Americanly Yours

Promoting Free Markets, Free Trade, and Freedom!

My [Soon To Be] Illegal Health Insurance Plan

July 28, 2009 By: Phred Category: Uncategorized

For a long time I did not have health care.  I was fresh out of college and was relatively healthy.  For me, there was no real need for health insurance.  But, a year and a half or so ago I decided that it was in my best interest to sign up for a health care plan.

I spent about two weeks using sites like comparing literally hundreds of plans with all kinds of different features until I found the one that suited me best.

I selected an HSA from Kaiser Permanente.  An HSA (Health Savings Account) is similar to an IRA, but for health care savings rather than for retirement.  A person enrolled in a HSA is allowed to contribute up to $3000 tax free each year to their account.

Under Federal law, these HSA’s must be paired with a HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan).  For example, my plan has a $1200 deductible, but everything after that is covered 100% by Kaiser.

I love my plan.

The point of having the high deductible plan is to encourage patients to keep their health care costs down.  If a customer knows that they have to spend the first $1200 of their health care expenses out of pocket, they are more likely to avoid unnecessary health care expenses.  Conversely, a health emergency is extremely unlikely to lead to major financial distress, as the maximum out of pocket expenditures are only $1200.

I mentioned above that an HSA is similar to an IRA and that I am legally allowed to contribute $3000 tax free to my account each year.  This allows individuals to save money for their future health care expenses.  For example, if I deposit the maximum of $3000, but only spend $1500, including all medical bills and over the counter and prescription drugs, I am left with a surplus of $1500 in my account.  This money can be kept in an interest bearing savings account, invested in a money market, or invested in the stock market.

This type of plan obviously doesnt suit everyone, but it is a great plan for people like me:  young, relatively healthy people with minimal health care costs.  Because I enrolled in this plan while young and healthy, I can use the unspent funds remaining in my account to save for when I am a sick old man with high health care costs.

In fact, while insurance premiums were expected to rise around 8% this year, my premium actually dropped by 3.6%!  It dropped because I kept costs for both me and my insurance company under control.

As I said above, I am an informed consumer who spent quite a long time comparing plans until I found the plan that I felt was best for me.  This plan has some great features, encourages saving and allows me to contribute money on a pre-tax basis.  It has also resulted in my premiums actually going down in a time when most people are seeing rather large increases.

My plan is great as it is, but if the government wanted to make health care more affordable, they would remove contribution limits on HSA’s, allowing consumers to place much more money in these plans.  They could also allow users of any health plan to enroll in an HSA, rather than limiting HSA’s only to those with high deductible plans.  Making these reforms would lead to lower costs for many Americans, and would create an incentive for the young and healthy to save money for the future when they face declining health.

Sadly, the Democrats’ health care plans will outlaw my health insurance plan.

I dont even understand why anyone would want to outlaw this plan–it really is great– but there seems to be a lot of things that I dont understand these days.  Are these Congressmen so conceited that they actually believe that they are capable of making a better decision about my own life than am I?  None of these people have ever met me.  None of them can possibly understand my health care needs better than I do.

Americanly Yours,

Phred Barnet

Please help me promote my site:

Share on Facebook

Become a fan on Facebook

Bookmark and Share

Add to Technorati Favorites

Quotes From Dr. Thomas Sowell

March 09, 2009 By: Phred Category: Uncategorized

I have written about Dr. Thomas Sowell here before.  I think he is possibly the smartest man in the country.  I scoured the interweb and found a bunch of great quotes from him.  Enjoy.

“People who talk incessantly about “change” are often dogmatically set in their ways.  They want to change other people.”

“Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.  In area after area – crime, education, housing, race relations – the situation has gotten worse after the bright new theories were put into operation.  The amazing thing is that this history of failure and disaster has neither discouraged the social engineers nor discredited them.”

“One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.”

“The next time some academics tell you how important ‘diversity’ is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.”

“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it.  The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

“Prices are important not because money is considered paramount but because prices are a fast and effective conveyor of information through a vast society in which fragmented knowledge must be coordinated.”

“A recently reprinted memoir by Frederick Douglass has footnotes explaining what words like ‘arraigned,’ ‘curried’ and ‘exculpate’ meant, and explaining who Job was.   In other words, this man who was born a slave and never went to school educated himself to the point where his words now have to be explained to today’s expensively under-educated generation.”

“No matter how disastrously some policy has turned out, anyone who criticizes it can expect to hear: “But what would you replace it with?”  When you put out a fire, what do you replace it with?”

Capitalism knows only one color: that color is green; all else is necessarily subservient to it, hence, race, gender and ethnicity cannot be considered within it.

“Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.”

“If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.”

“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.”

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

“Liberals seem to assume that, if you don’t believe in their particular political solutions, then you don’t really care about the people that they claim to want to help.”

“Mistakes can be corrected by those who pay attention to facts but dogmatism will not be corrected by those who are wedded to a vision.”

“Mystical references to society and its programs to help may warm the hearts of the gullible but what it really means is putting more power in the hands of bureaucrats.”

“Prices are important not because money is considered paramount but because prices are a fast and effective conveyor of information through a vast society in which fragmented knowledge must be coordinated.”

“Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”

“Tariffs that save jobs in the steel industry mean higher steel prices, which in turn means fewer sales of American steel products around the world and losses of far more jobs than are saved.”

“The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.”

“The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work.   Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.”

“The real goal should be reduced government spending, rather than balanced budgets achieved by ever rising tax rates to cover ever rising spending.”

“Too much of what is called “education” is little more than an expensive isolation from reality.”

“What ‘multiculturalism’ boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture – and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.”

“Would you bet your paycheck on a weather forecast for tomorrow?  If not, then why should this country bet billions on global warming predictions that have even less foundation?”

“The assumption that spending more of the taxpayer’s money will make things better has survived all kinds of evidence that it has made things worse.   The black family- which survived slavery, discrimination, poverty, wars and depressions- began to come apart as the federal government moved in with its well-financed programs to “help.””

“Most people who read “The Communist Manifesto” probably have no idea that it was written by a couple of young men who had never worked a day in their lives, and who nevertheless spoke boldly in the name of “the workers”.”

“Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on “income distribution,” the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.”

“It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” [bureaucrats]

What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don’t like something to saying that the government should forbid it.  When you go down that road, don’t expect freedom to survive very long.

Americanly Yours,

Phred Barnet

Please help me promote my site:

Share on Facebook

Become a fan on Facebook

Bookmark and Share

Add to Technorati Favorites

The Saddest Thing Ive Ever Seen

February 17, 2009 By: Phred Category: Uncategorized

I was at Publix the other day buying some stuff when I passed by the magazine aisle and noticed Newsweek’s new issue:


That cover made me so angry at first, but then it made me feel sad and mournful for the loss of the free market system which is what made this country so great in the first place.

Heres what the inside had to say (I kept the title, but blacked out the article because I dont wanna get sued):


But we are not all socialists now.  Maybe our leaders are, but the American people are not.  According to a recent Rasmussen poll, a large percentage of Americans were opposed to the “stimulus” plan that President Obama is going to sign today.  A much higher percentage opposed the bank and automaker bailouts. Over the past year, the Bush and Obama administrations have supervised unprecedented levels of government intervention and control–and often even nationalization–of private sector industries. Just because the American people have not yet organized mass protests and demonstrations against this does not mean that we agree with it.

To the Democrats and Republicans:  The American people do not want your socialism.

Americanly Yours,

Phred Barnet

Please help me promote my site:

Share on Facebook

Become a fan on Facebook

Bookmark and Share

Add to Technorati Favorites