Health Care Reform Horror: I Told You So

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Just a month ago, I wrote a column in which I notionally looked back at what health care reform would have wrought by the year 2020. Looking back from 2020, I predicted:

Since 2010, insurance companies had been turned essentially into public utilities with the feds setting strict minimum benefits requirements. The health reform bill also limited the administrative costs of insurers, which has ended up basically guaranteeing their profits. With competition all but outlawed, the increasingly consolidated insurance industry has had very little incentive to pay for new treatment regimens outside those specified by government standard-setting agencies. Federal government health agencies have been reluctant to authorize newer treatments because they often lead to higher insurance premiums that then must be subsidized by higher taxes.

Yesterday, the New York Times reported:

Fearing that health insurance premiums may shoot up in the next few years, Senate Democrats laid a foundation on Tuesday for federal regulation of rates, four weeks after President Obama signed a law intended to rein in soaring health costs.

To start setting rates, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill …

….that would give the secretary of health and human services the power to review premiums and block "any rate increase found to be unreasonable."

The Times article continues:

"Water and power are essential for life," Mrs. Feinstein said. "So they are heavily regulated, and rate increases must be approved. Health insurance is also vital for life. It too should be strictly regulated so that people can afford this basic need."

I told you so. Damn it!

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69 responses to “Health Care Reform Horror: I Told You So

  1. It’s single payer in all but name, really. The federales have just outsourced the administration of the boondoggle.

    1. Price controls always hurt the people.

      What happens when you set a limit?

      Everybody charges the limit! There’s no competition, so why have any?

      Hmmm.

      I know! Let’s join all the companies together into one, and have government oversight, like we did with Amtrak.

      Oh wait! That’s a monopoly, isn’t it?

      Can’t have that.

      Unless it’s a government agency, public utility, same thing.

      Well there we go. All solved. Now the government says what you pay and you have no choice but to pay it!

  2. Imagine my surprise.

  3. Just waitin’ for the collapse to be complete at this point. Though, I fear that may never come in the way I’m envisioning.

  4. And I’m going to just go ahead and blame the teachers’ unions.

  5. Meh, no big fan of Fienstein but her last quote there doesn’t seem unreasonable to me…

    1. MNG: You might want to read the whole column, but my conclusion is:

      The seen aspect of health care reform is that it has had some success in providing more Americans with access to vintage 2010 medical therapies. The unseen aspect is that more people are suffering from and dying of diseases that might well have been cured had the Obama version of health care reform never been enacted. As a result of health care reform, Americans forfeited 2020 medicine in favor of more equal access to 2010 treatments.

    2. I hope you like leech therapy and ASA therapy MNG!

    3. MNG|4.22.10 @ 10:10AM|#
      Meh, no big fan of Fienstein but her last quote there doesn’t seem unreasonable to me…

      It’s probably not unreasonable to people who feel entitled to pilferage other people’s money.

    4. Everything government touches turns to crap.

    5. Then you are a moron. “Health insurance” is not vital to life. No insurance is vital to life. Is health care necessary? Yes. Did the recent bill do anything at all to make health care more affordable? No. It actually provides a number of perverse incentives to raise the actual cost of care. But if you were a) not a moron and b) paying attention to what was actually passed instead of bullshit promises, you’d know that already.

      1. Health care is not necessary, preferable but not necessary.

    6. Because California’s heavy regulation of power and water has done a lot to prevent unnecessary blackouts and water shortages.

    7. MNG|4.22.10 @ 10:10AM|#
      “Meh, no big fan of Fienstein but her last quote there doesn’t seem unreasonable to me…”

      And it works so well with food, in, say, Cuba, right?

    8. “”Meh, no big fan of Fienstein but her last quote there doesn’t seem unreasonable to me…”””

      Uh, yeah. How much regulation do you want to put on food?

    9. That was an awesome troll. I mean we are talking gold medal troll.

      The best part is you more than likely believe it and didn’t intend it as a troll.

      To call something that requires the act of another a right is fucking absurd on every level. Even in your realm of positive law theory.

    10. Really you have no issue with this part, “Health insurance is also vital for life?”

      Care to explain how Health insurance is vital to life? Please also explain how people have some how managed to survive years without health insurance. Taking it a step further please explain how people have some how manged to survive years without any medical care? Seems to me if this was so vital to life no one would be able to live more than a few days.

