A Layman’s Guide To Healthcare

A Layman’s Guide to National Healthcare
May 14, 2017

First, let me clarify – you are not the Layman – I am. But there is so much disinformation circulating in our country one can be easily confused – especially since some of the loudest voices are deliberately trying to confuse you.

The best thing to do up front is to describe “insurance”.

From my studies of history I read about global traders during the days of sailing ships. For the most part these traders were European and they came up with a plan some call “shared risk”.

Shared risk meant then that a group of trade ship owners decided to set money aside for offsetting an unknown and unplanned calamity – basically, the trader’s ship sinking while carrying any amount of merchandise that in those days represented a small fortune.

The monies collected among the group would be paid out when one trading member suffered a loss that might be, or could be. You can imagine in one year if the group of traders suffered no loss of ships or merchandise, no pay out was made.

This is what insurance is; a pool of funds for “just in case” something goes wrong – not for “after” something goes wrong

The Breakdown

Under current healthcare in our nation a person falls into three basic categories of healthcare eligibility – and notice I did not call it healthcare insurance. Only the preceding scenario about sailing ships is actually “insurance”. Under the Affordable Care Act one may think they are buying Insurance but they are actually buying what Washington mandates.

Medicare

When a citizen reaches age 65 they generally become eligible for Medicare. This is somewhat like insurance but with very liberal benefits. There may or may not be a premium paid depending on the company offering the coverage. There are co-pays, a portion of the costs payable by the patient.

While Medicare covers 80% of ‘reasonable and customary’ costs, patients are liable for the 20% Medicare does not cover – and there are insurance policies for that also. Even with Medicare a catastrophic illness can make costs skyrocket.

Some signing on to Medicare Advantage Plans might fare better financially. Many of these plans will refund the roughly $134 dollars of Medicare premiums.

While Medicare might be seen as ‘insurance’ by some it is really a grandiose benefit plan – on the order of a welfare benefit. All the working, tax-paying people pay into this fund to cover what the government pays out.

Facsimile Insurance

In the middle are those not on Medicare who mostly are working and paying taxes. They may get health insurance from an employer but have to purchase it on their own if their employer does not provide it. Your insurance provider is subject to the mandates of coverage as outlined in the Affordable Care Act.

You may want a mini-car type plan that is affordable but the law demands you buy the SUV coverage that is currently causing all the problems.

Liken it to an older couple wanting a car without fancy options – like DVD players in the back seat for children. An older couple has no need for that but the ACA demands you buy a vehicle with that feature.

This group of the working class is paying for the benefits enjoyed by those in the Medicare group. As our baby boom population ages you can easily assume more will be demanded to meet the growing financial responsibility.

Somewhere near the lower end are those government decides do not make enough money to cover ALL of their health care insurance. They get help from the government by way of “subsidies” – actually government throwing in the additional amount to bring you under an insurance plan.

Subsidies are another form of welfare or entitlement. Subsidies are paid out under the current health care law by collecting money from tax-paying Americans to throw into the subsidy pool.

Medicaid

At the bottom of the scale is Medicaid for the ones able to pay nothing for their health care. Medicaid is administered by the States and they are currently being helped by the Federal government – with the current law adding millions to the list of those eligible for free health care once it was passed by the Democrats in 2009.

Medicaid is NOT insurance – it is welfare – in spite of every Liberal under the Sun insisting it is. If you are given something for free you are making absolutely no contribution to the costs involved.

Now a little review:

Medicare – For the elderly

Insurance – For those in the working world but some in lower income brackets receiving aid via subsidies

Medicaid – For those too poor to afford any insurance

What one thing do all these levels of health care have in common? The costs are borne entirely by the American tax-paying worker.

Pre-existing Conditions

This has been in the news a great deal lately – much of the news being falsehoods and propaganda. If I have a medical condition and want to sign up for health insurance the insurance company knows up front I am going to cost them more money.

While a “risk pool” to help those in this category is currently proposed in pending legislation – how it pans out remains to be seen. Employers offering health insurance primarily spread their costs for pre-existing conditions by having a large pool of contributors – or policyholders – to spread the risk – just as the traders did hundreds of years ago.

If you are diagnosed with some severe medical ailment and expect to call an insurer for coverage you are not asking for insurance – you are asking for welfare.

Liken it to having no car insurance then getting in an accident. You call Allstate and want to sign on to cover the crumpled bumper and fenders on your car.

That does not work.

In the same way if you are without insurance and are diagnosed with cancer do you expect an insurer to say yes to grant coverage and immediately be liable for huge cash layouts?

That would wreak havoc with insurers and that’s why you have to understand that covering pre-existing conditions is simply welfare. Even by legislating that a fund be created for those with pre-existing conditions the American taxpayer covers the freight.

The Diagnosis

When you understand that health care in our country equates to one sixth of our economy there is no easy way out when the message is blared across the country that health care is a right.

“Rights” cost money.

When politicians play on the sympathies of liberal minds or the poor – they laud the belief that health care is a right and the government needs to do something about it.

If you can’t afford health insurance wouldn’t you find favor with a politician promising to alleviate your burden? As in all transfers of wealth from one citizen to another, only the productive wage earners or the well to do bear the costs.

Guaranteed healthcare for all is the hallmark of Socialism and it will ruin the United States – certain sure. I am not without compassion but a realist. By putting forty people in a twenty-person lifeboat it will sink. Socialism is a path used by politicians to make promises of a gift to garner a vote.

Once compassion destroys us economically nothing will matter anyway and we’ll be like those in Venezuela, searching for food in trash heaps.

Rubber bands will only stretch so far before they snap and history tell us repeatedly that Democracies become Socialist societies as a prelude to that rubber band snapping.

How far should compassion go before it breaks the bank? To those making the promises the sky is the limit. Besides healthcare our compassionate leaders have deemed that everyone deserves a cell phone, food stamps, housing, with some now demanding college educations – and, if you are a Muslim “refugee” or an illegal immigrant – all of those freebies are guaranteed to you.

Over the decades politicians have given so much away we now have $20 Trillion of national debt. In essence, the bank is already broken. When all is in ruin because compassion could not be limited – these politicians will have hidden in the woodwork.

The whole problem started in the first place when government became our protectors – something left at one time to one’s ingenuity and hard work.

Washington learned long ago to legislate generosity – but have someone else pay for it.