Health Care Fix

Single payer.  I can see all the Conservatives with the tips of their ears turning red.

I hear all of you.  Free Market!  I get that but, let me put the case in front of you.

Free Market has to have willing participants, and in some cases not everybody wants to participate.

Key lobbyists include health insurance companies.  They can well afford to lobby our legislators with deep pockets.  They can also easily extend multi-million dollar salaries to their CEOs.  All of that before the business of insuring. 

The Free Market does not have willing participants.  Health insurance is an extremely profitable venture for these companies whether it is referred to as, Obama Care or, Trump Care.

In the Health Insurance free market these companies are allowed to increase their premiums, raise deductibles, and reduce coverage.

The health insurance for Americans  is now in crisis.  It is not being helped by merely repealing Obama Care, and later possibly the same repeal of Trump Care.  Neither work because, each political party will make a political football out of both of them.

Why else?  The companies profit with both plans.  They’re not caring too much as to what name is given to free market health insurance.

The health insurance industry will continue with business as usual.  They will continue their lobbying efforts in Washington.  That being the case, the public can expect few to no changes in the free market.

The best of free markets means there are willing participants, each willing to give, and get.  The companies are poised for the usual ‘get’ without giving or, appear to ‘give’ but, not really.

So, the only other answer to benefit the American people is, a very strict single payer plan.

Everybody on to a vastly improved Medicare.  Everyone would pay a basic monthly premium based on income, and/or assets.

A further caveat would be added based on total payroll deductions paid in to the fund.  The question then becomes, approximately how much will it take to run the program over the following year?  

Anticipated total payroll income, plus anticipated premiums, minus anticipated claims would determine anticipated funding necessary from Congress.  That anticipated amount would determine new premiums with review every six months.

All of those caveats would determine each person’s monthly premium.

Rather than researching seniors former payroll deductions over decades they, would just have to pay the premium taking all other caveats in to consideration.

The vast improvement makes it law that no political entity may deny funding to the plan.  Funding is untouchable, and a given.  We’re already paying for it, and the funds may not be borrowed by Congress.

Funding for the program would not be open for discussion but, rather it would take in the mathematical caveats including allowing relative function within the current economy for the insured.

While we’re at it, a no borrow clause should be extended to Social Security.

The new, and improved Medicare is governed by, Scientists, Doctors, Nurses, Public Health Advocacies, Hospital Management personnel, etc. with no interaction with any political entity.

How would this board of governors be appointed?  This is the point where I’m still trying to work that out.  How do we keep this out of the hands of legislators who will be compelled to fund it but, have no say so on how it is run?

Addendum:  Free Market – Single Payer:  All Health Insurance Companies would be required to participate or, no longer sell health insurance in the United States.

The premiums would be dictated by, the caveats above as private companies could not be trusted to enable all Americans affordable health care if left to a completely free market.

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Pep Rally In The Rose Garden

“How do you think I’m doin?  I got no experience in politics, and I’m President!”  This is what the President was asking the gathering of legislative constituents consisting of old, quite affluent white men.  

Why have a pep rally?  The House just voted thumbs up on the President’s endorsed health care bill.

They won!!!!  They got a legislative win in Congress.  It doesn’t become law.  It goes to the Senate.  Then it goes to Conference, and reconciliation.  Once the Senate votes to pass the bill in its’ newest form, it goes back to the House for a vote.   All of that approved, and the bill becomes law.

They got a runner on first.  In doing so…..a pep rally.

What was the pep rally all about then?  Trump, in his own mind hit a homerun.

That was not reality of course because, what he got was a walk to first.  That’s it.  Nobody on, and a lonely walk to first.  He was the only base runner, and the first inning is now over.

What healthcare bill?  The added notes of stupidity continue as Congressmen were asked if they read the bill.  After all, they voted for the bill.  Some rushed past reporters leaving their shoes behind.  The most ridiculous of responses after voting on a bill affecting millions of Americans were: “I just got back from baseball practice” to “That’s what I have staff for.”

Neither of those remarks were called for, no matter where you live politically.  It tells you how important it is for them to represent you.  They were mocking scrutiny.  They were daring us to respond.

With all of this, the Democrats showed no respect for the House, itself as their “Na Na, Hey Hey, Goodbye” was uncalled for at the end of the vote.  The general population will make their likes, and dislikes known at the appropriate time.

Trump: Australian Health Care Better Than USA

Many developed countries have better health care than the United States.

Donald Trump has said to his “good friend.”   “Australia has better health care than we do.”  He didn’t have a name for this “friend,” only “a friend” because Donny would have to do research to find out his “friend’s” name.

Malcolm Turnbull is the Prime Minister of Australia.  This is the personal friend Trump was describing.

If what Trump said is true, many sources will inform you that the latest polls have us outside of the top 10 developed countries for effective health care.   So, Trump’s remarks could easily be true.  

Trump’s House victory was represented by, a health bill that comes closer to mimicking the Affordable Care Act only with much tighter restrictions, taking funding from Medicaid, and accompanied by a tax cut for the very richest in American society.  I.E.  Trump, his Daughter, and Son-In-Law.

