Supreme court and Obamacare

What do you all think they should do? Toss the individual insurance requirement? Toss the whole thing?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe the health care system in this country needs some serious reworking, I just don’t think this law helps anything in the long term. All it does is stimulate additional demand while doing absolutely nothing to either control costs or add more supply, which will simply cause health care costs to rise even faster. A college econ major could tell the government that.

I am also not a fan of a single payer, Canada/Britain type system. You wind up with the same cost control problems because you’re still dealing with private companies for your supplies, meds, etc. The only difference is it hits you through the higher income, sales, etc. taxes giving people no skin in the health care game because the treatment you need has zero correlation with what you pay in.

Gimme your thoughts! I’m bored at work and want something to read, besides my Level 2 books.

I think hospitals should run free of regulation and have the right to treat patients who demonstrate their ability to pay. The Invisible Hand will ring true here. Either the incoming patient would have reputable insurance or assure the hospital of cash payment. A big problem I see is people going to the hospital assured they will get treated regardless if they can pay.

Call me darwinistic, but if you are poor, and don’t set aside money for even cheap/ghetto high deductible insurance, I don’t know why I should feel sorry for you.

For those sharpening their knives, I grew up poor, and my moms always had high deductible insurance in the event something drastic happened. The old saying, “You’re only going to the hospital with a broken bone.” rang true around my home. People need to start ponying up their own money for things like pills, prescriptions, birth control, and general checkups. Insurance is too much like a credit card these days.

I spoke my .02.

The healthcare law is unconstitutional, because the govt is essentially forcing you to buy it or penalizing you if you don’t (amounts to the same thing)

But it’s really a response to alleviate the blow due to the law that forces hospitals to serve you first and ask if you can pay later. Since you’re going to get care either way, may as well force everyone to pay for it up front.

the free hand only works if you kill off these regulations. If a govt forces socialist laws like this, the cost to the entire system will be imbalanced and go up. Critics will say: well you cant have people dying in the streets! Well, sorry, that’s how a free market works.

note 1: One way we can lighten the load is make medical insurance govt controlled. Doctors and hospitals have to buy medical insurance, but the insurance companies in order to protect profits keep raising rates, which makes everything else go up.

note 2: Doctors in the US get paid significantly more for the same procedure done in other countries.

note 3: something like 5% of the Medicare population uses ~40% of all Medicare costs. Should we cap Medicare costs per person? I think so. Because everyone is paying for a massive imbalance accruing to a small portion of people.

Well, the main issue is that many people believe that healthcare is an “inalienable right” and so, Obama wants everyone to have access to healthcare. Clearly, CFAvsMBA does not share this view (and of course, he is entitled to this opinion).

Anyway, if you ask me, the law that forces you to buy health insurance is a bit weird. You cannot be forced to buy health insurance if you cannot afford health insurance. So, it seems like this specific law increases health insurance penetration by forcing you to take an action that you already had the means to do. It does not increase affordability of health insurance for poor people.

Healthcare is available! Thing is, no one wants to pay for it. This political buzzspeak nearly implies that healthcare providers won’t sell their services. They do and they will. The market will provide to those in need. If those in need won’t pay, well, it’s hard to feel sorry for them as the supply is there.

People are inherently greedy and want full coverage with someone else footing the bill. Obamacare is the definition of moral hazard.

The argument, “Oh I must want to see people dying in the streets.” is about as ad homien as it gets. Healthcare is available for those who pay! Too many fiscally irresponsible people put their iPhone and Cable TV ahead of their health. My moms qualified for the EITC during my upbringing and we still had high deductible insurance. It’s not this super elite expensive stuff that Obama is making it out to be.

The go’v isn’t creating more demand. Demand is the same whether people are insured or not; although, those with insurance probably are less likely to get sick due to preventative care they receive through their carrier.

Also, can we please get off this line that if you don’t have insurance or the means to pay for healthcare people shouldn’t receive it. It’s all bs and will never happen. We’re never going to let people die in the emergency room waiting room.

The way I see it the law isn’t forcing you to buy health insurance, it’s forcing you to pay for the current health insurance everyone is already receiving.

Part of mandatory coverage is probably insurance against peoples’ own bad choices. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. Being born with the inability to make good choices could be considered a real disability.

You’re poor. Working minimum wage because your industry has been outsourced. The end of the month comes. You can afford one of the three: 1) food, 2) rent, or 3) putting away $1000 for a high deductible health plan plus potential deductible. Now choose one. Oops, you got sick! Or hit by a car. Or mugged by someone while you were walking home and it didn’t go well. Well a doctor’s visit is going to be at least $500-$1000, whether you bought insurance or not. And that’s just to be seen and examined. A single payer system is really the only way to go. The single payer system does not need to cover any and every kind of medical procedure, but it should cover some basic stuff. There is an economic efficiency argument as well. Healthier workforces can be more productive: less downtime, etc. There is a public health/national security argument as well. Infectious diseases and bioterrorism are likely to be spotted and contained much faster if large segments of the population don’t wait around incubating germs and spreading them to others because they are afraid to get examined.

