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Thread: How's That Obamacare Doing...

  1. #11
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    ...

    Why does nobody notice what is happening in the UK? The financial burden has gotten so large that they ARE making decisions to deny treatments ... from what I've read the treatments must be anticipated to lengthen life by a year, otherwise the treatment is denied. They are also trying to put some of the health care back into private hands ... letting people purchase health care outside the govt system.

    The value of looking carefully at the UK is that, as one of the oldest systems of universal health care, it has gone through the complete evolution of govt-controlled medical care (and make no mistake, whether the govt provides the "insurance" or the actual services, since they will control the payments for the services, they will control medical care). They are now at the stage where they are finding it's not working. Duh?

    ...
    Somewhere in your assessment of the UK, you need to address the fact that they are paying less than half of what we do for medical care. The "financial crisis" is that they do not want to pay more. Nobody is suggesting that we cut our spending in half. However, we too have reached the point where we need to be saying "No more!" That will not sit too well with pharmaceutical companies and other public companies that have been valued by investors based on their ability to grow profits by double digits every year. That may work for them, but it doesn't work for us.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Gerry Clinchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    Somewhere in your assessment of the UK, you need to address the fact that they are paying less than half of what we do for medical care. The "financial crisis" is that they do not want to pay more. Nobody is suggesting that we cut our spending in half. However, we too have reached the point where we need to be saying "No more!" That will not sit too well with pharmaceutical companies and other public companies that have been valued by investors based on their ability to grow profits by double digits every year. That may work for them, but it doesn't work for us.
    I would have to ask why they spend 1/2 as much ... and still seem to be running out of money.

    I believe their taxes are quite high? Is the overall standard of living lower? Is there less disposable income? Is that why govt-run medical care was viewed as necessary?

    I'd have to guess that energy costs are surely higher. Much as we complain about the cost of gas, I believe all of Europe pays a lot more than we do for gasoline. I would imagine other forms of energy (for heating, electricity) are similarly more expensive.

    A friend who has friends in Germany says that Germans put solar voltaic cells wherever they can find a place to put them on their homes. I'd guess that there is motivation to do that.

    The larger question also becomes at what point the govt can stop taking responsibility for providing its citizens with all the necessities of life? I think that is another underlying issue with Obamacare, or any other entitlement program.

    In my mind, there is no question that this is an entitlement program. The premise is that everyone is entitled to health care. The level of care they are entitled to appears to be whatever is established as the minimum in Obamacare.

    The legislation has already assumed that even if everyone is guaranteed a certain level of care, many of them still won't be able to afford it ... so others will pay more for their minimum level of care, so that it can take up the slack for those who cannot pay for theirs.

    Isn't everyone entitled to food? Or a roof over their head? or heat for their home? or clothing? Who determines what the minimum needs are?

    The taxation of deluxe plans also seems to make the assumption that people who can afford a higher level of care should have to pay even more (by being taxed) for the financial success they have earned.

    While one could be led to think that the very rich can easily afford the extra tariff. However, people who earn $250K/year are in quite a different category from those who earn $2 million/year.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom View Post

    If you really want to know what is wrong with healthcare reform, ask a republican congressman or senator, I'm sure they would be happy to tell you how they made sure that sucess would be impossible.
    If you will recall, the Republicans had absolutely no input to Obamacare and were excluded in all meetings regarding it's design.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    Are you saying these changes are good, bad or indifferent? I'm saying it is adding to the number of uninsureds.

    3M specifically noted that, because of health care reform, that better medical options were available to its retirees than it was offering. It will terminate its plan, giving retirees the money that it otherwise would have paid, to permit them to buy their own coverage instead. Where are they going to buy it? From the Government plan as it will be the only program available. (See http://www.startribune.com/business/...D3aPc:_Yyc:aUU)

    McDonalds has contested the WSJ report, noting that it has no intention of terminating benefits for its employees. However, it is addressing alternatives since the provider of its benefits for hourly employees does not comply with a Federal requirement that at least 85% of premiums be paid out in benefits unless an exemption is requested and approved. For normal benefit plans, the 85% limit is not that onerous, and many states already have requirements forcing insurance companies to pay out 80-85% of premiums in benefits as a minimum. Most plans have loss ratios much higher than that. However, the McDonalds plan is what is called a mini-med plan. These are plans that offer very low benefit levels with relatively significant premium payments. For the McDonalds plan, premiums of about $727/year yield a maximum benefit level of $2,000 per year. The cost is paid by employees. BCS of Illinois has offered no information on the cost or profitability of this plan, but does not meet the Federal standard. So far, most state insurance commissioners have opposed granting an exemption to such plans because they are seen as abusive, providing almost no real coverage while giving people the illusion that they are protected. (http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/wi...kers/19655050/)

    Principal Financial is getting out of the health insurance business not because of health reform, but because it has been losing money and business for several years and does not want to make the types of investments needed to make its business competitive. Instead, it has reached an agreement under which United Health will provide coverage for its customers as policies come up for renewal.UnitedHealth will make an offer to those previously insured by Principal. UH does not have to accept these people and are not guaranteeing to do so. (http://www.insurancejournal.com/news.../01/113746.htm)

    Harvard Pilgim is not alone in terminating Medicare Advantage coverage. The entire Medicare Advantage program existed only because of a windfall subsidy being provided to Medicare Advantage participants that was not offered to other Medicare recipients. The cost has been astronomical. The benefit could not possibly be extended to all Medicare beneficiaries without massive increases in the cost of Medicare. Instead, one of the savings in the health reform program was to eliminate the subsidy. More uninsureds.

