Health Care Open Thread Smackdown

Talk about health care to your heart’s content, as much as it takes to get it out of your system so the rest of the site can stick to real estate and housing. Note that comments posted here will not clutter up the “recent comments” box on the sidebar.

As of 03/31/2010, health care comments go here and here only.


About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.

507 comments:

  1. 1
    David Losh says:

    RE: Herman @ 75

    Many right wing conservatives claim that the right to life is a Constitutional issue. They want a Amendment protecting the fetus. My reply is that if right to life is a Constitutional Issue then health care should be included.

    I read your comment about rationing and agree that none of us will ever get out of here alive. What I also know is that no matter who decides, government, or private, health care is rationed no matter what system is in place. I happen to trust my government more than an insurance company.

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  2. 2

    RE: David Losh @ 1 – The abortion issue is based on a right to privacy. I don’t think you can extend the same concept to health care. At best it might be extended to being allowed to refuse health care or a particular treatment.

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  3. 3

    I have no love for health insurance companies. These companies are answerable to their shareholders. That means, to satisfy shareholders, they have to show increasing profit on a regular basis. In order to do this, they have to delay authorizing claims, they have to deny claims, and they have to show how successful they are by lavishing their executives with obscene bonuses. The fact that they get their money from people paying monthly premiums is immaterial. They are for profit companies. It’s an inconvenience when they get exposed in the media for denying claims and someone dies.
    But it’s not only the insurance companies. The pharmaceutical companies are also right up there on my “chocolate” list. Even if a less expensive treatment is available , these companies will heavily advertise their expensive products, and use their influence to ensure that the much more expensive drug becomes the preferred drugs of choice.
    The medical equipment manufacturers are also partly responsible for the mess we’re in by pushing insanely expensive equipment that may be only marginally better than what’s already out there.
    The healthcare plan passed by congress does not address all these issues, and true health care reform can only be accomplished if the profit motive is minimized.
    Also, if doctors are going to bearing the brunt of some of this ( and they will be by receiving less reimbursements for primary care physicians), then perhaps paying for some of their medical school would encourage them to go into primary care.
    I was a little disappointed in what passed. If I were America’s dictator, I would have put the insurance companies out of business.

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  4. 4

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 3 – I think you may be a bit off base on your first paragraph. Insurance companies are generally regulated, which means as their expenses go up, their prices are allowed to go up. Thus, they don’t really care that much about claims when it comes to profits. The reason they care about claims is that as they raise their premiums they become less competitive. If they pay out a lot of claims, when another competitor is not, their premiums will become higher, and fewer people will chose them, which will reduce their profits. So it’s indirect.

    As to pharmaceutical companies, I would tend to agree. As I noted earlier, Prilosec OTC is about 10% of the cost of the identical prescription product. But it just occurred to me this morning that what they do is price the OTC stuff at a price that is probably over a lot of peoples’ co-pay amount, so people go the prescription route.

    Also, I would note my doctor seems to be totally unaware of the cost of these products. In contrast, my vet is particularly aware of the cost of different prescription drugs, to the point where she’ll recommend a different size and splitting to save money. The difference? Cats don’t typically (ever?) have prescription drug coverage.

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  5. 5

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 4
    There may some regulation of health insurance companies based on their expenses, but their expenses include the multi million dollar salaries the CEOs get, and the huge marketing costs that are spent in their advertising that expresses their displeasure of health care reform. They joined together with their competition to form these harmless sounding groups with names like ” Americans for Meaningful Reform”, sponsoring these scare tactic ads about how I’m going to lose both freedom and quality of care if health care reform passed.
    Overall, I’m in complete agreement with you on this Kary. I think simply making mandatory catastrophic insurance would have made a lot more sense.

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  6. 6

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 5:

    Overall, I’m in complete agreement with you on this Kary. I think simply making mandatory catastrophic insurance would have made a lot more sense.

    I don’t know if this is correct or not, but Carl Rove on The Tonight Show claimed that is what Nixon proposed many years ago for low income people.

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  7. 7
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2

    I deliberately chose not to include the 4th amendment in my argument on the Constitutionality of heath care.

    As long as Tim has pulled the plug on the debate my position, the position that I have been taking, is that Health Care is a matter of Public Welfare, and Common Defence.

    The same argument has been made for 30 years now. The question is what the United States would do with an Ebola out break. What if Ebola were discovered in multiple locations in the United States? AIDS has already decimated our private health insurance industry, so what would the response be?

    The United States for all it’s puffery is way behind the times in many aspects of economic development. We have a slow, unresponsive, set of corporate structures, yes I mean structures, because they are like ocean liners in bulk, that simply can’t compete globally. We rely to heavily on patents, and not enough on innovation.

    Health Care can be a driving force in our economic recovery, and put us ahead of the curve in many treatments of disease. The stumbling block are the corporations that pay the bonuses for safe returns on investment. Our government on the other hand can do what it wants in the name of National Security.

    Let’s look at the internet, drones, robotics, GPS, energy, atom smashing, and only gawd knows what NASA, NOAA, and the FDA are doing. All technologies that are turned over to the private sector who then sits on them until the patents run out.

    It’s 2010. Corporations had the chance, they dropped the ball, it’s time to move on.

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  8. 8
    pfft says:

    homes prices are looking up. whoops. wrong place.

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  9. 9
    pfft says:

    this is all kind of mute, healthcare is here and won’t go away just like SS and medicare.

    if you are against healthcare what is your plan to deal with pre-existing conditions and recission?

    are you against the current government employer-mandated insurance system we have now that is probably the only reason you have insurance now? why is it constitutional?

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  10. 10
    HappyRenter says:

    RE: pfft @ 9
    The health care system should not be employer based. It should be either universal (like Canada) -or- completely private (i.e., every citizen buys his own) but mandatory for everybody. For the latter, you need to define a basic health care package that everybody has to buy. This will lower the costs because everybody will be aware of the premiums and will “shop” for the most affordable insurer, thus creating competition. Quality will be insured because every insurer must sell to everybody the same basic health care package.

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  11. 11
    pfft says:

    By HappyRenter @ 10:

    RE: pfft @ 9
    The health care system should not be employer based. It should be either universal (like Canada) -or- completely private (i.e., every citizen buys his own) but mandatory for everybody. For the latter, you need to define a basic health care package that everybody has to buy. This will lower the costs because everybody will be aware of the premiums and will “shop” for the most affordable insurer, thus creating competition. Quality will be insured because every insurer must sell to everybody the same basic health care package.

    I pretty much agree! I am for single-payer.

    you can’t really have healthcare equality and have pre-existing conditions and recissions.

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  12. 12

    Okay, I’m going to change my tune on health care. Mandatory insurance of the type required by this plan should be mandatory, and in fact the plan did not go far enough. It should have been effective immediately, with only two days for people to change plans!

    (Stated differently, my wife went to the doctor yesterday and they kept her overnight in the hospital. Since I only have a high deductible HSA plan, I need government to protect me from myself!)

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  13. 13
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12

    I Hope Your Wife Gets Well Fast Kary

    My Easter prayers are with her :-)

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  14. 14
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 13

    Medicaid and Medicare

    Both don’t pay the full health costs though, with Medicaid it’s like going to the Hospital Grocery Store, wheeling a $100 cart to the cashier and paying them $25, then taking the groceries home. The Hospital store stomaches the loss.

    With healthcare reform and high unemployment [a lion’s share of it untracked] snowballing; Medicaid may be half the patients in the hospitals soon. Wheeling out their $100 carts for $25. Hospitals will be theoretically taking on masses of new low income patients and laying off workers at the same time, or go bankrupt. I’d imagine the low incomes will be flocking into the medical facilities in groves, especially if they’ve been putting off care for lack of Medicaid coverage.

    Medicare is being butcher axed by $500B and to assume the hospitals will now lose less per Medicare Baby Boomer because we cut money out the program is a ludicrous assumption too, especially with masses of new Boomers heading for Butcher Axed Medicare all at once now too.

    Without massive healthcare pay cuts with more and more Medicaid/Medicare underpaid grocery carts, layoffs in masses in healthcare is slamdunk IMO. Its common sense and the quality of healthcare in America is gonna be 3rd world quality, real soon too.

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  15. 15
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12

    Best wishes for the Mrs., and for you, Kary. I hope all turns out well.

    Nothing would do more to reduce health care costs than competition across state lines, a wide variety of catastrophic plans, and major tax benefits for medical savings plans. Employers should get out of the insurance business- when the end user shops and pays part of the bill costs go down and quality goes up.

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  16. 16
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 14

    SWE, I predict the current version of health care reform will probably result in a 2 tier health care system. Non-profit providers have to treat medicare and medicaid patients as a condition of their non-profit tax status. The for profit providers can choose to turn down medicare and medicaid (except in emergency situations, I believe). The quality of care at the non-profits will go down because they won’t have the revenues to provide the same level of service. The for profit providers will refuse to accept the low pay plans like medicare and medicaid. As long as there is a substantial percentage of people covered by higher reimbursement employer plans and other private plans, those people will seek out the better coverage at for-profit providers. The result will be a lower level of care provided at non-profit providers for people on the government run plans and a higher level of care provided by for-profit providers to people on higher reimbursement (and higher premium) private insurance plans.

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  17. 17
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12

    I hope all is well with your wife and back to normal quickly Kary!

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  18. 18

    Thanks, all. The wife is back home and seemingly doing better. More diagnostics later, but I think a lot of it was probably just stress related. She’s been distracted from the business for about two weeks, and had to count on me to hold the fort down. That would stress anyone out! ;-)

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  19. 19
    David Losh says:

    Very sorry about your wife.

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  20. 20

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36726295/ns/politics-health_care_reform/

    This pretty much says what I was saying elsewhere. That the legislation is going to drive up the amount spent on health care in this country. The so-called “savings” are simply money that entities other than the government are paying instead of the government, so the government saves money. It will cost the rest of us a fortune.

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  21. 21
    David McManus says:

    Side question, but kinda related to this…

    Does anyone know why care at Swedish costs almost triple than what it costs at say….Evergreen? My wife has been to both ERs for the same issue and the amount billed to my insurance company from Evergreen was roughly 35% of what Swedish billed. Overnight stays tend to be way more expensive at Swedish than Evergreen. On top of that, I wait 4 hours to get in at Swedish, at Evergreen, we can be seen in half an hour. WTF?!?

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  22. 22

    RE: David McManus @ 21 – How do the amounts actually paid by the insurance company and you collectively compare?

    One of the reasons to have high deductible insurance is because of the discount you get with having insurance. A procedure that costs $150 without insurance might only cost $20 with insurance, even if the insurance company pays nothing. So perhaps your ER visits at Evergreen would cost $1000 without insurance, and $3000 without insurance at Swedish, but only $400 both places with insurance?

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  23. 23
    David McManus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 22 – This is the same insurance used at both places. I’m just saying the amount billed by the providers differs greatly. The insurance company pays the same percentage in both instances (around 90% for my plan). Might I add, that I LOVE my plan.

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  24. 24
    EconE says:

    RE: David McManus @ 21

    Bikini Teams ain’t cheap. ;^)

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  25. 25

    RE: David McManus @ 23 – So the insurance is paying more at Swedish?

    As I understand it, each hospital negotiates their contracts with each insurance company. And there was one (Swedish?) which was in the process of negotiating with one (Regence?) Perhaps your company negotiated a better contract with Evergreen than with Swedish.

    Also I would note that the insurance discount I mentioned varies widely by procedure. Some things are 90% discount and some are 10%. So maybe one of the procedures your wife had at Evergreen was highly discounted at Evergreen, but not Swedish.

    Interesting observation though.

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  26. 26
    David McManus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 25 – You’re not following. I can see on the bill from the hospital what the charge is. There is also a write-off based on the insurance company contract with the hospital, etc. What I’m talking about is the top-level charge, in essence, what I would owe coming in off the street with no insurance.

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  27. 27

    RE: David McManus @ 26 – Really? Every bill I ever get has three prices. The gross price, the allowed price and the patient responsibility. If you don’t have insurance the patient responsibility is the gross price. If you do have insurance the patient responsibility is the allowed price less whatever the insurer pays. Back when I was younger the discounts would often exceed my monthly premium amount.

    Just as an example, I have some labs from my physical, and the total charges are $130, the “allowed amount” is $57, the amount paid by insurance is $25, and my responsibility is $32. So even if the insurance company had not paid a thing, I would have only paid less than 50% of what the charge would have been if I didn’t have insurance.

    I wonder if your insurer isn’t giving that detail? I still don’t have the bill from the provider, so I don’t know whether it gives that detail.

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  28. 28
    David McManus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 27 – The bill you would get from the hospital is 130 if you didn’t have insurance, right?

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  29. 29

    RE: David McManus @ 28 – Yes. And the numbers I gave you were from the insurance company, not the provider.

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  30. 30
    David McManus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 29 – So when looking at my insurance company claims on their website, the Amount Charged by Swedish is still 3 x what Evergreen charges.

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  31. 31

    Here’s a pretty good article about higher health insurance premiums coming for individuals, which even goes a bit into the history of the state forcing insurers out of that market.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2012827665_ratehikes07m.html

    The article claims, admittedly without having data available, that only a small portion of the increases are due to Obamacare, and mentions things like the state now mandating mental health care (thank you state, I really wanted to pay for more stuff I will not be using). I would question though how you break out what is for Obamacare, when what Obamacare will do is inflate the cost of all goods and services. I would agree though, not much of that has probably occurred to date.

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  32. 32
    NumberMonkey says:

    RE: David McManus @ 30

    Often individual hospitals negotiate with insurance companies to determine allowable charges per procedure. The total charge is the same for every patient, but the allowable will be different by insurance carrier.

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  33. 33

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 31

    The September 20th Implementation Date for Healthcare Reform Implementation on the Pre-existing and Family Plan Allowances

    Is most likely the reason my 22 YO daughter was thrown off my Blue Cross, her birthday was 9/2. It’s likely I can get her back on my plan, but her union’s plan is only $25/mo and no matter what health care reform alleges….if it runs don’t fix it….or you may be wasting your time arguing. So I’ll just leave her on her own health care thank you…LOL

    BTW, Group Health would not have done that to my daughter.

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  34. 34
    D. in Ballard says:

    Providing some healthcare to all in my mind is the right thing to do. The arguments that we can’t afford it fall flat when you see the gross injustice that occurs to the have-nots and even sometimes the haves in our country.

    Having said that, recently I looked up how much my employer spends per month on health insurance. It was around $500. In addition, I pay monthly premiums and 10% of all my costs. I also have a deductible. My point is that I might as well have single payer. That’s a lot of money that my employer could be giving me instead. $6,000 more a year. What’s the difference in paying $6,000 through a charge like social security than having my employer pay it?

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  35. 35

    RE: D. in Ballard @ 34 – Part of the problem is your employer is providing too much coverage! I’m judging from your post that you wouldn’t pay that much if it were coming out of your post-tax income. You’d possibly move to a high deductible policy. That would affect your spending on health care services, which in turn would lower the cost of services if enough people followed suit.

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  36. 36
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 35

    Nobody ever looks at all these bright shiny new hospitals, like Providence. These are places insurance companies built. Pharmaceutical companies are by far much worse in what they have drained out of the global economy, but that’s another discussion.

    Yes, you are correct is should all be payer based with the government providing a safety net of coverage. The problem still is with the insurance companies.

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  37. 37

    RE: David Losh @ 36 – Claims it’s the insurance companies’ fault are like claims that it’s trial lawyers that drive up the cost. It doesn’t add up. Regence Blue Shield is a non-profit entity, but that doesn’t mean they charge significantly less. (But yes, they do have some highly paid executives, just like the Red Cross.)

    The problem isn’t insurance companies, the problem is insurance. With insurance people use more services than what they should, and that’s what builds the shiny new hospitals you complain about. It’s not the insurance companies’ decisions that are driving that, it’s the decisions of the insureds. They don’t care because they are mainly not paying for the cost of the services, and in many cases they aren’t even paying the cost of the insurance.

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  38. 38
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 37

    Health should be payer based, you’ve brought me around to that. Insurance companies however are dealing with the human condition, in the case of health, rather than property damage, or loss.

    Health Insurance companies also blame lawyers for losses, but I know that’s not true. The insurance industry isn’t just Regents, it’s also liability, casualty, and errors. It’s an over all racket that needs to get out of the health business entirely.

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  39. 39

    RE: David Losh @ 38 – I think maybe you’ve gone a bit too far there.

    The proper use of insurance is to cover low risk, high cost events. Cancer is a good example. Your chance of getting cancer is relatively small, but if you do the cost will be very high, beyond what you could probably pay. Insurance only covering that risk would be fairly cheap, but the state won’t let you buy that.

    On the other hand, a head cold is a high risk, low cost event. The cost of insuring against that is practically the same as the cost of just dealing with it yourself. Most dental and vision insurance is the same, due to the low limits of coverage.

    The thing is, with employers paying the premiums, the insured don’t care that it doesn’t make sense. They are willing to take all the insurance offered for free (or heavily subsidized).

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  40. 40
    NumberMonkey says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 39

    The system we have in the US is the result of the wage freeze in WWII. In order to increase compensation employers had to provide non-wage based benefits, like health insurance. The rub is that they didn’t stop at insurance, they used to loophole to go into full on cost-shifting, where they would cover normal day to day expenses like head cold medication.

    The joke of it to me is that because of the discounts which result from negotiated allowable rates, cost shifting with employer based health insurance is really the only good option for individuals.

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  41. 41
    D. in Ballard says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 35 – Comparatively speaking, I think my plan discourages me getting needless procedures better than most. Because I pay $250 deductibles for each of the following: visits, drugs, acupuncture, etc. Also charging 10% of all costs and pharmaceuticals keeps me from going to the doctor when I don’t need to and encourages me to buy generics. And truthfully it works.

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  42. 42
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 39

    Holy cow, I had forgotten about this argument, but can tell you that the cost, for health, is directly related to the insurance industry as a whole.

    If what you are saying is true there would be many more people on catastrophic coverage. It’s just not a workable option, because insurance companies would miss much more profitable policy premiums.

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  43. 43

    By David Losh @ 42:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 39 – If what you are saying is true there would be many more people on catastrophic coverage. It’s just not a workable option, because insurance companies would miss much more profitable policy premiums.

    You’re assuming people make rational, logical decisions when it comes to insurance. Most people judge the quality of their insurance by how much it pays.

    People make lots of stupid insurance decisions. One of my favorites is getting only liability insurance equal in value to that of your assets. The value of your assets has nothing to do with anything, unless you have no assets and don’t mind filing bankruptcy. If you have $100,000 of assets, and $100,000 of liability coverage, and a $200,000 claim against you, they’ll take both! If you have a $100,000 of assets, and $1,000,000 of liability coverage, and a $2,000,000 claim against you, chances are they’ll settle for only the insurance amount.

    Also you’re assuming that an insurance company makes less money on a lower cost high deductible policy. I don’t think that is necessarily the case.

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  44. 44
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 43

    Number one the case I always make is that health is different, much different than personal property or assets.

    Second is employers are picking policies. Insurance is tailored to the sales points of each company. Insurance will tailor a policy just for your employer, what they want to pay, what they want to cover. It takes a wide range of policies to maximize the income.

    Lastly insurance companies limit the amount of pay outs, and coverage. A million dollars is the magic number. In most cases a seriously ill person will be pushed into a government program.

    The system is beyond broken. Insurance companies make huge profits, and hospitals are spending profits on granite entrances, while cutting simple cleaning contracts to maximize more profits.

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  45. 45

    RE: David Losh @ 44 – I’m fairly certain that state mandates on what insurance covers also covers employer paid programs.

    My favorite was when someone sued to require birth control coverage, and the employer they sued was Bartells (or some other pharmacy). Even if Bartells lost, they won! I can’t believe the judge fell for that.

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  46. 46
    Mark says:

    My employer pays all of my premiums, we have a menu of options to chose from, 5 different plans. No incentive for me to reduce my visits to the doctor.

    And then on the other side of the ledger, the government taxes my wages to pay for health care for seniors

    What a crazy system!

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  47. 47
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 35:

    RE: D. in Ballard @ 34 That would affect your spending on health care services, which in turn would lower the cost of services if enough people followed suit.

    yes beacuse what we really need is people spending less on their health. brilliant.

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  48. 48
    pfft says:

    By Mark @ 46:

    My employer pays all of my premiums, we have a menu of options to chose from, 5 different plans. No incentive for me to reduce my visits to the doctor.

    And then on the other side of the ledger, the government taxes my wages to pay for health care for seniors

    What a crazy system!

    you actually want to reduce doctor’s visits? hilarious!!!

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  49. 49
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 37:

    RE: David Losh @ 36 – Claims it’s the insurance companies’ fault are like claims that it’s trial lawyers that drive up the cost. It doesn’t add up. Regence Blue Shield is a non-profit entity, but that doesn’t mean they charge significantly less. (But yes, they do have some highly paid executives, just like the Red Cross.)

    The problem isn’t insurance companies, the problem is insurance. With insurance people use more services than what they should, and that’s what builds the shiny new hospitals you complain about. It’s not the insurance companies’ decisions that are driving that, it’s the decisions of the insureds. They don’t care because they are mainly not paying for the cost of the services, and in many cases they aren’t even paying the cost of the insurance.

    again, to say that we need to go to doctor’s less is just idiotic. do you people hear yourselves?

    our problem is 40,000 people a year die due to lack of health insurance.

    most of the developed world has universal healthcare and it’s delivered at half the cost. clearly the problem isn’t that people are going to the doctor too much because then the developed world would have higher costs as everyone can go to the doctor.

    if your approach worked health costs would be going down right now beacause millions have been dropped from the rolls. yet costs still go up.

    we have big problems but it mostly it isn’t people getting too much care, it’s not enough.

    the only place you see the problem you state is at the high end. these are the so-called cadillac plan that I think were taxed.

    Medical Overtreatment May Be Making Us Sicker
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/06/07/health/main6557062.shtml

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  50. 50

    RE: pfft @ 49 – The reason people can’t afford health insurance is because too many people have health insurance and go see the doctor for a cold and other things that they don’t really need to see a doctor for. Then when something does happen to those people that actually needs treatment, they get as much treatment as the seller (doctor) provides, because it doesn’t cost them much. That drives up costs, so that those without insurance can’t afford services, and those that are on the edge of being able to afford coverage (including employers) can no longer afford insurance, and become uninsured.

    It’s basic economics. Whenever you have people not paying the true cost of something (e.g. gasoline in China, electricity in California, the cost of a visit to the doctor), that means they consume too much, which drives up the cost of the product for everyone else. Greater demand means higher prices.

    That’s what’s wrong with Obamacare. It assumes more insurance is the solution, when really it’s the problem. The only good thing about Obamacare is it does something to prevent the freerider problem for serious illness, but not enough.

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  51. 51

    I want to expand on the demand issue further. Let’s assume that tomorrow scientists prove that an apple a day keeps colds away. Let’s further assume that this year legislatures all across the country require that insurance coverage provide for buying apples (similar to the many other mandates that have made health insurance more expensive). Finally, let’s assume that apple growers are successful in efforts to restrict new fields being converted to apple growing (like the AMA restricts the number of doctors).

