A Public Service Message From Reason.tv: If You Want Health Care Coverage, Go Out and Get Some!

Note: Now that health care reform is shooting to the top of the political agenda, Reason.tv is happy present once again our video on the topic, "Get Some: How to Fix America's Health Insurance Crisis." Approximately 10 minutes long and originally released during last year's presidential campaign (doesn't that seem like eons ago?), "Get Some" features offers a bold, new solution that will cover almost half of the currently uninsured. And that you have simply not heard anywhere else.


reason.tv's Nick Gillespie isn't making a run for the White House, but he knows how to get coverage to at least half of the 45 million Americans who need it. And while Barack Obama and John McCain argue about who's got the best health care plan, each ignores the simplest solution. Call it the Gillespie Plan: If you want health insurance, get some.

"Of people currently classified as uninsured, a conservative estimate says about 45 percent of them would be able to get health insurance right now if they wanted it," says economist Glen Whitman. That estimate comes from a study headed by a Johns Hopkins University researcher, which separates those who could get insurance into one of two categories: Those who earn enough money to buy it, and those who qualify for existing government programs.

So how about some real straight talk for a change? If we separate those who can't get coverage from those who can, we can focus more on helping the needy. "So if you can get coverage," says Gillespie, "don't wait for Washington. Go on out and get some."

"Get Some" is written and produced by Ted Balaker. The director of photography is Alex Manning.

For embed code and downloadable iPod and HD versions and more videos, go here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Ramsey||

    You know, for a magazine called "Reason"

    Just wanted everyone to drink on a Saturday morn. This is a little simplistic. Per capita health care spending in the US is double or triple that of many countries that have longer life expectancy than us. There are systemic issues that should be fixed first.

    Why the hell do I have to go to a clinic to get a scrip for a sore throat? Every CVS and Walgreens should be allowed to have a nurse practitioner on site for $5 visits. That would cut costs and keep people with no insurance out of emergency rooms. There are a million little things like that that could easily be done, that would address the actual problem.

  • Xeones||

    There are a million little things like that that could easily be done, that would address the actual problem.

    The main problem with this idea, Ramsey, is that millions of little things, even if they work, don't cover politicians with the glory that comes from one major nonfunctional-aside-from-making-you-feel-good boondoggle. Therefore, it's completely off the table.

  • hmm||

    I lived without health insurance for two 4+ year terms. I got sick, got better, bought the medicines I needed on line and dealt with it. Money wise it was close for me to buy health insurance, but with a wife in school and generally in worse health than I (auto immune disease) we paid for her insurance and relied on an my immune system, which incidentally has been known to take out squirrels that get too close. It was a clear choice made on our part and it worked out fine.

    The real issue is when do we start a fund raising drive to get Mr. Gillespie a few shirts with buttons on them and a viking helmet for his interviews.

  • ||

    Health care ain't the governments job. Yep, uninsured people is a problem. Insaisting that the government address every damned problem that people have is a sure-fire way to lose your freedom.

    You know what's more important than healthcare?
    Food and shelter. Some people don't get an adequate amount of each. Let's nationalize both of those industries as well. What could possibly go wrong?

  • ||

    Odd thing about this video is that it justifies not going to universal healthcare, in part, by saying that the poor and the elderly get free gov't-supplied healthcare already. Aren't we libertarians supposed to be opposed to such problems? Don't we have to deal with the criticisms of free-market healthcare without resorting to gov't programs?

  • ||

    "Self-insured" not same as "uninsured".

    All this boohooing about compulsory insurance for everybody is just an attempt by the insurance companies and, naturlich, politicians, to force young healthy people to subsidize old sick people.

    Because it's fairer, that way [Drink!].

  • Paul||

    The only way to have a compassionate, fair system is for my neighbor to start paying for my healthcare.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Ramsey's got it about right.

    To believe that there are not systemic problems with health care in the US requires that you do not interface with that system in any significant way.

  • ||

    Government involvement in health care is the number one problem. Getting the state out of healthcare would result in more access and more affordability. Any assertion to the contrary is claptrap.

  • C. Steven Tucker||

    The facts are that Medicare will be bankrupt in 7 years and social security in 15 (most likely much faster as the "Porkulus Maximus" Bail Out continues to grow). So how is it possible to adopt Canada's system here? The Canadian health care system is failing, and it is failing a population that is 1/3rd the size of ours. Other countries who have adopted a "Single Payer" system have also failed their citizens by either raising their tax rate to an unmanageable level or rationing care. Facts: http://www.sbisvcs.com/blog.htm

    It is simply an actuarial fact that the our Government simply CAN NOT provide health care for 300 Million residents! To even attempt such a ridiculous ideology would further cripple those of us who actually pay Federal Income tax (the lucky 56% of us that actually do).

    Reagan said it best. "Government is not the solution, it is the problem". But way before him, our forefathers warned of INSIDIOUS government involvement in our daily lives. Look at their wisdom hundreds of years before our present situation:

    Regarding adopting failed Single Payer health care options like other foreign governments have. What did Washington say? "Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government.

    Washington again at his Farewell Address, September 19, 1796. Regarding using others blood sweat and tears to pay for those who have not earned: What did Jefferson say? " To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have NOT exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, "the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.

    How does this apply today?

