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cotts135
01-30-2010, 06:53 PM
President Obama meet yesterday with the the Republican leaders and some of their members. What was striking to me at least was the ease that Obama had (In most cases) in refuting and dismantling the Republican objections to his policys. At one point one of the Republicans stated that their solution to the health care policy would have cost one half as much and provide twice the benefits that the Democrats presented. I have heard this many times from the Republicans but think about it Why would the president not go that route if it was true? Simply it is not based on fact.
Now at one point he dodged a question about discretionary spending that I think needs to be addressed but generally I thought he exposed what the Republicans are and that is a party who has no interest in working with him and are out-rightly deceitful with their claims.

road kill
01-30-2010, 06:57 PM
Really........

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60S5JY20100129?type=politicsNews?feedType=R SS&feedName=politicsNews&rpc=22&sp=true


rk

Franco
01-30-2010, 07:44 PM
Maybe the GOP doesn't want any part of the Dems and Obama's legislation and wasteful spending. Let the Dems take complete ownership so when they fail, the failure can be linked directly to the Dems policies. I think the GOP is doing all it can in keeping the Dems in check and not letting them do greater financial damage.

cotts135
01-30-2010, 08:05 PM
Really........

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60S5JY20100129?type=politicsNews?feedType=R SS&feedName=politicsNews&rpc=22&sp=true


rk

I read the article not sure what you are getting at.
What are you disputing?

Buzz
01-30-2010, 08:57 PM
Really........

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60S5JY20100129?type=politicsNews?feedType=R SS&feedName=politicsNews&rpc=22&sp=true


rk


Why would I want to read what this guy has to say when I could watch the thing unedited and without comment on C-span?

Question. Did Obama use a tele-prompter during the event?+

dnf777
01-30-2010, 09:16 PM
At one point one of the Republicans stated that their solution to the health care policy would have cost one half as much and provide twice the benefits that the Democrats presented.

Gee, they had 8 years to do something. If they REALLY had such a wonderful solution to all our healthcare problems, and didn't pass it, I guess they just don't give a crap about the rest of us. You know, us guys and gals that are paying for THEIR benefits. They had no trouble passing tax cuts for the upper crust, warrantless wiretapping, and starting an unjust and unpopular war. What happened to this wonderful health care plan they allegedly have? Or are they referring to that one-page bullet list that had NO numbers, NO funding, and NO implementation plan? Yeah, that's a good one.

Buzz
01-30-2010, 10:42 PM
Gee, they had 8 years to do something. If they REALLY had such a wonderful solution to all our healthcare problems, and didn't pass it, I guess they just don't give a crap about the rest of us. You know, us guys and gals that are paying for THEIR benefits. They had no trouble passing tax cuts for the upper crust, warrantless wiretapping, and starting an unjust and unpopular war. What happened to this wonderful health care plan they allegedly have? Or are they referring to that one-page bullet list that had NO numbers, NO funding, and NO implementation plan? Yeah, that's a good one.

They were talking about HR 3400. Info here:

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3400/show


Text of the bill here:

http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3400/text

Obama claimed that he had read the bill. His comment was (paraphrasing), if I could get a bill that would give twice the benefits for half the cost, why wouldn't I take it?

HuntsmanTollers
01-31-2010, 01:01 AM
If he keeps this up nothing will be transparent except his broken policies.

State Dept. official admits Obama 'violated' campaign promises on no-bid contracts in awarding $25M to company owned by Dem donor for work in Afghanistan.

I guess the good ole boy network is okay for him. So much for changing the way business in Washington is handled.

M&K's Retrievers
01-31-2010, 02:31 AM
Gee, they had 8 years to do something. If they REALLY had such a wonderful solution to all our healthcare problems, and didn't pass it, I guess they just don't give a crap about the rest of us. You know, us guys and gals that are paying for THEIR benefits. They had no trouble passing tax cuts for the upper crust, warrantless wiretapping, and starting an unjust and unpopular war. What happened to this wonderful health care plan they allegedly have? Or are they referring to that one-page bullet list that had NO numbers, NO funding, and NO implementation plan? Yeah, that's a good one.

Why can't people quit bitchin' about the last (fill in the blank) years and focus on what these (fill in the blank) idiots are trying to do now. It's all a bunch of bull shit. We don't need any fast trains, health care reform (if it ain't broke, don't fix it). No stimulus deals that apparently don't do anything. Quit bitching. No "deals" for states or unions. No miranda rights for those who do not have those rights. Quit protecting attorneys. Stop being afraid of saying what you think. Give me a break1

