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SO how's Health Care Going?

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JenniferMaxwell
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50 posted 02-09-2010 03:36 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Thanks, that's a really good article, Huan Yi. Don't have much time right now but will be back, hopefully tonight, to post something about.
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51 posted 02-16-2010 11:32 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Republicans got what they whined about wanting, and now that they have, like a pouty, spoiled child, they don’t want that anymore. They call what they wanted a dog and pony show and stomp off in a huff whining that they now want something else. So there!

Show up on the 25th you whining Republicans or it’s off to the naughty chair for a time out!

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52 posted 02-16-2010 01:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Wouldn't it be more productive to stop the ad hominem attacks, the mockery, sarcasm, nit picking and stick to discussing facts and the real issues?

Show up on the 25th you whining Republicans or it’s off to the naughty chair for a time out!

Interesting that those two comments come from the same person...
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53 posted 02-16-2010 02:34 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Good to know I was soooooo right about the whining part.
Bob K
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54 posted 02-17-2010 04:39 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear rwood,

           I've done a first read-through of the article.  It is interesting, but it presupposes that everything will function on a libertarian model.  The "starve the beast" rhetoric raises my hackles for reasons too complicated to go into here but go back to the economics of a man named Strauss.

     I don't think there should be a private health insurance business, truth be told.  You should be betting on your health, not your illness, and the cost of the other person losing the bet should not be them trying to find a way of letting you have marginal care or letting you have the least possible care that they can get away with supplying.  The nature of the contract however seems to be set up that way, ancd the insurance company is rewarded for the most behavior in that direction they can get away with.

     The foundation of the business is, for that reason, essentially a corrupt bargain.  Profit should be taken out of it on the insurance end, and there should be fees for service for the professional services offered, with some bonuses added in for especially good services.  Heaven knows how we'd determine that!

     This is a place where a government can actually do a better job than an insurance company in terms of payments.  A single payer system would be good.  The VA system has been given good ratings for years, though I for one feel that it could be much improved.  It certainly does do some things very well, and drug supply is probably one of those.  We can learn a lot from the VA, and we can learn a lot from the current system of private hospitals.  

     We can probably design a better system than what we have now and we can probably model it on the best of several functioning  medical systems throughout the world.  It could probably cost less and be more efficent, and put our industry back on a more competitive cost basis with much of the rest of the world.  

     That might be too bad an idea.
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55 posted 02-17-2010 07:57 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You should be betting on your health, not your illness

Bob, don't ever become a professional gambler. Illness is always going to win out, unless one is fortunate enough to be killed in a car or plane accident, or some such other occurance. Pick out 10 people and I'll bet on their getting sick eventually and you can bet on their staying healthy. I think I'll win.
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56 posted 02-17-2010 08:29 AM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Bob, need I remind you and other Obama health care plan advocates, that the original reason for DEMANDING HEALTH CARE NOW was the cost ramifications, and how it would bankrupt the country in X amount of years.

Problem is:  there's nothing in the bills that actually address this.  I didn't see anything in the bills that would actually LOWER health costs.  It's a fraud, and Obama shifted direction in his original intent of the bill because he knew he was lying that the purpose was cost containment. In my opinion, it's the biggest lie of the Obama admin so far, and nobody is calling him on it.  In this case, the huge government costs have a fair more catastrophic effect, than the current way of paying for health.  

I just want to make sure I have this straight:
to save the country from bankrupty due to healthcare, we are going to implement plans to bankrupt our treasury.
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57 posted 02-17-2010 12:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You hit the nail on the head, bare one.

If he represents all the people, Obama should remember that for 85% of Americans, the greatest health care crisis is about cost. For about 15%, it is about extending coverage. Yet his plan does little about the first and focuses mostly on the second. It promotes too little of the real discipline that would force costs down, and instead throws in a few ideas, experiments and pilot programs that could, over time and if rigorously expanded, do so. It is a bill written by legislators to insure that they never have to do anything unpopular. The Senate health care bill is particularly sausage-like. It has special exemptions on future costs for five states, exemptions for unions, concessions of various kinds to almost every special interest in the industry, and of course no reform at all of the crazy legal system because the trial-lawyers bar remains untouchable for the Democratic party.

