Opinion

Letter: Winners and losers

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  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    March 20, 2017 5:41 p.m.

    Not enough questions are also being asked by the doctors. Why are the prices they charge not under more scrutiny. Big pharma is bad and the insurance companies are corrupt but I don't think doctors should skate either in this crisis in healthcare.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2017 12:18 a.m.

    "The health insurance companies that ... operate for profit."

    The matter of profit is crucial in the healthcare debate, and generally. So what is profit? We use the term all the time, as if we knew what "profit" means, but we don't really. Get some cost accountants together, and just listen to the different notions of what profit is!

    According to the great classical economists Adam Smith and David Ricardo an optimal market is one where equivalents are exchanged. This is good because neither party in the exchange is being "taken." No one is being taken advantage of. But can this optimal exchange generate profit? Obviously not.

    So then how are profits generated? One way is through "market power." In such a case the seller can force a price above true value. This is the case with health insurance and some health services. Prices are ABOVE full value. Profit is theft. Something for nothing.

    Of course Marx's surplus value is another major source of profit. But that is another story.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    March 18, 2017 12:23 p.m.

    Health care reform would be a lot simpler if all citizens had equal access and equal opportunity for all health plans, and I am not even talking about govenment health care for all (which would even be simpler).

    Get employers out of health care, or if they are still in the health care mix, those who don't get their plans through their employer or even if you do get your health care through your employer would not be limited to plans offered by their employer..

    Let employers pay people their full salary and let people choose their own health plans. Any tax deductions/credits for buying healthcare would be the same for all citizens, not tax deductions that favor the wealthy for the wealthy and paltry tax credits if you purchase your own insurance.
    Same tax breaks or credits available to all wether you work for yourself or a corporation. Same limits for all. No cherry picking the healthy by HMO's.

    All citizens in a state would have the same plans at the same coverages at the same price available for purchase by all, including congressman. One risk pool for all, no more separate and unequal.

    Same penalties for all for not having insurance.

    Make health care affordable.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    March 18, 2017 11:48 a.m.

    One day the country will realize that Healthcare is like any other utility we use (ie water, power).

    It must be available to everyone, subsidized for the poor and highly regulated.

    Right now we live in the wild west, with profits before people.

    Sad

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 18, 2017 8:58 a.m.

    This letter has similarities to another one today, about the cuts to the EPA. Health care, and the environment, aren't managed for our benefit, that of the that people. Health care is about profit for pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and insurance companies. Patient outcome is not the prime focus of the dollars that are in the system. Likewise, the environment is to be exploited not for the benefit of those that live in it, but for those that can profit in it, even if damage is caused.
    Plenty of people will tell you they want to pay for all their own health expenses (although very few are actually capable of doing that) and that of no one else, and they will also tell you they don't mind the coal mine dumping tailings into the river, or particulates into the sky. Just as long as the dollar is served, the mine owner can buy water from a French spring and the insurance executive can afford better health care.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    March 18, 2017 8:35 a.m.

    You are right Sharon, the current health system and even worse in GOP proposed system has a lot of winners and losers.

    Our health system is not about equal access or equal opportunity. People do not have equal access to the same plans at the same costs, and for no good reason. The government lets HMO's parse people up into separate and unequal risk pools, then pick and choose which pools to participate in.

    Winners:
    Corp/Gov employees who have better plans, better coverage (mandated by law must cover maternity etc ).

    Pharmacutical/med device comp.etc

    The wealthy who will have almost a billion less taxes to pay with Div/Cap gains reduced from 23.8 to 20%.

    The wealthy who buy their healthcare pre tax so the higher tax bracket the bigger net subsidy.

    Losers:
    26 million that will lose insurance due to unaffordability/medicaid cuts etc.

    ACA/Individuals market who are placed in separate "risk pools" given plans that cover less at far higher rates. WSJ estimates GOPplan will increase by 15-20% next year with GOPreform, but employer healthcare plans only 4-5%.

    Limited paltry tax credits in ind market vs fat tax deductions for Corp etc.

    It amounts to Corp. welfare

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 18, 2017 8:12 a.m.

    Taking the profit out, like most civilized countries do, would be impossible. The healthcare, insurance and Phama industries donate serious cash to our lawmakers. They write the laws FOR our Congress. Do you honestly believe that politicians would put the best interests of American's over their own personal profits?