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Old 10-07-2010, 10:03 AM   #1
RIJIMMY
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This is tough

My political beliefs are well known out here, but its interesting when things hit home.
From the little I understand of the health care reform, I've been against it. I think there are some good things, but I think its way too big and in the end will become a huge mountain of administration and red tape with too many loopholes .
I know my tax $ will be going to pay for other peoples insurance and that pisses me off.
So today I get the email from HR. Your healthcare costs are going up, significantly.
How the hell can I and millions of Americans swallow this after all the BS fed to us on the healthcare bill???? WTF! Is there a plan under Obama that my costs WILL GO DOWN? Is it 2012, 2013,2014??? When?
I cant see how Obama or the Dems stand a chance. I really cant.

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Old 10-07-2010, 11:33 AM   #2
Jim in CT
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RIJIMMY, I am an actuary, which is a guy who crunches numbers for an insurance company, so I know what I'm talking about (although I don't work for a health insurer). Insyrance is also heavily regulated...companies cannot just charge whatever they want, if they want to raise rates, they have to convince state regulators that the increase is necessary.

Health insurance is expensive, but it's expensive because the thing being insured - healthcare - is expensive. Insurance companies do not have fat profit margins, in fact, the profit margins are pretty thin. So making insurers out to be the bad guy, which Obama did, is a little off. If we operetaed on a break-even basis, your premiums would go down by 4% or 5%, no more.

Obamacare forces insurers to cover kids until they are 26, it forces insurers to cover preexisting conditions. That stuff costs $$, which means to cover it, insurers have no choice but to raise prices. It's that simple.

Nothing in Obamacare (except maybe cutting down on fraud) will lower the cost of healthcare. Most of the provisions will increase the overall costs. Insurers literally have no choice but to raise rates. That's what we're seeing.

I happen to think that covering pre-existing conditions is a good thing, because no one chooses to be born with health issues. But it's expensive.

One thing that would significantly lower the cost of healthcare is tort reform...eliminting nuisance malpractice suits. Obama wouldn't even discuss that, because his party gets $$ from the trial lawyers lobby, and trial lawyers like lawsuits.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:00 PM   #3
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RIJimmy, when you say significantly do you mean like 10 percent or like 25 percent? We just had to increase ours and I had to be the guy to explain it to everyone. Employees like to see the company as the "bad guys", but there's not much we can do. We pay a lot more too, since we're bearing the brunt of the total cost of the plan. Jim in Ct is right about tort reform, but there also has to be better regulation of costs on the medical provider end.

On the bright side, Obamacare is sure to be a great thing for everyone. Just try to think of a government run program that has not been successful or lowered taxes.

Conservatism is not about leaving people behind. Conservatism is about empowering people to catch up, to give them tools at their disposal that make it possible for them to access all the hope, all the promise, all the opportunity that America offers. - Marco Rubio
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim in CT View Post
RIJIMMY, I am an actuary, which is a guy who crunches numbers for an insurance company, so I know what I'm talking about (although I don't work for a health insurer). Insyrance is also heavily regulated...companies cannot just charge whatever they want, if they want to raise rates, they have to convince state regulators that the increase is necessary.

Health insurance is expensive, but it's expensive because the thing being insured - healthcare - is expensive. Insurance companies do not have fat profit margins, in fact, the profit margins are pretty thin. So making insurers out to be the bad guy, which Obama did, is a little off. If we operetaed on a break-even basis, your premiums would go down by 4% or 5%, no more.

Obamacare forces insurers to cover kids until they are 26, it forces insurers to cover preexisting conditions. That stuff costs $$, which means to cover it, insurers have no choice but to raise prices. It's that simple.

Nothing in Obamacare (except maybe cutting down on fraud) will lower the cost of healthcare. Most of the provisions will increase the overall costs. Insurers literally have no choice but to raise rates. That's what we're seeing.

I happen to think that covering pre-existing conditions is a good thing, because no one chooses to be born with health issues. But it's expensive.

One thing that would significantly lower the cost of healthcare is tort reform...eliminting nuisance malpractice suits. Obama wouldn't even discuss that, because his party gets $$ from the trial lawyers lobby, and trial lawyers like lawsuits.

My one liberal buddy who I argue with ALL the time is an actuary and he sees it just the opposite! I agree with you though. I never understood how it would lower costs, but thats the pitch they gave the country. As far as pre-existing conditions, thats a bit misleading too, I went through all of this as my parents were unemployed and both fighting cancer. I became familiar with the laws and its not what the Dems/Obama would have you think. There were already pretty strong laws on pre-existing condition, that may have varied by state. My point is that this a major undertaking by Obama and most Americans are going to see the rise in costs, and realize they been sold a pile of poop.

