3 Ways to Fix Health Care

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Dear Congress,

Here’s 3 things I’d like to see fixed with our health care system:

  1. Make costs transparent. People can’t be wise consumers when the true costs of care and insurance are hidden by employers, insurers, and doctors. Require employers to disclose the total cost of premiums and those under COBRA. Require insurers to issue statements showing the “retail” and negotiated fees, what they paid, and what the customer paid.
  2. Create a broad marketplace for portable policies. It makes no sense to tie health care to jobs in an increasingly mobile workforce. Allow people to take any policy with them, or to buy one in a nationwide marketplace without state boundaries. This will create a truly competitive capitalist market and allow insurers to spread their risk across a larger pool.
  3. Level the tax playing field. Health care is a critical and rapidly growing expense for all Americans; make all health care spending tax-free. Premiums, copays, drugs, employer plans, individual plans, and plans for the self-employed: all tax-deductible. No thresholds, no limits, no use-it-or-lose it gambling on Flexible Spending Accounts.

Sincerely,

The Under-Insured American Tax Payer

What Does Health Care Cost?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

To understand one of the problems with health care in the US, see if you can answer the following questions:

  • How much do you and your employer pay in total premiums for health insurance?
  • What does a doctor’s visit or medical procedure cost you, and what additional amount does insurance pay?
  • What would the same visit or procedure cost without insurance?

Those simple questions are often difficult to answer because there’s little information or transparency when it comes to health care costs. Employers often don’t disclose the majority share of the premiums they pay, and after your copay most costs occur behind the convoluted curtain of the insurance industry.

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I’m a Dangerous Man

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

At least according to CDC research:

More people are hurt snowboarding than any other outdoor activity, accounting for a quarter of emergency room visits, according to the first national study to estimate recreational injuries. Nearly 26 percent of the injures were from snowboarding followed by sledding (11 percent); hiking (6 percent); mountain biking, personal watercraft, water skiing or tubing (4 percent); fishing (3 percent) and swimming (2 percent).

I’ve taken plenty of lumps biking and boarding, but the worst I’ve racked up was a few stitches on the bike. As for broken bones, my only fracture was a collarbone in a game of flag football ;)