Mad As Hell

Fair warning, my family just received a 61.5% increase in our healthcare insurance premium of 2017, on top of last year’s 24.8% increase, so I am quite annoyed at the moment.  For my non-US readers, perhaps what follows will interest you as a means of understanding how and why Donald Trump came to be elected President.  I am going to be channeling some of my inner crank today.

If you want to understand why Trump won the recent US presidential election, you can't overlook the economic data.  If you do, his victory may look mighty confusing, alarming even.  But once you understand the degree to which the average US family and the entire Gen-X and Millennial generations are being completely hosed economically, everything starts to take shape.

As most struggling Americans can tell you, real household income has gone nowhere for more than 20 years:

This multi-decade burden of "running ever faster just to stay in the same place" is what led many US voters to reject Hillary Clinton, the establishment candidate, and instead roll the dice on the iconoclast promising to upend the system.

But if Trump's plan to “make America great again” means a return to the 1980s and 1990s when median real incomes climbed smartly, he’s not going to be able to pull that rabbit out of the hat, I’m afraid.  None of the conditions in place then are with us today including cheap, abundant energy (remember, oil was $10 a barrel in 1998); not to mention that we were riding the tailwinds produced by all of the gains from the early, explosive stage of the technology and internet revolutions.

Instead, we're at a stage where the pie is no longer expanding -- it's now a zero-sum game where those with power are using their advantage to continue to increase the size of their slice at the expense of the rest of us. The US now routinely subjects its citizens to racketeering, charging excessive prices that are increasingly cumbersome to avoid. One example among thousands; a Viagra pill that costs less than $1 in India, costs over $38 in the US:


Cell phone plans in the US are 2x to 3x more expensive (and more limited in terms of both data and speed) than any of the other countries I’ve traveled to in the past few years.  A phone bill from AT&T in Hong Kong is a single page long and clearly explains how your unlimited high speed plan ended up costing you around $30/mo. In contrast, my bill from the same company in the US runs about 30 pages, and seems intentionally opaque in helping me understand why I'm spending over $100/mo for a limited data plan with much slower speeds.

There's no good reason for this except that in the US, companies have learned they can get away with predatory tactics by “wearing down” customers with gigantic, indecipherable billing statements.

This is pure racketeering. Your phone carrier is counting on your cable company to be running the same complexity scam.  Ditto especially for all of your insurance providers whom you just know, in your heart, you'll have to battle ferociously with for what you're owed should you ever need to really use that coverage.

And it's not just corporations; the government is in on the action, too. The US tax code is now over 74,600 pages in length, and the IRS cannot even get close to answering questions accurately.  Yet the citizen is on the hook for getting everything exactly right or else incurring stiff penalties, necessitating the use of expensive CPAs -- which is still no guarantee that an auditor's subjective judgment might go against you. 

Fun fact: during the first 26 years of its existence, the US income tax code grew by 104 pages. Over the past 30 years, it has grown by 50,000 pages.

While our politicians to expand the tax code, as far as I know nobody from any US government agency has been at all interested in the obvious price collusion displayed in this chart:


Believe it or not, there are two price lines on this chart (one red, one blue) from supposedly independent companies who are allegedly competing with each other -- but most clearly are not. Humalog and Novalog are both manufactures of injectable insulin.

Insulin is an absolutely vital, non-substitutable necessity for people with diabetes and these companies saw fit to collude and jack up the prices over 1000% in ten years, from $25 a vial to over $250.

Why would two separate companies maintain the exact same price for their competing products for 20 years? I don’t have any other explanation except for collusion.

In any sane, rational and caring nation this wouldn't have happened. But under Bush, and then Obama, such predatory behavior went completely uninvestigated let alone punished. 

So it's no wonder then that so many people looked at the ‘status quo’ candidacy of Hillary Clinton and said No thanks.  Many families cannot afford more years of status quo predation by the unchecked rapaciousness of US cartels -- er, corporations -- and their government protectors.

