Economic 101 for the Health Care Reform With a Public Option

Having a Government’s Healthcare with a Public Option as proposed by President Obama will likely cause to bring down and lower your monthly health insurance premium to as little as $25 a month for a full healthcare coverage including dental.

This is how it will work. As it has been reported (see CNN.com) that the premium cost for the proposed Government’s Healthcare with a Public Option will be about 10% – 20% less than the monthly premium fees that you currently pay each month, for your private health insurance coverage.

Currently, private insurance companies charge high premium fees as driven by their need for profit. They do so because they simply have no competition which can help reduce their premium fees and improve your health care needs and benefits. However, with the proposed Health Care Reform with a Public Option, it will help create competition for the health insurance companies, and that’s the only way that health insurance companies may reduce your monthly premium.

Let’s say you currently pay about $165 a month for your health insurance, not including your dental plan, and the proposed Government’s Public Option is 10% less than what you pay now. In order for health insurance companies to continue growing and retaining customers, they will try to match the Government’s Public Option premium fees. And as health insurance companies lower their premium fees, so will the government’s public option.

This graph image is from an unlikely source as noted, but it hits the point

I copied this graph image from an unlikely source as noted, but it hits the point that I'm defining.

The Government’s Public Option premium fees will keep going down as private health insurance companies try to match the government’s public option, until the price comes down to a neutrality (equilibrium) level, where the costs of your healthcare equals your healthcare benefits.

In the end, you may end up paying as little as $25 each month, in health insurance premium, for quality healthcare, and if you end up getting sick, for whatever the case might be, you’ll never have to suffer because of additional out of pocket money you would need to pay for your medical care. And you certainly won’t have to go broke just because you’re sick, and you won’t have to hurt or even die, just because you don’t have health insurance.

You will also have a chance to switch to any healthcare insurance coverage without ever losing your current healthcare benefits. And your existing medical needs or illness will not be the case for any insurance company to deny you the coverage you need just because of your existing illness.

As we all know, that 30% of every dollar you spend on your healthcare premium is spent on medical administrative costs, and probably about 40% of every dollar you spend is spent towards the salaries and wages for the doctors and medical professionals, and only about 30% of every dollar you spend on your health insurance goes towards your medical needs. What the proposed healthcare reform with public option will do is make medical care providers to reduce their excessive costs and give you more healthcare benefits, as they too will have to compete for your business, because the government public option will give you more choices and options to where you go to get treatment for your healthcare needs.

And as the President outlined it last night in his speech, whether you are self employed, business owner or have your own health insurance coverage with whomever you have previously chosen, the proposed Healthcare Reform with Public Option will not make you give up your current health insurance coverage. You can keep what you already have or shop for a better health insurance coverage since health insurance premiums will severely go down. This basically gives you more choices and better options of what you do with your own healthcare needs.

America is becoming polarized so much that loyalty to one’s political affiliation is so important and more relevant than the general needs for the Americans. Even if a certain issue may cause potential danger or even death, party loyalties may not even care if the solution was initiated by the opposite isle of the chamber. And the public elected officials in Washington always seem to forget why or how they got there in the first place, but they are not thinking that there comes a time when the consumers will once again have a chance to decide who to send to Washington, someone who can honestly work on their behalf, and not on the behalf of special interests and lobbyists.

Just because a certain bill, which may be deemed to actually benefit the consumers was initialed by a member of a political party doesn’t mean that the opposite party members shouldn’t support it, just because they feel too loyal and too good for their own party.

Sometimes putting political party differences aside and focusing on what the American people actually need may serve best for everyone, even those who feel otherwise. Just because you feel like you are well off or if a certain issue doesn’t affect you or benefit you, that doesn’t mean that everyone else feels the same.

The majority of people are not as well off as what you are, thus sometimes we just need to think about how or what other people are going through, and show them more compassion as much as you’d want them to show you.

