TCS Daily


Without Healthy People, There Is No Insurance

By John E. Tamny - July 20, 2007 12:00 AM

A recent newspaper headline bemoaned the fact that "Insurance rewards healthy workers." A similarly tautological headline might be that, "Employers reward productive workers." What's surprising isn't that healthy employees would be rewarded with cheaper insurance premiums, but that something so logical could be passed off as news.

USA Today's Julie Appleby began the above-mentioned article with a scenario suggesting that an overweight worker "with high cholesterol and blood pressure could pay $2,000 more a year in health insurance deductibles" than a more fit co-worker under a new insurance plan being offered by UnitedHealthcare (UHC). The latter firm is set to begin offering new policies that will reward its customers not just for living healthy lifestyles, but for actual health results.

Specifically, UHC will offer high deductible insurance of $2,500 per year for individuals, alongside $5,000 per family. The innovation within is that the plan offers its enrollees an opportunity to lower their annual deductibles by submitting to blood tests and other evaluations to see if they smoke, and generally measure up to other targets set in terms of blood pressure, cholesterol, and height/weight ratio.

Not surprisingly, UHC's evolved form of insurance has attracted its share of criticism, specifically from Jamie Court of the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights. Court says, "If you want people to live healthier lives, you need to educate them and make it safe for them to seek medical treatment, without fear of financial penalties." Without addressing how the plan will save healthier-living consumers money, Court misunderstands the happy truth that insurance companies are in the business of making money. Wanting to avoid excessive costs, firms in the insurance space will have a very real incentive to make sure their customers are well educated about healthy living in a way that will save customers and providers money, all the while offering the former an incentive to improve how they live.

Court adds that the new plan "is turning health care into a police state." In truth, customers will have a choice as to whether they want to meet the requirements set by UHC. No one will force them to live in a way that could potentially save them money.

Furthermore, for someone who claims to defend consumer rights, Court has an interesting way of showing it. The reality is that the consumers who live more healthily will gain from UHC's product, and importantly, not have to pay as much for the excesses of others within traditional plans. Rather than an assault on the consumer, UHC's innovation means there will be less in the way of "moral hazard" that presently exists due to customers being treated equally irrespective of their lifestyles.

Most importantly, it should be remembered that without healthy people, there is no insurance. Insurance firms prosper and compete for customers given the certainty that some will need less in the way of health care, and because of that, their premiums will fund the doctor visits of those who aren't as healthy. UHC's logical innovation doesn't strip the sick in favor of the strong, but it does give both an incentive to save money through voluntary actions that will make them feel and look better.

Once again, the only surprise here is that such a logical step (sure to be followed by others) made by UHC is news, and more surprising, that it's being criticized.

John Tamny is editor of RealClearMarkets. He can be reached at jtamny@realclearmarkets.com


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76 Comments

So let's get rid of all the unhealthy people? So let's make insurance unafforable for sick people?
That's the other side of the coin, the one that's being ignored. No surprise here.

So Let's Get Rid of Unhealthy People?
It's not about getting rid of unhealthy people. It's about creating incentives for people to live more healthily.

To the extent that customers are treated equally, the healthy foot the bill for those who choose harder lifestyles. Under UHC's system the healthy will still cover the doctor visits of those who are not, but there will be more of an economic cost for those who don't take care of themselves.

LeMule's hysterics...
are to be expected. One who knows so very little about this topic should keep his mouth shut.

This is what I was referring to before when I spoke of the many market-based initiatives that cut costs for those willing to take responsibility for their health issues.

My company offers discounted rates to diabetics who visit doctors with regularity and who maintain their treatment plans. We even provide a reminder service for those with chronic conditions to remind them to make their appointments. If you wish to join these programs your rates begin to fall.

And is only one way to reduce rates. As the author states, insurance companies want to make money and have a vested interest in healthy members. Such motivation creates innovations that supply health knowledge and reward healthier lifestyles.

