The Cost of Health Insurance, Part 1 – dnd

Dear Senator Daschle,

In your new post as Secretary of Health and Human Services you will be charged with moving a health care coverage bill through Congress during a down economy.  One of the current problems consumers face with determining affordable health care coverage is the dizzying array of policies available.  One needs to look at plan type (HMO or PPO), the cost of an office visit to a primary doctor, the cost of an office visit to a specialist, coinsurance, annual deductible, prescription drugs out-of-pocket limit, lifetime maximum,  Health Savings Account Eligibility, out-of-network coverage, out-of-country coverage, etc.  With all of the options available for each of these policy matters it makes it virtually impossible to compare plans that would best meet one’s health care needs.  If you are part of a group plan you have fewer choices, but those choices are determined by someone who has no clue as to what your health care needs might be.

Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, has written a book The Paradox of Choice, Why More is Less.  The basic thesis of the book is that while culturally we eschew no choice, when faced with too many choices we often make the wrong choice and/or are dissatisfied with our choice.  Professor Schwartz has written about this regarding the Medicare prescription drug plan:

Senator Daschle, please keep this in mind in your efforts to reform health care coverage.



Ps.  In part two, we’ll visit the tax implications of health care coverage.



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23 responses to “The Cost of Health Insurance, Part 1 – dnd

  1. You know I truly believe Dashle is the best of Obama’s cabinet picks, but seriously aren’t those the nerdiest glasses you’ve ever seen in your life?

  2. dnd you’re spot on, the entire system needs to be simplified. One thing that would go a long a way in doing that would be to mandate a federal min. standard of what is covered. Part of the problem with health care in this country I feel is that you have all 50 states regulating health care with different standards for each states creating a very confusing patchwork of standards and costs.

  3. Drug Legalization Debate Squashed By Funding Threat

    The city of El Paso buckled to unusually explicit federal government pressure Tuesday and withdrew a call for a national debate on ending drug prohibition.

    Last Tuesday, the El Paso city council voted 8-0 to express solidarity with its sister city in Mexico, Juarez, which has seen its murder rate double this year alone as the Mexican government has waged war on powerful drug cartels. To slow that violence, the resolution called for “an honest, open national debate on ending the prohibition of narcotics.

  4. dnd

    Yeah Brian, simple is better. The conspiracy theory is that insurance companies do this on purpose to up their profits. If health insurance companies were not-for-profit, it’d go a long ways to fix the problem.

    And yes, those are the nerdiest glasses I’ve ever seen…

  5. BevnTempe

    One problem that faces health care is the increasing shortage of primary care physicians. Because there is no money in primary care because of control of payments by insurance, doctors are becoming specialists that can bring in the bucks.

  6. Obama Liberal Media Sitdown Follows Conservative Dinner

    The group included the Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne and Eugene Robinson, the Wall Street Journal’s Gerry Seib, National Journal’s Ron Brownstein, the New York Times Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd, and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, among others.

    Rachel should make for interesting viewing tonight!

  7. dnd

    So is Ann Coulter, in her attack on single mothers, trying to cast aspersions on Obama? Or is she saying that Tripp Palin will wind up in a life of crime like his paternal grandmother?

  8. I’d say the later and not the former is most likely!

  9. Official Obama Portrait Released (PHOTO)

    Barack Obama’s office has released the new official presidential portrait. The photograph was taken by new official White House photographer Pete Souza, and marks the first time a presidential portrait was taken with a digital camera.

    Digital camera, any comment doots?


  10. Brian…

    You got mail…

    God Bless.

  11. Sheila…

    Per your Meltdown 101 I’ve said for a long time that the unemployment figures put out by the Government were not correct. I still say the figure is around 12 % and it is only going to get much worse as the year progresses.

    Not sure if President Obama can turn things around or not, however I sure hope he can.

    God Bless.

  12. Universal Health Care is needed badly and I hope that President Obama can get a health care plan through the House and Senate for his signature.

    With the state of the economy there will be a lot of citizens needing health care and the sooner a plan is passed the better off American Citizens and America as a Nation will be.

    Good post.

    God Bless.

  13. You’ll never believe how a Christian right congressman and two anti-abortion protestors have prepared the Capitol for the Obama’s inauguration.


  14. Brian…

    You got mail…again.

    God Bless.

  15. Bidens to be part-time residents

    As part of her husband’s transition, Jill Biden, who teaches English at a Delaware community college, will move her career to DC. But after entertaining offers from some no-doubt prestigious four-year schools in the Washington area, she’s decided to select a community college as her new workplace. (She’s still determining which one, Alexander said.)

  16. U.S. military report warns ‘sudden collapse’ of Mexico is possible

  17. I guess that will be our next war.

    Have too protect those borders from all those enemy combatants coming in to steal American jobs you know.

    And think about all the drugs that will come in and destroy American youth. Can’t let that happen now can we?

    God Bless.

  18. And since were bailing out all the corporate crooks why not bail out Mexico as well since their government is just as corrupt as the Bush\Cheney government.

    God Bless.

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