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31 August 2010

Comments

Kim Pruett

And how do these people think we are going to pay for this? Wake up people!!! Sorry, I had to vent.:)

Mikey McD

Future generations are screwed http://mikeymcd.tumblr.com/tagged/Your_Need_For_More

Health Care is not a right.

"Jobs, food, clothing, recreation, homes, medical care, education, etc... Who is to provide them? If some men are entitled by right to the products of the work of others, it means that those others are deprived of rights and condemned to slave labor.
Any alleged “right” of one man, which necessitates the violation of the rights of another, is not and cannot be a right. No man can have a right to impose an unchosen obligation, an unrewarded duty or an involuntary servitude on another man. There can be no such thing as “the right to enslave.”A right does not include the material implementation of that right by other men; it includes only the freedom to earn that implementation by one’s own effort." Taken from "Man's Rights"- Ayn Rand http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=arc_ayn_rand_man_rights

Mae

Isn't it funny how often the Left uses Jesus to justify breaking the commandments?

George Rebane

Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus teach us to extend charity through the offices of government. Instead He teaches that kindness, charity, and sharing with our fellow man should be a volitional, personal act of our goodwill and love for our fellow man.

George Rebane

Dear Reader - if you want to post a link in your comment, just copy and paste it in. Don't worry about HTML code or putting parens around it.

Thanks Russ for pointing this out again. I corrected Mikey's URLs.

D. King

Anthem Blue Cross sent out a press release just before
the Health Care vote, saying they would raise rates by
39%.
Why would they do that???

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/04/29/anthem-blue-cross-withdraws-big-california-rate-hike/

“Among those critical of the initial proposed increase was President Barack Obama, who cited it as an example of out-of-control health costs while arguing for reform.

Anthem notified policyholders last January that the increase would go into effect March 1. After a public outcry, the company put it on hold.”
and this…

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-6187231-503544.html

and now we end with this…

“LOS ANGELES, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross's defense of its recent controversial premium increases will be codified in law under eleventh hour legislation by San Francisco State Senator Mark Leno, SB 1163, just as the California legislature is set to adjourn Tuesday night.
Consumer Watchdog, the group behind auto insurance regulation Prop 103 that has saved Californians $62 billion, warned that if health insurers can defend rates simply by having an actuary say the increases are "actuarially sound,"" as Anthem Blue Cross did and Leno's legislation provides, consumers will be in big trouble.”

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/anthem-blue-cross-defense-of-recent-rate-hikes-codified-in-new-sen-leno-bill-101812383.html

Corrupt!

http://dist03.casen.govoffice.com/

http://dist03.casen.govoffice.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={5938D509-03E9-4845-9605-F46F87A1758B}

George Rebane

Thanks for the great input DKing. Do you have any data that spells out the profitability of health insurance providers? My data may be dated, but it shows that they have extremely thin but secure (they can really do the math) margins approaching those of grocery chains. It would be a good comparison to see who is getting away with what.

D. King

What I was getting at, is that it appears the big
health companies will be taken out, from the
inside. I dumped my research months ago, after
Obama care passed.

Todd Juvinall

The Founders never envisioned the Commerce Clause as a door to tyranny.

Kim Pruett

The two town hall meetings we have done in Roseville and Oroville so far this week have had an overwhelming rejection of the new Obamacare plan. The majority of voters do not want it and are demanding that the new Congress in January defund it.

Paul Emery


George
It looks like the health insurance bosses are doing OK so I assume the companies must be making pretty good money.

Ins. Co. & CEO With 2008 Total CEO Compensation
Aetna, Ronald A. Williams: $24,300,112
Cigna, H. Edward Hanway: $12,236,740
Coventry, Dale Wolf: $9,047,469
Health Net, Jay Gellert: $4,425,355
Humana, Michael McCallister: $4,764,309
U. Health Group, Stephen J. Hemsley: $3,241,042
Wellpoint, Angela Braly: $9,844,212
http://www.healthreformwatch.com/2009/05/20/health-insurance-ceos-total-compensation-in-2008/

Todd Juvinall

Well if you add it all up, you know, theose wascally CEO salaries, they might be .001 percent of the waste in medicare. Yep, that convinces me!