Matt McKenzie
01-31-2010, 05:03 AM
You realize of course that ya'll are arguing for losers on both sides. Think about how pathetic it is to root for a team that makes promises and has "ideas" but doesn't deliver anything. That's what both parties are. I'm just as disgusted with the Republicans as I am the Democrats. At least I expect it from the Dems.
I consider myself fiscally conservative and socially somewhat libertarian. Oftentimes the Republicans talk about the ideals that I believe in, but very rarely deliver. Why? Because individual and party power are more important to 90% of them than anything else. Same applies to the other side.
Here's something to think about. Reagan's illegal immigration policies are a huge part of why we have the issues we have with illegal immigration. Slick Willy signed probably the most effective pieces of welfare reform legislation ever. My point is that people on either side do good things and bad things and nothing positive is going to happen as long as we pigeonhole people and treat our political system as if it were a football game. When "my side" had control, the country was headed in the wrong direction. When "thier side" won, it kept going, only faster. If you stop listening to other people who tell you how to think and really look at what's going on, you will see that there is lots of difference between what the Repubs and the Dems SAY, but very little difference in what they actually DO.

dnf777
01-31-2010, 06:10 AM
Why can't people quit bitchin' about the last (fill in the blank) years and focus on what these (fill in the blank) idiots are trying to do now. It's all a bunch of bull shit. We don't need any fast trains, health care reform (if it ain't broke, don't fix it). No stimulus deals that apparently don't do anything. Quit bitching. No "deals" for states or unions. No miranda rights for those who do not have those rights. Quit protecting attorneys. Stop being afraid of saying what you think. Give me a break1

If you think I would be protecting attorneys, you're from another planet! The reason I'm still bitchin' is because I'm still payin', as will my kids and grandkids! You can't expect to run up trillions of dollars in unpaid bills, have NOTHING to show for it except near-collapse of the economy, and have people "just get over it". If we forget, we may really screw up and put those same people back in power! Bad enough as it is....Obama is really just another Bush as far as I can see. Massive debt, expansion of gov't power, and complete sell-out to the corporations. Same ol'....

cotts135
01-31-2010, 07:15 AM
You realize of course that ya'll are arguing for losers on both sides. Think about how pathetic it is to root for a team that makes promises and has "ideas" but doesn't deliver anything. That's what both parties are. I'm just as disgusted with the Republicans as I am the Democrats. At least I expect it from the Dems.
I consider myself fiscally conservative and socially somewhat libertarian. Oftentimes the Republicans talk about the ideals that I believe in, but very rarely deliver. Why? Because individual and party power are more important to 90% of them than anything else. Same applies to the other side.
Here's something to think about. Reagan's illegal immigration policies are a huge part of why we have the issues we have with illegal immigration. Slick Willy signed probably the most effective pieces of welfare reform legislation ever. My point is that people on either side do good things and bad things and nothing positive is going to happen as long as we pigeonhole people and treat our political system as if it were a football game. When "my side" had control, the country was headed in the wrong direction. When "thier side" won, it kept going, only faster. If you stop listening to other people who tell you how to think and really look at what's going on, you will see that there is lots of difference between what the Repubs and the Dems SAY, but very little difference in what they actually DO.

I couldn't agree with you more. This system of having politicians controlled by lobbyists is just not working.

Julie R.
01-31-2010, 09:12 AM
I couldn't agree with you more. This system of having politicians controlled by lobbyists is just not working.

Nor is the system of a priveleged group that can vote themselves raises and lavish taxpayer-funded health care packages determining what's best for the rest of us. ALL of the government should be bound to the health care decisions they're trying to cram down the rest of us.

ErinsEdge
01-31-2010, 09:26 AM
At this point I think Obama is clinically dilusional. He really believes he is the greatest thing this country has seen for a leader since sliced bread. I totally hope he implodes while lecturing Americans that are just not getting his view of life for all of us, but not until we get rid of the all the dead meat, good ole boys club whatever in congress and the senate, and get someone in there that has the balls to propose some real tort reform, get rid of the pork, the lobbysits, and show us what real transparency is and not just talk about it.

road kill
01-31-2010, 09:33 AM
Why would I want to read what this guy has to say when I could watch the thing unedited and without comment on C-span?

Question. Did Obama use a tele-prompter during the event?+
My point was that from what I have read and seen this was not a "kumbaya" moment.

I also agree with ErinsEdge.......this guy is having some clinical issues dealing with the stress and loneliness he laments.

This could get interesting.

***I just saw Frank Luntz on FOX say he did NOT use a teleprompter***


rk

Franco
01-31-2010, 09:43 AM
At this point I think Obama is clinically dilusional.



Liberalism is a mental disorder!;-)

He needs to be watched closley and kept in check. Not sure if Zyprexa would help his condition.

ErinsEdge
01-31-2010, 09:57 AM
Bet he's smoking more. Maybe he's having a Chandix moment giving a 70 minute speech and his pain was wanting a drag.

Goose
01-31-2010, 11:04 AM
The republicans don't have an obligation to support anything this sorry president does. Why should they? Remember his "I won and I will trump you" remark to republicans last year? Let me translate that..."Hey republicans! I don't need you so F U, too" Why the republicans would allow this guy to lecture them is beyond me. They should all hope he fails...and he's doing a good job it.

Obama's popularity continues to sink faster than whale turd which is where it should be. Most thinking Americans now realize that he doesn't have a leadership gene in his entire body and he's simply an agitator and narcissist. But if anything he's arrogant and arrogance will destroy everything in its path.

