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Monday, February 17, 2014

A healthcare thought

Here is the premise of the Affordable Care Act from my perspective: if all Americans have, and pay premiums to a health insurance plan (private companies, not socialized insurance, oh ye who have no idea what you are talking about), then premiums will drop. See if this math makes sense to you - the risk pool of a 4 person group (mine) is smaller than one that includes 300 million people.  When the risk is spread across that many people, many of whom are healthy and will not tax the system until later in their lives, then premiums will drop.

There are other facets:  Kids able to stay on their parents policies longer, people not being denied coverage because of preexisting conditions, and others.  I admit, the potential for affordable healthcare premiums is what attracts me.

It is a fact though, that young, healthy people are going to have to participate - in my opinion, the penalties for not participating, both on an individual level and on a corporate level are not nearly high enough.  Too many young people are not signing up because they don't need it right now - but they'll surely want coverage later on in life, when they inevitably start having medical problems.

Currently, in my small group, if I fart incorrectly my premiums skyrocket, because the risk is spread across such a small group of people.

Think of it as purchasing power.  Try to stop thinking of it as a plot by that evil Kenyan, Muslim, Socialist, Communist.  Stop letting people scare you.  Start voting for your self interest rather than against your self interest.

Please stop using the poor web design as yet another reason that Obamacare is bad. The website roll-out sucked.  That's a given.  That does not make the premise of affordable healthcare incorrect.


Oh, let me tell you a story about a national health program:  When I was 9, I was bedridden for a portion of every month - I had kidney problems that wound up necessitating the removal of my right kidney.  The doctors took me into Addenbrooke's Childrens Hospital in Cambridge, England (where I lived at the time) They removed my kidney, I stayed in the hospital for something like 10 days total.

Most importantly: I've been healthy for the last 45 years.

Second most importantly:  My parents didn't wind up with a bill of several hundred thousand dollars.

That was only one anecdote, but a real one nonetheless. Not some widely spread, vague scare headline. Instead, a real example of how national healthcare saved my life, and saved my parents financial health.

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