By Doug Casey, founder, Casey Research

How to reform the U.S. “health care” system is a continuing topic in the news. I put that phrase in quotes because it’s a misnomer. You don’t insure your health – that can’t be done. You can only insure that the costs of medical care, if your health fails, will be covered. Saying “health care” makes people think that someone else will magically assure their health, which is impossible. Collectivists like to use the phrase as part of their continuing war on what words mean, and how people think.

Health is something you do for yourself with proper diet, exercise, and lifestyle decisions. Medical care is something very different; it’s what you need for acute trauma or disease. People want good health, but all insurance can give them is hospitals, doctors, and medicines – all of which are scary.

In any event, there does seem to be universal agreement on two related matters. One, that Americans are overweight, underexercised, and overmedicated. Two, that the U.S. medical care system is “broken” and something needs to be done. I have a radical proposal, even though there’s not a chance in hell it will ever be adopted or even discussed in public.

Here it is: Not only should there be no form of national medical care, but Medicare, Medicaid, the FDA, and all laws regulating anything to do with medicine and health should be abolished. Why? Because they are the actual cause of the crisis.

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A Cheaper Alternative to Obamacare Is a Hit in Idaho, by John Tozzi

There is apparently a loophole now in Obamacare that allows an insurance option that healthy people want: affordable insurance that offers fewer options but covers them in the even of a medical catastrophe. As a healthy, uninsured New Mexican, I wish blue state New Mexico would adopt red state Idaho’s solution, but that isn’t going to happen. From John Tozzi at bloomberg.com:

Thousands of people have applied for new health plans in Idaho that revive insurance-industry practices banned by the Affordable Care Act, including charging sick people higher premiums and limiting coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Early demand exceeded expectations at Blue Cross of Idaho, the first carrier to sell the plans. The company got about 3,000 applications since it began marketing the plans Dec. 1; it had expected 800 at the most. The insurer covers about 575,000 statewide.

“It flooded our underwriters,” said Peter Sorensen, vice president for individual and government markets at Blue Cross of Idaho, the state’s largest health insurer. About 1,500 members accepted the insurer’s rate quotes and paid for policies that took effect Jan. 1, the company said. An additional 150 have already paid for coverage beginning in February.

With the debut of the policies in January, Idaho has gone further than any other state in loosening requirements on health insurers that the ACA imposed in 2014. It plans to offer low-cost insurance to people priced out of Obamacare and draw them back into the insurance market.

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Doug Casey on the Crisis “Medicare for All” Will Cause

“Medicare for All” will be in even bigger disaster than the present Medicare system, which will be flat broke in ten years. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

International Man: Medical-care spending in the United States is more than double that of any other developed country. The extra spending doesn’t amount to better quality care or a healthier American population.

What’s your take on the US system as a whole?

Doug Casey: It’s full of problems. And they’re likely to get worse.

First of all, it’s highly politicized. Almost nothing can be done without government approval. It’s becoming more and more like your local DMV.

The system revolves around the FDA. In theory, it should protect the consumer, but in fact it does the opposite. The FDA should be renamed the Federal Death Authority, because it kills more people every year than the Defense Department does in a typical decade.

Why do I say that? For one thing, it takes 10 years for a new drug to be approved, and it averages not just $1 billion dollars, but now more than $2 billion for the typical drug to be approved—and only very few are ever approved. That’s because there’s only a minimal risk to the FDA in not approving them but a huge risk that they’ll be embarrassed if something goes wrong with one that is approved.

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Rain Dance, by James Howard Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler rails against the rackets known as medical care and medical insurance. From Kunstler at kuntsler.com:

Think of the ObamaCare reform debate now playing in the US Senate as the final gurglings of polity that knows it is whirling around the drain. They’re pretending to attempt to fix a racket that comprises eight percent of the American economy. Yikes! How did that happen? At the beginning of the 20th century it was one-quarter of one percent (.25 percent) of the economy.

The standard explanation is that, first, Medicare jacked up overall healthcare activity in the 1960s, hauling in a customer-base of old folks who previously received no special treatment and were, generally, less well than non-old folk. Secondarily, technological innovation opened up so many new methods of disease control for everybody, young and old, that we’re able to treat more sickness in more complicated ways — and that drove costs up way further.

The greater part of the story remains neatly concealed within the matrix of rackets erected around the money-flows since the big cost bump-up in the 1960s, and these involve insurance companies, Big Pharma, corporatized doctors’ practices, hospital monopolies, and, of course, politicians on-the-take dividing amongst each other a colossal pool of grift that exists mainly for one simple reason: the cost of everything is hidden from public view.