And if anybody really wants to improve the healthcare problems we face then tell the government to get the hell out of it. Big government screws up everything it touches and always will. Just see what happens to the social security program over the next 5 years...another fine example of what big government is capable of doing to us. What a disaster.

We live in Cuba now.

dnf777
01-31-2010, 11:20 AM
The republicans don't have an obligation to support anything this sorry president does. Why should they? Remember his "I won and I will trump you" remark to republicans last year? Let me translate that..."Hey republicans! I don't need you so F U, too" Why the republicans would allow this guy to lecture them is beyond me. They should all hope he fails...and he's doing a good job it.

Obama's popularity continues to sink faster than whale turd which is where it should be. Most thinking Americans now realize that he doesn't have a leadership gene in his entire body and he's simply an agitator and narcissist. But if anything he's arrogant and arrogance will destroy everything in its path.

And if anybody really wants to improve the healthcare problems we face then tell the government to get the hell out of it. Big government screws up everything it touches and always will. Just see what happens to the social security program over the next 5 years...another fine example of what big government is capable of doing to us. What a disaster.

We live in Cuba now.

There were more republican amendments put into the house and senate versions of the health reform bill than all concessions to democrats in the past 8 years combined. This is the first attempt at bipartisan governing I can recall. It is also the reason he has gotten nowhere with an obstructionist minority. They've as much as said so themselves.

road kill
01-31-2010, 11:28 AM
There were more republican amendments put into the house and senate versions of the health reform bill than all concessions to democrats in the past 8 years combined. This is the first attempt at bipartisan governing I can recall. It is also the reason he has gotten nowhere with an obstructionist minority. They've as much as said so themselves.
I don't care who added what or when......the bottom line......it is a BAD plan!!



rk

Buzz
01-31-2010, 01:05 PM
There were more republican amendments put into the house and senate versions of the health reform bill than all concessions to democrats in the past 8 years combined. This is the first attempt at bipartisan governing I can recall. It is also the reason he has gotten nowhere with an obstructionist minority. They've as much as said so themselves.

In retrospect, it's almost comical to think back to Republican portrayal of the Democratic Party as the party of no.

YardleyLabs
01-31-2010, 03:49 PM
Nor is the system of a priveleged group that can vote themselves raises and lavish taxpayer-funded health care packages determining what's best for the rest of us. ALL of the government should be bound to the health care decisions they're trying to cram down the rest of us.
Interestingly, they are not eligible to receive raises that they have voted on unless they are first re-elected. With respect to the health care plan (e.g., HR 3200), members of congress were treated the same as everyone else in the country. Their plan remained intact and they continue to receive coverage.

Buzz
01-31-2010, 04:09 PM
Interestingly, they are not eligible to receive raises that they have voted on unless they are first re-elected. With respect to the health care plan (e.g., HR 3200), members of congress were treated the same as everyone else in the country. Their plan remained intact and they continue to receive coverage.

There is also this:


Okay, this is pretty fun. Senator Sherrod Brown is about to go to the floor of the Senate and use a procedural method to compel Republican Senators to add him as a co-sponsor of an amendment that would force Congress into a public health care plan.

In case you missed the backstory, The Hill reported this morning that GOP Senators Tom Coburn and David Vitter are preparing an amendment to the health care bill that would force Senators and members of Congress to also use any public plan that is passed.

The GOPersí idea is to put Senators who back the public option on the spot ó if the public gets a public option, Senators have to use a public plan, too.

Turns out that Senator Brown thinks this is a good idea ó and has called their bluff by asking the GOP Senators to sign him on as a co-sponsor. But those Senators wonít let him!

Now, however, Iím told that Brown is about to go to the Senate floor and demand that the Senate add him as as a co-sponsor by unanimous consent.

That should force the issue and draw a lot more attention to it. Stay tuned.

YardleyLabs
01-31-2010, 05:15 PM
However, what it misses is that the "public option" is designed to be identical to "private: options with the exception that it will probably only end up providing the minimum "basic" level of coverage, rather than the variety of additional benefits that might be available through normal employer-sponsored plans. If it also offers enhanced benefits, it would be competing directly with private sector companies in providing services in excess of mandatory minimum standards. It would be equivalent to Medicare offering wrap around benefit packages similar to those now offered by many major insurers (very profitably).

In providing universal or near-universal coverage, the intention has never been to enroll everyone on a Cadillac plan. There is no reason to do so. Rather, we should define a base level of benefits and let anyone who wishes and can afford it (or whose employer can afford it) add benefits as they wish. HR 3200 set the minimum level for coverage at a level equivalent to about the 70th percentile of benefits received by those with coverage now. A legitimate way to reduce costs would be to decrease that minimum benefit level somewhat. However, there is no reason for the benefit levels of any plans -- including those available to Federal employees -- to be reduced to the minimum level.

HuntsmanTollers
01-31-2010, 06:07 PM
Two points:

1) Stop answering all posts with "8 years", that president is no longer in office and he didn't have party control of the house and senate for his entire term. Doesn't look like Obama probably will either.

