Monday, November 30, 2009


Health care would be much more affordable if the plans featured high deductibles. Routine medical visits, medications, and procedures should be covered with a high deductible plan. Thanks to my friend Bloviating Zeppelin for that insight. Point well taken. Couple that with an HSA that is set up by employees and you have a combination that will lower medical plan costs considerably.

There probably should be a cap on the amount in the HSA to protect the employees paycheck. Once the HSA is exhausted the plan kicks in. If the HSA isn't exhausted it should roll over to the next year. The businesses and government agencies that are burdened with providing health care are collapsing under the burden. Some of these fixes are in my estimation common sense.

As for Medicare, the funding is drying up and it is on track to be bankrupt. The government is incapable of running anything without bankrupting it. How about finding that $500 million in fraud the Dems say is there, but have done nothing to find until it now is magically going to be used to fund their health care plan? My experience is that if someone is willing to admit to something, it is really a lot worse than the person admits. If they are hawking $500 million, I'll bet it's half again higher than that. Medicare is a swamp that needs to be drained. Common sense reform will go a long way toward making health care more affordable for everyone. Medicaid? Oh well.

What's next. How about cleaning up the IRS quagmire with a Fair Tax?


TAO said...

HSA's are wonderful, they give employees more control over their healthcare expenditures BUT they in no way lower the cost of healthcare because all you are doing is tranferring the payment responsibility from the health insurance to the individual.

People with HSA's also go to the doctor less, because they are paying for the visit and studies show that less visits means eventual higher costs because of the time lost between initial diagnosis and treatment.

The fraud in medicare is costing us more than 500 million a year, alot more. So, how does one combat fraud?

Especially in a society where getting ahead is more highly valued than doing the right thing?

TAO said...


I just got caught up on the comments from your first healthcare post...

In 1989 we offered our employees BC/BS and in 1990 we went self funded and developed our own health insurance plan.

In 2002 I made the biggest mistake of my business career (outside of starting a business) I decided to get out of the self insurance business because it seemed that we were spending more time running our plan than we were running our business. IN 2002 OUR HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS PER EMPLOYEE WERE STILL CHEAPER THAN THEY WERE IN 1989 WITH BC/BS.

So for a couple of years we were with AETNA then I switched to HSA as soon as they were offered.

Now, we pay the FULL cost of the high deductiable insurance IF our employees deduct funds from their paychecks to fund the HSA. We also started every employee with a balance in their HSA that was determined by years of service.

We produce a newsletter giving health tips and tips on healthy living and I have someone on my staff to fights healthcare providers over billing issues that my employees have.


Healthcare providers see a checkbook or a credit card and all of the sudden a doctor visit that was $86 dollars with insurance is now $116....then they want more tests and more visits...

So, now I am forced to work out a deal with a local clinc/hospital to provide a complete once a year physical for all my employees with insurance: I want it defined, I want specifics and I want fixed pricing and most importantly I want it to run efficiently without any issues...

While I do love the HSA and the control it gives the individual IT does cost employees more because of our tax codes, and it is not well received in the healthcare world...

If I knew then what I know now I would have stayed self funded...

I am going to punch the next healthcare professional who lectures me on the economics of healthcare....doctors may know medicine but they are idiots when it comes to capitalism.

As far as tort reform goes, if it does save us that magic number of 2 to 3% that lowers healthcare costs to what 15 to 16% of GDP? That still makes us the highest in the world...

Why not also check into the student loan default rate of doctors! There is a few billion there that we could use to fund healthcare reform because doctors default on their government student loans at a higher rate than any other professional group!

I always tell my doctor to pay back his student loan everytime he gripes about how hard he works for what little he gets paid....and I told him that if he quit taking Wednesday off to play golf and work a full week he might see an increase in his income...

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Thanks LOT. In my opinion I should be paying more for my doctor visits and meds. I'd want to save my money for more catastrophic events. And fraud? We need to be ALL OVER the fraud in the healthcare industry!


Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for the visit. I agree that HSAs are really the up and coming way to deal with health care. As for getting more time from lost time from diagnosis to treatment, how about not having coverage at all if you are old? That's a trade off to you isn't it?

As for fraud how about easing the paperwork and make it easier for the doctor to treat the patient? How about trusting the doctor to lay out the course of treatment? How about making treatment between the doctor and patient just like in the house call days?

I don't know, but I think that the tax code is at the root of the problem. Hence I want a Fair Tax plan. The tax system is out of whack. When did it become a good policy to engage taxes in health care? Income tax, health care. The connection is what?

We could easily take care of a lot of this mess if we said that people who work and produce get benefits. Those who don't have a specified period of time to become producers or they are cut loose. Fend for yourself. Just like in the old days.

I know this is the manifestation of a right wing whack, but I'm sorry, but I don't recognize the need for health care as an inalienable right. No one has the right to health care, a job, a home or whatever else they choose to list. The second bill of rights is bogus.

Sue said...

why are you apologizing for the 60's?? It was a fabulous time to be a free-spirit, a hippie. I want to go back to the 60's/70's very badly!

sorry off topic, just replying to your comment at Truths and thought I would come by to look at your profile!

Ducky's here said...

Can we have common inexpensive high deductible policies and maintain insurance company profits?