John - dont know how much, the email just said "significantly"

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Old 10-07-2010, 01:03 PM   #5
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how many employees does your company employee?

Everything I read says that tort reform is a small % of insurance comp. expenses.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
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how many employees does your company employee?

Everything I read says that tort reform is a small % of insurance comp. expenses.
The tort reform piece directly relates to malpractice insurance costs for medical providers. Malpractice insurance has gone through the roof and a lot of that is due to fraudulent lawsuits. Doctors, etc... have to raise their costs in order to make money to pay back huge student loans and to operate their business.

That being said, there still has to be better regulation of costs. A procedure that costs $500 for one patient should not cost $1,000 for another patient just because they have a better insurance plan. And prescription drugs are even worse.

Conservatism is not about leaving people behind. Conservatism is about empowering people to catch up, to give them tools at their disposal that make it possible for them to access all the hope, all the promise, all the opportunity that America offers. - Marco Rubio
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:56 PM   #7
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Tort reform would decrease healthcare costs in 2 ways. First, the doctors would pay less for malpractice insurance, a savings they could pass on to us. More significantly, doctors would feel less pressure to practice so much defensive medicine. Today,m if you tell your doc you have a headache, he may order an MRI and a cat scan to cover himself from being sued. In a reasonable world, if he wasn't so afraid of being sued, he'd give you 2 asprin.

I'm not sure how else you significantly cut costs. In my opinion (reasonable folks can disagree) docs deserve to make a good living, it takes a lot to become a doctor, and they don't start making money until they're in their 30's, and they have tons of debt.

It's a very complicated problem, I don't pretend to have the answer. What I do know is that Obamacare will not, can not, lower costs.
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:38 PM   #8
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I don't know what "#&37" was in my earlier post.

I do agree that Drs. do order extra tests to protect themselves from lawsuits. Those extra tests are a significant cost driver but the lawsuit $s aren't that high compared to total costs. Any time a Dr. owns the facility where the extra tests take place (think MRI), they order a much higher # of tests.

I read something about 6 months ago that showed that when Drs. are paid a salary the hospital costs are much lower and outcomes are better. Patients liked it better b/c Drs. spent more time with them also. And I do agree that they need to be paid well. Our Drs. are the highest paid but come out of med. school owing more $ than in other countries. That causes them to specialize where they make the big bucks vs. being a general pract. which is prob. better for the country.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:57 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=PaulS;800532]I don't know what "#&37" was in my earlier post.


If you put in the percentage numbers such as 50% it comes out like.

I noticed it the other day on my post and had to write in the percntage.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:15 PM   #10
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23 pct across the board.

Pitch to go to HSA and High deductible insurances.

Daily calls from provider to please switch to generics

right.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:44 PM   #11
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Several senoir citizens at the coffee shop were complaining of being dropped from their private insurance provider, telling them to look else where.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RIJIMMY View Post
I cant see how Obama or the Dems stand a chance. I really cant.
Because the GOP is in a shambles right now and people will often take the devil they know...it's how Bush got a second term.

As for rising costs, did you notice what your costs were doing the previous decade? My baby just cost me over 2 grand out of pocket and that's with a plan negotiated well before the Health Care bill was ever a serious proposal in Congress. I think my last kid 7 years ago cost a few hundred bucks in cash...

As for tort, I've seen numbers like 187B in potential savings which would make it worth pursuing as part of a solution but it's not going to fix the issue. Even if it was done, do you think the insurance industry would just magically start passing savings back to consumers? Not likely...

I do think the idea of interstate competition is probably one of the best that could gain real bi-partisan support with the right leadership.

But the white elephant in the room is the amount of health care spending that goes towards people in the last decade of their lives.

-spence
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:33 AM   #13
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Because the GOP is in a shambles right now and people will often take the devil they know...it's how Bush got a second term.

-spence
what world do you live in?

As far as HC, remember, the majority of Americans OPPOSED it, now they will continue to see rates rise? So why are we spending all this money? Oh thats right, as Pelosi said so poets or writers can have healthcare too. Im sure thats a big sell for Americans working 50-60hrs a week and getting nothing out of another expensive bill!

