Thursday, September 10, 2009

Will You Please Insure Now!

I missed Obama's speech last night because, ironically, my wife fell down half a flight of stairs and hurt her back, so I had a few extra things to do around the house in order to keep her off her feet. She seems to be doing okay now, albeit a bit sore.

I skimmed his speech this morning, and, well, Dr. Seuss' book, shown above, came to mind. Sure, the time is now. But the time for what?

I still maintain what Obama is proposing doesn't go far enough in reforming the health care/health insurance realm. Until we have costs under control, I don't really care where the money is coming from that keeps getting thrown into that bottomless pit we call a health care system. And until I know what form the "public option" will take and how much it might cost me, premium-wise, I can't get all that excited about it. I don't get a big thrill when I hear a for-profit health insurance company is offering some new whizzbanger of a plan until I know what I get and how much it costs. I mean, sure, it's exciting when Kohl's comes to town, bringing more competition to the likes of Target and Dillards and Macys, but until you know how much the stuff in Kohl's costs, you can't get all that excited about its presence in the neighborhood.

So I'm asking, show me the specifics. Show me the Amigo Money. No Dough, No Show.

What's being proposed may fix some problems. I like what I'm hearing about tort reform. i like what I'm hearing about insurers being reigned in on when they can cancel policies. But I'm still not hearing what'll help me to keep costs down.

Earlier this year, our insurance carrier wanted to shove our rates through the roof. We hadn't had a claim in two years. All we'd done is faithfully sent them money every month for two years. Their excuse: "Health care costs have gone up." I had to ask: For whom? Y'all haven't had to spend a penny on us. We sent you money and did not get a thing in return, not even a wall calendar or something like that. And our insurance rates go up? How does that work? So we told them to pound sand and found a new policy. Which will do the same thing to us in two years: the lock we ahve on price will dissolve, and the premium will go up. And all without making a single solitary claim on the policy. Show me where that is going to be fixed in Obama's proposed reforms, and I'll have something to get excited about.


carl g said...

My suggestion is to just give up all hope now. It's a lost cause when the Blue-collar Bobs who probably need this reform the most are packing guns to town hall meetings to protest those advocating it. The propaganda of the Industrial Medical Complex has won the hearts and minds of the people, and Big Med's money has bought all the pols it need to scupper any meaningful reform.

I think Obama is prepared to make any concession in order to extend care. I wanted to see him attack escalating costs as the central issue in the debate, but he didn't and that whole issue is being strategically ignored. Because reining in costs would require revolution, not reform, and we have no revolutionaries to wave that flag.

Health care costs are edging towards 16% of GDP, and will be 20% in another 10 years. Eventually we'll reach a tipping point when it will threaten our entire economy. Who knows when that will be, but just in case, I'm already making plans to retire to Canada.

Mister Fweem said...

Unfortunately, I think you're right. Obama and company are too sidetracked into thinking, well, what can we do that'll pass, so we can say, "Hey, we did something about healthcare." We do need a revolution, and what we're getting ain't it. Part of me likes to think that maybe they're saying, well, we'll get this passed, and then next time . . . but the cynic in me then stands up and shouts the rest of me down. They'll get whatever little phyrric victory then can. And then dump it like the hot rock it is because they want to get elected again. And then make it possible to elect another Democrat. Or whatever. Save room for me in Canada.