Nathan Sass

Archive for the ‘Health Care Reform’ Category

UPDATE: Someone Contact Jessica Sanford in WA!!!

In Barack Obama, Health Care Reform, Politics on October 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

UPDATE: Looks like Jessica Sanford is a liberal “true believer”, and perhaps quite a nasty (or just angry) person to boot.  I sent a note to her via a contact to pass along my sympathies on her messy situation, and told her my family and I were praying for her and her son.

No politics.  No Obamacare shots.  Just a note telling her we were pulling for her.

Jessica Sanford

Just saw the news about her Obamacare ordeal.

If you know her, please let her know we are praying for her and her son.


Here was her response:

Keep your prayers to yourself

I don’t need your prayers.  I am fine without them.  The ACA will work, it’s WA State that has to fix their website.  It’s all on them at this point.
No need to respond 

Jessica Sanford


Sorry Jessica.  Still gonna pray for you.

Oh, and by the way dear, your problem isn’t the website.  You don’t have insurance now because of Obamacare.  The website doesn’t make the rules, and even if the site worked, you STILL wouldn’t have insurance.

But keep the faith like a good angry liberal.

UPDATE:  Turns out Jessica did finally figure out that the deal she thought she was getting was too good to be true.  My sincerest and heartfelt sympathy goes out to her and her son.  H/T: /

From the Rose Garden speech by President Obama today:

I recently received a letter from a woman named Jessica Sanford (sp) in Washington state, and here’s what she wrote.

I am a single mom, no child support, self-employed, and I haven’t had insurance for 15 years because it’s too expensive. My son has ADHD and requires regular doctor visits, and his meds alone cost $250 per month. I’ve had an ongoing tendinitis problem, due to my line of work, that I haven’t had treated. Now finally we get to have coverage because of the ACA for $169 per month. I was crying the other day when I signed up — so much stress lifted.

Now that is not untypical for a lot of folks, like Jessica, who have been struggling without health insurance. That’s what the Affordable Care Act is all about.

The point is the essence of the law, the health insurance that’s available to people, is working just fine.

Someone PLEASE contact Jessica Sanford ASAP!  She is probably in some very real trouble!

This is a heartbreaking display of using a person, Jessica Sanford, that probably doesn’t even know what she just got herself into.

Jessica is excited to have signed up for insurance for her and her son for $169 per month.  She cried tears of joy.  She thinks her troubles are behind her.

Jessica thinks that she will now never have to worry about her medical expenses anymore.

She can stop worrying about how to pay for the $250 per month for her son’s medications, and will get treatment for her tendinitis problems.

Has ANYONE in the White House bothered to tell poor Jessica that she will now pay $169 per month for insurance, PLUS $250 per month for her son’s medications (a total of $3,000 per year – half the likely deductible of her new insurance plan), PLUS all the costs of her treatment and medications for her tendinitis?

Has it occurred to ANYONE in the White House that their big success story, Jessica, is now totally screwed?

Do they not understand that her premiums are only $169 per month because her deductible is probably more than she spends for medical care, so the insurance is largely useless to her?

She could barely afford her son’s medications before, and now will probably have $169 per month LESS in her bank account, and SHE WILL STILL HAVE TO PAY ALL THE SAME BILLS.

Does anyone care that this poor woman is about to pay $169 per month for insurance, putting her FARTHER in the hole, and leave her with even less money to feed her son and pay for her other bills?

And THIS is the success story? I hope someone tells Jessica that she still has time to cancel and save her money before she ends up broke thanks to her new “Obamacare” insurance.

If she cried after signing up, just wait until this poor woman gets her first bill for $400 from the doctor, or goes to get her son’s meds and the pharmacist says “You haven’t met your deductible. Your total is $250. Will that be cash or charge?”.

The President (or his “people”) are completely clueless. They read Jessica’s letter and thought “THIS IS A WINNER!!! Lets use her!” and never even thought to look into Jessica’s likely results from this.

