POLICY: Well, this is obvious

A new study states the obvious about health policy and the HSA

The analysis, conducted by Jonathan Gruber of M.I.T., projects that while 3.8 million previously uninsured people would gain health coverage through HSAs as a result of the President’s proposals, 4.4 million people would become uninsured because their employers would respond to the new tax breaks by dropping coverage and they would not secure coverage on their own. The net effect would be to increase the number of uninsured Americans by 600,000.

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  1. “The Medical Blog Network” (TMBN) you said, “What is wrong with having coverage for vaginal birth for males? Since it is not used there is no cost to taxpayers.”
    Let me explain to you what you said. –I don’t mind the State Mandating that males pay extra for their health insurance by purchasin’ maternity coverage that they can’t possibly use. Same with women who have had their tubes tied. They can pay extra too, who cares. 60 year old women don’t mind paying extra anyway because their minds are too crusty. So screw ’em.
    Who wants a stoopid Governor like yours to be able to screw more Americans. Is their any limits to the things you don’t know? Don’t ever confuse the dribble that spews through your mouth as bein’ as relevant as someone who actually knows what they are talkin’ about.
    I blame the educational system for fillin’ your mind full of mush TMBN. I’m sure you have the ability to be a bit smarter. You will have to try harder next time.

  2. > So yes, you are confused.
    Nope. Even your Healthy Options plan is term insurance. Might be the best sort of term insurance available, but it is still term insurance.

  3. What’s his name? Kilzhaber? Get real.
    When I wrote the first MSA in 1996 you would have said I was crazy. Now that HSAs are the Center-Piece of President Bush’s 2006 agenda would indicate to me that I was right and you were probably trying to get cheap thrills in the back of your Toyota in 1996, get real. You are lucky I even waiste my time and talk to you.
    OK, Give us your credentials “The Medical Blog” Bozo.
    I promise not to laugh at your worthlessness.
    Remember, you shot your mouth off to me first.

  4. What is wrong with having coverage for vaginal birth for males? Since it is not used there is no cost to taxpayers.
    Having W. as an ally is a curse these days. Most of 2006 national Republican candidates are avoiding him like a plague. Ask Santorum, DeWine and others. He campaigned for Kilgore, who lost the election in his red state. The man even called himself a lame duck last year.
    Finally, Gov. Kitzhaber is not trying to ban private health care market. He wants to preserve it alongside with a universal plan. Keep sellin’ Ron.

  5. “The Medical Blog Network” my daughter lives in OR. She just graduated last year in biology with minors in chemistry and math. She worked her way through college enrolling MSAs/HSAs. She is a licensed agent who lives in OR. Her boyfriend is covered for a normal vaginal birth, trust me. It’s OR law. You my friend are a little confused on how the STATE MUST try and regulate free and open markets.
    I’m a salesman as well. I will again submit that I would rather have President Bush as a steadfast ally instead of some half-backed fruitcake Governor that nobody has ever heard of. I’m probably goin’ a little too fast for you….
    Vote Republican / Vote Zandstra for US Senate

  6. Please “The Medical Blog Network” OR law, under you goofy Governor, makes all citizens buy maternity coverage. Even my daughter’s boyfriend has maternity just in case he has a normal vaginal birth. Trust me, your OR Gov is a fruitcake. The tax free HSA on the other hand has friends in “HIGH” places, W.
    Join America’s oldest “HSA selling team.” The HSA is the doorway to the 21st Century Financial Service Sector. Call (727) 943-8118 ask for Ron. Don’t call unless you are licensed in multiple states in Life and Health and current E & O (Don’t waist my time). Get your HSA from where the palm trees sway, in sunny Tampa Bay. You will be required to take the “Salesman” oath.

  7. Tom: Not only do we offer a 2 year flat rate in MO but also “Healthy Options” which reduces renewal premiums by 10% months 25 thru 36, and then again months 37 thru 48 if the insured doesn’t hit the deductible that they choose the previous year. So yes, you are confused. But we already knew that.
    The only reason I asked you if you went tax free with an HSA was to see if you wanted to defend the pitiful health insurance that you presently have. Rest assured I know more about your present health insurance than you do, trust me. I hope you are not insuring dependent children on your present plan. Just give me the name of your present carrier and I will ravage your plan similiar to John Kerry’s mentor, Ghingus Kahn.
    Bully huh? That’s pretty abusive Tom.

  8. > Both proponents and opponents of HSAs are tinkering
    > around the edges instead of looking at the root
    > cause of the problems in our system.
    This is correct, and so what? There is no consensus on what the “problem” is, or whether there is a “system”. The HSA mechanism is an incremental strategy to at least mitigate some problems many people agree are truly problems. Proponents are not trying to save the world. I think a majority of opponents are.
    As for Gruber’s study: yes, he has used assumptions about the price elasticity of demand for health insurance. Maybe he used the ones he did because he wanted to publish the result he published. I hope not, but concede the possibility. What I think Gov. Kitzhaber and the Archimedes Movement want to do is impose their own preferences on everyone. I say that is ridiculous, but have not impugned anyone’s intellectual honesty.
    Ron: I have an inquiry in regarding legal insurance contracts in Missouri. Maybe I am wrong entirely, or right for one kind of insurance product and wrong for another (yours). I shall have to follow-up on it.
    Still, you have not addressed, much less refuted, my point about health insurance being term insurance. So your company offers health insurance with a two year term instead of a one year term: big deal. Ceteris paribus, I am not saying it is a bad deal, and from a financing point of view the HSA notion is a great improvement over what is common today, but it is still term insurance. What people need in my opinion is Whole Life Health Insurance fashioned after Whole Life Life Insurance. So far as I know, this cannot be bought.
    Which way I have went is none of your business, and you continue to behave like a bully.

  9. This thread is ridiculous.
    Both numbers, of people projected to enroll in HSA and to be dropped by employers, are pulled out of the a$$ to suit political goals of their sponsors. It is easy to manipulate any model to get the results you want in the first place.
    There are lies, damned lies and then statistics.
    Both proponents and opponents of HSAs are tinkering around the edges instead of looking at the root cause of the problems in our system. But neither care to find real solutions. There are more important things like pleasing those who pay for these studies today.
    For a real alternative, check out the Archimedes Movement, recently launched by Gov. Kitzhaber:

  10. Tom writes:
    “.. it is unfair of you to judge every proposal against your apparent goal of totally indemnifying especially the poor and also the ignorant or stupid from any financial strain due to poor health.”
    Such mean spirited sentiments mean I cannot appeal to your sense of compassion, so I will appeal to your self interest.
    1. If the number of uninsured in this country increases, as Gruber predicts, their unreimbursed costs will be passed on to you in the form of higher hospital bills, insurance premiums and taxes to pay for public health programs
    2. By making access to preventative care financially prohibitive for the poor we insure that when they do seek medical treatment, their conditions are more acute and expensive to treat. The unreimbursed costs they are passing on to you will be that much greater. Would you really rather pay for a poor person’s dialysis and amputation, instead of their Glucose test?
    3. If universal health care coverage was required under law, as is auto insurance in many states, no one would be completely indemnified from their own health care costs (as you fear) because every person, the healthy as well as the sick (excluding perhaps the severely disabled) would be paying some percentage of their income towards health care. No one could say “I’ll buy health insurance next year, this year I’m going to Disneyland.”
    4. If universal health care coverage was required under law, our manufacturing sector would not be at a competitive disadvantage relative it’s foreign rivals who don’t have to provide hefty health care benefits to their employees. Ford and GM could concentrate on making automobiles again rather than managing benefit packages. You would be better off because our economy would be stronger.
    5. Health care inflation is not driven by people with too much health insurance from their employers using their benefits frivolously. There is no study that supports that assertion. Every study I see tells us that a small percentage of medical care recipients are responsible for the greater percentage of overall costs; the old 80/20 rule. Health care inflation is rising because individuals who are allowed to become chronically and severely ill are very expensive to treat.
    So if you want to get health care inflation under control so that average premiums remain stable and more people can afford insurance you have to have a system that encourages people to get needed preventative care as frequently as recommended. Making it financially prohibitive for poor people to obtain preventative care, by forcing them to choose between food, rent, or deductions to an HSA, takes us in the oposite direction.

  11. Tom Leith, you said, “We all have term health insurance, and it is in fact ILLEGAL in the state where I live to sell a multi-year contract for health insurance.” (We have a 2 year rate guarantee, geez)
    That’s when I asked Matthew where he digs up fruitcakes like you, remember? That’s why us IA people say, “If you moved the lower counties of IA into MO you would double the IQ of both states.” Tell me Tom, have you went tax free yet with an HSA or are you waitin’ to be the last American who enrolls? Matthew was one of the 1st 1 million HSAs. Matthew is a futurist, how about you?
    Tom, what is your HSA effective date? Mine is the first day, 1/1/97. Matthew was more lathergic than me. I can spot a good tax dodge a mile away.

  12. Theora —
    Insurance is not something you “get” it is something you buy. And everyone needs health insurance, not just the sick. If Gruber is right, a bunch of people currently uninsured will find the terms of the HSA style financing of medical risk attractive, and decide to buy. And a bunch currently insured people, left to their own devices, will decide not buy insurance at all. This is what freedom is all about — the freedom to make poor choices.
    I understand your concern for the “Uninsured Sick”, and I share it. But not every policy proposal is aimed at helping the “Uninsured Sick”, and I think it is unfair of you to judge every proposal against your apparent goal of totally indemnifying especially the poor and also the ignorant or stupid from any financial strain due to poor health.

  13. Okay, so we manage to get health insurance to 3.8 million people, while losing it for 4.4 million.
    And, um, the 3.8 million who get this insurance would be basically the healthy folks while sick people, who actually need insurance, would be screwed?
    If that’s the direction we’re moving in, I can solve the insurance crisis right now. Everyone send me a dollar and you have health insurance. It only covers you if you don’t get sick.
    Look! 300 million insured, just like that! And me a rich woman! Everyone wins!

  14. Ron —
    What in the world has the price of health insurance at M.I.T. got to do with anything Gruber said?
    If you think you know something about the price elasticity of demand for health insurance, go publish a paper about it.
    On second thought, just go. You remind me of Nelson Muntz, in more ways than one. Ha!Ha!

  15. Jib, go to M.I.T. where this Dr. Gruber is and they list the cost of their insurance right online. A single pays $384.13 a month. That is over 10 times the $36 per month cost for a 30 year old male in DC on HSA insurance. Personally Jib, I think thats pretty funny. Dependent children are terminated at a majority age too. I hope this goofball Gruber does not have children on that dangerous over-priced employer-based health insurance of MIT. What, is Gruber so stupid he needs an employer to choose the insurance on his own children? Gruber is the guardian not MIT. I hope Gruber is a better father than his ability to do math. Gruber without a doubt is a HozeMonster.

  16. HozeMonsters, Ron?
    Even by your standards, that’s a low blow!!
    And again, let me point out the ending your sentences with “Ha Ha” on a routine basis does not tend to enhance-the-old-credibility-factor.

  17. Interesting. Gruber is very respected. But I wonder if his findings are actaully harbingers of doom.
    The Cato machine is making arguments in the Washington Times that people are “overinsured”. [1] Meanwhile it’s long been clear that the current tax structure’s uneven treatment of employer sponsored health insurance and out of pocket expenses shields the employee from the true costs of insurance.
    Might the resutling 600k uninsured be evindence that they were previously consuming insurance at a dead weight loss to society? That under the uneven tax structure the benefits outweighed the percieved costs but now under new policies aimed at leveling the playing field, the true colors show and the actual cost of insurance outweighs the benefit?
    Might society be better off in that scnerario?
    Trapier K. Michael

  18. To funny Matthew. I just got off the phone with Michelle from this propaganda source, her number is (202) 408-1080. Call her and ask her how much they charge their own employees when they put them to COBRA. Our cheapest HSA plan for a 30 male in the 20007 (DC) zip code is $36/month. Debbie Swarts is the HR specialist there, ha ha. I just talked with Edwin Park, their Health Policy “Expert”, ha ha. He himself told me that he would be put to COBRA for insurance termination if he got too sick to work, ha ha. Edwin lives in CA like you. His number is 510-524-8033. These guys are even more silly that you Matthew.
    They call themselves “Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.” They should call themselves “Center on HozeMonsters, LIES, and Propaganda.” What a bunch of clowns. Call them, you will see.
    President Bush is talking to Wendy’s employees today about HSAs. Wendy’s is saying they were one of the first companies with HSAs, ha ha. My 7-Eleven HSAs are now over 9 years old. I beat them by a few years, ha ha. One of my clients has just been promoted to President of the Leadership Council of National 7-Eleven Franshisee Association. He said today, “One of my best friends has been promoted to Executive Director of HR at 7-Eleven.” Stay tuned Matthew, this is getting good.

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