The important thing is that such plans are options. The consumer can join them or not. That is not a police state. A police state is outlawing trans-fats, deciding for private business owners whether or not people can smoke inside their property, and any of the other government edicts which determine what you can and can not do to your own body.

Instead of seeing that this is an issue of personal responsibility and free markets over governmental interference, what LeMule takes away from this is that insurance companies are out to kill off unhealthy people.

With idiots like this it is no wonder Hilary and Michael Moore's propaganda is so popular.

Real health insurance
People buy insurance for their car or house with the intention of hoping to never have to use it.
Why should health insurance be any different?

Health insurance should cover those risks that are really unexpected.

Health 'insurance' today is basically a pooled savings account to pay for routine care.

I Choose To Be Unhealthy?
The author assumes that we all choose to be healthy or unhealthy. He rules out genetics, apparently. I have family history of diabetes, heart disease, severe arthritis, intestinal disease, and back trouble. Most of my relatives on both sides of the family died of one or more of these diseases. Guess what? I, too, suffer from diabetes, heart disease, severe arthritis, intestinal disease, and back trouble! Did I choose these diseases? No! Am I following my doctors' advice to try and control them? Yes! But it costs me a fortune in medications, doctor visits, and lab and other medical testing. That is with insurance (previously) and Medicare (now). Without this coverage, I cannot afford medication and testing. If my insurance costs jump even more because I am sick, I will not be able to afford medical care.

Insurance succeeds by spreading the risk over a pool of insured persons, both healthy and unhealthy. This is how insurance functions. It is a matter of risk--the insurance company is betting that the insured party will not need health services, while the covered party is betting that he will need them at some point.

Should I be penalized for being sick? I did not choose my diseases. This is a slippery slope. What do we do in the future--abort babies because they carry genes that are susceptible to disease? What is the next stage after that--shall we kill the old folks, the critically injured, and the handicapped folks because they are a drain on the insurance companies resources?

More hysterics
>"Should I be penalized for being sick?"

No.

>"I did not choose my diseases."

No you did not. What the author and I are noting is that if you attempt to control and minimize the effects of your diseases your insurance company is, or soon will if they are smart, offer you reduced rates for doing so. My company already does so.

>"This is a slippery slope."

So is hysterical conjecture as you demonstrate.

>"What do we do in the future--abort babies because they carry genes that are susceptible to disease? What is the next stage after that--shall we kill the old folks, the critically injured, and the handicapped folks because they are a drain on the insurance companies resources?"

The free market can not dictate these drastic and immoral measures. However, governments can. Just recently there was a debate over terminating the pregnancies of those who would tax the socialized healthcare system and/or society in general. This could be those with genetic disorders or those who would be born to people who, in the government's opinion, would be unable to effectively raise the child. Pretty chilling I must say.

So I wouldn't freak out too much about insurance companies ordering the deaths of the old, weak, disabled, and young. I would freak out about allowing the government to get a firmer grip on your healthcare.

Have you done everything to be healthy?
Unfortunately most physicians 'practice' medicine.

Humans are all very genetically diverse and cannot be lumped into one size fits all treatment.

There is much information about diet that 'modern' medical practitioners ignore or try to discredit.

Ever hear of Dr. Bernstein?

"Developed almost completely outside the mainstream of diabetology, his low carbohydrate solution has helped patients of various ages and symptoms, young and old. Achieving normal blood sugars is not as difficult as one might believe, and he has included case studies of patients who have experienced dramatic improvements in their diabetes."

http://www.diabetes-normalsugars.com/

Or how about metabolic typing?

http://www.metabolictyping.com/

Conventional medicine have done more to discourage alternate treatments than to admit they don't know.

Just as an example of how medical 'science' is progressing. Leeches and maggots are becoming effective treatments for various ailments. How much more did we know before modern science believed it knew everything?


eric's paranoia gets the better of him again
according to eric, the flip side of allowing healthy people to get a break on their health insurance is to get rid of all the sick people.

insurance
If you want to drive on govt roads, car insurance is mandatory.