I support Obama

In principal, I support some form of a single payer system. But I fear that such ideas are purely academic. How would the US design and implement such a system? Is the government capable of managing such a program efficiently? Would you trust today’s administration to predict the cost of the program 50 years from now? It’s nice to think that this is feasible, but it’s hard to be convinced unless there is a concrete plan.

As much as I am a moderate libertarian, I totally agree with this. The free market doesn’t get it right in the case of healthcare. I think the Obamacare plan is flawed in that it didn’t address the real problem with healthcare (which is the outrageous costs), but I do think everyone should have healthcare. It’s pretty ridiculous that people in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world can’t afford basic medical care. Having grown up in a really poor family, I can assure any doubters that choosing between 1, 2 and 3 above is no choice at all. Having even moderately expensive medical problems can be an enormous set back if not a game ender.

Let’s separate this out here. The overall demand for health care brought about by surprise illness and injury will not materially change.

What will change is the preventive care side. With mandatory coverage, you’re going to be bringing millions more into insurance policies, driving demand up for the policies themselves. I don’t know how insurance regulations work, but I’m sure they have some sort of reserve requirement that will give them excuses to raise premiums with more people insured.

Now I don’t know how many policies have this, I know even my high deduc plans at work allow this: free physicals annually. You could have potentially millions more people seeking preventative care services, which will go into the already overburdened and below replacement rate primary doctors.

I respect your opinion and I am not trying to be difficult. But for the sake of argument, isn’t it ineffective to discuss broad principals (like universal care) without looking at the whole package, including costs which might not be equally distributed? Let’s assume that the high cost of healthcare cannot be fixed. What would you be willing to give up to implement universal healthcare? Would you take a 15% tax increase to help poor people afford health insurance? What about 35%? Belief in the ideal system is often challenged by implementation details.

You might have a good point. I am operating under the assumption that it can and should be fixed. We have the highest healthcare costs per capita in the developed world. That’s wrong. I’m pretty sure we could start by cutting the $80 billion a year in Medicare fraud currently happening and that would go quite a long way to providing some of that healthcare to the poor. After that, we could stop the bullshit frivolous lawsuits that drive up costs. We could reduce profit margins for healthcare companies (which are consistently some of the highest out of any public companies I look at outside of technology). We could force some sort of discipline that removes high cost, marginal care providers from the market and implnement some kind of economies of scale model (we don’t need umpteen private hospitals that overcharge people to cover their fixed costs). We could fix the medical school vice grip on the labor supply. I’m certain that in addition to all of these points, there are at least a dozen other steps that could be taken that make sense.

So my beef with Obamacare is that it didn’t fix any of the problems and just expanded coverage (which I agree with), which effectively means that we are just going to go bankrupt more quickly – how is that a solution to anything?

If you really want to get draconian about it, you could outlaw bullshit products that make people sick like tobacco, coca cola, McDonald’s, etc. I’m not saying we should do that, but clearly the path we are on is not sustainable, so it’s time to start looking for some viable solutions.

Are some people going to pay more in taxes? Probably. But it doesn’t need to be excessive if we just fix the underlying structural problems that make the US the most broken healthcare market in the developed work (although the UK is apparently giving us a pretty good run from what I hear).

No reasonable improvement will be done until the government fixes the real source of problem: artificially inflated costs, which unfortunately has a gazillion of legal barriers. Healthcare simply doesn’t cost nearly as that anywhere else in the world. The U.S. consumers are not getting any better healthcare commensurate with its cost. Medical procedures are surprisingly standard globally, even for serious or very rare diseases.

The part I find particularly shameful is the ability of insurers to drop someone when he or she is no longer profitable. Don’t get sick until 2014.

What cost control problems are those? Both the British and Canadian systems deliver universal healthcare coverage with outcomes that are comparable or superior to the American healthcare system at less then half the cost then the United States on a % of GDP basis.

Single payer systems allow for cost savings because they purchase in bulk and dictate the prices they will pay for service. Also user pay for services does not decrease demand, healthcare is one of those odd services that people don’t want more of if they have to pay less, unless of course they have munchausens or malingering. Do you like hanging out in hospitals and clinics? Health economics is quite a bit different then normal econ cuz the utility functions are completely different son!

Yep, that’s true. Need to severely trim back the profit motive in healthcare, it’s for the survival of the nation. Outside of extreme procedures like brain surgery, healthcare is a commodity service.

Profit motivation and efficiency are not mutually exclusive. For instance, car insurance companies are relatively efficient despite operating for profit. It is not clear that healthcare would become less expensive if it were a public service.