Obamacare makes people less likely to exercise, more likely to smoke and drink
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05-12-2013, 07:49 PM
RE: Obamacare makes people less likely to exercise, more likely to smoke and drink
(05-12-2013 07:38 PM)frankksj Wrote:  And I gave you a spreadsheet showing how the AVERAGE middle-class American could have over $3 million saved up at the end of his life ONLY by using these self-pay facilities instead of insurance!

I would hate to end up blowing through my retirement account for old man and old lady healthcare. Hell between me and the wife it costs close to $20,000/year FOR OUR MEDS ALONE.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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05-12-2013, 07:58 PM
RE: Obamacare makes people less likely to exercise, more likely to smoke and drink
(05-12-2013 07:49 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I would hate to end up blowing through my retirement account for old man and old lady healthcare. Hell between me and the wife it costs close to $20,000/year FOR OUR MEDS ALONE.

I'm sorry about that. Are you aware that your politicians, the guys who are supposed to be protecting you, passed laws to make it harder for people like you to go to Canada where you can get the same meds for a fraction of the price, and where the meds usually cost less than the co-pay in the US? Why do you suppose they're doing that? If you're a free-minded skeptic, and not a lemming, shouldn't you question authority and form your own opinion and not just assume big brother has your interest at heart, especially considering that those guys get paid by the same insurance companies they're supposed to be protecting you from?
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05-12-2013, 08:14 PM (This post was last modified: 05-12-2013 08:18 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Obamacare makes people less likely to exercise, more likely to smoke and drink
(05-12-2013 07:58 PM)frankksj Wrote:  If you're a free-minded skeptic, and not a lemming, shouldn't you question authority and form your own opinion and not just assume big brother has your interest at heart, especially considering that those guys get paid by the same insurance companies they're supposed to be protecting you from?

Well, as a free-minded skeptic I think the ACA was fundamentally about expanding Medicaid to cover poor people who ain't quite poor enough. Another step towards a single payer system. The individual mandate was a bone thrown to the insurance companies to get them on board and help balance the books. If you look at the Kentucky enrollment numbers of the 40,572 enrolled 33,561 or some 83% ended up on Medicaid. 60% were women and 41% were under the age of 35. The Platinum coverage was second only to the Silver plans in terms of enrollment. It's working in Kentucky at least. Young women with pricey insurance tastes are making it happen. They obviously don't share your opinion on health insurance. Personally I got no issue with expanding Medicaid for poor people. Gets closer to the Hong Kong system where everybody's covered but if you got the means you can skip to the front of the line.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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05-12-2013, 08:35 PM
RE: Obamacare makes people less likely to exercise, more likely to smoke and drink
(05-12-2013 08:14 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Personally I got no issue with expanding Medicaid for poor people. Gets closer to the Hong Kong system where everybody's covered but if you got the means you can skip to the front of the line.

That deserves a 'like'. Yes, I actually liked expanding Medicaid for the poor. Of course, I'd rather have had a peaceful, voluntary system based on charity instead of force, but given that the charity hospitals have been eliminated and we're all forced to use Medicaid as the sole means of caring for the poor, I agree the thresholds for Medicaid were way too low and needed to be expanded. And I agree with you the Hong Kong system works quite well.

I ESPECIALLY agree with you that "The individual mandate was a bone thrown to the insurance companies". That's the key point I wanted to make; forcing everyone to buy a product from a private, for-profit corporation that sets its own rates _IS_ a bone for those corporations--not some protection for the consumer.

Since it seems we are in agreement after all, we'll have to wait a few years and see what happens to health care costs. Perhaps the impact will be minimal and it will have been worth 'tossing the insurance industry that bone' in order to get Medicaid expanded. Sadly, I fear that 'bone' was so generous that health care costs will soar and with all the extra money that bone costs us we could have rebuilt the network of charity hospitals to truly take care of the poor in a much more compassionate manner than we do now. We'll have to see.
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05-12-2013, 08:58 PM (This post was last modified: 05-12-2013 09:19 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Obamacare makes people less likely to exercise, more likely to smoke and drink
(05-12-2013 08:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Since it seems we are in agreement after all, we'll have to wait a few years and see what happens to health care costs.