Look, we all knew that the faux recovery seen over the past seven years had to end sometime, sooner or later. A “recovery”, mind you, that never actually happened except in the fantasy press releases of the government's statistical fabricators, lovingly reproduced by unquestioning “journalists” working for corporate entities harboring deep conflicts of interest.

But the “little people” (hereby defined as those occupying the bottom 95% of the socioeconomic ladder) have long known they've been getting screwed. Sadly, it's just getting worse.

The Obamacare Disaster

Obamacare (a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act) is a disaster. We always knew it was going to be. Why? Because it represents the single largest give-away to the health insurance industry in our lifetime. 

Obama and the DC politicians crafted the Affordable Care Act as a monstrously large bill. And they failed to take on the biggest source of fat in the entire system: the healthcare insurance companies themselves. Of course, these companies have very well-funded lobbyists and  pushing back against them on would have required real leadership and possibly cost some political capital.  So they were left entirely alone, with all of the massive increases in healthcare premium costs left to be borne by “somebody” other than them.

Well that “somebody” has turned out to be pretty much everybody:

Obamacare Benchmark Premiums to Rise 25% in Sharpest Jump Yet

Oct 24, 2017

Monthly premiums for benchmark silver-level plans are going up by an average of 25 percent in the 38 states using the federal website, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a report today. 

Last year, premiums for the second-lowest-cost silver plans went up by 7.5 percent on average across 37 states.


Now what’s both fascinating and part of the electorate anger is that the same government that forced Obamacare on everyone is also the same government that swears that health care inflation is running at only 2.5% to 3.5% per year over the past few years. Here are the governments numbers:


I find myself wondering what country (or planet?) those numbers are for. Because for those who actually pay for their health insurance, the answer for sure isn't either "America" or "Earth".

In total, US health care premiums have fully tripled since 1999.

But for fun, using the government’s own CPI-Med data from the table above, if healthcare premiums had tracked the government’s stated rate of inflation between 2006 and 2015 then they would be some $2500 less today than they actually are:

People are angry because they are being lied to. Or more accurately: lied to while being robbed. 

Even worse, while the rate of health care inflation is being understated at the individual premium level shown above, it's also wildly understated in the larger inflation statistic used to level-set everything from cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to pay raises across the country.

As explained in the Fuzzy Numbers chapter of The Crash Course, even though healthcare spending is nearly 18% of GDP, for some reason healthcare comprises only 5.85% of the CPI basket:

[C]urrently CPI-MED accounts for 5.825% of the overall CPI. Increases in the share of medical expense paid by individuals (as opposed to their insurers), will not affect CPI levels. 



U.S. health care spending grew 5.8 percent in 2015, reaching $3.2 trillion or $9,990 per person.  As a share of the nation's Gross Domestic Product, health spending accounted for 17.8 percent.


Does it make any sense to record something that's nearly 18% of GDP as only 5.8% of your inflationary experience? Nope, it sure doesn’t. Unless your desire is to mask the actual rate of inflation.

In simple terms, just healthcare's share of inflation alone comes to (0.25)*(0.18) = 4.5%.  That’s more than twice the rate of the supposed total inflation we are experiencing all by itself.  Throw in rising rents, car prices, and energy and it’s far more likely that an urban consumer is experiencing total price inflation closer to 6% or more per year.

Now, if you were a government bean-counter who want to mask the impact of a rapidly-rising factor within the nation’s inflation rate, presumably to blunt the statistical damage and make things look rosier than they actually are, all you need do is weight that item less in the basket used to calculate inflation.

For example, if the vegetables making up 18% of the cost of your shopping cart have gone up in price by a whopping 25%, that’s going to leave a mark. 

But what the government does is pretend that your shopping cart only has 6% vegetables, and is increasing at a much lower annual rate -- say 3.2%. Voila! Reported price inflation for carrots and celery is now much lower: (0.06)*(0.032) = 0.12%.

Even though you're forking out 4.5% more at the grocery counter, the government is loudly telling everyone you're only seeing an increase of 0.12% 

This is infuriating, of course. 