On your other point. I agree. Auto insurance doesn't cover oil changes.

did you even read the article?
Either that or you seem to feel that you have absolutely no control over your health.

You mean, tell people with heriditary diseases to find healthier parents??
I mean, nobody's against having incentives for healthier lifestyles. But lots of diseases have nothing to do with lifestyle at all. And those people are uninsurable. You think that's right & proper? Tell a parent with a sick childn that.

Can't deal with the issues, goes straight to namecallling
This isn't rocket science.

>he important thing is that such plans are options. The consumer can join them or not.

Except if you have a pre-existing condition. Then they are not options. You can't join them.

>Instead of seeing that this is an issue of personal responsibility and free markets over governmental interference, what LeMule takes away from this is that insurance companies are out to kill off unhealthy people.

How is it "personal responsibility' if someone has (say) a heritary disease. Free markets mean insurance companies, who realize they can't make money insuring such a person won't. They aren't "out to kill" unhealthy people, but where in the free market are unhealthy people going to find insurance.

The word "idiot" coming from Tlaloc is like the word 'fat' coming from someone who weighs 600 pounds.

As usual, Mark simple doesn't understand point 1 so goes straight for namecalling
and he's so proud of having learned to spell 'paranoia,' even though he doesn't know what it means.

Be there and done that but...
you can lead a LeMule to reality but you can't make him think.

>"Except if you have a pre-existing condition. Then they are not options. You can't join them."

What pre-existing conditions? What are the numbers of those denied insurance because of them? I don't know of a single employer plan that allows for the company to deny insurance for pre-existing conditions.

You are going to have source something or have this so-called point placed into the anecdote category. If this does happen it is extremely rare.

>"How is it "personal responsibility' if someone has (say) a heritary disease."

Disease management is very much your personal responsibility. If you are a diabetic do you manage your condition with a proper diet and regular checkups? If you have a heart condition do you manage your weight? Do you stop smoking? Do you stop drinking?

>"Free markets mean insurance companies, who realize they can't make money insuring such a person won't. They aren't "out to kill" unhealthy people, but where in the free market are unhealthy people going to find insurance."

Ummm... I hate to rain on your parade but there is money to be made with such people. If you provide plans, which many do and many more soon will be, that cater to their special needs and that focus on management you will make alot of money. The company I work for is very profitable because of this very concept.

But please, find the statistics of how many of the uninsured in this country are victims of hereditary diseases and then find the statistics on how many of those were turned down due to those conditions. The number will be staggeringly low.

>"The word "idiot" coming from Tlaloc is like the word 'fat' coming from someone who weighs 600 pounds."

Sorry to hear about your weight problem.

I am in this business and know it far better than you. I have dealt with the issues many times before and you never seem to grasp how out of touch you are even when your face is rubbed in it. I therefore assume that you are incapable of such understanding and are a mere idiot who loves to bluster about things that he knows nothing about.

Provide the numbers...
or shut the **** up.

You make it sound like sick children and unhealthy people never get treated. Those that are treated, and treated well in the US, are the majority. Your reduction of this argument to trying to kill off the unhealthy or killing sick children is sick in and of itself.

Provide the numbers on those who are uninsured due to such conditions. Or take my advice above and let the adults continue the conversation.

You have something over 40 million people uninsured
And unisurability is a national issue.

>You make it sound like sick children and unhealthy people never get treated.

They usually do, Except they can't be insured. They often go bankrupt. Is this a proof of how well the system works.

Let's cut to the chase
I mean, you can't get more dishonest than this:

> I don't know of a single employer plan that allows for the company to deny insurance for pre-existing conditions.

Can you find a single non-employer plan for unaffiliated individuals that doesn't allow denial for pre-existing conditions?