    46% of American's pay absolutely no INCOME taxes! That means the rest of us have the privilege of paying for all entitlements (which are ever expanding). Most recent case in point:

    Last year, SCHIP covered about 7 million low-income children and Medicaid covered an additional 23 million. This year, 2009, the U.S House of Representatives passed the H.R.2 SCHIP Expansion Bill which adds another 6.5 million children to Medicaid. In fact, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, 42 million children will now be eligible. The bill also allows States to receive federal reimbursement for adding more immigrant children and pregnant immigrant mothers, and removes the 5 year waiting period now required for legal immigrants to be eligible. This would enable immigrants to become eligible for health benefits the moment they get here!

    Currently, the present income eligibility cap is $44,000 for a family of 4. The new bill raised the Medicaid limit to $66,000. New York will even include families who earn $88,000 and other states allow families to subtract from their income calculation what they spend on rent or mortgage or heating or food or transportation. This means that children in some families who have incomes well over $100,000 will now be eligible. With the median U.S. household income around $50,000, 60% of U.S. households still earning less than $62,000. This means that 3 out of 5 American households will now qualify for free health care for their children. It also means that the other 2 out of 5 households will have the burden of paying for all of this!

    Back to our forefathers: Jefferson's Letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816: " There lies the distinction of "charity" or coercion. Here stands Jefferson who feared that if citizens became lazy, apathetic, and IRRESPONSIBLE, government would gain ground and become tyrannical and corrupt, plundering taxpayers for special interests and violating even property rights and other freedoms."

    How does this apply today?
    With the help of the U.S. Census Bureau, let's break down the real empirical data behind the "45 million uninsured" in America.
    Who exactly are they? FACTS:
    1.) 17 Million live in households earning more than $50,000
    (38% of American uninsured)
    2.) 9 Million live in households earning more than $75,000
    (20% of American uninsured)
    3.) 18 Million of the "young invincibles" (ages 18-34) who spend more money on "cigarettes, entertainment & cell phone (40% of uninsured)
    4.) 14 Million are eligible for Medicaid and SCHIP due to low income and do not enroll. (31% of uninsured
    5.) Let's not forget the more than 11 Million Illegal Aliens sucking on the Federal Teet daily.

    Back to our Forefathers: Jefferson again: "We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt ($3 Trillion Dollar "Porkulus Maximus" Bill) We must make our election between economy and liberty, or Profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on OATMEAL and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; (government) but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their CHAINS on the necks of our fellow-sufferers…private fortunes are destroyed by public (government) as well private extravagance. Till the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automations of misery……than begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia (War of all against all) …..and the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression." (Letter to Samuel Kerchival, July 12, 181

    How does this apply today?

    Where is the outrage that our children already, BEFORE BEING BORN are now in debt to the government by $35,000 ! Nice immoral profit I say by our government and we haven't even begun down the slippery slope to "Universal Health Care." Even before we begin, the $3 Trillion "Porkulus Maximus"Bail Out continues to grow as more and more corporations come to the capital with their hat in their hands and their private jets on the tarmac.

    Back to our Forefathers: Jefferson again: "To compel a man to SUBSIDIZE WITH HIS TAXES THE PROPAGATION OF IDEAS WHICH HE DISBELIEVES AND ABHORS IS SINFUL AND TYRANNICAL" - Thomas Jefferson

    John Adams (Vice President US for 2 terms 1788-1796, and in 1796 became our Second President) On taxation : "Property is surely a right of mankind as real as liberty. Perhaps, at first, prejudice, habit, shame or fear, principle or religion would restrain the poor from attacking the rich, and the idle from usurping on the industrious; but the time would not be long before courage and enterprise (political opportunists) would come and pretexts be invented (socialist agenda) by degrees to countenance the majority in dividing all the property among them, or at least in sharing it equally with its present possessors. Debts would be abolished first; taxes laid HEAVY on the rich, and not at all on the others; (44% of American's pay NO income tax) and at last a downright equal division of everything be demanded, and voted. What would be the consequence of this? The idle, the vicious, the intemperate would rush into the utmost extravagance of debauchery, sell and spend all their share, and than demand a NEW division of those who PURCHASED from them.'

    Thomas Pain (1737-1809) "If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute."

    Daniel Webster (1782-1852) "An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, the power to DESTROY."

    How do these comments apply today?

    If taxation strengthens a government, while relieving it's citizens of the freedoms above forewarned from our Forefathers, how can anyone believe taxing Americans at 60%, 70% 80% or more to further fund such ridiculous ideologies is the solution? What else could stifle personal drive and achievement more than even more taxation?

    I also have to address the Lie behind the other "optoin" that the Left is pushing forward. Regarding a "Public Option." There are several reasons why a "Public Option" will not work. Firstly, the private sector can not compete with a Public Option. So the lie that it will just create "healthy competition" is just that. An INSIDIOUS Lie perpetrated by a Government with an unholy lust for even more power. Why is it a lie?

    Because unlike the Federal Government who can tap in to the U.S. Treasury (as they have been doing feverishly lately) when claims surpass revenue. The private sector is held to a higher standard. Namely, fiscal responsibility. If claims supercede revenue, an insurance company must be held to the ramifications that happen to any company that does not balance it's portfolio correctly. Namely, FAILURE (except, of course if that company is AIG who gets bailed out over AND OVER again by our precious BLOOD SWEAT and TEARS)!

    SIDE BAR: Quick Translation of the term "Blood Sweat & Tears" for the aforementioned 42%. "Blood Sweat & Tears" means income taxes.

    SIDE BAR: Further clarification of the term "income tax". This is a percentage of income that is forcibly taken from roughly half of the American population when they produce an income.

