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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:10 am 
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Location: Colorado, USA
ces wrote:
I would give anything to know what portion of their insurance premiums were paid out to insureds and which were retained for "overhead" & "profit" by the insurance company.


Would you really "give anything to know"? Last I heard most health insurance companies have about 2-3% overhead. Not what you were expecting, was it?

I wonder what the overhead costs would be for a completely government run health insurance administration.

A quick google search yielded these results:
http://www.healthinsurancecolorado.net/ ... -industry/

See the comments below the article for more information.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:17 pm 
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djkest wrote:
Would you really "give anything to know"? Last I heard most health insurance companies have about 2-3% overhead. Not what you were expecting, was it?
The poster "Louise" is an insurance salesperson. What more reliable source of information could you ask for? How about a used care salesperson? Have I got a used car for you :)

There is a reason why the insurance industry spent so much money lobbying against a requirement that they payout 85% of their premiums. And it isn't because they are ill informed, ignorant, or are unable to properly evaluate their own self interest....

I don't always trust the internets. Apparently you do.

Just a wild guess... go do a search on "Golden Rule insurance" and "scam" See what you find. Ya gotta love that name. I haven't done that search myself. Don't rely on any single source... See what you find.

My recollection is that Medicare pays out about 97% of its money. The better insurance companies pay out 85% of their premiums and a large number of insurance companies pay out less than 85%.

The worst ones are the ones that sell cheap insurance and then refuse to payout when you have a major event or condition. They spend their money trying to claim you misinformed them on the application or somehow it is a preexisting condition. Then they offer you your premiums back and walk away. What kind of insurance is that?

Insurance executives that are good at doing that can earn large 7 and 8 figure bonuses. I guess they are worth every penny.... to their shareholders.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:34 am 
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djkest wrote:
Last I heard most health insurance companies have about 2-3% overhead. Not what you were expecting, was it?

No. Because your numbers state "net profit", which is quite different from "overhead".

http://masscare.org/health-care-costs/o ... alth-care/

Medicare has an administrative overhead of 5 percent, while private insurance companies have an overhead of 17 percent.


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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:28 am 
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The worst ones are the ones that sell cheap insurance and then refuse to payout when you have a major event or condition. They spend their money trying to claim you misinformed them"
google State Farm Mississippi. The insurance company stacked the claims for Katrina hoping people would give up.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:42 am 
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Greg F. wrote:
The worst ones are the ones that sell cheap insurance and then refuse to payout when you have a major event or condition. They spend their money trying to claim you misinformed them"
google State Farm Mississippi. The insurance company stacked the claims for Katrina hoping people would give up.
I use State Farm. I told my agent I was getting very uneasy seeing them in the news like this a little too often for my taste. I asked him to pass this message up through the chain.

Instead he tried to argue with me that people chose not to get "flood coverage". Mislabeling hurricane damage as flood damage was BS... but I explained to him that if one insured is too cheap to get proper insurance coverage... shame on that insured. When you have a whole state worth of insureds, all with the wrong coverage... then there is something wrong with the insurance company.

And State Farm is one of the better or best. The rest are even worse.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:51 am 
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tim851 wrote:
djkest wrote:
Last I heard most health insurance companies have about 2-3% overhead. Not what you were expecting, was it?

No. Because your numbers state "net profit", which is quite different from "overhead".
http://masscare.org/health-care-costs/o ... alth-care/
Medicare has an administrative overhead of 5 percent, while private insurance companies have an overhead of 17 percent.
And that is not all.

The net profit on your own capital, is real net profit. Net profit on premiums, is net profit on someone else's capital.... a bogus use of the term net profit in my opinion.

When you make money shuffling paper and others people's money, it isn't the same as when you make a net profit manufacturing trucks. It just isn't. A twenty person trading firm, trading treasury bills can can do extremely well on 0.01 % net profit on each billion dollars of their machine generated trades.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:04 am 
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tim851 wrote:
djkest wrote:
Last I heard most health insurance companies have about 2-3% overhead. Not what you were expecting, was it?

No. Because your numbers state "net profit", which is quite different from "overhead".

http://masscare.org/health-care-costs/o ... alth-care/

Medicare has an administrative overhead of 5 percent, while private insurance companies have an overhead of 17 percent.
That overhead includes the 7 and 8 figure bonuses.

UnitedHealth CEO William McGuire got a 9 figure 1.6 billion dollar bonus.
See: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/ ... 0/8380799/
How many people didn't get their cancer treatments in order to pay for that?

