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What health coverage could you buy for $25,000?

Original post made by Ken in South Pleasanton, Downtown, on Aug 1, 2009

I'm interested in others' thoughts on the cost of providing health care to the 30 to 40 million uninsured individuals in the United States (this is anywhere from 10 to 13% of the population, meaning that 87 to 90% apparently have health coverage). Cost estimates I've read from various sources hover around $1 Trillion dollars over 5 years. One trillion dollars divided by 40 million uninsured gives me $25,000 per person over 5 years, or $5,000 per person per year. For a family of 4, that is approximately $20,000 per year to spend on health insurance. You can purchase very reasonable plans for a family of 4 with that kind of money. This amount is likely higher than what I've calculated because I've used the higher estimate for uninsured and the low to mid range estimate for 5 year cost.

So I don't understand the value of our government totally revamping the health care industry in the US for nearly 90% who are insured to solve a problem that only affects 10 to 13% of US residents? Based on past government programs (created by ANY politician whether left or right leaning) I'm hard pressed to believe that the costs can be contained to just $1 Trillion dollars and I'm hard pressed to believe the government can create a system that delivers the new health care in an efficient, timely, and fair manner.

Wouldn't it be more effective and less disruptive to expand MediCare and MedicAid coverage to those who are uninsured and take advantage of the infrastructures that already exist in those programs? Simultaneously, an attack on the cost drivers in the health industry could be mounted, focusing on those issues that affect cost increases and leaving the things that work well now alone.

I'm looking forward to reading how others have rationalized or broken down the costs and alternatives.

Comments (5)

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Aug 1, 2009 at 8:24 am

I appreciate receiving MediCare. As long as I'm covered, why are you so wrapped in taking it away from me? duh...

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Posted by Problem
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2009 at 8:26 am

"So I don't understand the value of our government totally revamping the health care industry in the US for nearly 90% who are insured to solve a problem that only affects 10 to 13% of US residents? "

because the problem affects 100% of the US residents.

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Aug 1, 2009 at 8:33 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Echoing what Problem wrote above, precisely, but in Ken's third paragraph I think he recognizes that there's a bigger picture that needs to be worked on.

Personally, I'd rather be a member of a large risk pool and if that pool could be the size of almost the entire population of the US, that's a great way to spread the risk and lower my out-of-pocket expenses.

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Posted by Ken in South Pleasanton
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 1, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Cholo...not worth commenting.
Problem...some of the problems affect 100%, and, as Stacey recognized, I think those that affect 100% should be prioritized and resolved. However, doesn't placing NEARLY 100% in debt to the tune of $1 Trillion cause you to question if there is a more efficient and cost effective solution? (I say NEARLY 100% because our representatives in Washington and a few select others DON'T participate in the proposed program as it currently stands). you think the larger risk pool can be created without the proposal working its way through Washington? Can it be created without the cost and massive government involvement that is in those proposals?
Thanks for commenting...even you Cholo...your comments make us all feel more well-informed.

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Posted by unclehomerr..
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 1, 2009 at 8:23 pm

For $25k.. I'll bet I could have a live-in nurse.

No... wait a minute. I had one of those. Didn't work out too well.



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