    Within a matter of months apples would cost $5, $10, $20 as people started buying them without regard to the cost. Within a few more months, insurance policies would start to go up significantly to cover the cost of people buying apples. Some people buying insurance currently would be forced to drop coverage because they could no longer afford it. Some employers offering health insurance would be forced to drop coverage for their employees. People without insurance would be able to afford fewer apples. And all to only prevent the common cold.

    That in a nutshell is what our health system in the US is like. Everything is far too expensive because far too many people don’t care what anything costs. Also, remember, when someone with insurance goes to the doctor for a cold, that’s a resource that no one else can use no matter what their condition. So going to the doctor too much is part of the problem, because it’s who is going to the doctor that is the issue, not the total number of trips.

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  52. 52
    NumberMonkey says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 51

    If our insurance was REAL insurance, rather than just cost shifting that wouldn’t be an issue at all. No one over utilizes chemotherapy, or gets a liver transplant when they shouldn’t. It’s the day to day expenses that are simply shifted over to the insurers that are the problem.

    And it’s the REAL insurance that we need more of, the sort that covers unforeseeable and catastrophic events.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  53. 53
    pfft says:

    obama’s marxist health plan kicks in thursday, here are the lowlights.

    no more lifetime coverage caps, free preventive care on new policies, and a ban on excluding coverage to children with pre-existing medical conditions.

    For parents of young adults, one of the most anticipated provisions allows them to keep their grown children on their policy until they turn 26.

    Health reforms kick in, allow insurance for older kids
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/sep/21/parents-of-young-adults-cheer-health-reform/

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  54. 54
    NumberMonkey says:

    By pfft @ 53:

    obama’s marxist health plan kicks in thursday, here are the lowlights.

    no more lifetime coverage caps, free preventive care on new policies, and a ban on excluding coverage to children with pre-existing medical conditions.

    For parents of young adults, one of the most anticipated provisions allows them to keep their grown children on their policy until they turn 26.

    Health reforms kick in, allow insurance for older kids
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/sep/21/parents-of-young-adults-cheer-health-reform/

    The ‘Keep your kids on to 26″ provision isn’t as great as it sounds: They can still charge extra int eh premium for those individuals. For some insurers they are treating it a lot like adding an individual insurance policy on top of the family policy of the employee.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  55. 55
    Scotsman says:

    Looks like a “FAIL” :

    What’s the one issue that independent voters most strongly demand that a candidate get right? According to a survey of 1,000 independents (and likely voters) . . . the answer is “health care reform.”

    Nearly half (48 percent) of all independent voters said that even if a candidate otherwise held perfect views (in the eyes of the voter) . . . they still couldn’t vote for him “if [they] disagreed with him on health care reform.”

    For 83 percent of the respondents who said their vote would hang in the balance, the candidate must oppose Obamacare. So. . if you support Obamacare, you’ve just lost 40 percent (83 percent of 48 percent) of the independent vote — before any other issue is even addressed.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/most-important-issue-independents

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  56. 56
    pfft says:

    By NumberMonkey @ 54:

    By pfft @ 53:
    obama’s marxist health plan kicks in thursday, here are the lowlights.

    no more lifetime coverage caps, free preventive care on new policies, and a ban on excluding coverage to children with pre-existing medical conditions.

    For parents of young adults, one of the most anticipated provisions allows them to keep their grown children on their policy until they turn 26.

    Health reforms kick in, allow insurance for older kids
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/sep/21/parents-of-young-adults-cheer-health-reform/

    The ‘Keep your kids on to 26″ provision isn’t as great as it sounds: They can still charge extra int eh premium for those individuals. For some insurers they are treating it a lot like adding an individual insurance policy on top of the family policy of the employee.

    better than not having insurance. if you can’t afford is assistance is provided.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  57. 57
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 55:

    Looks like a “FAIL” :

    What’s the one issue that independent voters most strongly demand that a candidate get right? According to a survey of 1,000 independents (and likely voters) . . . the answer is “health care reform.”

    Nearly half (48 percent) of all independent voters said that even if a candidate otherwise held perfect views (in the eyes of the voter) . . . they still couldn’t vote for him “if [they] disagreed with him on health care reform.”

    For 83 percent of the respondents who said their vote would hang in the balance, the candidate must oppose Obamacare. So. . if you support Obamacare, you’ve just lost 40 percent (83 percent of 48 percent) of the independent vote — before any other issue is even addressed.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/most-important-issue-independents

    savings the live of hundreds of thousands of people over the next few decades is not a fail. it’s amazing you even bring it up in that way. it’s the weekly standard anyway so it’s probably wrong.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  58. 58
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 55

    Asked, answered, voted on, it’s the law.

    Unfortunately previous politicians didn’t pass health care, and unfortunately we still have insurance companies running our health care system for profit. It’s unfortunate the non profits have figured out that by paying high salaries, bonuses, benefits, free time for other endeavors, drug studies, charitable contributions, and research they can fore go the profits in favor of getting higher return.

    It’s unfortunate that the health of our great nation, and global health, is in the hands of a few stupid, greedy, murdering bastards. People who would have children crippled, and maimed for a few stinking, grubby dollars. It unfortunate that a country that claims to be great, will sacrifice anything, and everything for some political ill will so they can protect the lowest form of life on this planet, the health insurance industry.

    The military makes a much greater contribution to the world than our health insurance industry. At least the military is charged with protecting the innocent, rather than exploiting them.

    Health is something that the government must take control of. Too much is at stake. Too many lives have been lost, globally, because of our for profit terrorism.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  59. 59
    Cheap South says:

    Just got this from Consumer Reports:

    Today the health insurance marketplace looks different than it did yesterday, and the changes may affect you and your family. Get the facts!

    Starting today, companies can’t deny coverage to children who have a pre-existing health problem.

    Starting today, health insurance companies must eliminate lifetime benefit caps, and phase out annual ones, so that people who have insurance don’t “max out” the coverage if they fall sick.

    And when your health insurance plan next renews, you will be able to add your children up to the age of 26 if you wish to do so.

    Read our concise guide to the new benefits and the fine print–and then forward this email to friends and family so they can download it, too.

    We’ll walk you through the new insurance plans available for people with pre-existing conditions, and changes to Medicare that might affect your benefits.

    From our product ratings in Consumer Reports to our investigative articles and shopping guides, Consumers Union tries to give you the facts about products and services so you can get the best deal for your dollar. Health insurance is no different.

    Check out our quick guide to the new health insurance marketplace here!

    We hope you and your family find this guide useful. If you like it, forward this email. You can help us get this critical information to many more people who might need it!

    Sincerely,
    Jim Guest
    President, Consumer Reports
    101 Truman Ave
    Yonkers, NY 10703

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  60. 60
    Cheap South says:

    Here is the link from Consumer Reports

    http://www.prescriptionforchange.org/impact.html

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  61. 61
    pfft says:

    Looks like a “WIN” scotsman.

    N.H. woman meets with Obama at health care event
    http://www.necn.com/09/22/10/NH-woman-meets-with-Obama-at-health-care/landing_health.html?blockID=316303&feedID=4210

    this lady was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma while she had no insurance and was able to get some thanks to the healthcare bill.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  62. 62
    Cheap South says:

    My wife is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society; we just got this e-mail. The Republican’s “pledge to America” talks about reverting the Health Care bill. Good luck with that.

    This is a big week for all cancer patients, survivors and their families.

    On September 23rd, as a part of the Affordable Care Act, a number of key patient protections go into effect that will improve the health care of those suffering from cancer.

    Take a moment to learn what these improvements will mean for you and your loved ones. Then, use our simple tool to spread the good news to people you know who have been touched by cancer:

    http://www.acscan.org/protections

    Six months after the signing of the Affordable Care Act, the following vital protections take effect on September 23rd:

    * Insurance companies can no longer discriminate against children with pre-existing conditions such as cancer;
    * Health plans can no longer cancel coverage when a patient gets sick, forcing them to pay for their care out of pocket;
    * Lifetime limits on the dollar amount of coverage are banned and annual limits are tightly restricted, meaning that patients won’t have to worry about suddenly losing their coverage.

    These are just a few of the strong new protections afforded by the health care law, and more tough provisions will be going into effect in the future.

    Since the law was signed in late March, a number of other important provisions have already taken effect, making health care more affordable for seniors and accessible for the previously uninsured.

    Make sure you know your new health care rights. Learn more about the key provisions going into effect this week and help spread the word:

    http://www.acscan.org/protections

    Sincerely,

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  63. 63
    The Tim says:

    By pfft @ 61:

    This lady was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma while she had no insurance and was able to get some thanks to the healthcare bill.

    That’s a nice feel-good story and all, but we should stop calling it “insurance” because that’s not what it is anymore. It’s subsidized medical coverage.

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  64. 64
    pfft says:

    By The Tim @ 63:

    By pfft @ 61:
    This lady was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma while she had no insurance and was able to get some thanks to the healthcare bill.

    That’s a nice feel-good story and all, but we should stop calling it “insurance” because that’s not what it is anymore. It’s subsidized medical coverage.

    she still pays premiums it’s just that insurance companies can’t discriminate anymore.

    this is very good.

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  65. 65
    Scotsman says:

    Most of it is still a disaster. With luck the worst parts will be repealed and some more constructive changes enacted. Mostly, I can’t believe how much we were lied to about its “benefits.”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Obamacare-is-even-worse-than-critics-thought-960772-103571664.html

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  66. 66
    David Losh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 63

    Not at all, the way insurance is set up in the United States the money is already paid into the system, has been for many decades, with little, or no pay outs. The government needs to take control of the system before it’s subsidized in the way you are implying.

    If you mean the tax payers pay for the high risk patients, that is true. Our government programs almost pay for the elderly, chronically ill, the poor, which is now 1 in 7 Americans, while the health insurance industry sets some bones, or buys chemotherapy at twice the cost of the rest of the world. The health insurance industry is willing to pay twice, three times, or four times the cost, because they are allowed to invest premiums into ventures, that are profitable, the stock holders require that.

    So an insurance company can fund research into a drug, follow drug trials, buy stock in a promising drug company release, make a profit from the instant success of the drug, by paying five times the price, for the drug, through health care insurance pay outs.

    This is just one example of a screwed up system that is holding the world’s health hostage. This idea that the only reason people are involved in medicine is so they can make billions of dollars is a lie.

    Good decent people are obstructed every minute from coming up with cures to real diseases so some scum bag can sell another brand of aspirin at ten times the cost.

    I have yet to understand why people would prefer that we murder children world wide so that they can sit in a granite encrusted waiting room to spend fifteen minutes with a doctor. We all pay, the world pays, billions of dollars so a few, very few, Americans can feel good about what the doctors office looks like.

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  67. 67
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 65

    You mean by the Repubicans who kept grappling with the concept of health?

    You can blame health care reform on Richard Nixon who wanted to expand Medicare. Jimmy Carter tried to pass a Health Care Bill, but was blocked by Edward Kennedy. Then Reagan drove a stake threw the heart of Helath even though AIDS corrupted the Health Care System on his watch. He instead indebted the country with military spending.

    Even the Bushes want health care reform, but were political idiots, only interested in amassing a great fortune.

    So Republicans are going to repeal Health Care Reform? Then give us what for the deficit spending they are promising? What will we get this time? Another Viet Nam, Iraq, Star Wars Space Defense Sysytem? What are we going to get in it’s place? A better health reform system, or more Insurance Company Profits? Maybe if they call it the ICP we will all get behind that.

    The world has real problems. If the Republicans don’t start addressing some issues pretty soon they will be passed over.

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  68. 68
    NumberMonkey says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 65 – The only criticism in that article which is even remotely accurate is the bit about IRS 1099 forms. Do you read these things and feel informed? It’s really terrible misinformation.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  69. 69
    Cheap South says:

    By The Tim @ 63:

    By pfft @ 61:
    This lady was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma while she had no insurance and was able to get some thanks to the healthcare bill.

    That’s a nice feel-good story and all, but we should stop calling it “insurance” because that’s not what it is anymore. It’s subsidized medical coverage.

    It’s not; but what if it were, Tim?? What’s the option? “you chose the wrong country to get cancer in, dog!!”? Is that what the Republican Health care program looks like?? Let’s keep ignoring the now 15% of people (and rapidly growing) that do not have access to health care?? Where are we? Africa?

    When are we going to understand that is not about “quality care”; this is all about INSURANCE COMPANIES PROFITS!!!

    This country has exported products and services. How come insurance companies don’t go to other industrialized nations, bribe politicians like they do here, and make them go with the private plan?? Why doesn’t the American model sell??

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  70. 70
    NumberMonkey says:

    RE: Cheap South @ 69
    The American model is unique because of the way it developed as an employer based system. That sort of system is exceptionally difficult to initially implement; we only got here by having the wage freeze in WWII. Having developed like we did though, our system has tremendous inertia and is difficult to redirect.

    The health-care reform bill is all about getting coverage to people without trying to stop all the inertia of our current system.

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  71. 71
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 65:

    Most of it is still a disaster. With luck the worst parts will be repealed and some more constructive changes enacted. Mostly, I can’t believe how much we were lied to about its “benefits.”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Obamacare-is-even-worse-than-critics-thought-960772-103571664.html

    it can always be fixed. it’s way better than the old option.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  72. 72
    The Tim says:

    RE: Cheap South @ 69 – Um, whoa. Overreaction. My comment pertained to the meaning of words, and nothing more. “Insurance” has a specific meaning, and when you can obtain it after experiencing an event which will be paid by said “insurance” then it isn’t really insurance anymore, it’s something else.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  73. 73
    pfft says:

    By The Tim @ 72:

    RE: Cheap South @ 69 – Um, whoa. Overreaction. My comment pertained to the meaning of words, and nothing more. “Insurance” has a specific meaning, and when you can obtain it after experiencing an event which will be paid by said “insurance” then it isn’t really insurance anymore, it’s something else.

    well then we have the same “insurance” that she has because the government mandates that if your business gets a tax credit for providing insurance your health plan cannot discriminate because of a pre-existing condition. we all have it.

    a lot of people who have insurance and rail against obamacare probably wouldn’t have insurance without our employer based system of government rules. most of the tea party folks are overweight, old and angry. they are just the demo that wouldn’t get insurance w/o the employer based system or medicare. deeply ironic.

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  74. 74
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By The Tim @ 63:

    By pfft @ 61:
    This lady was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma while she had no insurance and was able to get some thanks to the healthcare bill.

    That’s a nice feel-good story and all, but we should stop calling it “insurance” because that’s not what it is anymore. It’s subsidized medical coverage.

    It’s forced wealth transfer. Everyone who had insurance will be paying more–lots more.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  75. 75
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    By pfft @ 64:

    By The Tim @ 63:
    By pfft @ 61:
    This lady was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma while she had no insurance and was able to get some thanks to the healthcare bill.

    That’s a nice feel-good story and all, but we should stop calling it “insurance” because that’s not what it is anymore. It’s subsidized medical coverage.

    she still pays premiums it’s just that insurance companies can’t discriminate anymore.

    this is very good.

    Do you even understand the concept of insurance? This is like being able to buy auto insurance to cover an accident after the fact. That is not insurance.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  76. 76
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    Blaming insurance company profits is non-nonsensical when many are non-profit and many are regulated. Even if you assumed 10% of every dollar they brought in was pure profit, our health care system would still be a mess.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  77. 77

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 76:

    Blaming insurance company profits is non-nonsensical when many are non-profit and many are regulated. Even if you assumed 10% of every dollar they brought in was pure profit, our health care system would still be a mess.

    You’re right, but you’re also wrong. Profits aren’t entirely to blame, but even a non profit company isn’t necessarily going to have the most successful outcomes at the least expense as their goal. Non profit CEOs can make obscene salaries. Of course, for profit CEOs of publicly held companies are worse. The CEO of United Healthcare made over 50 million dollars in salary and bonuses for several years in a row. What was he being rewarded for?
    Denying claims?
    Many hospitals and doctors offices make sure that they own the latest and greatest in equipment, but it doesn’t add to our life expectancy, just to our expenses.
    It strikes me that medical equipment manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies have too strong of an influence on our medical establishment, because they too have their shareholders to satisfy.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  78. 78
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 76

    I know that 1% of Health Insurance Company income is counted as profit, that adds up to a paltry $12 Billion dollars.

    CEO compensation is only somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 Million to $5 Million. Any big corporate entity should pay it’s CEOs for making the company bigger profits.

    If is it is only 1%, $12 Billion dollars then where is the cost? You claim that Insurance Companies are paying out big dollars for every one who goes to the doctor for cold symptoms, or they just go to the doctor because they can.

    Then there are all the expensive tests the poor little doctor has to do so they don’t get sued, because if they get sued the Medical Malpractice Insurance rates go up for every doctor. Pretty neat system for the Health Insurance Companies. More tests, more pay outs, more administration, and the upside is, if the poor little doctor doesn’t do all of these frivolous tests, as you call them, then the Insurance Rates for doctors goes up.

    Health Insurance Companies have the sweetest gig in the world. The entire world is suffering so these people can make, less profits, by raising costs. Higher costs, lower profits, is only $12 Billion dollars.

    Do some simple math here. $12 Billion is only 1% of the entire mess.

    It’s funny that you would say that the health Insurance Industry is regulated. That’s like saying meat is regulated, or eggs, or oil rig safety. A hospital is it’s own world. A good administrator could cut a few million here, or there, without any one noticing until it’s too late. Some time I’ll look up how many hospitals, or clinics, there are then find how many regulators monitor them, on the city, state, and federal level. I know it’s not enough, but for sure Health Insurance Companies don’t care about conditions, they don’t even care about liability, they have insurance for that.

    Now a government run program does have accountability. It’s the law.

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  79. 79
    drshort says:

    By David Losh @ 78:

    It’s funny that you would say that the health Insurance Industry is regulated. That’s like saying meat is regulated, or eggs, or oil rig safety.

    In most states, insurance companies must ask permission and gain approval of the state insurance commissioner to raise their premiums or change their insurance contract. Changes are usually required to be actuarially justified.

    Do they do that for eggs or meat?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  80. 80
    David Losh says:

    RE: drshort @ 79

    You’re kidding, right? You really aren’t comparing how Insurance Companies raise rates every year to the price spread of meat, or eggs. With meat and eggs you have alternate choice, say in soy, or whey proteins. Insurance Companies, in any given State, are like a monopoly. There is a dominant plan.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  81. 81
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 74:

    By The Tim @ 63:
    By pfft @ 61:
    This lady was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma while she had no insurance and was able to get some thanks to the healthcare bill.

    That’s a nice feel-good story and all, but we should stop calling it “insurance” because that’s not what it is anymore. It’s subsidized medical coverage.

    It’s forced wealth transfer. Everyone who had insurance will be paying more–lots more.

    most of europe has the same system and they pay half as much per-capita.

    we already have been paying a lot more. anyways you haven’t looked up the new health figures because covering all these new people barely raised costs.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  82. 82
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 75:

    By pfft @ 64:
    By The Tim @ 63:
    By pfft @ 61:
    This lady was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma while she had no insurance and was able to get some thanks to the healthcare bill.

    That’s a nice feel-good story and all, but we should stop calling it “insurance” because that’s not what it is anymore. It’s subsidized medical coverage.

    she still pays premiums it’s just that insurance companies can’t discriminate anymore.

    this is very good.

    Do you even understand the concept of insurance? This is like being able to buy auto insurance to cover an accident after the fact. That is not insurance.

    have you even followed any of the debate. everyone has to have insurance. unbelievable.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  83. 83
    Drshort says:

    RE: David Losh @ 80

    You really have no idea what you’re talking about. Insurance companies raise rates because their costs rise. Each year there is a new technology to treat every possible ailment. This is expensive. And the monopoly statement is baseless.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  84. 84
    pfft says:

    AP Poll: Many think health overhaul should do more
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100925/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_poll;_ylt=Al8Oz.ndq1rIqZtpBK2iYEkDW7oF;_ylu=X3oDMTJvcmtsc21kBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwOTI1L3VzX2hlYWx0aF9jYXJlX3BvbGwEcG9zAzkEc2VjA3luX2FydGljbGVfc3VtbWFyeV9saXN0BHNsawNhcHBvbGxtYW55dGg-

    I love they got the typical stupid american response to HCR.

    Brian Braley, 49, a tech industry worker from Mesa, Ariz., wants Washington to keep its hands off. “I think it’s a Trojan horse,” Braley said of the health care law. “It’s a communist, socialist scheme. All the other countries that have tried this, they’re billions in debt, and they admit this doesn’t work.”

    how stupid can you be?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  85. 85

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 77 – I think I had mention the salary issue of non-profits a few weeks ago. The Red Cross is a good example of that. But large non-profits do need good people to lead them.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  86. 86

    By pfft @ 82:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 75:
    By pfft @ 64:
    By The Tim @ 63:
    By pfft @ 61:
    This lady was diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma while she had no insurance and was able to get some thanks to the healthcare bill.

    That’s a nice feel-good story and all, but we should stop calling it “insurance” because that’s not what it is anymore. It’s subsidized medical coverage.

    she still pays premiums it’s just that insurance companies can’t discriminate anymore.

    this is very good.

    Do you even understand the concept of insurance? This is like being able to buy auto insurance to cover an accident after the fact. That is not insurance.

    have you even followed any of the debate. everyone has to have insurance. unbelievable.

    Unbelievable? Give me a break. You understand so little of this debate it’s hardly a debate.

    Ignoring the fact that the mandatory insurance is probably unconstitutional, it is the one part of Obamacare I like in that it stops the freeloader problem of people not paying into the system, but still getting benefits when they do get sick. Unfortunately it’s a bad way to fix that particular problem, and in any case it doesn’t kick in until 2014! So in the meantime, insurance companies are going to be wealth transfer entities and rates are going to skyrocket (like they already have this year).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  87. 87

    By Drshort @ 83:

    RE: David Losh @ 80

    You really have no idea what you’re talking about. Insurance companies raise rates because their costs rise. Each year there is a new technology to treat every possible ailment. This is expensive. And the monopoly statement is baseless.

    New treatments and new coverages that are mandated by legislation.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  88. 88

    By pfft @ 81:

    Bmost of europe has the same system and they pay half as much per-capita.

    This is a good example of you not understanding anything, or “listening to the debate.” Europe does not have the same system. A system run by the government is not the same as a private system with a significant portion of the population covered by insurance, mandatory or otherwise.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  89. 89
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 87

    Like the cancer treatment of $100K per year.

    Sorry to interject some reality into the Insurance Company love fest, I realize you must own stock in Blue Cross, or Blue Shield, or Premera, or whatever the current name change is, but can I buy Blue Cross in Arkansas?

    The mess, the entire mess, is Insurance Company directed to make profits, huge profits. Any one can invest in a drug company, in trials, as a treatment for a cancer, or disease, or an infection. If, or when the treatment gets approval, an Insurance Company can make it a recommended treatment by paying for it willingly, at a profit. Celebrex comes to mind. I deliberately used the term treatment, because a cure stops the golden goose.

    I know you have this warm fuzzy feeling that the doctor in the white coat, or nurse with the teddy bear uniform are good people, they are not. These are the faces the Insurance Company puts in front of you while they rob the Health Care System.

    It’s a mess. The entire mess will take decades to unwind, but we, the consumers need to stop giving the Insurance Companies our hard earned dollars so they can rob us.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  90. 90
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 88

    Absolute, but it does show the waste to our system of Health Care.

    I’m going to emphasize Health Care as the goal.

