There must be a pony in here somewhere.

User avatar
Number 6
Posts: 3419
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:41

Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by Number 6 »

Google reports that at least the paramedic salary figure is accurate.
" i discovered you eat dog dicks out of a bowl marked "dog dicks" because you're too stupid to remember where you left your bowl of dog dicks."-dhex, of course.
"Come, let us go forth and not rape together"-Jadagul
User avatar
Posts: 25475
Joined: 05 May 2010, 17:22

Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by JasonL »

I have to stare at this for a while, and the linked pieces. I've seen bits of this before but not all in one place. The basic argument is the US is not an outlier at all in health spending once real incomes are taken into account. The issue is Baumol for rich people pumps up the health sector more or less inevitably. ... -care.html
User avatar
Posts: 26089
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: There must be a pony in here somewhere.

Post by Jennifer »

This is a cut-n-paste of some comments I posted on Facebook -- discussion between a college friend who is well to the left of me, and another guy who is well to the right (at least regarding fiscal matters). Also inspired, obviously, by recent major health issues Jeff and I have been or are dealing with. But it does involve another dysfunctional aspect of our system.

Context: the guy stared out by saying:
It always amazes me when dems claim everyone deserves the same healthcare as the people that work and pay the taxes because me and my employer pay for my healthcare mine is not free .and also pay for gov healthcare for people that dont work .
He and my friend went back-and-forth on that for awhile, then I chimed in:
"me and my employer pay for my healthcare" There is a big problem with that argument, though -- and I say this as someone who not only opposes ACA (specifically the individual mandate), I have written professional bylined columns opposing it -- IOW, I've a decade-long track record of opposition to ACA, which I mention ONLY so you don't think I'm one of those lame dipshits who will invent fictional life stories or political histories solely to score points in internet arguments … strictly speaking, it's not your employer who pays for healthcare, it's you and your insurance company. More precisely, it's the insurance company your employer chose (there's no other good or service where the standard for Americans is “You don't choose and buy this yourself, your boss chooses it for you, with you still footing part of the cost.”) And because of this, whether or not you get the care you need depends not only on “have you paid into the system, and if so, how much,” but also “What is the TIMING of it?”

For example: in my early adulthood I taught public school in Massachusetts for a few years. Paid premiums to, IIRC, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Massachusetts. I was a young and healthy adult, though, so I didn't strictly “need” that insurance; the whole time I held that job, IIRC I only saw a doctor twice, for generic prescriptions. Long story short, BC/BS Mass made HYOOGE profits having me as a client. They profited bigly, as the current POTUS would say.

Then I switched careers, never worked in the commonwealth of Massachusetts again, and thus never paid another cent to BC/BS Massachusetts. So all that money I paid them means absolutely nothing, regarding whether or not I can get healthcare now. There was a period of about 7 months after that where I was uninsured, before landing a new job with new insurance in Connecticut; had I come down with something during those 7 months I'd've been SOL despite having paid literally thousands of dollars to BC/BS Mass during the previous few years. At that point, I could honestly have said “I did pay for medical care; I just didn't pay at the right time.”

And here's an even more ridiculous example: my husband has had his current job for 4.5 years. Yet he's also working for (IIRC) his third employer in that time, due to various corporate mergers and takeovers and yadda yadda: he started working at X company in 2016, which merged to become part of Y company in 2018, which THEN sold his department to Z company last year. Every time his business changed hands he got a whole new benefits package including a new health insurance provider. His current employer, Z company, has only been so for less than a year now; thus our current health insurance company has only covered us for less than a year.

And it so happens that in the past 3-4 months, after a lifetime of few-to-no medical issues, my husband and I BOTH developed various injuries or conditions serious enough to require LOTS of medical care far beyond OTC meds or a generic prescription: ER and urgent-care visits, ambulance rides, MRIs, CT scans, scary-expensive new meds which didn't even EXIST before the 1990s or early 2000s, hyper-expensive specialists charging hundreds of dollars an hour ... with the bulk of those bills paid for by our current health insurer, who we've only had less than a year now, so THAT insurance company has been losing money hand over fist, where we two are concerned. (The two prior insurance companies we've had since 2016 made out quite well, though: collected scads of premium payments from us AND companies X and Y, in exchange for which they hardly had to provide us with anything. The various insurers we've had all this millennium before 2016 profited well off us too. They certainly have no legal or financial responsibilities toward me and my husband now.)

If you calculated our total lifetime adult insurance payments, compared to what medical resources we've consumed since August, it likely would balance out to something fair and reasonable from our insurer's POV. But since they have only been collecting money from us for less than a year – bleccch.

And such dysfunctionality is literally built into our system now.
And ANOTHER bit of dysfunctionality built into the system: that whole I time worked in Massachusetts, I actually lived in Connecticut. (New England states are tiny, so living in one state and working in another was quite commonplace. And I lived in northern Connecticut very close to the Massachusetts line.) But since my insurance was through a Massachusetts company, it ONLY covered doctors and hospitals In Massachusetts; despite scads of good doctors right near my house, I was forced to pick medical providers who were at LEAST a couple dozen miles away. Do you recall that horrible mass-shooting at the Las Vegas hotel a couple years ago? Afterward, there were stories about how the victims faced extra-high medical bills because, since Vegas is a tourist spot, the majority of the shooting victims did NOT live in Vegas, or anywhere in Nevada, so their insurance company only covered medical providers in their home states.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b
Post Reply