Scalp hunters

Official portrait of United States Health and ...

Official portrait of United States Health and Human Services Secretary . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The scalp hunters in the GOP failed to capture President Obama’s scalp in the effort to repeal, defund, or delay the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Now as a consolation prize, they seek the resignation/firing of the person in charge of implementing Obamacare, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services. If they fail again, whose scalp will they covet next?

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Mike Lee message

Official portrait of United States Senator Mik...

Official portrait of United States Senator Mike Lee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mike just can’t tell the truth. He vows to fight on. Too bad he is in office until 2016.

“The Washington Establishment can’t bring itself to believe that this is why Congress has a poor approval rating – because Washington doesn’t listen to the American people.  It ignores them.  And when the American people can no longer be ignored, the administration shuts down national parks, blocks veterans from going to their own memorials, uses the IRS to target certain groups, and holds hostage critical funding for cancer research, low-income women and children, veterans’ health benefits, border security, and our National Guard.”

 

Health care insurers

Insurance

Insurance (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

From The Predator State by James K. Galbraith:

“A successful private insurance company follows an ancient formula: it stratifies its clientele by risk class and charges premiums adapted to each class. The most successful companies are generally those that manage to exclude the riskiest clients.

“Public universal health insurance schemes like Medicare do not evaluate risk. Since they are universal, they do not need to. Therefore, they save the major cost of providing private health insurance. They pay their personnel at civil service salary scales and are under no obligation to return a dividend to shareholders or meet a target rate of return. Insurance in general is therefore intrinsically a service that the public sector can competently provide at a lower cost than the private sector, and from the standpoint of an entire population, selective private provision of health insurance is invariably inferior to universal public provision. Private health insurance companies would not exist except for their political capacity to forestall the creation of universal public systems, backed by their almost unlimited capacity to sow confusion among the general public over the basic economic facts.”

The trouble with insurance

Health Insurance Does Not Insure Health

Health Insurance Does Not Insure Health (Photo credit: SavaTheAggie)

The trouble with healthcare insurance is that you don’t know what needed care will cost. I don’t have dental insurance so my dentist can tell me in advance exactly what my needed care will cost. I believe that it is too expensive even with a discount for cash, but I know before I authorize treatment. With healthcare insurance, I don’t know.

Today I had my second visit to a dermatologist. Apparently Medicare plus a high plan secondary was sufficient to buy treatment without a co-pay, but I won’t know for months what my out-of-pocket costs are until the insurers send their statements/bills. This must change for consumers to make informed decisions. My wife and I am both postponing needed care because we fear costs not covered by insurance will overwhelm our limited budget.

2 mistakes

Daily News cover illustrated by Ed Murawinski

Daily News cover illustrated by Ed Murawinski (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

President Obama has made two mistakes that are going to cause the country much harm by allowing the GOP to work their will. First he altered the sequester to eliminate delays caused by budget cuts to the air traffic controller budget. Other sequester cuts that are less visible continue to hurt 10,000s of Americans. Secondly, he signed a bill to allow members of the military to continue to be paid during the Federal government shutdown. That gives the GOP relief to the only segment of the government that they care about. The other segment of American society that the GOP care about is the 1%, and they are wealthy enough to purchase other services during the shutdown. Even if Congress finally approves a clean bill for the continuing resolution, the sequester will continue. And I believe that the government shutdown will continue for a long time since the military will continue drawing their pay while other government employees will not.