Letter: Deserving insurance

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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" so waht you are saying is that first we have to push the price up, before we can lower it.

    Luckily most of us are smarter than that.

    With a large thing like health insurance, if the costs are not cut during the rollout, they never will be. The problem is that already the average cost of insurance for a family has jumped up by more than $2500, and will remain there until the system collapses on itself.

    The fact that you are making excuses for Obama shows just how much you are in denial.

    Obama said "I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family's premium by up to $2,500 a year."

    Since Obamacare was signed, the cost of insurance has risen by $2500. Where is the savings, where is the promise of more affordable insurance? Kathleen Sebelius released a statement on the HHS web site titled "New report finds competition lowers premiums by nearly 20 percent in the Health Insurance Marketplace". Where is the savings since rates jumped up for the marketplace by 41%?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 8, 2014 7:54 p.m.

    Redshirt, ""Under Obamacare, health insurance premiums haven't gone down, they've gone up". Oh no say it isn't so. Health insurance premiums have gone up in the last 5 years. Oh my, oh my.

    Mind telling me when health insurance premiums didn't go up. And please don't drag out the old Obama said premiums would go down by $2500 talking point. He never said nor implied that this would happen in the first year of roll out.

    Fact is health insurance premiums have gone up by about one percent of median family income every year since at least the middle nineties.

    And no the private health insurance market is not the market that matters most. It only represents a small percentage of America and is simply those who weren't playing and taking advantage all along.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 3:35 p.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" isn't that the market that matters the most? Since it is the poor, uninsured, and those on the independant market that we are the most concerned with getting insurance to, shouldn't we be concerned about the SIGNIFICANT increase in costs?

    If you do want to look at costs overall, go to Politifact and look at their article "Under Obamacare, health insurance premiums haven't gone down, they've gone up, Ron Johnson says" There we see that overall, since the ACA took effect in 2011 (that is when certain provisions began to raise insurance costs) that insurance has gone up 18% on average for all insured people.

    So tell us, why is the ACA so great if in 3 years (not full implementation) we have already seen the cost of insurance raise by 18% or more depending on who pays for your insurance?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 8, 2014 1:46 p.m.

    Redshirt, of course you will. BTW you do realize that what ever the increase is you are only talking about the independent insurance market. That's what the study was. So someone who had virtually worthless insurance and now is required to carry more comprehensive policy is who you are talking about. Not the general population who insurance comes through an employer.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" the difference is the "representative" study vs. the study using actual values. I am sorry that you want to trust a study that was not conducted very well, by a liberal think tank that is funded by the US government.

    Personally I am going to go with the independant Manhatten Institute, rather than with the people that depend on government for funding.

    On top of trusting a government funded think tank, you are using old data. The Manhatten study is from November 2013, while the Rand study is from August 2013. In other words, the Rand study was based on projections, and the Manhatten Institute based their study on actual increases.

    Believe what you want, but I will trust the study based on actual data.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    Redshirt, "Obamacare To Increase Individual-Market Premiums By Average Of 41%" in Forbes." Who did this study a conservative "think tank" The Manhattan Institute, and then published in Ford. Talk about a bubble.

    Who did the other study? The Rand corporation. The most respected think tank in the world, and generally conservative leaning. "The study used modeling to look at ten “representative states” as well as the country as a whole."

    There you go Rand vs. Manhattan Institute.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    To "pragmatistferlife" you are right, I was wrong. It is only a 41% increase. See "49-State Analysis: Obamacare To Increase Individual-Market Premiums By Average Of 41%" in Forbes. Rather than looking at a few states, they actually looked at all of them.

    I don't know where you get your information, but it apears to be wrong or else highly biased.

    According to Mercer, under the ACA prices have increased by over 4% overall.

    If you read "$328: Average Monthly Health Insurance Cost Under the Affordable Care Act" at NBCWashington, you find that if you assume a $16000/yr average cost for health insurance, that equals a 25% increase in cost.

    So, tell me again how the ACA hasn't raised costs much.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 8, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    Here's the facts Redshirt, and they don't support an average 43% increase. In fact prices are very stable.

