Comments about ‘My view: Obamacare is a continuation of the business model for insurance’

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Published: Friday, Oct. 4 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

"No one needs health insurance. It is time for Americans to stop fearing real change in how we do health care business. Let’s go to work replacing Obamacare with something that we really can afford. Start by looking at the solution proposed by the Utah Healthcare Initiative."

The writer is mostly correct. Obamacare, so called, is in line with the American medical/insurance for-profit model. Of course that's whats wrong with it. In the American case I don't know how we can go on to something else until the capitalist way of thinking, burned into our brains, is replaced. Until such happens I think our health care, along with most everything else, will be less and less productive.

But I confess I don't know much about the Utah Healthcare Initiative.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Spread the wealth hmo health care plan. to me referred to be referred to be referred.

redshirt007
tranquility base, 00

Do people have absolutely no outside reference other than their own little bubbles?

Japan, Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland have all been operating just fine with mandated PRIVATE insurance for decades. No scary monster under the bed.

airnaut
Everett, 00

'Obamacare is a continuation of the business model for insurance’

Obamacare is in line with the American medical/insurance FOR-profit model.

Yes!
Agreed.
Of course it is,
it was the REPUBLICAN model and idea 10 years ago.

We liberals have ALWAYS wanted a single-payer public option to cut out that FOR-profit middleman [who does not provide any Healthcare - they do not see the patients, prescribe the meds, or do the surgeries -- they simply collect $$$ and then fight tooth and nail to keep from having to paying anything out. That's how they make profit, and to any business the more money you make, the more successful your business is -- it's all about making the most pro-fit -- NOT providing the best healthcare.]

No - Obamacare is not the answer.
It already was THE compromise republicans are now crying about.
Democrats agreed to it in order to get the necessary GOP votes to pass, and now they are screaming, crying and throwing hissing fits about it.

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Doesn't the author of this piece remember a few weeks ago when Harry Reid admitted that Obamacare IS a step to a single payer system? This is just a way to bankrupt the insurance industry. No one knows the future so we will have to wait and see, but the people to rush to sign up are all the people with pre existing conditions, and not the young healthy population required to create a large pool.

Daniel L.
Murray, UT

I see the ACA as a continuation of government intervention into our individual lives. We each have to pay social security and medicare taxes in our paychecks, along with our employers. We have done that for decades, facing severe IRS penalties if we don't. So what is one more tax? It's just one more federal social program, one more tax, more growth, bigger budgets, more,more and still more of the same from our federal government. I guess that what we keep voting for when we put these guys in office.

Samson01
S. Jordan, UT

"It already was THE compromise republicans are now crying about.
Democrats agreed to it in order to get the necessary GOP votes to pass, and now they are screaming, crying and throwing hissing fits about it."

Wow...rewriting of history.

The ACA passed without a single Republican vote.

You can call it Romneycare if you want but it will be because you are ignoring the context of Massachusetts politics. I lived there. Their liberalism makes our conservatism here in Utah look weak.

A recent speech given by the King of Netherlands should be read by every American. They are moving to what we had because their model isn't sustainable. Meanwhile, many people here want to rush headlong into the very same model that they have declared a failure.

The problem is....people like this vote.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@redshirt007 – “Japan, Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland have all been operating just fine with mandated PRIVATE insurance for decades.”

And Germany too…

The difference is all those countries regulate the industry far more than Obamacare does, especially on the cost side (e.g., none of them pay anywhere what we pay for drugs).

With the exception of the subsidies to buy insurance, there is nothing in Obamacare that could not or was not invented by a conservative policy analyst or economist. Even in toto, it is to the right of what Nixon wanted to do and remarkably similar to what the Republicans were pushing in the 90’s as an alternative to Clinton’s plan.

All of which should make it clear to anyone not brainwashed by right-wing media that this fight is all about politics and Obama hatred and not about policy. Had this been proposed by Bush in early 2000’s Republicans would be singing its praises, because it is far less “socialist” than Bush’s Medicare Part D and has the added virtues of being paid for and solving a real economic problem (i.e., free rider).