The most effective health care provided in developed countries is via a form of the single-payer system.

Trump is looking for accolades for House bill that, won’t escape the Senate in its’ current form.

If I Win The Lottery

No. Not if I win, it’s when I win the lottery.  Don’t laugh.  Why not?  Somebody has to win, sometime.

Most Republicans would caution me about a number of tax obligations, and other legalities after coming in to a lottery jackpot.  First visit is to an attorney.

No, I don’t think so.  Not everything in life requires a calculator, and a ledger sheet.

Being part of humanity, my first inclination would be, who can I share this with?

After friends, and family I’ve got a couple of favorite charities.  And I would probably start a charitable trust for people who cannot afford health insurance.

It will not even make a dent in the problem the Republicans are going to create with their new health insurance bill.  This bill has been read by, only a few voting members of Congress as the final version was only available to them as of 8pm – ET last night.

As it is at this moment, there is a provision in the bill exempting members of Congress from the pre-existing conditions provision.  Why would they do that if, this is a great health care bill for everybody else?

Most states will look at their ledgers, and opt out of pre-existing conditions pools.  

They need a legislative win so, putting politics above all, including millions excluded from insurance for one reason or, another they are expected to pass the bill without being scored by the Congressional Budget Office.

Why wouldn’t they want the CBO score?  They would rather not know, and certainly don’t want the public knowing that score.  

Do you realize once diagnosed with an illness or a long term or, lifetime condition, the insurance company can refer to this as a pre-existing condition when it’s time to re-up at the end of the policy term.

Coal miners who have lung problems will have a pre-existing condition.

Don’t be the least concerned until you develop a pre-existing condition.

The new health care bill will knock millions off their policies, and if they want health insurance, it will be impossible because their home state opted out or, the premium will be higher than rent or, a mortgage payment. 

But, most important, President Trump will have a win at the expense of millions of Americans.

At the end of the day, I hope I’m wrong about the health care bill.  I’d really like to see this as a success.

As for winning the lottery, my first thought is to share with friends, family, and favorite charities.  Don’t worry, I’ll still have plenty.

Medicare – Social Security Funding

Americans defend Capitalism with great fervor!  So will I but, our government will not participate.

There are times when the government must show their confidence in our economic standard.  

What I propose is a winner for everyone.  Not only for the Medicare, and Social Security programs but, for the workers in this country who must bear the burden of paying for these programs, and those who depend on these programs.

This would also eventually eliminate business’ liability to the programs.

By design, Social Security has some components of a Ponzi scheme.  It was ill conceived because each working generation contributes for the working class in front of them.

What they didn’t consider was the size of each of those working generations.  For it to work properly each generation of workers had to be minimally the same number of workers as the generation it is funding if not more.

This is simply not the case.  It was just over looked or, ignored.  

Once realized. Congress should have been all over the problem but, they weren’t.  Today we have less paying for more.  There are also obvious costs to administer these programs.

Two things have to occur to maintain Social Security.  Proper funding, and once attained, Congress may not have hands on with ‘borrowing’ from the fund.

At this point, the deduction from worker paychecks directly pays for the recipients of the program.  There should be no deficit but of course, like any well thought out government program, there is a deficit. 

There are less attempting to pay for the heavily populated ‘Boomer’ generation.

Social Security has to become a capitalistic enterprise.  The program must be phased in over approximately 5 years but, eventually it will become a profitable enterprise able to return all profits to users of the program. 

Do you think for one moment, insurance companies became wealthy enterprises by merely collecting monthly premiums coupled with payouts to policy holders?  No.  They are heavily vested in capitalism.

I seriously doubt that a mere premium/payout business model all on its’ own could survive.

While there are questions of government participating in capitalism for profit, my answer would also be a  question:  Why not?  It is after all the American economic standard.  

Any ‘profit’ would have to be accounted for, reducing, and eventually eliminating payroll deductions. Any further excess returned to the end user of these programs.  Why not initiate a way to reduce the tax burden, and increase coverage?

I suggest that a portion of the income to Social Security derived through payrolls everywhere should be invested in Class A, and better Bonds as well as Bond Funds. This should be phased in at the rate of 20%/yr. until 100%/yr. is invested.

The investment program should expand beyond bonds to other dividend instruments, including REITs with direct ownership of property.  

Another investment vehicle would be a mix of long, and short term Certificates of Deposit.

Dividends, and interest payable to Social Security, and/or Medicare.

Hopefully, eventually as investments are expanded,  Social Security will be self sustaining. The program is not working sufficiently as it is now with deficits, and minimal returns.

There is no reason Medicare could not initiate a similar working model.  Medicare is also in the red, and just as Social Security, offers minimal coverage. So minimal that private insurance must be solicited at catastrophic rates to Seniors to cover whatever Medicare will not cover.

Many of the prescriptions covered under private insurance are not covered, and private insurance for Medicare follows the Medicare list of prescriptions.