Sure, if you're working for a big company, you're covered. If you're self employed, or between jobs and your COBRA has run out --

you're the expert. Tell us what your alternative are.

You mean, tell people with heriditary diseases to find healthier parents??
Pretty much. Yes. Forcing insurance companies to insure the uninsurable simply means less innovators enter the business. They don't because there's less profit.

Instead, if we put a price on the health of the chronically sick we would enable insurance firms to insure the most difficult candidates profitably. That in itself would attract more competition in such a way that a greater number of firms would compete for those who are ill more often.

And while heredity is a very certain factor in health, it's not the only one. Some hereditary health risks would prove not risky at all, while some would live up to the presumed risk. They would balance each other out.

Lastly, if insurance companies were able to seek profits free of most regulation, they might be more willing to make provisions for the sickly if nothing else for good PR. Cliched as it sounds, they could do well by doing good.

The bogus 40+ million uninsured number
Godwin's Law should be amended that a person also automatically loses the argument if they wave the bogus number around as as equally when the make a reference to Hitler.

Specifically, when you break down the numbers a different truth than the myths folks like Lemuel like to push on you thus come to light:

Of that number, according the the number's source - the US Census Bureau -- 18 million (40% of the total uninsured in America) are people between the ages of 18 and 34 who spend more for entertainment than than they do for health care. If they get into real medical trouble, there are plenty of clinics and even hospitals that HAVE to take them in, so why bother paying for health insurance? Just because these folks don't place too high a priority on buying health insurance, its a 'crisis' for the rest of us? As a group, they don't fall into being uninsurable as Lemuel keeps demogoguing.


Of that number, 20% or 9.5 million aren't even US citizens. And before Lemuel barks that is 'inhumane' to not count them, I recommend he tries getting treatment in Europe after they find out he's not a rate-payer over there, too. Buddy of mine who broke his leg in Austria while skiing found out they weren't even going to set his leg until the ponied up his credit cards. He saw the billing clerk before he even saw a doctor.


33% of those uninsured are eligible for government programs but are not enrolled. 25% of eligible children are not enrolled. These people should definitely not be counted as they CAN be insured.

Source: http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2007/07/uninsured-making-diagnosis.html

So, lets do some Old Math (not Lemuel math):If we just deduct the uninsured aliens (20%) and those who can get enrolled into care but just aren't (33%), that's 53% of that 40+ million gone with the wind. But, it is probably less than that since I'm willing to bet that many of those uninsured aliens ARE also eligible for government programs. At least their children are.
But the other group -- the 40% of young whipper-snappers who just don't want to grow up -- takes a big chunk out of the total figure no matter what. As for using the blunt instrument of social-engineering by the State to 'fix' that problem, it can be easily done so by simply mandating required individual health insurance coverage just as we do for our drivers. Or, we ignore them. But the rest of us shouldn't -- and do not have to -- suffer being put into some ClintonCare program for them or paying more for them.

Basically what all this means is: Even if those reading this have different feelings with regards to the various sub-categories of 'uninsured' described in the above, it can't be argued that the monolithic "40+ million" means that there are that many bleeding out on the front streets of the bankruptcy courthouse because they lack medical care do to the harshness of the American system of medical insurance.



Another Point...
I have also read that a pretty large percentage of the uninsured number is due to people between jobs (did not take the COBRA) or other events where someone would be uninsured for a few weeks or a few months.

I just experienced this earlier this year when I changed jobs. The insurance offered at the new place did not kick in until I was there 3 months. Did that count me in the 40 million? From what I have read it did.

I said...
provide the numbers of those uninsured because of pre-existing conditions or hereditary disease.

You say it is "proof of how well the system works." yet you can't seem to provide any proof at all.

The chase being...
that you have no proof, evidence, or statistics that this is a widespread problem.

The alternative would be to do some research instead of relying on unfocused, emotional conjecture.

