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Assumed Knowledge

I was talking to neighbor and we got into a discussion of Single-payer, Medicare for All, when I realized that people don’t seem to be aware that almost of the insurance policies that even people without health insurance have include medical payments.

Your car insurance pays for accident injuries.  The personal liability section of your home owners insurance covers people injured on your property.  Workmans Comp covers medical costs.  All of these policies cover medical costs, they are just the costs of other people.

The significance of this is that in countries that have universal health care coverage all of these insurance policies are cheaper, because they don’t have to cover the cost of medical care.

Think about an accident that injures a worker at a fast food restaurant.  Which is more expensive: the worker’s wages or that visit to the emergency room?  A lot of workmans comp claims would never be filed  if we had Single-payer because it would be easier to just keep the worker on the clock and let him/her go for treatment.  Under the current system the claim has to be filed because it is often the only way of paying for the treatment.

This is just another way that Single-payer is cheaper than our current system.

6 comments

1 hipparchia { 12.14.08 at 3:35 am }

i won’t name names, but i have worked at more than one place where my employer asked me [or threatened] to lie about what i was doing at the time i got injured so that it wouldn’t be counted as workers comp.

2 Bryan { 12.14.08 at 11:49 am }

Workers comp rates can kill a business as they jack up the rates with every claim, and the increase is not noticeably connected to the cost of the claim.

You get banged up all the time in police work, but most injuries were taken care of by the regular health insurance just to avoid having to fill out another piece of paper. The local emergency room was much happier just going with the standard policy, rather than hassling with the workmans comp claim.

3 andante { 12.16.08 at 2:59 pm }

I never thought of that. Thanks for the ammo.

Most folks I try to talk to about single-payer confuse health CARE with health INSURANCE. They assume single-payer will mean government doctors, hospitals, etc.

4 Bryan { 12.16.08 at 4:40 pm }

Most people don’t know what they pay for, or how things are interrelated. I got a quick lesson moving from Monroe County, New York where, at the time, BC/BS was dirt cheap and almost everyone had it, and all of my other insurance was also cheap, to San Diego. My insurance agent in New York explained it to me, how almost every type of policy he wrote in Rochester was cheaper than other places, because the policies weren’t hit for health care costs.

5 hipparchia { 12.17.08 at 1:03 am }

workers comp is [mostly] what killed my thinking of expanding from a sole proprietor way back when. it was going to cost me huge $$$$$ to get the most basic policy, which wasn’t even going to cover me, not even if i made myself an employee of my wasn’t-meant-to-be company.

6 Bryan { 12.17.08 at 2:38 pm }

In California the first and fifth employees are huge steps. As you say there’s the insurance on the first, but when you hire than fifth employee all of the business regulation drops on your head and the cost of business licenses soar.

The system is rigged against small business.