NEWSWEEK
February  1, 2010
by Fareed Zakaria
JenniferMaxwell
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58 posted 02-17-2010 02:29 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Health Insurers Break Profit Records As 2.7 Million Americans Lose Coverage

"Executives and shareholders of the five biggest for-profit health insurers, UnitedHealth Group Inc., WellPoint Inc., Aetna Inc., Humana Inc., and Cigna Corp., enjoyed combined profit of $12.2 billion in 2009, up 56 percent from the previous year. It was the best year ever for Big Insurance."
http://www.pnhp.org/news/2010/february/profits-for-largest-insurers-now-30
-------------------------------------------
Kind of reminds me of Big Oil profits during the Bush Administration. Perhaps the government should claim a piece of the insurance profit pie and use it to reduce the deficit.

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59 posted 02-17-2010 03:57 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I'm not in basic disagreement with anybody at this point.  There is no essential insurance refore, there is no essential health care reform and the insurance industry looks like it will be handed a gift wrrapped package.  Thank uou, everybody.  Thank you, Bob.  Thank you, Democratic Party.  Thank you, Republican Party.  Full stop and press the restart button. I don't care who you want to blame, I want to know how do we make sure that the people in the country get health care coverage without private insurange making  a percentage, as much as thirty percent peer year, off the process.

     There ought to be a cheaper way of running the system than giving it to insurange companies to run, who have an interest in making sure that some people do not get covered so they can keep up their profits  and keep their profits growing.  If folks need to make a profit on the system and if it's a useful way to build quality into the system, I can understand and apprecuiate that.  Proifits are fine with me as long as they aren't made on an increase in lives lost.  This isomething  it requires a moral brick head to incentivize — call this a quirk in my opinion, if you will.

     If you believe that the current insurance reform plans won't work or that the current health care legislation doesn't provide care for everyone, pressure you congress persons for a plan that does, one that actually forces everyone to the table to negotiate a plan that covers everyone and knocks the un-needed profit out of the currently bloated system.

     Does anybody disagree that the system is bloated?  No?

     Well, where is the available  profit most useful to grow the system in the way that's best for the needs of the country?  You know, it's  not just companies that have policies and plans about growth that need to be tested in thge market place, folks.  It's not simply individual entrepreneurs!  If a country doesn't make some policy about this sort of thing, it end up on the scrapeyard of history.  There's an a marketplace of sorts for global position and power and influence.  If the United States is to be a player in that marketplace, it needs to have plans and policies the same as every other player in the global  arena.  

     That includes for major expenses like health care, and for how to deasl with those expenses so that it has the healthiest and most educated voters and workforce in the world, so that the basic decisions it makes are the best decisions it can possibly make.

     We can't afford to be left behind on thsi stuff.
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60 posted 02-17-2010 04:41 PM       View Profile for threadbear   Email threadbear   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for threadbear

Two good posts by both Jennifer on the huge profits of SOME insurance companies, but not all; and Bob's right on comment about full stop then analysis for cost savings/measures.

NEED Y'ALLS HELP ON THIS ONE:
does anybody here know WHAT exactly would happen, from an insurance's companies standpoint, IF interstate restriction laws were rescinded?  Currently, each state or region controls what and which insurance CAN supply that area.  National Insurance cannot be sold in the same way, so I believe they get around it by having an affiliate, local insurance salesman, do it for them in the name of the company (like Geico, i.e.).  

I'm just looking at the feasibility of the two common talking points of conservatives to help insurance costs:
- interstate insurance restrictions, lifted
- tort reform.

One or the other of the above bullets will have to be in a health care bill for the Repub's to seriously look at it, i can almost guarantee.
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61 posted 02-17-2010 06:07 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
does anybody here know WHAT exactly would happen, from an insurance's companies standpoint, IF interstate restriction laws were rescinded?


Here’s one possibility.

Initially the big insurance companies would concentrate on cherry picking the healthiest (and more profitable) customers, undercutting non-national companies by using savings based on centralisation of administration services and the consequently lower overheads to squeeze out the competition. The services offered would probably be reduced too so that the lowest premium could be offered. Eventually the non-profitable folk, the old or those with pre-existing conditions, would be the only market in which non-nationals would be able to compete but without the balance of high profit, non-claiming participants, they’d be forced to raise premiums or face bankruptcy.

Any State running a high risk scheme as a safety net wouldn’t fare much better than the smaller insurers.

In the meantime Medicaid and Medicare would run out of money and would either have to be scrapped or tax rates would need to be substantially raised to bail them out.

