People are wising up, but the damage is already done *UPDATED*

Last night, I was speaking with a liberal friend who actually works in the insurance business. During the run up to the health care vote, she and I had politely vigorous conversations in which I explained, over and over again, that, if penalties are lower than the cost of insurance, and if insurers must provide insurance to sick people, insurance no longer exists. Instead, one just has cost shifting that will destroy the insurance industry. She of all people, after all, should realize that the industry only makes money on healthy people who are planning ahead in case they get sick. (Here’s an example of the type of conversation I had with her.)

In last night’s conversation, my friend seemed a bit disturbed by things, and asked me how I thought health care was going now that the bill was passed.  Since I understand how liberals think, I didn’t answer her question directly.  Instead, I mentioned the recent Boston Globe article that suddenly informed us that citizens in Massachusetts are doing precisely what I predicted would happen under the Obama Care bill:

Thousands of consumers are gaming Massachusetts’ 2006 health insurance law by buying insurance when they need to cover pricey medical care, such as fertility treatments and knee surgery, and then swiftly dropping coverage, a practice that insurance executives say is driving up costs for other people and small businesses.

I also threw in the fact that the New York Times is suddenly writing a series of articles about the unsustainable costs of medical care.  In other words, I went to sources my friend trusts, since they have good liberal bona fides.

My friend was shocked:  “Why didn’t anyone tell us about this before?”  I replied, quite mildly, “I did.”  She had the grace to fall silent.

It turns out that my friend didn’t raise the issue randomly.  The people in her insurance office are getting panicky because they’ve suddenly realized that they’ve entered the insurance Twilight Zone, where all the rules are upside down.

What’s truly ironic is that the executives in her office, like my friend herself, backed the bill.  The guys and gals with MDs and MBAs and Obama bumper stickers boldly affixed to the back of their cars had their heads up their collective butts for the past year. How else to explain their inability to see the patently obvious? In 1992, insurers fought back with “Harry and Louise;” in 2010, those same insurers tucked their heads between their legs and sought the darkness.

UPDATE:  This video, describing the already known costs of Obama Care, is perfect:

Liberals were not only not listening, they had their hand on their ears, their eyes closed, and they were hollering, “Nyah, nyah!  I caaaaan’t hear you.”

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Comments

  1. Deana says

    Wow.
     
    What a very, very good post!  And I applaud your calmness during the conversation.  I find it almost impossible to not be angry (or at least evident in reveling in schadenfreude) when these people finally wake up and realize that 2 plus 2 = 4.
     
    I must admit that I love the idea of all of these people who went to fancy school and got the fancy degrees all realizing that they didn’t see this coming.

  2. Oldflyer says

    A rude awakening is in store.
    A little off topic, but my wife and I were treated to an insight as to why health costs are out of control.  While visiting in California over Christmas, she had a nasty case of the flu.  After a few days our RN daughter and her PT sister decided that she was seriously dehydrated and  packed her off one evening to the emergency room in the hospital where my daughter works.  She didn’t want to go, and I hated to use the ER for that purpose, but we were in a strange (very strange) locale, and they were alarmingly insistent.
    It was a relatively quiet night in the ER.  Still, it was nearly full of folks who obviously were not in an emergency situation.  They had a tent set up outside, which I assume had been used as an over-flow waiting area when they were busier  My wife received good care.  They kept her for a couple of hours  while administering  two bags of IV fluids, did some blood work and gave her a shot.
    Then the bill.  Over two thousand dollars for the ER.  Another $150 for the contract ER physician, who spent a good 10 minutes with her.  In other words, about as expensive as you can imagine for treatment of flu; but obviously the first choice of a large number of folks for sniffles, flu, etc.
    Medicare only paid a percentage, of course.  I don’t know what Medi-Cal pays for all of the folks who clearly use the ER as a walk-in clinic.  I assume that private insurance pays considerably more to subsidize the gov’t programs.
    Another example;  I have noticed over the years that it is often cheaper to use Rx drugs rather than over the counter, because the co-pay is lower than the retail price.  Until the individual has a stake in managing costs, our medical  system will continue to invite abuse.
     
     

  3. Deana says

    One other thing:
    It is hard for me to grasp how these people in the insurance office weren’t at least hearing a bit of “caution” when all of this was building up.  Was there not ANYONE in that office, way up in the executive suites perhaps, who was looking at this coming storm and saying, “You know, this may not be such a great thing for us”?
     
