Massachusetts is doing just that. As a worker or student over 18, you must
show proof of insurance or be liable for some sort of fine. You won't get a
state tax refund if you don't. I don't know how well it is working though.
Plenty of people are still uninsured.
Have to actually read the legislation/requirements but doesn't sound as
though that would be the way, superficially. In particular, doesn't
sound as though the consequences are of any serious import or couldn't
be worked around so easily as to be of no consequence.
The penalty is less than the cost of buying insurance
The maximum penalty for tax year 2009 will be $89 a month ($1,068 for an
entire year of non-compliance) for a person 27 or older with income over 300
percent of the federal poverty level ($31,212 or more for singles). The 2008
penalty for this same individual was $76 per month or $912 per year. The
maximum penalty increased slightly compared to 2008 due to slight increases
in health plan prices and the requirement that individuals have prescription
drug coverage as of Jan. 1, 2009. The penalty for those with incomes over
300 percent of the federal poverty level and ages 18-26 will be $52 per
month ($624 per year).
Of course, on average, they do. The issue is that presently companies
consider every individual individually rather than as a member of a
population (whether that population group is entire US, a State, a
County, a company, whatever...) unless they happen (essentially by
chance) to be a member of an existing group. By doing so they make the
odds untenable for the individual or simply refuse coverage entirely.
Particularly since it is so easy for an individual to lose the standing
through no fault of their own in that group and suddenly have no recourse.
This is ok for them ("them" being the insurers); not so good (as in
unacceptable) for the prospective/hoped-for insured.
I'm not saying they shouldn't have rates that are appropriate to the
group; only that individuals need to be able to join reasonably-sized
and diverse groups. Otherwise, I don't see there really is an
alternative but mandated, sponsored single-payer systems for a fair
number including a goodly fraction of the problem population that reform
is intended to cover. Thus far, afaict, the insurance companies don't
want to address that problem effectively and as much as I am against
government single-payor systems, there does have to be a way for
currently uninsurables or those w/ extremely high premiums beyond any
reasonable reach to be able to get into the larger pool somehow. Elset,
there will never be coverage for these folks and the problem of cost
recovery for the uninsured will continue to eat up the system.
Have specific case in family of self-employed, uninsurable owing to
pre-existing conditions even though it is a specific well-contained
issue they still won't write coverage for any other condition as well.
That just ain't an acceptable solution that apparently on legislation is
going to cure. Unfortunately, it appears the fly will be swatted w/ a
30-MT nuclear device, but if the existing system can't generate
solutions on its own as it seems unable to do, at least to date... :(
I have not seen a doctor in a few years except for free prostate
cancer screenings, don't take any prescriptions, and no health/dental
insurance. My cost is currently zero, but my concern is what the
government's health care will charge me.
I have been waiting to see where this subject would go. It is
outrageous that our insurance industry handles our health so they can
all have big yachts and big houses and big bank accounts.
I was paying over 13,000 per year when my wife was dying of cancer 5
and 6 years ago. On top of that we got bills from all sorts of
hospitals etc. Some has to be done and soon or the average person
will be having to pay double that for basic coverage. I am on social
security now and my deduction for med and pharmacy is about 80 bucks a
I will be 67 in Nov. and my daughter will be 19. I would rather have
my wife back including the charges from hospitals but can't arrange
it. Alas it would have been even better if she could have been
healty, continued on with her nursing career and lived past the 51st
year. Been gone now 5 years this nov 28.
And there's the typical short-sighted self-serving attitude that is fine
until wake up w/ a serious and the rest of us are stuck w/ your costs.
Unless you have a sufficient resources at hand to handle the potential
of several 100K to M it's "TheDoofus" personified... :(
Early 60's, self-employed. For self and wife pay $19,000 per year in HMO
membership fees + $20/$30 co-pay per MD visit, $15 for 30 day supply of
generic Rx, much more for brand name, no charge for lab work, x-rays, most
Only bright spot is that being self-employed, the HMO premiums are tax
deductible. But before you rant, remember that self-employed people pay
DOUBLE the rate that employees do for social security tax.
Big bucks overall but I sure as shootin' don't want the government involved
Back in the early 90's I was also self-employed and having difficulty
getting insurance on my wife and I because of pre-existing conditions
with my wife. I was paying over $1600 per month for $2500 deductable
major medical only. When Clinton started the healthcare overhaul push
I was elated and hoping it would finally give me some relief. Then I
read the details of the plan they were proposing, realized that it was
opening a door for government control and promptly contacted all of my
Senate and Congressional representatives and demanded they vote it
down. Now that damn snake has reared its ugly head again and this
time we should cut its damn head off.
