Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Let's draw lots to see who gets to make the first cut, okay?

HOW WE SHOULD HAVE FIXED our MEDICAL CARE SYSTEM

1. ALL medical expenses should have been made TAX-DEDUCTIBLE –– PERIOD!

2. ALL HEALTH INSURANCE POLICIES should have been made PORTABLE from state to state and job to job, and should not lapse because of unemployment.

3. ALL policies should be written for MAJOR MEDICAL EXPENSES ONLY with a 5 to 10 thousand dollar deductible. (Anyone who can't afford to pay 5K toward his own medical care probably doesn't deserve to live anyway.  

4. Doctors and Hospitals should be REQUIRED by LAW to accept regular MONTHLY PAYMENTS without INTEREST, however small, from patients unable to pay their deductible expenses.

5. ONLY the absolutely DESTITUTE (i.e. mentally and physically incompetent people living in the street with no hope of becoming gainfully employed), should receive ANY government assistance whatsoever.

6. Our DISABLED VETERANS should have ALL the very BEST CARE AVAILABLE provided FREE of CHARGE, and they and their minor children be given decent housing, and a TAX-FREE status for the rest of their lives


7. VICTIMS of VIOLENT CRIMES [these should not include "Date Rape" or "Statutory Rape" or the so-called mental suffering from the long-term after-effects of Child Abuse, Racial Slurs and Name-calling, etc.] should receive MONETARY COMPENSATION for their losses, and whatever treatment they may require FREE of CHARGE, and be granted TAX-FREE status for the rest of THEIR LIVES.


8. Strict and severe limitations should have been placed in the right of anyone to SUE doctors, hospitals and laboratories for MALPRACTICE. The process has become a tremendously lucrative RACKET for unscrupulous attorneys and wily, unprincipled individuals eager to “milk” or “game” The System. The EXPENSE to the Medical Community has been RUINOUS, and has, of course, been passed on to decent, perfectly innocent “consumers” like you and me.


Let's see if we can get our heads together and try to improve on these thoughts, and then send our findings to the legislators. Please don't laugh, I beg you.

Dear God! Where are we going to find the MONEY?

32 comments:

  1. Right now, I have a policy with an out-of-pocket maximum of $5000 per year with a $2500 deductible (then 70/30).

    I have an affordable premium, albeit with no pharmacy coverage.

    When Mr. AOW and I first got married, however, that $5000 would have been impossible. We were on our feet financially about three years later (car stolen three months after we married, and that theft set us back quite a bit).

    The $5000 figure mentioned in the body of this blog post could be one helluva burden for many families with more than one family member.

    Illnesses do not adhere to the principle of the calendar year. Thus, the deductible or out-of-pocket maximum crosses from one year into the next once the January 1 threshold is crossed.

    Otherwise, I don't dispute these proposals.

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  2. COUNT IVAN TOROTITZOFF says:

    WOW! You NAiLED it, sir. So simple. So clear. So clean. So direct. So absolutely RIGHT. BRAVO!

    This is the most CONSTRUCTIVE, highly intelligent post I've seen in years. It is PRAGMATIC, and someone on the right side has needed to say it for YEARS, and FAILED miserably.

    As an aged White Russian exile, a former Russian aristocrat who managed to survive the Revolution of 1917, I know what I am talking about, and see that you do to. Thank you. It gives me a little bit of hope.

    The conservatives are so incredibly clumsy and stupid, they have fallen into the trap of letting themselves go wildly ANTI-OBAMA, ANTI-MUSLIM, ANTI-IMMIGRANT, just ANTI, ANTI, ANTI just about EVERYTHING. A totally NEGATIVE approach.

    In so doing they have FAILED to support, protect and defend the principles favoring LIBERTY as the highest virtue. Those principles made the United States of America the greatest nation the world has ever known, "The Envy of the World," for a few glorious years till the "Progressives" horned in and began the nannying and bullying that soon got taken over by rich womanish busybodies, and then distorted by subversive Jewish intellectuals -- the same thing that happened to my country.