    Maybe there was but they were worried about speaking out against the Obama mob?
     
    It’s just difficult to believe how people could be so blind.  Their heads must have been in a very, very dark place . . .

  4. Deana says

    Old Flyer –
     
    Indeed.
    You have a mental filter that allows you to question:  do I really need to use this service?  Am I (or my wife) really this sick to go to an ER?  (And just FYI:  I am a nurse and completely agree with your daughters – dehydration is nothing to mess around with.)
     
    Well, that filter is absent in many people out there and they actually have replaced that filter with a sense of entitlement.  They are OWED care, no matter what they are there for or the expense of the treatment.
     
    You hit the nail on the head:  until people have skin in the game, this abuse will continue.  And this goes way beyond health care.  We know that 47% of our population pays $0 federal income tax – they have no skin in the game so they are free to demand whatever they want.  I want it stopped.
     
     
     
     
     
     

  5. says

    <B>Medicare only paid a percentage, of course.  I don’t know what Medi-Cal pays for all of the folks who clearly use the ER as a walk-in clinic.  I assume that private insurance pays considerably more to subsidize the gov’t programs.
    Another example;  I have noticed over the years that it is often cheaper to use Rx drugs rather than over the counter, because the co-pay is lower than the retail price.  Until the individual has a stake in managing costs, our medical  system will continue to invite abuse.</b>
     
    I heard the same when I was talking to an older woman. She said she went to get a bone scan for bone density results. They put her into a sort of Magnetic Resonance Imaging setup, Medicare or Mediaid paid 70%. She had to pay 30%, which was around 110 dollars.
     
    I made the point that because doctors know that the patient doesn’t pay most of the costs, they can just schedule these tests whether people need them or not. Driving up demand. Then there’s the fact that because you aren’t paying most or all of it, you can’t negotiate with the hospital or with another hospital/doctor.
     
    When you pay, you have the power, because you can simply leave and get it somewhere else. But if you don’t pay or only pay a portion, then somebody else has power over you.
     
    It is quite clear regular Americans understand this. But regular Americans aren’t on the Rob the rich, feed my Ivy League friends, setup the corruptocrats have.
     
    The person in question used to say these scans cost less than 10 dollars. Back when she paid the full price. That’s something to think. Democrats? Enemies of humanity. Not just a political difference. A human difference.

  6. says

    ” Maybe there was but they were worried about speaking out against the Obama mob?”
     
     
    They probably got sweet heart deals and when they woke up, they discovered Obama had left them and took all their cash and identity info.
     

  7. says

    ” It’s just difficult to believe how people could be so blind.  Their heads must have been in a very, very dark place . . .”
     
     
    Did you read the pdf document on hypnosis in the Rush Lim post of Book’s?

  8. Danny Lemieux says

    Book, has it occurred to your friend that her job has effectively been terminated as of a yet-unspecified date?
    BTW – I just heard Bookworm quoted on Rush Limbaugh over my car radio! Congratulations!

  9. debiesam says

    Stunning, the ignorance of liberals.
    Do you think that, after 12 or 18 years of indoctrination in government schools, they don’t really know how to engage in “critical thinking,” that buzz-phrase of leftist schools?
    Because none of their views are ever challenged.
    Because they ridicule every argument that emanates from the right.
    Because they never have to defend their views, offer a good comeback, or sharpen their wits.
     
     
     
     

  10. Tonestaple says

    Some of this can be chalked up to liberal inability to observe Hazlitt’s one lesson of economics and look for the unseen, non-immediate effects of a policy.  However, one should never ever underestimate the stupidity and short-sightedness of the insurance business.  I can guarantee that all these fools Book references were looking at is, “Hot puppies, everyone is going to be forced to buy our policies!  We’ll make billions!”  It never occurred to them that people will game the system because right now, the people who buy their product are the people who want their product.  They did not stop to think that when people are forced to pay for something against their will, say taxes. for example, they will do everything they can to minimize their costs.

    I have worked in insurance for almost 35 years (not in health insurance, thank God, so I may remain employed) and I have seen this sort of short-sighted damned foolishness on the property/casualty side as well.  Corporate stupidity and cupidity never ever changes.

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