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Home / Opinion / Guest writers / The way we insure ourselves is so unhealthy

The way we insure ourselves is so unhealthy

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Uncommon sense with Glenn Mollette

I  felt like my insurance company wanted me out of healthcare when I received my new premium information for 2016. I paid more than $1,600 a month for my wife and me to have medical insurance in 2015. Last fall, I learned my policy would increase to more than $1,950 per month.
I had the option to change policies, which would have lowered my premium to $1,500 a month, but the change would also have significantly reduced my coverage.
In the process I learned that just going to an emergency room would cost an automatic $500 charge on either my current policy or any other policy to which I might change. I chose to stick with my current policy and this year my medical insurance will cost $23,600. That’s a lot of money.
I can see what is coming this fall. I will receive my annual letter telling me that my current insurance will probably be increased to, say, $2,300 to $2,500 per month. I can’t pay that kind of premium and will be forced into a plan that will cost $1,600 to $1,800 per month and will pay out less than before against my medical expenses.
The name of this game is insurance companies assuming less liability. They want you to buy their coverage and then pay as much of your own medical expense as they can possibly avoid.
I hear too many reports of people opting out of surgeries because they can’t afford to pay the deductible and the copay. Many Americans who still cannot afford to buy health insurance are now being penalized by the federal government. Some are opting to pay the penalty instead of buying the insurance.
We have to simplify our current American health-insurance fiasco.
Keep poor Americans on Medicaid. Allow all Americans with preexisting conditions to be on Medicaid. If they make more than $40,000, then they should buy into Medicare. Lower-income people should pay less than those with higher wages.
Make medical insurance competitive across state lines. Allow citizens to shop across the country for the best insurance deals. Encourage insurance companies to advertise across the country. Give people a choice.
Also, open the door to Canada’s pharmacies. An approved list of pharmacies that Americans can do business with would give us another option.
Finally, we have to slow down government’s involvement in our medical care. The job of the government is to keep us safe and provide an environment in which we can conduct business and live our lives.
The government is being bilked by billions of dollars by healthcare providers each year. Each year, our national debt grows. This means our grandchildren will be paying our medical bills.
Involving the government more and more into the healthcare industry only means a larger national debt and Uncle Sam telling you and your doctor how long you are allowed to stay in hospital after an appendectomy.
America is in a healthcare crisis that is spiraling out of control. We must elect leadership with a real business plan or we are going to be out of the healthcare business.
Glenn Mollette is an American author whose syndicated column is read in all 50 states.

The views and opinions expressed by our contributors are their own and do not necessarily agree with those of The Post newspaper.

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