2) I understand that the adverstising for the public option states people can keep their plans if they want to. However, I still believe it is a poison pill. In my opinion, it will make it easier for employers to opt out and pay the fine at a lower rate than they would be paying for their share of insurance. So while on its face it isn't eliminating private insurance, in the long term it is setting the foundation for their failure.

Roger Perry
01-31-2010, 06:21 PM
Two points:

1) Stop answering all posts with "8 years", that president is no longer in office and he didn't have party control of the house and senate for his entire term. Doesn't look like Obama probably will either.

2) I understand that the adverstising for the public option states people can keep their plans if they want to. However, I still believe it is a poison pill. In my opinion, it will make it easier for employers to opt out and pay the fine at a lower rate than they would be paying for their share of insurance. So while on its face it isn't eliminating private insurance, in the long term it is setting the foundation for their failure.

You are wrong, Bush had party control for a term and a half. (6 years)

YardleyLabs
01-31-2010, 06:26 PM
Two points:
...

2) I understand that the adverstising for the public option states people can keep their plans if they want to. However, I still believe it is a poison pill. In my opinion, it will make it easier for employers to opt out and pay the fine at a lower rate than they would be paying for their share of insurance. So while on its face it isn't eliminating private insurance, in the long term it is setting the foundation for their failure.
Right now employers provide the benefits they provide despite the absence of any mandate or penalties at all. What makes you think that those same employers will suddenly reduce benefits once and mandate and penalties exist? That is illogical.

Currently fewer and fewer people are receiving health benefits through their employers. These benefits are disappearing because costs are growing faster than company revenues. Adding to this is the fact that employers in other countries do not provide health benefits to their employees and do not, therefore need to include those costs in their prices. I expect that trend to continue in the absence of reform. The only reason the number of uninsured has not grown is because a larger and larger percentage of the population is receiving benefits under government plans: Medicaid, Medicare, and Federal military and employee benefits. HR 3200, or an equivalent program, is only the beginning. The real need to get employers out of the business of providing health benefits altogether. That is essential if American businesses are to be competitive in a global economy.

Gerry Clinchy
01-31-2010, 07:10 PM
With respect to the health care plan (e.g., HR 3200), members of congress were treated the same as everyone else in the country. Their plan remained intact and they continue to receive coverage

Since Congresspeople have a Cadillac plan, how would the bill provide for their "employer" paying a tax on that? Or would each individual Congressperson be taxed? Since I don't think the Fed govt can tax itself, I would think the tax would have to be assessed upon each individual receiving the benefit.

It actually makes some sense for all individuals to get their group health insurance as a group that includes everyone, not just those with a certain employer. The employer could be allowed to contribute up to a certain %-age of wage to assist their employees in purchasing whatever coverage they choose to have. Making the "group" larger than even the largest employer would help spread the risk so that the cost for each insured should come down. An individual employer's rates might be set based upon the make-up of his own company's employees (older, w/child-bearing age members, younger, etc.) Older persons who have individual coverage could benefit; as could companies whose workforce is older.

The key is that absolutely no exemptions would apply for certain basic coverages. "Options" would be available to those who wish to purchase them. Older individuals have no need for maternity & post-natal coverage. That could be balanced by the fact that older individuals might have higher risk of certain diseases not common to younger individuals.

Wouldn't it be rather easy to establish that kind of a "program"? It would not necessarily been revamping the entire system to simply allow an insurance company to group all insureds by "industry" ... regardless of who the employer may be (or whether the individual is self-employed).

Wouldn't it make sense to try that first before imposing taxes and penalties for not having insurance? This should bring rates down generally, which would encourage more people to get coverage if they don't now have it. But you can't exempt unions or anybody else if you want to get the best overall group within an "industry".

If you wanted to go a step further, you would not even divide the group by industry. A pipe fitter has more chance of suffering back injury than a real estate agent. (The pipe fitter's union requires that most of its members be required to carry 80 # (or something like that) of pipe up a ladder. Other occupations do not require that kind of physical exertion. If there are more real estate agents than pipe fitters, the pipe fitters would benefit from a lower rate by being in a larger group that includes real estate agents.

This would be a comprehensive perspective, but without having to establish whole new bureaucracies for implementation.

Then there's tort reform ... again pretty much leaving the nuts and bolts of health care delivery untouched, but gaining savings in cost containment. We keep getting the reply on tort reform saying that it will ONLY save a few hundred million. We've gotten so used to talking about billions, that we don't blink at $200 million or so. $200 million could buy a lot of basic health care for Medicare.

Only about a billion saved if we send the illegal immigrants home. A billion can buy a lot of basic health care for someone legally on Medicaid or for VA recipients.

YardleyLabs
01-31-2010, 07:33 PM
Gerry,

It used to be that the overwhelming bulk of all health insurance was provided through the "Blues" and that all premiums were community rated. That is, all groups paid the same amounts without regard to individual group risk profiles. In return for accepting a regulatory structure that supported this approach, the Blues were also permitted to enter into cost based reimbursement structures with hospitals and other institutional providers.

