I've been on top of our national healthcare debacle from the beginning it seems. When I say beginning, I mean that era in time when most workers had health plans or you could purchase a decent one for about 250.00 a mo. So I guess I am talking around 10 years ago.
So when they rolled this whole mess out and I read up on it- there were three absolutes that I laughed at. 1. There was no way young healthy people were going to buy this unless they got taxpayer subsidies. 2. The poorest, most unhealthy people, would take advantage of free health care and start fixing everything that was wrong with them- which in a humanitarian sort of way- I actually kind of like. But my favorite part of this crappy law was this. 3. Nobody will sign up for Obamacare until they are sick- thus making them instant liabilities while contributing little or nothing to the plan to begin with.
So the 3 stories I'm about to tell you are true. If these stories are representative of what is going on in the U.S. healthcare industry currently- and I think they are- then you are about to witness a supernova event in the form of skyrocketing premiums. There is no doubt in my mind that the Obama administration will exert every dirty trick they can muster to try and stop the premium supernova. You can't underestimate those assholes either- they've been successful so far.
Here then are my three stories. I am going to summarize them in chronological order.
Early this year (Feb.) I had a friend come up to me and tell me that he had just signed up for Obamacare. He had lost a lot of weight and he looked like hell. About six weeks later he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. They tried a number of aggressive tactics and hospitalization but the cancer had spread and by late May- my friend died. He was 55. I have no idea what his medical bills came to but I have to believe they were north of 100,000. To my knowledge- he had only been insured for 5 months.
I have another friend who obtained Obamacare (silver plan) in April who had several maladies and was admitted the day after his Obamacare waiting period was over. He had DVT and spent 5 days in the hospital. All of the tests, hospitalization, and aftercare amounted to 35,000. He had paid one month's premium.
Everyday I go to the gym and it's a neighborhood gym. I had been lifting with a guy, on and off, for 6 months and he suddenly came up missing last month. When I saw him just a couple of weeks ago, he told me that he had a bilateral hernia which he had gotten in the gym. He had immediately signed up for Obamacare and is waiting until he is insured to have the proper diagnosis. Since he is a former pharmacist I have to think he already has the proper diagnosis. For this piece, I researched that surgery in Boise and the procedure will cost anywhere from 5,000-15,000.
So those are 3 people who have paid something on the order of 3500 bucks worth of premiums and who have or will receive 150,000 worth of health care services. In the case of my first friend, since he is deceased, there is no possibility of recovering his health care costs. That money is lost.
Without young, healthy people donating their money- Obamacare cannot exist. With a sea of formerly uninsured people demanding services, and only sick people signing up and becoming instant liabilities- this is a three pronged disaster in the making.
I read an article last week that placed the average healthcare premium rising at roughly 9% this year. Although that number was produced by actuaries and health care experts- I have to tell you I think that is utter bullshit. I think real numbers are going to be north of 25%. You want to hear a collective howl go up? Try three years or so of that and a collective doubling of premiums from existing levels and suddenly- nobody can afford Obamacare.
With any luck- we won't have long to wait.