    Once the insurance companies fail (shortly after the "Public Option" starts promoting "Healthy Competition") we will be left with "Medicare" for all! But wait! How's Medicaid & Medicare working now? Let's see. At the current rate of Medicare expenditures, by the time I am 65 there will be no Medicare for me according to ALL economist (on both sides of the isle). Why? Because they have been robbed for other expenditures by a fiscally irresponsible, over burdensome Federal Government. Who's answer to EVERYTHING is to throw money at it! Easy to throw when it's not yours.

    The private sector does not have the luxury to play with America's BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS. We must balance our portfolios responsibly and consistently or we will not have the the funds to pay the big claims when they arise (and they do arise, and they do so often). This being the case, it comes down to who the American Tax Payers (again, I stress the 50% that actually pay income taxes) want to handle their medical care. And overwhelming, those tax payers want choice and fiscal responsibility. They will receive neither through a government run "Public Option."

    Ok, well then we'll just lean on Medicaid. Really? Will that be before or after the recent Medicaid Expansion of $87 Billion is used up or after the 78.2 MILLION Baby Boomers suck it dry to care for their long term care expenses? I'm just wondering. Want even more reasons why a "Public Option" will not work? Read: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/bg2267.cfm

    Even though a Single Payer or Public option won't work. We still definitely need health care reform on many levels and the federal government can play an integral part in this reform. Here's what needs to be done.

    1.) Weed out all of the illegals who are sucking on the Federal "teet" through the Medicaid system such as in Illinois. Good old "Blago" enrolled millions of Illegals in to our Medicaid system, thereby running the program in the ground & leaving our Illinois Medicaid system approx. $1.5 BILLION behind in payment of claims to physicians who have been providing "free" care to all illegals who were lucky enough to flock to the State of Illinois to insure themselves for "free". By the way, this is the reason he was impeached so quickly. The Illinois Senate didn't need the Federal Wire Taps to get that done.

    2.) Establish a Federal oversight committee to regulate and hold accountable physicians who make medical mistakes. What's one of the biggest reasons why health care is so expensive? Hint: It's not "rich CEO's" and "outdated medical records transfer processes." It's Medical Mistakes! Here's the real facts you won't find in the main stream media:

    d. Medical errors cause more deaths than motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer or AIDS…..and this study is TEN YEARS OLD and STILL no Federal oversight committee! Oh wait! It gets worse!

    1994: Five years after a groundbreaking Institute of Medicine report focused attention on medical errors in hospitals, Americans say that they do not believe that the nation's quality of care has improved. http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/abstract/hlthaff.w4.534
    a. One out of three patients state that they have experienced a serious medical error.

    c. The deaths from preventable medical mistakes are equivalent to the number of people who would die if a jumbo jet crashed each and every day of the year, and all its passengers died.

    1995: A Study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found that only two percent of medication errors that occurred during the medication administration process were intercepted.
    a. More people die from medication errors than from work place injuries
    b. Medication errors account for approximately one out of 131 outpatient deaths and one out of 854 inpatient deaths.

    b. Between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors in hospitals alone.

    2002: A Study issued by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) concluded that more than 200,000 medication errors occurred during 2002

    a. Medical errors are responsible for injury in as many as 1 out of every 25 hospital patients.

    2004: CDC reports that 90,000 patient deaths occur each year due to patients contracting hospital acquired infections. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/pdf/nnis/2004NNISreport.pdf
    a. Many hospital acquired infections are caused by health care workers who fail to wash their hands in between patients.

    1999: Institute of Medicine (IOM) releases its first report on healthcare quality and medical errors. http://www.iom.edu/?id=12735

    2006: Studies assessing the state of hospital patient safety conclude that current progress is slow, results in general are at best modest, and the gap between the best possible care and actual care remains large. http://www.healthgrades.com/media/dms/pdf/PatientSafetyInAmericanHospitalsStudy2006.pdf

    More Facts:

    Preventable medical errors result in extended hospital stays, expensive treatment for chronic medical conditions and astronomical medical costs that are associated with treating debilitating life-long illnesses. Some experts state that these costs may be in the range of $150-200 Billion dollars per year. Gee, where else could we spend that money??? Quick reminder:

    ALL of the aforementioned happened under the nose of our Federal Government. And we want them to regulate Health Care?? Let's not save ALL of our anger for the "greedy" insurance companies and "over paid" doctors and CEO's. Let's focus our Anger on our GOVERNMENT who has allowed this systemic problem to continue over three administrations!

    Ask yourself, why does the health care industry basically regulate and report on itself? Why is certification and accreditation voluntary? Why don't we have a Federal agency that acts like the FAA and investigate medical mistakes, just like airline accidents or near misses? Why do only some states have mandatory reporting requirements of medical errors? All Good Questions that need to be answered before we hand over our very health freedoms to the Government to "regulate".

    Speaking of Government. This brings me to the third thing we need to do to truly "reform" health care. And this is another positive role that the Government could play (plus they love to mandate stuff so this should be easy to get done).

    3.) Pass a mandatory law that states that all American's, who can afford to purchase Health Insurance (remember the 35 Million?) actually do so! Pass a law that states that they must purchase some basic level of Health Insurance coverage for themselves and their dependents. Why would this work?