    The Rand corporation a non partisan think tank conducted this study;

    The study used modeling to look at ten “representative states” as well as the country as a whole. In five of those ten states, RAND finds no increases when the costs of individual plans offered prior to Obamacare are compared to cost estimates for comparable plans offered in the exchanges. Consumers in three states – Minnesota, North Dakota and Ohio – could see their premiums increase by as much as 43%, while in the final two states – Louisiana and New Mexico – consumers could see their premiums decline. Nationwide, the study estimates that premiums will remain stable. "

    Prices under ACA have increased around 1%. Prices in Bush's first 4 years went up 5%.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 8, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    To "Kent C. DeForrest" my relatives in Europe do consider it trash. But then again, some people think that "Honey Boo Boo" is great entertainment too. Just because some people think that it is good, does not make it a quality system.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 8:57 p.m.

    Thanks EDM and that's very much what I was trying to point out. The fact of the matter is that people were being kicked off health insurance plans (or denied) because of preexisting conditions which were no fault of their own. These were not the people that were plans within a good sized company, but people that had private or small employer plans.

  • Truthseeker2 SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
    Jan. 7, 2014 7:24 p.m.

    "It was already illegal in the United States for insurance companies to turn you down for pre-existing conditions IF you were coming from another insurance plan"

    That simply is/was not true.

    gave workers and their families to keep their (current) group health coverage during times of voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs and in certain other cases (ie your employer would offer you the opportunity to continue insurance by requiring you to pay the full cost without the employer contribution). It did not require a totally new insurer to offer you insurance or accept you as a new subscriber.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 5:04 p.m.

    Oh by the way Ultra Bob, I hate to break it to you, but my insurance has paid out much more for me than I have paid in. What happened to their profits then? I figured it out and the ratio of what I have paid in verses what has gone out for me only, not my wife or family, has been almost two to one. That 11 day hospital stay 19 years ago mostly took care of that. Five of the days were in intesive care. That hotel stay cost my insurance company over $25,000.00. That didn't count the $8,000.00 cost of the knee surgery a few days before that caused that hospital stay. It also doesn't count the herniated discs over the years, the facial re-construction after a sports injury, the table saw incident, the footbal injuries and baseball injuries while officiating and my last pulled hamstring. Yep, I'm living pretty good because of that.

    I hope that the insurers make a lot of money off of you. I'm happy that the cost of my care has essentially been paid for by others.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 4:58 p.m.

    Ah. Insurance, the newest entitlement and civil right. I remember the days when my parents had catastrophic coverage only and paid the doctors in cash. No paperwork, no government interference or mandates, paid the doctor $5.00 per visit. Wish those days were back.

    My dad worked his butt off to pay a lot of the cost for my sister's open heart surgery when she was two years old that insurance didn't cover. She's had a pacemaker since then. She's now 50 years old so do the math. She has had many surgeries since then for valve problems and new pacemakers over the years. Even with the pre-existing condition since 1965, she's always been insurable. High risk but insurable.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 3:48 p.m.


    My friends in Europe certainly don't consider their health-care systems disasters. But they think we're a bunch of lunatics for treating health care the way we do in America.

  • Ford DeTreese Provo, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    Ultra Bob is right on. Insurance is strictly a numbers game. Years ago, my wife was threatening to go into premature labor. Chances were pretty high that if the baby survived, he would spend some time in the NICU. A friend of mine who sold insurance told me about an ICU rider he sold. It would pay a certain amount in cash for every day a member of your family spent in ICU. The only questions the insurance company cared about were whether you had AIDS, cancer, or heart disease. If not, they would accept your premiums and offer coverage. Well, the baby came early and spent $19,000 worth of days in the NICU. The company sent us a check for that amount. With all the other expenses we had, I was certainly grateful for all the people who picked up that rider and never needed it. But life would be much simpler if we had a single-payer system that covered everybody and saved administrative costs. Too much to hope for, I know, but maybe someday. . .

