The Geezer’s Take On Health Care Reform

I just discovered this morning that U.S. Congressman Dave Loebsack Democrat Iowa 2nd District has agreed to co-sponsor H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. This is the first time I’ve written a congressman to say thank you. Please take the time to do the same if the representative in your district has also agreed to co-sponsor H.R. 676.

For those who don’t agree with the single-payer system, don’t try to engage me in a debate. I’m not up to it and I’ll be deaf to your arguments. I’ve seen what private insurance does as I’ve been studying my options as I approach retirement. Medicare for those 65 and over doesn’t cover everything (yes, doctors have to sign up for Medicare, too). Private insurance has to be added in the form of Medigap policies and prescription drug plans, or alternatively, Medicare Advantage plans. Dental and vision care are not offered in many of these plans and even ObamaCare does not include these as essential health care benefits. It’s very complicated.

And private insurance companies are leaving Iowa when it comes to funding ObamaCare. Further, the private insurance managed care companies are foot-dragging when it comes to paying Iowa hospitals. Collections are down enough to make administrators talk about adjusting the way to set budgets.

I realize that single-payer is not the only solution in health care reform and there may be paths to health care reform which don’t involve single-payer. But you’ll just have to forgive a geezer doctor right now for seeing private insurance companies as part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

What are your thoughts?

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Comments

  1. It’s a sad state of affairs. Private insurance companies are evil. My experience with Medicare has been that it is not evil, that the people who work there are actually helpful, but that it doesn’t cover very much. So what now?

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    • Great to hear from you! You know, I’ve been studying the Medicare landscape because I have to and also looking at my options which may have to include Obamacare. That’s because Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Private insurers on the exchanges are charging sky-high deductibles no matter what the metal and without the subsidies (I know, taxpayers are on the hook for them), I can see why some are talking about the “Unaffordable Care Act.”

      If the subsidies go away, private insurers will only jack up the premiums. I’m the last guy in the world the Physicians for a National Health Program (PHNP) wants as a spokesperson for single payer because I’m so ignorant about the details, but I don’t know enough about other solutions.

      Despite PNHP announcing that more Democrats than ever are supporting single payer, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to happen for baby boomers. What we’ll likely end up doing is getting enrolled in Medicare A and B and supplementing with either a Medicare Advantage plan or a combination of a Medigap policy and a Prescription Drug Plan. Part of the problem with these is that many are not portable. If we wanted to move to another state, we’d have to start all over with supplemental plans, etc or pay out of pocket for going out of network. I don’t think I can eat Ramen noodles 7 days a week.

      Hope all is well with you!

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      • My husband and I are both self-employed, and we get our insurance through the exchange, and it’s terrible. It’s a lot of money for no care. What would be ideal for us is inexpensive catastrophic insurance, plus an easy to set up HSA. But that’s probably not what most people want or need.
        I’d love for there to be a better solution.

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  2. Pediatric vision & dental are Obamacare’s Essential Benefits. This mandate needs to removed immediately & will lower premium costs. On problems with private insurers: I hear you. But what happens when the Government becomes worse than the private insurance companies? Greed, corruption, cronyism, rationing of care, doctors & patients getting screwed by the government system. Doctors must be able to “opt-out” if they so choose. This could be illegal, under the single-payor model.

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