    Remember car insurance? It used to be that you could drive around like a moron without it. Congress then mandated (and rightfully) so that ALL drivers purchase some basic level of Car insurance to protect themselves and those who they may injure. This accomplished wonders for the car insurance industry and it would do the EXACT same thing for the Health Insurance industry. Adding to the national risk pool 35 Million more American's (remember them from earlier?) This would drive down Health Insurance premiums for all American's. It's just an actuarial fact. By the way, ever wonder why those 35 Million don't purchase Health Insurance? Because it's FREE!!! There are 217 "Free" Hospitals and Clinics around the United States: http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/17/66884/affordable-medical

    Add to that the "compassionate care" that any one can get at every Emergency Room in the U.S. and is there any wonder why so many chose not to insure themselves? But that's the point here. NOTHING is "free"! It's all on the backs of the 56% of American's who actually pay income taxes and this already MASSIVE burden will increase exponentially once Health Care is "FREE" for everyone!

    But wait! Isn't this selfish? Isn't this unfair? Is it not a right for all to have health care? Shouldn't we help those who need help? YES! Providing for those who are TRULY in need is one of the things that makes America great. We not only provide for those in our own country but we spill our precious blood on foreign soil around the globe defending the rights of our allies and protecting Liberty. We will continue to do so.

    My point is that what used to be entitlements for those who legitimately need them has now become entitlements for those who can MOST CERTAINLY provide for themselves.

    What our forefathers envisioned was a "Just Society". A Society that grows great upon the efforts of each citizens and yet remembers that there are those amongst us WHO CAN NOT (due to infirmity, age, mental disability, disenfranchisement etc.) And we have always provided for those who are truly in need. And we will continue to do so.

    The primary difference between Liberals & Conservatives is that, Conservatives believe wholeheartedly in helping those that are truly in need. But those that are NOT truly in need should PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES!

    And MOST IMPORTANTLY. The decision to help those in need should be made by the hearts and minds of the individual citizen, not forcibly taken by an ever encroaching government.

    Bill & Melinda Gates have contributed Billions of dollars to humanitarian efforts inside and out of this country. Oprah Winfrey has done the same, to name just a few. But no one told them they HAD to. No one forcibly took that money (other than the Millions in taxes they already forfeit to the government).

    Instead, their hearts were motivated to do so and this is the crux of the matter. Free citizens do not need the government to tell them how to spend their money. Free citizens do not need the government encroaching on their very lively hoods.

    And MOST IMPORTANTLY Free Citizens can certainly spend their money better than the Federal Government. Why? Because they have a vested interest in where that money goes due to the fact that they have EARNED it!

    By the way, those that believe that we have a moral obligation to provide everyone with free health care, and feel compelled to do make sure that happens, should VOLUNTARILY pay more taxes for such programs. Those that do not, should not be forced to do so. This is the definition of a free society.

    SIDE BAR: Anyone seen George Soros's charitable contribution amounts lately? Enough said.

  • ||

    Neuvo Mexican
    Any time someone uses interface as a verb you lose points. Lots of em.

  • ||

    A lot of young people don't get health insurance simply because they don't think they need it. And for most of them they're right. This pisses off many liberals, who want to force the young into the insurance pool to lower to rates for their middle aged asses.

  • ||

    Why the hell do I have to go to a clinic to get a scrip for a sore throat? Every CVS and Walgreens should be allowed to have a nurse practitioner on site for $5 visits.

    Agreed. There are numberous problems with the health care system, but they are mainly due to regulations. Like AMA licensing schemes that monopolize medical practice and limit the number of doctors acailable.

    Also important, medicare drives up costs, malpractice drives up costs. Costs are hidden from the consumer behind insurnace. And doctors get sued for not being omniscient.

  • ||

    And doctors get sued for not being omniscient.

    Are some successful malpractice lawsuits bullshit? Yes. Do many insurance companies settle out of court due to fear of theignorance and gullibility of your average juror? Yes.

    OTOH, do you trust the medical profession to police itself, to rid the profession of incompetent and negligent practitioners? I certainly don't.

    This is called a dilemma.

  • ||

    People who post walls of text should be denied emergency room visits, particularly after car accidents or gunshot wounds. Just my two cents.

  • MNG||

    Epi
    That robot you're doing to develop in the future to kill and rape the Anonymity Guy, make sure you add some orders in there to kill and rape any dumbass who puts as much text in a post as Mr. Tucker.

  • MNG||

    Joe D

    "Odd thing about this video is that it justifies not going to universal healthcare, in part, by saying that the poor and the elderly get free gov't-supplied healthcare already."

    A great point I've often made here. You get libertarians saying this sort of thing quite a bit, and then you get some of them saying things like this:

    "Government involvement in health care is the number one problem."

    And sometimes the same fucking people say both, which is amazing in itself...

  • MNG||

    "Like AMA licensing schemes that monopolize medical practice and limit the number of doctors acailable."

    Oh yeah, one thing that would lessen our current problem in health care: more quacks available to more folks!

  • ||

    The Canadian health care system is failing, and it is failing a population that is 1/3rd the size of ours.



    Not that I would have read the novel that you posted, but it didn't help when the first paragraph contained such a ridiculous error. For those who haven't visited our friendly neighbor to the north lately, I assure you that an additional 70 million people didn't recently immigrate there.

  • knuttle||

    Now you just have to address why insurance companies won't cover certain procedures. It's great to have insurance until you're told that they only cover up to a certain amount of treatments (as is with my story dealing with backpain and getting physical therapy). Health insurance companies already seem to be rationing services and denying claims because it's too costly for them (or so they say). I thought the point of having an insurance was to have buyers put money into it and to spread the risk around when someone needs care. Also, why are health insurance FOR-PROFIT companies that have strong lobbies in DC?