Or worse yet, they DO know what trouble Jessica is probably in and don’t care.  They just needed a story to tug at heart strings and figure that no one will ever think about what is about to happen to this woman and her son.  She is just a political pawn to them.

What a bunch of short sighted, heartless, incompetent, jack wagons.


How Wisconsin Can Revolutionize Health Care (and avoid ObamaCare!)

In Health Care Reform, Politics on September 4, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Wisconsin is in a tough economic spot right now.  We are competing with other states that have lower tax rates and less regulatory red tape for employers.  Now comes the news that insurance in Wisconsin will be more expensive thanks to ObamaCare.

The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) recently released the rate impacts related to ObamaCare showing a 50% increase in premiums in 2014.

Is there anything Wisconsin can do about this, or are we just stuck because ObamaCare is federal law and we cannot just ignore it?

Well, there is something that we can do, but it will take a lot of guts to pull it off.  I think if Wisconsin were to try, employers might just flock here, and employees might just see a better standard of living, increased wages, and lower costs for health care.

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REACT: Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us – Steven Brill – Time Magazine

In Economics, Health Care Reform, Politics on February 26, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Steven Brill has authored a cover story for Time Magazine entitled Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us.  In his article, he discussed the experience of a patient diagnosed with cancer, who selected a treatment center in Texas that did not accept his catastrophic insurance coverage.

This of course left the patient to pay 100% of the costs of his care with his cash, out of pocket, and those costs were tremendous.

One might think that the point of the article was to push for single payer coverage, or some other political message, but it was not.

Mr. Brill, to his great credit, dove instead into the question of WHY those costs were so ridiculously high.  He highlighted the simple example of a charge of $1.33 for a single generic Tylenol, when a full bottle of those same pills on was $1.49.

He compared charge after charge to the Medicare reimbursement rate, and found that the hospital charged sometimes 100 times more to the patient he followed.

Towards the end of his piece he attempts to answer the “why” of these insane charges, and highlights the response of the hospital system that their charges and billing practices are in line with all other health care providers, which is sadly true.

Mr. Brill points to the excessive compensation of the executives of these non-profits as a possible proximate cause of the high process charged for the simplest of services.  He also highlights that the health care industry also spends 5 times the amount in lobbying that the much maligned defense industry does, and notes that this allows the prices to continue to rise.

With all due respect to Mr. Brill, I think he missed the most glaringly obvious cause of the insane pricing he discovered,  but he is far from alone in that.  The clues are found in the very first paragraphs of his article.  The cause of the overcharges is not excessive executive compensation, is it not lobbying spending, nor is it outright greed….those are EFFECTS not causes.

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Roberts’ Folly

In Health Care Reform, Politics, Tax Policy, Taxes, Tea Party on June 28, 2012 at 4:50 PM

The Roberts ruling stating that Obamacare was constitutional, so long as it was considered to be a tax, raises an interesting thought exercise.

If you follow Roberts’s logic to its conclusion, you run into a whole slew of ridiculous outcomes, all of which are fully legitimate under this ruling.

Roberts held that the individual mandate was unconstitutional under the commerce clause, but that the “penalty” that enforces that unconstitutional individual mandate is not a penalty at all, but a tax.

Since the congress has almost unlimited authority to tax, Roberts held that the individual mandate, and therefore the rest of Obamacare, stands.

In one sentence, as long as you use the tax code, you can unconstitutionally regulate or mandate all you want using that tax as punishment for failure to comply.

Where else might this logic be applied?


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ObamaCare Ruling – What If?

In Barack Obama, Health Care Reform, Politics on June 21, 2012 at 6:00 AM

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has not yet issued its ruling on the constitutionality of ObamaCare.  However, that ruling is almost certainly going to be issued by next Friday.

