The White Coat Cartel

This whitepaper, by John Dangelo III, explains occupational medical licensing and how the American Medical Association (AMA) has established a cartel on medical care, hence the title of this post.

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Democrats on ACA’s Pre-existing Conditions

Here’s some Congressional Representatives from Florida on the ruling.

This comment in particular stands out:

“This judge sided w/ Republican Governors & the Trump Admin. who want to steal healthcare from millions of Americans, deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, & drag our country back to a time when healthcare was a privilege & not a right,” he tweeted.

Healthcare products and services are commodities, like almost everything else we buy. They are neither a right nor a privilege. Democrats want to convince you that a commodity can be a right, but that’s not how rights work. If healthcare were truly a commodity, it would be available in a variety of price points matched with quality. Providers such as doctors and hospitals are focused on the insurance, and only tangentially on your health. Its like your body is in one place but the payer is a separate entity. If you, the patient, pays, all eyes are on you.

Here’s some problems with forcing ACA insurance plans to carry pre-existing conditions:

For starters, they increase insurance premiums for the healthy. This in turn necessitates both the premium subsidies for lower-income enrollees—and the higher taxes that fund those subsidies.

Economic theory predicts, and economic research confirms, that these rules punish high-quality coverage and reward lousy coverage. They have forced ACA plans to exclude top hospitals and limit physician choice. They are increasingly forcing insurers to limit coverage for multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other expensive conditions. They prohibit consumers from purchasing coverage for nine months out of every year—a nine-month-long rationing period that inevitably denies care to patients who otherwise could have purchased coverage before falling ill.

Requiring insurers to cover healthy and sick patients for the same price imposes a hidden tax on the healthy, in the form of higher premiums, to finance hidden subsidies for the sick, in the form of lower premiums.

Meanwhile, Republicans don’t point out the problems and Democrats continue advocating them, thereby forcing Americans to pay more for health insurance. These people are cruel.

One Example of How ACA Increased Premiums

Victory Girls:

Obamacare has been the bane of my life for years now. I’m sub-contracted as a speech pathologist to a local rehab agency, which means I must carry my own health insurance.

When I started in 2009, I was able to carry a Health Savings Account policy for about $200 per month. Easy-peasy, no problem.

That was then. Wanna guess what my 2019 premium would be using the Healthcare Marketplace?

Try over $1000 per month for a policy with a $7200 deductible. I have no red flag pre-existing conditions, other than aging, which happens to us all.

“Oh,” but the ACA supporters would tell me. “Have you applied for a subsidy?”

Sorry, but I don’t qualify. I make too much money, even though I work part-time, and my monthly income fluctuates. And we’re hardly wealthy.

Texas Judge Strikes Down ACA

Unconstitutional:

Judge Reed O’Connor, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, sided with Texas and the other states, saying the law cannot stand without the so-called individual mandate to get coverage, which Republicans effectively ended as part of a 2017 tax overhaul . Texas and its partner states argued that the requirement was not severable from the rest of the law and sought an injunction beginning in 2019.

I’m ignoring the political rhetoric and hysteria. This decision is sure to be appealed, and it occurred too late in the  year so there are no changes to plans for 2019.

 

Medicare for All: Administrative Costs Are Much Higher than You Think

Gary Galles, with me doing the counting:

1:

But having less than half the health care costs per beneficiary more than doubles private insurance’s administrative cost as a percentage of total costs, than if the more accurate measure — administrative cost per beneficiary — was used. In fact, Medicare’s reported administrative cost per beneficiary has consistently exceeded that for private health insurance.

2:

Adding to the mismeasurement is that many of the administrative costs of Medicare are not counted in comparisons because they show up in other agencies’ budgets. Social Security administers the collection of Medicare premiums. The IRS collects the taxes. Health and Human Services pays for building and marketing costs, as well as accounting and related concerns. Attributing those costs correctly would roughly double Medicare’s administrative costs.

3:

Private insurance administrative costs are normally defined as premiums received minus claims paid, categorizing everything but claims paid as administrative. However, states commonly impose a premium tax (averaging roughly 2 percent) on health insurers, but not on Medicare. Though not administrative costs, that is how they are counted. Many private insurers (including mine) also offer disease-management and on-call nurse consultation services, which, even though they are medical, are counted as administrative because they do not generate claims.

4:

Fraud, a very large and persistent problem for Medicare, also biases comparisons. If Medicare spends less to reduce fraud, it saves on measured administrative costs, and the unnecessary costs fraud causes are counted as medical costs. It looks more efficient. But because studies have found fifteen-to-one payoffs for fraud prevention investments, when private insurers do more to combat fraud, their administrative costs go up and their efficiency looks worse, even when they produce remarkable cost savings.

Result:

We should also remember that current taxpayers fund most of Medicare, imposing another large differential but unrecorded cost which economists call “excess burden.” Tax wedges between what buyers pay and what sellers receive eliminate substantial gains from trade as well as directly taking resources for government. One study concluded that even the “lowest plausible assumption about the excess burden engendered by the tax system raises the true costs of delivering Medicare benefits to about 20–25 percent of its Medicare outlays,” far higher than any estimate of private insurance administrative costs. Expanding into Medicare for all would balloon those costs as well as the direct cost of financing it.

 

Illinois Legislators Pass Law to Punish Patients with Preexisting Conditions

How? Michael Cannon: 

Illinois legislators, responding to critics who complain short-term plans are “junk” insurance, have decreed that short-term plans can last no longer than six months and that enrollees whose short-term plans expire must wait 60 days before purchasing a subsequent plan. The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law tweeted about the new law, “GREAT NEWS! SB1737 is law, and Illinois will now protect healthcare consumers with pre-existing conditions.”

That is exactly backward. The new Illinois law does not protect patients with preexisting conditions. It does not outlaw “junk” insurance. It creates junk insurance by taking protections away from short-term plan enrollees and exposing patients with preexisting conditions to denied care and bankruptcy.

New federal rules allow short-term plans to:

allow enrollees to purchase only the coverage they value, frequently cost half as much as ObamaCare plans, and offer broader choice of providers than ObamaCare plans. Thanks to new federal rules, short-term plans can last up to 12 months, be renewed for up to 36 months, and can enable enrollees who fall ill to keep paying low, healthy-person premiums indefinitely, making access to care more secure for the sick. Critics acknowledge the new rules could extend health insurance to 2 million previously uninsured Americans.

Illinois legislators eliminated those health insurance options for the citizens of Illinois. Idiots.