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    There are millions of people in the U.S. w/o coverage due to one simple fact.

    Due to others pushing policies like those promoted by Reason, the problems with U.S. care are even worse than they would be. And, those horrible policies impact many other areas as well. For instance, those same policies are responsible for a major part of the problems CA is having. And, by supporting those policies, Reason supports massive illegal activity, massive spending, massive subsidies for corrupt businesses, and more power for the far-left. And, all of that was done against the wishes of the vast majority of Americans.

    You can't trust a magazine - much less a "libertarian" magazine - that supports policies that have had such a delitirious impact.

    P.S. In case anyone replies to this, their responses will almost assuredly be ad homs, thereby conceding my points and showing the childish, anti-intellectual nature of libertarians.

  • hmm||

    Neuvo Mexican
    Any time someone uses interface as a verb you lose points. Lots of em.


    I second that. Every other catch phrase and stupid business phrase needs to be added to that. Then we can get down to identifying the long pole in the tent and reaping the benefits of the low hanging fruit.

    The only thing worse than stupid catch phrases are retarded assclowns shilling their own site on another blog like a leech clinging to the underside of a donkey dick.

  • ||

    MNG-

    WHy do you ignore certain facts like the average wage-earner could buy a whole lot more healthcare, wihtout insurance, in 1964, than today?

    I know that you care about people who cannot afford to purchase basic health/medical services. Just as I know that you care about the average working stiff who has to forfeit 7.65% of his paycheck so that the greatest ponzi scheme of them all can continue to be fed.

    What I do not understand is why you do not see the practical, rubber hits the road realities of this issue. When the government becomes a significant buyer of a given good or service, what do you think tends to happen to the cost of such good or service? What do think happens when the government becomes the largest purchaser of a given good or service? And when it becomes a monopsonist?

    The bottom line is that in the name of attempting to create greater access and affordability, the state actually causes the good or service it seeks to make more accessible and affordable, less so.

    If the single payer pushers were truly concerned with greater acces to, and affordability of, healthcare goods and services, they would not support single payer schemes.

  • Xeones||

    Shut the fuck up, LoneWacko.

    People who post walls of text should be denied emergency room visits, particularly after car accidents or gunshot wounds.

    Also: car accidents/gunshot wounds should be mandatory for people who post walls of text. I seriously hope you cut 'n' pasted that, dude, because that would merely be inconsiderate; if you actually typed all that shit, well, that speaks to a serious pathology of some kind. In either case, GO OUTSIDE.

  • ||

    C. Steven Tucker-

    Let me take a wild guess: you prefer prolixity.

  • ||

    $100/mo for health insurance?

    WHERE?

  • C. Steven Tucker||

    To Sandman, - That was a definite typo. My post should have read "a population 1/10th the size of ours". My apologies.

    To Liberty Mike, - Not always, but at times, I do feel prolixity is apropos depending on the topic.

    To MNG, - the length of my post is primarily due to the fact that I refer to multiple quotes from our forefathers. How truly sad (and disturbing) it is to see comments from you stating that I should be "raped and killed" for posting comments that surpass your short attention span.

    Maybe this is the crux of the problem in this country. People can no longer have an intelligent debate and as a result, no real progress is made on anything.

    In fact, I dare not post anything more in response to you for fear of another death threat. You Sir, should be ashamed of yourself.

  • hmm||

    This is an unregulated (for the most part) blog on the internet; a fact I'm sure you are aware of. There is no shame, there is no crying, there is definitely no bitching about being threatened to be butt raped, and there is no fight club.

    Your post is fine, long and full of text that could easily be edited to get the point across, but none the less a decent post even if I don't agree with all of it. However, brevity in the age of the internet and 10 second attention spans is a necessity not a luxury.

  • Nash||

    I'm certainly of the opinion that less government involvement in healthcare is better than more but here's a question: What about those who can't get coverage now based on pre-existing conditions? For example, fat people can't get healthcare outside of an employment plan even if they are willing to pay for it. This is a serious problem. Anyone have a solution for this? (Hint: Telling them to lose weight is a cop out).

  • ||

    All those who complain about long posts: learn to scroll or shut the fuck up. If you are afraid of debate, don't go to political forums; if you are afraid of long posts, don't ever try to read any Locke--forbid you have to spend more than 30 seconds understanding a point.

    Moronic.

    (Go ahead, show how cool you are and make some dorky threat or half-assed retort. Do it.)

  • ||

    Sadly, it will never change. Why? Because "Big Medical" has all the law makers in their back pocket. Bought and paid for, its the American way!

    RT
    www.real-anonymity.pro.tc

  • MNG||

    Mr. Tucker
    Take a look at the posts on this thread. See how much longer yours is, I mean how very, very, very much longer yours is? I say this as someone who has MY posts criticized for being too long at times: it is considered very rude to post something that long here. Consider it an informal norm, but a norm nonetheless.

    And as for your "death threat" comment, what insane hyperbole; I asked Epi to make sure that, when he goes into the future and programs a Terminator-class robot and sends that robot back into the past to kill the Anonymity Guy, that he also add a program to rape and kill any one who does such stupid rude things such as what you did. Anybody who thinks of that as a death threat and not as "kidding" is as lame and stupid as someone who would put such a mountain of text up in the first place. Epi is a smart guy, but his ability to go into the future, create such a robot, program it thusly and send it back through time after you is sadly not what I would think would constitute that being much of an imminent threat...I hate to think how you characterize someone telling you to go fuck yourself...