George Rebane

Paul, I recognize the type and tenor of your response, but am not sure what the citing of CEO compensations is supposed to communicate. The implication here seems to be that the companies' margins and executive compensations are too high, thereby requiring them to charge outrageous premiums which deny the poor, aged, and ill their 'right' to proper insurance coverage. Is that it?

Maybe if government would allow more inter-state competition, that might change. But then the state politicians would have to get along with much lower campaign contributions, since the insurance companies would not receive state-mandated monopoly or oligopoly markets as services in kind.

Paul Emery

If you were to look at CEO pay as administrative expenses then it would be outrageous but for some reason we justify these salaries as necessary because of the special talents and skills these CEO's bring to the operation. Why else would they be justified?

Perhaps interstate competition is worth a try. There is some legal reason that is used to prevent it, I'm not sure what it is. The various health industries also spend nearly two billion dollars a year in lobbying which is also ultimately paid for by the consumer.

George Rebane

Paul, I do think that competition is definitely the first thing that we should try. It has worked and worked well in every other enterprise to us provide with goods and services.

I think open competition will reduce costs across the board, and dramatically reduce CEO compensations. There is no intrinsic legal reason to prohibit such inter-state competition. But you will notice that the insurance companies, lawyers, and politicians continue to work hand-in-hand to sustain the current system. Save for consumers, all participants to a limited supplier system enforced by the power of the bayonet do well.

D. King

I think the debate has become so convoluted and
corrupted, that the left has no clue as to what is
going to happen.
Like the fake campus preacher, there to break
down moral values and manipulate,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvEzs6AXXTo

they have become slaves to their own rhetoric.

Greed!!! George Bush!!!......sorry, I panicked.

Dixon Cruickshank

Can I make 1 point - adding all that up will buy you 800 Gov employee's at 81,000 a yr - how many will we have to hire to replace those people under Obamacare ??

We here in Fla have at least 3 of them competeing and they are big companies -

Exit question - how much does the news director at failing miserably CBS News make ?

Paul Emery

Salaries for news outlet employees is entirely off point since it does not relate to the expenses involved in a health care insurance program that are passed on to customers.

Kim Pruett

Paul,
Opening up state lines and allowing consumers to buy health insurance in other states (across state lines)that are more affordable rates would be a good start. More choices. We aren't mandated to only buy products from California,and shop only in California, so why are we mandated to only buy health insurance from California companies? There was a bill that Tom McClintock introduced when he was in the California Legislature to make this happen but was voted down on a straight party-line vote. Open up the market and give people more individual choice on their health insurance plans and increase competition in the marketplace and prices will go down. The new Obamacare plan does not do that. It will drive up the cost of our healthcare tremendously. We are already seeing it in the marketplace. Also tort reform has got to be addressed. Loser pays, and also it would help doctors from having to practice defensive medicine and discourage frivolous lawsuits. I do agree with you that the salaries of these CEO's are outrageous, but when you look at the waste and fraud in medi-care and many of the government programs, it does not even scratch the surface. Reform is needed for sure, but the Obamacare bill is not the answer. Do you really want the IRS as an inforcement agency on this?

Mikey Mcd

I would vote to unshackle the health care industry instead of adding more chains and locks. Obamacare = anti-competition, anti-compassion, anti-fiscal responsible, anti-constitution and will only make health care worse, decrease our personal liberty, raise our taxes and debt burden. Obama knew that he had to force this tyranny pill down our throats before the 2010 election (just like Woodrow Wilson sneaked the 16th Amendment/Fed Reserve Act- before new blood in the house and senate) INSTEAD OF GIVING ANY ATTENTION TO THE ECONOMY. And we still wait for this administration to take constructive steps to strengthen our economy (tax cuts/extension of Bush tax cuts, opt-out clause to Obamacare, no more excessive government debt, no more stimulus, no more bailouts, drill here now, reform of public education, destruction of public employee unions, etc).

When the collective is offered additional 'rights' we must ask "at whose expense are these rights offered"? This question/answer will highlight that a too powerful government must first steal from one segment to give to another. What is the definition of totalitarian?

RL Crabb

So this guy walks up to Jesus and says, "Lord, I am crippled. please help me."
And the Lord replied, "Can I see your insurance card?"

