Now Playing at Reason.tv: Get Some!—How to Solve America's Health Care Crisis

|

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 uninjured, 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.

Click on the image below to watch the video. For embed code and related articles, go to reason.tv.

Advertisement

NEXT: Could Be A Midget in Disguise

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.

  1. Not to quibble, or to disagree with the premise that insurance is a solvable problem, but if “about 45 percent of them would be able to get health insurance right now if they wanted it”, then that means that it is quantifiably harder to get insurance than to forgo it.

    I do not think that this “get some” means what you think it means. . .

  2. What I find amusing is the way that the word “crisis” is thrown around for purely propaganda reasons.

    The notion of what is a “crisis” has evolved in lockstep with changes in beliefs about “entitlements”.

    Did people get better health care treatment 100 years ago than they do today?

    No.

    Is the percentage of the population without health insurance higher today than it was 100 years ago?

    No.

    Were people running around squawking about there being a healthcare crisis 100 years ago?

    No.

    So what’s changed?

    Nothing but perceptions about what people are “entitled” to.

  3. “I’ll swallow your soul!”

    “Come get some.”

  4. Maybe if insurance was actually, for, you know, insurance purposes, we wouldn’t be in this mess. Just like you don’t use your house insurance to fix a simple broken faucet or to get the grass mowed by a professional, maybe health insurance should be for unforseen emergencies.

    In that sense, any able-bodied person not already covered by the poverty index Medicaid/Medicare patchwork should be to afford a health insurance policy with a $3,000-$5,000 dollar deductible and keep $3,000-$5,000 in the bank just in case. But that would require not having 6 kids on a landscapers wages, or buying a house you can’t afford, or possessing foresight, a work ethic, and some smidgen of common goddamn sense.

  5. Try getting insurance when your over 50 and have a heart condition. I was quoted over $2000/month each for my wife and myself. And that excluded any existing conditions and did not provide drug coverage.

  6. Maybe if insurance was actually, for, you know, insurance purposes, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    You mean like auto insurance? The insurance that’s quite inexpensive if you’re not a bad driver, is acquired individually, and has many tiers of coverage types?

  7. It’s kind of tough to buy house insurance when your home is on fire.

  8. We need a Gillespie plan commercial with the door gunner from Full Metal Jacket: “Get some! Get some baby yeah yeah get some!”

    SugarFree brings up a good point, and John Stossel has mentioned this too. Imagine if car insurance worked like health insurance. An oil change would be $600.

  9. I am very poor and I purchase individual insurance through BCBS. I have 20% coinsurance with a $1000/2000 deductible and $6000 out of pocket. This seemed to be the deal that made the most sense for my family. The number one priority was finding something where the out of pocket would be limited if something really bad happened. Ideally I should have 6-8 grand stashed to cover the possible expenses. I do not. But if something bad really happened, coming up with 6 grand would be possible ( payment plans, credit cards,etc). 60 or 600 grand would not.

    I grewup on my mother’s insurance which was 100% paid for by employer and had $0 deductible and $0 or $5 co-pay. We were spoiled in that sense. When I first had a job that offered employer subsidized insurance I turned it down. I couldn’t believe they expected me to actually contribute to the premiums. I do not regret my decision ( I was very young and including this time I have not been sick in 7 years). I preferred the extra cash. I have not had a job since that even offered it. Neither my wife or I ( both college educated) have access to employer subsidized insurance.

    Being poor and having a deductible and co-insurance it is a little difficult paying out of pocket for office visits and the like, but I think it’s the best way. I have always compared it to the car oil change myself.

  10. to get the grass mowed by a professional

    Well, Sug, in all fairness, no one is suggesting that health insurance cover bikini waxing. No matter how necessary it is for those lowrise styles you like. =P

  11. Silly Nick. The people don’t want your private health insurance schemes! They want Universal Health Care because our government runs things more efficiently and produces better results than any old free market ever could.

    You’d have to be out of your mind to disapprove.

  12. no one is suggesting that health insurance cover bikini waxing. No matter how necessary it is for those lowrise styles you like

    Thanks so very fucking much for putting that image in my head.