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Old 10-08-2010, 10:19 AM   #14
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This is long winded, but it is what everyone is looking for. Facts.
As for someone who was in the health insurance industry (independant insurance agent) in Mass for the past 2 years, I will give you the view of the mess here.
First off, ObamaCare was more directed towards the rest of the country.
Mass is already a guranteed issue state. That means that if you want insurance, you apply, no matter how sick or messed up you are or what pre exixiting conditions you may have, the insurance companies have to take you, they have to pay (some do have 6 month waiting periods before they will start to cover you if have gone more than 12 months without ins coverage though). Rates are controlled by the state. Everyone pays the same, whether you are sick and dying or the most physically fit human.
The majority of the country is what is called under written. That means that if you want ins, you first have to apply, then take a physical, then depending on the outcome of that physical they will determine A) IF they will insure you and B) how much they will charge you on a person to person basis. A few states will give you what's called riders for say if you had a back problem 40 years ago, then they will ensure you for everything else, but NEVER pay for anything related to a back issue at THEIR discretion and charge you more than someone who has never had a back issue.
So the essence of Obamacare was to make the rest of the country like Mass, guaranteed issue. Ins for everyone.
Now the underlying principal and definition of "insurance" is the transfer of risk. Transfering the risk/ cost of a few over everyone.. With so many sick people and so many off the wall examanation procedures and nonsense prescriptions as stated in earlier posts due to fear of lawsuits, more people are using their ins. So prices go up, and we all pay.
Now here in Mass, the health ins snakes are the largest campaign contriubtors and special interest groups. They (, especially the big HMO's. )dump TONS of cash in to the pockets of politicians. They have an incrediable amount of pull and power, more than you can fathom. The HMO's own the hospitals, so it is their descision how much to charge for stuff from person to person, even depending on which ins company you have. Makes you go to their hospital and stay in their network. That drives up cost. The under lying purpose of HMO's is that it is the healthy people who never use their ins paying every month helping to pay for the sick people that are going to see their doctor 5 times a week. That's why even though you may never use it, you still pay.
Now, the HMO's have so much power that they have lobbied to kick all other out side competition out of the state, ie higher deduc plans, major medical plans. They NEED us to be on THEIR plans, if not, everyone that just wanted to be protected from the big, catostrohic losses and pay all the small bills out of their pockets, at a monthly premium that is a fraction of the cost of an HMO, would jump ship from the HMO's, then they'd have nothing but sick people left on the HMO that would suck them dry, and the ship would sink. Bankrupt. So they went to the state and came up with the mandatory health ins requirement. Also because so many people had grown fed up with the premium costs of ins, say F that, not be insured, get hurt or sick, go to the hospital, get treated, and walk away not paying the bill. Well, that bill didn't just go away, it had to get paid, and the hospital that is owned by the HMO eats it, so they then have to pass that bill onto all the responsible paying ins customers. rates go up to cover that.
Now take all the above issues and apply the MAss mess to the REST OF THE COUNTRY, and our rates go up. The ins companies regardless of their actuary charts and crap have no idea how much the guaranteed issue will cost them as all the sick people across the whole country now become insured and start bleeding the system dry, they have to raise rates for everyone, everywhere. Again, The healthy paying for the sick.
And all these ins companies are making OODLES of cash. The Gubberment realizes this, and want their piece of the pie. Why do you think drugs are slowly becoming more legalized. Big brother wants his cut. Welcome to the United Socialist States Of America.

What can we all do to fight this? NOTHING, bend over and take it with out screaming. No matter how much we whine and complain to our ploiticians and regardless of how much they know it is wrong, it would be political suicide for them to buck the system. As I stated earlier, the ins companies, especially HMO's and their deep coffers, run this state. They take our rate increase money and give it to the politicians to keep them happy and in office so they can continue to rape us blind with immunity.
The whole deductible BS is another whole tirade in itself for another rant.
Their is little free market left in America. At least the fast food joints still have Dollar menus for us to feast on so we are more likely to use our ins.....................
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:35 AM   #15
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for the first time in my long tenure on the political forum, I have no reply at all......

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Old 10-08-2010, 10:51 AM   #16
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That post was like the moment in A Bronx Tale when Chaz Palmenteri locks the door in the bar and the bikers all freeze.

"Now youse can't leave."


The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. ~John Buchan
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:03 AM   #17
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for the first time in my long tenure on the political forum, I have no reply at all......
I'm sorry if I numbed you with my long explanation to the point of brain lock.
You got Obama'ed
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Old 10-08-2010, 11:41 AM   #18
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I'm sorry if I numbed you with my long explanation to the point of brain lock.
You got Obama'ed

Challenge for you - try typing THAT with your Crackberry

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Old 10-08-2010, 11:45 AM   #19
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It was a good rant. But I'd caution, some might use it as justification for a true single payer system.

-spence
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