  6. Only 30 years behind schedule.

    1. And really, with government, do you expect to do much better than that?

    2. I was a socialist. Moron.

      1. A depressed one, as you thought that inevitably socialism would lead to communist totalitarianism.

  7. the power to review premiums and block “any rate increase found to be unreasonable

    Remember when the best and brightest minds conceived America as “an empire of laws, and not of men”? Our Congress now creates laws with terminology so vague and elastic that one may never know if he has committed a crime or infraction until he is charged. His wealth, property, years of struggle and risk-taking now rest in the hands and upon the whims of career legislators and bureaucrats.

  8. Subsidized insurance companies who can’t be profitable without tax payers contributions. Gee, that’s so much better than insurance companies paying their own electric bills.

    I’ve seen the future and it looks like a lot of IKEA furniture. Welcome to mediocrity in exchange for working longer and harder.

    It’s the age of diminishing returns, where you’ll work harder and longer to ensure a better life for some downtrodden hillbilly. So, with that to keep you motivated — get to work!

  9. They’re just luddites who want the masses back in their technological place (environmentally, medically, etc).

  10. Ron, just watch out for Clytemnestra.

    1. He’s having enough trouble traversing Scylla and Charybdis.

    2. No problem. there are antibiotics for that now.

  11. I hope you like leech therapy and ASA therapy MNG!

    He’s obviously a big fan of leeches.

  12. An update on the possibility that congress and its staff would lose their health insurance, the senior bureaucrat at the fed HR office (OPM) has decided that they don’t lose it.
    fuckers

    1. And this surprises you?

  13. If only Ms. Feinstein’s husband owned a health insurance company.

    1. Actually, I was hoping she would be forced to accept treatment at a VA hospital.

      1. Depending where you are, that might be a good deal. Some VA hospitals are really good.

        1. Oddly enough, I’ve heard the same thing about NHS hospitals.

          This apparently leads to the quality of English healthcare being determined by something called the postcode lottery, since you can only get treatment in a hospital run by your local healthcare authority.

          It seems that some local healthcare authorities are run by people who have a semblance of 21st century management skills and their hospitals look quite up to date. But most seem to be run by people who would fit quite well into a Dickens novel and do not seem to have been improved since their nurses were students of Florence Nightingale.

          1. This apparently leads to the quality of English healthcare being determined by something called the postcode lottery, since you can only get treatment in a hospital run by your local healthcare authority.

            That’s just like public school districts, isn’t it? I love the symmetry of it.

            1. Incidentally, just to clarify, I should have said, “…you can only go to the hospital run by your local healthcare authority if your physician says you need hospitalization.

              For ordinary treatment you, of course, go to your primary care doctor who then determines if you need specialist care and makes the necessaruy referral. You get to pick your primary care doctor one time, after which it is practically impossible to change to a different one.

              The main point is that to the extent that the NHS does work, it is because it is locally administered. But it is dragged down by the fact that the quality of administration varies from one local authority to the next.

            2. ‘That’s just like public school districts, isn’t it? I love the symmetry of it.’

              Yes, such is the nature of government funding. Its still better than one size fits all, though.

  14. It is funny how humans have concentrated all of their technical advances in the fields of health and medicine to veterinarian care. I have outlived two of my ‘owners’ already.

    1. Now, about that spot on the carpet….

      1. I’m afraid that was grandma. Her Government Health Assistant got her plumbing backwards during that last operation. She now pisses out of her ears.

        1. “”Her Government Health Assistant got her plumbing backwards during that last operation. She now pisses out of her ears.””

          Does that explain why grandpa keeps giving her wet willies?

    2. Good thing none of your owners have been suspected drug possessors, Fido.

  15. It is funny how humans have concentrated all of their technical advances in the fields of health and medicine to veterinarian care

    Our only hope for the advancement of medicine will come from helping Fido, since Fido (not being one of The Ruled) actually matters to them.

  16. Can you believe how racist the NYTimes article is?

  17. If health insurance was so vital for life, how did humanity avoid going extinct for the millenia before health insurance was invented?

    1. We don’t talk about that. Liberals are the new Creationists.

    2. Forget health insurance, humans didn’t go extinct without health care.

      I blame it on the right to lifers. 😉

      This is the crap you get when life becomes a right instead of a responsibility to survive.

  18. One way or another, healthcare will have to become cheaper.

    If we do it the command-and-control way, they’ll just turn it into the DMV.

    If we do it with clumsy imitations of market-like forces, we’ll get some sort of vouchers. Of course, we’ll get them way too late. 🙁

    Fuck America.