  13. Dagny,

    Why wax? I thought the ladies liked a banana hammock more when it is framed by sweaty curls.

  14. Thanks so very fucking much for putting that image in my head.

    You’re so welcome. Just payback for the Evil Dead quote that I pathetically had to Google. 😉

    Why wax? I thought the ladies liked a banana hammock more when it is framed by sweaty curls.

    You have not been misled. Many’s the time a group of pretty, starry-eyed young things will sit around discussing just that. That, and the overblown nature of the “health care crisis,” of course.

  15. Try getting insurance when your over 50 and have a heart condition. I was quoted over $2000/month each for my wife and myself. And that excluded any existing conditions and did not provide drug coverage.

    Who are you arguing against here? Certainly not Nick, who said:

    “Of people currently classified as uninjured, 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.

  16. The problem I see with the young folks who choose not to get coverage is that if they have an emergency, if it’s severe enough, they’ll get treated for free at other people’s expense. I don’t know what to do about that… some level of healthcare seems to be an inalienable right, but the natural consequences of this contradict the notion that nobody is obligated to work for free or pay for someone else’s stuff. What’s a Libertarian to do?

  17. You’re so welcome. Just payback for the Evil Dead quote that I pathetically had to Google. 😉

    “Hail to the King, baby.”

  18. So what’s changed?

    Nothing but perceptions about what people are “entitled” to.

    Er, no. One hundred years ago we knew about basic germ theory, but the only practical application of that was antiseptic procedures for docs and hospitals. What has changed since 1908: antibiotics, x-rays, medicine that really works because we understand the biochemistry a lot better, we now know that in addition to bacteria (“germs”) that there are yet smaller creatures called virii which are responsible for many ailments and do not respond to antibiotics…

    Nothing but perceptions about what people are “entitled” to.

    That statement belies either extreme ignorance of the history of medicine, or extreme intellectual dishonesty.

  19. That 45 million includes about 10 million people that aren’t legal citizens, 10 million from families that make more than $50,000 a year, and 10 million that make more than $75,000 a year (generally speaking, based on 2006 census numbers). So that loeaves 15 million, or about 5% of the population. Doesn’t quite sound as bad. And we spend about $90 million a year on the UNinsured–an average of $6,000 per person, more than McCain’s proposed tax credit.

    So maybe for a family of four, $50,000 doesn’t quite cut it, but how many of those families pay $80 a month for cable? If we could remove the stranglehold of the insurance companies and our insurance being employer-based one-size-fits-all (“and No, you may not opt out if you work here”), perhaps we have a chance at providing a variety of affordable options, and we could have cable AND health care. But throwing that 45 million number untethered to reality is a disservice to the discussion.

  20. “Er, no. One hundred years ago we knew about basic germ theory, but the only practical application of that was antiseptic procedures for docs and hospitals. What has changed since 1908: antibiotics, x-rays, medicine that really works because we understand the biochemistry a lot better, we now know that in addition to bacteria (“germs”) that there are yet smaller creatures called virii which are responsible for many ailments and do not respond to antibiotics…”

    None of which has anything to do with the point I was making.

    There have been lots of technological and scientific changes in the last 100 years. That has nothing to do with any notion of whether someone is “entitled” to something whether they can pay for it or not.

    Central air conditioning (one of the greatest inventions known to man) was developed within the last 100 years as well but no one has an expectation that everyone else has an obligation to chip on a new heat pump for their house.

  21. “Try getting insurance when your over 50 and have a heart condition.”

    Try getting homeowners insurance when your house in on fire.

    What you want is not insurance, it is for someone to pay your medical bills.

    It might be that society has a duty to do that for people in need, but we should stop pretending it would be insurance.

  22. Martin, you asked the question: “So what’s changed [about medicine in the past hundred years]?”

    Which you then answered: “Nothing but perceptions about what people are “entitled” to.”

    I didn’t address the merits of universal healthcare either way. I did however resoundingly demolish your premise that nothing had changed in the past hundred years except expectations. Medicine in 1908 was pretty hit-or-miss; medicine in 2008 is much more reliable.

  23. I guess it’s okay for a magazine called “reason” to ignore the asymnetric information issues that come up in all healthcare markets. Prices are high not because of insurance but because people aren’t going to shop around much for something they need to survive.