As for-profit insurers began to enter the market, they did not have this same price advantage. Instead, they competed on two dimensions. They offered premiums that were rated based on the specific risks of the group. By going after employers with younger populations, they were able to undercut the rates charged by the Blues despite paying higher rates for hospital care. In addition, they were able to offer services across state lines whereas the Blues were restricted to covering employees within a single state (with minor exceptions for some employees living within a few miles of the state border). That meant the Blues were unable to meet the organizational needs of the largest employers. Finally, the commercial carriers were then successful in overtuning the preferred position held by the Blues in paying hospital costs. That broke the market open for commercial carriers, but at the cost of creating a highly segmented premium structure. For higher risk employers, including most small businesses, the resulting price increases resulted in a reversal of long term trend. Where previously, the percentage of employees covered through employer sponsored plans had increased every year, it began to slowly shrink. Those losing coverage tend to be at the lower income levels -- where premiums represent a much higher percentage of total compensation costs -- and with employees in higher risk categories.

I believe you are right that a key toward making care more accessible for all is to return to community rated premium structures that base rates on the risks faced by the broader population. At the same time, it is important to prevent people from "gaming" the system by rejecting coverage until their risks increase either because of older age or known medical problems. The reality is that these groups normally have very low medical needs. However, when they do have medical emergencies, the costs end up being so great that taxpayers end up paying the bills through Medicaid or support to hospitals for unreimbursed care.

M&K's Retrievers
01-31-2010, 08:36 PM
You are wrong, Bush had party control for a term and a half. (6 years)

And your point is? 6 out of 8 is not his entire term. I believe those last two years did a lot of damage.

YardleyLabs
01-31-2010, 08:43 PM
And your point is? 6 out of 8 is not his entire term. I believe those last two years did a lot of damage.
How many Presidents in our history have controlled congress for eight years (hint: you won't find many)? The major damage to our economy and our country came during Bush's first term, not his last two years.

dnf777
01-31-2010, 08:52 PM
You are wrong, Bush had party control for a term and a half. (6 years)

You are also wrong Rog, as the spineless democratic congress in place for the last two years of Bush II practically rolled over bare-belly and gave him nearly everything he wanted. We really are suffering from a full 8 years of Bush policies.

Huntsman, as president doesn't simply serve his time, leave, and have no further effects upon our nation or its economy, any more than you or I can go shopping, then refuse to pay the VISA bill when it comes by saying you went shopping LAST month, not this month! No president should get a full pardon for his screw-ups when he leaves office, be it Clinton, Obama, or Bush.

M&K's Retrievers
01-31-2010, 09:04 PM
Right now employers provide the benefits they provide despite the absence of any mandate or penalties at all. What makes you think that those same employers will suddenly reduce benefits once and mandate and penalties exist? That is illogical.

I'm afraid your wrong, Jeff. I've been marketing group programs to small employers (2-100 lives) for the past 35 years both as a general agent and agent. Employers provide benefits to their employees for two reasons. One is to attract quality employees and two is they need the coverage themselves. With the current high rate of unemployment, benefit perks are not as important to attract employees as a paycheck. Most employers would be glad to get out of the benefits business, rate increases, employees bitching about their free coverage, claim problems, which network to be in, etc. They would rather be making their widgets.

I've talked with many employers over the past few months some of which are friends as well as customers and a lot tell me they would rather pay a fine and tell their employees to get their coverage from their Uncle Sam. I've said this on other posts but it wouldn't surprise me if the uninsured numbers didn't increase under the Dems plan.

HuntsmanTollers
01-31-2010, 09:30 PM
You are wrong, Bush had party control for a term and a half. (6 years)

6 does not equal 8. Guess I should have been clearer, his term in office was 8 years, he was elected to 2 four year terms.

HuntsmanTollers
01-31-2010, 09:38 PM
They didn't give him or the republican minority everything they wanted because they both wanted tighter regulations of Fanny and Freddie. Guess they were wrong with that too?! The costs of Bush's 1st four years of office were escalated due to the expenses of 9/11. I don't care if the actions at the time were right or wrong, it was the decision made and followed. You could easily argue that if Clinton (who I voted for) had responded to previous terrorist attacks like the embassies, AQ would not have elevated to 9/11. Again, it doesn't matter because that is hindsight. I care about the decisions that are being made now because we can impact those decisions.

HuntsmanTollers
01-31-2010, 09:45 PM
[QUOTE=YardleyLabs;559959]Right now employers provide the benefits they provide despite the absence of any mandate or penalties at all. What makes you think that those same employers will suddenly reduce benefits once and mandate and penalties exist? That is illogical.

I guess listening to business leaders who say the cost reduction they would receive by eliminating insurance plans would help their companies are being illogical too? Right now there is no other system and employers are using health insurance as a tool for retention. With increasing unemployment and a public option that would reduce costs I don't think it is too far a leap to think employers will try to realize some cost savings because they market will bear it. Employers are not currently fighting for employees, employees are fighting for jobs.