We will continue to get treated this way as long as people insist on voting against the financial and political interests of themselves, their families, their children and their children's children. Sort of reminds me of the many Johny Rebs that gave their lives in the US civil war... The vast majority of them were not slave holders, but common people whose wages and earnings were actually undermined by low cost slave labor.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:52 am 
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The "marketplace" for medical insurance is completely different than a "regular" marketplace. The people subscribing to an insurance policy *need* it -- they must have it; so they have zero power in the situation.

Also, having lots of insurance companies actually drives *up* the price of insurance -- they have to bid higher than the other insurance companies in order to be able to do business with hospitals.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:06 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Also, having lots of insurance companies actually drives *up* the price of insurance -- they have to bid higher than the other insurance companies in order to be able to do business with hospitals.
The hospitals have all consolidated. If there is only one hospital in an area.... they set the price. All these consolidations have been approved by our government. But it is anti-Republican doctrine to reign in these Frankensteins once they have been created.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:48 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Also, having lots of insurance companies actually drives *up* the price of insurance -- they have to bid higher than the other insurance companies in order to be able to do business with hospitals.
I don't think that is in any way an accurate statement. The price one pays at a hospital (or doctor office) is much less if you have insurance (even if you are paying out of your own pocket because you have not met deductible, etc) than if you walked in off the street. This is easily seen in an Explanation of Benefits when the invoice is sent to the insurance company, and one can see the price charged by the provider versus the agreed-upon price that can be charged to members who have insurance with a particular company. The list prices (especially at hospitals) can easily be 3 times higher than what one would pay without insurance (not taking into account whether the insurance company pays or the patient pays). Apparently you are lucky and have never been in a hospital lately (or never seen the bill).

Now it is true that insurance companies tend to drive up the cost of health care, but that is because it is not really "insurance" but an entitlement. Real insurance would only be for situations where some out of the ordinary event occurred, and the risk is being spread among many insured in case of a catastrophe (such as fire insurance on your home). When there is a situation where everyone taking advantage of insurance benefits every single year, then it tends to encourage costly medical care and procedures.


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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:47 pm 
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A third view:

1. Markets Don't Work Well in the Health Care Industry

It is generally accepted that unlike most other markets, supply and demand do not work as expected in healthcare. If you increase the supply of doctors you would expect prices to go down. They instead go up. And when the free market works with respect to insurance, the healthy prospects get cherry picked... and what you get is not real insurance (risk sharing) but health care buying agencies for annual checkups and broken bones.

There are reasons markets don't work here... but its too complicated to get into in a medium like this.

2. "having lots of insurance companies actually drives *up* the price of insurance".

First of all you have to distinguish what kind of costs you are talking about. Let's say it is the cost of insurance policies. About 10 or 15 years ago, economic power shifted from the providers to the "insurance companies". What it did was temporarily slow the increase of health case costs. But didn't really reduce insurance premiums, it mostly increased the profits of insurance companies.

And actually we aren't talking about insurance companies so much. A huge portion of the the health care payments are made by "third party administrators" on behalf of employer health plans. The "insurance companies" "sell" their "provider networks" to the employer run "health plans". Employers bear the risks, not insurers, though some portion of the risk is born by re-insurers.

The money is made by the insurance companies not for bearing risk but for renting out their provider networks. I don't believe the actual number of insurance companies (there are very few of them) affects what providers are paid (most providers belong to multiple provider networks). But the relative strengths or their relative monopolies does affect costs between these two groups. Recently there Walgreens walked away from a major drug provider network run by CVS in a dispute over money.

3. "The price one pays at a hospital (or doctor office) is much less if you have insurance"

I guess so. But there is no free ride. For you or for the hospital. If you offer to pay cash up front for big ticket services you, as an individual, can negotiate "usual and customary" pricing.... basically the price that the networks pay providers.

4. "risk is being spread among many insured in case of a catastrophe (such as fire insurance on your home)"

So much for Republican theory. And they know it doesn't work that way. You can't predict fire very well, so it is hard to cherry pick. You can predict health costs for an individual... so they are cherry picked by insurers.

The problem are the the Republican supported rules. If you or I were to run an insurance company and do the right thing... we would soon be removed or the insurance company would collapse out from under us. The rules are such that if you don't cherry pick, you have to charge more for your product and no one buys it. If an insurance company is stupid enough to attempt to really insure health risks, they will lost market share.