Awesome!
Excellent post. An excellent counterpoint to LeMule's impassioned defense of the little kids insurers love to see die painful deaths.

But alas, LeMule will not be moved by mere reality. Thank you anyway for the post.

I know people who can't afford insurance
Most fall within the 8-14 dollar an hour income range, many have children and almost all of them make too much money to afford assistance and too little money to pay $3-400 a month for health insurance.

Yes, I suppose they've made some bad decisions managers and assistant managers working at small stores don't make enough money to afford children, especially if thier not married and just because they grew up here doesn't mean they shouldn't have left while they were still young and unencumbered. Now struggling to work, go to college and take care of thier families I suppose they should be willing to sacrifice transportation, food or shelter to insure they can get medical care when needed... that or stop going to college and get a second job.

We are clearly a nation of jackasses.



too many assumptions for an real accuracy
It isn't realistic to say that, just because a person is in that 18-34 demographic they can afford insurance but don't. Also the number is 40% of people in that demographic, not that they make up 40% of the uninsured. (I don't know if that makes the overall percentage better or worse, but there it is anyway)

The fact is that many of these are either in school or just starting to get into the workplace. Health Insurance expenses for them is a tough proposition; especially if it is not offered by the company. By 30 most are married and have children; and health insurance. Therefore that demographic is a bit large and the numbers would be more in line if it was divided into 18-26 and 27-34. I bet you find over 60% uninsured in the 18-26 group and less than 30% in the 27-34.

To hell with the illegal aliens, I don't even want to put them in the statistical evaluation. That leaves about 31 million uninsured as a starting number.

As to the 33 percent eligible for programs but aren't enrolled (and 24% of kids), I question how many of them are actually uninsured. I can say with relative certainty that there are two seperate sets at work here. One is uninsured and the second is those who are eligible for government programs but aren't enrolled. Many working poor (by government standards) do receive and get insurance through their employer and thus are not eligible. It is an old catch in the system. They count you as "eligible" because you meet the income guidelines, but you can't receive the benefits because you have insurance through your employer. They will not enroll you if you have insurance through your employer.

The reason the number of children is smaller is because Children's programs allow enrollment even if you have employer based insurance. The logic is that it can be expensive to enroll family members on many of these programs and these families don't have the income to afford it.

You are right, the monolithic 40 million does not mean that there are that many bleeding on the street. It is an overstated claim, but it is not as overstated as you make it seem. The number who are uninsured and can't get (or can't afford) insurance is probably half of that.

To me, refuting one overblown claim with another is just heaping stupidity on top non-sense.

In there real world a lot of employers don't provide insurance. Many of those who do provide it do so at a reasonable price for the employee, but at significant cost for the employee's dependants. I know of many a two-job family where one party works just to provide insurance and daycare expenses. It actually amazes me to listen to people on this site quip about health insurance as if it is a nothing expense that every employer provides. This is simply not the case. I have worked for companies with excellent (and relatively inexpensive) health insurance plans that cover the whole family and didn't break the budget. I've had company insurance that was very cheap for me, but so expensive to add my wife and kids that I could not afford it. I've worked for companies that did not provide health insurance at all.

When I was younger I always took the health insurance if the company had it, and went without when they didn't. As I got older and had a family I took whatever insurance I could afford for my family (often just a catestrophic policy I got on my own). But that was me. Some people see the cost as too high for what they view as no coverage at all.

Pay now or pay later. Here's the 2005 number, not from the census
http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/05/uninsured-cps/index.htm

And this indicates your total non-understanding of the problem:

>If they get into real medical trouble, there are plenty of clinics and even hospitals that HAVE to take them in, so why bother paying for health insurance? Just because these folks don't place too high a priority on buying health insurance, its a 'crisis' for the rest of us?