M&K's Retrievers
01-31-2010, 10:03 PM
How many Presidents in our history have controlled congress for eight years (hint: you won't find many)? The major damage to our economy and our country came during Bush's first term, not his last two years.

How do you figure that? The biggest damage was the Dems refusal to take corrective action against Freedie and Fannie which was their creation to begin with.

Buzz
01-31-2010, 10:10 PM
I'm afraid your wrong, Jeff. I've been marketing group programs to small employers (2-100 lives) for the past 35 years both as a general agent and agent. Employers provide benefits to their employees for two reasons. One is to attract quality employees and two is they need the coverage themselves. With the current high rate of unemployment, benefit perks are not as important to attract employees as a paycheck. Most employers would be glad to get out of the benefits business, rate increases, employees bitching about their free coverage, claim problems, which network to be in, etc. They would rather be making their widgets.

I've talked with many employers over the past few months some of which are friends as well as customers and a lot tell me they would rather pay a fine and tell their employees to get their coverage from their Uncle Sam. I've said this on other posts but it wouldn't surprise me if the uninsured numbers didn't increase under the Dems plan.

I'm sure they would rather pay the fine if they are determined not to provide coverage. But the fact is, today there is no mandate for these employers to supply healthcare benefits. So, please explain how they are more likely to drop coverage if they incur a fine versus the current reality in which they can completely drop coverage with impunity. Sounds to me that you're making the argument that the fine isn't punitive enough, rather than that it will encourage folks to drop benefits for their employees.

I would think that a guy that sells insurance would be happy to see an employer mandate, it will expand his customer base. I could see that same salesperson being opposed to a public option, because there is no way for him to hitch his wagon to that gravy train.

M&K's Retrievers
01-31-2010, 10:48 PM
I'm sure they would rather pay the fine if they are determined not to provide coverage. But the fact is, today there is no mandate for these employers to supply healthcare benefits. So, please explain how they are more likely to drop coverage if they incur a fine versus the current reality in which they can completely drop coverage with impunity. Sounds to me that you're making the argument that the fine isn't punitive enough, rather than that it will encourage folks to drop benefits for their employees.

I would think that a guy that sells insurance would be happy to see an employer mandate, it will expand his customer base. I could see that same salesperson being opposed to a public option, because there is no way for him to hitch his wagon to that gravy train.

A much as I would like it, the mandate will not provide more prospects. Those that don't provide coverage now will pay the fine because it's cheaper and less hassel. Many of those that do provide coverage now will join their ranks for the same reasons and do so without any guilt because their employees can get it from Uncle Sam.

The fine will encourage employers to drop coverage or not buy it to begin with. How could a fine be determined to be punitive enough unless it was equal to the premium he would have to pay. The fine would have to be similar to auto insurance. No proof of insurance, can't drive. No proof of health insurance, can't sell widgets today. This crap isn't going to work.

On another thought, what is your "gravy train" and how would you like the government jacking with it any more than it already does?

Hew
02-01-2010, 02:38 AM
I would think that a guy that sells insurance would be happy to see an employer mandate, it will expand his customer base. I could see that same salesperson being opposed to a public option, because there is no way for him to hitch his wagon to that gravy train.
Wow. That's cynical. Is it a foreign concept for you to consider the possibility that one could oppose a govt. policy even though it might be personally financially rewarding? Do you also presume funeral directors root for wars? Have you been a Democrat for so long that your reflexive reaction to any proposal from Uncle Sam is, "What's in it for my wallet?" Reminds one of some of the voters interviewed before the last presidential election who thought Obama was going to make their house payment or buy the gas for their car.

YardleyLabs
02-01-2010, 06:36 AM
I'm afraid your wrong, Jeff. I've been marketing group programs to small employers (2-100 lives) for the past 35 years both as a general agent and agent. Employers provide benefits to their employees for two reasons. One is to attract quality employees and two is they need the coverage themselves. With the current high rate of unemployment, benefit perks are not as important to attract employees as a paycheck. Most employers would be glad to get out of the benefits business, rate increases, employees bitching about their free coverage, claim problems, which network to be in, etc. They would rather be making their widgets.

I've talked with many employers over the past few months some of which are friends as well as customers and a lot tell me they would rather pay a fine and tell their employees to get their coverage from their Uncle Sam. I've said this on other posts but it wouldn't surprise me if the uninsured numbers didn't increase under the Dems plan.
As I noted in my original response, employers need to get out of the business of providing health benefits to remain competitive. This is reflected in the fact that the percentage of employees covered by benefits is declining steadily, leaving more and more of the population with no coverage at all. That trend will continue with or without reform.

In fact, I believe the drive to reduce health benefit costs is one of the major causes of employee outsourcing. Initially, this outsourcing was done in major corporations by hiring a significant portions of their staff through body shop consulting companies that offered only limited benefits. Eventually, they then moved to outsourcing those functions offshore to cut costs further. Companies like Microsoft, Oracle, AT&T, etc., moved substantial portions of their information technology staff (10-30%) offshore while an additional 5-10% remained as hourly consultants receiving few or no benefits.

