The last couple of nights I watched the Democratic Presidential Debate. Gosh there are a lot of candidates. Now of course the part of the debate that resonated most with me were the Medical Insurance discussions. If you don’t know I have been helping people with Medical and Medicare Insurance since 1993. But my interest about this go back before then. Medical Insurance was a big campaign topic during the Bill Clinton campaign. They were talking about Universal Healthcare back in the 80’s
The primary issue with Medical Insurance that it is expensive and making it voluntary means some people will choose to Self-Insure. Medical Insurance at its core is when you transfer the risk of Illness or Injury from yourself to and Insurance Company. The biggest obstacle I must overcome when talking to a client is the fact that you may not need this coverage today. When you have limited resources, you must make decisions about how to allocate those resources. Now most of us want to live today and prepare for tomorrow. You must pay the Mortgage/Rent, Utilities and Groceries. You may also want to pay for some fun things. So, it is easy to postpone paying for those “What Ifs and “Way in the Future” things.
Insurance has always been one of those things that you don’t need, until you need it. Everyone knows at an instinctual level that stuff can happen to them, but most don’t think it will happen. At least 2 times a week, I explain when you get sick or injured it is too late. No one wants to pay your bills. It’s like you want me to accept $100 so I can pay $1,000. Why do I want to do that? Since you never know when you will need it, you need to always have it. We in the business say stuff always happens the minute you’re uninsured.
Now the Affordable Care Act, “Obamacare” was supposed to fix the problem by requiring you have Medical Insurance. It was basically a tax increase. I say, when the Government makes you buy something, we have a word for that, and the word is Tax. But Trump came in and said it is voluntary again, so you can choose to Self-Insure. Which basically allowed many people to drop their coverage. So now when you get sick, or injured you go the Emergency Room, you get a bill you cannot pay, and you don’t pay it. But if you don’t pay the bill, who pays the Doctor. I mean, do you work for free.
Now I paid $500.00 to replace a valve stem in my bathroom, and $15,000 to update my kitchen. How much do you think I should pay to remove my Appendix? If you have a Heart Attack you will pay at least $100,000 and if you have Cancer $250,000 and there is stuff that cost more. Doctors are highly educated people, and you want them to be, don’t you? Especially if they use a scalpel.
There was the argument that people don’t want to lose their Private Insurance, but that is a crock. Doing this since 1993, I can tell you people want the least expensive plan that will work with their doctor and pay their bills. I see so many people trying to not show income so they can qualify for Apple Health it isn’t funny. I had one person get mad when I suggested that was morally wrong. Saying I pay my taxes.
Deficit means you have less than you need, the USA has trillions in debt. When I owe too much money, the walls start closing in. Employer sponsored plans work because the individual doesn’t pay for it. Better plans and lower rates are available to businesses because premiums are paid. It is so much easier to pay for those “What Ifs and “Way in the Future” things when you never see the money. You don’t have to make the choice.
Therefore, I say there are only 2 choices for how we as a country can address this issue.
- 1. Allow people to suffer the natural consequences of their decisions. If you cannot pay for a service either from your own pocket or from the insurance you purchase, then you cannot receive the service. The government does not come to your rescue. Since I am in the insurance business, I want people to have a real incentive to be insured. I want people to see and know the devastation that happens when you are not protected. I want people to choose insurance before they choose new cars and jewelry.
- 2. Take the choice away from individuals and give it to the government since they can tax and control cost. Since the government can and does print money, since the government doesn’t have to make a profit, they are best suited to provide for those that don’t do it for themselves. Right now we try to have it both ways which is just financially inefficient.
Watching the debates made me feel we are moving towards Option 1, since I was thinking none of these candidates would defeat Trump. I hope I am wrong. But if we are moving towards Option 1, it is more important than ever that you protect yourself. Life happens, even when you are not prepared. So, let me help you choose the plan that is best for you.
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