    I was talking with a client yesterday whose father died in the hospital, in an ICU, from a heart surgery. His father was 84, in failing health, and yet, even with the warnings of the dangers of the surgery, the surgeon gave him the hope, the chance, of survival. It was obvious to his doctor, and his family, that the surgery would take years off of his life, even if he survived, but the surgeon was sure this was the best course of action.

    The same happened with my wife, and my mother, where some idiot doctor comes in with some plan of action that is way out there, costly, denigrates the quality of life, and yet it is an option.

    You have to see it a few hundred times to really see our system for the profit machine it is. End of life issues are never address, or contemplated, though it is just now a growing field. Even at that a common treatment can be run up into tens of thousands of dollars, by a doctor with a plan, or lack of concern.

    I have hundreds of stories. It is always the same. Some idiot doctor, who is just an idiot, or has a boat payment to make, runs his numbers, and proceeds. This is the system we have in place because Insurance Companies are given what ever legislation they ask for.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  91. 91
    David Losh says:

    RE: Drshort @ 83

    Look it, if you have something to say, or contribute, great, but making random statements gives me nothing to educate myself with.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  92. 92
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 86

    Please, we can discuss wealth in another thread. Wealth transfer is a catch phrase, as yet undefined, but if what I think you are saying is true, that wealth tranfer would be from an Insurance entity to the consumer.

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  93. 93

    RE: David Losh @ 89 – Lots of bad guesses there. No, I don’t own insurance company stock. No I don’t think doctors are particularly great. Who do you think is making the profits? It’s not the insurance companies. It’s the providers. Doctors, entities that do testing, drug companies. They are the ones benefiting from the existence of insurance.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  94. 94

    RE: David Losh @ 90 – What you’re describing there is a bit related to things I’ve been discussing. Health treatment without regard to cost. It’s particularly bad at the end of life stage if the family members (who are not paying for anything) refuse to let go (of their family member who is in pain and has no remaining quality of life).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  95. 95

    By David Losh @ 92:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 86

    Please, we can discuss wealth in another thread. Wealth transfer is a catch phrase, as yet undefined, but if what I think you are saying is true, that wealth tranfer would be from an Insurance entity to the consumer.

    Wealth transfer is a health care issue. There are very few other areas where government mandates that people pay for other peoples’ existing conditions. Again using auto insurance, it would be like if the government required that an insurance company insure someone AFTER they got in an accident. Imagine how expensive auto insurance would be with such a system, and how many fewer people could afford it (or would bother to get it if they could get it after the fact, which would raise the cost of the insurance even higher).

    Obamacare is a bunch of nonsense which is just going to make things worse. If you stop thinking of an insurance company as a source of payment, without thinking about where the funds come from, you’ll start to realize that.

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  96. 96
    drshort says:

    RE: David Losh @ 91

    Fair enough.

    In the long term (3+ years), market pressures and insurance regulators will limit profit margins, so maintainable higher profits will only come from higher market share. Remember, most regulators require that insurance companies charge rates that are “neither excessive nor inadequate” based on their recent costs and future projections. Simply put, rates an insurance company charge will reflect the costs they incur.

    So insurance companies fight for market share largely from two basic steps:

    1. Control costs. This means have contracts that pay fairly but don’t introduce excessive moral hazard, fraud, or uncoverable catastrophes. Also, manage pricing to attract a higher mix of lower cost customers (the young and healthy). Pay claims fairly, but don’t overpay.

    2. Lower costs per customer will lower the rates insurance companies need to charge next year and beyond. Charging lower rates will allow the insurer to capture more customers and ultimately increase profits.

    What you have incorrectly described several times is a scenario where the insurance company wants more tests, pills, etc. because it’s basically a re-seller of medical procedures. This is just 100% false. No one with any industry knowledge would make such a claim. It makes as much sense as a home insurer wishing houses they insure burn down so they can make money on the rebuild.

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  97. 97

    RE: drshort @ 96 – What they will likely do with individual policies is simply quit writing any new policies for new customers because they can’t limit their risks with new customers. We saw that about 10 years ago in Washington state on individual policies. With group policies it won’t be much different because there they never could limit their risk very much.

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  98. 98
    Scotsman says:

    You ranting socialist wanna-bes don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. How about doing enough research so that you at least have one foot in reality before you start spouting off. Let’s start at the top with “outrageous health care insurance company profits.” Oooohh- they sound so evil!! Of course, any profit is bad, but health care insurance companies are just stealing dollars from the pockets of dying angles- and their families!! They are the worst!!

    Wrong. Average profit margins are about 3%. There are almost a hundred major industries that have larger profits as a percentage of sales than health insurance companies, but we never hear about those, do we?

    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/08/health-insurance-industry-ranks-86-by.html

    You guys just think that somehow you’re going to get something for nothing. What you’re going to get, if all of this does stay in place, is disappointment and another liberal failure.

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  99. 99

    RE: Scotsman @ 98 – It’s just simplistic thinking. Like when the people in California thought their electrical utilities were the problem, because that’s who they were paying and that’s as much of the system as they (mis-)understood. The idiots didn’t realize that the utilities were selling them product at a loss, so they were still complaining about the utilities.

    If insurance company profits were the problem with our health care system, a fix would be extremely easy.

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  100. 100
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 99

    You’re right, a lot of it is simplistic thinking, but I really believe there is a good percentage of the population that thinks they’re going to get something for nothing. I hope the whole thing (Obama Care) goes away and they start over working on a plan to increase efficiency and competitiveness instead of just serving idealogical masters.

    Hey Mikal- I miss-spelled a word in post #98. Can you find it? Here’s your chance to hammer me! Good luck!

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  101. 101
    drshort says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 97

    True. As insurance costs rise, only those that really need it will buy it. The young and healthy will choose to go uninsured while the older and sick pay the high health insurance rates. The resulting pool of insured customers gets riskier, sicker, and higher cost. So insurance rates have to rise and the cycle repeats. It’s the insurance “death spiral.”

    This is pretty much to where we are today with health insurance and its the main reason to mandate all people buy insurance.

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  102. 102

    RE: drshort @ 101 – I’d agree, but you have to mandate people get insurance either simultaneously or before you mandate that the insurance companies provide everyone coverage. If you put the cart before the horse (Obamacare), only the ones that need insurance will take advantage of insurance, and that will drive up the price of insurance for everyone much more than if you simply required everyone to get insurance.

    Again though I think this mess is the result of political negotiations in getting health care passed. They really didn’t envision this system, but that was all that they could get passed.

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  103. 103
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 98

    Stop ranting, I already pointed out health insurance profits are only 1%, or $12 Billion dollars. Do some math for what that means to the over all cost of Health Insurance.

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  104. 104
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 93

    Which was my point, Insurance Company profits are only one small factor in the over all costs associated with health care. You also advocated for what the right refers to as Death Panels, which actually exist, but the insurance coverage is a big consideration. If you have great insurance you live, if you don’t have insurance, or are under insured, you die.

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  105. 105
    David Losh says:

    RE: drshort @ 96

    Oh, my, gawd, let’s go straight to burning down the house.

    Insurance, as any one with any industry knowledge would know, is built on mathematical formulas, like what you described. It’s the checks, and balances of how to get the most money in, pay out enough for every one to feel good, make the books look good, and still make a profit.

    The profit is not the prize, as I have repeatedly asserted, it’s the cost.

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  106. 106
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 103

    “Stop ranting”

    What? This topic drives me nuts, worse than Pfffffffffft. That was a controlled response. Are there issues with our health care system? Yup. Has this latest move created more problems than it’s solved? HELL YES! And the discussion has really only started- we still haven’t set agreed on priorities and limits. There’s a long way to go.

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  107. 107
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 99

    The cost is the problem. You’ve pointed that out, I’m agreeing. The larger issue is that Insurance, by it’s very nature, encourages an increase in costs. The cost is the basis for all other mathematical formulas that get administrative costs up, profits down, and stock prices stable.

    Bringing in the premiums for guaranteed cash flow has to be the biggest bonus of all. Very simply; what other business is guaranteed not to take a loss, or to lose profits? Guaranteed.

    What other Industry, if confronted with even the hint of a loss, is allowed to raise rates? It’s a government guarantee.

    After posting the comment I remembered that Insurance Companies do close their doors, and go away. There is some money, I think to divvy up, then some other Insurance Company steps in to raise premiums to get the formula right again.

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  108. 108
    David Losh says:

    RE: drshort @ 96

    Can I buy Blue Shield in Arkansas, or Regency, or is it Regency Blue Shield? They keep reinventing themselves so much it’s hard to keep track.

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  109. 109

    By David Losh @ 104:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 93

    Which was my point, Insurance Company profits are only one small factor in the over all costs associated with health care. You also advocated for what the right refers to as Death Panels, which actually exist, but the insurance coverage is a big consideration. If you have great insurance you live, if you don’t have insurance, or are under insured, you die.

    You don’t even necessarily need insurance. Medicare and Medicaid factor into the equation too.

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  110. 110

    By David Losh @ 107:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 99 – What other Industry, if confronted with even the hint of a loss, is allowed to raise rates? It’s a government guarantee.

    Most utilities work that way, which is why I keep bringing up the California energy crisis. Contrary to popular belief brought about by a mainly lazy ignorant press, the problems there were not caused by Enron, but instead by California utilities not being allowed to raise prices to respond to market conditions. That caused some wholesale prices to skyrocket beyond what was previously considered imaginable. In that situation consumers were probably paying at least 80% of what they should have been, which left use of electricity too high and let prices skyrocket. In the health care situation much of the time they are only paying 10% of what they should be paying. 80% vs. 10%. The impact on prices is incredible.

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  111. 111

    Apparently insurance companies are already refusing to write new child-only policies.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/21/business/la-fi-kids-health-insurance-20100921

    California is reacting by trying to prevent them from offering individual policies for 5 years if they take such action. Amazing. They think that by legislating what will be the insurance companies’ next action will prevent them from doing this? The insurance companies will say thank you for speeding up the limitation of our losses! We were going to wait, but if you insist we’ll pull out of that market too.

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  112. 112

    RE: David Losh @ 105
    Exactly, David. The health insurance companies want to control costs spent on health care, but take a look at their corporate headquarters, take a look at what they spend on lobbyists, take a look at what they spend on CEO bonuses. Efforts are spent, however, on denying claims.
    Sure, profit margins are thin, but they are at Wal-Mart too. You can’t compare a health insurance company to a software company, but maybe you can compare them to a big supermarket chain. It’s about volume. In the case of health insurance companies, there are very limited choices available. Here, it’s what? There’s usually a choice of three companies, and not a huge difference between them.
    Someone brought up utility companies. In this state, there are both private and publicly owned utilities. In the case of the publicly owned utilities, Seattle City Light for example, rates are lower than their counterparts like Puget Sound Energy. Why? My guess is that they spend less on looking good, less on corporate headquarters, less on lobbyists, and more on delivering electricity. Am I wrong?

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  113. 113

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 112 – I think PSE is probably still higher than Seattle due to their investment in WPPSS (sp?). Most of the cost of nuclear, with none of the product! That was yet another very predictable event with just a basic understanding of economics. There might be other factors at play too, however, like PSE being subject to more taxes. Also, I’m not sure PSE owns any hydro-plants.

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  114. 114
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 88:

    By pfft @ 81:
    Bmost of europe has the same system and they pay half as much per-capita.

    This is a good example of you not understanding anything, or “listening to the debate.” Europe does not have the same system. A system run by the government is not the same as a private system with a significant portion of the population covered by insurance, mandatory or otherwise.

    you said costs are going to go up. they aren’t as much as people think. what I was commenting on is the fact that the public system costs less than the private system so you original comment is wrong. HCR will bend the cost curve and make healthcare more affordable. it won’t drive up costs as you say. it might temporarily but not in the long-run.

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  115. 115
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 95:

    By David Losh @ 92:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 86

    Please, we can discuss wealth in another thread. Wealth transfer is a catch phrase, as yet undefined, but if what I think you are saying is true, that wealth tranfer would be from an Insurance entity to the consumer.

    Wealth transfer is a health care issue. There are very few other areas where government mandates that people pay for other peoples’ existing conditions. Again using auto insurance, it would be like if the government required that an insurance company insure someone AFTER they got in an accident. Imagine how expensive auto insurance would be with such a system, and how many fewer people could afford it (or would bother to get it if they could get it after the fact, which would raise the cost of the insurance even higher).

    Obamacare is a bunch of nonsense which is just going to make things worse. If you stop thinking of an insurance company as a source of payment, without thinking about where the funds come from, you’ll start to realize that.

    1. that’s why we have mandated insurance. to guard against what you say. insurance companies gets many more customers.

    2. gov’t healthcare works. having more people covered works. the private system certainly isn’t working.

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  116. 116

    RE: pfft @ 114 – Where do you see Obamacare as increasing the public portion of health care? Obamacare is just more private insurance.

    There is no bending of the health care cost curve, at least in the downward direction. Health care costs are expected to go up 9% this year, as they have the last two years. I think that 9% is probably low because they haven’t accounted for the extra demand that will created by Obamacare. Of course it could go the other way as more and more people and companies cannot afford insurance, and become uninsured.

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  117. 117
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 98:

    Of course, any profit is bad, but health care insurance companies are just stealing dollars from the pockets of dying angles- and their families!! They are the worst!!

    you tell people to do some research and then say this?

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  118. 118

    By pfft @ 115:

    1. that’s why we have mandated insurance. to guard against what you say. insurance companies gets many more customers.

    The mandated insurance doesn’t kick in until 2014. So in the meantime that will leave insurance companies forced to insure more and more high risk people. The money to do that isn’t created out of thin air. It comes from increased premiums.

    And again, while the free-riders without insurance are a problem, you don’t fix that problem effectively by adding more private insurance into the system.

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  119. 119
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 99:

    RE: Scotsman @ 98 – It’s just simplistic thinking. Like when the people in California thought their electrical utilities were the problem, because that’s who they were paying and that’s as much of the system as they (mis-)understood. The idiots didn’t realize that the utilities were selling them product at a loss, so they were still complaining about the utilities.

    If insurance company profits were the problem with our health care system, a fix would be extremely easy.

    the people of california were ripped off by enron and other shady dealings.

    “If insurance company profits were the problem with our health care system, a fix would be extremely easy.”

    profits are a problem, that’s we have companies that deny AIDS patients coverage after the fact.

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  120. 120

    By pfft @ 119:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 99:
    RE: Scotsman @ 98 – It’s just simplistic thinking. Like when the people in California thought their electrical utilities were the problem, because that’s who they were paying and that’s as much of the system as they (mis-)understood. The idiots didn’t realize that the utilities were selling them product at a loss, so they were still complaining about the utilities.

    If insurance company profits were the problem with our health care system, a fix would be extremely easy.

    the people of california were ripped off by enron and other shady dealings.

    So let’s see. Enron sucked well over $20B from California’s state coffers, ran two extremely large utilities into bankruptcy, but simultaneously managed to end up in bankruptcy themselves? Only someone who believes what they read in newspapers could possibly think such a thing was possible. Enron was an easy target for the politicians, Democrats and Republicans, who were all at fault, because Enron was involved in some other extremely shady dealings. But those other dealings didn’t lose them so much money that they would end up in bankruptcy after earning the types of returns the California energy crisis supposedly gave them.

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  121. 121

    By pfft @ 119:

    profits are a problem, that’s we have companies that deny AIDS patients coverage after the fact.

    Let’s assume that’s true. Why are you in favor of Obamacare when it simply calls for more insurance?

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  122. 122
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 106:

    RE: David Losh @ 103

    “Stop ranting”

    What? This topic drives me nuts, worse than Pfffffffffft. That was a controlled response. Are there issues with our health care system? Yup. Has this latest move created more problems than it’s solved? HELL YES! And the discussion has really only started- we still haven’t set agreed on priorities and limits. There’s a long way to go.

    tell that to the lady in NH.

    in the real world this healthcare bill has helped solve a vast amount of problem than it has created.

    if you don’t like, go write your insurance company thanks but no thanks to repealing annual caps, pre-existing conditions, lifetime caps and rescissions.

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  123. 123
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 121:

    By pfft @ 119:
    profits are a problem, that’s we have companies that deny AIDS patients coverage after the fact.

    Let’s assume that’s true. Why are you in favor of Obamacare when it simply calls for more insurance?

    because 40,000 americans a year die for lack of medical coverage.

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  124. 124
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 110:

    By David Losh @ 107:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 99 – What other Industry, if confronted with even the hint of a loss, is allowed to raise rates? It’s a government guarantee.

    Most utilities work that way, which is why I keep bringing up the California energy crisis. Contrary to popular belief brought about by a mainly lazy ignorant press, the problems there were not caused by Enron, but instead by California utilities not being allowed to raise prices to respond to market conditions. That caused some wholesale prices to skyrocket beyond what was previously considered imaginable. In that situation consumers were probably paying at least 80% of what they should have been, which left use of electricity too high and let prices skyrocket. In the health care situation much of the time they are only paying 10% of what they should be paying. 80% vs. 10%. The impact on prices is incredible.

    Enron traders were revealed as intentionally encouraging the removal of power from the market during California’s energy crisis by encouraging suppliers to shut down plants to perform unnecessary maintenance, as documented in recordings made at the time.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enron#California.27s_deregulation_and_subsequent_energy_crisis

    Tapes: Enron plotted to shut down power plant
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/02/03/enron.tapes/

    gee, you think intentionally shutting down plants will cause a problem.

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  125. 125
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 116:

    RE: pfft @ 114 – Where do you see Obamacare as increasing the public portion of health care? Obamacare is just more private insurance.

    There is no bending of the health care cost curve, at least in the downward direction. Health care costs are expected to go up 9% this year, as they have the last two years. I think that 9% is probably low because they haven’t accounted for the extra demand that will created by Obamacare. Of course it could go the other way as more and more people and companies cannot afford insurance, and become uninsured.

    I said in the short-run it won’t, in the long run it will.

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  126. 126
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 118:

    By pfft @ 115:
    1. that’s why we have mandated insurance. to guard against what you say. insurance companies gets many more customers.

    The mandated insurance doesn’t kick in until 2014. So in the meantime that will leave insurance companies forced to insure more and more high risk people. The money to do that isn’t created out of thin air. It comes from increased premiums.

    And again, while the free-riders without insurance are a problem, you don’t fix that problem effectively by adding more private insurance into the system.

    yes you do, the health companies themselves wanted mandated coverage for that reason. if you can’t have rescissions, deny pre-existing conditions and etc. you have to have a mandated system so the inurance companies have a much bigger pool to spread costs. the increased premiums have been almost negligible so far.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  127. 127

    By pfft @ 123:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 121:
    By pfft @ 119:
    profits are a problem, that’s we have companies that deny AIDS patients coverage after the fact.

    Let’s assume that’s true. Why are you in favor of Obamacare when it simply calls for more insurance?

    because 40,000 americans a year die for lack of medical coverage.

    What makes you think that number is going to go down after insurance premiums skyrocket?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  128. 128

    By pfft @ 124:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 110:
    By David Losh @ 107:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 99 – What other Industry, if confronted with even the hint of a loss, is allowed to raise rates? It’s a government guarantee.

    Most utilities work that way, which is why I keep bringing up the California energy crisis. Contrary to popular belief brought about by a mainly lazy ignorant press, the problems there were not caused by Enron, but instead by California utilities not being allowed to raise prices to respond to market conditions. That caused some wholesale prices to skyrocket beyond what was previously considered imaginable. In that situation consumers were probably paying at least 80% of what they should have been, which left use of electricity too high and let prices skyrocket. In the health care situation much of the time they are only paying 10% of what they should be paying. 80% vs. 10%. The impact on prices is incredible.

    Enron traders were revealed as intentionally encouraging the removal of power from the market during California’s energy crisis by encouraging suppliers to shut down plants to perform unnecessary maintenance, as documented in recordings made at the time.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enron#California.27s_deregulation_and_subsequent_energy_crisis

    Tapes: Enron plotted to shut down power plant
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/02/03/enron.tapes/

    gee, you think intentionally shutting down plants will cause a problem.

    Not the kind of problems on the scale I’m talking about. How much money do you think they made from that?

    And in any case, the system in CA is what let Enron play those games. There were other things like trying to route electricity outside of CA to avoid price controls, etc., all perfectly predictable when you set up an absurd system for dealing with the trading and transmission of electricity. The same thing will happen with health care, because adding more insurance to a system that has been broken by insurance is the height of stupidity.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  129. 129

    By pfft @ 126:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 118:
    By pfft @ 115:
    1. that’s why we have mandated insurance. to guard against what you say. insurance companies gets many more customers.

    The mandated insurance doesn’t kick in until 2014. So in the meantime that will leave insurance companies forced to insure more and more high risk people. The money to do that isn’t created out of thin air. It comes from increased premiums.

    And again, while the free-riders without insurance are a problem, you don’t fix that problem effectively by adding more private insurance into the system.

    yes you do, the health companies themselves wanted mandated coverage for that reason. if you can’t have rescissions, deny pre-existing conditions and etc. you have to have a mandated system so the inurance companies have a much bigger pool to spread costs. the increased premiums have been almost negligible so far.

    I’m saying you have to mandate coverage to provide for no pre-existing exclusions. But mandating it four years after the change in pre-existing is doing it backwards. You have to do both at the same time–the problem is, mandating the private coverage (as opposed to public coverage)is almost certainly unconstitutional.

    Where do you get the idea that increases in premiums have been negligible. Regence in Washington state is raising rates over 15%, and that’s not particularly unique.

    http://www.chinookobserver.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=35746

    http://www.thelundreport.org/resource/regence_draws_white_house_ire_for_rate_increases

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-health-care-cost-rate-increases-reach-highest-levels-in-five-years-according-to-new-data-from-hewitt-associates-2010-09-27?reflink=MW_news_stmp

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  130. 130
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 127:

    By pfft @ 123:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 121:
    By pfft @ 119:
    profits are a problem, that’s we have companies that deny AIDS patients coverage after the fact.

    Let’s assume that’s true. Why are you in favor of Obamacare when it simply calls for more insurance?

    because 40,000 americans a year die for lack of medical coverage.

    What makes you think that number is going to go down after insurance premiums skyrocket?

    insurance premiums haven’t skyrocketed and they won’t.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  131. 131
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 128:

    By pfft @ 124:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 110:
    By David Losh @ 107:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 99 – What other Industry, if confronted with even the hint of a loss, is allowed to raise rates? It’s a government guarantee.

    Most utilities work that way, which is why I keep bringing up the California energy crisis. Contrary to popular belief brought about by a mainly lazy ignorant press, the problems there were not caused by Enron, but instead by California utilities not being allowed to raise prices to respond to market conditions. That caused some wholesale prices to skyrocket beyond what was previously considered imaginable. In that situation consumers were probably paying at least 80% of what they should have been, which left use of electricity too high and let prices skyrocket. In the health care situation much of the time they are only paying 10% of what they should be paying. 80% vs. 10%. The impact on prices is incredible.

    Enron traders were revealed as intentionally encouraging the removal of power from the market during California’s energy crisis by encouraging suppliers to shut down plants to perform unnecessary maintenance, as documented in recordings made at the time.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enron#California.27s_deregulation_and_subsequent_energy_crisis

    Tapes: Enron plotted to shut down power plant
    http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/02/03/enron.tapes/

    gee, you think intentionally shutting down plants will cause a problem.