When they show up at emegency rooms that HAVE to take them, who do you think winds up paying for the emergency treatment? If you answered, 'you and me, the taxpayers," you are correct. So the problem is, do you want to have these people participate in a program where they will be themselves paying (as much as they can) and will receive preventive care, which costs much less, or do you want to go on paying for them, hand over fist, when they show up at the ER? Or is the idea that you just let them die??

Maybe the Easter Bunny will start writing health insurance
I mean, that's the bottom line of what you say, Writing health insurance on bad risks goes against basic economics: companies cant make money on it, and know they can't.

>nd while heredity is a very certain factor in health, it's not the only one. Some hereditary health risks would prove not risky at all, while some would live up to the presumed risk.

tell this to someone with sick kids denied health insurance.

Instead of dealing with this fact, you wish it out of existence, saying that insurance companies who now spend billions of dollars per year denying claims will spend multiple billions in charity for people they deny.

>Lastly, if insurance companies were able to seek profits free of most regulation, they might be more willing to make provisions for the sickly if nothing else for good PR.

What regulation are you talking about??? They are now free to reject people with pre-existing conditions, and do.

You provide 'em, loudmouth
And you say how many is acceptable. You don't and can't say this category doesn't exist. How many uninsurablle children are ok in your book? If they were yours, would that be fine?

So it's no big deal if you get sick between jobs?
Great. Tell that to people it happens to.

Not Understanding
Is being identified as the poster formerly called "Eric", and considering it "namecalling".

Best Post On Subject
Health 'insurance' today is basically a pooled savings account to pay for routine care.

Which is why its working. For people who understand that "insurable events" are possibilities of loss that are significant in cost, occur by chance, are outside the control of the insured, are the result of events that are definitely determinable as to time,place and occurrence, involve only the possibility of loss or no loss-its clear that "health insurance" violates several of these conditions.

The left's answer to healthcare is akin to looking at the Titanic's sinking and lamenting that has a government agency been at the helm instead of Captain Smith, then everything would've been OK, in spite of the fact that the ship had faulty steel.



Correction.
Which is why its NOT working. Oh well.

tell this to someone with sick kids denied health insurance
Hey, *I* have no problem telling this to "sick kids".

It's all about the emotional thing, and not about what's practical, right?

My sister's mother-in-law was hospitalized, under medicare, for a cut on her leg. She was a diabetic, and the cut wouldn't heal. 46 days and over a million dollars later (my sister knew one of the hospital administrators) she was discharged. She died three weeks later.

Yeah, a million+ dollars for a little old lady with a cut on her leg, one who never held a job other than the ten years she spent as a minimum wage school cafeteria lady. That's money well-spent. Public money. We could have sent ten bright young kids to medical school with that kind of scratch.

So yeah, I want people with diabetes and other pre-existing conditions to suffer financially for their genetic defect, so I don't have to. It's not my problem. Why should my medical expenses go up because they're inherently unhealthy? Why should I be taxed to death so medicare can spend exorbitant amounts of MY money on a little old lady, so she can die three weeks later?

And guess what? My sister has two children, who are genetically predisposed to being diabetics. Their father has already been diagnosed.

So much for your appeal to emotion, Lemuel; as I'd have no problem telling my own niece & nephew to go find themselves some better genes, if it also meant I got to stop subsidizing all the other genetic misfits, especially the ones in the country illegally.

I registered for this site just to hold myself up as the kind of guy you'd love to showcase as a villain of capitalism.

Health care is a commodity like any other. Supply and demand. Charge less for it than people are willing to pay, and you get shortages. Countries with socialized medicine deal with those shortages by rationing. That is, some bureaucrat gets to decide how much service is paid for by the "free" health care they have.

In the US, a little old lady with a cut on her leg gets unlimited medicare. No wonder health care costs are so high.

I advocate rationing health care by the most old-fashioned, tried & true method on the planet: He who pays, gets it. Like life insurance, if you start paying in when you're young (when risks are low), it gets cheaper when you get older. And if you have diabetes, best earn your money while you're young, and it's probably not a good idea to have children.

