Constitutional Health Network:
Health Insurance

When we accepted the “Affordable Care Act”—when we didn’t stand up en masse and simply refuse to comply—we sent a very clear message to all the Big Guys. The message was this: as a country, we’re willing to do whatever we’re told. Even when it violates our rights. Even when it’s not in our best interests. Even when it costs us money we simply don’t have. And even when it hurts our health. A lot of oppressive health laws have passed in the wake of the ACA, and more have been proposed. But there’s a piece of legislation on the table right now that should shake us up, wake us up, and light the fire under us that the ACA failed to kindle. It’s called the “21st Century Cures Act,” and if you care about your health or your family’s health it should scare the living crap out of you. Here are just a few of the things this bill proposes: It would give your private health information to ...

Back in 2010, when the so-called Affordable Care Act first passed, my objections to it were often met with the “car insurance” defense. I argued that the government has no constitutional right to force The People to buy goods or services from private businesses. The liberal answer was always, “Well what about car insurance?”   Now, the car insurance argument was always in response to the question of whether forced insurance was legal. However, it’s the perfect illustration of the difference between real insurance and the overfed monstrosity we currently have. The “car insurance” argument has 4 flat tires The way car insurance works is that if you have a wreck, your insurance will pay for repairs. If you hit another car, it will pay for those repairs too. If you get hurt, it will pay for your medical bills up to a certain dollar amount. And if you hurt someone else it will pay for their medical ...

The other day I had a conversation with a lady about health insurance. She was horrified to hear that I have none. She was absolutely scandalized when she discovered that this is by choice and not out of necessity. "What did I do when I needed to go to the doctor?" she asked. I told her that, other than my hammertoe surgery — which I paid for out of pocket after negotiating a price — I hadn't been to a doctor in years.    She couldn't quite get her mind around this concept. She literally could not imagine having no doctor's visits even for months at a stretch, much less years.    Now, let me explain that this lady — who I will call Margaret — has no major health problems herself. She's not diabetic. She doesn't have heart disease. She's never had a cancer scare. She doesn't have migraines or chronic low back pain or any other particular issue. Yet she found the idea of not going to the ...

When the Affordable Care Act was first proposed, I said that it wasn't just a first step but a flying leap down a slippery slope. I warned that forcing us to buy health insurance whether we wanted it or not (for our own good, of course) was just the opening salvo in a war on our rights. If we could be forced to buy health insurance, I asked, what else would we be forced to buy later?    The "it's for your own good" argument can be used in an unlimited number of situations. I predicted that at some point it will be a question of, "have X procedure or take X drug, or lose your insurance" with X being whatever the flavor of the week is. Or "buy a gym membership and go to the gym X times per month or pay a fine." The Act gave Big Insurance and the IRS a direct line into our wallets. Forcing us to have the current "recommended" tests and treatments for whatever conditions we have or face a penalty seemed like the next ...

Last year, I visited an orthopedic surgeon for treatment of a hammertoe. The solution was surgery, a simple procedure that could be done on an outpatient basis. He quoted me a price of $1500, and a week later I had the surgery. No hassle, no fuss, and I was back on my feet in ten days. While I was recovering, I spoke with a friend of mine who told me he'd had the same procedure done a few months before. That in itself was not surprising - hammertoe is a common problem, and the surgery is standard treatment. What was surprising was how much he'd paid. Where I had paid a mere $1500, my friend's surgery, performed at the same facility and by the same surgeon, had cost him an astonishing $5000 - more than three times what I had paid. The difference? My friend's surgery was "covered" by his insurance, whereas I had opted to pay cash. The secret no one tells you about medical bills While this story might sound shocking, it happens every day. ...

We hear a lot about long term care (LTC) insurance. Some people say it’s an absolute necessity. Other people claim it’s a waste of money. Both sides have the facts and figures to support their case. It’s hard to know which side is right. Before you make the decision about buying LTC insurance, you should know that Medicare does not pay anything for assisted living. Medicare only pays for short stays in skilled nursing or rehabilitation facilities. Medicare parts A and C do cover nursing home care if you need medical services, but they don’t cover the costs if all you need is custodial care or assisted living. You may qualify under Medicare for PACE (program of all-inclusive care for the elderly), which covers adult day-care. Medicaid recipients may qualify for nursing facilities that meet the state defined standards. You may also qualify for managed care if you meet the requirements of the state where you live. Usually you must have very low ...

At this point in your life, you may be thinking longingly about retirement. Or maybe you’re dreading the idea of retiring. In either case, medical insurance is an issue that may have crossed your mind. Or maybe you think Medicare will take care of everything, just like your current medical plan. Well, maybe not.   Medicare is confusing for most people. For at least a year before you turn 65, your mailbox will be stuffed with ads from insurance companies suggesting you need their Medigap policy. The HR folks at work may drop hints that you would be better off on Medicare than on the company plan. You may be thinking they’re both right. But how do you know? Here’s what you need to know to decide. When can you sign up for Medicare? You must sign up for Medicare during the three months before or the three months after you turn 65, unless you are still working and covered by other insurance. COBRA coverage does not count. If you have certain ...

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