    When people reach the point where all they can think of to do is mock and deride everything in sight, they have already started to disintegrate. This process of constant complaint and endless defamation is tantamount to throwing oneself on the funeral pyre of the body of logic, reason, order and all that gives hope for improvement, thus casting oneself on the ash heap of history.

    I hope people will listen to you, sir, but Alas! they are so in love with their hatred and bitterness they seem incapable of harboring any constructive thoughts, making any constructive use of the bungling ineptitude of the very people they need to march against.


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  3. Sorry, but I have no sympathy for special "classes" of people veterans/ crime victims.

    All you do by creating these classes is to create fraud loopholes.

    Yes, we need to assist WOUNDED soldiers. But lifetime medical benefits for unrelated injuries should be off the table.

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  4. FT,

    BRAVO ZULU and I'll bet it wouldn't take, a reported, 22,700 pages of incomprehensible legal and regulatory gobbledygook to implement.

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  5. My Goodness! Thank you for your extravagant praise, Count Torotitzoff. I don't know -- at least i don't THINK I do -- but I hope you will visit us again.

    Not criticisms at all?

    I'm sure there are many holes in the arguments given human nature's eagerness to misinterpret, but I think the plan -- even as stated -- would make a healthy start towards PROPER reform.

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  6. Hi, Speedy,

    I see your point. Well do I know that merely being a victim of violent crime -- or even a VFW -- doesn't automatically confer sainthood on anyone.

    You are probably right, but because of my Christian Identity, I insist on erring on the side of Mercy and Kindness. Maybe I'm a sap, but I honestly believe in being "a fool for Christ" whenever any doubts arise about some poor soul in desperate need .

    You can sure, however, that I don't like fraud anymore than you do, and I agree that the whole Welfare State- Entitlement Maze positively DEMANDS fraudulent activity. It has made our country a virtual MAN-MADE-DISASTER AREA. ;-)

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  7. Jon,

    Thanks for your kind words. Much appreciated.

    Not sure this thing could be kept simple and straightforward, however much we'd like it. The following anecdote gives one of millions of reasons why.

    FYI: I am just in the process of updating my will, and YIKES! Ye GOds and Little Fishes! I wrote it, myself, very carefully, and thought I had spelled everything out in adequate detail.

    NO SUCH THING! My last Living Will consisted of one paragraph. Thanks to the ever-greater encroachments of The State the new one runs to five whole PAGES of legalese.

    When lawyers make the laws, it ALWAYS seems to work primarily to THEIR advantage. The object, of course, is to make things SO complicated a normally intelligent person cannot POSSIBLY understand what needs o be done to satisfy "The Law."

    Yesterday I was forced to sign the POISON register at the pharmacy where I'm well known and have traded for many years, before they would hand over a medicine I've been taking for nearly TEN years!!!.

    The poor pharmacist is not to blame. HIS life has been made miserable and much more complicated by the machinations of lawyer-legislators too.

    GOVERNMENT does very very little but EFF things up BIG TIME.

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  8. "When lawyers make the laws, it ALWAYS seems to work primarily to THEIR advantage. The object, of course, is to make things SO complicated a normally intelligent person cannot POSSIBLY understand what needs o be done to satisfy "The Law."

    Yes, and to assure that there will be plenty of margin for arguments!

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  9. AOW, I appreciate your post very much, and would agree, BUT -- as I have said before, I was statistically poor for a LONG time, and ALWAYS managed to pay for the necessities of life, because I put first things FIRST.

    I've lived with huge deductibles, and as I've said many times, the hospitals and doctors ALWAYS let me pay them off a few dollars at a time as long as the payments were made REGULARLY.

    In my list of EIght "Suggestions" in the article, I did say this consideration ought to be MANDATED by LAW.

    That SHOULD take care of the problem. I didn't mean to sound as flippant as I probably did when I said "Anyone who can't come up with 5K probably doesn't deserve to live anyway." I was joking, of course, but that IS dangerous in the blogosphere where wit and humor seem to be in short supply always.

