Do Republicans Understand Insurance?

March 25th, 2010 at 5:45 am | 7 Comments |

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I thought David Frum’s recognizing the foolish approach the GOP has taken of recent years was refreshing.  I left the party after 50 years having been a Goldwater, semi-right-wing Law Enforcement Agent because I could see the direction they were heading many years ago would lead to exactly where they are now.

They won’t listen to you Frum, not yet, but eventually they will because if healthcare reform doesn’t explode in the Democrats’ face and I doubt it will early on, how on earth will the GOP be able to knock the extension of coverage for children out of school and the abolishing of Pre-Existing Condition clauses?

I speak from the viewpoint of a 38 year Group Insurance Specialist still with one reasonably large, for Florida, client with 150 employees that year after year has been slammed with double digit rate increases.  I also have a  1-person group plan for a client-friend, age 63, that this year has been increased to $1,800 per month for one person.  His wife, just turning 65, simply dropped coverage and is now on Medicare for somewhere in the $100-120 range depending upon her claimed income.  How on earth can anyone afford medical coverage once they pass 55?

The solution is Medicare for anyone wishing to join followed by an increase in Medicare premiums, across the board, with higher income persons paying a larger portion but everyone else paying more than today’s inadequate premium.  Seriously, how can we expect Medicare to be solvent at the standard $96.40 per month, cover so extensively while private insurers would be charging $1,000+ per month for anyone over 55?

My wife suffered a 2007 broken neck in a serious head-on collision with the person at fault carrying the minimum Insurance of $25,000.  Our own plan carried an ‘underinsured’ benefit that paid $100,000.  Now, picture my wife’s first few days of intensive care followed by five more weeks of Intensive care plus seven months in a ‘Halo’ device to keep her head positioned properly, along with ancillary care, and expect Medicare to remain solvent?  By the way, some of the Medicare increase needs to go to physicians’ fees.  Some!

We also need more Cleveland Clinic approaches with a Not For Profit structure with good physicians making good incomes but within reason.

If we do not reign in insurers and get this under control, with better than the plan passed last night, we will all suffer. The Republicans should acknowledge they can’t ‘repeal’ this and then make the stand they will make it better and stop listening to the fringe crowd, the Freedom Works, Sarah/Bachman crowd and get back to reality. The Independents will slowly drift back to the Democrats unless this takes place and good for them because it will be a cold day in hell before I ever vote Republican again…until they really work for We The People and not stand out as Corporatists.

They can’t hide anymore, not with today’s vast communications.  They will be revealed as strictly out there for the ‘big boys’ unless they turn things around.  It takes time but they will be found out.

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    …..When I technically retired I had an extension of employment plan but but it didn’t cover my wife who is somewhat younger than myself…… consequently we had buy insurance privately now running at around $1400 a month which has steadily risen by 7-15% a year since original purchase…..private purchasers are powerless to resist these increases……now as it happens we can afford it but I’m sure many with more modest incomes must be in a similar position….maybe having to buy insurance at this rate for two people so the strain must be enormous……what I find most interesting about the Republican anti chorus here is that clearly most of these people are working or middle class who probably already have parents on Medicare and this legislation is a huge boon for them……it’s a complete no brainer…..and yet they still scream and shout using totally absurd exaggerations about abstract ideas which aren’t going be useful if you’re suffering from diabetes, or myths like death panels…..it’s an interesting commentary on the psyche of a section of the American people.

  • sinz54

    ottovbs:

    Medicare and Social Security aren’t viewed as “socialist” by most Americans, because of their unique pay-as-you-go system: To most Americans, it looks like you pay into the program to get that money back after you retire. (SS propaganda–uh, “literature”–even calls the payroll tax a “contribution” rather than a tax.)

    That’s what keeps those programs from being viewed as socialist or handouts or welfare.

    That’s quite a different thing from covering a child from birth, when there obviously were no decades of prepayment.

  • ottovbvs

    sinz54 // Mar 25, 2010 at 10:02 am

    “That’s what keeps those programs from being viewed as socialist or handouts or welfare.”

    ……But that’s not what the Republicans were saying when the Democrats were trying to pass this legislation in the thirties and sixties is it?……..it’s almost laughable how you can take language by Landon and Reagan and put them in mouths of Boehner or McConnell……and actually quite a few Republicans run around including here calling SS and Medicare “socialist” programs as indeed they are

  • rbottoms

    I have a scar in the middle of my neck from spinal surgery I just had three weeks ago. I lost my coverage for a few months last year as was fortunate to get it back. I can only afford it thanks to efforts by president Obama to help people buffeted by the downturn.

    Thanks to the provisions that prevent carriers from turning me down for existing conditions I am free to go anywhere in the country I have to to find work.

    I can’t think of anything more healthy for capitalism.

  • Rob_654

    Obama’s Health Insurance Reform likely saved the Private Insurance market…

    If this Reform had not passed (as imperfect as it is) – then nothing would have been tried again for a long time.

    During that time insurance costs are going to continue to rise (in either case) but more people would have been forced into the pool of uninsured, companies would have stopped offering insurance (or passed along a huge amount of the cost to employees, particularly those in jobs who are fairly easily replaced) and we would see a faster spiraling out of control.

    Once a critical mass would have been reached – we would have seen enough people demanding that the “Government do something” (including many of the people who are now against reform – would become pro-reform once they were priced out of the market) and that would have given the Democrats far more power to barrel through with Medicare-For-All.

    Yes, I believe, Obama likely has saved the day for Private Health Insurance.

  • JonF

    Re: Yes, I believe, Obama likely has saved the day for Private Health Insurance.

    One reason this was not like 1994 is that the major players, including the health insurers, were all on birad, or at least not united against the effort. The percentage of the population with private health insurance has been slowly declining. I’m sure Aetna, Humana et al could see the handwriting on the wall, realizing that if they kept stonewalling reform the future wuld not be kind to them.