    And oh, Anonymity Guy, I talked to Satan and he said he still can't wait to rape and eat you throughout eternity.

  • MNG||

    libertymike
    I'm not sure how to take your point. Is it that government subsidy is what makes our health costs so high? Then certainly the health care costs of nations with even greater government involvement should be even higher, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Explain?

  • Brett Stevens||

    I think you'll pay less for healthcare coverage than if you have Uncle Sap's bloated bureaucracy making sure it takes care of every homeless criminal, underpass-dwelling pervert, drug-addicted retard, etc. with only taking care of the capable as an afterthought.

  • C. Steven Tucker||

    MNG - Thank you for clarifying that. Nonetheless, I do not feel that terms such as "kill and rape" should be used lightly. I do however see now that your use of these words was an attempt at humor. I think that anyone who has been a victim of any violent crime would take offense at the usage of those words in any context.

  • ||

    C. Steven Tucker, please continue to post. Don't let the reading comprehension and attention challenged deter you. I hope that you can figure out that my post was not delivered with a mean spirit.

    hmm, I'm not saying that you are attention challenged, not at all. But, you do make a very accurate observation, IMO, that presents a connundrum for those who have the wherewithal to express complex thoughts in a logical and orderly fashion. Query, what should those folks do? Submit to the sound bite?

  • C. Steven Tucker||

    Excellent point Mike!

    That's a huge problem we have nowadays. The internet is arguably one of the greatest inventions ever conceived. However, as with all things, there are positives and negatives. In this day and age, it seems as though we want short and concise comments on every topic. In fact, the recent advent of Twitter is a testament to how abbreviated (140 characters or less) our thoughts have been restricted to. All in an effort to make communication more "efficient". Whilst this can be a good thing. It can also hinder intelligent discussion and stifle worthwhile debate.

    Imagine the authors of our Bill of Rights, or our Constitution (or even the writers of the Bible) being forced to restrict their thoughts to the constraints of the average "comment box" or "Tweet".

    Intelligent debate and exchange of ideology has always been the largest catalyst for change. I guess the old adage that "nothing worthwhile comes easy" applies here.

    The recent bankruptcy filing of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun Times are testaments to how the public now wants to receive their information. Some say this is a good thing.
    I for one, will miss the days of reading the thoughts of others without the restrictions applied to today's social media outlets.

  • I, Kahn O\'Clast||

    One of the great problems with our health care system is that there are sufficient numbers of people whose health insurance is either covered by their companies, partially covered through their companies or who have their coverage covered through a payroll deduction system. From most to least, each of these put some form of barrier between the insured and how much that insurance costs.

    If as of tomorrow none of these were in allowed and everyone had to go out and purchase their own, the entire system would be forced, via competition, to change dramatically and prices would fall.

    Eventually people would likely purchase some form of maintenance plan along side a catastrophic plan. And much of health care would become out of pocket expense also forcing down prices. As it is, between the above and the government's plans, costs have spiraled and will continue to do so.

  • DJP||

    "I think you'll pay less for healthcare coverage than if you have Uncle Sap's bloated bureaucracy making sure it takes care of every homeless criminal, underpass-dwelling pervert, drug-addicted retard, etc. with only taking care of the capable as an afterthought."

    Much more is already spent taking care of the "drug-addicted retard" with law enforcement and prison sentences.

    It would be much more cost-effective to handle them in a medical situation only.

    Even better, just leave them be. Treat those rare cases of actual serious drug addiction as a form of mental illness, and deal with it appropriately.

  • ||

    Government is not the solution, it is the problem.

    If government remvoed the last 100 taxes it has imposed on it's citizens.....this blog about health insurance would not exist.

    Focus people, focus. (STockholm sydrome)

    Once removed you would have the ability to put 20% of your earning into a retirement account, a parent would be able to remain in the home to supervise and raise your children while pay for your own insurance needs that fit your family.


    Government has caused your pain, not insurance companies.

  • DJP||

    My fallback plan if/when my health care costs become too crazy is to go abroad.

    I have first-hand experience with health care in "developing countries". You can get world-class treatment in luxury facilities for about 10% of what it would be cost to be (mis)treated by the insurance companies and medical bureaucracies here.

  • C. Steven Tucker||

    That is EXACTLY the point Don. EXACTLY.

  • hmm||

    I might have missed it, but what solutions are there to address civil suit abuse? I've seen one mention of a federal agency (which is never a good idea) to regulate malpractice, but that only deals with one side of the problem. Living just a stones throw from Cook county Illinois the ever looming billion dollar settlement for stitches that pulled out is present. New laws regulating rewards are never a good idea in the civil arena since it is next to impossible to anticipate future needs.

    The car insurance analogy is not correct nor are the assertions made based on it. People still drive without car insurance. I've had to personally deal with two incidents. The industry was changed but the behavior of the people only changed for the people who were probably smart enough to carry insurance to begin with. You may drive the cost down, but you will still have politicians screaming there are people not covered or can not cover themselves. You don't here them as talking point for car insurance because no one sits and home and worries about their kid putting a dent in a car, they do worry about their significant other or kid contracting a disease and withering away, in part thanks to the media and politicians pushing the idea.

    Once the DC crowd latch onto something they tend to not let it go, just like the whole green movement fiasco. Solving the number problem in any public policy situation is always the easy part. Solving the cultural part is never that easy. For the best example of this watch the government and the business world as of late banks. The government has been trying to solve the short term profit v. stability issue for a while and some of the most prolific and far reaching legislation is being implemented today. Who wants to bet more effort is put into circumventing the legislation than complying and the income statement, the basis for short term returns, still remains the most heavily weighted document in board rooms across the US and the world. It's easy to posit a numerical solution with some sort of legislation tied to it, the problem is actually enacting the solution in a away the culture will follow and avoiding the dreaded unintended consequences.