    Not the kind of problems on the scale I’m talking about. How much money do you think they made from that?

    And in any case, the system in CA is what let Enron play those games. There were other things like trying to route electricity outside of CA to avoid price controls, etc., all perfectly predictable when you set up an absurd system for dealing with the trading and transmission of electricity. The same thing will happen with health care, because adding more insurance to a system that has been broken by insurance is the height of stupidity.

    so the problem of people not having health insurance is exacerbated by giving them insurance?

    “Not the kind of problems on the scale I’m talking about. How much money do you think they made from that?”

    shutting perfectly good power plants down doesn’t cause electricity to go up in price? keep in mind that they were being deregulated at that time.

    you started talking about enron so you should already know how much money they made.

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  132. 132
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 129:

    By pfft @ 126:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 118:
    By pfft @ 115:
    1. that’s why we have mandated insurance. to guard against what you say. insurance companies gets many more customers.

    The mandated insurance doesn’t kick in until 2014. So in the meantime that will leave insurance companies forced to insure more and more high risk people. The money to do that isn’t created out of thin air. It comes from increased premiums.

    And again, while the free-riders without insurance are a problem, you don’t fix that problem effectively by adding more private insurance into the system.

    yes you do, the health companies themselves wanted mandated coverage for that reason. if you can’t have rescissions, deny pre-existing conditions and etc. you have to have a mandated system so the inurance companies have a much bigger pool to spread costs. the increased premiums have been almost negligible so far.

    I’m saying you have to mandate coverage to provide for no pre-existing exclusions. But mandating it four years after the change in pre-existing is doing it backwards. You have to do both at the same time–the problem is, mandating the private coverage (as opposed to public coverage)is almost certainly unconstitutional.

    Where do you get the idea that increases in premiums have been negligible. Regence in Washington state is raising rates over 15%, and that’s not particularly unique.

    http://www.chinookobserver.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=35746

    http://www.thelundreport.org/resource/regence_draws_white_house_ire_for_rate_increases

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-health-care-cost-rate-increases-reach-highest-levels-in-five-years-according-to-new-data-from-hewitt-associates-2010-09-27?reflink=MW_news_stmp

    1. this law is not unconstitutional. it will never be declared that. there is no chance.

    2. premiums will go up anyway. the increase of adding tens of millions of people is practically negligible.

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  133. 133

    By pfft @ 131:

    so the problem of people not having health insurance is exacerbated by giving them insurance?

    You’re confusing treatment and insurance. Widespread insurance coverage causes the cost of coverage to skyrocket. Adding more insurance makes that worse. When costs rise, it’s difficult for people to get treatment.

    “Not the kind of problems on the scale I’m talking about. How much money do you think they made from that?”

    shutting perfectly good power plants down doesn’t cause electricity to go up in price? keep in mind that they were being deregulated at that time.

    you started talking about enron so you should already know how much money they made.

    Yes, shutting down a plant caused prices to rise–for that day. But the prices were already high because of the lack of any control on the use of electricity by consumers. They just increased the costs some, but the costs were already high.

    I’m sorry I can’t tell you how much Enron made off that incident. I doubt anyone can. But clearly they did not profit to the extent claimed in the press. If they had they would have never gone bankrupt, or at least not in the time frame they did.

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  134. 134

    Scotsman said-
    “Of course, any profit is bad, but health care insurance companies are just stealing dollars from the pockets of dying angles- and their families!! They are the worst!!”

    I’m sorry. I can’t resist the low hanging fruit.
    Those angles may be dying, but they can still hurt. Those 90 degree angles are pretty danged sharp. Does the point fall off after they die?

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  135. 135

    By pfft @ 132:

    1. this law is not unconstitutional. it will never be declared that. there is no chance.

    2. premiums will go up anyway. the increase of adding tens of millions of people is practically negligible.

    First, the dismissal of the lawsuit challenging the case did not go exactly as it would have if there were “no chance” that the law was “not unconstitutional.” I’m sure there were a lot of people thinking that there was “no chance” that the gun regulations in DC would be declared unconstitutional too. Personally I think there is very little chance that the law would be constitutional. It needed the public option to be so, but that was yanked. We’ll know more in less than a month.

    http://www.lexisnexis.com/Community/LitigationResourceCenter/blogs/litigationblog/archive/2010/09/15/arguments-heard-over-dismissal-of-lawsuit-challenging-health-care-reform-act.aspx

    Second, you’re not just adding tens of millions of people. You’re adding tens of millions of people who are high risk and/or who have medical expenses far exceeding what their premiums will be. The cost of insurance would not have gone up as much but for those people being added. It would be impossible to argue otherwise. It’s simple math.

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  136. 136
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 133:

    By pfft @ 131:
    so the problem of people not having health insurance is exacerbated by giving them insurance?

    You’re confusing treatment and insurance. Widespread insurance coverage causes the cost of coverage to skyrocket. Adding more insurance makes that worse. When costs rise, it’s difficult for people to get treatment.

    “Not the kind of problems on the scale I’m talking about. How much money do you think they made from that?”

    shutting perfectly good power plants down doesn’t cause electricity to go up in price? keep in mind that they were being deregulated at that time.

    you started talking about enron so you should already know how much money they made.

    Yes, shutting down a plant caused prices to rise–for that day. But the prices were already high because of the lack of any control on the use of electricity by consumers. They just increased the costs some, but the costs were already high.

    I’m sorry I can’t tell you how much Enron made off that incident. I doubt anyone can. But clearly they did not profit to the extent claimed in the press. If they had they would have never gone bankrupt, or at least not in the time frame they did.

    please back up your enron claims. it wasn’t just one plant. it was a pattern. it was a man-made crisis.

    “Widespread insurance coverage causes the cost of coverage to skyrocket. Adding more insurance makes that worse. When costs rise, it’s difficult for people to get treatment.”

    this brings me again to my original point. everyone has insurance in europe and per capita costs are 1/2. there is no precedent for your view.

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  137. 137

    RE: pfft @ 136 – The California crisis was man-made, but not Enron made. It was the result of having too low of energy prices for consumers. As soon as they raised the prices, the blackouts stopped because people cut back on their use of electricity. Simple economics that the Governor Davis’s people laughed at back then. Davis has since said that he shouldn’t have listened to them.

    As to your last point, everyone doesn’t have insurance in Europe. Most of them have government health care. That is entirely different than insurance because the government rations treatment. You might as well argue nearly 100% of the people in the US have insurance because if someone without means goes to the hospital with something serious the government will pay for their treatment. But because the government will do that, it doesn’t mean that they have insurance, just as most people in Europe don’t have insurance.

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  138. 138

    RE: pfft @ 136 – BTW, the fact that so many people don’t understand Enron, or think that a gas tax holiday would have been appropriate back in 2008, well it’s just evidence that understanding of economics in this country is incredibly deficient.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  139. 139
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 137:

    RE: pfft @ 136 – The California crisis was man-made, but not Enron made. It was the result of having too low of energy prices for consumers. As soon as they raised the prices, the blackouts stopped because people cut back on their use of electricity. Simple economics that the Governor Davis’s people laughed at back then. Davis has since said that he shouldn’t have listened to them.

    As to your last point, everyone doesn’t have insurance in Europe. Most of them have government health care. That is entirely different than insurance because the government rations treatment. You might as well argue nearly 100% of the people in the US have insurance because if someone without means goes to the hospital with something serious the government will pay for their treatment. But because the government will do that, it doesn’t mean that they have insurance, just as most people in Europe don’t have insurance.

    there was only 1 blackout before deregulation. deregulation was supposed to lower prices. it didn’t. enron was scamming california. they had to give back their profits. it was man-made prices went high because enron gouged them.

    “You might as well argue nearly 100% of the people in the US have insurance because if someone without means goes to the hospital with something serious the government will pay for their treatment.”

    no because an ER is no way to deliver all the healthcare someone needs. it’s almost too late by then.

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  140. 140

    RE: pfft @ 139 – Are you still maintaining that most people in Europe have insurance, or are you going to admit that they have government health care?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  141. 141

    “there was only 1 blackout before deregulation. deregulation was supposed to lower prices. it didn’t. enron was scamming california. they had to give back their profits. ”

    Of course there were few blackouts before deregulation! Blackouts are a rare thing where markets function properly. Deregulation caused the shortages because they didn’t envision the possibility that prices would rise, and thus didn’t allow consumer prices to rise.

    Do you understand the concept of supply and demand? With higher prices there is lower consumption. If you don’t raise prices, you end up with shortages, like occurred in the 70s with gasoline. At some price there would not have been gas rationing, because the price would have rationed the gas. Instead we had odd/even license number schemes, and long lines. Fortunately the government wasn’t so stupid in 2007-08.

    BTW, Enron gave back very little. But if you think they did, why are our energy prices here still so high? We’re still paying for California’s stupidity.

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  142. 142
    David Losh says:

    What the heck happened here?!

    First Enron is the ultimate red herring. It was a pattern of fraud, far beyond California. Energy contracts, I think, were the root of the fraud. Please, don’t make me look it up again. Utilities are a whole different discussion from Health Insurance.

    Second, as long as there is all of this back and forth, the roots of Health Care Reform are in Public Health, and expansion of the Public Health Clinic system of the 1960s. Scotsman may be referring to the beginning of the movement rather than what we ended up with.

    The entire idea was that we could have Public Health Hospitals along side private hospitals, and the system could grow.

    As I said earlier we can usually point to Dick Nixon for this concept of Public Health by the expansion of the Public Health Service Act, with the National Cancer Act. In this process there was Title X, or “Population Research and Voluntary Family Planning Programs.” This was the murky side of Health Care. This is where the conspiracy theory was formed of sterilizing segments of the population.

    The national Cancer Act was also where, in my opinion, Cervical Cancer gained prominence. That lead to the theory that Cervical Cancer may be a form of a Sexually Transmitted Disease. In turn the Human Papaloma Virus was researched, and we have a vaccination for that.

    At the tail end of this we had the AIDS epidemic that seemed like the best bet for solidifying a Public Health option, until AZT.

    Now we have the emergence of the pharmaceutical industry in an explosion of profits. Even though the research, findings, and trials were government sponsored, drug companies found they could package the formulas, for both AIDS, and HPV, both retroviruses, both with a treatment plan, covering all class, and gender classifications. It is a gold mine, especially for the Health Insurance Industry.

    Public Health has long since been kicked to the curb in favor of a drug trials approach to medicine.

    This is the problem. The costs associated with health continue to run rampant. Treatments get more expensive, because as Kary says, no one pays for them. It is a hidden cost no one cares about. All people ever see is modern furniture in the waiting room, and granite at the information desk.

    The administration of health care has gotten to be a trillion dollar industry. Do the math, 1% profit is $12 BILLION Dollars. That’s just the Health Care costs.

    So, no one, no one, expected Obama to put through a Health Care Reform legislation, but he did. No one, no one, expects it to work in any one’s favor, other than the Health Insurance Industry. People are going to die. Many people will go hungry, many people will lose benefits, and many, many people will die, because our Congress lacks the political will to work for the People. For decades they have counted on campaign contributions from trillion dollar industries.

    The door is open, now, for the first time in forty years, that I know of, and it won’t be shut. Public Health is the goal.

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  143. 143
    David Losh says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 112

    Seattle City Light has the ability to sell electricity outside of it’s sytem, for profits.

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  144. 144
    2kt says:

    RE: David Losh @ 142

    Dave, if government is the answer to just about any problem, tell us why we are where we are?

    After dot.com boom and housing boom and all associated profits, gains and taxes collected, how is it so nearly every state is broke? Do you think these same people who managed to get us where we are, will be do a better job if you give me them more areas of life to manage?

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  145. 145
    David Losh says:

    RE: 2kt @ 144

    On the Global Economic thread you’re implying that I might not be aware that here in the State of Washington we are paying Federal, State, City, and County taxes. Now you are talking about governments that have gone broke.

    Here’s the deal, I do pay taxes, lots of taxes, have paid lots of taxes, and the rest of the country has paid lots in taxes. What do we get?

    I’m 58 years old, and can’t think of a time when I got anything from police, or fire other than fines, tickets, and demands to pay more, for less service. Those are the ones we see, other than schools, and libraries. Schools, in the United States, have been proved to be one of the most over funded, with the least expectation of an education. We spend more on sports, the parents spend more on sports.

    What are we getting for those tax dollars? Bill Gates gets the full protection of Congress, and a half dozen government funded agencies. What do we get?

    Transportation? Rail? Highways? The trucking, transportation Industry, air lines, commerce, get the vast bulk of tax dollars for making more money. What do we get?

    What are we getting for our tax dollars. Here in the State of Washington, with all things considered, I think the little guy tax payer pay about 47% of income, in taxes. The small business owner I’m sure is in that range. What do they get?

    We get to pay insurance premiums to private enterprise, even though our tax dollars pay for the research, and development. It’s not just health. We pay for everything you consider wealth. What do we get?

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  146. 146
    2kt says:

    RE: David Losh @ 145

    I think you answered my question with the question of your own, David.

    Let me get this straight. So your point is “What do we get” for all these taxes that we pay on one hand and with another hand you want the government to manage health care?

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  147. 147
    David Losh says:

    RE: 2kt @ 146

    The government already manages health care. You may, or may not have access to that, but I don’t, my family doesn’t.

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  148. 148

    By 2kt @ 146:

    RE: David Losh @ 145 – Let me get this straight. So your point is “What do we get” for all these taxes that we pay on one hand and with another hand you want the government to manage health care?

    That relates very indirectly to my point earlier, that if insurance company profits were a significant issue, the fix to health care would be easy.

    The problem is there is no obvious easy solution. If you have a private system with significant levels of insurance, you’re going to be pumping far too many resources into health care at the benefit of the providers and suppliers. If you have a government run system you will have incredible inefficiencies. The problem is there is no good solution.

    That said, there are things that could easily be done to make the existing system better. Eliminate the tax free status of employee health insurance, and at the same time require that employers offer more choices for lesser coverages. Mandate higher deductibles and co-pays for those above a certain income level. Eliminate state requirements for mandatory coverage (e.g. acupuncture, Viagra, etc.) Prohibit advertising of prescription drugs. None of these things are necessary for a properly functioning health care system, and they actually cause harm.

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  149. 149

    As expected, Regence will no longer write child only policies in Washington. Thank you President Obama and members of Congress for being both naive and ignorant!

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/427499_regence.html

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  150. 150
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 140:

    RE: pfft @ 139 – Are you still maintaining that most people in Europe have insurance, or are you going to admit that they have government health care?

    both? either way it doesn’t make a difference.

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  151. 151
    pfft says:

    By 2kt @ 144:

    RE: David Losh @ 142

    Dave, if government is the answer to just about any problem, tell us why we are where we are?

    After dot.com boom and housing boom and all associated profits, gains and taxes collected, how is it so nearly every state is broke? Do you think these same people who managed to get us where we are, will be do a better job if you give me them more areas of life to manage?

    every state is not nearly broke. how did we get here? a huge unprecedented decline in government revenues.

    State Revenues Still Flat-Lining, New Figures Show
    http://www.offthechartsblog.org/state-revenues-still-flat-lining-new-figures-show/

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  152. 152
    pfft says:

    By David Losh @ 145:

    RE: 2kt @ 144

    I’m 58 years old, and can’t think of a time when I got anything from police, or fire other than fines, tickets, and demands to pay more, for less service.

    and you’re complaining.

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  153. 153
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 148:

    By 2kt @ 146:
    RE: David Losh @ 145 If you have a government run system you will have incredible inefficiencies.

    link please. you are totally wrong. we’ll never get rid of medicare or medicaid and people like these programs. they are more popular than private insurance. the VA has some of the best healthcare out there. we are here because the private system failed. people see the benefits of the government administering healthcare versus the private system.

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  154. 154
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 148RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 149

    You almost had me convinced that there was some reasoning to your arguments about Health Care, but this really put things into perspective.

    Is Regency dictating Health Care policy to you? Who’s in charge? They’ve got you whipped now. They’re going to deny, deny, deny, just like the stock market crash got the government to cough up more cash for reserves.

    Health Insurance is a business. It’s not health care, it’s Health Insurance. They don’t care how many children die. As a matter of fact if they let children die then the government is forced to do something, like repeal Health Care Reform.

    Maybe Republicans can point to Regency’s gamble of no longer writing child only policies as proof Health Care Reform won’t work, when it proves we need Health Care Reform.

    OK, everybody played nice, and gave Regency a chance, and this is how they responded.

    Shut them down. Get Health Insurance out of health care. We have a system that works, let’s use it, and build on that. Let’s send Regency packing.

    Let’s call Health Insurance a very bad experiment, and move on.

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  155. 155

    By pfft @ 150:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 140:
    RE: pfft @ 139 – Are you still maintaining that most people in Europe have insurance, or are you going to admit that they have government health care?

    both? either way it doesn’t make a difference.

    If you don’t understand the difference it’s no wonder you don’t understand any of the arguments here.

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  156. 156

    By pfft @ 153:

    link please. you are totally wrong. we’ll never get rid of medicare or medicaid and people like these programs. they are more popular than private insurance. the VA has some of the best healthcare out there. we are here because the private system failed. people see the benefits of the government administering healthcare versus the private system.

    Again more ignorance. Medicare and medicaid and VA are popular because of the cost!

    But what’s really amazing is you’re apparently the only person on earth that thinks that government is efficient. That is truly an amazing position to take.

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  157. 157

    RE: David Losh @ 154 – What you don’t understand is that Regence could continue to cover these policies. If they did so they would then need to raise the rates to account for the fact that most the new clients were paying only $300 to get $2000 of treatment every month. Soon premiums would go up to $400, which would cause the existing customers to be forced to drop coverage, which would then cause rates to go up to $500. Eventually all the existing customers would be forced out of coverage, and the premiums would be $2,000 a month.

    If government wants preexisting conditions covered, then they should provide the coverage directly so that the cost is spread across the entire population and not just those how happened to have insurance prior to September 2010.

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  158. 158
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 156

    Sorry, but I know government run programs can be very efficient, extremely efficient.

    The confusion is that people think the government is something outside of themselves. People look at government as some corporate entity they have no say in. Schools are an example. A strong PTA can make a difference. There again people have the choice of private education if they chose.

    OK, let’s leave the private health insurance system in place. My question is why can’t we have Public Health available to any one who wants to use it? If people can use it, why can’t we get that funded adequately? Why can’t we just let the stupid people, who actually believe in our government, have access to what our government already provides?

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  159. 159
    jj says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 156

    Kary,

    Actually the Medicare system is the most efficient health care provider in the USA, it’s just vastly underfunded while taking care of the sickest patients in the country. Medicare has only 3% in overhead costs – so 97% of the premiums (collected taxes) go directly to providing health care. Some of the Canadian single payer plans have ~1% overhead.

    Private for profit or non profit insurance companies average 15-31% overhead (15-20% industry provided data, 31% independent audit data) – so only 69-85% of the premiums go directly to health care. Private health insurance companies spend far more on administrative costs than the gub’mint.

    Your “efficient” private health care system wastes 5-10 times more money than Medicare does providing care (in the form of administrative costs, bonuses, dividend, profit).

    Health care is broken on many more levels that this, but just getting rid of the inefficiencies in private health insurance by going medicare for everyone would save the system over 200 billion per year, possibly 400 billion. I agree with you it’s quite an onus to make small business provide mandatory health care to their employees, but it absolutely insane to make them provide the health care at a 15-31% markup instead of a 3% markup.

    15,000+ physicians agree, check out physicians for a national health program at pnhp.org.

    jj

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  160. 160
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 157

    You have outlined perfectly the problem with private health insurance and our reliance on a system set up for profit, even if it’s a non profit.

    The only way to have a sustainable system is to have every one covered. There has to be a safety net, a very strong safety net, in place. I’ve used disease as an example, AIDS as an example. I could use the flu as an example. Treating the flu goes far beyond giving out shots. The super bug is an example, cancer is an example.

    In comment 142 I gave you a rough time line for Public Health that gave us results. From the time of Nixon Public health was set onto a path. Reagan chose to derail Public Health in a misguided cost cutting effort. We have Private Health Insurance to blame for the costs we have incurred. Private Health Insurance was inadequate to deal with the AIDS epidemic. That should be obvious by now, but it’s not because it became compartmentalized back into Medicaid, and Medicare.

    We pay. Our taxes pay for high risk health. Your Private Health Insurance is paying for granite counter tops, and over paying doctors for 15 minute chats with patients.

    Our Private Health Insurance system is an absolute joke. You don’t see it until you are very sick. End of life has no care in Private Health Insurance. They only want the strong, the fixable, the success stories. It’s a brutal propaganda machine.

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  161. 161
    David Losh says:

    RE: jj @ 159

    Thank you. I’ve lost all civility in screaming the health care issues here.

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  162. 162

    RE: jj @ 159 – I was only addressing the claim about Medicare being popular. As to the efficiency of Medicare you would need to look not just at overhead, but also where they are spending their money–are they paying only legitimate claims. Wikipedia claims that 20% of their payouts are fraudulent, but they don’t have a good citation for that. The point is though, to the extent you have lower overhead, you would tend to have more fraudulent claims paid. Also, I suspect your 3% figure doesn’t count the cost of going after those who are involved in the fraud.

    Beyond that though, that is just a government claims paying process. When I was talking of government inefficiency, I was envisioning a complete government takeover of health care, such that government would own the hospitals, pay the doctors a salary, etc.

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  163. 163

    By David Losh @ 160:

    The only way to have a sustainable system is to have every one covered. There has to be a safety net, a very strong safety net, in place.

    I would agree with that. I just don’t see how you can get there without having incredible inefficiencies and extremely high costs. If we are going to get there, however, I think it would probably be either through the total takeover of health care by government or by changing the insurance market in the ways I’ve discussed above (no tax credit, higher deductibles, etc.). Trying to get there through Obamacare is going to bankrupt the country.

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  164. 164
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 163

    Well, number one, and most important is we never got anywhere near ObamaCare. We never got anywhere near any plan that I have heard of in my thirty years of working for a strong Public Health System.

    What we got were Reagan era Republicans, once again, waving hands, and predicting doom. What we heard is government is the problem from the Reagan speech discussed in earlier comments.

    It had to be passed as is, where is, but Republicans have to go, get out of the way, and let the country progress. If Republicans continue to borrow on the future of this country for nothing more than maintaining the wealth for a very select few individuals we will go broke, and have nothing.

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  165. 165

    By David Losh @ 164:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 163 – Well, number one, and most important is we never got anywhere near ObamaCare..

    If by that you mean that the plan that passed Congress and signed by President Obama wasn’t anything like what President Obama wanted, I would agree with you. In that regard I would question why he signed it. Something isn’t always better than nothing. But since the current plan literally has President Obama’s signature on it, I think it’s fair to call the existing plan Obamacare.

    As to the rest, the Ds explicitly told the Rs that they didn’t need them or their ideas because the Ds won the election. And the Ds repeatedly shot down virtually everything the Rs offered. Since the Ds won that is their choice, but now they are going to have to live with the results of that choice politically. If health care fails, it will be the D’s fault. If the economy tanks, it will be the D’s fault. They made virtually all the decisions.