Once all the high profit customers have gravitated to the top 3 or 4 companies, and without any viable competition, the 30% profit limit would be sacrificed in exchange for a promise to supply health care for the masses, all premiums would obviously rise exponentially. Fewer people would be able to afford insurance and the additional pressure on emergency care and Medicare etc (if they still exist) would mean that the government was paying for 60 or 70% of total health care costs instead of the current 48%.

You could avoid all that of course, if there was a major insurer who guaranteed to hold the price at a reasonable level, a level that was slightly above the best price a non-national could live with. That would protect the smaller insurers, at the same time if you passed a law to set a national minimum standard of cover and a standard rate for all regardless of any pre-existing conditions that would avoid the cherry picking.

In fact I'm amazed nobody has thought of it.



Tort reform?

It certainly needs to be done but the money it would save is such a small amount it’s not going to make a heck of a difference. Current estimates are savings in the region of 1 or 2% - there are far bigger fish to fry.

Medicare and Medicaid for instance – that leviathan will be swallowing 25% of GDP within ten years if you’re not careful - work out how to fix that particular money pit and you’re halfway there.

.
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62 posted 02-17-2010 08:59 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I agree with grinch on the tort reform business.  If the tort reform did in fact make a 10% or larger difference, in the situation, I'd be for it I guess, but as is, I believe  it's an attack on a source of Democratic party funding rather than a means of actually trying to solve a money problem within the insurance boondoggle.  My research tends to support Grinches in this, and I'm open to seeing well supported research that says otherwise.  The flip side of the tort reform issue is that it keeps the insurance companies and the physicians on their toes and offers something of a support for consumers against those situations where insurance companies and health care providers can go off the deep end.  There needs to be a recourse for the consumer for not only individual situations, for which smaller awards may be sufficient (or may not, depending on the situation) but on those situations where repeat offenses have shown that the insurance companies in particular have accepted the regular payment of small suits as being a perfectly acceptable cost of doing business because it may allow them to make a larger profit by cutting corners at the cost of what may be to them an acceptable number of injuries and lives.

     The example of the Pinto gas tank comes to mind as a non-health care situation.  It took a very large judgement to get Ford to make the required changes.  They had been willing to pay out smaller judgements as a cost of doing business because they still came out ahead.

     A similar case was the judgement against MacDonalds for serving very very hot coffee that was likely to cause burns if precise precautions were not taken by people going through their drive in windows.  Because of the nature of the drive-through experience, it was difficult for drivers to make those adjustments, and a predictable number of serious burns resulted.  MacDonalds was able to absorb those suits as a cost of doing business until punative damages were added to one judgement and these forced a change in the procedure in the take-out line, lowering the temperature of the coffee to a safer level.

     The utility of these sorts of legal suits is important in the health services as it is in other industries, and the need for aggressive use of this avenue is something that the industry and the industries representative in the Congress have understandably been upset about for years.  The level of the upset, however, is something that is directed at removing consumer protections and attacking a Democratic party economic support base, and not cutting insurance costs.  

     I'd need to look at Grinch's other comments at greater length.  I think that the costs of medicare and medicaid may be difficult because in some cases they involve a duplication of services, and in other cases they involve the purchase of supplies that are in effect direct support of drug company full retail prices with all the trimmings.  A revision of that pricing policy may well bring the costs of that program way down, and an examination of where the government has constructed a situation where it has programs that compete with each other may bring down some other costs, if the competition has only to do with competition in parallel administrative structures.  

     TYhe notion of the government paying private insurance companies to do things at inflated prices that the government could contract out to do by private contractors to do themselves more cheaply seems wasteful as well.  There are some services that private insurers should not be involved in.  They function only as parasites and serve only as folks who compete for the money that should be going to the people who are in need of the services.  Artificial poor people, if you will, who take care of themselves first, and do so very well indeed, before disbursing what's left to some lesser proportion of the folks who it was supposed to go to in the first place.

     And spend a lot of that time and money destroying potential rivals who might be able to do a better, cheaper job had there actually beena free marketplace in which free competition might have prevailed, rather than a monopoly-driven marketplace where a small number of players colluded to set the rules.

JenniferMaxwell
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63 posted 02-20-2010 09:20 AM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Premiums, Profits, and the Need for Health Reform
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNwkWEBNNfU

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64 posted 02-22-2010 07:56 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

I believe the article I posted addresses what you’re talking about, Grinch. The “cherry picking” aspect seems to be in accord, and I think your projected model of application could roll health insurance over into a more attainable product, but you didn’t address the millions who depend on their employer to provide, unless I missed that somewhere. How would employers/unions/big businesses handle such a model? And should it not be provided, how would that be reflected salary wise? It’s always good to read your input.

