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TXduckdog
10-13-2009, 11:40 AM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107204574469100132608102.html

Summation:


"All of these lobbies should have known better. The insurers have been especially foolish, given that ObamaCare has all along been about converting them into public utilities. Washington will design benefits and set prices—and now there's even talk in the House of a windfall profits tax. The CEOs of Aetna, WellPoint, UnitedHealthcare and the rest deserve to be sued for destroying shareholder value through political malpractice. If nothing else, this exercise provides an object lesson in the wisdom of the Washington adage that "if you're not at the table, you're on the menu." The industry is "at the table"—as the main course.

The tragedy is that the biggest losers will be average Americans, who thanks to this political collusion are likely to end up with insurance that is more expensive and less flexible than even the status quo.
"

Gerry Clinchy
10-13-2009, 09:13 PM
The article also states:


Now they'll pay only $750 after eight years of noncompliance, from an original maximum of $3,800 in the first year, because taxing people looked bad politically. But without this brute tax force, healthier people will opt out of expensive insurance pools and only buy coverage when they need it. It doesn't take a consulting firm to prove that this is an adverse-selection disaster waiting to happen.

Geez! I posted something similar to this weeks ago ... and I'm no rocket scientist. And now they're putting an 8-year delay on compliance?

"Political collusion" absolutely is a perfect term to describe what has happened.

Bruce MacPherson
10-14-2009, 01:28 AM
The only surprise here is that the insurance companies actually thought they might benefit from this legislation.

YardleyLabs
10-14-2009, 06:25 AM
The insurance industry only has one issue, and that is the lack of effective universal coverage in the Baucus because of the reduction of the penalties for non-compliance in conjunction restrictions on their ability to exclude coverage for prior conditions. I agree with them and hope that the penalties are increased before a final plan is adopted.

Gerry Clinchy
10-14-2009, 10:45 AM
Wonder which lobby/special interest group pulled off the modification of the penalty portion of the proposal?

The private insurors can still go into the Ferrari-level upgrades to basic coverage. This may cut down the size of the industry. Will cost some jobs, many of which may then be replaced with govt jobs administering the govt aspects of the plan.

Still waiting for someone to come up with an anticipated cost of the "basic" coverage. We're told that will be worked out later by some agency or other. How can anyone be in favor or against a plan until we know what it will mean in terms of cost at the consumer level? I'm betting that it will be more than most people are thinking. People are only thinking that it HAS to be lower cost. If it starts out that way, I don't think it will last too long before the cost goes up.

Interesting in terms of time frame. Since this is supposed to start in 2013, there will still be time to re-elect O in 2012 for his great reforms. With the 8-yr delay on the penalty, the private insurors should have time to need to raise their rates on coverage. That will make them look pretty bad by the time the Pres election occurs in 2016. The Ds could use this effectively in the POTUS campaign to promote how wise they were in taking over health care coverage. By 2020, we should be able to see what's really shaping up.

By 2020, ten years from now, the Ds may be able to accomplish amnesty for the illegals. Might take another 4 years before we realize what this will do WRT to cost for "universal" coverage.

Seems like a good plan for keeping Ds employed for quite a while. Within 10 years, the natural cycle of the economy should take the cloud off the current economic woes. If the economy doesn't show real signs of recovery by 2014, the scenario would change.

Of course, the whole scenario would also be impacted by whether somebody in the Mideast decides to blow up one of their neighbors.

TXduckdog
10-14-2009, 11:34 AM
The insurance industry only has one issue, and that is the lack of effective universal coverage in the Baucus because of the reduction of the penalties for non-compliance in conjunction restrictions on their ability to exclude coverage for prior conditions. I agree with them and hope that the penalties are increased before a final plan is adopted.


Jeff...if penalties are increased won't there be a resultant raise in premium costs and why would we want that? Isn't that cutting off your nose to spite you face?

Why penalize for this and make everybody else pay for it?

Gerry Clinchy
10-14-2009, 12:31 PM
Jeff...if penalties are increased won't there be a resultant raise in premium costs and why would we want that? Isn't that cutting off your nose to spite you face?

Why penalize for this and make everybody else pay for it?

1) Because this was the hew and cry from public opinion: it was unfair to not insure those with pre-existing conditions.

There is no question in my mind that there would be few of us on this forum who couldn't be empathetic to the many stories of people tragically ill who could be reduced to abject poverty by the cost of medical care for the illness.

That said, once the assets are depleted, there ARE govt programs for assisting in the medical care. What is a human life worth? All your assets? More horrific, it would seem, that the care is simply unavailable or denied. In at least some of the universal care countries, the latter has been the case.

2) That's what was voted for in the past Presidential election.

The problem with #2 was that nobody was thinking ahead to how this could be accomplished. At least some who might have been in favor of the "concept" may turn out not to be in favor of how it is accomplished, or at what cost.

A minor penalty for not purchasing coverage when young and healthy, destroys the whole cost structure that universality would provide.

I can recall that in many small business health plans, the employer (or employee) was also required to purchase life insurance. Since there was low risk that the insuror would ever have to pay off on the life insurance (job changes, for example, before death), the life insurance premium offset the health insurance premium that might prove high risk. Similar idea to having young & healthy required to purchase health insurance.

Only a dummy would not absorb the $750 penalty ... AFTER 8 years of non-compliance ... in lieu of more to acquire health insurance ... when they knew they could get coverage in the event they DID become ill.

That's less than $100/year, for God's sake. Even for a young/healthy person, they probably could not purchase ANY form of health insurance for that price. The 21-yr old non-complier, would be 29 before he HAD to purchase insurance (unless the penalty was still low enough to make it worth the gamble of not having it). OTOH, there is a greater chance of the 29 yr old having developed a pre-existing condition than there was for the 21 yr old.