Resource of the Week: Consumer Guides for Getting and Keeping Health Insurance
By Shirl Kennedy, Senior Editor
Here is an issue that, in the United States, needs no elaboration. Even if you, yourself, do not have a health insurance horror story, most assuredly you have a friend, relative or colleague who does. We’re all familiar with these tales by now:
* People who lose their health insurance when their employer kicks them to the curb.
* Small businesses no longer able to offer coverage to employees because premiums have become unaffordable — if they can find a company willing to insure them to begin with.
* Large businesses unable to complete on a level playing field in the increasingly globalized economy, due to the built-in overhead cost of providing health insurance for employees and, sometimes, retirees.
* People without insurance who put off going to the doctor until a health situation reaches the crisis stage, at which point they show up in the emergency room, where they are treated at taxpayers’ expense for something that might have been prevented — or relatively simply and inexpensive to take care of in its early stages.
* People who are tethered to unrewarding/unsuitable jobs — who would maybe like to work part-time and/or start a small business — because of the need for health insurance.
Note the fine hand of the gooferment in this problem at many places.
* Employer connected benefit plans are a direct result of the WW2 wage and price controls.
* Health Insurance is tax deductible to an employer but not to Joe SixPack (and I’m not referring to abs). Consultants and contractors can deducted by the pretense that they are their own employers. Argh!
* The supply of “doctors”, “nurses”, and “hospitals” are all restricted by gooferment licensing laws. (Like people prior to the AMA were too stupid to figure out what docs were good and what were bad. Docs that screwed up my get shot. Made for motivated health professionals.) Any restriction in supply increases cost. Demand is relatively constant.
* Drugs are restricted by the FDA (whose horror stories are legendary) and, even when “approved”, are further restricted by FDA diktats which ensure the creation of BigPharma (where “regulators” come from and go to retire in an incestuous relationship). Further restricting supply when you can get it. And, too bad, if you happen to die while “your” drug awaits approval. Even if you wave all the claims and accept the risk, you still can’t have it, you peon you. (Unless you’re rich enough and healthy enough to fly to a Third World country where you can have whatever you need. If it’s made at all.
* Drugs, that are evil things that can jump up and put themselves in you, can only be sold in gooferment approved stores. And, then only by prescriptions from gooferment approved “doctors” (qwak qwak) which have to come on gooferment approved forms. These prescriptions can be paid for by gooferment approved insurance companies if they are listed in their gooferment approved “formularies”. Argh!
* Things that BigPharma can not make a profit on — vitamins, minerals, dirt, mold, weeds, bark of tropical trees — can not be advertised to you by anyone — regardless if the have a gooferment license or not — as “curing anything” unless the FDA agrees to the proof. Since, for example, the British Navy discovered that Vitamin C cures scurvy, but you can advertise that claim citizen because the FDA hasn’t been paid so you can do a double blind test — at your expense of course. So no vitamins or minerals for you Citizen regardless of what they cure, prevent, or help. (I know one fellow, gets something for his horse, and takes it himself. For arthritis pain. Horse and owner are doing just fine thanks. Not so, the rest of the non-horse owning population.)
* Now my favorite topic, weed. MJ. Did you see that they think that smoking it prevents breast and brain cancer from spreading? Yup, no joke. And, ignore the fact that some sick people can tolerate it better than the fancy and expensive BigPharma drugs. And, further ignore, that in California, the federal thugs are robbing medical marijuana dispensaries. (Well, what do you call a federal raid where pot and cash are taken, but no one is arrested or charges. OJ does it in LV and he’s an armed robber. The feddies do it in CA and they are heros of the empire. We stopped being a republic a long time ago. Guess they haven’t read the Fourth, Fifth, and Tenth Amendment.)
AND ONE LAST POINT
* The gooferment assuming the medical insurance of all old folks over age 65 under the Social Security / Medicare program is imho the single biggest factor in why we are broke and medical care stinks here. Go to a hospital er and go to one of those “you pay” urgent care places. Guess where you’ll be home from first.
BTW, the guide is excellent and this is a great find.
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