Bob, thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. As for betting on health vs illness? I dunno. I’ve always bet on worst case scenario because that’s been my luck at times and it’s helped me to avoid such in the present, like not having any insurance due to my employer becoming bankrupt or the abandonment of an Ex-husband. During both occurrences my health was at its worst. Stress will kill ya!

and I do feel the cost of health care needs dire focus. Close examination of itemized content of bills might reveal to some what it revealed to me:

My employer insisted I go to the hospital when I cut my hand at work. Ok. I cooperated.

I was charged $50.00 for a cotton ball! $85.00 for the doc to peer at my hand for 2 seconds and then he told the nurse to stitch me up. She gave me 4 stitches. $175.00. A service fee of $25.00 (for the records dept.) $30.00 for a local analgesic & $12.00 for antiseptic.

My employer was “footin’” the bill for my hand and I had to pry an itemization from the billing dept for my employer’s records. I wasn’t out a dime.

But after seeing that folly? I contacted the hospital, raised questions, and they adjusted my bill, stating the expensive nature was due to “a new girl” in billing.

Imagine the itemization for major surgery or extended care. Does anyone really look at those bills? And if someone else is footin’ the bill should people even care?? Maybe this is what health care has been banking on???
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65 posted 02-22-2010 06:03 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The 1995 session (with George W. Bush was Governor)

Limited punitive damages
Reformed joint and several liability
Restricted venue shopping
Restored the Deceptive Trade Practices Act to its original purpose of protecting consumers in ordinary consumer transactions
Enacted a half dozen other reforms to curtail specific lawsuit abuses

The 2003 session (with George W. Bush was Governor)

Enacted comprehensive reforms governing medical liability litigation, including a $750,000 limit on non-economic damages
Initiated product liability reforms
Made the burden of proving punitive damages similar to criminal law, requiring a unanimous jury verdict
Comprehensively reformed the statutes governing joint and several liability and class action lawsuits
Imposed limits on appeal bonds, enabling defendants to appeal their lawsuits and not be forced into settlements (this is what pushed Texaco into bankruptcy in its famous lawsuit against Pennzoil)
Further limited the filing of lawsuits that should have been brought in other states or countries

The changes to medical liability in 2003 were extraordinary, and had a very substantial impact, including:

1. In August 2004, the Texas Hospital Association reported a 70% reduction in the number of lawsuits filed against the state’s hospitals.
2. Medical liability insurance rates declined. Many doctors saw average rate reductions of over 21%, with some doctors seeing almost 50% decreases. (Recent information provided to The Perryman Group during the course of this study suggests that premiums are declining even further in 2008.)
3. Beginning in 2003, physicians started returning to Texas. The Texas Medical Board reports licensing 10,878 new physicians since 2003, up from 8,391 in the prior four years. Perryman has determined that at least 1,887 of those physicians are specifically the result of lawsuit reform.
4. In May 2006, the American Medical Association removed Texas from its list of states experiencing a liability crisis, marking the first time it has removed any state from the list. A recent survey by the Texas Medical Association also found a dramatic increase in physicians’ willingness to resume certain procedures they had stopped performing, including obstetrics, neurosurgical, radiation and oncological procedures.

Last year, TLR commissioned a study by The Perryman Group to figure out the impact of these reforms (the above are excerpted from that report). Here are the economic impact findings of that study:

$112.5 billion increase in annual spending
$51.2 billion increase in annual output – goods and services produced in Texas
$2.6 billion increase in annual state tax revenue
$468.9 million in annual benefits from safer products
$15.2 billion in annual net benefits of enhanced innovation
499,000 permanent jobs
430,000 additional Texans have health insurance today as a result of the medical liability reforms

The complete Perryman Group report is here.

As these numbers show, tort reform can have a substantial impact on economic growth and wealth creation, and a huge impact on the healthcare system in particular. Any serious national healthcare reform must include comprehensive tort reform to reduce the practice of defensive medicine and other perverse incentives.
http://docisinblog.com/index.php/2009/07/27/texas-tort-reform/
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66 posted 02-22-2010 06:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

President Barack Obama has often argued that health insurance companies need more competition, and he's proposed a public option for health insurance to provide it.

"There have been reports just over the last couple of days of insurance companies making record profits, right now," Obama said during a prime-time news conference. "At a time when everybody's getting hammered, they're making record profits, and premiums are going up. What's the constraint on that? ... Well, part of the way is to make sure that there's some competition out there."

