whenever you are filthy stinky rich and dont actually have to work you cant imagine someone not having a atleast a couple of grand in the bank. Yet these people think just like that, while the majority lives paycheck to paycheck. So yea, they are completely clueless.
Yep. Try self employment. In addition to the self employment tax you get to pay (15%), the federal tax you get to pay (25-35%), and the state tax you get to pay (about 6-9% here in kalifornia) (thats about 50-60% of gross pay if you were keeping score), you get to pay for outrageous health insurance, or go without. They really soak the self employed.
The last quote I got was about $1200/month for a family of 4 with no significant health issues. Ridiculous. I see this as an area where the federal government could do something - by outlawing redlining and other illegal health insurance practices. IMO it will take getting senators out of the pockets of the healthcare industry before we'll ever see this legislation pass.
Anyway, it will eventually self correct. People will go to mexico to get procedures done that they cannot afford here (already happening). People will forego prescriptions (already happening) and people will forego procedures (already happening), and so on. Generic drugs are selling like popcorn, with wal marts $4 prescriptions. Eventually the insurance industry will weed out all of the unhealthy people as customers, and only healthy people will have health insurance. And since they won't be using it much, health industry profits will soar, while medical industry profits will flop.
What will happen at that point? I see an eventual consolidation in the medical industry simply to survive. With their high prices they are also opening the door for low cost medical businesses to open, exploiting that price gap, and providing a low cost service for the uninsured. You are already seeing this with the walk in clinics in wal mart. I also see the medical industry making moves to "go around" the health insurance companies. by establishing their own co-ops and so on.
In short, I believe that the health insurance industry is slowly pricing the US medical system out of reach for many, many US citizens, and a new low cost business model is slowly arising to replace the old model.