  24. the winguns are at it again! thaey say “oh the people don’t really need health insurance or theywould buy it and they don’t really want insurance anyway the just want some to pay their medical bills” every civilized country on earth has some form of universal healthcare. the US is the most backwards country on the planet but we shove our heads up owur own assholes and say w’re the greatest on earth even though we don’t even take of our own society you people make me scik.

  25. concerned observer,
    Are you joe from an evil alternate universe where, instead of being relatively intelligent, he is unbelievably stupid and goes on blogs to get pwned in the during every argument?

  26. I dont see how americas can be so blind as to not see what staring them in the face. the disaster capitalist system is outdated and idiotic!!! but we’ll persist subsidizing the rich and screwing the poor until they finally realize what they should and kill their overlords.

  27. @economist-no im not joe because joe is a sellout who actuallytakes the wingut arguments seriously instead of reconging them as the bs they are and thet you cnat reason with these people because they are completly moronic and dont want to change that they hjust want to keep their heads in their asses forver

  28. CO,
    So, what, you’re a Marxist? Would you like to see how your favorite system has played out so far?

  29. “I didn’t address the merits of universal healthcare either way.”

    Neither did I.

    ” I did however resoundingly demolish your premise that nothing had changed in the past hundred years except expectations.”

    No you didn’t becuase my post wasn’t about comparing the technology of healthcare then vs now to begin with.

    It was about comparing the level of access to healthcare, healthcare insurance and who was paying for it then vs now and the changed attidudes about whose responsibility it is to pay for it.

  30. every civilized country on earth has some form of universal healthcare

    In Quebec, the courts recently made it LEGAL to get private insurance. If the single-payer system is so good, why would someone have to sue to be able to get private insurance? Granted, they speak French there, but this will certainly spread to the English-speaking provinces.

  31. Would price controls on medical care reduce bankrupticies due to medical bills?

    What would be the side effects?

  32. In Quebec, the courts recently made it LEGAL to get private insurance. If the single-payer system is so good, why would someone have to sue to be able to get private insurance?

    Some may claim that the only way single-payer can work is if everyone is mandated to participate.

  33. joe | October 9, 2008, 1:33pm | #

    I guess it’s okay for a magazine called “reason” to ignore the asymnetric information issues that come up in all healthcare markets. Prices are high not because of insurance but because people aren’t going to shop around much for something they need to survive.

    Uhhh…..perhaps this matters in a life or death emergency situation, like when you’re in a car crash or have a heart attack. Doesn’t apply in routine or non-time critical (in the sense of minutes or hours) care.

    Also – if folks had to pay out of pocket for the first grand or two a year, do you think they’d NOT shop around? Let’s see…..Drug A is 98% effective at treating a condition, but will cost me $500 out of pocket. Drug B is 95% effective and costs $100. Which would you choose if you had to pay out of pocket? I suspect the vast majority of folks would try Drug B.

  34. Would price controls on medical care reduce bankrupticies due to medical bills?

    What would be the side effects?

    Reduced access and quality?

  35. trying to “reason” with you people is like trying to reason with a brick wall. igive up. luckily, at least obama will win in november. so while you wingnuts are all jacking youselves the rest of us can actually involved in positive change.

  36. joe – Insurance companies require providers to charge unconscionable prices to cash paying customers. There are ways insurance companies help lower costs but there are ways they raise them too.

  37. Prices are high not because of insurance but because people aren’t going to shop around much for something they need to survive.

    How about for non-emergency health coverage. Do you think it’s a good idea to have a system where people can shop around?

  38. CO

    Yeah, “positive change”. There’s code words for using the coercive power of government to reach into the pockets of the increasingly smaller fraction of society to line your own lazy pockets.

    So what happens when those few of us who actually work for a living say enough and decide to sit on our asses and suck at the teat of government provided OPM (other peoples money) like you?

  39. @NNG-I’ll bet you dont even pay taxes and you just talk about reducing the size of government because you like to piss people off. i have a job and make $60,000 a year and pay taxes but that doesnt make me an antigovernment zealot like you.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.