    We SHOULD remember, however, that the CATASTROPHIC illnesses -- such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, being rendered paraplegic or quadriplegic in an accident or because of brutal assault, etc. -- you know the really BIG stuff -- proper treatment in today's market for those things can run into the MILLIONS, and it for just such desperate contingencies that we should focus most of attention when it comes to reforming the system of medical care.

    After all WHOLE FAMILIES are affected adversely when major illness or catastrophe strikes any of the family members.

    To HELL with treating hangnails and sniffles at public expense. And now I'm NOT kidding.

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  10. "Anyone who can't afford to pay 5K toward his own medical care probably doesn't deserve to live anyway."

    -----
    As I decent compassionate person I think I can improve on that.

    Pretty mean spirited and selfish, FT.

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  11. I notice you get into the tort reform argument. Charles the Krautzenjammer Kid ( a real no nothing) is also big on that one.

    Couple things:

    1. Malpractice suits account for only a couple percent of medical costs.

    2. In states like Texass where verdicts have been limited, malpractice insurance premiums have not changed.
    The insurance is written by a couple companies who have a monopoly, why not be more concerned about bringing competition to the market than denying people judicial remedy?

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  12. Victims of violent crimes should be relieved of any tax liability fr life?

    That's the first I've ever heard that suggested.

    Talk about being off topic. What does it ave to do with the issue of health costs and availability of insurance?

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  13. The cost of healthcare explodes when doctors are paid per treatment. This perverse incentive should command your urgent attention, imo.

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  14. I dismiss "Unknown" as an "Antagonist" -- thoughtless heckler who doesn't bother to read ALL the comments before he posts. That is always unwise IF you're serious about trying to make a positive contribution to ANY post ANYwHERE.

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  15. Jez,

    You state your opinion as though it were an established fact. I'm not at all sure what you say is true -- at least in OUR economy.

    As a Ukite (What else should I call you since your government changed the name of Great Britain to the UK? ;-), you would naturally defend the idea of a government-run system of medical care, because it would be unpatriotic for you to do otherwise.

    Much as I love your country -- for its great beauty, rich history, magnificent architecture, great literary tradition, and the wonderful British people I've known here and met along the way when I stayed there -- I would much rather be seriously ill here in the USA -- as things stand NOW.

    After January 1, 2014 all bets are off, UNLESS by some MIRACLE we can rid ourselves of this GOD-DAMNED THING popularly called "Obamacare" before it really sinks its poisonous fangs deep into our flesh.

    I didn't want this post to degenerate into arguments AGAINST anything. Neither am I looking for pure affirmation. I had hope to discuss the merits of the ideas I presented, and possibly refine and add to them while sedulously avoiding any suggestions that the Socialist Swamp is a place into which we Americans ought to venture any farther than we already have.

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  16. The PRIMARY reason our medical costs have risen so precipitously is the imposition of MEDICARE back in the early 1960's. The government has very, very, VERY, VERY VERY deep pocket -- or so it thinks -- because it can reach into OUR POCKETS and OUR WALLETS at will, and ROB us -- almost literally at GUNPOINT -- with impunity.

    Because government involvement in ANYTHING never fails to make that thing increasingly dear and raises rates that far outpace those of inflation, it is simply a ROTTEN idea.

    The supposed "virtues" of Socialism are entirely bogus and belong in the twin realms of mythology and delusion.

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  17. Shaking my head. Let's just kill Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, assistance of any kind from the government and turn it all over to the benevolence of the wealthy and the shrinking middle class.

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  18. Hey, [Ir]Rational Nation USA, please explain this:

    http://www.usadebtclock.com/


    You seem to be very clueless.

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  19. The cluelessness is all yours JonBerg.

    Paradigms of a lifetime are difficult to break out of. Thinking outside the box(es) created for us by the masters who remain veiled behind the curtains can be a scary thing. It is easier to accept the already known than to venture into unknown territory. Even when the known has multiple issues.