Here’s what this looks like in chart form. Total inflation is being sold to us as low – "too low" and "dangerously low" even. But I’ve helpfully included where the chart would show the total rate if were only what we're seeing with health care costs:


Imagine how much higher it would be if we added in the actual inflation observed in other costly sectors like food, housing and education. Obviously there’s something desperately wrong going on here.

This is statistical lying and weaseling of the worst sort, which of course everyone can see through because it gets harder and harder each year to balance the family budget. If you're alarmed by fake news, perhaps you should be more alarmed by fake data, something the US government has perfected and continues to perpetuate. 

All of this is deeply unfair. And -- surprise! -- people really get annoyed when they're constantly lied to. Eventually their trust goes right out the window. Is it any wonder that a profoundly status quo candidate (HRC) could not sway the voters in rural America, where these trends and insults are even more acutely felt than in urban areas? The status quo is figuratively and literally killing these people. 

As mentioned earlier, my family's health care plan premium went up over 60% in cash costs alone this year. The rate of increase is an even larger when the plans' reduced benefits and increased deductibles are factored in. The out-of-pocket amount for my family will be pretty close to $30,000 this year before any insurance actually kicks in.

In other words, I'm subsidizing somebody.

Unfortunately, that somebody is probably not a lower-income person up the street who badly needs coverage, but rather someone in the C-suite at one of the major heath companies. 

Check out the 2013 compensation packages for the CEOs of the major US health insureres.  They're truly breathtaking:

Maybe 2013 was a standout year, and is an errant data point.  Maybe things moderated in 2014? 

Nope.  Everybody apparently deserved an even more massively large payout:

You have to wonder how much care was denied to patients in order to afford those executive salaries.  It also bears mentioning, that some of these CEOs ‘earned’ more by 10:30 a.m. on the first day of 2014 than the median household did during that entire year.

Put a different way, in order to pay out the compensation for Stephen Hemsley, the United Health CEO for 2014, nearly 4,000 families had to pay the full $16,351 amount for healthcare that year.  In what sort of world should 4,000 families have to pay close to a third of their total income to a single individual simply for the pleasure of having health insurance?

Greedy doesn’t begin to cover what’s going on here. If ever there was any sort of 'social contract' between these companies and the public, it's now utterly broken by the rewarding their upper management with tens of millions of dollars – each! – and then jacking up healthcare premiums on families simply because they can.  And now, thanks to the "Affordable" Care Act, you can now be fined for not forking over whatever insane price increases the healthcare cartel decides to dream up from their government protected boardrooms.

Bizarrely, the healthcare insurance options in many states have been vastly reduced as carriers claiming losses, while massive premium increases have been justified also on the basis of losses and reduced profits. I say "bizarrely" because you’d imagine, being a regular person, that such losses should show up in actual profit declines for the insurers.


Making a killing under Obamacare: The ACA gets blamed for rising premiums, while insurance companies are reaping massive profits

Oct 28, 2016

While Americans continue to be hammered by rising health care costs, and while congressional lawmakers (with their taxpayer-subsidized health care) do nothing to lower the cost of pharmaceuticals and medical care, one group is reaping a windfall in profit: health insurance companies and their investors.

On Thursday, Aetna reported $734 million in profit on $15.8 billion in revenue for the three months that ended Sept. 30. The nation’s third-largest health insurer by revenue handily beat Wall Street estimates for the quarter.

Aetna’s earnings report came a week after UnitedHealth reported a 12 percent jump in revenue to $46.3 billion for the three months that ended Sept. 30 compared with the same period the previous year. The company collected $36.1 billion in insurance premiums, a sum 11 percent higher than for the year-ago quarter, while profits increased 29 percent to $1.98 billion.

A Salon analysis of regulatory filings found that the top five health insurers — UnitedHealth, Anthem, Aetna, Humana and Cigna — have doled out nearly $30 billion in stock buybacks and dividends from 2013 to 2015. (The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act in 2012.)


Similar strong results were noted for Humana in their last earnings release.  So how can it be that all these companies are both reporting the need for massively higher premiums while also booking higher and higher profits?

