There’s a huge, dangerous snake on the loose
In 2011, the combined average of premium and out-of-pocket costs for health care coverage for an employee is projected to climb to $4,386, according to an annual study by Hewitt Associates to be released this week. That’s a 12.4 percent increase, or $486, over this year.
Last night I dreamt that there was a huge snake on the loose that was a great danger to many people. I couldn’t do anything about the snake, because I didn’t have the skills to kill it. Those who did have the skill, and guns that could kill the snake, kept holding their fire. I didn’t know why.
I woke up very upset, and couldn’t get back to sleep.
Perhaps the dream is related to a shocker I received in the mail on Saturday—my medigap insurance (the private insurance I carry to make up for the gaps in Medicare coverage) is going up 40%. So I quickly got online to find a better price, and got a comparative listing from the state of Illinois. I found the cheapest one, almost the same rate I’m paying now, and yesterday I spoke with an insurance agent who said oops, that’s the “old” price. The “new” price, of course, is close to the price my current carrier wants to charge me. I definitely will report this “mistake” to the Illinois insurance commissioner.
That same insurance agent believed that we have the best health care system in the world. Not true. He was not aware of the facts that in the United States, we pay more than twice per person for health care than other nations, and have poorer outcomes overall. He said that some Canadians coming here for some aspects of their medical care is proof that our laissez-faire system is better than their 100% government insured and taxpayer paid system. That and other myths about Canada’s health care system are debunked here, here, and here.
It’s a very good thing that I don’t have to live on just my Social Security income—right now. If I ever do have to live on just that, I’m doomed. My health insurance costs (Medicare Part B and medigap) would be close to 17% of my income. And my Social Security income remained static last year and won’t increase this year, either.
I’m also upset that the measures I’ve taken over the last few years to improve my health—lowering my cholesterol and blood pressure, exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, have no impact on the cost of my health care insurance. I even started a health blog, Many Years Young, to encourage myself and others. You’d think they’d want to incentivize healthier lifestyles, but no. It almost seems that nothing can be done on any issue that makes any sense.
Those who were foolish enough to do what we were told was the right thing, saving money, are getting less than 2% return on those savings.
Those who were foolish enough to do what we were told was the American Way, buying a home, are watching the value of those homes continue to decline.
Everything of value in our lives is decreasing, while our costs are increasing exponentially.
The Democrats have the power to kill this snake. It’s what we hired them to do. Why are they not doing it?