Tuesday, January 31, 2006


My company offers a pre-tax savings account, where we can set aside a certain amount of money per year to help pay for medical expenses.

I did a check of my finances, and that's the amount I can set aside this year.


Now, here's the thing: To use that $500, I have to first pay the health-care provider, THEN submit the bill for reimbursement.

So that's $1,000 out of my pocket--at least temporarily--to get that money.

Oh--and I can't touch any of it until next year. So if I need to spend five hundred on something THIS year...well, as a friend of mine used to say: TS, eliot.

Nice racket, eh?

I mention this, because The Worst President Ever wishes to take this policy nationwide. In lieu of actually providing affordable health care for all, he wants us to start savings accounts for our healthcare.

Yes, on the heels of his wildly successful (for the drug companies) Medicaid reform, TWPE is expected to say tonight that Americans should take ownership of their health care by putting money aside specifically for future health issues, and then have high-deductable health policies for all. At the same time, he's also expected to call for changes in malpractice lawsuits that would restrict damages to hospitals.

Put in another way, he wants us to save money we don't have to save to pay for health care problems we don't have yet, and if the hospital screws up, we won't be able to do much about it.

And we don't have the money, folks. Not just debt-ridden li'l ol' me. We are all spending more than we make. Which is not surprising since most companies give a 3% COLA to their employees, while the actual Cost Of Living rose something like 3.25%.

So here's what we're going to be asked to accept from TWPE: A plan that will likely increase the number of uninsured and increase health care costs, all while costing taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

Aren't you glad this guy got to choose our Supreme Court?



Blogger Guy Wonders said...

I can't imagine having to put money aside specifically for my own health care (although private medical care is growing every year in Canada). Medical care should be free and universal -- not a commodity. The conservative movement in Canada wants to move toward a US style health care system and love to point out the problems with the public system. What they rarely talk about is who profits from private health care systems. . . . and you know it ain't you and me!

3:48 PM, January 31, 2006  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Amen, Guy.

Get those Marxist T-Shirts printed!


5:47 PM, January 31, 2006  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

Let's put this in perspective. Last summer I broke my arm. I have, what is considered, very good insurance. The injury was such that it required surgery to be properly remedied.The total medical bills were around $14000.00 including $4000.00 out of pocket. The $14000.00 cost was the insurance negotiated price from which my portion was subtracted. They paid $10K I paid the rest. The total would have been much higher if my charges were not based on the insurance company's negotiated price. The total would have been over $20000, based on the insurance statements, had I not had insurance.

To make it fun, imagine that I was not able to work in.. say construction for 3 months while I healed and was not able to earn a living. Workman's Comp you say? Suppose I'm self employed and can't afford it? Workman's comp is not a government hand out. It is insurance an employer buys to insure his employee's income in the event of an accident. Most self-employed don't carry it due to the cost. Trust me it is not cheap. I just looked into purchasing it and decided not to hire and expand my business rather than deal with the cost.

In 2004 45 million Americans did not have health insurance. Of the 280 million Americans at the time 16 percent were uninsured. In 2004 40 percent of the households in America made less than $18000.00.

You do the math.

9:23 AM, February 01, 2006  
Blogger doodlebugmom said...

We have insurance and a flexible spending acct throught my husband's employer. We have a nice set up. We choose to have $1000 deducted, which breaks down to $20 a week. As of Jan 1 we can take the total amount out of needed or us it as needed.

I didn't see the speech the other night, (I dont believe anything the man says anyway.) so I dont know what GW's plans are, but there are good plans out there. (of course the goverment plan would not be a good one!)

5:36 AM, February 02, 2006  
Blogger Jessica said...

HSAs are evil. What idiot thinks that we as the general public have the resources or the knowledge to make decisions about what kinds of procedures or specialists we need? What kind of "insurance" system is set up to screw precisely the people who are unlucky enough to require more medical treatment?

Maybe we should also be in charge of maintaining our own highways, too. Just give everyone a bucket of tar and hope that nothing falls apart.

6:11 AM, February 02, 2006  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Maybe when the Democrats have some power again we can prove that since he wasn't really elected the first time it negates his appointments and we get to take back the court. Then pigs will fly.

3:16 PM, February 05, 2006  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Even better, they find that since he was never elected in the first place, his entire Presidency is wiped from legitimate record.

5:57 AM, February 07, 2006  
Blogger jj mollo said...

We had HSAs at the corporate office where I used to work. I'm not sure if they're the same idea as this plan, but the benefit was that you could use the money for any medically related costs without having to pay tax on that portion of your income. This was an addition to our health plan. My problem was that I couldn't predict whether I would have substantial medical costs and would lose some of the money for lack of something to spend it on. My friend, however, has a wife with severe diabetes. He loved the plan because he had very predictable outlays on things like extended rehab costs, bandages and antibiotic cream that the health plan would not cover. He didn't mind the paperwork and really appreciated the tax savings. He also liked the HSA as a budgeting mechanism.

7:12 PM, February 09, 2006  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

HSA's are a scam. You can't save enough to really matter. What's the tax on $500.00? Somewhere between $40 and $150. Speaking from experience $500.00 doesn't get you shit. And the real scam is that if you don't use it you lose it. WTF is that? Who get's it? The greedy rats at the insurance company.

You know my insurance company put a subrogation agency on my ass to see if there was someway they could get out of paying for my broken arm. Thye were looking for negligence on my or someone else's part to transfere the liability. I made them work for the info and then gave nothing. The rat's, there should be a bounty on them.

2:54 PM, February 10, 2006  

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