Friday, March 02, 2007

Who are the 47 million Americans without healthcare? Stuart Browning examines the myth that these are "poor" citizens without access to Medicaid.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The census counts everyone, regardless of citizenship or legal status. Now, I realize that the illegal aliens will tend to be undercounted, but I have to wonder how many on the lower end of that Uninsured by Income chart can't be insured for this reason.

5:58 PM, March 02, 2007  
Blogger Dave said...

I'm neither poor nor have health insurance. I make over $100,000 per year. Don't shed a tear for me. I also never get sick.

6:38 PM, March 02, 2007  
Blogger Purple Avenger said...

I'm one too. No poverty here.

6:40 PM, March 02, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...

I'm one too. Why pay for the inevitable result of everyone else's bad habits?

7:17 PM, March 02, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

To all,

What a lucky group you must be not to need insurance! I do recommend that you get a policy while you are healthy--there are many policies like Blue Cross/ Blue Shield that are not too expensive if you have not had a pre-existing condition. My medical care for my heart attack and ICD has been very expensive, even with insurance.


You realize that others will have to pay for you in increased fees if you get sick and taken to an emergency room with no insurance. Operations are not cheap, some are hundreds of thousands of dollars in treatment. So even if you have a good income, it may not be enough. It is a mistake to believe that bad habits are always the culprit when one gets sick. Many people are hit out of the blue for no reason at all. My thirty something year- old-brother-in-law got cancer that sprang up almost overnight and the chemo was a fortune. His treatment was excellent, however, and he is doing well.

7:42 PM, March 02, 2007  
Blogger Cham said...


How do you know how much I have in the bank?

7:50 PM, March 02, 2007  
Blogger Gina said...

I have no insurance and I do not have a big salary , also I work for a Patient assistant program that offers medications at low cost to individuals that do not have insurance or can afford the high cost of medications . its very sad to hear stories from especially old people on fixed incomes who have more than 500. in medicine costs , my heart goes out to those poor folks and when I see that we do not carry a certain medication on our program , I have acces to look for programs for them where they can get their meds free of charge from pharm companies who have programs for such folks .

7:50 PM, March 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no insurance, but I have all the healthcare I want.

Why should I pay hundreds of dollars a month for coverages I'll never use? If someone wants to offer a cheap high-deductible plan with no maintenance care and no coinsurance (i.e. 100% after deductible), I'll go for it. But as long as it's HMO and PPO as far as the eye can see, or 20% coinsurance, it's cheaper to take out a loan in the eventuality something bad happens.

Note - given my circumstances I would never be allowed to foist my care costs off on the public. I'm not a member of an approved victim group, so I don't qualify for state assistance.

8:41 PM, March 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm self employed and without the clout of belonging to a larger insurance pool (i.e. as with an employer subsidized program), my policy would be cancelled if I were ever to incur significant costs. The insurance market is currently geared towards state and employer pooling. So it doesn't make sense for single individuals to purchase insurance.

10:15 PM, March 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked for over two decades for a small manufacturing firm which offered its employees a medical insurance plan for which the company picked up half the cost. Most of the young people who worked there chose not to take advantage of this, preferring to spend that money either on drugs and alcohol or fancy furniture and automobiles. For a long time I did not participate, using instead a faith based risk sharing pool for major medical, because the plan did not include maternity benefits.

8:42 AM, March 03, 2007  
Blogger DADvocate said...

The figures were a real eye opener. During my early adulthood I went a period of 20 years or so without being ill enough to file a health insurance claim but now, in my fifties, I need it more.

Except for my kids, I'm not sure it's saved me any money though. The health insurance coverage is so expensive I'd almost bet that if all the money my employer and I have paid in was put into an interest bearing fund that I'd come out ahead. I'll have to check these figures and get back with you.

9:55 AM, March 03, 2007  
Blogger Purple Avenger said...

Seriously - I'm just going to claim I'm an illegal alien with no ID and no money if I need something drastic.

The local hospitals have policies of treating illegals for free (which they bill back to the county)

With that kind of safety net available, I'm going to take advantage of it, since I'm already paying for it.

11:36 AM, March 03, 2007  
Blogger TMink said...

One option to consider is a health savings plan. You have a high deductible insurance plan that costs very little. You use your savinigs to self-insure. That way, if you are in an accident or something hits you from out of the blue, you are not financially ruined and my premiums do not skyrocket because of how hospitals charge more to pay for you.



12:53 PM, March 03, 2007  
Blogger knox said...

There's a lot of boasting going on by people who can apparently afford, but choose not to purchase insurance. I find it weird... it's not exactly something to be proud of. The arguments are ranging from "I'm never going to get sick anyway" ( ??? ) to "illegals get it for free, why not me!"

If there's one truth in life, it's that nothing comes for free... someone's paying for it, and the skyrocketing price of insurance we're experiencing now demonstrates that.

And the ultimate price, if it continues, will be some sort of shitty government-run health care. Great, if you're healthy! Otherwise, you can look forward to bribing some apathetic receptionist to schedule your sick child, or parent, or spouse's MRI as fast as possible, rather then when the next machine is available.