    1. Lose some weight you fat fuck!

      1. The Joey Falco diet plan. It’s called stop eating you fat bastard.

        Send $2 for my tape. It’s not audio tape, not video tape, it’s scotch tape, put that over your mouth so the twinkie can’t get in there.

  19. She really has no idea why water and power are regulated as public utilities? It has nothing at all to do with their being vital for life.

    Yikes. What an ignorant fool.

    Is cable television vital for life?

    1. “She really has no idea why water and power are regulated as public utilities? It has nothing at all to do with their being vital for life.”

      That was my first thought on reading that. It has to do with those markets by their nature NOT being competitive. Its not because they are “essential to life.”

      1. She’s from CA. How many of her constituents rely on tap water for thirst instead of non-utility bottled water?

      2. In texas we have competitive markets for energy. Its more that competitive energy markets unseat city/county owned utilities, which those utilities are terrified of.

  20. but it is pretty much a liberal/ progressives’s view of the world in a nutshell. That which is important must be government controlled. Only trivial things that are not needed can be left up to the market.

  21. Hmm… strictly regulate the prices companies charge to consumers, leave the upstream wholesale prices charged to the companies unregulated, combine it with some inelastic demand, and a little oligopolistic market power from the upstream companies. Where have we seen this before? Oh yeah, that’s right, the California electricity deregulation crisis. I’d imagine Feinstein was around for that.

    1. Of course, just like deregulation caused the energy crisis, deregulation will cause the health care crisis! This proves the free market has failed!

  22. We don’t need Obamacare to deny people health care, insurances are doing it on their own.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/201…..int_cancer

  23. Insurances don’t deny anyone health care. They simply decline to pay for it.

    Its a little different when the government’s involved. If the government decides that you shouldn’t have billed for a given procedure, they’re not limited to just denying payment. They can treat your bill as a false claim, bankrupt you, and destroy your professional life. Depending on the details, they can also put you in jail.

    Oh, and deciding not to bill for procedures done for a patient covered by a government plan? Also likely illegal, as to Our Masters that constitutes a kickback to the patient (what they call “patient inducement”).

    So, when the government says a procedure isn’t covered, they are saying don’t do it. When an insurance company says a procedure isn’t covered, they’re saying go right ahead, but don’t expect us to pay.

    See how this works? One has jackboots, the other doesn’t.

    1. I agree. That’s why I think the death panel arguement is BS. Government isn’t preventing you from getting the treatment, they are just not paying for it.

      But that’s not fully the case in my link. They didn’t just deny the service, they terminated a contract which she was paying into. You pay into an insurance company with an expectation they will honor the contract when needed, not dump you and keep the money you paid and screwing you so that you can’t get your condition covered since it’s now a pre-existing condition.

      “”If the government decides that you shouldn’t have billed for a given procedure, they’re not limited to just denying payment. They can treat your bill as a false claim, bankrupt you, and destroy your professional life. Depending on the details, they can also put you in jail.””

      Slightly misleading. With Medicaid/Medicare, It’s only a false claim if the services wasn’t necessary. If you have cancer and need a tumor removed, the claim can not be considered fraud. In most cases, Medicaid will just take the money back if they decide the service wasn’t necessary.

      1. “””So, when the government says a procedure isn’t covered, they are saying don’t do it. “”

        Got the regs on that one?

      2. “”It’s only a false claim if the services wasn’t necessary. “”

        That of course isn’t the only reason. I’m being a little misleading myself with that statement.

      3. ‘I agree. That’s why I think the death panel arguement is BS. Government isn’t preventing you from getting the treatment, they are just not paying for it.’

        Actually, you are wrong here. They are also preventing your insurance from paying for it, and making you spend money on the insurance so you are less likely to be able to afford it out of pocket, anyway.

        1. “””They are also preventing your insurance from paying for it, and making you spend money on the insurance so you are less likely to be able to afford it out of pocket, anyway.”””

          They are not causing your death. Unless you believe that insurances must pay for procedures outside their scope. Isn’t that want the liberals want?

        2. I’ve never heard of government preventing your insurance from paying a claim within their scope. But when your insurance won’t pay. You can pay out of pocket. If you can’t afford it, that’s a different story.

  24. I work for a cheap health insurance company, and I’m hoping that these reforms help people find affordable health insurance without straining the system too hard.

  25. I posted a related short article about this. The horror is indeed coming.

    philoliberal.blogspot.com

  26. This is a half-baked socialism which will make Americans sick. I don’t think all the sweet promises of Obama to the Americans will be realized. Instead, everything about health care may get worst as predicted by many of us.

  27. we as a people need a solution to this health care situation

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