Comments about ‘Is Obamacare a good deal? Yes: The affordable care act will help improve the nation's health’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 4 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

Redshirt1701. Improve business for the insurance companies.? What does that mean. Let them obtain higher and higher profits margins? Who do you think will pay for that supposed "improvement" in business. I watched the insurance companies increase rates annually by rates of 15 to 40 percent per year over the last 10 years of my working life. I was directly responsible for that function in the firm I worked for. That was not due to some nefarious unstated regulations prior to the ACA. That was pure greed and the ability of the health insurance companies to pass on rising costs with little incentive to control them In fairness, they did try to do some cost controlling with the so called HMO's but that attempt eventually failed. Why? because when all is said and done it is about profit with the health insurance industry. That is why the ACA had to put a cap on the profit margin, and why a whole bunch of citizens and businesses are getting rebate check under the
ACA.

By the way, under your view people could die if they had to wait the 9 months for preexisting insurance coverage. And many needlessly did.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Mike in Cedar City" if you look at the profit margins for insurance companies, they have been dropping. It was less than 20 years ago that they were at a 5% profit margin. They are now at around 3% profit margins.

Here is the trick, that you and your ilk don't understand. It is government that has been driving up the cost of insurance year after year.

Read "The True Effects of Comprehensive Coverage: Examining State Health Insurance Mandates" by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. They have a really neat graph that shows that between 1979 and 2007 there were about 1350 new mandates imposed by state and federal governments on insurance companies. Currently there are over 2200 total mandates. Those mandates all add up.

Here is one example of how premiums are raised by all of those mandates. Read "Clay's Law passes Utah Senate" in the examiner. That one mandate would increase premiums by 1%. While that doesn't sound like much, imagine what happens to your premiums when 10 of those mandates are added in a single year, in addition to just increases due to inflation.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Mike in Cedar City" continued....

Under my view, people would only suffer and die if they did not want to pay for their care.

You and so many of your ilk fail to recognize that in the US healthcare system the insurance companies do not control the business of the doctors. The doctors control their practices, typically. If a person needed care, they better take their credit card along to pay for the services rendered.

It wasn't that long ago that if you had maintained insurance coverage that if you started treatment with one provider, then switched to another that the two companies would work out how to maintain continuous coverage. The only people that had to wait were those that did not maintain coverage.

Your plan allows irresponsible people to remain irresponsible and to never have to suffer the consequences of their choices. Do you ever punish your kids when they made bad choices, or did you just shrug your shoulders and clean up the mess that they made?

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

You need to look at overhead costs Redshirt. Medicare's overhead is about 7% private overhead is capped at 20%. That means that the insurance companies must refund premium dollars if they exceed the cap. And they have, so checks are being issue. I am not certain of your profit numbers but a 3% profit means billions in that industry that they are making off of human misery. And, Redshirt the ACA is not "my plan". If it were up to me I would have expanded Medicare over time to include everyone. When that happens imagine the clout a single payer plan would have to control healthy provider costs. Looking at some of my recent Medicare statements the provider for example bills $500, medicare pays $175 and my supp pays the remaining 20% Total cost $210 Premium cost to be for both medicare and the Supp about $225 per month for $0 deductible, unlimited cap, no coinsurance coverage. Try that with a private unencumbered private policy at age 69.

"..people would only suffer and die if they did not want to pay for their care". What an incredibly cold view. What about those that just can't pay for their care?

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Mike in Cedar City" you are wrong about Medicare. Looking at Medicare's overhead is like looking at just the billing department's overhead for a large corporation. The Federal Government runs about 20% to 30% on their overhead. Private insurance companies are typically running at 15% to 20% for overhead plus profit.

You think a 3% profit is bad, did you not pay attention to the ACA selling points? They originally said it would cost around $900 billion, and would reduce the debt by $200 billion. If a 3% profit is bad, what about 22% profit? Any money not spent on healthcare or overhead is profit. The government sold ACA on the idea of higher profit margins for them than what private companies get. So, if 3% is bad, what about the 22% the government wanted to reap?

You may think my view is cold, but that is reality. But, I find your point of view highly offensive. Who do you think you are that you know how to run the lives of other people better than they do? Why force people to buy or do something they don't want to do?

A view from the Beltway
Purcellville, VA

The last time I looked at the professional literature on this subject, about 1/3 of our national health care bill goes for administration and another third goes to cover the risk (health care expenses) of persons who are uninsured. It seems to me that by mandating that everyone has to be insured we could lower the cost to cover the uninsured by about 80% and lower the administrative costs by roughly 50%. It is no wonder why every industrialized county except us already has some form of mandatory coverage and pay roughly half what we do for comparable or better care.

As far as folks complaining about the insurance mandate, my response is it is way past time that we act like adults and accept personal responsibility for our own health care risk.

Dr S
Purcellville, VA

Mr. or MS. 2 bits,

Why, pray tell, are you so opposed to a single payer insurance system? The mathematics it is based on has been around since the 1700's as is known as the law of large numbers. It simply means that the people there are in a risk pool, the easier it is to cover the most expensive cases. Furthermore, standardized billing to one source is far less expensive than what we do now. So why do you insist on paying more as well as making the rest of us pay more than we need to if we had a single pay system?

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