In the meantime, it's convenient to say "I never get sick" but the reality is, if you get hit by a truck and need multiple surgeries over your lifetime--I know someone who will have knee surgeries til she dies from a car accident--the rest of us will pay for it.

5:13 PM, March 03, 2007  
Blogger Purple Avenger said...

We will pay for it no matter what. Through higher premiums or higher taxes. TANSTAAFL.

I had a rusty nail stuck in my foot a few years ago. Called all over to see if any clinics had tetanus vaccine. Nope, not a one. Only available at a hospital.

That shot cost just under $400 (I paid cash) and an aid spent less than 3 minutes with me start to finish. Swab, stick, have a nice day, pay on your way out.

I paid, but I resolved that day I would feel no guilt what so ever at gaming the system from that day forward.

10:38 PM, March 03, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...

Purple Avenger,

That's the problem, everyone is "gaming" the system. Doctors and hospitals pad costs to get more money because the reimbursement rates are so low that they have to add additional costs in just to get something reasonable. Patients who pay cash end up having to pay more to make up for the lack of insurance reimbursements and many hospitals and doctors don't even know how to take cash. Their systems are rarely set up fot it. Everyone is paying inflated prices due to insurance--it's a mess. Government regulation will just make the mess worse, not better as the pay will become less and less and fewer docs will want to participate.

7:30 AM, March 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, those poor doctors. Having to defraud just to get "reasonable" pay. Poor dears, driving their Mercedes Benzes.

What is your solution, helen? I'm curious.

12:36 PM, March 04, 2007  
Blogger Purple Avenger said...

My GP recently decided to "go naked" because the malpractice insurance was costing him ~50% of receipts.

They may be paid well compared to the garbage man, but the real winner is the insurance companies and lawyers.

Find a way to get rid of the "deep pockets" effect of who gets sued, and costs will go down accordingly.

3:44 PM, March 04, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lawyers generally have to rely on getting a jury of twelve and a judge to side with them before they get paid.

A doctor needs only file a bunch of claims with an insurance company. He will generally charge (and receive) between $100-300 for an office visit. And he will generally have about 3 office visits per hour. And this doesn't include any other miscellaneous charges.

He gets paid this whether the patient improves or not.

Me? I've gotta give RESULTS. And, btw, most lawyers carry malpractice insurance too. And it ain't cheap either. And I don't have an option to just, ya know, defraud somebody to ensure I get reaonable payment. I can't imagine anybody thinks this is acceptable behavior.

1:38 PM, March 05, 2007  
Blogger knox said...

Me? I've gotta give RESULTS.

If you lose a case you don't get paid? The problem is not doctors, it's your choice of employer.

5:14 PM, March 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's called a contigency fee, dear. That's how it works for plaintiffs. Jesus, surely you've heard the ads.

6:30 PM, March 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Item: When my wife was teaching at the University, the Grad Students' Employees Union offered health-care at reasonable rates. Less that 1 in 10 employees purchased it.

Item: With a cholesterol of 162, and a last-recorded BP of 115/70 a couple months prior, at age 36 chest pain led to the discovery that an infection had set up shop in my heart. I didn't smoke, rarely (1-2 times per year) drank, exercised regularly, and never did drugs. The small portion of the bills that the insurance didn't cover came to over $15,000. Even that much hurt, but without insurance the result would have been catastrophic.

We each assume our own risks. Assume yours wisely.

8:50 PM, March 05, 2007  
Blogger knox said...

It's called a contigency fee, dear. That's how it works for plaintiffs. Jesus, surely you've heard the ads.

Oh, you're an ambulance chaser. Got it.

7:45 AM, March 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, you're lame, knoxwhirled. I see you're absolutely incapable of addressing any point on its merits.

8:38 AM, March 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I view insurance, all types, a necessary evil to my pocketbook. I am not trained in risk assessment, but insurance companies prosper in those percentages.
I had a million dollar umbrella on my household to protect myself from my next door neighbor. With a swing set, monkey bars and swimming pool for my kids, volleyball net, etc. the neighborhood kids were always around. One Saturday, watching the kids play in my yard, my next door neighbor walks over and says,"if my kids get hurt in your yard, I'm going to sue you." I told him it won't happen, because he and his entire family are now banned from my property. I fetched his two kids out of the pool, and told them they could never come back in my yard. When they started crying and asking why, I told them to talk to their dad. I put up no trespassing signs aimed specifically at his family. Two can be butt heads.
Fire, hazard, and auto insurance are to protect those who hold the titles and mortgages as much as me.
I can't imagine paying for a burned down house plus another one I have to buy or build.
I would never consider going without some form of health insurance for those in my family, as well as myself.
Like anonymous 8:50 PM said, sort of, expect the unexpected. I've certainly experienced my fair share of the unexpected.
Some people seem to be able to breeze through life. I call them lucky. Period.

8:17 AM, March 08, 2007  
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