The Current Health Care Proposal - McCain-Hannity interview

     Sean Hannity interviewed John McCain concerning the health insurance bill before Congress.  They agreed that raising taxes right now, during a bad recession, is a bad idea.  The current proposal, if passed, will result in roughly 22% of small businesses paying for something they didn't have to before, either a new tax or health care.  It makes sense to me to amend the bill to waive this tax for the first year, or at least until a figure like GDP per capita starts increasing again.

As someone else wrote:

     The whole concept of employer based health care should be scrapped.  It [i]s an artifact of an attempt to get around a loophole in a price control schem[e six] decades ago.  It kind of made sense when people worked for the same company for 30 years, which isn't the situation today.

1 comment:

TH said...

For the fourth year in a row my 2 personal small group Missouri health care plan increased in cost by 35%. We are paying 4 times what we paid ten years ago. What ten years ago costs $500 a month is now costing us nearly $2400 a month. Something has to give or I am going to either stop offering the plan and I don't want to go broke. That is a quadrupling of costs in ten years which amounts to increase of 14% a year, but the early year increases were slight. The last five have ben what have been crippling. You might find it interesting to look at some statistics. While we need administration it needs to be reasonable. I don't know what that figure is, but look at the amount paid out by UHC, the countries largest health insurance carrier in their annual report. It implies to me two things. One that they are increasing payouts and medical inflation is higher than it should be, yet ironically their margins are being squeezed. These figures come directly from the UHC 2009 annual report.

2004 $38 billion
2005 $46 billion
2006 $71 billion
2007 $75 billion
2008 $81 billion

Amount Spent on Health Care and Administration
2004 $34 billion as a percentage of revenue 89%
2005 $41 billion as a percentage of revenue 89%
2006 $64 billion as a percentage of revenue 90%
2007 $67 billion as a percentage of revenue 89%
2008 $76 billion as a percentage of revenue 93%

I wish I could tell you what portion was spent on care from this years report but from last years report in 2007 did they spend more on what they paid out on medical claims meaning that was the only year in which they became more efficient, but they then made up the difference by piling on more administration. Last year their report broke out administrative costs but this year they foot noted that it was not material to the figures they needed to provide. I can tell you that in prior years both percentages increased simultaneously, which is why our costs have risen so much.

The other unfortunate thing is that if I wanted to purchase a personal policy with high deductible on my own I couldn't because of prior sinus surgery. It is out of control. Now I have hired a concierge doctor and let the plan only pay for my prescriptions. It costs me more but doesn't get me flagged as an over user in the system so I still don't get penalized and it helps me in case I do need surgery. So in addition to the $2400 bill for two of us I pay $1200 for a personal physician who has saved my insurance company thousands of dollars on me. I welcome any debate/discussion on this issue. It is something that is near and dear to my heart.

So my vote is to get it out of the employer side. It only forces people to work and if you cannot work, you get stuck with disability on which no one can survive. But the tricksters in Washington, Dems and Repubs, are the power players that will make this happen the wrong way, you can count on that. The President's wishes are of good intention. Let's see if we can get them through in 30 pages instead of 1000. Watch this weeks Bill Mauer and you will actual hear some great things from the President's former personal physician.

I wish you all well through this roller coaster.....

Tom in St Louis

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