We wanted to know if he was correct that insurance companies are making record profits during one of the worst economic recessions on record.

Shubitz added that the stock prices for health insurance companies are not as high as one might expect, because of impending efforts at health reform.

"There are so many different possibilities of what can happen," said Shubitz, who also follows WellPoint and Aetna and has "hold" recommendations on all three. "A lot of this uncertainty is already priced into these stocks."

Getting back to our ruling, we wonder if Obama was simply remembering a story he'd read in the paper that day and puffed it up a bit. One health insurance company did report unexpected profits. But it's not clear yet whether others will. And the profits UnitedHealth reported were not "record profits." We find his statement False.
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jul/23/barack-obama/health-insurance-company-turned-profit-not-rec/


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67 posted 02-22-2010 06:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


THE CLAIMS

-”I’m very pleased that (Democratic leaders) will be talking, too, about the immoral profits being made by the insurance industry and how those profits have increased in the Bush years.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who also welcomed the attention being drawn to insurers’ “obscene profits.”

-”Keeping the status quo may be what the insurance industry wants their premiums have more than doubled in the last decade and their profits have skyrocketed.” Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, member of the Democratic leadership.

-”Health insurance companies are willing to let the bodies pile up as long as their profits are safe.” A MoveOn.org ad.

THE NUMBERS:

Health insurers posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing them 35th on the Fortune 500 list of top industries. As is typical, other health sectors did much better – drugs and medical products and services were both in the top 10.

The railroads brought in a 12.6 percent profit margin. Leading the list: network and other communications equipment, at 20.4 percent.

HealthSpring, the best performer in the health insurance industry, posted 5.4 percent. That’s a less profitable margin than was achieved by the makers of Tupperware, Clorox bleach and Molson and Coors beers.

The star among the health insurance companies did, however, nose out Jack in the Box restaurants, which only achieved a 4 percent margin.

UnitedHealth Group, reporting third quarter results last week, saw fortunes improve. It managed a 5 percent profit margin on an 8 percent growth in revenue.

Van Hollen is right that premiums have more than doubled in a decade, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study that found a 131 percent increase.

But were the Bush years golden ones for health insurers?

Not judging by profit margins, profit growth or returns to shareholders. The industry’s overall profits grew only 8.8 percent from 2003 to 2008, and its margins year to year, from 2005 forward, never cracked 8 percent.

The latest annual profit margins of a selection of products, services and industries: Tupperware Brands, 7.5 percent; Yahoo, 5.9 percent; Hershey, 6.1 percent; Clorox, 8.7 percent; Molson Coors Brewing, 8.1 percent; construction and farm machinery, 5 percent; Yum Brands (think KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), 8.5 percent.
http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/2359
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68 posted 02-22-2010 06:53 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Mike can you name one state that’s introduced tort reform with regard to health care and seen a reduction in health care costs? How about a single insurance company that’s reduced premiums as a result of tort reform?

The possible savings from tort reform are miniscule compared with the overall cost of health care and any savings that are made aren’t passed on.
http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?id=36768


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69 posted 02-22-2010 07:05 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Harvard Medical School surgeon Atul Gawande got a candid answer to this question from a general surgeon in McAllen, Texas:

    “Come on,” the general surgeon finally said. “We all know these arguments are [BS]. There is overutilization here, pure and simple.” Doctors, he said, were racking up charges with extra tests, services, and procedures.

    The surgeon came to McAllen in the mid-nineties, and since then, he said, “the way to practice medicine has changed completely. Before, it was about how to do a good job. Now it is about ‘How much will you benefit?’ ” –Atul Gawande, The NewYorker

While tort reform like Texas' won't improve the cost of our health care, changing our charge-per-service structure just might.


Apparently, there are more things that off-set the benefits of tort reform.

On my other point....

Health insurers posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing them 35th on the Fortune 500 list of top industries.

Does a 2.2% profit margin qualify the health insurance industry as being Obama's whipping boy? Shall we go after all industries that post that kind of profit...or more? Obama need a whipping boy? Health insurance is his. There are other areas to look...tort reform is one.
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70 posted 02-22-2010 07:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

WASHINGTON – Starting over on health care, President Barack Obama knows his chances aren't looking much more promising. A year after he called for a far-reaching overhaul, Obama unveiled his most detailed plan yet on Monday. Realistically, he's just hoping to win a big enough slice to silence the talk of a failing presidency.

