Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In my second unofficial poll of the day.

Update: Content added in the middle.

Oh yes. I will ask everyone I know who owns a business about this health care thing.

The second business - the guy, I have known a pretty long time. 6-7-8 years. Something along those lines. I try to phrase my questions in a way not to influence the person. I walk into see him and say:

Me - Okay. The health care bill. For it - or against it?

Now, I'm of the mind that the initial reaction is the more honest reaction.

Him - Oh, I think it will be good for businesses.

Me - Really!?

I go onto tell him that I pay cash for medical stuff a lot of the time. The doctors always slash their prices in half. It is a benefit to them because they don't have to do any paperwork. I go on to say that when I had my breast reduction - despite being able to prove severe back problems my whole adult life - I couldn't get the doctor and the insurance company on the same page to have it approved.

I might never have gotten it approved. I was afraid that when I got old, my back problems might cripple me. Your spine doesn't get stronger when you get old. It only gets weaker. When I found out how much it cost - I paid for it out of pocket. In that same situation people can hold bake sales, or do anything to gather the funds.

Under the new system it forces everyone into the insurance system. Who might not even approve the operation.

A side note. This was not said in this conversation. The doctor that I was going to use through insurance wanted me to spend the day in the hospital and insert a pain machine for the surgery. It turned out - I didn't need any of that stuff. While the first day home I was pretty frightened - I was completely fine without a hospital stay. Vicone worked just fine for the pain. Still when a doctor tells you that you need to stay in the hospital for a surgery, it makes you freaked out if you don't do it. I actually wasn't doing it to be cheap. I just didn't want to stay in the hospital. I have issues. Update: Every place where I say day - should read night. I didn't want to spend the night in a hospital. I also should clarify that my second surgeon said her patients never experienced much pain. And she was right. After the first couple of hours you'd be surprised at how manageable a surgery like that is.

These two items would have added several thousand dollars to the cost of my surgery.

Back to the conversation with my business friend.

Him - Well, we don't know if it will become illegal to take cash payments. If that happens we are out of business.

He is actually in the medical field. What he does would be considered "elective". A lot of customers do not use insurance. When I use the term cash payment I mean it as not "through insurance". Not "off the books".

He eventually said he didn't know how it would affect them. And that they wouldn't know until they started experiencing it.

Me - Then, the damage is already done. Right?

Him - Yeah.

With my unofficial polling though, I'm guessing most businesses are giddy that this will help them.


  1. Your story about surgery sounds like our experience with getting the van touched up after some old idiot ran into it when (clumsily) parking. There was a ding in the side of this six-year-old vehicle, and the body shop picked by the insurance (the old woman's) gave some sort of life-time guarantee on the job, so they basically repainted the entire side of it. Cost the insurance company something like $2500. If we'd had to pay cash for it, we'd have totally balked. That was completely excessive, but the body shop naturally wanted to make a "gold-plated" job of it--at the expense of the insurance company, which didn't really care that much about the excessive cost, since it was actually paid by the increased premiums of the insurance holders.

    Cut to medicine. The doctors want to charge you as much as they can, and if someone else (whether and insurance company or the government) pays, then they have little reason to hold down cost (or at least no one to push back in the way that you would if you had to pay the whole bill directly).

    But the goal in this exercise for the Democrats is to make the insurance companies their intermediaries in the short term, and then to drive them out of business through unsustainable "mandates" and then take over the whole system and convert it into DMV-style, government-provided health care. And at that point (as anyone who knows about the NHS in the UK or the single-payer system in Canada can tell you) the government then wants to drive down cost, since the health-care system would devour the government's entire budget if left to its druthers.

    And Leviathan owns you, which is what they want.

  2. Yeah - it is what they want.

    But, if there is anything I've learned from this recession - people are really good at working and going around the system. It isn't going to work out the way they think it will. It might take much longer than I anticipated - but eventually the pain will come.

  3. The long term goal is to drive out any provision for private service. That is, with all these mandates, the Democrats want to make private insurance uneconomical, in which case they "have" to take over the system. That's why the House let the "public option" go--for the moment. Once they've driven the insurance companies out of business, there won't be any alternative.

    And remember: in Canada it's illegal to buy your own medical services outside of the government-run, single-payer system, and that's what the leftists are aiming for. Of course, that refers to buying services inside the country. Rich people and politicians can get themselves medical treatment in the US. For now...

  4. Yeah. I know what their goal is. Good luck with all that.