Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Barack Obama Health Insurance change for me (probably)

According to Barack Obama's Health Care Plan, I wouldn't have to see any change. if I have insurance through my employer, I don't have to do anything. Like the good politician that Sen. Obama is, he still throoughs in a goodie, somehow I am supposed to save about $2500 a year (that is a savings of 37% on my current premiums). I assume that about half of that savings would actually go to my employer, not to me. Sen. Obama doesn't mention that.

No tax increases except letting the Bush tsx cuts expire on the households making $250000 or more. Which ain't very many, 2,245,000 according to the March 2007 CPS. That is out of over 116,000,000 households.

So, Sen Obama's plan is to cover the uninsured, shore up insurance by setting government competition, working the anti-trust laws, and so on and so on and so on. Very complicated. I'm sure he means well, but by the time this is legislated, some will not be done and it all depends on the whole working. So, we could end up with the very expensive Medicare part D, drug card....yeah, good idea, except no savings.

I don't care for either plan. Sen. Obama's is going to cost more, no question. And if he is successful, he will reduce the profits in the very profitable insurance industry. But costs are high due to incredible overhead. Little is said about that except medical IT. That will save money in nursing homes, but that isn't covered by anything but Medicaid anyway.

So, we have a big contrast. McCain would just push everyone into the private insurance market...people with jobs who don't qualify for government insurance, Medicaid, SCHIP, are going to end up hurt, I think with McCain's plan. And the insurance companies will just cherry pick, just like they do with Medicare patients. I saw that first hand with my mom and dad. Sen Obama's plan says it won't allow that...more regulation in an already pretty regulated industry.

I think we should decouple health insurance from one's job. I think it would be very good for the economy and would provide some flexibility for large firms. But, we have a very expensive health care system, it is irrational, due to the the remarkable costs of medical technology (do we reallly needs better than a half dozen MRI machines in my town of 50,000?), Medical competition doesn't drive costs down, paradoxically it drives costs up!

While Sen McCain's plan is not good for me personally, it is more radical. It will chnage things, but lots o risk. No risk for the rich, the poor will be the one's to bear the worst of that. Why should we be surprised at that?

Sen Obama's plan, is more modest, more focused, more bureaucratic, and legilsatively more risky to deliver the goods. And likely more costly to the taxpayers, (mcCain's is more likely to be more costly to those who must buy individual health insurance...and the little gift to the healh insurers with that HSA).

We need a single payer system. Even the doctor's agree (I've blogged about that before). America is ready for it. Put everyone on Medicare/Medicaid and let the helath insurance companies become contractors. Decouple health care from employment, and folks will probably end up with a bit more income, and tax it, tax it big to help pay for the monster. I;d personally make it bear bones...encourage HSA and very targetted private insurance.

But I'm not a politician. I just want a system that works for regular folks like me. I don;t mind paying more if it works and is stable.

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