    Things could be worse though. If the Ds and Rs had come up with something they unanimously agreed was good, that would be catastrophic! ;-)

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  166. 166
    NumberMonkey says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 165:

    By David Losh @ 164:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 163 – Well, number one, and most important is we never got anywhere near ObamaCare..

    As to the rest, the Ds explicitly told the Rs that they didn’t need them or their ideas because the Ds won the election. And the Ds repeatedly shot down virtually everything the Rs offered. Since the Ds won that is their choice, but now they are going to have to live with the results of that choice politically. If health care fails, it will be the D’s fault. If the economy tanks, it will be the D’s fault. They made virtually all the decisions.

    What kind of bizzaro world are you living in? You JUST said the health bill is nothing like what Obama would have wanted to be passed. A few lines later you are saying democrats got their way on everything. Clearly that’s not the case.

    The last two years have been a festival of right-wing obstructionism the likes of which has never been seen before.
    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2010/03/01/record_use_of_the_filibuster.html

    It’s been a festival of democrats caving on serious parts of just about every major bill, “Obamacare” being by far the largest.

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  167. 167

    RE: NumberMonkey @ 166 – Okay, the Senate Democrats got what they wanted. Sorry for not being more specific.

    I would agree things are very partisan and obstructionist, but I wouldn’t put the blame solely at the feet of the Republicans. As noted the Ds expressly gloated that they won and could do whatever they wanted. That doesn’t really create the non-partisan environment that President Obama stated he wanted.

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  168. 168

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 167

    I Just learned Yesterday Kary

    That the Health Care Reform Bill not only forces us all to buy health care insurance by 2014, but also longtern care insurance for old age nursing care. If we don’t buy our own LTC insurance the government will force us to buy their’s….and the cost of the mandatory government plan may be horrifying without private sector choice price reduction….the like $300 fine for non-compliance sounds much cheaper….LOL

    I just mailed away for a matrix of LTC providers that qualify and prices….remind me and I’ll keep SB bloggers informed of “:cheap alternatives”….LOL

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  169. 169

    RE: softwarengineer @ 168 – Good thing I already beat the tax imposed requirement that you own a cemetery plot. ;-)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  170. 170

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 169

    I Just Learned a Few days Ago

    That young adults under the age of 26 cannot be on their parents’ health care plans if they can get health care from their employer. That explains what happened to my daughter earlier this month with Blue Cross cancelling her at age 22.

    The company I run can provide health care insurance for her [since she works for me], so she cannot stay on my plan. She has her own insurance now. LTC too? LOL

    The only ones working will be health care workers, unless they bankrupt us all paying for insurance….LOL

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  171. 171
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 155:

    By pfft @ 150:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 140:
    RE: pfft @ 139 – Are you still maintaining that most people in Europe have insurance, or are you going to admit that they have government health care?

    both? either way it doesn’t make a difference.

    If you don’t understand the difference it’s no wonder you don’t understand any of the arguments here.

    tell me the difference.

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  172. 172
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 156:

    By pfft @ 153:
    link please. you are totally wrong. we’ll never get rid of medicare or medicaid and people like these programs. they are more popular than private insurance. the VA has some of the best healthcare out there. we are here because the private system failed. people see the benefits of the government administering healthcare versus the private system.

    Again more ignorance. Medicare and medicaid and VA are popular because of the cost!

    But what’s really amazing is you’re apparently the only person on earth that thinks that government is efficient. That is truly an amazing position to take.

    in providing healthcare the government is the most efficient. that’s been proven all over the world.

    most of the developed world covers everyone at half the cost. we don’t at twice the cost. what is amazing is that lectured me and you don’t know that.

    In 2007, health spending was $7,290 per person in the United States, more than double that of any other country in the survey.

    U.S. scores dead last again in healthcare study
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65M0SU20100623

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  173. 173
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 163:

    By David Losh @ 160:
    Trying to get there through Obamacare is going to bankrupt the country.

    no. it’s the only piece of legislation in years that lowers the deficit.

    New CBO numbers reflect bigger savings for health care proposal
    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/88105-new-cbo-numbers-reflect-bigger-savings-for-health-care-proposal

    there are also uncounted savings through disability payments and employment.

    Is the New Study on Prevention Good or Bad News for Obama Care?
    http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/beat_the_press_archive?month=09&year=2009&base_name=is_the_new_study_on_prevention&12

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  174. 174

    By pfft @ 171:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 155:
    By pfft @ 150:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 140:
    RE: pfft @ 139 – Are you still maintaining that most people in Europe have insurance, or are you going to admit that they have government health care?

    both? either way it doesn’t make a difference.

    If you don’t understand the difference it’s no wonder you don’t understand any of the arguments here.

    tell me the difference.

    Insurance creates inefficiencies by increasing the demand for services. No one cares what anything costs, and the only limitations on services become what the insurance company will allow. Unfortunately insurance companies are treated as being evil entities, and whenever they try to limit something they get vilified, and legislation gets passed requiring them to pay for more and more services, which further increases demand. In an area of the economy with scarcity (e.g. health care where doctors are limited), that can cause prices to go sky high quickly.

    Government creates inefficiencies by simply being not driven by a profit motive–no incentive to be efficient.

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  175. 175

    RE: pfft @ 173 – It lowers the deficit by transferring the costs to insurance companies, who in turn transfer the costs to the insured. You could also lower the deficit by requiring that insurance companies fund the military, but that wouldn’t mean we would be paying less for the military.

    It’s not going to reduce the net amount paid for medical insurance in this country. The effect will be exactly the opposite, in a big way.

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  176. 176

    RE: pfft @ 172 – You argue that in providing health care the government is the most efficient, and simultaneously argue for more insurance (Obamacare)? Don’t you realize those two things are exactly the opposite?

    The reason we spend so much in the US on health care is health insurance! It increases the demand for services in an area with limited services.

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  177. 177
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 176

    Private Health Insurance can not be in charge of Health Care. You keep pointing that out, repeatedly. What Obama got passed was an agreement that Private Health Insurance can not be in charge of Health Care. Every one now agrees, and has said the Health Care System in this country is horribly screwed up and needs to be fixed.

    The Republicans have never brought anything to the table other than Tort Reform, which was another gift to the Malpractice Insurance Industry. That is why no one, in their right mind, listens to them. They bring nothing to the table other than more ways to maximize Health Insurance profits, and add costs.

    It’s pretty well established globally that the United States has an expansive cumbersome system of Health set up to be used by the extremely wealthy. Other than that our system of Health Care is a joke.

    If you have money, this is the place to be, if you have insurance you have a 50/50 chance of getting Health Care. Without insurance we have a woefully under funded health care system that will give you the same 50/50 chance at health care. How is that possible?

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  178. 178
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 176:

    RE: pfft @ 172 – You argue that in providing health care the government is the most efficient, and simultaneously argue for more insurance (Obamacare)? Don’t you realize those two things are exactly the opposite?

    The reason we spend so much in the US on health care is health insurance! It increases the demand for services in an area with limited services.

    the problem isn’t too much insurance when we have 40,000 people a year dying due to lack of insurance. the problem is lack of insurance and a private system that doesn’t want to cover everyone. you save when you cover everyone. that’s shown in every developed country. it’s not just costs. it’s people dying. I don’t know how less insurance would help. that’s bizarre.

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  179. 179
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 174:

    By pfft @ 171:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 155:
    By pfft @ 150:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 140:
    RE: pfft @ 139 – Are you still maintaining that most people in Europe have insurance, or are you going to admit that they have government health care?

    both? either way it doesn’t make a difference.

    If you don’t understand the difference it’s no wonder you don’t understand any of the arguments here.

    tell me the difference.

    Insurance creates inefficiencies by increasing the demand for services. No one cares what anything costs, and the only limitations on services become what the insurance company will allow. Unfortunately insurance companies are treated as being evil entities, and whenever they try to limit something they get vilified, and legislation gets passed requiring them to pay for more and more services, which further increases demand. In an area of the economy with scarcity (e.g. health care where doctors are limited), that can cause prices to go sky high quickly.

    Government creates inefficiencies by simply being not driven by a profit motive–no incentive to be efficient.

    adn again for the 100th time, most universal systems cover everyone at half the cost per capita. so which system is more efficient. your reasoning makes it sound like the univeral systems should costs twice as much as ours but they don’t.

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  180. 180
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 175:

    RE: pfft @ 173 – It lowers the deficit by transferring the costs to insurance companies, who in turn transfer the costs to the insured. You could also lower the deficit by requiring that insurance companies fund the military, but that wouldn’t mean we would be paying less for the military.

    It’s not going to reduce the net amount paid for medical insurance in this country. The effect will be exactly the opposite, in a big way.

    nope, studies show it’s bends the cost curve. the mandate means everyone pays into the system so insurance companies can spread costs. the insurance companies wanted the mandate so people wouldn’t get insurance until they were sick which would raise their costs.

    are you for getting rid of the employer based system too? that mandates if a business wants a tax break their insurance plan must cover everyone. lots of people wouldn’t have insurance otherwise.

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  181. 181

    By pfft @ 178:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 176:
    RE: pfft @ 172 – You argue that in providing health care the government is the most efficient, and simultaneously argue for more insurance (Obamacare)? Don’t you realize those two things are exactly the opposite?

    The reason we spend so much in the US on health care is health insurance! It increases the demand for services in an area with limited services.

    the problem isn’t too much insurance when we have 40,000 people a year dying due to lack of insurance. the problem is lack of insurance and a private system that doesn’t want to cover everyone. you save when you cover everyone. that’s shown in every developed country. it’s not just costs. it’s people dying. I don’t know how less insurance would help. that’s bizarre.

    You think it’s bizarre because you have no understanding at all of microeconomics.

    What is your explanation for why the inflation for health care has been much higher than the inflation for the general economy? The answer is insurance, but I want to know what you think it is if it is not insurance.

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  182. 182

    By pfft @ 179:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 174:
    By pfft @ 171:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 155:
    By pfft @ 150:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 140:
    RE: pfft @ 139 – Are you still maintaining that most people in Europe have insurance, or are you going to admit that they have government health care?

    both? either way it doesn’t make a difference.

    If you don’t understand the difference it’s no wonder you don’t understand any of the arguments here.

    tell me the difference.

    Insurance creates inefficiencies by increasing the demand for services. No one cares what anything costs, and the only limitations on services become what the insurance company will allow. Unfortunately insurance companies are treated as being evil entities, and whenever they try to limit something they get vilified, and legislation gets passed requiring them to pay for more and more services, which further increases demand. In an area of the economy with scarcity (e.g. health care where doctors are limited), that can cause prices to go sky high quickly.

    Government creates inefficiencies by simply being not driven by a profit motive–no incentive to be efficient.

    adn again for the 100th time, most universal systems cover everyone at half the cost per capita. so which system is more efficient. your reasoning makes it sound like the univeral systems should costs twice as much as ours but they don’t.

    Find a “universal system” which covers everyone at half the price and is based on private health insurance.

    And BTW, I’m only saying costs will skyrocket if universal coverage is based largely on private insurance, not government based. I don’t know how many different ways I can say that, but eventually I hope that sinks in.

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  183. 183

    By pfft @ 180:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 175:
    RE: pfft @ 173 – It lowers the deficit by transferring the costs to insurance companies, who in turn transfer the costs to the insured. You could also lower the deficit by requiring that insurance companies fund the military, but that wouldn’t mean we would be paying less for the military.

    It’s not going to reduce the net amount paid for medical insurance in this country. The effect will be exactly the opposite, in a big way.

    nope, studies show it’s bends the cost curve. the mandate means everyone pays into the system so insurance companies can spread costs. the insurance companies wanted the mandate so people wouldn’t get insurance until they were sick which would raise their costs.

    are you for getting rid of the employer based system too? that mandates if a business wants a tax break their insurance plan must cover everyone. lots of people wouldn’t have insurance otherwise.

    First, I assume the studies you’re referencing but not cited just look at government costs, and not total costs, as was the case with the other studies you’ve actually cited. If there were such studies they would be completely underestimating the inflation that will occur in the system. You can get to any result by plugging in an unrealistic assumption.

    Second, while there would be costs savings from people going to a doctor earlier, IMHO that will be minuscule compared to the inflation in the overall system.

    As to employer based plans, what I’m against is tax policies that encourage more insurance than what would be otherwise optimal. That leads to more inflation in health care. If more employees were given a choice of their health care packages (e.g. a higher deductible plan, which would allow them more disability insurance), we would be in a better position. The employer plans you favor are the reason others cannot afford health care or health insurance. If you had even a basic grasp of microeconomics, you would understand that.

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  184. 184

    I guess Europe and the U.S. are virtually identical after all! ;-)

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2013031779_euro30.html

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  185. 185

    Thank you Senate Democrats and President Obama. I wanted to pay 16% more for my health insurance to help reduce the national debt. Thank you!

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/427628_regence29.html

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  186. 186

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 185

    Like I Blogged Earlier

    When I get the mandatory LTC insurance rates matrix [with the default government plan costs] I’ll pass ‘em on to the bubble bloggers….these are just documented numbers and costs we’re all stuck with for 2014, no politics….unless the states fighting mandatory insurance against the government win their lawsuits…LOL

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  187. 187

    http://www.chcf.org/resources/download.aspx?id=%7b75CFA900-7853-482A-8ACB-EB0AFCE796A5%7d

    This PDF is a great source of information, and clearly shows the problems that too much insurance has caused.

    Page 3, National Health Spending (NHS) has gone from $1,353B in 2000 to $2,339B in 2008.
    Page 4, NHS has gone from 13.6% of GDP in 2000, to 16.2% in 2008.
    Page 5, Per capita NHS has gone from $4,789 in 2000, to $7,681 in 2008 (clearly not enough insurance).
    Page 7, of the developed countries, the US spends much more on NHS, and is the only country where over half the spending is private (mainly insurance).
    Page 15, insurance company spending in 2008 exceeded Medicare and Medicaid combined. Private spending exceeded government spending.
    Page 20, annual growth rates in NHS.
    Page 21, annual growth rates of NHS versus inflation.
    Page 22, annual growth rates of NHS versus change in GDP.
    Page 24, annual growth rates for per enrollee spending by Medicare and Health insurance (the latter was higher for most of this century).
    Page 25, increase in per capita NHS since 1970 vs CPI (NHS is over 21X more than 1970, while the CPI is less than 6X).
    Page 26, prescription drugs by source of payment (mainly insurance since 1995).
    Page 28, Annual out of pocket spending per person (as a percentage of total spending, it has been declining, from 22% in 1990 to 14% in 2008)

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  188. 188

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 185:

    Thank you Senate Democrats and President Obama. I wanted to pay 16% more for my health insurance to help reduce the national debt. Thank you!

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/427628_regence29.html

    Regence has raised their premiums by double digits four years in a row. So why is their raising premiums this year the fault of Obama and Senate Democrats?

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  189. 189

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 188 – First, health care costs have gone up significantly during those years. So no matter what there would have been some increase in premiums. As to the current increase, Obamacare isn’t the only cause, but it is the reason the increase is so high.

    Second, the state has required the insurance companies to allow un-screened applicants into the system for at least 5 years, and those unscreened applicants have more pre-existing conditions than the screened applicants, and cost the insurance companies more money. That requires them to raise rates in excess of the rate of increase of health care costs generally. Basically the state had a more limited form of Obamacare in effect (it applied mainly only to those losing employer insurance).

    Third, Obamacare could have stopped the adverse effects on the insurance pool (of both it and the state) by not delaying the mandated coverage to 2014. That would have had other adverse effects, but it would at least reduce the pre-existing condition effect.

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  190. 190

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 189
    Thanks, that makes sense.
    Politics is messy. If Obama had been more forceful and uncompromising, he might have been able to not have the 2014 implementation date. But he was so eager to get Republican support ( which he didn’t even get) that the final bill came out as something that might be worse than nothing at all.
    In a sense, Obamacare isn’t even Obamacare. it’s not what he was originally proposing, but he was so eager to see something passed it didn’t matter how bad the final bill looked.

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  191. 191
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 187

    You continue to make arguments in favor of single payer health insurance managed by government. This is what Obama should have asked for, but he needed to get something, anything passed.

    The history of health care is much more impoertant when you look at it from a cost perspective. The cost of health care is what keep insurance companies increasing rates. The costs increase, as you say, because people only budget the premium payments. That in turn drives up the cost of the premiums.

    It will never end until the government steps in to stop it. This is a classic example of where our government needs to protect us.

    The very idea that private health insurance will some how, on it’s own, decide to provide health care is ridiculous. Why would they? How can private health insurance turn to it’s stock holders, and say they will forego profits, even for a quarter, in order to deal with an epidemic? They won’t, they can’t.

    Private Health Insurance is completely out of control because the system has to raise costs in order toraise premiums. Every one in the system makes money, and people die.

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  192. 192

    By David Losh @ 191:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 187 – You continue to make arguments in favor of single payer health insurance managed by government. This is what Obama should have asked for, but he needed to get something, anything passed.

    I would disagree he needed to get anything passed. That would be like saying you needed to buy a house, and therefore it was acceptable that the house you bought was contaminated with mold and infested by termites. Something needed to be done, but Obamacare was worse than doing nothing.

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  193. 193

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 192

    Health Care Reform is Adding Massive Unpaid Patient Load

    Much of it is massively increased Medicaid and Medicare was coming on strong anyway, with massive Baby Boomer retirements. Many doctors are not taking on Medicaid or Medicare patients anymore, they’re a huge loss.

    Either the health care workers take a massive butcher axing in salaries, or Obamacare isn’t going to work. Its that simple.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68T67120100930

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  194. 194

    RE: softwarengineer @ 193 – The shortage of doctors, when combined with the shift in the demand curve, is part of what will cause costs to skyrocket. Of course the AMA is okay with that.

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  195. 195
    Bob Pishue says:

    Some other interesting figures to think about in this debate:

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/368/2008-nhirc-report-card.pdf

    According to the AMA – Medicare has (or had) a higher denial rate than any private insurer in this study. See metric 12 in the link above. To save you some eye-strain Medicare had a 6.85% denial rate in comparison to the highest denial rate (Aetna 6.8%). But as you can see, the average of the private insurers is somewhere around 3.5%. — Pretty decent.

    Again in 2009:

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/368/2009-nhirc-short.pdf

    Metric 12 shows that Medicare in 2009 denied 4% of claims. This was the 2nd highest in comparison to the private insurers listed. You can see that while improvement happened in Medicare, it does not beat out Aetna’s improvement to ~1.8%

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  196. 196
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 194RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 192

    Not so. The attempt at government health care started way before Nixon, but Nixon did put in place the frame work for Public Health.

    It goes back to the 1920s. Many Presidents have tried to get anything passed, but the insurance industry is powerful. Carter tried to get something passed, and Kennedy blocked it. Reagan killed any chance, but Clinton tried to revive it. Bush had his own plan, but was weak, and side tracked.

    We’re discussing Health Care.

    Without legislation in place most people wouldn’t care, most people wouldn’t be engaged. Like the few million people who are in awe of the wealth insurance companies create, most people give insurance companies money, and are grateful for the table scraps they throw them, until the end of life. Then, and only then, do you see the health insurance industry.

    We don’t have doctors because you have to be wealthy to be able to afford to be a doctor. What is the number of wealthy people in the United States? 1%? Then you would have to find a per cent of those wealthy who would be willing to work; slim pickins.

    We need to give free education to the people, globally, who have an aptitude for science, math, and medicine. We have to stop playing these stupid games of borrowing for the important work that needs to be done. We all pay the ultimate price for such short sighted robbery.

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  197. 197

    By David Losh @ 196:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 194RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 192

    Not so. The attempt at government health care started way before Nixon, but Nixon did put in place the frame work for Public Health..

    . . .

    We don’t have doctors because you have to be wealthy to be able to afford to be a doctor. .

    As to the first part, I’m not sure what I said in either post that even applied to that history lesson.

    As to the second part, the flow of doctors is effectively restricted by the AMA through medical schools. You could say the same thing about lawyers and the ABA, although their control isn’t as great (e.g. in CA you don’t need to have gone to an accredited law school to take the bar exam).

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  198. 198
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 181:

    By pfft @ 178:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 176:
    RE: pfft @ 172 – You argue that in providing health care the government is the most efficient, and simultaneously argue for more insurance (Obamacare)? Don’t you realize those two things are exactly the opposite?

    The reason we spend so much in the US on health care is health insurance! It increases the demand for services in an area with limited services.

    the problem isn’t too much insurance when we have 40,000 people a year dying due to lack of insurance. the problem is lack of insurance and a private system that doesn’t want to cover everyone. you save when you cover everyone. that’s shown in every developed country. it’s not just costs. it’s people dying. I don’t know how less insurance would help. that’s bizarre.

    You think it’s bizarre because you have no understanding at all of microeconomics.

    What is your explanation for why the inflation for health care has been much higher than the inflation for the general economy? The answer is insurance, but I want to know what you think it is if it is not insurance.

    again. what you are saying is there is too much demand. again, everyone is covered in europe and healthcare costs per capita are 1/2 our.

    healthcare just isn’t about costs. healthcare companies only want to cover people who don’t need coverage. everyone else is a money loser.

    your point is mute because people have been losing coverage by the millions yet there is still a crisis.

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  199. 199
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 185:

    Thank you Senate Democrats and President Obama. I wanted to pay 16% more for my health insurance to help reduce the national debt. Thank you!

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/427628_regence29.html

    your insurance was going up anyway.

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  200. 200

    By pfft @ 199:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 185:
    Thank you Senate Democrats and President Obama. I wanted to pay 16% more for my health insurance to help reduce the national debt. Thank you!

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/427628_regence29.html

    your insurance was going up anyway.

    Yes, and I’ve mentioned several of the reasons for that. This though is a rather large increase, and unless Obamacare is repealed, the increase next year will even be more (unless Regence stops writing new policies).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  201. 201
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 200:

    By pfft @ 199:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 185:
    Thank you Senate Democrats and President Obama. I wanted to pay 16% more for my health insurance to help reduce the national debt. Thank you!

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/427628_regence29.html

    your insurance was going up anyway.

    Yes, and I’ve mentioned several of the reasons for that. This though is a rather large increase, and unless Obamacare is repealed, the increase next year will even be more (unless Regence stops writing new policies).

    it’s not that much though. it’s less than 1%. over the years it will bring costs down.

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  202. 202
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 197

    This is getting to be absurd. Every one, every administration, has tried, in one way or another to get a Health Care program in place in the United States. Obama is the only one who has succeeded. The nuts, and bolts make no difference at this point, a frame work is in place.

    You can give Regency the gift of cash if you really want to, but that is a dead deal, never to be revived at this point. The bottom line is that we should be discussing improving, and funding Public Health.

    We need doctors, it’s a matter of life, and death. We don’t need lawyers. Most countries have a program in place to get people with an aptitude for health sciences educated. We don’t, because we don’t care. We are more focused on the economics of health care than getting health care.

    We don’t, yet, have health care in the United States. We have an economic machine, based on the pain, and suffering of people. We have health care only for the wealthy here. You pay your premiums and get nothing.

    At least today we have a chance to put a health care system in place. The dam has been broken. Hopefully in twenty years private health insurance will only be a story used to scare small children.

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  203. 203

    By David Losh @ 202:

    Hopefully in twenty years private health insurance will only be a story used to scare small children.