Well we don't agree on individual strategies. As a young man just starting a family some 30 years ago, it never even occurred to me not to buy health care coverage or even "subsidies" if you prefer (that is a better term than "insurance", you're right about that, the term has become improper for this industry). And in order to save $3,000,000 over those 30 years even assuming my current contribution of $400/month it would take a 17% annual return. That ain't happening. A more conservative estimate of 5-7% would yield more like $300-450K.

But yes we will have to see how this plays out. But now that it's been set in motion, all bitching and moaning aside, it sure as shit ain't going away anytime soon. Teed Off Cruz was right about that. It needed to be stopped prior to active enrollment or it wasn't gonna be.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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05-12-2013, 09:35 PM
RE: Obamacare makes people less likely to exercise, more likely to smoke and drink
(05-12-2013 08:58 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  And in order to save $3,000,000 over those 30 years even assuming my current contribution of $400/month it would take a 17% annual return.

Just to clarify.... Is $400/month the TOTAL bill for your family's insurance? Or that's just the part YOU pay, and your employer pays the rest? Assuming it's the latter, and your employer pays, say, another $1,000/month, do you even have the option of having your employer give you the money in a HSA instead? I imagine if you work for the gov't that's not an option.

AFAIK only a few employers, like Whole Foods (owned by John Mackey, a well-known libertarian) gives their employees of taking the cash themselves in a tax-free HSA. It has been, btw, very popular and successful with Whole Foods employees (I imagine it's now banned by ACA).

Obviously my plan makes absolutely no sense if you can't recoup what your employer would otherwise have to pay for your health insurance. Therefore, while I maintain the plan I proposed would give the average person about $3 million in savings, I realize it isn't an option for most employees. However, if more employees knew about it and asking for it, probably more employers would offer it, like Whole Foods did.
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05-12-2013, 09:59 PM
RE: Obamacare makes people less likely to exercise, more likely to smoke and drink
(05-12-2013 09:35 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(05-12-2013 08:58 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  And in order to save $3,000,000 over those 30 years even assuming my current contribution of $400/month it would take a 17% annual return.

Just to clarify.... Is $400/month the TOTAL bill for your family's insurance? Or that's just the part YOU pay, and your employer pays the rest? Assuming it's the latter, and your employer pays, say, another $1,000/month, do you even have the option of having your employer give you the money in a HSA instead? I imagine if you work for the gov't that's not an option.

AFAIK only a few employers, like Whole Foods (owned by John Mackey, a well-known libertarian) gives their employees of taking the cash themselves in a tax-free HSA. It has been, btw, very popular and successful with Whole Foods employees (I imagine it's now banned by ACA).

Obviously my plan makes absolutely no sense if you can't recoup what your employer would otherwise have to pay for your health insurance. Therefore, while I maintain the plan I proposed would give the average person about $3 million in savings, I realize it isn't an option for most employees. However, if more employees knew about it and asking for it, probably more employers would offer it, like Whole Foods did.

That's correct. The current total cost of my insurance is $1350/month and I can't get the other $950 if I opt out. But I can't see how they could even implement that. I get to choose from 3 dozen different plans ranging from $900-1800/month every year. Everyone would just opt for the most expensive plan and take the cash. I do have a Health Savings Account that I pay for but to my knowledge the tax-exempt portion of that is limited to $2500 down from $5000 prior to the ACA. It helps with my deductible but that's about it.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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05-12-2013, 10:32 PM
RE: Obamacare makes people less likely to exercise, more likely to smoke and drink
(05-12-2013 09:59 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  That's correct. The current total cost of my insurance is $1350/month and I can't get the other $950 if I opt out. But I can't see how they could even implement that. I get to choose from 3 dozen different plans ranging from $900-1800/month every year. Everyone would just opt for the most expensive plan and take the cash. I do have a Health Savings Account that I pay for but to my knowledge the tax-exempt portion of that is limited to $2500 down from $5000 prior to the ACA. It helps with my deductible but that's about it.

