The scumbag of the month award goes to Rick Ungar, contributor at Forbes news. His article titled “The Bomb Buried in Obamacare explodes today” offers a few points why this guy is worth less than a spittoon in a church.
Ungar’s emotional tirade about what he considers a glorious part of Obamacare leaves me realizing that this law isn’t about healthcare reform, it’s just assholecare, plain and simple. As Ungar says, “the provision of the law, called the medical loss ratio, that requires health insurance companies to spend 80% of the consumers’ premium dollars they collect—85% for large group insurers—on actual medical care rather than overhead, marketing expenses and profit. Failure on the part of insurers to meet this requirement will result in the insurers having to send their customers a rebate check representing the amount in which they underspend on actual medical care.”
So if your health insurance provider doesn’t spend 80% of all their money on actual patient care, they have to give their customers a refund based on the percentage they didn’t spend. It sounds good to most, I’m sure, which is why most people are assholes, and why this law is strictly about taking care of the assholes.
Let’s look at what insurance is for, before I explain why those of you who support Obama’s Assholecare can be labeled this way.
When you purchase homeowner’s insurance, you do so to cover you in case of severe damage or loss to your home. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover light bulbs that burn out, air filters that get dirty, bed linens that get soiled or garage floors that get oiled. When you purchase car insurance, the insurance company doesn’t pay for oil changes, brake jobs or car washes. Insurance isn’t about maintenance, nor is it about prevention. If you don’t change your car brake pads in a timely fashion, your car won’t stop. That’s your responsibility to be aware that replacing those pads is a common maintenance item in all motor vehicles.
Health insurance has historically been needed for people who live healthy lives, put money into savings to take care of regular health maintenance and needs, but are wanting to protect themselves against the unlikely event of a health problem. You don’t insure your car for windscreen wiper replacements, you don’t insure your house for floor waxing, you don’t insure your health for an annual physical or a headache — things that occur regularly and you should be prepared for covering yourself through savings.
That’s not the case in the modern world, though. Instead of being responsible for ourselves, we’re asking everyone else to pay for our own irresponsible behavior and lack of foresight in socking away a measly 5% of our income towards basic health maintenance. Many supporters of Obama’s Assholecare will say that medical care is too expensive for the average American, but no one wants to broach the taboo subject of why people need so much regular medical care and prescription drug coverage. The simple fact is, we know what ails us, and we refuse to stop.
Chugging down soda with high fructose corn syrup, consuming hundreds of pounds of fructose and wheat a year per person, drinking down a 30 pack of cheap beer weekly, sitting on our asses while we stare at the TV or computer screen, sticking diseased holes without protection (or getting our holes stuck by a diseased appendage) — these are all symptoms of the lazy and irresponsible. Combine lazy and irresponsible and you get the definition of an asshole: someone who doesn’t care about taking care of themselves, forcing others to pay for their own individual irresponsibility.
Here’s the great news about health care for the healthy: you don’t have to be an asshole, and you can cover yourself with a relatively small financial cost. First, don’t get health maintenance insurance, stick to a high deductible health plan (HDHP). Unfortunately, the bastards in government have put a cap on HDHP deductibles: currently you can only have a deductible as high as $5950 per year. If you’re 25 years old, saving $6000 to cover emergency health care needs over the deductible is no problem. 7 years of work socking away $2.40 a day isn’t that hard. It’s one beer at a bar a night you skip, one latte at the morning brewer. It can be done. For someone my age, I’d love a $25,000 deductible, but that’s illegal for insurers to provide.
For your annual health care needs, the focus needs to be on not being an asshole. Lose weight, pound some heavy iron a few days a week, watch what you eat and drink, and cover any appendages before they’re stuck in any holes. Pretty simple. Almost all doctors and medical clinics will provide you with a negotiated “cash-on-the-barrel” rate for your annual physical and any non-emergency health care needs. I once paid under $600 for a broken wrist just by calling around. I needed a skin mole removed, called 6 different clinics, and was quoted between $200 and $1600. Guess who I went with?
Of course, some people are born with terrible diseases or health issues. For these people, a group plan provided by an employer makes sense. What is the percentage of people who are born with health issues versus those who bring it on themselves, though? Even if it was as high as 50/50 (which I doubt it is), health care costs would fall in half if the 50% born healthy would stay healthy. Those are the assholes screwing it up for the rest of us.
Back to the matter at hand: forcing insurance providers to pay 80% of their income annually to patients. This is a curious mandate, one that doesn’t make any economic sense in a market where the payouts are for emergencies.
You can theoretically self-insure your house or car. If you had the ability to save enough money to cover 99% of emergency contingencies, you could have a nice bank account set aside just to pay for emergencies. That’s the point of saving for a rainy day: you don’t expect to pay out of that set-aside money, and you can grow that nest egg over time. Insurers are just groups of people who are saving for a rainy day. Why should an insurer be forced to find ways to spend that money annually? If a group of people all throw $50 into a hat each year and decide it’s going to be used to help any member of the group who gets their wallet stolen, does it make sense to force that group to pay out $40 each year even if no one was robbed?
It’s ridiculous. Health insurers take risks: they’re assuming that fewer people will get sick than who pay in. You don’t pay for insurance to get a payout, you pay for insurance to hedge against the risk of something bad happening that you don’t have enough in savings to cover. If a health insurer in a competitive market happens to get lucky and have a year where they don’t pay out as much as they take in, that’s not specifically a profit, but money that can be used towards future years where they might have to pay out more than they take in.
The 80% mandate is just there for one reason: assholes who buy insurance also immediately want to put it to use. They think that the money they pay every month should cover health care that is costlier than $300 a month. They want to “tax” those of us who live a healthy lifestyle and never expect to get any health care needs covered because we work hard not to need it, only expecting it in an actual emergency.
Sadly, Obama and the cronies in Congress don’t care about us. They care about the assholes, who are also the same ones who go to the polls. That’s an unacceptable use of political power — and an unacceptable limitation on those of us who want to be healthy but protect against a rainy day (or worse). I have no ability to find an insurer who can make the decision to NOT cover the fat, lazy and addicted: the same laws that force insurers to pay out 80% to actual health care costs also prevent insurers from having prejudice that other members of the insurance pool may want to not cover.
I don’t want to pay for assholes. I’m happy to pay for those who were born with problems, who who actually have problems that are no fault of their own. I want that option. In a free market, I would have the option, but the assholes certainly don’t want to give me that opportunity.
They can’t understand why I’d want it. That’s because they’re assholes.