Well, when you live in a country that routinely subjects its citizens to racketeering, this is exactly the sort of disconnect you have to live with. They say one thing; but you see with your own eyes, or experience with your own wallet, something completely different.


Obama’s main failing in the ACA was in not going directly after the powerful insurance industry and forcing its players to participate in the reduction of waste, and sharing in the costs. Instead, they got more than a free pass: they got millions of new enrollees with the right to ‘withdraw’ from any markets and exchanges where they felt their massive profits might take a ding. 

And withdraw they did, with 2 million people losing their coverage for 2017 due to major carriers pulling out of state exchanges. 

Just looking at the cost of healthcare alone, we can detect massive fraud and deceit being foisted on the American public today. What emerges from these many rackets is a corrosion of the social contract.  In a word, these arrangements are abusive.  

The enormous pressures we see across the globe, with the rise of what the mainstream news outlets (aka “largest purveyors of fake news”) are trying to label as ‘nationalism,’ are really in large measure simply a reaction to the economic oxygen having been sucked away from the populace of various countries and delivered into the hands of a very tiny elite.

Yes, that elite still controls the ‘news’ and therefore the narrative; but increasingly people are waking up and deciding for themselves that ‘something is wrong’. Not unlike a person slowly becoming aware that they have somehow fallen into and been the victim of an abusive relationship.

Let me be clear: if we do not somehow find the courage and appropriate leadership to begin righting these wrongs, this trajectory ends in tears.  And it shouldn’t be up to a government body to have to regulate proper action; the insurance companies themselves should have nobody but themselves to blame if they fail to self-regulate. 

Ditto for every major corporation that is running various rackets using a combination of predatory pricing, overly complex practices, and regulatory capture to operate as a cartel. 

If the elites don't manage to figure out how to contain their greed, then an angry electorate is just the beginning of their troubles.  Anybody seeking to understand the political landscape really just needs to spend a little time on the eroding prosperity of the bottom 99% over the past 20 years.

In Part 2: How To Fix The Future we lay out how a critical movement is arising at this time in history. Each of us can assume a role to play in its formation and development, and therefore its eventual success or failure. It's my personal belief that we are past the time where we can avoid major disruption, so each of us must be personally prepared as best we can for upheaval, while also working towards building a new and better narrative to live by.

Do you have the courage to participate?

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Some nincompoops decided to name the tallest mountain in North America after an irrelevant political figure and the name “Mountain McKinley” was established. The indigenous people and the local residents of the State of Alaska continued to call the mountain “Mt. Denali” which means The Great One. It’s my understanding that the name has been officially changed back to Mt. Denali. The point being just because some nincompoop waves their wand, makes a declaration and declares This Is Good, This Is So - does not make it so.
Why do people CONTINUE to call the Affordable Care Act (ACA) the given name by some nincompoop? Is it illegal, immoral, an unforgivable sin to call it “The UN-affordable Care Act”? Perhaps it’s not Politically Correct? I know heaven forbid we offend anyone. Hmmmmm just think what would happen if say a whole lot of people just started a movement and called the ACA the UN-Affordable Care Act. Perhaps it would send a message? Or as in the example of Mt. McKinley, the name was just a blip in time and Mt. Denali will endure. As the saying goes, A Land That Has Always Been and a Mountain That Has Always Been What’s un-affordable can’t be made so by naming it so. Let’s get the name right.

Such good information. Small criticism, don’t use Viagra as a drug example. People with a cognitive bias to want to defend ACA will consider that a non necessary drug and hand wave the whole article off. Unfortunate but this is the political environment we live in. IMHO

Bernie introduced legislation to allow importation of cheaper drugs from Canada and it went down in flames.
It is rigged. Just enough Republicans voted for it and just enough Democrats voted against the bill for it to fail. I’m guessing all pre-determined. Disgusting.