So, next time you see a Senior with a major cough, understand Medicare does not recognize, chronic conditions causing a cough.  Seniors with Chronic Bronchitis are on their own, and must pay for their own prescribed cough medicines at full price.

While prescriptions may cost less through mail order, I would suggest that the government programs discourage favoritism by, not eliminating the local pharmacy from the picture.

Eliminating the local pharmacy puts immediate pharmaceutical needs at bay when some local paper work is necessary.

Most of the savings given by mail order providers is given to plan providers with the end user receiving only a small portion of the savings.

As aging sets in, it becomes more important for a relationship between the patient, and a local pharmacist.

It’s time for the government to lead, and demonstrate how well capitalism works.  For everyone, including local pharmacies.  

No more competition based on networking.  

You buy an insurance supplement for Medicare, and every medical professional is included.  It is not necessary to change doctors for the sake of insurance networking. 

Without any facts at my side, I’m assuming insurance companies include networking as a money making proposition.

Everyone pays the same insurance premium for specific coverage regardless of the medical professional chosen.

Medical professionals would have to offer specific services at one prescribed price to insurance companies without facilitating network involvement.

While pricing is not standardized, three local prices are procured with an average of the three being the price insurance would pay as their portion (I.E. 80%.)  

The medical professional may elect to accept the insurance pricing or, instruct the patient of their responsibility for the remainder of the fee that particular professional does charge.

Stop! & Think About It

How many times in our lives do we have a knee-jerk reaction to a seemingly negative circumstance, and in retrospect the reaction took up too much time?  It consumed us.  

We are more concerned with a momentary ego kick because, we were right, and the circumstance was wrong.

How can a circumstance be wrong when, it does exist?  

The circumstance pops up in our lives, and we respond in such a way that keeps the circumstance alive, and well in our lives in each moment that follows.  As long as we wish to keep it there.

Here’s an example.  Medicare does not cover cough suppressants.  Knee-jerk reaction:  Go to war with Medicare.  As long as I choose to fight this circumstance head-on, that circumstance gains momentum, and I gain, anger.

Nobody wins, and Medicare doesn’t lose.  

However if, I maintain the circumstance it remains the same, and occupies much of my time.  I might be the only loser in this whole situation because, I could just let it fester within.

Or………get over it.  It is as it is, and in being so, I dismiss the circumstance as it is no longer a circumstance in my life.

My wife has conditions that suggest chronic Bronchitis which produces a chronic cough.

What do we do?  What substitutes that knee-jerk reaction to properly dismiss the entire, very real situation?

Some deductive thinking.  She requires her lungs to be dried out more often.  She really needs a medicine to relieve her lungs of all that wet ‘stuff,’ that creates the cough and in her case something more than Musinex (guaifinesin.)

Once we find that relief, a much less expensive cough syrup could be used as needed, and not as a daily treatment for the entire problem.

Maybe Medicare covers this circumstance more than they think they do, and maybe this is the Silver Lining.

The circumstance as I originally designed it, only existed only as long as I allowed it to exist.  We now have a new circumstance that’s more positive.

 

U.S. Government Demands Free Labor

Complying to the letter of the law is another job I have but, it is free labor on my part.  Some will say it is the contribution you make.  I don’t mind making my fair share of the donation of time, and energy to government compliance.

I object to a contribution that is made because, a government program is ill conceived, and highly impractical.  Running on common sense with Republican-Democrat deleted from the equation, I’m good.

The newest compliance myriad is, health care.

How are you suppose to comply?  I’m covered with an employer sponsored plan.  It’s relatively simple to enroll in the program.

I’m on Social Security, and employed enough to be covered by a health plan.

SS sees it as their responsibility to enroll me in Medicare.  Not to inform me to apply.  Not to tell me how to apply.  Just to make it easy on everybody concerned except me of course, they have enrolled me, and informed me of the given amount they are deducting from my check to pay for it.

The government has a remarkably confusing Medicare platform.  There is a magazine sent that explains what to do over more than several dozen pages.  Parts A, B & D, etc.  It is just health insurance minus many amenities.

All the years I’ve worked, there is a payroll deduction for Medicare with the intent of no worries, it’s pre-paid in advance.  But no, not really.  The biggest part of health care must be paid for by the retiree as needed during retirement.  No Senior discounts here.

The government has proven many times over an inability to handle finances.  And don’t you just know by looking at Social Security, and Medicare that we pay for throughout our working lives continues to be handled imprudently.

Social Security by design is merely a Ponzi Scheme.  One generation continues to pay for another.  They never did figure on the possibility of less payroll paying in for a generation of larger proportion.

When I lived in Las Vegas many years ago, I wrote Harry Reid a letter. In it, I suggested the government either fine-tunes Social Security, and Medicare or get out of my way so, I can begin putting that payroll deduction toward retirement on my own terms.

Neither the Republicans or, Democrats have overhauled these benefits properly, and I submit there is a better way to handle Social Security, and Medicare for the public’s benefit.

Why is it, I am not being reimbursed for my time in trying to comply with every new law the government puts in front of us?

I want a new item on my taxes.  A compliance credit for time, and money.