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Affordable Health Insurance For Kids Question & Answers

2016 January 20
by Sarah Fields

Helen asks…

Why do we expect employers to provide health insurance? Why not get your own?

The republicans want to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, what are they offering as an alternate given that half the population does not have health insurance.

Sarah Fields answers:

I live in New Zealand and we have free health care, and if you want to you can also take out private insurance. It is nice to have options. If you are sick you need help straight away otherwise it will cost the country more in lost productivity, social problems, and crime.
Why should businesses be a collection agency for private insurers. Monopolies are never good as they aren’t price competative.
The government would run the health system better, as is evidenced by the blown out budget in America.
Private insurance companies are out to maximise their profits. Government health is about people, not profits. I can imagine the government and the public are getting screwed by the private insurance companies.
Healthcare for kids under 12 should be free because if a kid gets ear ache and people don’t have insurance that kid has to suffer. Shame on you America; Not having a free public healthcare system is not living in the land of the free, and is not democratic.

Linda asks…

Why do republicans think the heath care system is fine right now?

I am 25 years old and make 40 grand a year. Yet I cannot get heath coverage because I have WAY too many pre-existing conditions. Is it my fault I was a sick kid?

I dont want a government run system, i just want affordable health coverage for myself. Is that too much to ask?

If you think that its ok to deny people health coverage because they may have had a disease or illness in the past then theres something seriously wrong with you.

Sarah Fields answers:

And yet, if you think it is ok to force an insurance company to pay for costs that were caused by something that happened long before they came on the scene — there’s something wrong with you.

***
what you are driving obliquely at is the disconnect between when the condition first occurs and who has to pay for the medical costs involved, perhaps years later.

In an ideal world, the insurance company on the job at the time of first diagnosis would have to carry the costs there after — this is how auto insurance works — the insurance company on the job when the accident occurs gets the bills, not the one you hire three years later.

Now, this can only be done if

1a. Everyone has insurance, AND full records are maintained on every patient by every physician in a central place accessible to all medical providers and the insurance companies, or

1b. No one needs catastrophic care insurance because the government pays for it all

***
As you’ve detected — costs that aren’t your fault do land on your back. [Mine too. And my wife’s. Oh, well.]

To force the insurance companies to pay, will, inevitably, result in driving up their costs of doing business, and

THUS — everyone’s health insurance costs will go UP.

***
that’s everyone’s costs. Every group policy that excludes pre-existing conditions. Every individual policy [mine included].

What will employers do when they get the new and higher bills??

They’ll cut costs, of course.

And that means either that employees will be paid LESS, or their health plan will COST MORE, or that layoffs will occur and more jobs will move to China.

***
Moral of the whole mess — you can’t fix who pays for medical care by taxing businesses, directly or indirectly. All that does is cut worker incomes and kill jobs.

Btw, you can’t fix who pays for health care by taxing the rich, either. The rich are the source of the capital that buys buys the equipment and tools that the workers use in their jobs. Less money = less capital = less equipment = lower productivity = lower wages — oops.

What can you do?

1. Tax consumption. [this forces everyone to pay, including the scofflaws and criminals.]

2. Tax the causes of ill health [the major ones of these are tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, violence, and obesity].

3. Mandate honest pricing for all medical costs. It is outrageous, almost beyond belief, that hospitals routinely issue “bills” to people without insurance coverage that are 3, 4, or even more TIMES the amount they’ll accept from an insurance company as full payment. Most medical care is not optional and price gouging like this is incredibly unethical.

[but — neither Congress nor your Legislature sees fit to do anything about it. Sure looks like they’re all being paid off, doesn’t it?]

GL

Paul asks…

For Americans, How do you feel about your current health system?

Reason I ask, I saw a segment on television of people in the states lining up in a showground to receive basic health care, instead of clinics, I was horrified, is this the norm? In Australia we have Medicare & Private health insurance, the main difference is one is a bit more comfortable than the other, I would really like to hear your views.

Sarah Fields answers:

No that’s not the norm, but it’s getting closer to it.
The quality of healthcare is excellent……but the way it’s run sucks. It’s far too expensive. I don’t have health insurance because it just costs to much and it would be an extra $500 out of my paycheck every month.
Funny thing is, I fall in the middle class category, so according to politicians standards, I should be able to afford it, but they are filthy rich so they don’t understand the concept of “cost of living” expenses that most of us need to pay close attention to, while they can spend money, and spend money, and spend money without money being a top worry for them. I’m glad my hard earned tax dollars enable a nice lavish lifestyle for them…..
We also have medicare and private insurance, but medicare mainly goes to old people, and private insurance rates are too high for the average joe schmoe to afford right now, unless you work for a company that pays a good portion of the insurance costs. My company used to pay for half of insurance, then the employees paid the rest…..and then it was affordable, but now rates keep going up, and the company is less able to pay for the employees share, and finally they are paying none, so the cost is soley on our shoulders, if we choose to have the insurance.
So in the end, it’s actually cheaper for me not to have insurance, and pay for doctor visits up front. Lets just hope I never have any major medical problems, or emergency room visits in the near future, or I’ll probably be in debt for years to come.
I’m hoping this will seriously change in the near future, and I’m glad I don’t have kids right now, because I would go broke on making sure they have health coverage and regular doctor visits.

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