Monday, June 15, 2009

ObamaCare - The Real Numbers

One may wonder exactly who are the "uninsured." The uninsured can be broken up into three major categories, those who are currently eligible for some government program for which they have not signed up (e.g. Medicaid), those people who have family incomes of over $75,000 who could afford a good healthcare policy if they so wished, and people who have entered and continue to live in this country illegally.

Let's look at the numbers:

U. S Population: 307 million
Total Uninsured: 47 million
Not enrolled: 14 million
Earning over $75k: 10 million
Illegal Immigrants: 9.4 million

Using these numbers, one sees that there are 13.6 million people who are currently uninsured, or 4.4% of the citizens of the US. It is up to you to decide if the $1.4 trillion estimated to be required for an overhaul of the healthcare system is cost effective.


Anonymous said...

I don't want my government running health care, at all. Our Veterans know exactly what that is like. It's not great. But it is SOMETHING. It is better than nothing.

Now it's all about acceptable attrition? But the longer hard-core capitalists act like the health of a few million people is their problem alone, the sooner those of us who won't even be sold insurance will find the lesser evil of two warring factions to be what Obama One is peddling.

All we want is to not die destitute, ignored, told to buy up or go away. That still happens in America! But when contrary arguments reasonably made by people who agree with you most of the time are rejected out of hand, you do not serve your own side! You don't serve anyone's side!

Dammit, this is the one issue conservatives will not face with honesty! It is so, so frustrating. You think that the main reason health care should be up to each person, there should be no guarantees of health care is because everyone should work. Do you hear yourself? Sick people who can't work CAN'T WORK.

Do you really think genuinely broken people want to be looked at like the slackers we all cast withering glances at standing in line for Medicare prescriptions? People who have always been productive, who have done everything right, you want to lump them all in with the people who have lived their whole lives on welfare?!

The constant drum beat of My Profits First, My Capitalism Always only drives people who don't have your good fortune to use their vote against you!

The more you reduce humans like me to just a negligible number, then that de-humanizes me and if I care to keep fighting for my life, I must stop you from doing that. What choice do I have?


Frank Canzolino said...

Thanks for your comment, I appreciate hearing all views on ObamaCare.

It would be more cost effective to give a debit card that could be used for healthcare purchases, with a refund of the unused portion given to the cardholder, to the uninsured (not by choice, nor to illegals). Common sense indicates those are the people truly in need; to upheave the entire healthcare system is inadvisable. Another proposal that can be immediately implemented is to institute tort reform, which would immediately reduce the number of expensive tests performed by doctors to cover their collective asses (In out litigious society can we blame them?).

Instead of ObamaCare, these types of commonsense changes can be made, and conservatives would back them. You must ask yourself if liberals would get behind a debit card and tort reform, I think the answer is no since the American Bar Association, and the collectivists in the Democrat party who want a single payer system would stop these changes dead in their tracks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Frank for offering some actual suggestions that I do agree with and makes me wonder if anyone in Our Congress are promoting these very ideas. But if I may say, with all due respect, they are most useful in the implementation and procedural end of Medicare. Allow me to say why I think so. (Believe it or not, this is brief, comparatively. (Oy.))

It is clear from the back and forth for and against Obama One Care that there is a lot neither side is facing. Again, leaving the uninsured in the middle trying to fight while we're sick.

I don't know if you know what it's like to have to file for Medicare but basically, you have to be dirt broke first (they track down where all your money is, because they need to know you're not some undeserving person trying to defraud the rest of us). So if you aren't dirt broke first, you are undeserving. You are not allowed to have any funds of your own.

You either are entirely dependent on the government or you are entirely unentitled to get any help. Although our MSM will depict persons on disability as rampant and overwhelming, in actuality, they aren't that numerous because Medicare automatically turns down nearly everyone who first applies. You are now forced to hire -- guess who -- a lawyer to fight Medicare.

It takes a minimum of a year to get Medicare to change their ruling. I suspect it's so they can build a paper history of your medical problems so they can justify putting you on disability. For people who need medical care but can't buy insurance, a year without any medical care help means you don't go to the doctor. A vicious cycle ensues.

Either you are fully disabled or you are not disabled. You can't have the ability to do some work, you are required to be considered to be utterly unable to work to get disability at all. So if you are able enough to do some work, and would prefer to work what you can, you are prevented by the rules.

Do you have any idea how terrifying it is to people who are used to being self-sufficient to have to lean entirely on a giant, remorseless bureaucracy for everything? To now have every aspect of your life revealed, scrutinized, judged? That is de facto socialism. And it doesn't even make sense.

You would think the government would wake up: help us get medical care, help us not spend all our own money on staying alive, and we'll spend the rest of what we have on our own rent or house payment and our own cars. It would SAVE money.

Mind you, some of us are not expecting even to be "cured" which these days feels selfish, because of how expensive it is to get tested. Of course, some can never be cured. A prison convict gets better treatment, because my taxes are a sure thing.


Anonymous said...

I do like the idea of giving doctors some breathing room so they can resist prescribing unnecessary tests before they make a move. Now, if patients are expected to man up, then so must the doctors.

Again, another example of how lawyers (and opportunists) can ruin it for everyone.

I don't like the idea of lawsuit award caps because there are people out there who have been genuinely harmed by bad doctors, bad hospitals, bad medical care. How about a cap on what lawyers can charge, in all cases? I can hear the hue and cry now.

Why is it that all the wealthy persons (the lawyers and doctors) rush to protect themselves first, leaving the patients who are already in trouble to fend for themselves? I feel like any time I go to the doctor, he pictures handing me his insurance premium.

I don't have anyone to pass my costs along to. But in the capitalism-only model, which is now, doctors and lawyers act like I'm supposed to worry about their costs. They couldn't care less about my costs. I'm just the sick person.

Lawyers have been getting away with charging the highest gun-for-hire fees since the dawn of litigation. We've been so used to seeing them charge 30-35%, that we no longer feel that club when it strikes our back.

The unchecked, unmoderated capitalism-only model is not perfect. It has flaws. Big flaws. The same is true for socialism.

I appreciate the dialogue. This is a very important issue that everyone should discuss in earnest with the goal being to fix what's broken, to not fix what isn't.

Of course, therein lies the rub....

BostonMaggie said...

We had similar numbers in Massachusetts before Romney instituted mandatory healthcare. 4% needed and couldn't obtain health insurance. We had a large number who qualified for Mass Health and simply refused to enroll. It was ridiculous because they were just using ERs for their healthcare out of ignorance or apathy.

There are some kinks, but one of the best things to come out of it is the ability for individuals to obtain private insurance (BC/BS; Harvard Pilgrim; Tufts, etc.) on their own through the HealthConnector. The state uses their buying power to get discounted rates (not subsidized) for people earning over 300% of the FPL. Without the HealthConnector, the premiums would be out of reach of these people.

It has it's problems and will take a while to work out, but it's definitely showing promise.