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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 09 Sep '09 20:20 / 2 edits
    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200909/health-care/2

    an excellent article from The Atlantic on some the real problems that neither side of the healthcare debate is dealing with.

    the following excerpt states his core point

    The reason for financing at least some of our health care with an insurance system is obvious. We all worry that a serious illness or an accident might one day require urgent, extensive care, imposing an extreme financial burden on us. In this sense, health-care insurance is just like all other forms of insurance—life, property, liability—where the many who face a risk share the cost incurred by the few who actually suffer a loss.

    But health insurance is different from every other type of insurance. Health insurance is the primary payment mechanism not just for expenses that are unexpected and large, but for nearly all health-care expenses. We’ve become so used to health insurance that we don’t realize how absurd that is. We can’t imagine paying for gas with our auto-insurance policy, or for our electric bills with our homeowners insurance, but we all assume that our regular checkups and dental cleanings will be covered at least partially by insurance. Most pregnancies are planned, and deliveries are predictable many months in advance, yet they’re financed the same way we finance fixing a car after a wreck—through an insurance claim.


    I've always wondered about this. Isn't insurance supposed to be dealing with the really big catastrophes that would be too much to handle on your own? It's not supposed to be for the "routine stuff".
  2. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    09 Sep '09 20:24 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200909/health-care/2

    an excellent article from The Atlantic on some the real problems that neither side of the healthcare debate is dealing with.

    the following excerpt states his core point

    The reason for financing at least some of our health care with an insurance system is obvious. We all worry that a serious i ...[text shortened]... would be too much to handle on your own? It's not supposed to be for the "routine stuff".
    You can get health insurance policies for catastrophic injuries or illnesses and pay for routine care on your own if you like.

    The problem is that insurance companies bargain for and get better rates from providers. If I went to the doctor without insurance for a routine physical, I'd pay more than my insurance would for the same treatment.
  3. 09 Sep '09 20:25
    I 100% agree. Health insurance should have large deductables like other forms of insurance. It should not cover co-payments or minor office visits. You should use your own money for that as you would for other necesities like rent, food and water.
  4. 09 Sep '09 20:31
    Originally posted by sh76
    You can get health insurance policies for catastrophic injuries or illnesses and pay for routine care on your own if you like.

    The problem is that insurance companies bargain for and get better rates from providers. If I went to the doctor without insurance for a routine physical, I'd pay more than my insurance would for the same treatment.
    But wouldn't insurance companies be able to offer the same bargaining power for other routine things like groceries or gasoline? Or is this a business opportunity that no one has tried yet?
  5. 09 Sep '09 20:42
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    But wouldn't insurance companies be able to offer the same bargaining power for other routine things like groceries or gasoline? Or is this a business opportunity that no one has tried yet?
    For many items you can buy in bulk and get things cheaper.
    I have no problem with bulk rate discounts.
    Insurance however is different. It is regulated in such a way that certain higher paying groups are forced to subsidize lower playing groups.
  6. 09 Sep '09 20:57
    Employers should be required to offer employees the option of not accepting insurance. and instead getting whatever their salary would be if the insurance premium was added to it - allowing them to keep the premium and use it to pay for their own healthcare.

    Seems to me that the free market would prevent doctors from overcharging for routine expenses. There's plenty of competition, and people would have no problem shopping around for a better deal.
  7. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    It's only business
    11 Sep '09 01:04
    It costs more to the insurance company if you don't get checkups than if you do. Not having gas doesn't make it more likely you'll crash, but no checkups mean more advanced cases of illness.
  8. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    11 Sep '09 01:47 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by quackquack
    ......Insurance however is different. It is regulated in such a way that certain higher paying groups are forced to subsidize lower playing groups.
    It really depends on the frequency a particular group accesses the health care system for that to be true.

    For example if you look at a level of cover pyramid, you will probably find the greatest number filling the lowest rung. You would probably find them on average to be younger, less wealthy, but also less likely to access medical services. As you go up the steps in this pyramid, you will probably find the the higher rungs are filled with less people in total number, but who are also, more wealthy, older, and much more likely to require medical help which will also probably cost more for each assistance event.

    So in essence the opposite is more likely to be true. The larger numbers at the bottom of the pyramid who by virtue of their youth are probably far less likely to require health care are the bread and butter of the health insurance funds. The bottom are more likely to provide the greatest nett proportion of income stream into the system that actually gives the insurers the capacity to be able to offset the cost of providing services to the more frequent need for medical help, the more afluent, typically older, typically more highly insured top tiered consumer exacts from the system.


    ** This argument is based on the simple assumption that all things being equal wealth tends to increase with age, as does concern for ones health, as does ones need for more costly medical interventions.