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT

I agree that Obamacare didn't go nearly far enough. But the GOP would have us retain the same broken system we've had for far too long. What a choice! Too bad we didn't have lawmakers who were less interested in partisanship and more interested in solving the real problems. They could have chosen any of 20 systems in the world--France, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, Norway--take your pick and just copied it. We would have been far better off. Or we could have simply expanded Medicare to cover everyone. Still better than the ACA.

The Republicans keep chanting "repeal and replace," but they have no credibility. They've never shown themselves to be halfway serious about the replace part of the equation. Replace with what? Some flimsy free-market plan? Sorry. It would leave out 100 million people and price most services out of reach.

Badgerbadger
Murray, UT

The ACA, written and passed solely by democrats, is corporate welfare for insurance companies. It not only takes taxes from the rich, but adds a tax to the poor, who now have to pay the big insurance corporations premiums or a penalty tax for not paying the other tax.

It is the perfect example of democrat deceit. The ACA is everything they pretended to oppose.

Ranch
Here, UT

@Samson01;

The ACA may have passed without any Republican votes, but it contained EVERYTHING the Republicans kept demanding and demanding and demanding in it. Every time the Dems changed it to meet the new requirements laid down by the Reps, the Dems caved. They caved to the Reps. So, yes, the compromise has already been done. The Reps wouldn't vote for the return of Jesus if it was proposed by Obama.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

We need to quit expecting Insurance to paying for everything. Insurance is "Insurance"... meaning it's insurance against disaster (not a magic thing that pays for everything).

We should expect to have to pay for small medical things and rely on "Insurance" to cover us for large disastrous things. That's what Insurance is for. We should have high deductibles (so we have some skin in the game) so we will make wise decisions (because some of our own money is involved). But if there's something big (something we can't afford on our own)... the insurance is there so you can do it and not go bankrupt.

As long as we expect our "Insurance" to cover everything... it will be prohibitively expensive. If we have no skin in the game... people will abuse it.

Some people think when the government takes over... they will pay for everything. They won't. Expecting the government to pay for everything would bankrupt the government unless they collected more in taxes than insurance currently collects in premiums. Paying more in benefits than you collect would bankrupt the government, just as it would bankrupt a private insurer.

micawber
Centerville, UT

@2bits: What leads you to the conclusion that insurance is designed only to cover catastrophic events? Health insurance should cover preventive medicine, which by definition is not catastrophic. It's much better to cover regular colonoscopies than to pay for the treatment of symptomatic colon cancer. It's better to pay the costs of controlling diabetes (including nutrition counseling and pharmaceuticals) than to pay for dialysis.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

micawber
Re "What leads you to the conclusion that insurance is designed only to cover catastrophic events"?

Because of the definition of "Insurance". Insurance is to protect us from catastrophe, not pay for everyday events.

Do you expect your Car Insurance to pay for your gas, tires, battery replacement, etc? No... you expect it to be there IN CASE there is a crash or other catastrophe.

Do you expect your LIFE Insurance to pay for your food, house and daily living expenses? NO... it's there to protect your family in the case of a catastrophe (not to cover everyday life expenses).

We have been trained to expect Insurance (or the government)... to pay for routine stuff. When it's really supposed to protect us from disaster.

We should be paying for immunizations and routine checkups out of our own pocket and out of concern for our own quality of life. Why expect somebody ELSE to care more (and pay more) to improve your health? It's YOUR responsibility.

If people paid these out of pocket the prices would come down, because people would shop for the lowest price instead of just thinking "who cares... insurance is paying for it".

micawber
Centerville, UT

@2 bits: You give a definition of insurance, but it's not in any dictionary I've looked in. Insurance is merely an agreement in which a person makes regular payments to a company and the company promises to make payments under certain conditions. You could look it up.

You assert that if people paid for preventive care out of pocket, costs would come down. That suggests doctors are charging too much now, a premise I reject. And, I don't want to give doctors further incentives to squeeze more patients into a day, or use more para-professionals, or employ other cost-saving measures. As I've heard conservatives say, we have the best health care in the world and I'd like to keep it that way.

And while people should get preventive care even if they have to pay for it themselves, I think some wouldn't. Which would mean more illnesses caught in later stages, higher costs of treatment, and higher human costs.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

micawber,

The word "Insurance" IS defined in the dictionary.

