Tuesday, July 25, 2017


I don't know why so many of you are worried about losing your health insurance when Scott Ehrlich tells us at The Federalist that you just need to learn to comparison-shop lifesaving treatments. Take his Type 2 diabetes:
I was diagnosed with diabetes about a year ago. I also had what is basically a catastrophic insurance plan, meaning I would pay 100 percent out of pocket for everything (other than an annual physical) up to $3,000 in annual expenses. For me, $3,000 is three months of daycare for my son, three months of mortgage payments, and eight months of car payments, so I was in no hurry to pay that deductible. So I worked hard to see if there were any way I could get good treatment cheaper.
Not too good, just having catastrophic insurance with a family -- but don't worry: Ehrlich did research and found coupons and negotiated with manufacturers, and cut hundreds of dollars off his insulin costs. And he says you can, too! ("...knowing pharma’s problems with consumer compliance, if you can find the right people to talk to, I would imagine that you can get them to subsidize your purchase if it means you stick with them rather than switching to a competitor for a discount," etc.)

Of course, Ehrlich is COO of DTC Perspectives*, "a publishing, conference/training, and consulting company specializing in the area of consumer marketing of pharmaceutical and healthcare products," so mmmmaybe he's got more pull with the pharmas and other industry outlets than you would (though, he insists more than once, his connections don't enter into it).  If you're not that sharp or good on the phone or lucky, then it's full freight for you, buddy; and if you happen to suffer from something that requires more than insulin, the DIY approach may not work out so well. (Interestingly, one of the conditions Erlich recommends this approach for is COPD. Maybe someone down at the bottling plant can jerry-rig you an oxygen tank.)

But that's how it's supposed to work, right? Superior people, the ones with savvy and connections, make out great regardless, but those of us who've been receiving gummint help via Obamacare have been making their achievement feel a little less special -- a buzzkill they don't have to tolerate anymore. If you can work a miracle with coupons, or are mediagenic enough to pull sufficient sympathy and donations via Kickstarter to treat your expensive conditions, you may get a pass; if not, you can just pass away.

(*BTW, the CEO of DTC Perspectives is Bob Ehrlich -- related, maybe? -- and he writes things like this: "It is clear that Democrats are moving towards enacting single payer. As costs mount for the new Obamacare, it is only a matter of time before the great savior will be our government running all insurance. Then we can look forward to the end of private insurers and free market pricing for health services and drugs. Bernie [Sanders] will be happy because America will look more like Canada and Europe or perhaps Venezuela." Sounds like Papa Erlich wants you doing research on cheaper treatments, too -- except elsewhere he writes that "I also have concerns that consumers are not experts on price/value of drugs," and "advertising retail price will not help consumers and in fact may discourage them from seeking treatment because they assume they cannot afford the drug." Well, I'm sure that just goes for the current, sub-optimal, semi-socialist Obamacare state -- once they rid rid of that shit, you can see all the price tags you want, and have your money ready.)

UPDATE. Among the many excellent comments, Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard:
Notice how he tells us how many months of daycare or car payments that 3K is worth, but doesn't tell what percentage of his annual income it is. I imagine that the COO of a pharmaceutical marketing agency makes a bit more scratch than a busboy.
Having a plush job (even if, hell especially if you were born to it) is just another clear sign that you'e of the Elect and deserve the kind of care moochers don't.

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