Get ready for some sticker shock. The major health insurance companies say they plan to ratchet up premiums between 25% and 116% next year, once the Affordable Care Act is fully up and running. Small businesses and people who buy coverage on their own will be affected. The insurers say they’ll have to charge more because of new requirements in the law that expand benefits, ban discrimination of people with pre-existing conditions, and restrict how much older patients can be charged. But the Obama administration says subsidies and increased competition should force prices down. But the fact is, no one would have to worry at all about premium increases if the government would just allow everyone into Medicare.
We could also save a great deal of money with Medicare if we work towards elimination of unnecessary office visits and lab tests. In my own calculations, using my own experience, the cost to Medicare of these is over $300 a year. The only purpose I can see of these is putting money in a doctor’s pocket. Putting money in other pockets too as the hospital lab gets their cut too.
We should also remember here that for most things, someone with MD level training isn’t needed for a lot of health care situations. Prior to 1938, often people when sick visited their neighborhood drug store and asked the druggist about their problems. Often the druggist could mix up something to deal with their problems. Naturally the MD’s didn’t like this as it cut into their incomes. We should remember that the professions operate much like powerful labor unions with the general public being the loser in all this. Professional monopolies, backed by the federal government, cost each of us about $3,000 a year over and above what we’d pay if the professions did not enjoy this sort of governmental “protectionism”.