Based on continuation and acceleration of these trends, i expect that we will see employer health benefits eliminated or severely reduced over the next decade to the extent that less than half of the population will receive benefits through their employers. Those dropped from coverage will be those with the lowest incomes and most will join the ranks of the uninsured. Of course, that's probably a good thing since, according to the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, helping these people simply encourages them to reproduce.

Establishing a health coverage mandate with employer penalties for failing to provide coverage will not accelerate this trend. Effectively, the cost of the penalties reduces the economic benefit of terminating coverage. With a lower benefit, fewer companies will implement the change -- that is simple economics. However, I reiterate that I believe employers must get out of the health care business completely. Let everyone buy their own benefits with or without some level of public subsidy. From a policy perspective, I would actually prefer to have health insurance excluded altogether as an allowable business expense.

cotts135
02-01-2010, 07:25 AM
They didn't give him or the republican minority everything they wanted because they both wanted tighter regulations of Fanny and Freddie. Guess they were wrong with that too?! The costs of Bush's 1st four years of office were escalated due to the expenses of 9/11. I don't care if the actions at the time were right or wrong, it was the decision made and followed. You could easily argue that if Clinton (who I voted for) had responded to previous terrorist attacks like the embassies, AQ would not have elevated to 9/11. Again, it doesn't matter because that is hindsight. I care about the decisions that are being made now because we can impact those decisions.

Are you failing to see that the policies being enacted now are direct result of where we stand now? The reason we are where we are are because of Republican policies.

Buzz
02-01-2010, 09:04 AM
Have you been a Democrat for so long that your reflexive reaction to any proposal from Uncle Sam is, "What's in it for my wallet?"

I wasn't the first one to start arguing pocketbook issues.

Buzz
02-01-2010, 09:08 AM
Are you failing to see that the policies being enacted now are direct result of where we stand now? The reason we are where we are are because of Republican policies.


That's why they don't want to talk about the past. You can't bring up Bush without being told that he isn't president anymore, and they don't want to hear about him. What Bush did has nothing to do with the present, but when Clinton was president, all the economic growth was due to what Reagan had done. If the economy turned around tomorrow, you know it would be something that Bush did, not the current administration.

Buzz
02-01-2010, 09:09 AM
Based on continuation and acceleration of these trends, i expect that we will see employer health benefits eliminated or severely reduced over the next decade to the extent that less than half of the population will receive benefits through their employers.

Last fall during renewal, our premiums were increased 49%. We can't do that for too many more years before be become uninsured ourselves.

M&K's Retrievers
02-01-2010, 10:42 AM
.

Based on continuation and acceleration of these trends, i expect that we will see employer health benefits eliminated or severely reduced over the next decade to the extent that less than half of the population will receive benefits through their employers. ....

.

I have been hearing that prediction for the past 35 years and it will prove true if the federal government continues with it's proposed involment. As explained in an earlier post, it will be easier and less expensive for many to drop coverage and pay the fine. Some will even give raises to key employees to help offset the benefit reduction and still be ahead of the game.Like you said "simple economics".

Gerry Clinchy
02-01-2010, 10:52 AM
It used to be that the overwhelming bulk of all health insurance was provided through the "Blues" and that all premiums were community rated. That is, all groups paid the same amounts without regard to individual group risk profiles. In return for accepting a regulatory structure that supported this approach, the Blues were also permitted to enter into cost based reimbursement structures with hospitals and other institutional providers

So what would be the big deal with permitting non-profits like "the Blues" to operate across State lines? Right now insurance companies get licensed in each state in which they operate. There are some companies that do not operate in those states with more stringent licensing requirements, like NY or PA. It might be a whole lot easier to get states to get uniformity in their licensing of health care providers than to ask them to swallow a large Medicaid expense they don't have $ for?

This would then give the for-profit insurors some competition without getting the govt involved in the insurance business. Blues already exist in many states, so the "structure" is already there.

BTW, the Blues are further regulated by county! I live on the border between Independence and Highmark ... so if I chose a PPN I could not go to a local hospital or doctor that might be closer geographically, if it happened to be in the "wrong" county. That kind of stuff could be eliminated as well.

One thing does puzzle me. On radio and TV there are lots of ads for hospitals; for specialties like heart or lung therapies and surgeries. If the reimbursement for these things is so "poor", why are the hospitals looking for more patients? There must be some profit in it :-) They don't know whether the patients they attract will be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurors (profit or non-profit).

As with any other business, it can be useful to cover basic operating costs by fuller utilization of a factory/facility even if it yields a smaller profit than ideally desired.

I would agree that health care coverage might be better served by NOT making employers the core of the system. Again, employers could always provide a cash incentive toward health care coverage, if they so desired. It could be based upon a %-age of the employee's compensation (up to $X) or as a %-age of their health insurance costs (up to $X).

Not a bad idea to get employers out of the health insurance business. Free up time of HR employees for other stuff. Unions could negotiate how much $ the employer incentivizes for health insurance.