Google "Insurance". This is the definition verbatim in Wikipedia...

"Insurance is the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another in exchange for payment. It is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss".

In other words... Insurance is to INSURE us against loss... to reduce risk... not to pay all our bills.

For instance... your homeowners insurance only pays if you have a loss (same for car insurance, flight insurance, life insurance, etc). You don't expect your homeowners insurance to pay all your house related bills, or pay for preventative modifications to your home. You do that.

We have been trained to see "HEALTH Insurance" as something it was not originally.

We should really call it "Health Benefit". That's a different thing. A "Health Benefit Program" can be used to pay all your expenses (IF that's what you or your employer set it up to do). But the premiums for something that would pay all your health related bills will be much higher than an actual "INSURANCE" policy (which insures you against loss).

The Hammer
lehi, utah

Obamacare does nothing to solve the real problem with healthcare and that is COST INFLATION. It doesn't address the lack of doctors accepting medicare/medicaid. It doesn't address the cost of Malpractice insurance for doctors which is caused by poor tort laws. It doesn't address the lack of supply or putting the true consumer in charge of how he/she spends his health insurance dollars.

It may still be a support to the private insurance model but the model is an unsustainable model made even more unsustainable by mandates to cover ticky tack stuff.

For insurance to work like insurance it has to be true insurance where if the cost goes over so much per year you will be covered beyond that amount. And the premium cost must be born by the consumer and not the employer or other third party.

Return insurance to what it should be and return the welfare state to what it should be as only covering in a time of need and you will have a more cost efficient market.

Tarry Faster
Hudson, 00

1/4:
While a government based health care system had been attempted as far back as Teddy Roosevelt, after WWII and for various reasons the U.S. developed an employer and insurance based health care system.  There were company tax incentives for this system and heath care coverage was used as an inducement to hire and retain employees.  With the advent of Medicare in the early 60s, federal support of some of the health care costs were incentives for the health industry to take advantage of the federal support and abuse of the cost structure causing health care costs to escalate.  In the 80s, with the advent of the explosion in productivity due to the micro computer, the newly realized additional profits were absorbed by an increase in "administration expenses" while simultaneoulsly using various means of limiting the claim expenses; for example, exclusions due to exagerated pre-existing conditions.  With the advent of NAFTA, CAFTA, SHAFTA, etc., the entire system was becoming increasingly out of control, as expenses began to skyrocket, cost controls of fraud diminished and coverage became too expensive for a growing percentage of the expanding Boomer population.

Tarry Faster
Hudson, 00

2/4:
When Obama began to address all of these issues, he realized that in order to get ANY new program through Congress, that rather than a government based single-payer plan, he would have to include the powerful and firmly entrenched insurance industry.  In exchange, he ended up with a system that vastly improved many of the critical issues.  The Affordable Care Act (ACA) limits the insurance administrative expenses to 15%, it eliminates client rejection due to pre-existing conditions, it reduces costs by taking advantage of actuarial tables which utilize large populations to spread claims expenses, it created Exchanges to encourage competitive pricing, better controls through increased use of IT, near universal coverage, etc.  The end results, any way you cut it, is better than what was in place.

Now, as for whether or not the ACA is a gateway to single-payer -- it is.  You see, built into the ACA is a "Poison Pill" provision which allows any/all states to opt out of the federal plan and replace it with a state supported single-payer plan instead.  Vermont has already taken advantage of this option and, with their success, hopefully other states will follow suit.

Tarry Faster
Hudson, 00

3/4:
As you may recall, this is how Canada got its universal health plan -- one province at a time.

With all that said, I must add that for any of this to come to fruition we MUST regain control of our political systems and I don't see any hope on the horizon, for that. The 1% have taken over any and all avenues of recourse!  IOWs, I can see NO way to even begin to retard the progress that the monied interest have made in ALL three branches of our government systems -- Executive, Congressional and Judicial.  On top of that they have taken control of the MSM and are diluting our educational systems, as well.  We already have a fascist state with the NSA using our Internet technology to ferret out our every thought and conversation to be used as additional methods of control.

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