A One-Sentence Bill To Force The Health-Care Issue
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
2017-06-23 11:35 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 6295 references Ignore this thread
A One-Sentence Bill To Force The Health-Care Issue
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Here it is:

"Notwithstanding any other provision in state or federal law, a person who presents themselves while uninsured to any provider of a medical good or service shall not be charged a price greater than that which Medicare pays for the same drug, device, service or combination thereof."

That's it.

One sentence.

If you want to add a penalty clause with it I propose the following:

"Any bill rendered to a person in excess of said amounts shall (1) be deemed void, with all services and goods provided as a gift without charge or taxable consequence to said consumer but not deductible by said physician or facility from any income or occupational tax and (2) is immediately due to the customer in the exact amount presented as liquidated damages for the fraud so-attempted."

It ends the "Chargemaster" ripoff game.

It ends the $150,000 snake bite or the $80,000 scorpion sting.

It ends the $500,000 cancer treatment.

It ends all of that, immediately and instantly.

I remind you that Medicare is required to set pay rates by law at a level that in fact are profitable -- that is, above cost by a modest amount -- for everything it covers.  Further, those pay rates are audited regularly to prove that they in fact are above cost.

Does this solve every problem?  No, and in fact that would leave alone the existing monopolistic pricing systems that many medical providers, whether they be drug makers, device makers, service providers or otherwise have in place.  It would do exactly nothing to get rid of the 10 paper pushers hired for every doctor or nurse, none of whom ever provide one second of care to an actual person through their entire time of employment.

But it would instantly end walking into an emergency room and getting hammered with a $50,000 bill for something that Medicare will pay $5,000 for.

I remind you that even quite poor people can manage to come up with $5,000 in a life-threatening emergency.  Sure, they might wind up paying 25% interest on the credit card, they might have to stop smoking their $5 pack/day cigs, and it might take them three or five years to pay it off, but they can probably do it.

It's not an answer to the problems the mediscam imposes on society, but it would sure as hell bring down costs for people instantly and permanently, and would make the decision to not carry insurance one that people could opt for while having a rational shot at paying cash -- at least for those in the middle class or better, for whom a $5,000 surprise would be bad, but bearable.

More to the point with the crazy deductibles today the $5,000 would actually buy care and eviscerate the insurance ripoff at the same time, because today you get to pay the $5,000 plus another $10k/year in "premiums" -- for exactly nothing.

This matters because most of the argument for so-called "health insurance" is actually about extortion -- either buy the product or be ruined with charges that are 5, 10 or even 100x what someone who has bought the product will pay.

Ending that will force health insurance companies to actually provide a product that is affordable and provides a reasonable set of benefits -- or people can simply stick up the finger and pay cash.

Pass that, which should take no more than 30 seconds to introduce and put on the floor of both the House and Senate and then we can debate this as a permanent solution.

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User Info A One-Sentence Bill To Force The Health-Care Issue in forum [Market-Ticker] Item is pinned to the top of the forum
Ckaminski
Posts: 4121
Incept: 2011-04-08

Mass-Hole!
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Quote:
I have a cousin, who lives in Austin and worked for a medical device maker. She was bitching about the NRA lobbying Congress,


A Texan, bitching about the NRA? Must be from California...
Nevertoolate
Posts: 1322
Incept: 2007-08-26
A True American Patriot!
San Antonio de Bexar de runover with illegals, Texas
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Austin is the 3rd coast. Full of liberals. The real problem is that they are ass deep from a Laredo-San Antonio-Houston line. Add in DFW and Austin and there's a bunch of them. In 5-10 years Texas will turn blue unless something major happens. There will be a state income tax and unless they wake up, Illinois south in 50 years. Thank goodness I will have been digested several times by worms when that happens.

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Democracy is a conversation between 2 wolves & a sheep discussing what's for dinner. A Constitutional Republic is found when the sheep pulls out a gun & makes clear that his 2nd Amendment Right will be exercised should the wolves attempt to hold such a "vote."-KD 9-29-15
Ribbit
Posts: 2438
Incept: 2007-09-10

Wales, UK
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Hi Karl, that's a nice sentence. :)

"their $5 pack/day cigs, "


On my trip to America last year (are prices different in every State?)in MA the cheapest I could find were Mavericks and they were about $8 a pack. The big names were over $10.

All the best, Bob.


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If the State was a Nanny, it would have been fired for incompetence, unreliability, and having its hands in the till, a very long time ago now.
Ckaminski
Posts: 4121
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Mass-Hole!
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Yes, prices on Tobacco are different in every state.

MA is one of the highest (so I hear - I'm a nonsmoker) with taxes.
Uwe
Posts: 8264
Incept: 2009-01-03
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24091
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Quote:
Yes, prices on Tobacco are different in every state.

Right, due to individual state taxes, which range from $0.17/pack in Missouri to $4.35/pack in NY. Massachusetts is currently at $3.51. But the most expensive places are some of the big cities that add another local tax on top of the state tax. E.g.: Philly has its own $2.00/pack tax on top of PA's $2.60 state tax. And all of this is on top of a $1.01/pack federal tax.

Just for contrast, it costs me about $1.25 to mix up a week's worth of e-liquid, while a week's worth of cigs would cost me close to $100 now.



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"I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do." -- Robert Heinlein
Asimov
Posts: 109414
Incept: 2007-08-26

East Tennessee Eastern Time
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I can get a pound of tobacco for $12 and 4 cartons of tubes for $8.

So $5/carton or $0.25/pack.

Oddly enough, the price hasn't changed in the ~5 years I've been rolling my own.

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It's justifiably immoral to deal morally with an immoral entity.

Festina lente.
Mannfm11
Posts: 5384
Incept: 2009-02-28

DFW, Tx
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Chaminski, the men in Austin sit down to piss. Cousin from central Texas, where yellow dog would beat a Republican years ago. Texas didn't turn Republican until the 1980's and Austin was never Republican, as it is a University town and full of government bureaucrats. West of Austin is nice country, filling up with CA leftists, but I think the city is turning into a turd processor. 20 miles East and 40 miles west, the world returns to sanity.

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The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.---John Kenneth Galbraith
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