    And when that day comes, The Tim will move health care back into the mainstream threads because the story will be that Obamacare caused 25%+ increases in health care expenditures for 5+ years, and that caused the economy to collapse, reducing the median house price in Seattle to $25,000. ;-)

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  204. 204
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 203:

    By David Losh @ 202:
    Hopefully in twenty years private health insurance will only be a story used to scare small children.

    And when that day comes, The Tim will move health care back into the mainstream threads because the story will be that Obamacare caused 25%+ increases in health care expenditures for 5+ years, and that caused the economy to collapse, reducing the median house price in Seattle to $25,000. ;-)

    you still don’t get that obamacare will lower costs do you?

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  205. 205

    RE: pfft @ 204 – You still don’t get that it will increase total spending in this country. The only costs it will reduce are government expenditures, because they push those expenditures away from government entities and onto private entities (e.g. insurance companies, employers, etc.).

    If you had even a minuscule understanding of microeconomics you would understand how adding more health insurance (of the traditional type) is inflationary,

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  206. 206

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 205
    I guess the big question for me is whether the legislation passed is better than doing nothing, and my opinion is yes, because it can be amended, and is a foot in the door.
    If I were the czar on this, i would have required that everyone have insurance, but I would have mandated only that catastrophic coverage be required. I wouldn’t have allowed until 2014 to enact it, and just for good measure and for entertainment purposes only would have a had just a few televised public executions of some insurance and pharmaceutical company CEOs. We could tell the insurance company CEOs that their policy doesn’t exempt them from execution, that it wasn’t in their policy and they should have known that if they’d read the fine print, and the pharma CEOs we could inject with some of their own products.

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  207. 207

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 206 – I don’t really buy the amendment argument, because if a change could pass through an amendment, it could pass on its own without this legislation. The Senate rules would still be applicable to any amendments to the legislation at this point. And in fact, the Senate rules are applicable to its repeal. That means that when this legislation proves to be as disastrous as I’m claiming, we’ll need to get 60 Senators to vote to repeal or amend it. I don’t see how that’s a good thing.

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  208. 208

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 207
    I think the strategy was something like ” We can get this POS passed right now, but come November ’10, the Republicans will be on the endangered species list and we’ll be able to amend this to what we originally wanted.”
    I consider myself independent, but more frequently vote for the Democrat rather than the Republican, due to my left wing tendencies, but I’ve got deep mistrust and dislike for a lot of elected officials of both parties.
    I don’t think I’m alone. I don’t like or agree with the tea party folks, but I understand here they’re coming from. Way too may politicians of both parties are bought and paid for, and are self serving douchebags.

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  209. 209

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 208 – That all sounds reasonable, including the part where Ds would think that Rs would be an endangered species in an off year election. History says just the opposite, but history also says you shouldn’t run a VP for President (reference to Gore who the Ds thought was a shoe-in because Bush had won as a VP). It’s not unreasonable to think the Ds didn’t know that when they passed the health care bill.

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  210. 210
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 205:

    RE: pfft @ 204 – You still don’t get that it will increase total spending in this country. The only costs it will reduce are government expenditures, because they push those expenditures away from government entities and onto private entities (e.g. insurance companies, employers, etc.).

    If you had even a minuscule understanding of microeconomics you would understand how adding more health insurance (of the traditional type) is inflationary,

    in the short-term. in the long term it saves money. your private system is still twice as expensive as government.

    I also have a newsflash, healthcare companies don’t pay a whole lot to contain costs. it’s less expensive to just pay them out.

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  211. 211
    pfft says:

    he nation’s health care tab will go up – not down – as a result of President Barack Obama’s sweeping overhaul. That’s the conclusion of a government forecast Thursday, which also predicts the increase will be modest.

    The average annual growth in health care spending will be just two-tenths of 1 percentage point higher through 2019 with Obama’s remake, said the analysis from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary. And that’s with more than 32 million uninsured gaining coverage because of the new law.

    Health Care Spending Will Increase After Overhaul, But Not By Much
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/09/health-care-overhaul-will_n_710225.html

    not much of an increase at all. barely noticeable.

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  212. 212
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 211

    Whoa, baby! Let’s go back, back to that pre-election fantasy where single payer would cut costs significantly while everybody got the coverage and care they needed. Then as the bill was passed the line was that it would take time, but total expenditures- and the deficit- would be reduced and everyone covered. After the bill was passed- and Nancy Pelosi and others were finally able to read it- it looked like costs would eventually level out at close to current expenditures, but everyone would be covered.

    Now you’re telling me the line is that costs “will only increase a bit” while we know that actually not everyone will be covered. And some of those who are covered won’t be able to find anyone to provide services for what the government is willing to pay. The FAIL is slowly being revealed. What we need is repeal.

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  213. 213

    “Let’s go back, back to that pre-election fantasy where single payer would cut costs significantly while everybody got the coverage and care they needed.’

    Who knows? We didn’t get single payer. It just might have cut costs.
    Obama bent over backwards to try to get Republican support, and is practically guaranteeing insurance company profits. One helluva socialist.

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  214. 214
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 212:

    RE: pfft @ 211

    Whoa, baby! Let’s go back, back to that pre-election fantasy where single payer would cut costs significantly while everybody got the coverage and care they needed. Then as the bill was passed the line was that it would take time, but total expenditures- and the deficit- would be reduced and everyone covered. After the bill was passed- and Nancy Pelosi and others were finally able to read it- it looked like costs would eventually level out at close to current expenditures, but everyone would be covered.

    Now you’re telling me the line is that costs “will only increase a bit” while we know that actually not everyone will be covered. And some of those who are covered won’t be able to find anyone to provide services for what the government is willing to pay. The FAIL is slowly being revealed. What we need is repeal.

    repeal will never happen. healthcare is still going to subtract from the deficit, that’s a proven fact. these studies just account for direct healthcare spending. secondary spending(disability and etc.) will further add to healthcare savings.

    for a .2% increase in spending we’ll cover millions of people and save tens of thousands of lives.

    WIN!

    do you support the republican plan of repeal scotsman?

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  215. 215
    David Losh says:

    Health Care is a trillion dollar industry, $2.3 trillion in 2008, http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue-Modules/US-Health-Care-Costs/Background-Brief.aspx

    We can’t afford it, nor the yearly cost increases. A single payer program would have put us at par with costs, but the costs would continue to rise. Republicans talking about repealing Health Care Reform better have something to flop out onto the table before they start. They don’t have a clue what to do, but I wanted to put the flopping thing out there.

    Republicans have been lost since Reagan. The two Bushes are idiots. Republicans have two things that keep them elected, abortion, and gun rights.

    Gore, doing OK headed into election, made an assault weapons speech that sounded like continuing the ban. Kerry was very clear he thought the assault weapon ban was a good thing. Obama never made guns, or abortion, a campaign talking point. His biggest mistake to date, and it may cost him the next election, is that he never rebuffed President Calderon’s claims that assault weapons, from the United States were to blame for drug violence.

    That’s it. Republicans have nothing.

    What will happen is a resurgence of Public Health. Watch for it, and listen more carefully to the discussions. Cancer was a Nixon era agenda. The frame work has been in place, but it got a little lost with the drug company money.

    Our government is again taking center stage in the fight for health. In my opinion they will win out in the end.

    Health is not an economic issue, Insurance is.

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  216. 216
    pfft says:

    By David Losh @ 215:

    Health Care is a trillion dollar industry, $2.3 trillion in 2008, http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue-Modules/US-Health-Care-Costs/Background-Brief.aspx

    We can’t afford it, nor the yearly cost increases. A single payer program would have put us at par with costs, but the costs would continue to rise. Republicans talking about repealing Health Care Reform better have something to flop out onto the table before they start. They don’t have a clue what to do, but I wanted to put the flopping thing out there.

    Republicans have been lost since Reagan. The two Bushes are idiots. Republicans have two things that keep them elected, abortion, and gun rights.

    Gore, doing OK headed into election, made an assault weapons speech that sounded like continuing the ban. Kerry was very clear he thought the assault weapon ban was a good thing. Obama never made guns, or abortion, a campaign talking point. His biggest mistake to date, and it may cost him the next election, is that he never rebuffed President Calderon’s claims that assault weapons, from the United States were to blame for drug violence.

    That’s it. Republicans have nothing.

    What will happen is a resurgence of Public Health. Watch for it, and listen more carefully to the discussions. Cancer was a Nixon era agenda. The frame work has been in place, but it got a little lost with the drug company money.

    Our government is again taking center stage in the fight for health. In my opinion they will win out in the end.

    Health is not an economic issue, Insurance is.

    bush 41 was actually a pretty good president compared to reagan and W.

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  217. 217
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 216

    No he wasn’t.

    He ignored, and rebuked Saddam Hussein’s claim that there was slant drilling from Kuwait. Saddam wanted to go to the International Court, and Bush closed that door by belittling our former ally against Iran. Saddam invaded, and claimed Kuwait. Bush put together a failed, very failed, military response then left the region.

    The cost has never been covered, and the whole thing was swept under the rug until Bush Light. Now we have no way to pay for that whole mess.

    Reagan was one of the greatest Presidents we ever had, Clinton was also good, but he followed an economic frame work Reagan outlined. Reagan also brought us world peace, just for a moment, and Clinton capitalized on that peace dividend.

    Of course I voted for the Bushes in all elections, so I’m as much to blame as anybody.

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  218. 218
    pfft says:

    By David Losh @ 217:

    RE: pfft @ 216

    No he wasn’t.

    He ignored, and rebuked Saddam Hussein’s claim that there was slant drilling from Kuwait. Saddam wanted to go to the International Court, and Bush closed that door by belittling our former ally against Iran. Saddam invaded, and claimed Kuwait. Bush put together a failed, very failed, military response then left the region.

    The cost has never been covered, and the whole thing was swept under the rug until Bush Light. Now we have no way to pay for that whole mess.

    Reagan was one of the greatest Presidents we ever had, Clinton was also good, but he followed an economic frame work Reagan outlined. Reagan also brought us world peace, just for a moment, and Clinton capitalized on that peace dividend.

    Of course I voted for the Bushes in all elections, so I’m as much to blame as anybody.

    reagan is terribly overrated. he wasn’t a good president.

    saddam was crazy and bush rightly kicked him out of kuwait. we didn’t leave. we still had resources there. we had a no-fly zone covering a large part of Iraq remember?

    “Bush put together a failed, very failed, military response then left the region.”

    really? saddam was boxed in and was a non-factor after the first gulf war. his military got pounded. the second gulf war proved what a good decision 41 made. even cheney didn’t want to go to baghdad. I am a youngin and even I remember that war.

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  219. 219
    pfft says:

    Reagan was one of the greatest Presidents we ever had, Clinton was also good, but he followed an economic frame work Reagan outlined.

    yes and no. both raised taxes and created a boom! however only clinton kept spending in check and reduced GDP. in that respect reagan was a failure like W. both greatly increased the deficit with their failed supply-side economics.

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  220. 220

    RE: pfft @ 211 – Nice try, but that report has so many disclaimers, it’s ridiculous, including: “Because the purpose of this exercise is to isolate that legislation’s impact, no updates have been made to the macroeconomic and demographic assumptions that underlie the baseline projections.”

    Also: “Consistent with all past iterations of the national health spending projections, these projections remain subject to substantial uncertainty. Little historical precedent exists for how the health system reforms will operate in practice; how individuals, families, and businesses will respond to the new requirements and financial incentives; or how the effects of coverage changes will affect personal health spending. Moreover, supply-side impacts, such as behavioral changes on the part of providers in reaction to an influx of new prospective patients as a result of the Affordable Care Act, cannot be estimated with any certainty at this time.”

    So basically, this is a study that is based on factors that cannot be determined “with any certainty” and excluded all of the factors I’m bringing up.

    http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/reprint/hlthaff.2010.0788v2.pdf

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  221. 221
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 220:

    RE: pfft @ 211 – Nice try, but that report has so many disclaimers, it’s ridiculous, including: “Because the purpose of this exercise is to isolate that legislationâ��s impact, no updates have been made to the macroeconomic and demographic assumptions that underlie the baseline projections.”

    Also: “Consistent with all past iterations of the national health spending projections, these projections remain subject to substantial uncertainty. Little historical precedent exists for how the health system reforms will operate in practice; how individuals, families, and businesses will respond to the new requirements and financial incentives; or how the effects of coverage changes will affect personal health spending. Moreover, supply-side impacts, such as behavioral changes on the part of providers in reaction to an influx of new prospective patients as a result of the Affordable Care Act, cannot be estimated with any certainty at this time.”

    So basically, this is a study that is based on factors that cannot be determined “with any certainty” and excluded all of the factors I’m bringing up.

    http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/reprint/hlthaff.2010.0788v2.pdf

    well heatlhcare costs haven’t skyrocketed so I guess they were right?

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  222. 222

    RE: pfft @ 221 – In what, the 20 days that the law has been effective for a small minority of the population? Even if prices had skyrocketed in that time, we’d be unlikely to know it.

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  223. 223
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 222:

    RE: pfft @ 221 – In what, the 20 days that the law has been effective for a small minority of the population? Even if prices had skyrocketed in that time, we’d be unlikely to know it.

    krismer vs. krismer.

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 185:

    Thank you Senate Democrats and President Obama. I wanted to pay 16% more for my health insurance to help reduce the national debt. Thank you!

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/427628_regence29.html

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  224. 224
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 218

    You’re missing the first part about slant drilling.

    Prove any one has the right to kick Iraq out of Kuwait. Get a clue about the Middle East before you defend Bush the 1st. He is a horribly twisted individual.

    Saddam was our ally. We supported him, sold him weapons. After the Iranian Revolution, and all through the Reagan era we supported Saddam’s fight with Iran. Bush, however had an agenda. I have no doubt in my mind about the claim Saddam was making that the United States had designs on his country’s oil. Several proposals were made for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, but Bush wanted oil. Bush wanted control of the region. Bush made a mess, that again, is not paid for.

    The Republicans have nothing to offer the American people. They have no plan, they have done nothing to improve the quality of life for the American people. If you truly want to take Reagan out of the Republican equation then they truly have nothing to show for years of whining.

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  225. 225
    pfft says:

    By David Losh @ 224:

    RE: pfft @ 218

    You’re missing the first part about slant drilling.

    Prove any one has the right to kick Iraq out of Kuwait.

    I am sure the Kuwaiti’s did.

    “Several proposals were made for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait, but Bush wanted oil.”

    how about saddam never going to kuwait in the first place? it’s Iraq’s fault and nobody else’s.

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  226. 226
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 225

    Sorry, not even a discussion. Bush the 1st was an embarrassment. He went after Saddam the way he went after Noriega. Bush was looking for conflict. He also gave us the New World Order Speech. Look it up, he did so much damage, that cost us so much money, it really isn’t even a discussion.

    What I will give you today is that Greece announced they will repay debt ahead of schedule. Austerity must be working some place.

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  227. 227

    RE: pfft @ 223 – There are two things going on.

    First, there are the changes to pre-existing conditions. Those are happening right now for sub-groups of the population, and mean that even with current health care costs at the provider level staying the same, and not skyrocketing, insurance costs would rise. Thus, if a chemo treatment cost $2,000 a year ago, and costs $2,000 today, the cost of insurance would still rise if you let a lot of people into the insurance fund that need that chemo treatment. The more people with pre-existing conditions they think they have to let in, the more they will raise insurance rates even with costs the same. Part of that is Obamacare.

    Second, as to the insurance rate itself, Regence does to some extent try to need to predict where costs will go, because these are their rates for the next year. To the extent Regence thinks the provider costs will go up more in the coming year, they do need to provide for that in their rate increase. Part of that could be Obamacare.

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  228. 228

    Here’s a good example in another area of someone not paying to protect against a risk and then wanting to pay after the fact. I’d heard about the “no pay, no spray” type policies before, but it seldom makes the news.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/ns/us_news-life/

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  229. 229
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 228RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 227

    This thread is like a step back in time. pre existing conditions are always the cop out for the insurance company and the main reason they need to be removed from the process of Health.

    You’re old, I’m old, and that’s a pre existing condition. You are probably unaware of the DNA debate concerning pre existing conditions, or the people prone to certain types of cancers.

    As your next comment illustrates, we need to get every body on the list.

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  230. 230
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 228:

    Here’s a good example in another area of someone not paying to protect against a risk and then wanting to pay after the fact. I’d heard about the “no pay, no spray” type policies before, but it seldom makes the news.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/ns/us_news-life/

    that’s why buying insurance is mandated.

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  231. 231

    By pfft @ 230:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 228:
    Here’s a good example in another area of someone not paying to protect against a risk and then wanting to pay after the fact. I’d heard about the “no pay, no spray” type policies before, but it seldom makes the news.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/ns/us_news-life/

    that’s why buying insurance is mandated.

    Not until 2014. A lot can happen in three or four years, little of it good. By 2015 news reports about health care will probably be using the term “perfect storm.”

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  232. 232

    RE: David Losh @ 229 – What we need to do is get politicians to quit thinking that insurance money is free money.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  233. 233

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 232

    Yes Kary

    I’d add too that much of Health Reform is adding on more Medicaid per attached article in part:

    “…Both the House and Senate health care bills would increase health insurance coverage principally by expanding the federal–state Medicaid program. In fact, depending on the version enacted, the Medicaid expansion would account for between three-fifths and four-fifths of the projected reduction in the uninsured population under the legislation….”

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/01/Expanding-Medicaid-The-Real-Costs-to-the-States

    Couple this reality with doctors pulling out of Medicaid/Medicare; because it only covers a fraction of the costs, article in part:

    “…In passing Obamacare, Congress has put the states in quite a pickle. To sharply expand health coverage, Obamacare flung wide the gates of Medicaid eligibility. It envisions a massive expansion of the federal-state health program that, historically, delivers low-quality care to low-income Americans.

    Not a smart move.

    States were already struggling to meet their share of Medicaid program costs—even though Medicaid payments to providers often don’t even cover the cost of care. And, due to the inadequate reimbursement rates, more and more doctors were already refusing to accept new Medicaid patients…”

    http://fixhealthcarepolicy.com/tag/medicaid-expansion/

    Kary, I work as a volunteer board member for a medical service company and can tell you; many older doctors are looking to retire fast before the manure hits the fan….and expecting new doctors to go to college and take on like $250K college loans to eventually treat a deluge of patients at part cost is simply ludicrous. Expecting private insurance companies to up rates to cover the Medicare/Medicaid deluge is a hidden tax and again, totally ludicrous.

    With the way we’re building hospitals like mad in the Seattle area, it make me think we’re going to have another massive commercial vacancy rate hitting the area, caused by lack of funds to pay going medical personnel salaries to work in the empty hospitals. Health care reform or no health care reform.

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  234. 234
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 231:

    By pfft @ 230:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 228:
    Here’s a good example in another area of someone not paying to protect against a risk and then wanting to pay after the fact. I’d heard about the “no pay, no spray” type policies before, but it seldom makes the news.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/ns/us_news-life/

    that’s why buying insurance is mandated.

    Not until 2014. A lot can happen in three or four years, little of it good. By 2015 news reports about health care will probably be using the term “perfect storm.”

    people aren’t getting free insurance. they have to pay. the proof is in the numbers. healthcare costs went up very little.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  235. 235

    By pfft @ 234:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 231:
    By pfft @ 230:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 228:
    Here’s a good example in another area of someone not paying to protect against a risk and then wanting to pay after the fact. I’d heard about the “no pay, no spray” type policies before, but it seldom makes the news.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/ns/us_news-life/

    that’s why buying insurance is mandated.

    Not until 2014. A lot can happen in three or four years, little of it good. By 2015 news reports about health care will probably be using the term “perfect storm.”

    people aren’t getting free insurance. they have to pay. the proof is in the numbers. healthcare costs went up very little.

    But for those with pre-existing conditions they generally pay less than what they take out. That’s part of what drives up insurance costs.

    Once someone has insurance of a “traditional” type (low deductibles and co-pays) they spend more than they would otherwise. And the more that have insurance, the more that do that. That’s part of drives up health care costs.

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  236. 236
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 231

    Absolutely. We are in the eye of the perfect storm.

    Everybody has an agenda. I was talking with a non profit consultant the other day who is married to a Public Health Administrator. Everything’s fine until I mention drug company trials at Public Health Clinics. I personally think it’s a conflict, and steering health care toward medication. It’s a cost, a rising cost.

    Health Insurance doesn’t care about rising costs, they are allowed to raise rates. There is no mechanism in place to hold costs down. The entire system is set up for rising costs. If costs don’t rise, or if the go down, then a lot of people lose money. Stock holders will lose money.

    The debate that makes sense is that government operates under the same principle. Cost go up, and taxes go up. Budgets increase according to how much money is spent. Now how is that working? Aren’t people screaming that we need to cut budgets? Don’t we need to cut government spending?

    With Insurance we have no say. There is no over sight, there are no market conditions, there is no regulatory body that can force spending cuts. Software Engineer is right, we have a ton of hospitals. Doctors come out of medical school $500K in debt. $250K if you get scholarships. The cost to even keep the heat on, or to pay a wage to doctors, is astronomical. The sheer cost of supporting the bloated system, that essentially does nothing but sell expensive procedures, and medications, is a trillion dollars.

    Anyway you slice it, Health Insurance is just a drain on company, and personal finances. We can see the money churning, we can see the jobs, we can call it economy, but it’s killing us. It is the perfect storm.

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  237. 237
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 235

    The pre existing condition debate is moot. It can only go so far. People have to be treated.

    Health isn’t a crap shoot. It isn’t paying the $200 a month for car insurance, or $100 for home owner’s insurance, it’s a $1000 a month for crap, that turns into a constant debate.

    There are people who pay $350 in a company plan that die every day because no one will take responsibility, liability, or they just don’t want to pay the cost.

    The pre existing condition clause is just another way to avoid payment for a claim. If it were, like you want to believe, that it were just people rushing in to buy insurance because they were sick, it wouldn’t be a debate.

    Actually it’s neither here nor there. People have to be covered no matter what. We all pay, no matter what. Emergency room, clinic, Medicaid, Medicare, we all pay. What we should not be paying for is actuaries who are paid to deny claims.

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  238. 238
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 235:

    By pfft @ 234:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 231:
    By pfft @ 230:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 228:
    Here’s a good example in another area of someone not paying to protect against a risk and then wanting to pay after the fact. I’d heard about the “no pay, no spray” type policies before, but it seldom makes the news.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/ns/us_news-life/

    that’s why buying insurance is mandated.

    Not until 2014. A lot can happen in three or four years, little of it good. By 2015 news reports about health care will probably be using the term “perfect storm.”

    people aren’t getting free insurance. they have to pay. the proof is in the numbers. healthcare costs went up very little.

    But for those with pre-existing conditions they generally pay less than what they take out. That’s part of what drives up insurance costs.

    Once someone has insurance of a “traditional” type (low deductibles and co-pays) they spend more than they would otherwise. And the more that have insurance, the more that do that. That’s part of drives up health care costs.

    so people who can’t get coverage should just die because that’s the system you want. 40,000 people each year die because of lack of health insurance and that seems to be just fine with you.

    it’s only 4 years.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  239. 239

    By David Losh @ 237:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 235 – The pre existing condition debate is moot. It can only go so far. People have to be treated.
    . . .
    The pre existing condition clause is just another way to avoid payment for a claim. If it were, like you want to believe, that it were just people rushing in to buy insurance because they were sick, it wouldn’t be a debate.

