Friday, June 29, 2012

My reaction to the Obamacare ruling

I don't kid myself that Obamacare isn't a risk. The costs may blow up and sink our budget. It may be a vehicle for unwarranted social engineering and expense in the name of 'fairness.' It requires close scrutiny.

That said, it's miles better than anything the GOP has proposed to address the staggering cost of individual health insurance. Their solutions are simply ludicrous--health savings accounts, out of state insurers. It's like a band-aid on an open artery if you're low or middle income.Those ideas don't have a chance of working, but the GOP pretends that they're sound solutions. As I said, it's ludicrous, but it's also somewhat immoral to lie that way and to care so little for people who aren't getting the jobs that include good health coverage.

So I applaud that Obamacare isn't being scrapped by the Supreme Court. That decision gives us the best chance to reform our healthcare system, hopefully slim it down, but still have a strong base on which to work. This is a day to be happy and to count our blessings.

It's just a scratch. I don't need health insurance.


Anonymous said...

I generally agree with your analysis, except to point out that HSAs are a good idea that generally have bipartisan support and help to contain healthcare costs by a) giving the insured more decision-making control and responsibility on healthcare expenditures, and b) providing tax-advantaged method of saving for almost inevitable healthcare expenses. Many employers fund (full or partially) HSA-type plans, which may not be quite as generous with benefits as traditional plans (hence some resistance in certain circles), but for reasonable people they provide a fair trade-off between charging employees more for their health coverage or cutting back benefits.

This basic truth, which the Dems don't want to say too loudly, and the GOP doesn't want to say at all, is that most people can not and never will be able to afford on their own the expense associated with highly-trained medical professionals' time and the modern healthcare system's overhead, R&D and diagnostics accuracy requirements (and liability, true). So the Dems pass a plan which says: don't worry, someone else will pay for most of it, but you won't make as much money. And the GOP plan is: suffering and bankruptcy for those who can't afford modern healthcare.

I'd don't like either, but the Dem's approach is better.

ModeratePoli said...

@Anon, a health savings account is only part of the solution. It has to be paired with catastrophic health insurance, which aren't easy to get independently at good prices. An example of the pairing is Whole Foods employee coverage, which I mention in this post.

I have no problem with HSA being less generous than standard policies. However, conservatives tout them was the centerpiece of health insurance solutions, and they are woefully inadequate for that. There's little use in having a HSA without the other pieces you need, and the conservatives weren't talking about those other pieces in a realistic way.

To show this, many people without a HSA but with a catastrophic health insurance policy could handle a medical crisis. However, most people who don't have any catastrophic insurance can't handle a medical crisis, and would go bankrupt or would scramble to get coverage under a state program.