A glimpse into your future courtesy of RomneyCare…

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by Capitalist, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Capitalist
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    Capitalist Jeffersonian Liberal

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    (Boston Herald)- The state’s health insurance connector — the highly touted agency that aims to bring cheap medical care to the masses — has turned into a legal pit bull by aggressively going after a growing number of Bay Staters who say they can’t afford mandated insurance — or the penalties imposed for not having it.
    The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority is cracking down on more than 3,000 residents who are fighting state fines, and has even hired a private law firm to force the health insurance scofflaws to pay penalties of up to $2,000 a year.
    All told, more than 7,700 people have appealed state fines for not having health insurance, according to connector spokesman Richard Powers. The agency has hired several private attorneys at $50 an hour to hear many of the appeals, and some 3,150 of them have been denied — and the losers told to pay up.
    The connector has also hired the Hub law firm Bowman & Penski — at $125 an hour — to defend itself against 13 lawsuits filed by fed-up taxpayers who insist they can’t afford state required insurance premiums or the escalating fines.
    National watchdogs say the Bay State’s battles with cash-strapped taxpayers foreshadow troubles on the horizon for the Obama administration’s health-care plan.
    “Every problem that Massachusetts is running into right now, the federal government will confront in 2014,” said Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the conservative Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.
     
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  2. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Just a small version of what we're facing when Obamacare fully kicks in. Already state after state after state is preparing to file suit against the Federal government and demanding to be exempt.

    The idea that the government has power to demand that the citizen buy ANYTHING against his/her will is just mind boggling to anybody who values the Constitution and liberty.
     
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  3. Common Sense
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    i wonder how much money each of these individuals is spending on lawyers while at the same time complaining that they dont have enough $ to afford health care...
     
  4. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    You're missing the point. The history of ALL entitlements is that they start out small and affordable, but government, being the inefficient and ineffective agent that it is, will invariably fail to contain costs as effectively as the private sector will. And before long that small and affordable program is no longer affordable, but the private options have been destroyed and the people are stuck.

    We need to head this one off before that happens.
     
  5. Common Sense
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    do you have any suggestions on how to fix the system? we can all agree the system is broke, but what is your idea for fixing and improving upon the system? everyone seems to bitch and moan about the new HC law, but just like the republicans proposed spending cuts, no one is able to give any specifics.
     
  6. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    You fix the system by securing the rights of the people and then government get out of it. There isn't ANY major industry in the country that is 'broke' except those the government has involved itself in. Get government out of healthcare altogether and we'll see immediate improvement.
     
  7. Capitalist
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    Capitalist Jeffersonian Liberal

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    That would be a good thread for you to start, go ahead.
     
  8. Common Sense
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    actually i have already given this argument:

    Idea 1:

    shouldnt all HC providers be required to be either non-profits or not-for-profits? this would then require them to reinvest every dollar not used on patient care or administrative costs? this should be an easy way to drive down current costs. I would also recommend that they be unable to issue shares as public companies. when a company goes public, its first loyalty is to share holders and increasing their stock value. why would we want this? i have nothing against companies making a profit outside of health care. when a health care company makes a decision to deny coverage, most often the reasoning is that its too expensive to do, they stand to profit by taking your premium dollars and not having to pay out any patient care expenses.

    now we can argue the logistics about exactly how health care companies profit, but i believe that they shouldnt be able make these huge profits. HC is one of the most profitable industry in the US.

    the only true Non profit HC provider is Kaiser Permanente, and they tend to have some of the lower premiums out there for an HMO. (quote for a single 30 year old male, los angeles are, $40 co pay, $3,000 deductible is $132 / month - the same plan with blue shield costs almost $350 / month) these numbers directly off their website by putting in the same exact information. (try it if youd like) now kaiser (whether you like or dislike kaiser is irrelevant for this argument as we are solely looking at costs) has to reinvest all of its profits back into the company, this is one reason they have much much lower premiums then other for profit companies.

    you do realize that insurance companies profit from taking in premiums and not paying out expenses. accounting 101. money in less money out = profit. (or for a more technical answer - The positive gain from an investment or business operation after subtracting for all expenses. opposite of loss) now, when HC providers are deemed to be for profit enterprises, they are allowed to mark up their product to create profits which benefit owners, shareholders or the value of the company.

    A non-profit organization, is an organization that does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders, but instead uses them to help pursue its goals. hence, they must reinvest all profits (that are not paid out in the way of salaries, bonuses, business expenses) back into the company. hence the term "non profit". health care insurers and providers are some of the most profitable companies in america. and they are allowed to be publicly traded. (AETNA, CIGNA etc) thus they have to show a profit to investors otherwise their share price plummets and the company loses money. this one is counterintuitive to providing health care. when you have a fixed amount of dollars coming in, because you provide a contract services, there are only 3 ways to increase profits. 1) cut your costs 2) reduce your liabilities. 3)increase your contacts. lets throw out #3 for arguments sake and say you are not able to increase the number of contracts for a given period of time. that leaves you with 2 options, cut costs or reduce liabilities. well the biggest liability a HC provider has the cost of patient care. so in order to reduce your liability there you have to cut services or deny services. its basic math. this if insurance and health care providers had to pump billions of dollars back into the system for patient care and cost reduction. wow, i just single handedly lower out of pocket costs for everyone........... (not that this will ever happen tho)