    Spend billions upon billions in foreign aid (socialism abroad), the MIC and machinations of war, corporate welfare in the form of subsidies (socialism for business), borrow like drunken sailors from foreign banks to finance the profligate spending (GWB), and continue to cut taxes... etc. AND I'M THE ONE who is clueless?

    You want to talk true capitalism, rational self interest, how to really strengthen the nation fine I'm in. But if all you wish to do is spin your wheels, stay with the preferred talking points of the republicans, tea party, or democratic party then there is little to talk about.

    I suspect FT understands what I'm saying.

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  20. Imo stands for "in my opinion", so I think my opinion above is adequately labelled.
    GB and UK refer to subtly different land areas. Find out what each one means and use whichever term fits your needs, or just use your favourite sounding one if you like. Neither has dropped out of common usage.

    I think a medicare which didn't incentivise drs to overtreat would have failed less.

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  21. FT,
    My point was this...

    The vast majority of people can prepare to pay the $5000 deductible you mentioned. The exception is catastrophic illness that spans more than one calendar year -- particularly for more than one family member. When something like catastrophic illness strikes a person too young to have a "nest egg," financial ruin ensues for evermore. Such catastrophes are rare, but they DO occur.

    I must type in one more thing....Families need to prioritize. That is, omit some of the expensive vacations and save money for medical expenses. Paying one's medical bills should trump going to Disney World!

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  22. Jez said, "... a medicare which didn't incentivise drs to overtreat would have failed less."

    The problem there is not so much medical as it is a legal.

    As I've said elsewhere many times, in a system where laws are crafted primarily by lawyers there's bound to be a built in tendency to want to promote the home industry which in this case means creating more and more lucrative work for lawyers. THAT is the perverse incentive driving the whole stinking mess.

    We, for instance, are not permitted to require a plaintiff to pay the court costs if he loses his case. I believe that is not true in your country.

    That one simple change would help a great deal in driving down the number of frivolous, mischievous, gold-digging lawsuits that now overburden our courts. The lawyers, however, don't want to cut down their business. Win lose or draw they all make out like bandits here.

    I find that distasteful and depressing. Bu how could we hope to call the power of lawyers to account when most of the laws are generated by the legal community, itself.

    It amounts to a cartel. It's insidious, undemocratic, and contrary to the intent of our Founders, yet no one in power seems to want to do anything about it.

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  23. No one in power wants to do anything about it, FT, because it would diminish the advantages they've built into the system to suit themselves.

    The problem is that the wrong people have gotten into power, but whose fault it that?

    No one's but ours, the electorate, the majority of whom are hothouse grown ignoramuses. The hothouses being our public schools.

    As you have indicated so often, FT, indoctrination does not make a worthy substitute for a proper education.

    ------------> Katharine Heartburn

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  24. "The cluelessness is all yours JonBerg."

    Oh, is that so? I see nothing in your diatribe which addresses the UNFUNDED STATUS of those programs that [you], previously, itemized namely: "Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security". It appears to me that you just obfuscated the subject by paul parroting irrelevant, liberal, boiler plate drivel. Nice try!

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    Replies
    1. Peruse my site, I actually have written several posts on this.

      Enjoy the perusal JonBerg.

      Your boilerplate is full of holes. But keep trying. One day you'll think outside the box and for yourself.

      Delete
  25. "Malpractice suits account for only a couple percent of medical costs."

    It is the threat of being sued that raises the cost of healthcare. The cost is not necessarily a direct cost but a CYA fee, more tests.

    Only an idiot or a progressive would suggest lowering the cost of healthcare by taxing it.

    The number one reason healthcare costs so much is low deductible insurance that takes away personal responsibility.

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  26. That's right, skud, thanks for stopping by.

    You too, Katharine --long time no see. Sorry I have to cut off anonymous comments now and then. If I didn't we'd be completely overrun with SPAM and junk remarks.

