SCAMS REVISITED

Healthcare reform . . . Yes, this truly belongs under the Scams category. This near-universal transformation of the healthcare system is nothing more than the infantile wishes of the president & a few congressional dictators translated into law. Almost no thought was given to how to actually realize it in the real world. The catastrophe is just now taking shape. Even our Dear Leader's convenient exercise of patently illegal powers won't save it now. What happens next is anyone's guess. If you are part of the unfortunate millions who have had or will have insurance cancelled, the outlook is grim. As matters now stand, you will, at least in the short term, effectively return to a system where you will pay cash to your medical provider for services. (And on the positive side, those prices are likely to be surprisingly far lower than one would expect.) Even if you succeed in traversing the exchange enrollment minefields, enrolling, paying horribly costly premiums & reaching the distant out-of-pocket maximums/deductibles, the medical panels are shrinking rapidly & many of those providers are already medicaid zombies seeing hundreds daily. You'll obtain an appointment only with the greatest difficulty, and your quality of care will be, let's just say dicey.

The Oracle is going to try really, really hard not to get sick. If you have a significant medical procedure pending, that ship has probably sailed. If you're old enough, Medicare is actually the best coverage around at the moment, although the Obama brain trust respectfully requests that you be sure & die before you reach age 75.

If you're one of the elite, very little will change. The "Public Servants," the ultra-wealthy & public union members will continue to have treatment much as they have always enjoyed, although they will be shocked to find themselves in perhaps some cases competing with the newly-enrolled, unwashed masses from medicaid, along with other subsidized exchange enrollees. Like the white girl who became black by saying it's so, the supreme court has, at least for now made the law say what it's supporters wish they had written. Nevertheless, the pool of unsubsidized victims will almost certainly dwindle sharply as people find other ways of funding healthcare, evading the penalties. Even for those without other coverage, the exchange plan costs, deductibles, etc make it a no-brainer. (The already confiscatory premiums are spiking and will continue to do so.) What will eventually remain is the still huge - and I do mean huge - number of people getting a free ride via medicaid or subsidies.

The future? The elites (including the powerful politicians & the very wealthy) will be treated much as before in "Concierge" type arrangements, paying cash, or by traveling outside the U.S. to providers who will leave the US system for locales that allow value pricing. (Think Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Carribean Islands etc.) Medical tourism for treatment will grow exponentially as an option, even for moderate income families. The level of fraud is sure to make the Medicare and Medi-Cal fraud numbers look like child's play. Single payer begins to look more and more likely as the eventual result, once the privately-underwritten plans collapse into insolvency. The private carriers are only now discovering their deal with the devil. (Guess who promised their losses would be offset by taxpayer money.)

Obamacare is not just another poorly thought out government program. It is the "fundamental change" the president promised.

 

WORKERS' COMP:    THE PENDULUM SWINGS (AGAIN)

California reforms instituted under Gov who's-your-daddy tilted disability rules & ratings rather heavily in favor of the carriers. Now the rules have been largely tilted back to the other side. This accounts for the almost constantly changing market and rates for comp.

 

WHAT THE LOONEY US LEGAL SYSTEM COSTS

Recent study by a consulting unit of Towers Perrin puts the cost of our tort system at $260 Billion - yes, that's Billion, projected to soon rise to $315 Billion.   This of course does not include the unknown other costs of products not made, medical costs imposed by doctors & others covering their gluteus maximi, people not getting hired, etc.

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