Knock-Knock, Anyone Home?

Today’s newspaper carried an Associated Press article which makes you wonder.  The article covered a just released report by an “actuary group”.  The bottom line, the Affordable Care Act would result in increase of over 30% for certain health insurance policies.  Whoa.

The AP reported that this increase was do largely to the inclusion of previously uninsured “pre-existing condition” Americans.  Hmmm.

A 30+% increase is quite large.  But what a quandary that presents.  Repeal Obamacare, save the 30% and dump several million Americans back in the land of no health insurance.  Hmmm.

One might also remember the huge fight that took place over the individual mandate.  Government officials told us that everyone needed to be insured so that the new revenue from previously uninsured Americans could cover the cost that this mostly healthy cohort would cause.  In essence, the individual mandate was supposed to be a sop for insurance companies.

Consider the following.  Most everyone of us will go through a cycle of being healthy and low cost (to insurance companies) when we are young to varying degrees of “unhealthiness” and much higher cost when we are older.  Everyone.

So why do insurance companies not use “average” health cost by placing all of us in the same pool?  Why should someone working for a large employer pay less for insurance than an individual who is self employed?

There are many reasons given.  One of the most popular is that Americans who take care of themselves (healthy lifestyle) deserve to pay the lowest possible rate.  Hmmm.  For sure there is some truth about lifestyle choices, but most medical opinion is that “genes” are the real game changers.

If this AP report’s prediction turns out to be correct, it may hasten the necessary questions to be asked.

How can this “exceptional” country, USA, be satisfied with health care that is the most expensive in the world (twice as much or more), receive mediocre outcomes, and still not include all Americans?

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