Competition at the bottom, collusion at the top.
This is what the MBAs and JDs have created for us. The “profit motive” has failed.
Unless the “community motive” regains it’s sacred role of rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior (thou shalt not steal, kill, bear false witness [lie]), the predator work-a-rounds will have us permanently indebted.
The solutions needed are moral. Any of the economic systems lead to dominance by the few. We survive and perpetuate as communities, not individuals. This is a spiritual challenge to all religions which are more like political parties seeking. Pope Francis has spoken out and has to challenge the privileged in his own faith.
President-elect Trump was elected because he promised to protect the people’s Social Security, reduce health insurance costs, and bring back manufacturing jobs. He ran as the austerity party candidate, and that’s not how they really act. They think suffering builds character.

Great article Chris, please feel free to let out your inner crank anytime (we all learn from it) :wink:
There is one opt-out option to ACA, which meets the ACA requirement for ‘insurance’ while not burdening your with the inflated insurance profit margin:
If I didn’t have good insurance through my employer, I would absolutely explore this option. I am NOT in any way affiliated with them.

Here’s a excerpt from their website:

Total Transparency

Imagine how you'll feel knowing that Liberty HealthShare℠ is advocating for members to keep costs fair and reasonable, you know where your money is going, you make your own healthcare decisions, and you choose any doctor or hospital."

One question which I don’t have the answer to is how are big medical emergencies covered? If someone comes down with cancer and needs 100k/year treatment, where do those bills go? If anyone looks into this further and finds an answer, I’d very much appreciate a follow-up post

Great commentary, Chris! My 2 Cents:
Open Letter to President-Elect Trump Dear Mr. President-Elect: Congratulations on your recent win against the corrupt and entrenched Establishment! Your next few months will be busy ones as you move to reform and rejuvenate our flagging Republic, but I am optimistic that you and your team can make a positive difference for We-The-People, our nation, and all the citizens of the planet. Stay the course! As one of your oft-stated goals for the new Administration, you promised to rid us of the abomination known as Obamacare (the Orwellian “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”). Please do so - yesterday! Certainly, it is one of the most ill-conceived boondoggles in the country’s history, but its disastrous financial failings are the least of its issues. Of more concern to this jaded old physician, is its failure to actually do anything that improves patient health or well-being. No one seems to even question this glaring deficiency In the many debates about this legislation - both during the election cycle and over the life of the act itself - one of the most alarming things to me has been the failure to recognize that “Health Care” and wellness are NOT synonymous with health insurance coverage. Good health is NOT about access to more of the sacrosanct, allopathic medicine system that has so throttled health and innovation in this country throughout my medical career. Just because more patients have access to health insurance coverage does NOT equate to improved health. A system that supports abortion mills for People of Color, forced vaccinations with untested and unproven vaccines, billion dollar drugs of debatable value, the poisoning of our water supplies with fluoride and our food with toxic pesticides and herbicides, confiscatory taxation under the guise of “health insurance premiums”, and the persecution of any and all who dare question its anti-Humankind actions is certainly not one that has the health of the individual in mind. In fact, it is my belief that the Medical-Industrial Complex (Med-IC, so as not to be confused with the Military-Industrial Complex or Mil-IC) has become the leading cause of ill health (dis-ease) in the nation and that making it easier to access that corrupt system cannot and will not meet people’s health needs. Big Pharma, Big Medicine (AMA, etc.), Big Insurance, Big Media, and Big Politics have had a parasitic lock on the health system of this country since at least World War II and have worked hand-in-glove to loot the populace while controlling it for its own ends. Using corrupt research (invariably funded by Big Pharma or other politically motivated Special Interests) to support their “evidence-based” medical theories, the MedIC gods are focused on maintaining their own hallowed positions and institutional and corporate bottom lines at all costs (Dr. Richard Horton with “Lancet” summarizes the problem here:…). Just as the dishonest media and ruling oligarchs showed us their true colors during your campaign, these same people maintain a stranglehold on the health care of our citizens. No country on the planet spends more per capita for health care and has less to show for it than the US. In spite of trillions of dollars shoveled into the health care system over the past couple of decades, Americans are rapidly falling to the level of Third World citizens by every health care index - and, being financially bled dry to finance their own demise! It is sad commentary that hundreds of thousands of people are known to be killed every year by “medical errors” in the US alone (estimates run from a minimum of 200,000 to nearly 1 million such deaths). It is somewhat encouraging to read that you recently met with Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a fellow billionaire with roots in biotech, as he is an outsider to the System. But, beware! We do not need more “wars” on cancer, drugs, Zika, Ebola, or the “enemy” of the moment. It is also fallacious and naïve to assume that medical salvation lies purely in “genetic” manipulation. We need well-funded, honest and open life science research, a re-thinking of the goals of medicine and the encouragement of innovation and critical thinking. We need a de-politicized and reformed FDA and CDC that are free of the machinations of the Med-IC! You have a unique opportunity here to change this failing system. Enlist the growing number of alternative medicine practitioners who have awakened to the failures of our “mainstream” corporatized and monetized medicine system - men and women who are daring to empower patients to care for themselves and to implement natural medicine solutions, in spite of sanctions and harassment from our ruling elite. You will be able to identify these individuals easily, as they are the ones attacked continuously by the Med-IC via its control of the dishonest media that has so bedeviled you. Though modern medicine has made some great breakthroughs - especially in acute emergency care - the progress has been much less than one would expect given the lives, time, and money that have been expended over the past 50 years. Dr. Ben Carson seems to be an open-minded and thoughtful MD who could lead such an exploratory reform effort. I would enlist other public high profile “Alt Med” practitioners like Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. David Brownstein, and Dr. John McDougall to participate in a “Reinventing the Health Care System” effort. I would avoid including representatives from the AMA, many of the medical subspecialty groups, and especially corporatist members of the Med-IC. These folks are the ones who created Obamacare in all of its glory and the failing health care system that is the root of the problem. They have nothing to gain from reform of the health care system and will fight vigorously to maintain the status quo. It is past time to drain the Med-IC swamp and put Humankind first! Thank you for taking time to consider my thoughts. In Peace and Hope, I am… Respectfully yours…