OMG, that is a lot to pay. A friend is self-employed. She joined the
Chamber of Commerce to get a group rate. I'm her only employee, and I pay
all of my own ins., but at least I can get the group rate, too.
$0. Can't afford insurance (self-employed) and I only go to the doctor if
red stuff is spilling out. In the past 10 years I've spent $2,300 on medical
and dental combined (I get my teeth cleaned twice a year). I'm in my late
50s and my "medical" expenses consist of a good diet and a $10/month gym
membership which I use at least 27 days a month. Oh, and I didn't have
children, so I'm not subject to most of the "female" issues which plague
other women my age.
A family plan with lower deductibe costs employer and employee combined
about $10K annually maybe a year or two ago, inflating about 10% annually.
When there is a subscriber, one or the other of these is true (unless
the employer picks up the full tab, as is often the case for most members
of the more politically powerful unions).
Medicaid is available to the "truly poor", and not to most who merely
cannot afford private health insurance.
"A few hundred" is probably typical or highish-typical among employees
with employer-sponsored health insurance that the employee has to chip
into. Some employees pay nothing (usually if members of motre politically
powerful unions), some pay 100% (several hundred to close to $1K per
month), most pay in-between.
$12K sounds to me about average or very slightly high-side for employer
and employee combined to pay for health insurance for an employee and the
I don't know the avg. but we pay 1,000 bucks a year (33.00 bi-weekly) for
the wife and myself..Blue Cross/Blue Shield , 1,000.00 deductable , 500.00
heathcare credit for tests and preventive care BEFORE deductable , 10,000
total out of pocket expense , includes eye , dental , perscriptions and 4
dollar perscriptions and OTC drugs...Insurance provided by Walmart where
SWMBO is employed full time....I am self employed....
I hope that before any healthcare legislation gets voted on that people
will stop spreading the insane hysteria about killing granny and INFORM
THEMSELVES, Invite your family doc over for a barbecue. Take a tour of
a nursing home, have a chat with some of the nurses - not the DON - and
find out what an incredible waste of money is going on. There is EASILY
enough money in current costs to pay for good healthcare coverage for
Try to remember that some corporations are vitally important, that their
profits furnish us with new and effective treatments. Anyone remember
the days before polio vaccine? Before antibiotics? Before pacemakers?
Before joint implants?
Every damn Walgreens pharmacy has a CVS across the street from it. How
do they do it?
Nursing home chains are responsible, by law, to their shareholders.
They operate to cheat patients out of any possible "extras", to minimize
costs, to furnish goods with a profit. They build new homes, furnish
them with expensive looking stuff that will reek of urine.
Time for folks to be creative - to start small co-ops to care for a few
of their spouses or parents, to volunteer to provide care, to share
housing among a few elders who can help themselves.....there are lots of
ways for baby boomers to provide for themselves if there is family and
community support wise and informed enough to try something new.
Could be, but I'm reminded of the logistical problem in a cavalry regiment.
On a campaign of 100 mounted troopers, one wagon of hay was required for
each ten horses. That's ten wagons of hay. But the wagons were drawn by two
mules who also needed hay. So, for twenty mules, an extra two wagons were
required. but that meant four more mules and one more wagon. And so on.
To eliminate the waste in the healthcare system, more oversight is required.
These green-eyeshade types, wearing decorative sleeve-garters, in turn,
would need managers, and the managers need supervisors, and the supervisors
need directors. All in the loop need manuals, guidelines, studies, reports,
standards, exceptions to the standards, lawyers, investigations, notaries
public without number, and so on.
In a perfect system, a pharmacist who dropped a pill on the floor, then
stepped on it, would have to fill out forms in triplicate, attend a board of
inquiry, and stand by while committees were formed, new guidelines developed
and promulgated, and fussing without end ensued to ensure this ghastly waste
Screw all that! I remember a world before breast augmentation. The world was
a dismal place indeed.
Competition. Lower prices. Better service.
And if they get no "residents" the profit to the shareholders goes to zero.
The fault is not with the nursing home - they are catering to a particular
class of people. On the other hand, there ARE nursing homes that can compete
with the finest hotels. It's all in the choice of the client.
Society used to have such a thing. It was called children and grand-kids.
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