Let me restate that. If an insurance company is stupid enough to attempt to sell real insurance... they will be run out of business. They have to sell fake insurance.... essentially a buying club for health care services.

This is because of the Republican rules, and the Dumb "Johny Reb" voters that supply them with those extra votes to help screw the Johny Rebs and the rest of us. They Repubs have just enough clout, just enough money, and just enough stupid voters to be able to block any attempt to fix these rules.

5. "When there is a situation where everyone taking advantage of insurance benefits every single year, then it tends to encourage costly medical care and procedures."

This actually angers me. Are you for "death panels" or against "death panels"? Are you for "health care rationing" or against "health care rationing"?

The Repubs have no credible position on this. They throw these canards up tactically... the only consistency is they use them solely to fight change. There are death panels there is health care rationing. It is administered by insurance company claims processors. They call it "adjudicating a claim".

There death panels and health care rationing is vigorously protected by the Repubs. The protection is funded by insurance company lobbyists. It doesn't even cost them that much. They pay millions to protect billions.

I will repeat: There are death panels there is health care rationing. They aren't going away. They operate with great cruelty and unreasonableness. You think you have insurance. wait till you have a real illness. Then you will see what you really have. They don't look for pre-existing illness until you have real needs. They don't pay any attention to your lifetime million dollar cap until you get cancer. You have healthcare insurance until you really need it.

You haven't met the death panels and health care rationing, until you are sick... real sick, or until you lose your job.

6. GRRRRRRR!!!!!!! Why can't you see it?????????????

You are being played......... You are being played big time. Just remember, someone paid for the $1.5 Billion CEO bonus I mentioned earlier... people who were denied care.

Not people who were denied monthly checkups... That's chump change. It isn't even a rounding error. Abuse this little stuff all you want. It never amounts to anything.

We are talking about expensive life saving treatments. That is where the money is. That is where the rationing occurs. That is where the death panels operate. That was money that should have been paid out for health care... not a $1.5 Billion CEO bonus treated as just another overhead expense like office rent. That money was your money and my money.

That money belonged to the insureds. The 85% rule will only stop some of the most outrageous abuses. I suspect United healthcare probably pays out about 15%. They are one of the better insurers. There are worse.... much much worse.

Correction: "I suspect United healthcare probably pays out about 85%."

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Last edited by ces on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:10 am 
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Everyone needs healthcare. A society without healthcare means much less prosperity, and a much less productive economy. If people are getting sick and injured and die, only for lack of adequate healthcare, then a society as a whole will suffer.

Good healthcare is much less expensive than bad healthcare, or healthcare only for the rich, or no healthcare. Good healthcare pays for preventative things, and avoids very much more expensive "cures". An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.

We need to think of a healthcare system not as an insurance policy, because it is not insurance. We all need healthcare. What it really is, is a way to spread the costs broadly across the society -- because we all benefit from everybody else's good health. The costs are averaged, so those who need a lot can still afford it, and everybody has lower costs because everybody is included.

The system we have now is problematic, because a few people gain profit from something that is a basic need. Those who make profit will tend to deny care to some, so they get more profit. Why do we let the people who are profiting decide who gets healthcare or not?

We need a single payer system. It will cost a lot less, and we all get better healthcare. Our entire society will benefit because our economy will be much more productive, and the savings are used in more productive ways.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:17 am 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
We need a single payer system. It will cost a lot less, and we all get better healthcare. Our entire society will benefit because our economy will be much more productive, and the savings are used in more productive ways.
The biggest barriers are those bitter Johny Reb types that clinging "to their guns and religion" as they get clipped by the very politicians they rabidly support.

They just don't seem to get it that their fellow sheep aren't their enemies. Their fellow sheep aren't the ones threatening them. Their fellow sheep aren't the ones exporting their children's jobs. Their votes are available for a few dollars of misleading advertising.... paid for with the money clipped from them.

We are getting the government, and the healthcare, that they deserve. And while they keep obsessing about "illegals" messing up "their country" they keep doing such great vandalism to ours.... and we can't do a thing about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:29 am 
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I'm tired of your blatant and ridiculous stereotyping of conservatives. In particular, "Jonny Reb" folks. I am not from the south. Never have been. I am a Christian and I own guns. I'm also college educated as is my wife. I make sound financial decisions and am responsible. Don't lump all conservatives into your ridiculous preconcieved notions. This class warfare stuff is getting ridiculous.

