Comments about ‘In our opinion: Emergency Room care costs will continue to rise without an alternative’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 27 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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salt lake, UT

Actually I did read the article and just like every other reference you give it does not support your claims. The article claims that premiums went down but does not say by how much or give any evidence to support the claim. It also states that while lawsuits went down the number of complaints to the medical board and sanctions by the board actually went up. So care to provide some actual evidence to support your claim or refute the facts I presented?

Salt Lake City, UT

“Tolstoy" you have not bothered to read the article that was listed.”

Well, maybe, maybe not. But heres my problem with your list.

“See "Health Care In Massachusetts: 'Abject Failure'" at NPR”

Interesting. Abject Failure. But see the problem is that the entire title is: Health Care In Massachusetts: 'Abject Failure' Or Work In Progress?

Makes me wonder why you would leave out the last four words, and the question mark. Hmnn.

Reading the article one finds out that “abject failure” was a quote from Rick Santorum.

And more:

The Massachusetts law has had strong and steady support — and little opposition. Last year, an attempt to repeal the "individual mandate" — the part that requires most people to have insurance — couldn't get enough signatures. Last week, only 39 people had “liked” its Facebook page.

And even more:

Meanwhile, a new study in the journal Health Affairs shows that more Massachusetts citizens are seeing a doctor regularly, fewer are going to emergency rooms for care, and the percentage who rate their own health as "good" or "excellent" is going up.

The question is, Redshirt, did you read the article?

USS Enterprise, UT

To "Tolstoy" so then you agree that tort reform does actually reduce healthcare costs because it does reduce malpractice lawsuits. You have already refuted your claim that tort reform does nothing, so there is nothing left for me to say.

To "mark" so you call a program that costs taxpayers more than initial budget estimates and has little impact on people going to the ER for care a success? Wasn't the whole point to lower costs and get people out of the ER and into the Dr. offices the whole point? It is like the ACA, it was sold as cutting costs, but has caused some significant jumps in premiums for insurance, not to mention adding to the cost of medical equipment. How does healthcare become more affordable at the same time it becomes more expensive?

Salt Lake City, UT

Let me address your suggestions. I've worked in the medical insurance field for over 10 years and I’m pretty familiar with these concepts. I've spoken with multiple actuaries (the guys who estimate the amount of risk that an insurance company has, basically the numbers they calculate determine how much the insurance company will have to charge to make money.) They all say tort reform is such a small part of healthcare costs that it doesn't matter what happens with it, it will have a negligible change in how much people pay for healthcare.
Expanded HSA, as long as we can pay for them it's not a bad idea. However, if you are not taxing people on their income (which is what an HSA does) then we have to have the $$$ to make up for that lost tax revenue.
Taxing employer sponsored healthcare. That has already been done in PPACA (obamacare) so no change needed there.

Salt Lake City, UT


Allowing insurance to be bought across state lines. This is an interesting idea, but in the current market I’m not sure how effective it would be. Currently you have 5 massive insurers. Aetna, Cigna, BXBS, United and Coventry. These companies control a major portion of the insurance market. The rest of the market consists of mainly specialty insurers and TPA's (third party administrators). Local examples of these include companies like PEHP (Public employee health plan) EMI (Educators) and DMBA (Mormon Church employees) these types of companies aren't aggressive in selling policies or aren't allowed to due to nonprofit status. The current amount of regional insurance companies like Select Health isn't very large. If more companies like select health spring up it might work. Otherwise you would mainly be buying polices from the same companies; regardless of what state you live in.

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