One simple step would be to create one national market for healthcare instead of 50 separate ones. Small business tried to get this reform considered in Congress throughout the 2000’s, but it was ALWAYS shot down in the Senate. Trump will be in for rude surprise as he meets the real political power centered in Congress.

keithnunnstephenson wrote:
Such good information. Small criticism, don't use Viagra as a drug example. People with a cognitive bias to want to defend ACA will consider that a non necessary drug and hand wave the whole article off. Unfortunate but this is the political environment we live in. IMHO
California is planning to cover a sex change operation for a transgender prison inmate who is serving life for first degree murder, abduction and robbery. Yet Viagra is considered unnecessary by some? I doubt I'm the only one who feels our society is traveling down an absurd path.
  1. Health Care
    Single payer is likely the most effective health care system for keeping costs down, since it eliminates insurance company profits and the use of emergency room care by the uninsured. However even with single payer, health care costs will escalate when the country has such poor overall health and a population skewed towards 60, 70 and 80 yr olds. We have to improve our health (better lifestyles, primarily by better eating and more exercise) and spend less on seniors, especially end-of-life care, if we want to avoid being financially overwhelmed by health care costs.

  2. Stagnant Incomes
    Globalization and its chase for the cheapest labor on the planet have played a big part by driving down wages and chasing jobs out of the country. But a bigger factor may be the .1% and their ever increasing un-earned incomes, which is sucking up most of the corporate profits generated by the working people of this country. If working people got their share of profits, their incomes wouldn’t be so stagnant. We need more profit sharing and co-op style businesses (a la Richard Wolff) if we want to improve working people’s incomes and slow the growing concentration of wealth.

Excellent rant and straight to the point.

Is the politicians too stop meddling with our live’s. For the federal government to return to it’s original jurisdiction, and a repeal of ALL extra constitutional policies.

I just responded to my 4th computer generated letter from the IRS regarding my 2014 tax return. Long story.
Anyway, I decided to Google tax code. For those interested, the US Tax Code at the end of 2013 was 71,684 pages long, or 205 books containing 350 pages each.
Fate help us!

For a healthy family of four is currently $24,500. Renewal is in March, can’t wait.