A single payer system would be great in theory. In practice they are more expensive than initially estimated (always) and always result in sub-standard care and rationing. When I was in Ireland I talked to a lot of folks with an open mind about their health care system. While they said the quality of the care was pretty good, the waiting times for appointments were very long. An example was someone with a life-threatening disease may wait months to be treated. They said that wealthy citizens paid for private care, and poorer people are stuck with the sub-standard care. So how is that better than what we have now? Their taxes on everyone (including the middle class and poor) were much higher than the US, especially considering the bottom 40% of americans pay no net INCOME tax.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:33 am 
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djkest wrote:
considering the bottom 40% of americans pay no net INCOME tax.
Just curious where this figure came from? Not saying you are wrong, but it seems unbelievable to me. With a standard deduction of <$10k, even if we assume dependents and marital status, would'nt this place the median income at little over $20k?

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:50 am 
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djkest wrote:
This class warfare stuff is getting ridiculous.
That is what all the Repubs say... But they are the ones leading it?????? What do you call the massive redistribution of wealth during the Bush years?

White is black. Up is down. Fox News. Around and around.

You want to do something good for your country. Make some campaign contributions to Donald Trump and Palin.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:51 am 
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djkest wrote:
especially considering the bottom 40% of americans pay no net INCOME tax..
Does GE count?

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:13 am 
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djkest wrote:
A single payer system would be great in theory.
That BS is not an excuse for supporting our current failed system.

What is not so great in theory is not having a job (or a non-insurance covered job) in America and not having any health insurance.

What is not so great in theory is allocating $1.5B of healthcare money to a CEO bonus.

What is not so great in theory is having what you thought was insurance, changing jobs, then being told it doesn't cover your pre-existing condition.

What is not so great in theory is having insurance that you thought covered your cancer, but fighting the insurance company every step of the way for the coverage you bought and paid for.

===============

Don't hide behind arguments about single payer or not. It is about whether our system works or not. It doesn't work for far too many people. Shame on you that you don't care for them Shame Shame Shame.

'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 10:23 am 
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andymcca wrote:
djkest wrote:
considering the bottom 40% of americans pay no net INCOME tax.
Just curious where this figure came from? Not saying you are wrong, but it seems unbelievable to me. With a standard deduction of <$10k, even if we assume dependents and marital status, would'nt this place the median income at little over $20k?


It's not hard to get the information. A simple google search of "how many americans pay no income tax"

http://money.cnn.com/2009/09/30/pf/taxe ... /index.htm

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/ ... 5874.shtml

You can get the numbers from www.irs.gov but it takes some effort to come up with the number.

Top 1% pay more taxes than bottom 95%
http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/24955.html
(hint, they don't have more money than the bottom 95%)

This interesting says it's only 33%. They are only counting 0 or negative liability, whereas the other ones may be counting "zero net" taxes, where tax liability is offset by credits or other benefits.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/25587.html

It is true that this number has grown greatly under GW Bush. It's true he spent too much money. His fiscal actions are indefensible.

As far as supporting Palin or Trump, I'm not sure if that was supposed to be a joke? I dont' think I'd vote for either of them, unless I have to.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:33 am 
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There is a relationship between (a) supporting a health care system that fails too many people, and (b) the portion of people who fail to pay income tax, as opposed to other more regressive taxes. (why else would they be associated them in his head and in the same posting?)

(a) The poor dirt farmer Johny Rebs that supplied most of the cannon fodder (and battlefield deaths) to protect the slave holdings of those who had nothing but contempt for them.
(b) The conservative right, many of which are even middle class, that support the Repub backed robber barron's right to rob continue to plunder them.

They both thump the bible, just a little too much.... Read what they want to read into it and heard what they wanted to hear.... but have a deaf ear to: 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' Is it that hard of a concept to grasp? Maybe if you don't believe in it.

Oh... and both sets of Johny Rebs get screwed by the false leaders they so trust.

There is no way to tell, but I wonder what portion of the current Johny Rebs come from the same family stock as the Civil War Johny Rebs? Some actually, to this day, run around flaunting the Southern flag of failed sedition. What part of the civil war exactly are they proud of? Why exactly was it the Yankees that were damned?

Next generation please.....

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:57 am 
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djkest wrote:
This interesting says it's only 33%. They are only counting 0 or negative liability, whereas the other ones may be counting "zero net" taxes, where tax liability is offset by credits or other benefits.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/25587.html

It is true that this number has grown greatly under GW Bush.
Some portion of that must have come from the evisceration of the American Middle class. Don't you think?