    Proof about the amount of money Health Care Providers Profit:


    here are the profits that were recorded in 2009 for health care providers:

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2009/industries/223/index.html

    you will notice that most of their profit levels have been falling since 2007, as they are being required to spends more $ on patient care, but that level is only a percentage. United Health Group still profited $2.9 billion dollars in 2009. Well Point posted a $2.49 billion profit and Aetna profited $1.38 billion. All top Fortune 1000 companies. If thats not a record, i dont know what is. 3% on $81 billion dollars is a ton of money considering that this is after paying out all expenses. You man think that 3% profit levels are low, but they are actually not when it comes to big business. And you forget that we are not talking about profit margins. Those are completely different than profit dollars. Typical businesses mark up their product 25-40% depending the industry. They then take the money that is brought in and it is applied towards overhead, salaries and everything else that it costs to do business (ie rent, insurance, taxes.....) what is left over is the profits. if you look at the link below about health care providers being #14, you will see that even the highest profit level is only 19.8%, and that is for mining and crude oil production. Pharmaceuticals are a close 2nd at 19.1 and then Tobacco at 12.3. No one pulls down a profit of 25% like people assume. just think about if Health care providers has to reinvest all that money back into the system (say like being required to become a non profit), that would be $6.77 billion dollars put towards patient care and not into the pocket books of investors and executive. (for the 2009 year alone) do you think this would drive down costs? reduce premiums? it absolutely would, but there is not public outrage about this. only about the health care bill.

    for your edification:

    2007 United Health Group profited $4.65 billion, Well Point - $3.35 billion and Aetna - $1.83 billion

    current 2010 numbers just released:
    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2010/full_list/

    United Health care was #21 over all in 2010.
    United Health Group Revenues - $87,138,000,000 Profits $3,822,000,000. (an increase of 28% over 2008, Well Point was #31 at revenues of $65,028,1000,000 and profits of $4,745,900,000 they increased their profits 90.5% since 2008)

    here more information about them #2 in terms of dollars per employee (thats $3 million per employee of profit btw)

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/global500/2009/performers/industries/bangbuck/employees.html



    they are #14 overall

    Global 500 2009: Top Performers - Most Profitable Industries: Return on Revenues - FORTUNE on CNNMoney.com
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  9. auditor0007
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    First off, there is a big problem with forcing people to buy insurance. However, there is also a big problem with allowing them to go without insurance. If people are not required to purchase insurance, but we allow them to buy it when they get sick, then it is no longer insurance. It's a stacked deck against insurance providers. So let's make it simple. If you don't want it, you don't have to buy it, but at the same time, providers do not have to treat you unless you can pay at least 50% upfront and have the ability to pay the rest in a reasonable amount of time. If you are truly sick and can't pay, too bad. It was your choice not to purchase coverage, so if you die, it's on you.

    What I find hilarious is that people who are against forcing people to purchase insurance will usually be the first to say that you cannot deny someone care if they cannot pay. Well, who does everyone think pays for those who can't pay? If you own a car, you are required to purchase auto insurance. If you don't, you will end up paying fines and possibly do jail time if something bad happens. Why is health insurance any different? Providers are forced to provide services to everyone, regardless of whether they are covered or not. So why not require everyone to purchase insurance or have the means to self insure?

    But none of this addresses costs. Requiring people to purchase insurance will not reduce costs. Leaving things as they are will not reduce costs. In my opinion, there is only one thing that will reduce costs, and that is to get employers out of the business of providing health insurance. Make people purchase it on their own so they understand the true costs. Believe me, when most people find out how expensive it really is, the market will adjust and become more competitive, and prices will come down.

    Here is the truth about insurance and the companies that provide the insurance. For the most part, they are not the reason rates continue to climb. The reason is that providers are not competetive. They have no need to be competitive or to find ways to be competitive. And the insurance companies really don't want them to be competitive either, because the more providers charge, the more the insurance companies can charge, and with their small profit margins, the only way to increase profits is by increasing volume. So in the end, the insurance companies don't want providers to reduce costs. Get the employers out of the picture, and get health insurance coverage back to being major medical type of coverage where basic medical care is paid out of pocket. Then you would see real competition among providers.
     
  10. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Everybody can pay something. If you get the government out of it, everybody will be paying a whole lot less both for insurance and for basic healthcare services. Before government decided to get involved, every hospital administered necessary medical care. But the person receiving it then paid for it, provided an insurance policy, or he signed a note agreeing to pay $5/month or $10/month or $25/month or whatever he could afford to pay his bill. This provided dignity to the patient and pretty well eliminated most abuse of the system. Yes the hospitals ate a lot of those costs, but when the system is not abused, that was manageable.

    States or communities who wanted to set up a charity ward were certainly free to do so, and there was nothing wrong with the private hospitals sending indigent patients to such places rather than overloading their own system or having to cover such costs.

    Get the Federal Government out of it and we'll see more affordable and more personalized health care very soon thereafter.
     

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