    When 200 people with a $2,000 a month treatment get insurance, but only pay $300 a month, what do you think that does to rates?

    It issue isn’t treating them, the issue is what group of people pays for the treatment. Forcing small groups (insured under various company policies) to pay for it is not only unfair, but it results in their paying more for those than under any other system.

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  240. 240

    By pfft @ 238:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 235:
    By pfft @ 234:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 231:
    By pfft @ 230:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 228:
    Here’s a good example in another area of someone not paying to protect against a risk and then wanting to pay after the fact. I’d heard about the “no pay, no spray” type policies before, but it seldom makes the news.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/ns/us_news-life/

    that’s why buying insurance is mandated.

    Not until 2014. A lot can happen in three or four years, little of it good. By 2015 news reports about health care will probably be using the term “perfect storm.”

    people aren’t getting free insurance. they have to pay. the proof is in the numbers. healthcare costs went up very little.

    But for those with pre-existing conditions they generally pay less than what they take out. That’s part of what drives up insurance costs.

    Once someone has insurance of a “traditional” type (low deductibles and co-pays) they spend more than they would otherwise. And the more that have insurance, the more that do that. That’s part of drives up health care costs.

    so people who can’t get coverage should just die because that’s the system you want. 40,000 people each year die because of lack of health insurance and that seems to be just fine with you.

    it’s only 4 years.

    That’s probably better than 500,000 people losing health care coverage because adding the 40,000 people would raise the rates so much that they had to drop out. But there are other alternatives, such as government paying for the treatment.

    What you don’t seem to realize is that government requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions is just a tax. They are taking something government should pay for, and requiring that another entity pay for it, and that those subscribing to that entity’s services fund it.

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  241. 241
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 239

    You’re still trying to cling to private health insurance as a viable option. It’s moot, done, over, forget about it. You keep making arguments pointing out the fact that the costs are out of any one’s control.

    People have to be treated. Pre existing conditions have to be treated. That’s why we have the emergency room laws. Doctors have to treat people. If doctors, or hospitals don’t treat people, and they die, it’s murder.

    AIDS is the pre existing condition of focus. It bankrupted health care insurance. They will never recover.

    It’s even worse than that because the costs of health care are so high that your premiums will never cover your care. Even if you double the premiums you pay, it’s still a loss to your health care insurance provider. OK, triple what you pay per month, and maybe, maybe it will be a wash, for you.

    As long as you remain healthy, as long as you demand care, you are a walking loss.

    The secret to my statement is that you don’t get care, you don’t ask for, or get the level of care that you are entitled to, pay for, or should expect. You are making that argument here all the time. You keep saying people shouldn’t go to the doctor. You keep saying people with health insurance don’t see the cost so they go to the doctor too much. I guess you are saying people should just wait until they are really sick before they get care.

    The health insurance industry puts out propaganda every year. They spend millions getting people to pay premiums, and not get services.

    Now do you have any idea how many decades it took to get the medical profession to admit that diet, and exercises were the the cheapest, and easiest way to maintain health? Three decades. The only reason they caved in is after three decades of running up costs AIDS studies proved that diet, and exercises prolonged the life of some people.

    Got to go to work.

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  242. 242

    By David Losh @ 241:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 239 – You’re still trying to cling to private health insurance as a viable option.

    That’s correct in that I don’t have a problem with insurance, but my argument is that you can’t expand insurance to take care of everyone. So largely my arguments are anti-insurance. The more I think about it, the more I’m coming to see the best solution as being more public healthcare and less insurance, but with insurance still available as an option for those that want to pay for it. It’s not a great solution by any means, but it’s the best one I can come up with.

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  243. 243

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39548132/ns/health-the_new_york_times/

    This is mainly of interest because it deals with the McDonalds stories that were floating around. Apparently McDondalds won’t do what they were rumored to do because they will be getting an exemption.

    It also deals somewhat with the issue of child only policies, and just in general how poorly thought out the health care legislation was.

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  244. 244
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/archives/224009.asp

    Well one federal judge apparently thinks that Obamacare’s requirement of buying insurance is constitutional. Note that this is not the judge hearing the case brought by the various AGs.

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  245. 245
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 240:

    By pfft @ 238:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 235:
    By pfft @ 234:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 231:
    By pfft @ 230:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 228:
    Here’s a good example in another area of someone not paying to protect against a risk and then wanting to pay after the fact. I’d heard about the “no pay, no spray” type policies before, but it seldom makes the news.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39516346/ns/us_news-life/

    that’s why buying insurance is mandated.

    Not until 2014. A lot can happen in three or four years, little of it good. By 2015 news reports about health care will probably be using the term “perfect storm.”

    people aren’t getting free insurance. they have to pay. the proof is in the numbers. healthcare costs went up very little.

    But for those with pre-existing conditions they generally pay less than what they take out. That’s part of what drives up insurance costs.

    Once someone has insurance of a “traditional” type (low deductibles and co-pays) they spend more than they would otherwise. And the more that have insurance, the more that do that. That’s part of drives up health care costs.

    so people who can’t get coverage should just die because that’s the system you want. 40,000 people each year die because of lack of health insurance and that seems to be just fine with you.

    it’s only 4 years.

    That’s probably better than 500,000 people losing health care coverage because adding the 40,000 people would raise the rates so much that they had to drop out. But there are other alternatives, such as government paying for the treatment.

    What you don’t seem to realize is that government requiring coverage for pre-existing conditions is just a tax. They are taking something government should pay for, and requiring that another entity pay for it, and that those subscribing to that entity’s services fund it.

    isn’t your whole argument that this is going to sky-rocket premiums so doesn’t that mean that premiums will pay for it? honestly I can’t figure out what you’re saying. we know that to have near universal coverage a study said we’ll add .2% to premiums. well worth it to insure millions.

    “That’s probably better than 500,000 people losing health care coverage because adding the 40,000 people would raise the rates so much that they had to drop out.”

    data please. we aren’t adding 40,000 people, we’re hopefully saving their lives.

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  246. 246
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    RE: pfft @ 245 – The .2% increase to premiums is a fairy tale number. I suspect your looking at government costs or some such thing, or that study that excluded the effects of increasing the number of insured. Increasing the number of insured by millions will cause provider and drug fees to skyrocket. Insurance premiums will have to go up to match. It’s the most expensive way possible to cover everyone because of the way it will affect demand, and because of the way it will be impossible to restrict demand.

    As to the second paragraph, if you’re saving 40,000 lives then you’ll be adding more than 40,000 people to insurance and increasing the costs more than I was anticipating with your hypothetical. What you need to realize is that the money paid out by insurance companies does not just magically appear. It comes from the premiums of those in the same insurance pool. To the extent to mandate coverage of treatments, prevent limitations on maximum payouts, allow people with pre-existing conditions into the pool, the cost of insurance will skyrocket (and that ignore the impact of more insurance on costs, which will also cause it to skyrocket).

    There are two seperate effects working at the same time in the same direction. That’s why insurance rates are going up so much already, and it’s going to get worse, not better.

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  247. 247
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    To channel Pegasus, in auto insurance it’s called fraud, in health care insurance it’s called Obamacare. ;-)

    http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_16271740?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com&nclick_check=1

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  248. 248

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/archives/224089.asp

    Microsoft employees are not happy, but this is the type of change that needs to be done to help keep costs lower. In fact, this is only a move in the right direction, it’s not nearly enough.

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  249. 249
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 246:

    RE: pfft @ 245 – The .2% increase to premiums is a fairy tale number. I suspect your looking at government costs or some such thing, or that study that excluded the effects of increasing the number of insured. Increasing the number of insured by millions will cause provider and drug fees to skyrocket. Insurance premiums will have to go up to match. It’s the most expensive way possible to cover everyone because of the way it will affect demand, and because of the way it will be impossible to restrict demand.

    As to the second paragraph, if you’re saving 40,000 lives then you’ll be adding more than 40,000 people to insurance and increasing the costs more than I was anticipating with your hypothetical. What you need to realize is that the money paid out by insurance companies does not just magically appear. It comes from the premiums of those in the same insurance pool. To the extent to mandate coverage of treatments, prevent limitations on maximum payouts, allow people with pre-existing conditions into the pool, the cost of insurance will skyrocket (and that ignore the impact of more insurance on costs, which will also cause it to skyrocket).

    There are two seperate effects working at the same time in the same direction. That’s why insurance rates are going up so much already, and it’s going to get worse, not better.

    so how much are they going up? you wrote 3 paragraphs and the only thing you really told me is that you don’t believe the study that says heathcare costs will only rise 0.2% to cover millions of people and save hundreds of thousands of lives over the years.

    I ask again, why doesn’t europe who covers everyone have these spiraling costs that you think we will have here. how can europe cover everyone and spend 1/2 per capita compared to the US but if we cover everyone costs will sky-rocket out of control? if your thesis was correct it would be reverse, europe would have costs that were twice the per capita numbers that we have.

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  250. 250

    RE: pfft @ 249 – For the tenth time, there’s a difference between covering people with insurance and covering them through a government program. That’s particularly true when you live in a society where the press and politicians scream whenever insurance companies do things to keep prices in control.

    As to how much they are going to go up, that’s impossible to say. The study you linked to last week said exactly that.

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  251. 251
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 250:

    RE: pfft @ 249 – For the tenth time, there’s a difference between covering people with insurance and covering them through a government program. That’s particularly true when you live in a society where the press and politicians scream whenever insurance companies do things to keep prices in control.

    As to how much they are going to go up, that’s impossible to say. The study you linked to last week said exactly that.

    one of the flaws in your reasoning is that you don’t account for that fact that everyone is sort of already covered. it’s just people go to the emergency where it is much more expensive. it would cost less if we could get people preventative care.

    EDIT: YEAH FIRST REPLY ON PAGE TWO!!!

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  252. 252

    By pfft @ 1:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 250:
    RE: pfft @ 249 – For the tenth time, there’s a difference between covering people with insurance and covering them through a government program. That’s particularly true when you live in a society where the press and politicians scream whenever insurance companies do things to keep prices in control.

    As to how much they are going to go up, that’s impossible to say. The study you linked to last week said exactly that.

    one of the flaws in your reasoning is that you don’t account for that fact that everyone is sort of already covered. it’s just people go to the emergency where it is much more expensive. it would cost less if we could get people preventative care.

    EDIT: YEAH FIRST REPLY ON PAGE TWO!!!

    Just because they charge a lot to go to the emergency room, that doesn’t mean it costs a lot.

    I would agree though that preventative care is a good thing–it doesn’t need to be provided through insurance though, there are other options. That preventative care is largely required in insurance policies now has driven up the cost of insurance, but not necessarily the cost of health care.

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  253. 253
    EconE says:

    Do you have health insurance Pffft?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  254. 254
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 2:

    By pfft @ 1:
    By Kary L. Krismer @ 250:
    RE: pfft @ 249 – For the tenth time, there’s a difference between covering people with insurance and covering them through a government program. That’s particularly true when you live in a society where the press and politicians scream whenever insurance companies do things to keep prices in control.

    As to how much they are going to go up, that’s impossible to say. The study you linked to last week said exactly that.

    one of the flaws in your reasoning is that you don’t account for that fact that everyone is sort of already covered. it’s just people go to the emergency where it is much more expensive. it would cost less if we could get people preventative care.

    EDIT: YEAH FIRST REPLY ON PAGE TWO!!!

    Just because they charge a lot to go to the emergency room, that doesn’t mean it costs a lot.

    I would agree though that preventative care is a good thing–it doesn’t need to be provided through insurance though, there are other options. That preventative care is largely required in insurance policies now has driven up the cost of insurance, but not necessarily the cost of health care.

    ER visits are very expensive. it’s also not wise to treat on-going issues at the ER.

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  255. 255
    pfft says:

    By EconE @ 3:

    Do you have health insurance Pffft?

    yes and so should everyone else.

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  256. 256

    RE: pfft @ 4 – Your confusing cost and charges. ER charges are very expensive, but there’s nothing magical about the 20 square foot area they put you in if all you have is something minor.

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  257. 257
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 248

    An article like this enrages me. This stupid company policy is exactly why we need to get rid of Health Insurance, and in particular get it away from these corporate thugs.

    On a broader note we all pay for the patent protections given to Microsoft. By this time Microsoft should be open sourced. We continue to give them protections globally for snippets of code. That should end, and Bill, and Melinda should crawl back under a rock some place for public safety.

    On the point of health care, these types of tactics will increase over all health care costs. These thugs are trying to force legislation that will allow them to bulk purchase cheaper rates while individuals carry a greater role of financing health care costs.

    All corporate entities will do this. It’s a big power play complete with escalating campaign contributions. Poor little corporations, like Microsoft, will get bigger discounts, and resell to employees. It’s another nickle, and dime rip off, we will all be paying for.

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  258. 258
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 250

    Insurance Companies have no incentive to reduce costs, or keep costs under control. Increased costs mean increased administration. Also you are not tracking, nor is any one, in my opinion, the opportunity associated with Insurance policy, and procedure.

    As an example, a doctor can invest in the IPOs of companies with promising drug trials. If you knew ahead of time that an insurance company was going to change policy, or require new procedures, you could make some money by investing ahead of the announcement, in the companies that would profit from such changes.

    People don’t just follow the Journal of Medicine for the photo lay outs. Medicine, Health, treatment, is a trillion dollar industry. No one is interested in curbing the cost of that.

    The government on the other hand is mandated to protect the citizens. The fact they are failing that is what needs to be changed. Tweaking Health Insurance is getting us nowhere.

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  259. 259

    By David Losh @ 7:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 248 – An article like this enrages me.

    What should enrage you is that some people can see the doctor or get a prescription by paying a $10 or $20 co-pay, when they make over $50,000 a year. That drives up what the doctors and drug companies charge, because those people don’t have anything that restrains their purchases.

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  260. 260
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9

    We all pay for health benefits in increased costs. Consumers of Microsoft Products pay the cost of Health Insurance benefits of employees. Rising Health Insurance costs? Just pass it on to the consumer. We all pay. We all pay so a few can get coverage.

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  261. 261
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9

    That isn’t ever an issue. Those workers will get a script for Lipitor, and I forget the other medication, that will work to keep them healthy longer. Those workers go in for the fifteen minute doctor visits, and get care, immediate care, for simple things that are profitable, but hardly costly.

    It’s hard to imagine that reasonable, intelligent people think that health care cost is driven up by people going to the doctor. Those prescriptions are pennies to produce. The cost is in the patent. Simple compounds strewn together are probably covered by the co pay. Doctors will steer to the most profitable, but not always the most costly.

    My point is that the sales representative of the Health Insurance Company goes in to “negotiate” a new contract with an employer. They start by stating the rising cost of Health Care, and the employer responds that they can’t afford to cover the employees. It’s a dance, and a game, but the sales representative, the “negotiation,” of what the employer will pay, versus what they will get, is what is driving up the cost of Health Care.

    In the employer system you are paying more, and getting less. That’s insurance, but it is even worse when you have an employer in between the cost, and the end user. An employer is looking to cut costs so they are looking for the most exclusionary coverage they can get.

    Employers are buying catastrophic, and dumping employees who look like they might get sick. That’s a reality. This thing about going to the doctor as a cost, a true cost in Health Care, is a red herring. The doctor visit, scripts, or testing is a profit, it’s low cost, every day profit.

    I’ll say it again. This employer based system of Health Insurance is what drives up the costs. We need to get rid of it, it needs to be scrapped, it’s not good, or healthy for anyone.

    Public Health is the only thing on the table, at this point. If you really want you can rework the Health Insurance Industry, you can if you really want. The only reason this Insurance farce is allowed to continue is that people can opt out of the system. Once every one is forced to participate in this public disgrace it will change.

    If I’m forced to be engaged in the Health Insurance Industry it will have to change to my liking. If I have to interact with these thieves, and murderers then I will want some protection from them. I will want them policed. If I give a dime to a health insurance company, and don’t get the very best care available I will sue.

    You’re an attorney. The only way to have damages is to pay the money, but once you are forced to pay the money, you have rights.

    Obamacare, and thank God we now have something tangible to work with, will open the door to extensive, and expensive litigation. The ACLU can now take up the case against Private Health Insurance. We can finally force doctors to perform. We can sue for discrimination, we can sue for wrongful death, we can sue for the rampant disregard for pain, and suffering, We can hold doctors, and hospitals accountable for the horror that our lack of health care costs the global economy.

    You see we don’t have any rights. We have an employer based system. The employer based system is where you have to convince the employer to sue on your behalf. You can sue as an individual, you may convince others to join you, but the employer is the class action suit. All of that goes away.

    Employers are fighting Obamacare because they will lose the biggest hammer they have against their employees. Once again, show of hands, how many keep a crumby job for fear of losing health benefits? How many people are thankful for the health benefits your employer gives you? How many people will do anything so they can keep the health benefits they have, anything?

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  262. 262

    David, how do you explain the fact that $20 of Prilosec OTC costs over $400 in prescription form? Or that the price of Nasonex had doubled in five years? The only explanation for either of those things is insurance. You have people buying the stuff as if it costs $10. The beneficiaries are the drug companies. Those harmed are those without prescription coverage.

    When people are not paying the cost of something, they use too much of it, which basically means the demand curve shifts. That raises the price paid by others for the same service.

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  263. 263

    Medicare began prescription drug coverage in 2006. If you look at the chart on this page, although the inflation in all areas of health care (hospital, doctor/clinics & drugs) had been at reducing rates since 2001, in 2006 the rate of inflation in drugs shot up 50%. I would guess that if you looked only at drugs common for seniors, that the rate of increase was even higher.

    http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue-Modules/Prescription-Drug-Costs/Background-Brief.aspx

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  264. 264
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12

    Prescription drugs are a profit center. Yes the price shot up because it could. The consumer however has no control over what drug companies charge or what Insurance Companies will pay. Insurance Companies, as you showed with Prilosec, don’t care what they pay. They just found a new way to increase costs, which increases administration, and allows them to really, really raise rates.

    Health Insurance Companies are always looking for ways to raise costs. In many cases they are held back by consumer groups. A windfall, like Medicare Coverage, that Bush Light, and his buddies got passed, was a gift. We all pay more, and Private Health Insurance Companies make much more.

    Can you even imagine how many fortunes were made by people buying Prescription Drug Company stock before the Medicare Bill passed?

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  265. 265

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 12:

    David, how do you explain the fact that $20 of Prilosec OTC costs over $400 in prescription form? Or that the price of Nasonex had doubled in five years? The only explanation for either of those things is insurance. You have people buying the stuff as if it costs $10. The beneficiaries are the drug companies. Those harmed are those without prescription coverage.

    When people are not paying the cost of something, they use too much of it, which basically means the demand curve shifts. That raises the price paid by others for the same service.

    The reason that Prilosec costs 400 dollars in prescription form is because it can. Do you think the profit margin is the same for the Prilosec bought on the shelves of Fred Meyer and the prescription stuff? I don’t. The pharmaceutical companies make money any way they can, and if that includes gouging the insurance companies, so be it.
    If the American Pimp Association offered the pharmaceutical companies 50 dollars per Viagra pill, you think they would turn it down??

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  266. 266

    By David Losh @ 14:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12 – Insurance Companies, as you showed with Prilosec, don’t care what they pay.

    To some extent that’s true, because all their competition pays the same amount. But they do care to some extent because the higher they raise premiums the more people drop out.

    But the reason the Prilosec costs so much is because doctors prescribe it to people with insurance, without caring what it costs, and then their patients buy it without caring what it costs. When you have that type of a situation, the cost will skyrocket.

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  267. 267

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 15 – To some extent the same response, but I’ll put it a bit differently.

    Prilosec or Viagra, without insurance the demand curve would be significantly different, and the price much lower. That’s because you have maybe 40% of their customers who don’t care what it costs.

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  268. 268
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 16

    “is because doctors prescribe it”

    Doctors prescribe it as a profit to them, and the Drug Company. The Private Health Insurance is just the innocent by stander. The consumer does care about the cost, but has no choice, or say in the matter.

    Under the system we have today people can only “opt out” if they are single payer, individuals. If you Health Insurance is through your employer you have no say, you are only a victim.

    Look it, you keep making arguments for why we need to scrap the system we have. That is recognized globally. We have the best health care system in the world if you can afford it. Probably less than 10% of our population, in the United States can afford that best system in the world. 10% is being extremely generous.

    The vast majority of people covered under our Private Health Insurance, as you have pointed out with Prilosec, get crappy coverage that is profitable to the doctor. Your doctor, the one who is claiming to be a victim in all of this, is running another for profit business. No one is looking at the family doctor, or the family doctor profits, for those 15 minute visits in the hospital, or office. No one is looking at the price per prescription profits of doctors, hospitals, or drug companies.

    We are all focusing on the poor little Private Health Insurance Industry, and it’s paltry $2 Trillion dollars, while ignoring a system that must be rife with fraud.

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  269. 269
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 17

    You entered a world that you never wanted to. Viagra is in demand no matter what, and is paid for globally in cash for a prescription. All drugs are paid for in cash globally. You can claim the cost would be less without insurance in the middle. You can claim that Bush Light didn’t give a gift of cash to Drug Companies, Health insurance, doctors, and hospitals, but we all know that this is another massive manipulation of health care for profit.

    You just focused on one little tiny part of a system that drives up costs in order to drive up costs. Driving up costs is it’s own reward. More cost means more administration, more workers, more dollars, more construction, more clinics, more equipment, higher premiums.

    It also means smaller profits on an ever increasing system based on increase costs.

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  270. 270

    RE: David Losh @ 18 – I’m not sure the doctor profits from proscribing Prilosec (although they could), but they certainly benefit in other ways from the existence of insurance. They probably get a bit tired of seeing people come in to ask for antibiotics for a cold, but they’re not tired of getting the $120, or whatever it is they get paid for that pointless visit.

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  271. 271
    NumberMonkey says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 20
    It’s not pointless: with a prescription the patient can get the meds with $0 OOP! Everybody has a hand in the pie in medicine.

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  272. 272
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 20

    The average is $150 for fifteen minutes, or $600 per hour.

    Now you opened the door on antibiotics. Antibiotics are the most prized of Private Health Insurance schemes.

    You may recall a few years ago the over use of anti biotics, the over prescription of anti biotics was to blame for a whole host of maladies. That was until MERSA where the first wave of the disease was blamed on the super bug resistant to all manner of antibiotic. Our health care professionals blamed the over prescription of antibiotics for this new strain of super bug.

    The fact is that I can, you can, any one can, buy antibiotics over the counter anywhere in the world by describing symptoms to a pharmacist. Anti biotics are a common medicine anywhere in the world. If you had to wait for a doctor you could die of a hang nail, in say Somalia, as an example. So there, antibiotics are readily available.

    Here, with the very best medical care known to man, we need to make an appointment with the doctor, get tested, and be given the gift of a prescription by a doctor. The fact our convoluted Private Health Insurance system is so restrained in issuing a common medication was proof enough MERSA had another cause.

    The bottom line is that my fungus infection which is treated at a pharmacy in Peru for $20 would cost over $600 here in the United States. I had spent over $1200 out of pocket for the infection here, before consulting a doctor in Egypt.

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  273. 273
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 9:

    By David Losh @ 7:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 248 – An article like this enrages me.