By the way, I haven't researched it, but my understanding is that as skewed as income is, the ownership of wealth is even more skewed, not less skewed. Though in the greater scheme of things differentiating between the two isn't that significant.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:01 pm 
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djkest wrote:
As far as supporting Palin or Trump, I'm not sure if that was supposed to be a joke?
In part. The more birthers and clowns that run against him, the stronger he will poll. Their emotional appeal will draw the Johny Reb vote away from candidates that will do even greater damage to our country.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:12 pm 
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djkest wrote:
This interesting says it's only 33%. They are only counting 0 or negative liability, whereas the other ones may be counting "zero net" taxes, where tax liability is offset by credits or other benefits.
http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/25587.html
Beats me who the Tax Foundation is... but they cut off the top 40% and the bottom 20% of the graph to accentuate a point. Is this another one of those "Americans For Freedom and Apple Pie" organizations who hide where their money comes from (a favorite technique corporate Repubs).

Or maybe the Tax Foundation is supported by countless small contributions from the little people. Nah.

Hey the corporate contributions to these organizations are deductible. It helps get that effective corporate tax rate down under 0%, where it belongs.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:54 pm 
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ces wrote:
3. "The price one pays at a hospital (or doctor office) is much less if you have insurance"

I guess so. But there is no free ride. For you or for the hospital. If you offer to pay cash up front for big ticket services you, as an individual, can negotiate "usual and customary" pricing.... basically the price that the networks pay providers.
Do you have any documentation on that?

ces wrote:
4. "risk is being spread among many insured in case of a catastrophe (such as fire insurance on your home)"

So much for Republican theory. And they know it doesn't work that way. You can't predict fire very well, so it is hard to cherry pick. You can predict health costs for an individual... so they are cherry picked by insurers.

The problem are the the Republican supported rules. If you or I were to run an insurance company and do the right thing... we would soon be removed or the insurance company would collapse out from under us. The rules are such that if you don't cherry pick, you have to charge more for your product and no one buys it. If an insurance company is stupid enough to attempt to really insure health risks, they will lost market share.

Let me restate that. If an insurance company is stupid enough to attempt to sell real insurance... they will be run out of business. They have to sell fake insurance.... essentially a buying club for health care services.

This is because of the Republican rules, and the Dumb "Johny Reb" voters that supply them with those extra votes to help screw the Johny Rebs and the rest of us. They Repubs have just enough clout, just enough money, and just enough stupid voters to be able to block any attempt to fix these rules.
Insurance is not a Republican theory. Insurance companies can predict the amount they will pay in claims. They hire underwriters (who are statisticians) who calculate these things based on prior claim history. Same principle applies to causality, life, and health insurance. Sometimes they take big loses on things like hurricanes, but that is why you often see them quit insuring property in high risk areas.

ces wrote:
5. "When there is a situation where everyone taking advantage of insurance benefits every single year, then it tends to encourage costly medical care and procedures."

This actually angers me. Are you for "death panels" or against "death panels"? Are you for "health care rationing" or against "health care rationing"?

The Repubs have no credible position on this. They throw these canards up tactically... the only consistency is they use them solely to fight change. There are death panels there is health care rationing. It is administered by insurance company claims processors. They call it "adjudicating a claim".

There death panels and health care rationing is vigorously protected by the Repubs. The protection is funded by insurance company lobbyists. It doesn't even cost them that much. They pay millions to protect billions.

I will repeat: There are death panels there is health care rationing. They aren't going away. They operate with great cruelty and unreasonableness. You think you have insurance. wait till you have a real illness. Then you will see what you really have. They don't look for pre-existing illness until you have real needs. They don't pay any attention to your lifetime million dollar cap until you get cancer. You have health care insurance until you really need it.

You haven't met the death panels and health care rationing, until you are sick... real sick, or until you lose your job.
I am not voicing an opinion about whether people are entitled to health care. I am just saying it is not really insurance in most cases, since almost everyone needs at least some health care every year, and almost everyone will eventually incur a lot of medical bills in the last year of the life. However, I do see things changing somewhat as deductables increase, and to some degree insurance is being used for more castrophic events, as opposed to for everyday events.

ces wrote:
6. GRRRRRRR!!!!!!! Why can't you see it?????????????
Since you take rather well-known non-partisan concepts and turn them into an emotional and partisan diatribe against Republicans at every turn, it is you can't see straight. None of my comments above are politically left or right, they are just the facts. A person who believes in universal health care for all people would not have any problem with what I said. Universal health care is not insurance, it is health care. Just like social security is not retirement "insurance", it is just retirement benefits.