ChandOne (#5 above) said

One question which I don't have the answer to is how are big medical emergencies covered? If someone comes down with cancer and needs 100k/year treatment, where do those bills go? If anyone looks into this further and finds an answer, I'd very much appreciate a follow-up post
I can't answer for Liberty, but my family has been a member of a different health cost savings group for about 15 years. (Unlike Liberty, ours has a "religious" component and pledge not to engage in certain lifestyle activities.) Our group's guidelines allow us to submit up to $250,000 in medical bills for any one medical incident. But there are restrictions that apply; for example, medication for that event is only covered for 120 days unless they are part of a long term course of care - e.g. anti-rejection drugs and cancer treatments. And pre-existing conditions do not qualify. And there is an additional program called save-to-share that members can sign onto whereby they agree to set aside $400 yearly for three years to help pay for special needs that are submitted. Then, as part of that program, you can then submit bills beyond the $250,000. Here is what my statement looks like this month: $495 for a family share, -7% (34.65) because there were less needs submitted than available dollars this month +5.24 save to share allotment. So we are sending a check for $465.59 to a specific family in Long Beach WA where a family member is being treated for lung cancer. Knowing my health care dollars are going directly to a family for known medical needs is what I like most about this particular health care sharing ministry. (Once a year our monthly allotment goes to fund the administration of the organization.) Health cost sharing has worked quite well in our situation. We have submitted several $5 - 10,000 needs over the years (pregnancies, collapsed lung, etc.) and they have been covered. But we have to pay out-of-pocket for all of our well-care, dental visits, and vision screenings. Someone would definitely want to read and understand the cost sharing group's guidelines before signing on since many of them are not like a traditional insurance plan at all.

… wait until it’s free!

I pray I never become an outlier on someone’s hospital budget at the end of my life and that I have the good fortune to die at home like 2 of my grandparents did. High cost of “end of life care” is profit oriented but also driven by the current malpractice environment and perhaps should be addressed by managing people’s expectations etc…
I hope we can be careful about complaining about costs for seniors; I have met more than one elder who thought they should just die to make room for younger people when they hear this kind of talk. I think that is wrong headed and that we need older people around. The administration that is now departing didn’t see it that way but we shall see what the new crew thinks and what their attitude towards the elderly is.

Thanks for the reply efarmer.ny
That makes sense. An ‘ideal’ healthcare system is somehow going to encourage members to be as healthy as possible, so having small items paid out-of-pocket is reasonable. Heck, you might even be motivated to search for the best price for treatment, which absolutely makes sense. The cap of 250k is probably unavoidable, since the only alternative would be for the healthshare to go bankrupt.
Overall I’d say the healthshare approach looks quite nite and affordable, considering where how ACA costs have grown/ $24k per year for a family of 4!!?!?? That’s insane

He is celebrating the has the breakdown by state of those that voted against the public wishes.none of this is a mystery,If you care,pick up the phone and raise hell.Also,Union workers,Koch and company has successfully managed to cannabalize and weaken the unions.For the environmentalists,Paul Ryan rolled back the regulatory practices on fracking,emmisions and environmental regulations Jan7th .So y’all keep defending your choice.Watch what they do,not what they say…That is why everyone made money last week…Oh and healthcare,you are in deep s>>t…

I have heard it said that the job of the politician is tough: They must appear to represent the common voter, but actually represent the Big Money that funds their re-election campaigns and owns the media that creates their public image. Quite a tight-rope act.
Such is the beauty of regulatory capture. Big Money funds congress-persons and they make laws to further increase the advantage of Big Money in the market place. Crony-capitolism. The opposite of a “free market.”

Big Money donations --> Congress Tweaks Laws --> Big Money makes More Money.
Politician must always be testing the winds: How much corruption can I get away with on this issue at this point in time? Oops. They went too far. Bernie Sanders introduces a bill proposing that consumers be allowed to purchase less expensive drugs from the Canadian market. This is widely popular with the public. Yet 13 noteworthy Democratic Senators opposed this bill while, of course, pretending to represent the people. The Pharma 13 will be remembered by the pissed off voter.