    Simple solutions, even if they are in book form, are never simple. Solving the numerical problem does not mean the cultural issue is solved and if you add even a small amount of government to any problem you can guarantee more problems.

  • ||

    Mr Tucker,

    Thank you. One only need to examine the "compulsory" education forced upon it's citizenry by it's government. Through coercian and threat of jail our children have been removed from our homes, and parents forced to fund it.

    Our government doing so has created a market place to create "consumers" not free thinking citizens. Or do we beleive that "free speech" really exists in government school?

    When we keep seeing something wrong long enough that it looks normal, soon we will not be able to distingquish error any longer. Our money is not safe in the hands of a government that does not even have a "balanced" budget apporoach to economics. We have been so immorally overtaxed we think it's normal.

    What program instituted by government has not run out of money, or caused further increases in taxes? The loss of individual freedom is threatened the more powerful through taxation and unfunded mandates that are produced from our government.

    Let's take back what is ours ..."our money" that is immorally taken from us, by our continued diligence in electing those who listen and reduce government growth at the expense of creating more slaves.

  • hmm||

    I agree with all of that. But you mentioned some sort of federal oversight for malpractice, and didn't mention the civil litigation and profit seeking through courts. The average joe or population as a whole is probably too close to the issue and too comfortable with the current institutions, but that is just the problem. People are comfortable and therefore easily manipulated by a guy in a suit that proclaims he is going to solve all your ills. This is the cultural issue I am talking about with respect to the public or institutions in the private sector. You think health insurance will be driven down by the government mandating everyone have it and mathematically it probably would. The problem is that the people who blow $400 a month on beer and concerts are not going to now spend $350 a month on those things and $50 on health insurance and politicians are still going to proclaim a problem since everyone doesn't have insurance and this issue gets votes.

    You can't legislate cultural and moral changes. You want the people to take back what is theirs, but they don't want the responsibility that comes with taking anything back or don't even know something is missing.

  • C. Steven Tucker||

    To Don - AMEN sir. AMEN.

    To Hmm - I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments about limiting the role of government. If for no other reason to ensure competency.

    Regarding the correlation between car insurance mandates and health insurance mandates. The adoption of such a mandate may indeed work if AND ONLY if there are consequences for those who continue to remain uninsured. Such as the consequences for those who choose to break the law in the States of Texas & Michigan: http://www.carinsurancerates.com/news/189-uninsured-drivers-beware-dont-mess-with-texas.html

    In addition, abuse of existing entitlements must we reigned in as well. For example, instead of ANYONE being able to obtain free care in a hospital or clinic. There would have to be a legitimate needs assessment performed when an uninsured individual attempts to receive "free" health care. In fact, many hospital emergency rooms are enacting such assessments on their own.

    This does not mean that we should not help those who are uninsured in an emergency situation. To not do so would be immoral. However, the statistics are very clear, that the majority of those who seek medical care in an emergency room are not there due to an emergency. Instead, they use the emergency room as their primary care physician.

    If and when such abuse preventions are enacted on a large scale many who choose to "break the NEW law" and remain uninsured will think twice before doing so.

    The same concept was behind the recent
    "Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bankruptcy_Abuse_Prevention_and_Consumer_Protection_Act

    Since these new Bankruptcy laws were enacted we have seen a tremendous influx of people who were "rolling the dice" from day to day and not purchasing health insurance.

    It is truly a shame that mandates have to be passed in order to force our citizens to be responsible. Whilst I am naturally leery of ANY federal mandate. If there has to be one, it should be a mandate to purchase Health Insurance and not a "Single Payer" system or a bogus "Public Option".

  • ||

    Hmm

    Your excellent point "You can't legislate cultural and moral changes." is point on!

    Yet, this is exactly what this argument is "clothed" in falsely and emotionally by those political marxists who pitch it, in the attempt to expand thier own power within government.

    No politician can legislate morality. Yet, under the emotional appeal, blind rational thought, tax citizens so much so they no longer have time to think (working two jobs to pay the bills) but have only enough time to react emotionally!

    Our system is not broken when 90% Americans have jobs, 97% pay thier mortgages on time,and 87% have health coverage.

    The charlatins, we call representatives now call our systme broken, with emotional appeals to destroy the rest of us for the few! Thier minds are not rational and you can darn well bet your life on this........the solutions we seek do not require further interference by government!

    Real problems, require real thinking, time, wisdom and maturity that is sadly eroding.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I just don't like the idea of a publicly traded company offering health insurance.

    This article doesn't cover the family that does pay the $1200 per month for healthcare, receives the policy in the mail which on PAGE ONE claims to cover 90% with a $3,000 yearly cap followed by 100 pages of ALL THE THINGS that ARE NOT COVERED.

    IT is NOT THAT INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE CROOKS...It's just that THEY ARE trying to RAISE the STOCK PRICE so THAT the INVESTOR MAKES MORE and MORE and MORE and MORE and MORE and MORE MONEY.

    The best way to do this is by charging high premiums and offerring as little coverage as possible. This is the American Way. This is capitalism.

    I think capitalism is great for selling Cars, hairbrushes, computers, software, and other goods and services...BUT CAPITALISM IS NOT GOOD for LIFE/DEATH SERVICES to any HUMAN BEING.