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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:34 pm 
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Single payer is good in reality -- the rest of the first world nations and some of the second world nations have it. They pay more more than half as much as we do, and they have better overall healthcare than we do in the USA. Everybody is covered, no questions. None are perfect, but they never have anybody going bankrupt due to medical expenses.

The rest of the countries with full healthcare systems pay HALF as much, or LESS than we do, and they have better overall healthcare.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:37 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
None are perfect, but they never have anybody going bankrupt due to medical expenses.
That reminds me. In the last 10 or 20 years some huge portion of bankruptcies have been healthcare related.

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:19 pm 
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NeilBlanchard wrote:
Single payer is good in reality -- the rest of the first world nations and some of the second world nations have it. They pay more more than half as much as we do, and they have better overall healthcare than we do in the USA. Everybody is covered, no questions. None are perfect, but they never have anybody going bankrupt due to medical expenses.

The rest of the countries with full healthcare systems pay HALF as much, or LESS than we do, and they have better overall healthcare.

The main reason why other countries spend only half as much are the following:

1. Health care workers in the US make much more than in other countries, especially physicians.

2. Most other countries have very serious limits on malpractice lawsuits (or don't allow them at all), since it is like suing the government (can't win). Doctors on average in the US pay $100,000 per year for malpractice insurance, and those costs get passed on to consumers. The Personal Injury lawyers get rich (along with the media who get paid to run all those ads for them).

3. Unlike the US, most other countries regulate the price that pharmaceutical companies can charge for drugs, and the US does not allow the legal importation of drugs, even from Canada.

4. Despite what people are willing to admit, there is rationing of health care in almost all other countries that have free government provided healthcare (unless you want to pay for it yourself). I am not saying this is bad for society as a whole, but it is a fact.

I am not saying that a single payer system is necessarily bad, and it might save a little money, but the lack of such a system is not really the reason why medical costs are so high in the US, unless what you really mean by "single payer" is a single provider system (government run health care) or a system where prices and coverage is regulated by the government, and government limits malpractice suits.

When you have 18% of the GNP spent on directly on health care in the US (and the real number counting indirect spending is even higher), and almost all the health care workers are afraid they will suffer an income loss if the government gets involved (and there is good reason to believe that would happen), then it is hard to completely change the system to the single payer or government provider model.


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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:27 pm 
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ces wrote:
NeilBlanchard wrote:
None are perfect, but they never have anybody going bankrupt due to medical expenses.
That reminds me. In the last 10 or 20 years some huge portion of bankruptcies have been healthcare related.

For an individual to go bankrupt, and discharge all their debts, is not the end of the world. It is sort of like going back in time to when one finishes schooling (and has zero net worth) and starts working. Most of those people had little net worth to begin with, or they would have purchased insurance. In most cases, they can keep the equity in their homes. They do loose their credit cards, but that is often the best thing that can happen to them.

These same people would not purchase auto insurance or homeowners insurance, unless they were required to by lenders or the government (to get a drivers license or license plates). Of course, because we don't enforce immigration laws, most of us have to also purchase uninsured motorist coverage.


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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:47 pm 
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m0002a wrote:
These same people would not purchase auto insurance or homeowners insurance, unless they were required to by lenders or the government (to get a drivers license or license plates). Of course, because we don't enforce immigration laws, most of us have to also purchase uninsured motorist coverage.
WOW. Those were mostly people who thought they had health insurance... (but found out differently the hard way) or who who lost their job/insurance at a bad time, or who were hit with the old pre-existing condition scam.

There are mostly older people who played by the rules... at a fixed gaming table. As they tend to be older people with failing health, they can't do easily get up and start over again with failing health.

Sheesh.... this reminds me of Dilbert describing the HR department: All the sympathy and compassion of the legal department, but without the verbal skills.

'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

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 Post subject: Re: Republican Bill to Redefine Pi - Again
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:52 pm 
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BTW this is not about "single payer"... which is one of many possible solutions.

This is about a failed system that is killing people and which can't be fixed because Repubs are blocking the way at every turn. And they aren't doing it for the benefit of anyone posting on this thread. Honest.

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