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The Most Stupid TV Commercials; Nationwide and Microsoft

For weeks now, Microsoft has been running TV commercials, generally promoting the PC. The commercial usually starts with an individual, usually has a young, sort of geeky looking person, out to buy a new laptop.

He or she (they have multiple actors) could be a young lady or guy, who starts out describing what kind of a laptop he or she wants and then the voice-over tells him or her that “if he or she finds that kind of laptop under $1,500…, then he or she can keep it”.

Now, the thing is this; it implies as though all the laptops for sale anywhere are more than $1,500 and that, if he or she’s lucky enough to find one under that amount, then he or she can keep it. And then, to make it even sillier, at the end of the commercial, when he or she has found the laptop she or he wanted, then he or she’s given a stack of bills, as though it’s a reward for finding a laptop under $1,500.

So, my question is; does that mean that there are no PC laptops under $1,500, and if I found one under that amount, then I can keep it, and that you’d reward me? Really a stupid commercial.

The second TV commercial that aggravates me, because it’s really stupid, and they keep running it over and over, it’s by Nationwide. The commercial starts with a woman (a black woman) who talks like she’s running diarrhea. She doesn’t talk like she’s scripted, which may be a good thing, as an indication that Nationwide uses real people, not actors, who say what they really feel about their auto insurance.

Now, this lady goes on, explaining and slowly stating that; “Nationwide has a forgiveness program…, which means, if you have an accident, then Nationwide will forgive you… they will not raise your premium based on your first accident…, because Nationwide….

Didn’t she just say that Nationwide has a forgiveness program at the beginning? Why does she have to repeat and explain her silly-line?

Geico and Safe Auto have some of the coolest, eye-and-ear-catching phrases, TV commercials. Microsoft and Nationwide should may be look up to them and may be, learn from them.

What Every Organism Wants: Sexual Selection

Yes, the title is an indicative to capture your attention. And, since you’all seem so tired and perhaps stressed out, well, we are now in “officially” a recession. Perhaps, an economic depression is next, but not soon or may be never, I hope.

So, I wanted to arouse your attention for a minute and entertain your curiosity. The following may rather be out of the box discussion, but we may as well have an interesting discussion, other than focusing on the news about job loss, layoffs, rise of unemployment, etc. So here it is.

What Every Organism Wants: Sexual Selection

This week, in my biological evolution and speciation class, we had an interesting discussion, a lecture from my professor, Dr. Taylor at Ohio State University, focusing on sexual selection. The subject was about mate choice between males and females for reproduction.

The question that Dr. Taylor posed was: “If sexual preference was not biological but a choice, then how did you make your choice?”

Now my question is this; if you are a man, did you hop from one man to the next, different men each time, any number of times, and then to a woman, different women each time, any number of times, testing your sexual preference?

Likewise, if you are woman, did you also hop from one woman to the next, different women any number of times, and then to a man, different men each time, any number of times to test and decide your sexual preference?

So, how did you decide your sexual preference?

Are Americans Just Too Chronically Ill?

Are Americans simply too healthy to be sick than any other people in other countries in the world, or they simply have more access to a better health care system? If they are just too healthy, then why are there so many health insurance companies in the US, perhaps some of the largest health insurance companies than any other health insurance companies in the world? Or if the American people are just as sick as other people in the world, then do they just have access to a better healthcare system? What class of American people is sicker than the other; men or women, young or old?

These are some of many questions we can keep asking ourselves, and we may never have or find answers to them. On November 18, 2008, The New York Times published an article titled, The Wrong Place to Be Chronically Ill. It reports the finding of 7,500 patients surveyed in several countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain and the United States, who suffered from at least one of seven chronic conditions: hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, lung problems, cancer or depression.

The article states; “the shameful findings on the patients in the United States the health care they received, that more than half of the American patients went without care because of high out-of-pocket costs. They did not visit a doctor when sick, skipped a recommended test or treatment or failed to fill a prescription. The uninsured suffered most, but even 43 percent of those who had insurance all year skipped care because of costs”.