It's called capitalism. It's the American way. And it worked really well until LBJ got ahold of the reins.

The best part of my way? It's perhaps the only system that encourages people with genetic defects not to have children.

Like the Calcium Cartel
Subsidies foster inefficiency.

Medical procedures that are not covered by 'insurance' are becoming cheaper and better.

What incentive does any doctor or medical facility have to reduce costs and improve efficiency?

So you have nothing to say on topic, but feel compelled to jump in to namecall
the usual noise from the usual source

You really don't get it. You're paying anyway, and paying more,
To take your example:

>Yeah, a million+ dollars for a little old lady with a cut on her leg, one who never held a job other than the ten years she spent as a minimum wage school cafeteria lady. That's money well-spent. Public money. We could have sent ten bright young kids to medical school with that kind of scratch.

And it was tax money. But if she had been insured, she'd likely a) still be alive, and b) she would have gotten preventive care at a tiny fraction of the bill.

The system now is the emergency room is the backup, taxpayer paid, for people without unsurance. It's the worst possible way to do do it: most expensive, least effective.

Your response may be, what the hell, cut off the ER stuff and if they don't have money, let 'em die. I encourage you to take that to the voters & see what they think.

The chase being uninsurability is real, and a real problem
here's a small business site. Call them & tell them they've got it wrong

Why do so many workers go without insurance? Several reasons ring true with today’s uninsured worker. One is cost. Grab your most recent W-2 for a moment and look at the benefits entry for health insurance. Depending on the size of your family, a meager number is to the right of that entry. If you head out on your own, get ready for sticker shock. In the early to mid 1990s, competition in the health insurance arena kept prices low. Then in the late 1990s, prices skyrocketed. As recently as 1997, our family of five had been paying around $300 a month for full coverage under a PPO (preferred provider organization – a open-plan and health maintenance organization hybrid) that allowed full access to a thick book of doctors. Then, as our carrier saw competition winnowing off, our prices began to rise. Today, we’re paying almost $600 a month. It’s enough to make you sick.

"Coverage deficits are common among small and home businesses. Some 56%, or more than 300,000 members, of the National Federation of Independent Business lack employer-sponsored insurance coverage. (www.nfibonline.com).

Why do so many workers go without insurance...

Another reason is uninsurability. When an employee leaves an employee, they often have a grace period before the policy terminates and they are forced to find new coverage. Some people with chronic conditions have lost their coverage or let it lapse. In many instances, once coverage has lapsed or ceased, private insurance carriers are under no obligation to offer coverage to those uninsured.

http://www.smallbusinessadvocate.com/cgi-bin/articlesbybtsub.cgi?art=979

NOBODY CALLED YOU ANYTHING BUT "ERIC"
Why can't you respond to what's written, rather than what must be paranoid delusions?

Why does medical care cost so much?
Why are medical facilities so inefficient at tracking and controlling costs?

Why can't I have ALL my medical records on a CD ROM?

Nearly every industry in the world has adopted computer records and tracking. What has taken the medical 'profession' so long?

Does competition have anything to do with it?

Liberals keep crying about insurance. Why don't they address the issue of why the costs are so high?

CVS and Wal Mart are opening clinics in their stores reducing the cash price of seeing a doctor.

Mobile ultra-sound scanners travel about offering screenings for $200.

If medical customers have the incentive and the knowledge, medical costs will fall.

But maybe that's what the medical industry wants, little competition?

Is "Eric" is not a synonym ofr "discussion of health insurance issues"
If not, if you have something to say about health insurance issue, please by all means tell us what the something is. If you want to talk about Eric, why not wait until that's a topic?

How About You?
YOU changed Mark to "Markthesimple", and then accused him of name calling. You want people to take you seriously, grow up, seek counseling,try to stay on topic and offer something more than your same old tedious and tired left-wing shibboleths.

