Health insurance: is it socialism, or capitalism?

Posted by: logtroll

Health insurance: is it socialism, or capitalism? - 02/04/20 02:16 PM

I read an article about a James Beard Award finalist, who owns a smallish restaurant, who believes in providing his employees with health insurance, because he thinks it gets him better and more reliable people and because he's a good guy. He pays out $54,000 annually for insurance, while his own paycheck is just $35,000. If he had more than 50 employees, providing health insurance wouldn't be a choice, it would be mandated by the government.

He said that he would like to keep more money, but that all the paperwork involved may be the more painful price of taking care of his workers. The idea that because private insurance gives him a choice in the matter (of providers and plans), one that he wouldn't have with single-payer insurance, is ridiculous because it is all so complicated that he doesn't really even know what he is doing and can't compare options in a meaningful way.

I shouldn't have to say the obvious, but the cost of his company's health insurance is paid by the larger community of the patrons of his establishment (and partially subsidized by his low level of income). I say this obvious thing because it is one of the disguised social costs of private insurance.

There are more of these "secret" costs that are generally left out of the health insurance debates - I have more examples in other distinctly different areas, but I'll save them for later.

My starter question is: are the hidden costs in the restaurant example above a sort of socialism? A "tax" that takes the shape of a business expense, but is collected from society as a whole?
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: Health insurance: is it socialism, or capitalism? - 02/04/20 06:30 PM

We don't see the cost of all our oil wars around the world but we pay taxes to fund our military.
If the cost of our petro-geopolitics were shunted to the oil companies themselves instead, that pump price would easily be closer to ten dollars a gallon.

We underwrite food assistance and Medicaid for employees of Walmart and other big box stores. If these corporations had to bear those costs themselves, store items would cost significantly more.

But because we fool ourselves into thinking that Walmart has "low prices, always", we don't think about the fact that the Walton family has socialized employee overhead with our wallets.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: Health insurance: is it socialism, or capitalism? - 02/05/20 02:15 AM

Like I've said, we pay what we pay and just about everybody gets healthcare one way or another. We just have a crazy convoluted way of paying for that that lets some folks get rich off of everybody else. Demagogues can focus your attention of some particular aspect of that crazy system and make you think it's something it is not. They just want to push on something that benefits them, but it pops out somewhere else like a balloon.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: Health insurance: is it socialism, or capitalism? - 02/06/20 06:18 AM

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Like I've said, we pay what we pay and just about everybody gets healthcare one way or another. We just have a crazy convoluted way of paying for that that lets some folks get rich off of everybody else. Demagogues can focus your attention of some particular aspect of that crazy system and make you think it's something it is not. They just want to push on something that benefits them, but it pops out somewhere else like a balloon.


But as it turns out, even among those who DO have health insurance, about 25 to 30 percent can barely even afford their premiums and the medications.
Sorry but it's not quite so binary as to say "almost everyone has coverage" because so many can barely swing their coverage.
Posted by: Greger

Re: Health insurance: is it socialism, or capitalism? - 02/07/20 02:49 AM

My Trumpian neighbor will vote for Bernie because his insurance costs are eating him up.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: Health insurance: is it socialism, or capitalism? - 02/07/20 03:48 AM

Hey, you know what?
Health coverage should be considered a human right by conservatives.
Why?

Because conservatives say that they value the sanctity of human life, that's why. Treating healthcare coverage as a human right is perhaps the most "pro-life" position that a conservative can possibly take.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: Health insurance: is it socialism, or capitalism? - 02/07/20 04:16 AM

Quote:
Sorry but it's not quite so binary as to say "almost everyone has coverage" because so many can barely swing their coverage.


But they CAN swing their coverage. Almost always now without medical bankruptcy, and even people who do go bankrupt just end up on Medicaid. I said the way we pay for it is a mess. But the solution is not to draw a line around certain people, and tell them they have to die. The solution is to fix the whole payment system. My argument was against the claim that we can't afford to take care of everybody.

Obviously we can, because we do right now. There is no class of people who have to die in the hospital parking lot. Just a few morons who chose to die rather than spend the money to not die. That's their right, but I feel little sympathy for them.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: Health insurance: is it socialism, or capitalism? - 02/07/20 04:25 AM

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Quote:
Sorry but it's not quite so binary as to say "almost everyone has coverage" because so many can barely swing their coverage.


But they CAN swing their coverage. Almost always now without medical bankruptcy, and even people who do go bankrupt just end up on Medicaid.



You might want to look at the state by state income and net worth rules for Medicaid. It's a wake up call.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: Health insurance: is it socialism, or capitalism? - 02/07/20 04:39 AM

Like I said: It's all screwed up. First fix is to expand Medicaid in all the states with idiot governors who created the Medicaid/ACA gap. I know all about that because my wife and I spent months fighting to get out of Medicaid and into the subsidized ACA. Fortunately, California does not have a gap and they claim it does not matter how huge a pile of assets you have. As long as your income is below the limit, you get Medicaid. I had to take some of my IRA to get my income high enough so we could get all of our ACA premiums back.