    Yea, let the PUBLICH TRADED INSURANCE companies NOT MUTUALLY OWNED by the POLICY HOLDERS continue to sell AUTO INSURANCE, LIFE INSURANCE, HOME OWNER INSURANCE, etc....BUT NOT HEALTH INSURANCE. If after a life-time of paying life insurance the company decides not to pay the benefit...that sucks...and is probably criminal...but at least it's not like letting someone DIE.

    This is MY OPINION: The only way a PUBLICLY traded company can be trusted to give people a fair shake is by GOVERNMENT MANDATES. And, the fact is, if INSURANCE COMPANY SPENT LESS to all the ENERGY and RESOURCES they use TO DENY...they'd make more money.

  • hmm||

    You just covered the shot term income v. stability I spoke of. There is nothing wrong with a bank or insurance agency being public as long as they don't focus on short term profit. There was an interesting article in Bloomburg a while back discussing Barclay's record room holding the companies 300+ years of statements. In the last section of the article the shift of the primary document from the balance sheet to the income statement is discussed. Something that doesn't seem like a significant occurrence until you look at the mess created today.

    Profit seeking is a good thing as long as it is a part of strengthening the company and not for the sake of profit seeking. Couple the focus of short term income, a lack of understanding of math in business schools (black scholes used to evaluate risk beyond its effectiveness), and a public obsessed with easy and fast money and you have a time bomb. Public companies work just like government or any bureaucracy that relies on the people, if the people do not inform themselves and participate the system will run eventually run wild. The last thing you want is government, a system already running wild due to uninformed people and lack of participation, to regulate a system running wild. You get the situation we are currently dealing with.

  • C. Steven Tucker||

    To Alice - Not all Health Insurance carriers are publicly traded. For instance, American Community Mutual is a great old company (to name just one) that has been offering quality Health Insurance across the country since 1936.

    Regarding your monthly premium. I would suggest lowering it significantly by purchasing Consumer Driven Tax Qualified Health Insurance. This the smartest (and lowest priced) way to protect your family against catastrophic medical expenses whilst also creating very unique tax advantages not available with Traditional Health Insurance:
    http://www.sbisvcs.com/hsa_qualified_hdhp.htm

    Also, contrary to popular belief, Health Insurance Brokers (unlike most other financial advisors) require no fee. They are instead paid by the insurance company you choose to do business with and their fee has no bearing on your health insurance premium.

    For example, your premium with Blue Cross remains exactly the same if you buy your policy directly from Blue Cross or you purchase it through a Broker/Agent. This being the case, it is always more prudent to use a reputable and knowledgeable Broker to help you delineate between a good policy (with very few exclusions) and a bad policy. There are some VERY bad policies on the market today: http://my.nowpublic.com/tech-biz/mega-life-midwest-national-life-health-markets-insurance-fine

    As with all things, knowledge is power. The best way to find quality Health Insurance is by tapping in to the knowledge base of a reputable Broker. The majority of them can make impartial recommendations that will help you weed out the bad. It is MUCH more important to know what your policy DOES NOT cover than what it does.

  • loves freedom - hates smug ass||

    Drop dead Gillespie and drop hard.

    You and your jerk-off-wealthy buddies (and the hordes of ass-broke morons who try to give their lives purpose by sucking your cock - all in the name of "Freedom!!!" of course) support moneyed people's "rights" to advertise in whatever manner they wish. Let them use every psychological trick uncovered by centuries of science to try and fool people into spending their last remaining pennies on alcohol and cigarettes. Let universities and casinos and purveyors of vice of every kind hire whom they will from "marketing" programs at ivy league colleges that instruct them in how to play people's meager brains like a fiddle. Etc.

    You're a fuckin asshole Gillespie.

    You have to be willfully ignorant - in fact demagogic - to stand there with a "personal responsibility" message when you know damn well the feebleness of our brains - yours too if you weren't buffered by huge stacks of cash by your wealthy backers.

    And what do you do when you;re called out on it? You'll have these self-same sufferers come and lynch folk like me for "insulting" them by saying that which is obvious to everyone who's ever noticed "commercials" or been alive for more than 15 minutes. Yea, they'll lynch me, just ten minutes before they blow their brains out because of their own sufferings - wrought by cold-hearted assholes like you.

    If I were trying to convince people here I'd bother to spellcheck and maybe proofread. I have no such delusions though and am simply cussing you out because it makes me happy to do it - you demagogic dickweed.

  • BruceM||

    I could "get" a Porsche 911 Turbo. I'm qualified to own one, I'm qualified to drive it (have a license, know how to drive and can drive quite well). I just need $150,000 since I can't afford one.

    Not being able to afford something disqualifies someone from being able to get it.

    Solution: legalize drugs, tax them, quit wasting taxpayer money on prisons and incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders, get rid of the DEA, and there will be plenty of tax revenue to provide A++ top of the line, 100% free government-provided healthcare to every American. Plus, with drugs being legal and thus sold in pure, unadulterated, measured quantities next to the beer and vodka, there will be hardly any drug-related medical injuries. So we'll save money on overall healthcare expenses, too.

    We can do it - we just need to summarily execute anyone who says "the children" while opposing drug legalization (or any political issue, quite frankly). Take them out into the back alley and blow their head off with a shotgun, point blank, right to the temple.

  • johnmayer||

    If you are uninsured and does not have insurance, you should check out the website http://UninsuredAmerica.blogspot.com - John Mayer, California

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement