Despite the risk of upsetting Jonathan Cohn — who I think is great — I take a little dig at his mother ship over at Spot-on. My piece is called Politics, religion, The New Republic, and health care, and it’s just a matter of timing.
I absolutely agree, we don’t have a big enough crisis yet. Politicians work best when they can elbow their way to the head of the lynch mob. My recent experience with an almost 40% increase in BlueCross/BlueShield(BCBS) health premiums led me to extrapolate out 10 years. My rate went from $197/mth to $273/mth this January. I have kept records on percentage increases over the last 6 years with BCBS and calculated what I might expect to pay by 2016. It came out to about $800 per month not including co-pays and deductibles and an age increase every five years. As well those increases would mean that over the next 10 years I will have given BCBS a minimum of about $75,000. I believe BCBS is on a campaign of trying to economically shed its older clients. So much for the theory of shared risk. I think if more people paid more attention and do the math they will realize what a crisis this is building into. I am healthy, so I decided not to play the BCBS/healthcare game any more and decided to cancel my policy and put those premiums into a money market account for my own healthcare. I will come out way ahead as long as I don’t have a catastrophic illness, for which health insurance is not going to save me from anyway given all the financial burden that that entails. What people don’t realize is if they get sick and can’t pay their premiums, health insurance is going to cut them loose anyway. I can get heathcare at 25% of the cost in Canada, India, and Thailand for elective procedures and get a holiday to boot. We are headed for a healthcare “Katrina” and our political leaders are just as prepared.