As I recall, before ACA Whole Foods told their employees we will pay, let's say, $1000/month for your insurance, and make the check out to whoever you want. Here's some insurance plans. Some of the cheap ones may be less than $1000/month, and you can have the difference deposited into your HSA. Some may be more expensive, and you pay the difference. Or, have it all deposited into your HSA, and the first $5000 is tax free. Remember, my spreadsheet showing how you can have $3 million by the time you die was based on around $5k/year, which, before ACA, was entirely tax free. I think that system works the best. Now my business is based in HK, but previously I was in the US and that's the way I did it. I gave the employees the spreadsheet showing how many millions they'd make if they invested themselves, but left it up to them to decide.

Almost everybody took the cash and were much, much better off. I lost the business after only a couple years in the midst of a legal battle, mainly because I refused to give in and pay a patent troll's blackmail. So I never got to see how much they would have had in their HSA when they retired, but, based on the projections, most of the employees would have been millionaires when they retired just from the health care savings, not even counting stock options and 401k, and not have to live like a pauper on Medicare and Social Security.

Thus, imo, that was a much system. But most importantly, it respected the employee's right to exercise free will. If he didn't like it, and wanted a traditional health insurance plan like every other company, it was his decision.
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06-12-2013, 11:49 AM
RE: Obamacare makes people less likely to exercise, more likely to smoke and drink
(05-12-2013 05:04 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Can you clarify what specifically you think is wrong with my example? I agree that the insurance companies "put all the expenses together", but that's what's covered in their markup, which right now is fixed at 25%.
Because it's way oversimplified just like my example was.

(05-12-2013 05:04 PM)frankksj Wrote:  We're still not connecting. I understand that SOME individuals in the group may pay less than if they paid for themselves. But only at the expense of other individuals. You do agree that if you look at the group as a whole, they ARE paying more for insurance than if they paid for it themselves, right? I mean the insurance company collects more money in premiums than they pay in claims and the difference covers the insurance company's overhead + profit, so if the group paid those expenses themselves, the group as a whole would pay less.

Insurance is NOT a tool to save money. On average, everybody will pay MORE with insurance than without it. Insurance is designed to manage risk, and you pay a premium (in this case 25%) to have the insurance companies manage the risk for you and to level out your costs so they do not fluctuate from one year to the other. But that is a service, and you DO pay for it, and the group as a whole would pay less if they paid directly.

That's why insurance in normal circumstances only covers large, unplanned expenses. Car insurance covers a crash, not gas, because there's no risk with gas--you know you're going to buy it. So it's cheaper to pay Chevron $100 for a tank of gas than to pay Geico $125 and have them pay Chevron $100 in your behalf. Same thing with health insurance. If everybody needs a $100 checkup, it's cheaper to pay the $100 yourself, than to pay the insurance company $125 and have them pay it for you.

If you feel that insurance saves you money, please tell me why we don't have our car insurance pay for gas, repairs, car washes, etc.? Certainly those are major expenses and we'd like to reduce them, right? So why not run them through insurance?
I should probably exit this discussion because I really don't have the proper time to dedicate to it and am therefore not doing a very good job of saying what I mean. As mentioned previously, I misstated something above in my original reply and I'm realizing now that I did so again with my example of how everyone's $100 physicals could become $80 with insurance.

You are correct, it's not everyone that will save. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that. As with all insurance, the majority pay more than they will use and the few get their huge unexpected medical bills paid from that. With the non-disasters (physicals, etc.), most people will pay more in their premiums than they would separately paying for themselves. The people who benefit from this are the people that need an unusual amount of non-disaster health services in a short period of time for whatever reason. Their bills can add up to huge expenses and that's why it makes sense to include these in the insurance.

Finally, I think we are both missing other pieces to this. For example, group rates factor in here.

Edit:
I also wanted to bring back my original comment that this system that still includes insurance companies is far from what it could be anyway. We need to model after countries that have national healthcare plans that work if we really want a good system. Unless we do, there will always be something to complain about whichever way it goes.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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06-12-2013, 12:11 PM
RE: Obamacare makes people less likely to exercise, more likely to smoke and drink
Holy fuckshit! You guys pay 1k+ per month for insurance?????
The highest insurance plan(that i know of) you can get here is from a private insurance company and is around usd500(1500+ in my currency)

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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