If Obama ultimately settles for a pared-down plan, the final bill could look a lot like what Republicans have been calling for over many years. It would include federal funding for high-risk pools that would extend coverage to people denied because of medical problems, a new insurance marketplace for small employers and individuals buying their own policies, as well as tax credits for small businesses.

White House senior adviser David Axelrod said the president had no intention of scaling back his vision — unless forced. "His goal is to make as much of a good-faith effort as we can possibly muster" for a broad remake, Axelrod said.

In the new political order, Obama's plan builds on the legislation passed by Senate Democrats on Christmas Eve, while making several changes designed to make it more acceptable to House Democrats.

It would dramatically roll back a Senate tax on high-cost health insurance plans objected to by the House — and by labor unions. Instead of raising $150 billion over 10 years, the tax would bring in just $30 billion, the administration said. To plug the revenue gap, Obama would raise Medicare payroll taxes on upper-income earners. For the first time, Medicare taxes would be assessed on investment income, not just wages.

In other concessions to the House, the president's proposal would gradually close the coverage gap in Medicare prescription benefits, eliminate a universally scorned Medicaid deal for Nebraska and improve federal subsidies to help many middle-class households afford their insurance premiums under a revamped system.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100222/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_overhaul

Like the Senate bill, the Obama plan would create competitive insurance markets in each state for small businesses and people buying their own coverage. But it would strip out special Medicaid deals the Senate bill granted to certain states, including Louisiana and Nebraska, that have drawn public scorn. It also would gradually close the Medicare prescription coverage gap, make newly available coverage for working families more affordable. Those changes move in the direction of the House bill. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-02-22-health-care-obama_N.htm?csp=34&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsatodaycomWashington-TopStories+%28New s+-+Washington+-+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

It also will roll back the 10 year compromise on high-priced insurance plans that were supposed to benefit union members only and now must include everyone. Obama wrote "The Audacity of Hope". The book should have been titled, "The Audacity". That describes him perfectly. He sets up the sweetheart deals for some just to see if he can get away with it. When the screams get loud enough, he backs off and takes them away. Sorry, Nebraska. Sorry, Louisiana. Sorry, labor unions. The scams didn't fly.

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71 posted 02-22-2010 07:33 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

Are you saying, Balladeer, that you think insurance companies SHOULD be making higher profits than Coors or Taco Bell?

Wouldn’t shooting for higher profits also mean bumping more of those with chronic illnesses or those needing expensive life saving care out of the pool and raising already astronomical premiums even higher?

Changing the charge-per-service structure sounds sort of like a sneaky way rationing care. Hmmm, I’ll have to look that up.

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72 posted 02-22-2010 07:48 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Axtually, I said nothing of the kind. What I did say is that the insurance companies didn't even make the profit margin of Taco Bell...or an awful lot of other companies and do not warrant being used as the "evil abomination" Obama is trying to make them out to be to push his proposals. He needs a common villain, a tactic used by many leaders to rally the troops.

Maybe we SHOULD go after Taco Bell! They make more profits and just think of how many bodies they damage with their "El Scorcho" sauce which wind up as hospital visits with all of the medical costs, doctor care, procedures they incur, not to mention obesity.

That's the answer.....chill the Chihuahua!
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73 posted 02-22-2010 08:02 PM       View Profile for JenniferMaxwell   Email JenniferMaxwell   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JenniferMaxwell

“He needs a common villain, a tactic used by many leaders to rally the troops”

Thanks Balladeer, now I get it, sort of like Bush used Saddam and his non-existent WMD’s to rally the troops. Anyway, as the many instances of denying coverage, putting profits over patient care prove, this time the “villain” does indeed have weapons of mass destruction...so to speak.
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74 posted 02-22-2010 08:11 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

DOn't forget Hitler using the Jews and Osama Bin Laden using the United States. I didn't use those examples because the next charge would have been that I was comparing Obama to Hitler, which I'm not. That particular tactic is the same, however.

Profit over care? Definitely. As I quoted above.. “Come on,” the general surgeon finally said. “We all know these arguments are [BS]. There is overutilization here, pure and simple.” Doctors, he said, were racking up charges with extra tests, services, and procedures.

    The surgeon came to McAllen in the mid-nineties, and since then, he said, “the way to practice medicine has changed completely. Before, it was about how to do a good job. Now it is about ‘How much will you benefit?’ ” –Atul Gawande, The NewYorker


Apparently insurance companies do not have exculsive rights to that tactic.
 
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