Why Congress Should Say “NO!” To The Health-Care Reform Bill As It Is.

Discussion in 'Congress' started by AVG-JOE, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. AVG-JOE

    AVG-JOE American Mutt Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
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    Your Imagination
    For the past few weeks I’ve been touting the virtues of Social Security and the concept of a public bureaucracy over a private bureaucracy for the purpose of tracking the health-care premiums from and the payments made on behalf of the average Joe here in America. I stand by my posts. Social Security is amazingly efficiently run at less than 1% of income spent on overhead, including wages. I have been studying Social Security for a while now and I still think it is great… not perfect, definitely in need of attention by responsible representatives (if any can be found), but pretty great in concept and execution.

    The reason Social Security works? It was created in 1935, at a time when the insurance lobby had much less influence over our leaders. It is a pooling of funds by American workers, which is administered by a public bureaucracy, managed by middle-class bureaucrats with no executive class and no sales costs. It is the closest thing to pure ‘insurance’ for the common man that Western Civilization has ever produced.

    ‘Insurance’ is, by definition, a pooling of funds by a group of people to cover losses by individuals within the group as those losses randomly occur over time, paying dividends to the participants if premiums exceed losses. Kind of like a group savings account. This is how car insurance works – imagine what the premiums would have to be if everyone could buy insurance on the day they have a wreck. Might as well have everyone pay as they go.

    The only way to make insurance cost effective for the group is to make everyone participate all along. Social Security works because 96% of American workers participate in the system their entire working lives and draw benefits when they become old or disabled and eligible. For workers who retire, it is a forced savings plan; for workers who become disabled, it is an awesome insurance plan.

    The reason you should contact your representatives as soon as possible and tell them to shove the current health-care reform straight up the collective ass of the insurance lobby is that it is patterned after Medicare, not Social Security.

    Medicare is a congressional failure for the taxpayer because of two things that the insurance lobby was able to persuade congress to do. Thing one was done at the conception of Medicare back in 1965, which was to give the cream of the premium payers, young, healthy workers, to private insurance companies, while giving Medicare the responsibility of insuring everyone after they turn 65. This is why the taxpayers have to cover 75% of the payments that Medicare lays out to hospitals and doctors, in spite of the $96.40 per month premiums that retired participants pay for Part B and the payroll tax that workers pay for Part A. In theory, the payroll tax conveys the spirit of ‘insurance’ by collecting from participants when they are best able to pay, knowing that when they are old the ‘savings’ will need to be there, but at 1.45% it is a complete joke, it may as well be 0.

    For health insurance in America to work, we need to scrap Medicare and force the private insurance companies insure us from the time we are young, healthy and paying into the system, while filing little in the way of claims, all the way through our retirement years and our frail years, right up until we die. The alternative is to make all workers pay into a public system from the time they are young until the time that they die. Either will work far better than what we have and far better than what the insurance lobby has written for us this year.

    The second failure of congress regarding Medicare is the contracting out to private insurance companies the operation of the Medicare bureaucracy. Basically what we are doing is charging retirees premiums appropriate for the risk of health insuring such a fragile group, with the taxpayer covering the spread, because many cannot afford those premiums. To add insult to injury, we are allowing the private insurance companies to profit handsomely from simply administering the program for us instead of hiring public bureaucrats at middle class wages to handle that paperwork. We need to make it private, with forced coverage from cradle to grave or public, with forced coverage from cradle to grave. Making it a bastard hybrid of public and private makes it complicated, expensive and of benefit to only one segment of the economy – private insurance companies.

    The best example of this hybrid cluster-fuck is Part D, the prescription drug program.

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  2. Political Junky

    Political Junky Gold Member

    May 27, 2009
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    Medicare Part D is a disaster for sure. I think a change is in the works for that ... hopefully it works out.

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