    I wish you'd get yourself an official Identity, so you wouldn't be blocked. I always appreciate whatever you have to say.

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  27. "Families need to prioritize. That is, omit some of the expensive vacations and save money for medical expenses. Paying one's medical bills should trump going to Disney World!"

    Thank you for that, AOW. Exactly right, but too many Americans want to have their cake and eat it too ALL THE TIME, and get INCENSED whenever anyone suggests this is not only unwise but frankly impossible.
    _________________________

    Les and Jon, I'm glad you came and appreciate your input very much, but please try take your personal differences and mutual antagonisms outside.

    Sniping at one another serves no useful purpose in advancing the discussion, and does actual harm to the integrity of the blog. THANKS.

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  28. I received this in an email yesterday: "A Conservative Alternative to ObamaCare."

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  29. A pretty good article, AOW, but -- as is usually the case with proponents of a more conservative approach -- its tone is too tepid, and it begins with a host of negatives.

    This statement, for instance, is clear as mud:

    "The biggest Republican misconception about health care is that the system before ObamaCare was a free-market paradise. On the contrary: It has consisted chiefly of massive and inefficient entitlements that threaten to bankrupt the nation; the lopsided tax treatment of employer-provided coverage that creates incentives for waste and overspending; and an underdeveloped individual market struggling to fill the gaps."

    To what are the authors specifically referring? Medicare? Medicaid? "Entitlements" in general?

    Where could one find encouragement, hope, inspiration to act in such a statement?

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  30. MORE from the article cited by AOW:

    "Now is the time to advance a conservative reform that can solve the serious, discrete problems of the health-care system in place before ObamaCare, but without needlessly upending people’s arrangements or threatening what works in American medicine. That the Democrats are now making things worse doesn’t mean the public wants to keep that prior system, or that Republicans should."

    Is that so?

    Really?

    Well imagine that. Who'd a thunk it?

    What could the authors possibly hope to accomplish by stating something so patently OBVIOUS to anyone with a functioning brain -- and tragically OUTDATED?

    The time to have advanced a POSITIVE, COMMON SENSE, CONSERVATIVE APPROACH to the HEALTHCARE SITUATION was YEARS AGO -- long before Odammit got elected!

    The Stupid Party has been consistently outmaneuvered by The Evil Party, BECAUSE whatever The Stupid Party offers is always TOO LITTLE and TOO LATE.

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  31. Perhaps my proposal is too "simplistic," simply because it is, as Count Torotitzoff kindly said, "clear, clean," "direct," and I would add concise.

    Speedy may be right in warning against the creation of "special classes," -- others too have said the same privately when exposed to these ideas -- but again it seems obvious to my admittedly simple mind that victims of horrific catastrophic MAIMING, BLINDING, and other DEVASTATING forms of PERMANENT LOSS -- whether the result of Accident, in the Performance of Duty, by Acts of God, or Brutal Criminal Assault -- and Chronic Debilitating Diseases -- should step ahead of the line when it comes to handing out benefits.

    "The quality of mercy is not strained ..."

    "In so much as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it also unto me."

    The crying need for Charity is where I part company with "Objectivism," and always will.

    What burns my butt is the way lazy, angry, ignorant, uninjured, able bodied, slugs, who have consistenty failed to take advantage of the opportunities they have had, feel ENTITLED to a FREE RIDE at OUR expense just because they EXIST.

    It is impossible to have any meaningful discussion of LEGITIMATE Medical Care Reform without bringing in the need to CUT DRASTICALLY -- or DO AWAY WITH -- many of the Marx-inspired "entitlements" that have been crippling and threatening to bankrupt the Western World since even before the New Deal reared its ugly head in the 1930's. The primary thing that has kept us going economically since the end of WWII has been the emergence of the Welfare-Warfare State.

    I don't know how to break up the political machinery that has us in its thrall, but someone must, and the madness it generates must stop -- and QUICKLY -- or we will soon be nothing but a fast-fading memory in History's endless Parade.

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