Nobody has any idea what anything costs. Certainly not the patients, sometimes called “customers” or “consumers” — but really hostages. If you go into the hospital for a stent in the left descending coronary artery, nobody will tell you what it costs, starting with the doctors who have performed the procedure a thousand times. They can’t even estimate the cost (or won’t), though they could probably give you a pretty good ballpark number for the cost-and-installation of a new fuel pump on their BMW-28i.

To continue reading: Rain Dance

Reality: ‘Employers’ Have Been Priced Out, by Karl Denninger

Hiring employees and paying their medical insurance is like a buying a reverse lottery ticket: if your number comes up, your company goes bankrupt. From Karl Denninger at theburningplatform.com:

Folks, I want you to read this again.

Specifically:

We have an opiod epidemic in this country in no small part because of the loss of jobs available to blue-collar workers — people who are not rocket scientists; people with no hope, no future and no job prospects often turn to intoxication.  There’s a lot of people in this country facing this situation today; most people fall under the “average” area of the bell curve when it comes to intelligence.  Their jobs went overseas or simply disappeared not only because of bad trade deals but because the medical system got parasitic to the point that it now consumes nearly one dollar in five in the United States.  Laws such as ERISA, EMTALA and similar anti-discrimination statutes along with this parasitic sector of our economy mean that a small business offering health coverage as a benefit will be instantly bankrupted by one person who gets hired and has a $100,000/year chronic condition, and the owner of said business is forced by law to conspire with the ill applicant that comes in his door seeking work to screw his other employees.

The result?  You’re nuts to hire your first employee and you’re definitely nuts to violate any of the thresholds that trigger various requirements in laws when it comes to benefit packages and similar.

One-person businesses are great but they need to grow into 5, 10, 20 and 50 person businesses for the United States to be great again.

They can’t under the present system because just one event completely out of the owner’s control destroys everything he or she has built, it is trivial for anyone who has such a condition to target said company and if they do there is nothing that either the employer or other employees can do about it.

To continue reading: Reality: ‘Employers’ Have Been Priced Out

Quack Addendum, by Eric Peters

The deterioration of American healthcare accelerates. From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Well, I finally saw the Quack.

Actually, his PA. Nice guy. I told him about the indifferent response I got the day of the accident, when I called to see about getting an emergency appointment to deal with my fresh – and gaping and bloody – chainsaw wound. About how the Frau at the desk Doc-blocked me. The PA told me that, in the future, if something like this happens again, that I should use a Special Secret Codeword to get around the Frau.

That’s what it’s come down to in these Obamacare Days. But while it’s easy to blame Obama (it does have his name on it) the fact is the insurance mafia wrote Obamacare; the presidente was just the sock puppet. It is the insurance mafia that has turned medicine into “health care” and put us all under legal mandate to have (to purchase) health insurance but the mafia under no obligation to deliver medical treatment. And when it is grudgingly provided, to finance-rape us such that we, in future, will be very reluctant to seek treatment again.

Meanwhile, we pay.

Which, by the way was part of the reason I didn’t go to either the ER or the Urgent Care joint when I was doc-blocked by the Frau. Because I knew – as we all do – that going to an “unapproved provider” for a procedure not “pre-approved” would result, at the very least, in weeks and probably months of hassling over a huge bill that the mafia would not pay until they had tortured me with their bureaucracy … for weeks and probably months.

If they ever did pay.

That plus the prospect of what probably would have been at least $1,500 for 4-6 stitches (Dr. Eric’s estimate) and some bandages kept me away – which is exactly what the mafia wants. They want your money. They do not want to spend money on you. This is the sum total of the rigged game long con that is “health care” in the age of Obama but also long before. Read up on it. Especially, read up on Tricky Dick Nixon and his doings with Kaiser Permanente. You will be edified.

As well as some other things.

So, I ended up not getting stitches. Too late for that (after 24 hours, apparently, it is Too Late) but that’s ok because the only consequence is a scar and I gather chicks dig scars. As it turned out, I did a damned decent job of treating the wound, which had closed up on its own by the time I got through the Frau screen and finally obtained an audience with the PA (but not the doc). The PA used some adhesive tape to shore up my body’s own “glue” – and assure the wound stayed closed – gave me a Tetanus shot and sent me on my way.

My leg will be ok.

The “health care” system not so much.

No matter which buffoon ascends to the Dear Leadership. The she-wolf will simply enshrine Soviet-style doctoring while the Bloated Bloviator will “reform and replace” it. Mark that. He will not rescind it.

Abandon all Hope.

http://www.theburningplatform.com/2016/07/23/quack-addendum/