The article further states that the surveyed American patients also were likely to report wasting time because their care was so poorly organized. About a third reported that medical records and test results were not available when needed or that tests were duplicated unnecessarily. A third experienced a medical error, such as being given the wrong medication or test results. Some 40 percent found it very difficult to get after-hours care without going to an emergency room.

Another article titled “Women Buying Health Policies Pay a Penalty”, which was published in The New York Times on October 30, 2008, reports “a widespread gap in the cost of health insurance, as women pay much more than men of the same age for individual insurance policies providing identical coverage, according to new data from insurance companies and online brokers.” The article gives an example of a Columbus, Ohio 30-year old woman pays 49 percent more than a man of the same age for Anthem’s Blue Access Economy plan. “The woman’s monthly premium is $92.87, while a man pays $62.30”. The article further states that; in general, insurers say, they charge women more than men of the same age, because claims experience shows that women use more health care services. They are more likely to visit doctors, to get regular checkups, to take prescription medications and to have certain chronic illness.

In summary, I may agree with the second stated article, about women paying more in the cost of health insurance than men of the same age. I agree to this claim for the reason as stated above. From a man perspective, compare to my wife and daughter, my wife tends to visit a doctor for her regular checkup than me, anytime during the year. As the article states, women, so as my wife, tend to visit a doctor for her feminine health checkup, including constant checkup for signs of chronic illness such as cancer, diabetes, etc. Whilst, for me, I rarely go to the doctor.

I however, cannot generalize that all men, based on my health, for the simple reason that I may not visit my doctor as often as my wife does for the fact that I don’t really like medical places, nor do I like seeing a doctor examining me. It’s not that I am afraid of a doctor, I just don’t like having the feeling of being sick or feel like I am sick, and being in the presence of a doctor gives me that eerie feeling. The smell of medicine in hospitals makes me sicker. Thus, I only go to my doctor, when I feel that I am really sick, which is not as often as my wife’s regular checkup. I understand that I too need to have a regular doctor checkup for the same chronic illness. My daughter also gets regular doctor visit for her checkup, but unlike my male cousin of the same age, who also rarely goes to the doctor.

Thus, I definitely understand why the insurance companies may charge women more in health insurance premium than they do for men. If they would charge men more than women, then the story would be similar. The only suggestion I may propose is for all the employers to pay women wages equal to that of their male counterparts for equal work completed. Doing so would allow families to best plan, balance, and pay for their health care costs without putting a burden on the women alone.

However, I disagree with the first article for a simple reason that, statistically, the article has an error. It states that a survey of 7,500 patients from different countries was observed, but it failed to state whether that proportion was randomly selected or not. And what was the exact number of American patients were among the surveyed patients? I fail to believe that this number was an exact representation of all the American patients. Even though it generally and fairly estimates how most patients are treated in America, I feel like those who conducted this survey could have used more representative variables, such as the exact number of each patient surveyed from each country, their gender and age category.

Based on the data provided, I am not fairly convinced that America is the sickest nation, nor can I conclude that other nations as stated may have a better health care system. Also, those who have conducted the survey might have failed to state that some of the nation’s health care systems mentioned have universal health care coverage, where patients are not required to pay for health checkup and medical treatment. In countries such as Britain, France, and Canada, health care is free and open to any of their citizens. But comparatively, America may have the best health care facilities and medical doctors more than any other countries surveyed or in the world. Let us not forget to mention that life expectancy in America is almost the same or may be even high than the countries surveyed.

I however believe that the cost of health care, generally, in America is too high. Over 11 million American have no health insurance coverage, and most families are failing to pay for the cost of their hospital visits, let alone, their medicines. Hopefully the new administration would do as promised, to help bring the cost of health insurance down, not only for women, but for men and children, as well, for just about every American.