SCOTUS has a wide array of options they can exercise in that ruling, but the realistic options are down to three likely candidates.  Lets take a look at them and try to determine what the political and real world impacts of each might be:

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Single Payer Healthcare – Been There, Done That

In Economics, Health Care Reform, Politics on April 10, 2012 at 6:00 AM

The left is committed to the concept of a single payer health care delivery model similar to those in Europe.  “Committed” is actually not a strong enough term – religiously obsessed is probably more accurate.

Their devotion to this concept is as deep as the Pope’s devotion to the Catholic Church…maybe even more so.  Everything in their world revolves around the effort to enact this system in the US under the direct control of the federal government.

They claim that this system is the ONLY solution to the economic issues in the health care sector.  They further claim that we haven’t tried it yet, and no one can know that it will not work as they describe.

They are either lying or ignorant beyond imagining.  We have “tried” single payer health care models in numerous ways, large and small, and they are all less effective in every measure than the private market model in place in (most) of the US today.

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After Obamacare – What the GOP Should Do Next

In 2012 Elections, Economics, Health Care Reform, Politics on March 30, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Assuming reports assuming that the decision of the US Supreme Court regarding Obamacare will result in the entire legislation being struck down are accurate, the question becomes “Now what?”.

The decision will probably be delivered in the summer of 2012, before the presidential elections, and while the GOP is still in control of the US House.

I believe the GOP will have a limited and important opportunity to frame the discussion on the issue of health care.  Up to now, the left has set the parameters of the debate, which of course benefitted their policy and political desires.

When the decision comes, the GOP should immediately start to solicit input from people outside the political sphere, with expertise in the health care sector of the economy, and this time actually listen.

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The Scary Future Under Obamacare

In Health Care Reform, Politics, Ron Johnson on March 23, 2012 at 6:00 AM

On Monday, the US Supreme Court will begin to hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of the “individual mandate” contained in Obamacare.

This individual mandate is considered to be the lynchpin of the entire law by most observers, including those on the left.  Well, at least the left said that until that provision became threatened.  Now they claim that it is just a small part of the law.

In plain english, the individual mandate requires every living American to purchase health insurance for themselves, and any dependants.  (Excluding illegal aliens, indian tribes, people in prison and special people given exemptions by Her Royal Highness, Lady Kathleen Sebelius, Mistress of All She Surveys).

In order to enforce this mandate, the law calls for penalties to be assessed under the context of your income tax filings if you do not have coverage for more than 4 consecutive months.

How the fine amount is calculated is slightly harder to explain than quantum string theory, and will likely require that you hire someone to figure it out for you.  I can say, however, that the fines are almost certainly going to be miniscule in comparison to the cost of an insurance plan.

And that, ladies and gentleman, is the dirty secret of Obamacare.  The individual mandate is not designed to make people responsible and buy insurance.  It is designed to destroy the private insurance industry almost totally and in the space of just a few years. Read Entire Post

Simple – Not Easy – Solutions

In 2012 Elections, Economics, Health Care Reform, Politics, Tax Policy, Taxes on February 1, 2012 at 6:00 AM

The biggest long term threat to the US economy and federal budget is the unfunded liabilities related to federal entitlement programs.

Over the next 20 years, these programs if left unaltered will consume every tax dollar collected by the federal government.  All spending on any other program, from national defense to environmental protection, would need to be reduced to zero or be funded with borrowed money.

Its a big problem, and so far no one has advanced an acceptable solution.  But maybe the solutions are not at complex as the political class would have you believe.

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US Innovation is not Mythical

In Economics, Health Care Reform, Politics, Tax Policy on January 27, 2011 at 11:07 AM

In a post in Foreign Policy magazine reacting to the State of the Union Address, David Rothkopf makes the argument that the US is not particularly special or unique.  His contention is that the innovations with origins in the US were not what they appeared and those in the US merely imitated the works of others, mostly Europeans.

Poppycock.  For a guy, who I am sure thinks he is always the smartest guy in whatever room he inhabits, he sure is seems to be, shall we say, dull. Read Entire Post

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