Make no mistake
Third party payment systems, initially rejected by medical societies were quickly discovered to be effective at protecting the economic interests of practioners.initially, it was a dream. Income flows were guaranteed through insurance premiums and physicians were freed from the vulgarities of collecting on accounts. Unfortunately, the pervasiveness of insurance eroded the normal market disciplines. The creation of medicare and medicaid started an explosion in costs. In part the desire of income is a result of the need to justify a medical school education, and the foregone income and the need to make payments to insurers to defend against lawsuits.

There many constituencies that rely on a seperation between payor and consumer.

The point is.......
COBRA is always offered. Some choose not to take it.

They tend to portray the uninsured as downtrodden, put upon etc. The fact is that many in the number have made a thoughtful conscience decision about what they want to do.

It may be risky to go bare between jobs. But does not the decision lie with the individual?

I'm fine,thanks, and ready to discuss heatlh insurance
Mark isn't and never has been. Neither are you.

The reality is
COBRA runs out.
The portaryals of the uninsure aren't the issue, unless you can show they are in accurate. Sure. some of them didn't make good deicsions But some didn't have any choice. You're ignorinang the probem.

>It may be risky to go bare between jobs. But does not the decision lie with the individual?

If the individual is uninsurale, they don't have a choice. Sorry to burst your bubble. That's the case.

Answer: INSURANCE
" This study is an analysis of the causes of the increase in health care costs. The major culprit in the seemingly endless rise in health care costs is found to be the removal of the patient as a major participant in the financial and medical choices that are currently being made by others in the name of the patient.

The increasing share of medical bills paid by third-party payers (insurance companies and governments) and the disastrous consequences are documented. Patients overuse medical resources since those resources appear to be free or almost free. Producers of medical equipment create new and more expensive devices, even if they are of only marginal benefit, since third-party payers create a guaranteed market. Attempts to rein in those costs have led to a blizzard of paperwork but proven ineffective in controlling costs. "

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa211.html

June 1994

paranoia is thinking that other people do things from evil motives
like when they attempt to give people breaks for living a healthy lifestyle, they are really trying to kill people for being sick.

That's paranoia, and that defines your mode of thinking.

I see...
you have no real evidence or facts. Just raw emotion and strawmen. You are a triumph of liberal propaganda.

Responsibility... again...
If you own your own business you have the ability to buy your own policy. If you don't that is your choice and your responsibility. If $600 a month is going to bury your small "business" then you need to reconsider if you are truly able to handle running a small business.

As for your source, you obviously know that this group, National Federation of Independent Business, is a lobbying organization that wishes to offset the costs of healthcare for employees of small businesses onto the shoulders of government (i.e. the taxpayers).

And as for your last source, if you continue reading you will find several excellent tips on how to secure your coverage as well as several tips on how to show around for it. The author intends to make it sound like a trial to find good coverage at a decent price but I don't understand why you wouldn't do it. Is the ease of shopping around another God-given right?

Lastly, I never said that the uninsured don't exist. I said that the market forces, if government regulations are removed or at least cut back, have a better chance of providing healthcare solutions to the uninsured than any government program.

Hell, one of your own sources showed that a great many of the uninsured who qualify for government-sponsored healthcare don't take advantage of it. It just goes to show that some of those who are qualified to be listed as uninsured remain that way by choice (as is pointed out to you above).

So keep it going LeMule, you have yet to show that the government can manage your healthcare choices better than the markets and individual citizens.

Eric is an excellent topic!
Your dishonesty, as portrayed by attempts to conceal your identity by posting as other people, is something that should be taken into account when reading a post by Eric, LeMule, Gullible, Fortunato, or Beatles1.

A person who uses such sock-puppetry obviously does not have the ability to stand by what they say. And considering what these personalities have said that is quite understandable.

It is easy to see why LeMule hates it when the name "Eric" is used: it reminds him of his lack of character.

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