The US health Care system as demonstrated by a children’s game

I was trying to figure out a way to explain the issue with US Health Care, the ACA, Trumpcare, what ever system the government tries to come up with to compensate those that cannot afford health care coverage by shouldering the burden on those that can.



Lets assume that all of the balls are those that receive help in paying for health insurance, those in low paying jobs, with disabilities that prevent them from working, any number of reasons.  The sticks represent those with better paying jobs that do not offer insurance, younger people without health issues, etc.  At the start there were a decent amount of balls in the barrel, but also a good amount of sticks holding it all up.  Where the sticks fell short or were allowing gaps, the Federal government added funds to put more sticks in, usually by borrowing money today, and worrying about it down the road.  As more people were added at the top, it still held up.  When the costs to maintain the sticks was falling short, they passed along the cost to the sticks.  But what happened? Surely the system was fine, there was a balance.  Except the sticks reached a point where they could no longer afford to stay in the plan, saying “It is cheaper for me to pay the penalty than stay in” so sticks started being removed.  And now we are seeing a cascading collapse of the whole thing.



People that were struggling to pay $200 a month saw 40% increases, carried through over a few years you could see near a 400% increase in 4 years to where you were paying $768 a month, still much lower at $9,220 a year compared to many paying $12,000 or more a year.  A look at the 2016 health care costs showed that 3.5 Trillion dollars of which 50% was paid out for 5% of the people.  The system is flawed because rather than looking at how to lower the costs of getting treatment, they just decided that every one having insurance paying higher costs was an easy solution.  Health care is a multi Trillion dollar a year business, they are there to make money. When you did not have insurance, doctors and hospitals would adjust the fee based on your ability to pay, when everyone has insurance, they don’t need to lower their costs.

This is just a simple example explaining things in a basic manner.  This is the reality of health care.

What may work to your benefit, in contrast has to be worse for someone else, or many.  The person paying $5000 a year for life saving treatments totaling over $500,000 has to be picked up by many not needing any treatments, that can afford to pay more for nothing.  When they leave, it fails.  Giving something to everyone was not the answer, even requiring everyone to have insurance.  It only works when there are more on one side of the equation than the other.  As our population decreases and people live longer it will become more and more difficult to maintain adequate care for everyone.


2 thoughts on “The US health Care system as demonstrated by a children’s game

  1. Not watching the news nor living in the US, I actually appreciate some insight into this whole matter, so thank you for that – and for the explanation and pictures that made it quite easy to understand – despite the sad circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is very sad. People that have never had a chance at getting health insurance were able to finally get it. But now a few years in are figuring out the are paying more than what they are getting. I had a chance to choose options on the plan I have in work. I got to adjust what I wanted, and to keep it reasonable. As it is, it’s about $14,000 a year, I have a $2500 deductible before I start seeing better costs out of pocket, and a max of $6500 a year before it’s 100% coverage. I can’t get sick. If I am using insurance it’s something major. So in a year I would spend, on top of what my employer pays, over $20,000. When people get health insurance for $200 a month, the difference is coming from me. When I see someone ranting that they pay $6000 a year, that without the ACA their medications and treatments would cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, I do sympathize. But all of that coverage above what is paid has to come from somewhere. The people that really don’t understand economics, because the numbers are just so huge feeling that just tax the rich, you could take all of the money owned by the top 1%, and maybe pay the bill for a year. But what about the next year? Did you know that my wife and my income combined puts us just below the top 10% for income in this country? So you must think, wow, they are doing good. But the level they have set to be in the top 10% is around $125,000 a year. We are guitar a bit below that number, but we are getting by. A major illness could see us losing our home, all of our savings, with nothing left. So when people say my insurance is free. Or their biggest worry is what place to order take away for dinner that night, or any number of things I wish were my biggest concerns, yeah I get a bit riled up. The government may pay for a lot of free stuff for you today, but what about next month, next year, when they say they cannot afford it. There is going to be a point in fewer years than many would ever want to see when tough choices will have to be made because there just isn’t any money. People may find their monthly check supporting them reduced or stopped. And they may need to get a job in some form just to keep it. I am a person that would always lend a hand, would chip in to help a family out, a person, an organization. But because of so many years of putting more of the burden of cost on me, there’s nothing left. Now it’s a point where as much as I care, as much as I wish I could help, there is nothing I can do. And I’m sure I’m not alone.


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