Would these incentives be taxed? Seems logical. Then allow a deduction for health insurance costs on the employee tax return as well (for what the employee pays out of pocket).

Employees would change jobs not just for the benefits, but for the quality of the employer.

Please don't forget the Congress! Let them also pay for their health insurance! With all their other perks, they can certainly afford to pay for that if the rest of us do.

M&K's Retrievers
02-01-2010, 11:03 AM
Last fall during renewal, our premiums were increased 49%. We can't do that for too many more years before be become uninsured ourselves.

My guess is that you considered or implemented eithor reduced benefits and/or increased the employees contribution to the plan cost. I also assume that you had your agent shop your program with other carriers only to find that your increased rates were still competitive with other plans available. I also suspect that you found out that there are not that many carriers willing to underwrite your business not the 100's of money making entities out there just waiting to get rich off of you.

Gravy Train regards...

HuntsmanTollers
02-01-2010, 08:40 PM
Are you failing to see that the policies being enacted now are direct result of where we stand now? The reason we are where we are are because of Republican policies.

Not buying it. The reason we are where we are now is due to both parties. The housing market and bank collapse could have been reduced if the Democrats were willing to reel in Fannie and Freddie. Republican spending controls could have helped prevent the ballooning deficit. There is enough blame to go around. That being said, I don't like the solutions that are being pushed now. If having a debate over options causes our leaders to throw a hissy fit are they leaders or just a PR rep for their agenda?

M&K's Retrievers
02-01-2010, 08:58 PM
[QUOTE=HuntsmanTollers;560588]Not buying it. The reason we are where we are now is due to both parties. The housing market and bank collapse could have been reduced if the Democrats were willing to reel in Fannie and Freddie. QUOTE]

You're wasting your breath. The left on this board will not acknowledge the Dems and Barney Frank's refusal to address Fannie and Freddie's problems. It's all Bush's fault. He did it all by himself. I can't help but wonder how he could manage all of this when he is so stupid.[/I]

Damn the torpedos, full steam ahead regards...

Buzz
02-01-2010, 10:30 PM
[QUOTE=HuntsmanTollers;560588]The left on this board will not acknowledge the Dems and Barney Frank's refusal to address Fannie and Freddie's problems.

Damn the torpedos, full steam ahead regards...


Bush wasn't guilty of the financial deregulation that happened in the '90s. Both parties are complicit in that travesty. So are a few people that are close to Obama.

M&K's Retrievers
02-03-2010, 01:30 AM
[QUOTE=M&K's Retrievers;560598]


Bush wasn't guilty of the financial deregulation that happened in the '90s. Both parties are complicit in that travesty. So are a few people that are close to Obama.

But as I understand it, Bush called attention to the problems with Freddie and Fannie only to be told to butt up a rope by Franks and his compadres.

Roger Perry
02-03-2010, 09:05 AM
[quote=Buzz;560634]

But as I understand it, Bush called attention to the problems with Freddie and Fannie only to be told to butt up a rope by Franks and his compadres.

What happened to the righties for "less government control?" The republicans are for deregulation aren't they, unless of course it suits their needs for more government control.

M&K's Retrievers
02-03-2010, 09:10 AM
[quote=M&K's Retrievers;561105]

What happened to the righties for "less government control?" The republicans are for deregulation aren't they, unless of course it suits their needs for more government control.

Less government control would have been no requirements by Freddie and Fannie forcing lending institutions to make loans they shouldn't have in the first place.

dixidawg
02-03-2010, 10:36 AM
You realize of course that ya'll are arguing for losers on both sides. Think about how pathetic it is to root for a team that makes promises and has "ideas" but doesn't deliver anything. That's what both parties are. I'm just as disgusted with the Republicans as I am the Democrats. At least I expect it from the Dems.
I consider myself fiscally conservative and socially somewhat libertarian. Oftentimes the Republicans talk about the ideals that I believe in, but very rarely deliver. Why? Because individual and party power are more important to 90% of them than anything else. Same applies to the other side.
Here's something to think about. Reagan's illegal immigration policies are a huge part of why we have the issues we have with illegal immigration. Slick Willy signed probably the most effective pieces of welfare reform legislation ever. My point is that people on either side do good things and bad things and nothing positive is going to happen as long as we pigeonhole people and treat our political system as if it were a football game. When "my side" had control, the country was headed in the wrong direction. When "thier side" won, it kept going, only faster. If you stop listening to other people who tell you how to think and really look at what's going on, you will see that there is lots of difference between what the Repubs and the Dems SAY, but very little difference in what they actually DO.


That right there is probably the truest thing ever written in POTUS place!

ducknwork
02-03-2010, 11:59 AM
[QUOTE=Roger Perry;561146]

Less government control would have been no requirements by Freddie and Fannie forcing lending institutions to make loans they shouldn't have in the first place.

Shhhhh...don't burst his bubble. That is in NO way responsible for the mess we are in...:rolleyes: Wasn't that 1992?


Bush wasn't prez in '92 regards,