    What should enrage you is that some people can see the doctor or get a prescription by paying a $10 or $20 co-pay, when they make over $50,000 a year. That drives up what the doctors and drug companies charge, because those people don’t have anything that restrains their purchases.

    why do we want less healthcare?

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  274. 274
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 12:

    David, how do you explain the fact that $20 of Prilosec OTC costs over $400 in prescription form? Or that the price of Nasonex had doubled in five years? The only explanation for either of those things is insurance. You have people buying the stuff as if it costs $10. The beneficiaries are the drug companies. Those harmed are those without prescription coverage.

    When people are not paying the cost of something, they use too much of it, which basically means the demand curve shifts. That raises the price paid by others for the same service.

    prove it.

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  275. 275
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 16:

    By David Losh @ 14:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12 – Insurance Companies, as you showed with Prilosec, don’t care what they pay.

    To some extent that’s true, because all their competition pays the same amount. But they do care to some extent because the higher they raise premiums the more people drop out.

    But the reason the Prilosec costs so much is because doctors prescribe it to people with insurance, without caring what it costs, and then their patients buy it without caring what it costs. When you have that type of a situation, the cost will skyrocket.

    so why isn’t this happening in Europe? this isn’t a demand problem. we can’t reimport drugs. patents also make drugs more expensive than they should be.

    by your logic a rise in food prices should be dealt with by ending food stamp programs. after all when people don’t bare the costs of food prices they gobble up all they can, right?

    if food prices go up more people should starve.

    see how bizarre your healthcare rant is.

    oh and millions have lost their healthcare and 40,000 people die each year due to lack of healthcare but I guess you’re right and we need a lot less people getting medicine and going to the doctor.

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  276. 276

    By pfft @ 24:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 12:
    David, how do you explain the fact that $20 of Prilosec OTC costs over $400 in prescription form? Or that the price of Nasonex had doubled in five years? The only explanation for either of those things is insurance. You have people buying the stuff as if it costs $10. The beneficiaries are the drug companies. Those harmed are those without prescription coverage.

    When people are not paying the cost of something, they use too much of it, which basically means the demand curve shifts. That raises the price paid by others for the same service.

    prove it.

    The price of the Prilosec OTC compared to the identical prescription product is the proof.

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  277. 277

    By pfft @ 23:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 9:
    By David Losh @ 7:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 248 – An article like this enrages me.

    What should enrage you is that some people can see the doctor or get a prescription by paying a $10 or $20 co-pay, when they make over $50,000 a year. That drives up what the doctors and drug companies charge, because those people don’t have anything that restrains their purchases.

    why do we want less healthcare?

    Not less health care. Less health insurance.

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  278. 278

    By pfft @ 25:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 16:
    By David Losh @ 14:
    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12 – Insurance Companies, as you showed with Prilosec, don’t care what they pay.

    To some extent that’s true, because all their competition pays the same amount. But they do care to some extent because the higher they raise premiums the more people drop out.

    But the reason the Prilosec costs so much is because doctors prescribe it to people with insurance, without caring what it costs, and then their patients buy it without caring what it costs. When you have that type of a situation, the cost will skyrocket.

    so why isn’t this happening in Europe? this isn’t a demand problem. we can’t reimport drugs. patents also make drugs more expensive than they should be.

    by your logic a rise in food prices should be dealt with by ending food stamp programs. after all when people don’t bare the costs of food prices they gobble up all they can, right?

    How many times do I have to tell you that Europe doesn’t have the same system of insurance. If you want to keep bringing the issue up, then come back with something indicating that Europe has the same system as us.

    As to the food costs, I’ve actually used apples as an example. If they proved “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” then what would happen is state legislatures would start passing laws mandating that health insurance cover apples. The price of apples would then skyrocket because people would be able to take apples from stores without paying for them. For those without insurance, they’d soon find that buying an apple would cost them over $20. For those paying for their own insurance, they’d soon be paying 5% more for insurance just because of the cost of apples. That’s what our system is.

    If the same thing happened in a European country they’d establish a program where high risk people get an apple a day. Prices of apples would go up slightly.

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  279. 279
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 28

    Evidently you have come to the end of your arguments, because you keep repeating we need to get rid of our Private Health Insurance system. This is recognized globally, and it seems the Republicans in this country are the only ones who can’t see that facts.

    There are trillions of dollars at stake, that Republicans figure they can get a piece of if they just fight for this absurdity.

    Government run health care is an industry standard, globally. It will continue to be whether we accept that or not. If you choose to continue to pay for the health care of only the very wealthy in this country, that is a choice you make. Here in Washington we also have a choice to go to Canada for dental, and health care.

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  280. 280

    RE: David Losh @ 29 – I’m not sure why you think the Republicans are the only ones. I wouldn’t call the so-called “public option” pushed by the Democrats to be much different than private insurance. All that’s aimed at is removing the profit factor from insurance, but that’s not much of the problem. It’s the product, not the profit.

    It’s really a mess because those with employer provided insurance like it and don’t want to give it up. And they are a very significant portion of the population when it comes to politics.

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  281. 281
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 30

    Single payer is a gift to Private Insurance. You are correct about that, and the Republicans should have embraced it. They did not.

    Profit, has never been an issue. We’ve established that repeatedly. Cost is the issue. Insurance companies continually drive up costs so they can have more administration.

    Republicans have made outlandish claims, repeatedly, concerning our lack of health care. Republicans have sided with the very wealthy in gutting this once great nation. The new found wealth is looking for us to step back in time. They want factory workers to worship them. Giving the gift of the scraps of a health care system is another way of having power, and control over the masses.

    Republicans have stead fastly worked against providing health care since Ronald Reagan made his famous speech of government being the problem in this country. Reagan later on made small concessions that his stance on health care was short sighted. He was smart enough to admit his mistake when he realized that AIDS was allowed to take hold, and bankrupt Private Health Insurance.

    Government has stepped in, and bailed out our failed health care system by taking on the ever increasing terminally ill, those who can no longer work for lack of health care. Private Health Insurance should be the example of why bail outs don’t work. We bailed them out, they have done nothing to improve the failed system, and only raised costs to make even more money.

    Maybe we should leave banks to their money, and car companies to build crap, but health care, health care, should become a right.

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  282. 282
    Haybaler says:

    My wife and I are insured through her employment sponsored plan. Administered by one of the Cross’.

    This week we received a packet in the mail from the plan. It contained the outline of the “new” medical program as required by the recently passed national health care law.

    The enrollment period for the new year beginning Jan 1 2011 begins soon. As before, we need to review the material to select a version from the choices of the medical coverage her company has chosen to provide which suits our family best.

    After careful comparisons between Last years’ plan and the coming years’ plan I can make some statements about how Obama Care has changed medical coverage in my house.

    First, the price is DOUBLE with a doubled deductible, for exactly the same coverage for the wife and myself.

    However, we do have the ability to earn discounts of, up to, nearly all of the price increase by taking a series of health exams which the plan will pay for. The purpose of the exams is to prove that we are very healthy and do not need health care.

    Obviously, we have more incentive to eat better, and pay attention to our health, now than we did before because of the ability to earn these price discounts.

    But the bottom line is that this Great Program that was supposed to reduce the cost of health care has doubled MY cost of health care.

    I am paying for the folks who didn’t have coverage and the dependents up to age 26 who have been added to the plan by the new law.

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  283. 283

    RE: Haybaler @ 32 – Do you have kids, or is the coverage just for you and your wife?

    There was a story on the news last night of someone’s premiums going up, and it was because the policy no longer covered 1 or more kids at the same cost. You had to pay a premium for each one. I’ve never heard of the former. That seems really bizarre, except in the context maybe of a group policy.

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  284. 284

    RE: Haybaler @ 32
    Even If You Have Employer Health Plans

    I read the average household is paying $4000/yr for healthcare, or in Haybaler’s case $8000?

    People sometimes criticize good unions, but IMO, strong union workers pay the least in healthcare coverage where they work.

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  285. 285

    RE: softwarengineer @ 34 – I actually generally support unions, but I’d argue what they’ve done on health care has been a major part of our problems.

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  286. 286
    Haybaler says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 33
    Good morning Kary,

    The kids are all gone. It’s just the two of us.

    In this plan dependents may be covered through other plan options, which we did not select, that have additional premiums…… I note that very large families receive lower prices as dependent numbers grow.

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  287. 287
    Haybaler says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 34
    Good morning SWE,

    In our case the deductible has doubled to $6150 per year. The monthly premium has doubled to $205.

    If we can pass physicals and jump though some other hoops ….ie: low cholesterol, healthy range of blood pressure, then our premiums can go as low as $130 p/mo. Still a modest monthly increase over last year.

    When the time comes that we are not healthy and cannot pass these tests our cost will be at the default rate….We have both scheduled our medical testing appointments. Our health care providers (doctors) are required to provide specific reports to our administering company in advance of the coming annual plan commencement.

    New bureaucracy.

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  288. 288

    RE: Haybaler @ 37 – At least it gives motivation to get a physical! Pfft is constantly pointing out how important preventative care is, and I’d agree with him on that. ;-)

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  289. 289

    RE: Haybaler @ 37

    LOL Haybaler:

    Cholesterol checks, that blood test the doctor does after you’ve dieted for weeks to get ready for the checkup, then after the lower numbers, back to Whoppers again….LOL

    Instead, try a full tablespoon or 13 capsules of Omega 3 [flax oil] a day for a few months with a modest diet, and if you accidently cut yourself, smile if your blood is so thin it takes 20 minutes to coagulate. Ask a doctor pushing prescription drugs about flax oil and their eyes open up like saucers….LOL

    Its like relying on CARFAX, a good percentage of drivers are now paying cash for fender denters under $2000 to keep the accident off their VIN and CARFAX….another joke.

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  290. 290
    NumberMonkey says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 39
    The system is somewhat game-able, but it still helps the vast majority of healthy people avoid subsidizing unhealthy people’s insurance.

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  291. 291

    Amazing how little press this is getting (although my link is from the LA Times, which is a liberal rag).

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-court-health-20101015,0,2290423.story

    The AGs’ suit is going forward.

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  292. 292
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 41

    Absolutely, and there is a reason for that. I didn’t click the article, but I’m assuming you are talking about Attorney Generals challenging ObamaCare. That’s great, absolutely great, we are looking forward to that, and thankful that our tax dollars are being spent getting ObamaCare into court, where it belongs.

    Get used to it. ObamaCare will be in the courts for a very long time.

    The goal is to get rid of Private Health Insurance. Every one agrees that the system of Private Health Insurance is driving up costs for a much lower quality of health care. Congress passed what they could while maintain campaign contributions, but the courts will be able to sort the mess of legislation.

    Like don’t ask, don’t tell, is coming out of the courts now, so will ObamaCare. This should give some clarity to key issues, and provide a blue print to further legislation.

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  293. 293
    Scotsman says:

    The state of Connecticut just approved a request by its largest private insurer for premium hikes of up to 47%. Wasn’t ObamaCare supposed to put an end to these kinds of price increases, with Barack Obama’s promise to “bend the cost curve downward”? Actually, as the Hartford Courant reports, the increases come as a direct result of the mandates included in ObamaCare:

    http://blogs.courant.com/connecticut_insurance/2010/10/anthem-approved-for-health-ins.html

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  294. 294

    RE: Scotsman @ 43

    Oh Stop Your “Tea Bagger” Type Complaining

    We all must pull our belts in together to stomache the massive “hidden taxes” in our future health insurance bills for the good of the cause….ooooops, maybe that’s brainless nonsense too, without increases in consumer spending, the economy is clearly down the toilet….LOL

    Ahhhhh….just ignore the whole mess, 20 States just got the green light to sue the government on mandatory Medicaid supplement and insurance enrollment….this isn’t like SB1070 at all…LOL

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  295. 295

    The Washington Insurance Commissioner issues an order requiring Regence to offer child only policies.

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/428487_regents15.html

    Not really clear he has that right, and there’s no explanation as to why he waited so long if he did have that right.

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  296. 296
    Haybaler says:

    RE: NumberMonkey @ 40
    NM,

    I don’t think your thinking is very clear on this.

    I just demonstrated by posting the changes in my policy how healthy folks are subsidizing unhealthy and formerly uninsured folks.

    Insurance costs have increased.

    In my case the doubled deductible is the same as a price increase….$3000 worth for two of us annually. The potentially increased monthly premium is something I have some ability to control, but that is at some additional premium cost no matter what I do and some additional cost as I eat different foods and change my behaviors (opportunity cost).

    What changed “overnight” to justify this policy price change? What makes my house $$4200 (my estimate of my real increased costs) more risky this year? Is the world subject to a poisonous gas cloud floating over the earth or an epidemic virus or a deadly flu? Nothing…. Except the new Health Care Laws.

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  297. 297

    [Here’s something I wrote over at the P-I on the Regence child policy issue. Since it sort of fits in with what Haybaler is saying, I’ll post it here too.]

    Let’s do some simple math. Assume Regence has 1000 existing child only policies, which is probably pretty close considering how few policies there are of that type in the state. Assume that the average premium for children is $200 a month. Let’s assume further that they just break even, as opposed to making a profit, so that any increase in premiums doesn’t create increased profit. Finally assume that the new law brings in 10 new customers with pre-existing conditions that cost the company an average payout of $2,200 a month.

    In that scenario, to be able to continue to break even, the company would need to raise the average commission to about $216 a month, which is an 8% increase, none of which is driven at all by increased provider costs. That’s an 8% increase with only a 1% population of those with pre-existing conditions. If more than 10% of such customers join, then the premiums would need to be raised to $318, over a 50% increase.

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  298. 298

    I watched about 70% of the Murray/Rossi debate. No clear winner in what I saw, but on health care their answers were considerably different. Murray was proud that she “helped write” Obamacare. Rossi had four proposals that could help health care somewhat, but beyond that he indicated what we need to do is something to the effect of turning consumers back into consumers, where they care what something costs. He clearly won the health care portion, IMHO.

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  299. 299

    Yet another story about increased costs as a result of Obamacare.

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/105209064.html

    Boeing this time.

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  300. 300

    And now Obamacare is not the reason that Boeing is doing this: http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/archives/225319.asp

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  301. 301
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 50RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 49

    Health Insurance Premiums have been going up, and will continue to go up until we get Health Insurance Companies out of health care. That’s the point here. We have to have government run health care. There is no other way.

    The ability to play fast, and lose with people’s health for a profit has proved to be fatal. It also destroys people financially.

    It’s no longer a debate. Republicans have had decades to promote a plan, and they haven’t, they talk tort reform like that’s an issue. Democrats have backed away from socialized medicine, single payer, or Public Health. Both parties get campaign contributions from the medical money mill.

    The day is here. We need to cut expenses, and especially entitlements. We can cut both Medicaid, and Medicare with Public Health, and a single payer system. It’s coming whether Obamacare gets repealed or not.

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  302. 302

    I don’t think the Republicans (or conservatives if you like) have ever promoted a plan that would provide for universal coverage. They are more for things that would make the existing system more efficient (e.g. HSAs).

    The Democrats probably (especially if you use the term liberals) have proposed a government run universal health care plan, but that’s not what they passed. What they passed was legislation that takes what screwed up health care costs in the first place (too much insurance) and adds more of the same, thinking that will somehow make it better.

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  303. 303

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 50RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 49 – And now here’s an article (Boeing Drops a Bomb . . .) quoting the letter Boeing sent to its employees:

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/archives/225421.asp

    From the article:

    Boeing didn’t like the fact that The AP story keyed on the “Obamacare” element, but the letter sent to employees Oct. 14 cites the new law in the very first paragraph: “The newly enacted health care reform legislation, while intended to expand access to care for millions of uninsured Americans, is also adding cost pressure as requirements of the new law are phased in over the next several years,” Senior Vice President Rick Stephens wrote.

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  304. 304
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 52
    Kary, you have much to say about how insurance is wrong and drives up prices, but you have insurance don’t you? This would all ring much truer if you elected not to have insurance. But then you would be the one paying those higher prices or possibly not receiving needed care. Aren’t the 30mm-40mm Americans lacking the opportunity to have insurance subsidizing you? Do you think the system should be set up so that the poor and sick should be subsidizing you? Isn’t that really what is going on here?

    Haybaler,is this not true for you as well. Your prices are going up because the poor and sick will no longer be subsidizing you. Is this really that unfair? When you look at the big difference in price, you should consider that perhaps they have been subsidizing you a lot. Perhaps you should be paying even more in consideration of all the years they subsidized you.

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  305. 305

    By whatsmyname @ 54:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 52
    Kary, you have much to say about how insurance is wrong and drives up prices, but you have insurance don’t you? This would all ring much truer if you elected not to have insurance. But then you would be the one paying those higher prices or possibly not receiving needed care.

    First, I have a high deductible ($2,500) policy, so it’s not the type of policy I’m complaining about. Inflation in healthcare would be a lot less if everyone had high deductibles, or at least had significant co-pays based on their income. That’s something I’ve been arguing for.

    Second, my not buying insurance would be stupid and irresponsible, and would not impact inflation of health care by any significant measure. Insurance should be obtained for expenses that are unlikely but catastrophic. That fits health insurance to a tee. In that regard, I’ve considered moving to a $5,000 deductible, but the cost savings is not that significant.

    Third, as others have pointed out, my arguments are largely arguments in favor of government provided health care. That’s because I do think universal coverage is a good thing. Absent such a system existing, which it does not, there is no argument that I should not have insurance. If there were government run healthcare, I might not have insurance, but I would be premature to cancel at this point.

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  306. 306

    RE: whatsmyname @ 54 – You do make a good argument though for why covering preexisting conditions doesn’t work for health insurance. Healthy people have little incentive to buy insurance, as opposed to $100 cell phone plans and spending $100 a month at Starbucks, especially if they know that after something really bad happens they can still get insurance. That just drives up the cost of the insurance, but as long as that cost is less than their treatment, they won’t care.

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  307. 307
    Haybaler says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 54
    What,

    I don’t have the opportunity here very often to have anything to add to the conversation. I appreciate your reading my post and responding to it.

    I took a few minutes to try to understand your reasoning for putting forward such an absurd hypothesis. I’m still trying to give you the benefit of the doubt that you have some kind of reasonable point, but I need you to explain how you think the sick and poor are subsidizing me….

    I imagine that one might try to make the case that by virtue of a lack of access to expensive life saving care, that the sick and poor are subsidizing my ability to receive that care because I have some insurance coverage for treatment programs that would not be available to uninsured individuals.

    I would rebut that argument by making the obvious case that the emergency rooms are crowded with individuals who are indigent or uninsured who receive quality care without the means to pay for it. Thank god for our great country. I am aware of a friend who had a heart attack and after transportation to a local hospital needed 6 way bypass open heart surgery. The bills amounted to $600K. He had no money. He never paid a dime.

    How is he subsidizing me?

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  308. 308
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 55 – Kary, I quite agree. I’m just saying that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

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  309. 309
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 56 – Again, I agree. I think that’s why the Obama plan requires everyone to carry insurance. I’m not a fan of the plan myself, but I will go for whatever is passable that does not throw 30MM+ Americans to the wolves.

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  310. 310

    RE: Haybaler @ 57 – I mis-read what he said, thinking he was making the free-rider argument.

    What he is trying to claim is that because uninsured people are charged more, that they are subsidizing the insured. What that overlooks is that the uninsured largely don’t pay, especially when it comes to major medical items. So while there might be some individuals that subsidized the system, as a group the uninsured are a drag on the system.

    BTW, there are actually three prices at many places: (1) With insurance; (2) Without insurance; and (3) Cash.

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  311. 311

    By whatsmyname @ 59:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 56 – Again, I agree. I think that’s why the Obama plan requires everyone to carry insurance. I’m not a fan of the plan myself, but I will go for whatever is passable that does not throw 30MM+ Americans to the wolves.

    The thing about mandated insurance under Obamacare, first, I think it underestimates how many people won’t be able to afford it (especially once Obamacare kicks in), and second, the “penalty” for not having insurance is way too small. From memory it’s only about $800, which won’t compel many people to buy insurance at over $200 a month.

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  312. 312
    Haybaler says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 60 – I utilize a local health service provider clinic from time to time….when I need stitches, or have a swollen throat….

    In the past I observed a sign at the check out desk offering a “discount” of 30 % for services paid for at the time of visit. Early this year I noticed the sign now offers a 50% discount for payment at the time of service.

    It’s a whole new issue now. I need to run my deductible spending up to $6150 before I have any insurance coverage, yet I’m obviously interested in Half price medical care. It is interesting that when I got my credit card out to pay on the spot one visit they discouraged me from paying ….why? probably thought my insurance would pay the whole retail bill.

    Later, when the submission to the insurance company came back denied because I hadn’t satisfied my deductible, the clinic discounted the bill to half for me.

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  313. 313

    RE: Haybaler @ 62 – I have a debit card attached to my HSA, so I just run it through there. The chance of me spending more than my deducible is slight, but I think even if you pay cash (debit) the transaction still gets reported to the insurance company. I’m not sure of that though because I’ve only done that a couple of times.

    BTW, even if your insurance doesn’t pay because of the deductible, the amount you have to pay should still be reduced to the insured amount. Back when I was younger that deduction some months would be more than the cost of the insurance. That there’s a deduction though is what makes it a bit hard to pay cash, because you never really know what something will cost. The information they give you might be wrong.

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  314. 314
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Haybaler @ 57 – Last thing first. Your broke friend was not subsidizing you, but many in his shoes never see a doctor. They just die. That’s a big price to pay for keeping health care costs down. Many others simply suffer debilitating illness without care; also a big price.

    Other people do pay those big prices Kary was talking about. Sometimes there goes the savings, the house, the retirement, everything. As Kary has alluded, those prices subsidize the lower bulk prices they pay the insurance company for the insured.

    The idea of insurance is mutual beneficence. We don’t know life’s uncertainties, and they could wipe us out individually. But if we pool our funds, we can all get through with our skin. We don’t pay $12,000 a year to assist with $2,000 a year in wellness maintenance. We’re looking for the big protection. People change jobs a lot in our society, often not voluntarily. When we cut them out of the system because “oops, you had your cancer before the layoffs, and I want the cheapest way to pull in the bucks for next year’s heart attack”, we are gaming the system. It violates the spirit of the original contract to say we’ll pay for me (if I need it), but not for you because we’ve found a way to ease you out. And the guy who is out? Well, back to the previous paragraph.

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  315. 315
    Haybaler says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 64 – I appreciate your reasonable response. OK. I understand what you are saying.

    You and I may have a different world view.

    Now the issue steps sideways to one of “who is responsible” for one’s place in life and the consequences of ones choices. Then again, those who simply suffer illness without care are not the ones who take themselves to the emergency room…. For free care…. It’s there for the having.

    If I needed to do it, I know that I can go anywhere and be seen by a doctor and never open my wallet.

    I have a daughter who works in a hospital. Sometimes she works in the walk in section. I know, from her stories that all kinds of folks choose to receive primary care out of the emergency rooms. I understand the cost of that burden has grown to the point that it is breaking the back of the health care system. Hence our national debate.

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  316. 316
    whatsmyname says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 61
    Gosh darn it. I agree again. My hope is that it will be amended more along the provider lines you had described. At this point I think we have merely a difference in personal opinion about whether it is worth it to suffer through this thing to get some change started.

    Thank you, and Haybaler too, for your thoughtful responses. I knew this was red meat when I put it out there.

    Reply