Mikey McD

Actually Mr. Crabb the account goes like this... John Chapter 5:3-8:
"3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?" 7"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me." 8Then Jesus said to him, "GET UP! PICK UP YOUR MAT AND WALK."

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+5&version=NIV

Mikey McD

Wow check this out: https://medi-share.org/lp/Medi-Share_326hr.aspx?leadsource=Internet-Email&custentity_urlreferralid=msc0004-bg

Todd Juvinall

Paul, the democrats voted 26 billion in a mini stimuli a couple of weeks ago. The money is going to pay teachers so they can pay their dues and medical. Seems the CEO pay is nothing comapred to Obamacare.

Barry Pruett

It is not going to be very good for the Democrats when insureds find out from there employers in September and October (right before the election) that there premiums are going to skyrocket as a result of Obamacare. Just adds more fuel to the fire.

Paul Emery

Here's a story I'd like to share for your feedback

A couple of years I accompanied a friend to the emergency room on a Sunday to take care of removing a tick from her back. She was fully insured with Blue Cross, I believe. The local ER was good and the total time spent there was around two hours. She was attended to by nurses who determined it was a tick and by a doctor who in ten minutes removed the tick and prescribed heavy duty antibiotics. Payment was no problem because she was insured, She was a school teacher and it was part of her benefits. There were no problem or complications or complaints about our local hospital.

About a month later she received an invoice of what the charges were that Blue Cross picked up the tab for. They were around $1300, I don't recall the exact amount. Included in that was an admittance fee-$200 discharge fee _$200 doctors fee- $600 and other charges. This is my best recollection. There was no charge to her so it was more of a "wow oh wow look at this ".

A couple of month later I spoke with a friend who had the same procedure at Yuba Docs which he paid cash for and the total was $250 including a followup visit.

So why is there so much charge when insurance companies are involved? Where does the extra money go? Perhaps that's partially the reason execs make millions. I need help with this

Mikey  McD

Paul, as I understand it there is a sick (pun intended) game medicare/medicaid, insurers and hospitals play. Medicare determines what they believe the cost of procedures to be and thus the reimbursements/payments to hospitals, insurers negotiate with hospitals to determine what they are willing to pay in an effort to help hospitals fleece medicare/medicaid.

If the Yuba Docs example played out in more volume nationwide it is my understanding that Medicare 'auditors' would likely decrease the reimbursement for "tick procedures." But, since the hospitals perform 98% of the procedures at $1,300 each... that is the figure Medicare will use in the audit for future reimbursements. As your example and my life has played out (I have gotten $50 x-rays, 50% discount on child birth costs, etc) there are substantial discounts for paying cash. Saving/using cash in concert with a high deductible health insurance (for the 5% chance of a big ticket crisis) would do wonders for our health care system.

Paul Emery

Thanks for the input Mikey. I wonder what the ER costs would have been if the patient agreed to pay with cash? Either way, what the insurance company paid figures into the insurance charges that are paid by the employer and the the employee and, in this case since she was a school teacher the taxpayer.

One of the things that is seldom discussed is what, at least locally, a good job the private health clinics do to provide basic health services at reasonable prices if you pay as you go. They do take insurance of course. I wonder what they charge for insured customers?

Catastrophic insurance combined with cost effective heath clinics go a long way to provide health care for the reasonably healthy adult. Care for the chronically sick, unemployed adults or disadvantaged children is another problem.

George Rebane

Paul, sorry for the absence, but I think you know what's been occupying me in the last days.

I agree with Mikey's arguments, and would add to your story that capitalism will charge what the market will bear. Healthcare from a hospital as a big institution/corporation is subject to protocols, procedures, oversights, regulations, ... beyond that of a small clinic run by, say, entrepreneurial physicians. Also (as Jo Ann reminds me), established hospitals have to provide pro bono treatment at a loss to anyone who walks into their emergency room, private clinics don't. These uncompensated costs are huge and must be borne by the rest of us paying customers.

Finally, a big bureaucracy - government and corporate - introduces its own frictions that are added on to the direct cost of providing for the advertised services. And such institutions are much more adroit at using/inducing government supported increases for all that they can charge. Please don't hold your breath until Obamacare will reduce costs, it will result in asphyxiation.

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