    Termination of child only health plans: This development is actually an indicator of why it is impossible to implement restrictions on pre-existing condition limitations (which are overwhelmingly supported by the public) without a program that also requires universal coverage (which is overwhelmingly opposed by the public). Child only plans have routinely excluded children with existing and/or genetic problems. The new law makes that illegal. Insurance companies are pulling out.I disagree with the requirement of the law only because it is not linked to mandatory universal coverage. Maybe this will help people understand why the two components -- universal coverage and universal eligibility -- cannot be addressed separately. More uninsureds.
    My only observation is these actions can add nearly 1,000,000 to the list of uninsureds rather than reducing the number which is one of the goals of Obamacare. These are just the beginning. I've said it before on this forum, Obamacare will likely double the number of uninsureds, not reduce it as supposedly intended.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnf777 View Post
    According to conservative dogma, isn't this a good thing? If those workers deserve health care, they will get better jobs and have enough to buy their own care. At the same time, the companies that cut their benefits will have larger profits, to create more jobs, and everyone in America will live happily ever after. Right?
    Dave, this makes no sense regarding my original post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by depittydawg View Post
    More proof that they didn't go far enough. They should have abolishied the insurance industry and set up a single payer system like 70% of US citizens wanted. Insurance companies are useless leaches on society. Thanks for pointing that out again MK.
    More unfounded BS from DS. You say 70% want a single payer system while in fact over 50% of the country want Obamacare repealed.
    Last edited by M&K's Retrievers; 10-06-2010 at 12:53 AM.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom View Post
    Since insurance is a "for profit business", if you can not afford your medical expenses out of pocket, how in hell will you ever be able to afford the insurance??
    Think about it!

    If something bad happens, your neighbors gets to help foot the bill with their insurance premiums! Now how socialistic is that !?!
    Big business interests is the only reason that we have insurance based health care in this country.
    So it's OK to have insurance for your life, income replacement, home, auto, boat, airplane, ATV, UTV, D&O coverage, E&O coverage, malpractice insurance, liability coverage for a hunt test, hole in one coverage, business interruption insurance, flood insurance, etc but health coverage should be "free" and provided by the government.

    Get real regards,
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  8. #18
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M&K's Retrievers View Post
    Dave, this makes no sense regarding my original post.
    Republican dogma rarely makes sense regarding anything good for working class Americans. We should remember that in November.

    You highlighted several companies slashing benefits for workers. This funding will be retained by the corporations, increasing their bottom line. Isn't that a good thing for the company? They don't care if grandma and grandpa have no pension, drug plan, or health coverage. And if it was contractually agreed upon, well, there are plenty of conservative-appointed judges who will gladly nullify any contract if need be.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    I would have to ask why they spend 1/2 as much ... and still seem to be running out of money.

    I believe their taxes are quite high? Is the overall standard of living lower? Is there less disposable income? Is that why govt-run medical care was viewed as necessary?

    I'd have to guess that energy costs are surely higher. Much as we complain about the cost of gas, I believe all of Europe pays a lot more than we do for gasoline. I would imagine other forms of energy (for heating, electricity) are similarly more expensive.

    A friend who has friends in Germany says that Germans put solar voltaic cells wherever they can find a place to put them on their homes. I'd guess that there is motivation to do that.

    The larger question also becomes at what point the govt can stop taking responsibility for providing its citizens with all the necessities of life? I think that is another underlying issue with Obamacare, or any other entitlement program.

    In my mind, there is no question that this is an entitlement program. The premise is that everyone is entitled to health care. The level of care they are entitled to appears to be whatever is established as the minimum in Obamacare.

    The legislation has already assumed that even if everyone is guaranteed a certain level of care, many of them still won't be able to afford it ... so others will pay more for their minimum level of care, so that it can take up the slack for those who cannot pay for theirs.

    Isn't everyone entitled to food? Or a roof over their head? or heat for their home? or clothing? Who determines what the minimum needs are?

    The taxation of deluxe plans also seems to make the assumption that people who can afford a higher level of care should have to pay even more (by being taxed) for the financial success they have earned.

    While one could be led to think that the very rich can easily afford the extra tariff. However, people who earn $250K/year are in quite a different category from those who earn $2 million/year.
    They spend about 9% of GDP on health care while we spend 17%. Like most countries, they have resisted spending more. As it happens, the total tax burden in the UK is about 5% of GDP higher than in the US. Their deficit is high enough that their last election focused primarily on reducing the deficit through tax increases and massive spending cuts. However, if you recognize that their taxes cover medical costs, while ours do not, their tax plus medical care burden is much lower than ours. You are right, most developed countries have decided that basic medical care is an entitlement. Individuals are free to purchase non-basic care out of their own pocket, but receive no help from the government when they do so. Not surprisingly, when the pocket being picked is their own, few make that choice.

    Here we conceal the cost of health care by having 90% of it paid by employers and the government. That has been the primary reason why almost everyone assumes the entitlement to be treated like a multi-millionaire when consuming health services. Money is no object as long as I am not the one paying the bill.

    The only ones left to worry about the cost are the uninsured -- who are those working too successfully to qualify for government assistance, but in jobs where employers do not provide coverage, and the employers and governments that actually pay the bill. Employers have responded by quietly moving more and more jobs to countries where employers are not expected to pay such costs and labor is consequently much cheaper.

    The best thing that could happen in this country to control health care costs and to improve our economic competitiveness is to get employers completely out of the business of financing health care. I find it interesting that those who complain about "ObamaCare" are almost invariably covered by insurance paid for by someone else. I don't see anyone out there fighting to pay the bills themselves.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Buzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Clinchy View Post
    While one could be led to think that the very rich can easily afford the extra tariff. However, people who earn $250K/year are in quite a different category from those who earn $2 million/year.

    Yes, those folks making $20,000 a month are living hand to mouth...
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