Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Am So There Already

It's kind of interesting that NPR and the Kaiser Family Foundation did a poll about health care issues. The summary of it is here (in PDF) and here are two interesting excerpts:
"Many Americans are experiencing the rise in health care costs personally....These higher bills can be hard to meet....about 45 percent have taken some action to try to reduce the cost of their health care over the past year, including 32 percent who have skipped dental care, 21 percent who haven’t filled a prescription and 20 percent who have skipped a recommended medical test or treatment."
"Finally, the survey finds a large gap between what the average health insurance policy costs and what uninsured people are willing to pay. Majorities report being willing to pay $25, $50 or even $100 per month for coverage, but only 29 percent would pay $200 per month, and only 6 percent say they would pay $400."
It would make an interesting personality (or political or class interest) test to see how someone reacts to these two bits of information. I look at them and think "The growing cost of health insurance far outstrips the sagging or shrinking incomes of most people in this country." But I guess if I were a champion of the drunk with cash health insurance industry, I'd skewer those tightwad uninsured people who blanch at paying more than $100 or $200 a month for bottom of the bucket health insurance.

So where does NPR go with this kind of information? Do you really need to ask? On Friday morning Richard Knox talks to health insurance industry gurus (grubbers?) and comes up with these little pearls of wisdom:
"Economist Jonathan Gruber of MIT says if everybody's going to be covered, some people will have to get used to the idea of paying more than they think they can....He says the nation needs to create a culture of health insurance where people think it's as much a part of the budget as car payments and utility bills."
Holy smokes have these guys been going through my trash and looking at my pay stubs? They must have looked at my bi-monthly $362.50 health insurance deductions. Let's do some maths. That comes out to $725 a month or $8700 a year for our little All-American family of four. Man, what a bargain. We love it. We just love that every doctor visit is a $25 dollar co-pay and that our plan is a gold-standard 80-20 plan. We are just soooo "used to the idea of paying more than we think we can" - come to think of it, we've had about 20 years to get used to this idea. In fact I'd say in our nation's great "culture of health insurance" we are one cultured family.


larry, dfh said...

Gee, could it be that npr has a large amount of financing from insurance companies? Conflict of interest? That's soo 20th century, along with prohibitions on torture.

gopol said...

I have one work for you: Murk.

Kevan Smith said...

I wish I had something more articulate to say, but , I call bullshit on the current way health care is rationed in the U.S.!

Shame on NPR for enabling a corrupt system.

Grimblebee said...

Wait, "as much a part of the budget as..."??? Is he serious? The amount taken out of my paycheck (like yours) for health insurance -- before the co-pays etc. -- exceeds the amount of my car payments and utility bills COMBINED!!!

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

This is precisely why "Health Insurance" is a parasitic scam.

No, I am not surprised that NPR would take the part of the parasites, being itself a parasitic enterprise.

They gotta stick together...

WarOnWarOff said...

Wonder which savy guru they'll have on to splain health care costs when people start dying in the streets from the flu pandemic?

Anonymous said...

War on;War off:

I'd bet the NPR Speakers Bureau (aka AEI) is already prepping position papers that state that " If Obama . . ."


dguzman said...

I haven't visited in a while, but I see you've been taking notes on NPR's continued slide into Fauz Nooz-level coverage of our world. Good work!

Batocchio said...

Right on. Last year, I wrote NPR a detailed comment to a bad story on health care, with links. It was a political story, and one of their "experts" concluded that the Republican primary candidates would change health care in America more than the Democratic candidates would. The story also failed to fact-check Fred Thompson on his claims that Britain, etc. showed that universal health care would make costs go up. I got a response, and since then, they did their series on health care around the world, which had its good sections. But they still do this crap far too often.