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 7, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    To "Kimber" the open enrollment times are only to get insurance through the exchanges. If I decided to get a policy on my own, typically I can sign up for it whenever I want. The exchanges were set up to get you qualified for subsidies.

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 2:40 p.m.

    A person usually can't wait until he or she gets sick to buy into it. There are usually "open enrollment" times when a person can sign up and this is also the case with the ACA. Since it just begun and people are learning, a person can sign up until March 31st. But going forward, a person has to go by the December date to be signed up for January 1st. There are also other "life events" that allow a person to get on insurance (losing coverage elsewhere for various reasons). In most cases, a person can't just wait to get on insurance because they get sick.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 7, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    To "Ultra Bob" actually the worst insurance company would be a single payer system. Just look at the corruption in the single payer system that the elderly and handicap rely on. Medicare not only denies more claims than private insurance companies do, but they also lose twice as much money to fraud and waste than the private companies while insuring half as many people.

    The best insurance would be a system that is al-a-carte, where you decide what you need coverage for, and only pay for what you want. To keep prices down and efficiency up, you would have to have multiple companies competing for your business.

    What you want is what resulted in the NHS in England, and the disasters that are single payer systems throughout the world.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 2:26 p.m.

    Re: "If you don't get sick, the insurance company doesn't pay out anything and the premiums you paid are all theirs in profit"... (Ultra Bob)

    That is not true. If you don't get sick, that money goes to pay OTHER subscriber's benefits. What is left over after paying EVERYBODY's benefits (not just yours)... is profit. That's how insurance works.

    If they only used YOUR premiums to pay YOUR claims... you might as well just pay your own expenses, because your premiums would have to be calculated to cover 100% of your claims. Insurance only works because most people don't use everything they put in... so the premiums can be accumulated from the numerous people who aren't sick today to pay the benefits of those who are. Without that it doesn't work.

    And is there any problem with them making a profit from providing this security? I mean they are taking a risk. We KNOW how much we will pay (fixed premiums). They don't KNOW how much they will end up paying out in benefits. Their expenses are open ended... ours are fixed. That's why we buy insurance (risk).

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 7, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    What constitutes "full insurance"? Are we to believe Obama when he tells us that unless we have pregnancy coverage when we are in our 60s that we are not properly covered? Are we to believe Obama when he tells us that we must buy a policy that covers children when all of our children are married, over the age of 29 and on their own? Are we to believe Obama when he promised us that our family would save $2,500 per year, that we could keep our existing policy and that we could keep our existing doctors when, in actuality, our premiums have almost doubled, when our out-of-pocket has increased to $7,000 before the insurance company pays a nickel, when we can't keep our old policy, when we can't keep our old doctors?

    Those who tell us that they could not get insurance are "forgetting" to tell us that they could buy insurance but that they wanted someone else to pay part of their premiums. There are those in our family who had minor birth defects, meaning that they had to buy health insurance from the State. They were covered without subsidy.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    Ultra Bob,
    It's a wager, but it's not a blind wager. It's a calculated wager (at least for the insurer). They employ many Actuarial people to determine the odds of certain things happening. To make sure they are charging enough to pay for those things when they eventually happen. And according to the law of averages... they will be over sometimes and under sometimes, but on the average it will work out.

    They also make sure they charge enough to pay the employees, build and heat their offices, pay for office equipment, retirement for their employees, etc. If that's evil... I guess they are evil.


    A single insurance company would only be the best option IF all people were required to participate.

    THEN and only then it would work. Because if you can get insurance AFTER you become sick... only sick people would participate. Without healthy people paying into the system... it goes bankrupt pretty quick.

    Only when healthy people pay into the system as well... can the real expenses be covered (without just borrowing more and more money from China). And that's the rub.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 1:46 p.m.

    "do you even care that 6.2 million Americans lost their current healthcare insurance that they paid for and now must pay higher premiums, higher co-pays and higher deductibles for less coverage so you can get subsidized coverage?"

    I might care if that were even true but the vast majority of those who lost their current insurance either can get a similar plan on the exchange for similar plan, or their plan was one of those junk policies so they would have higher premiums... but they'd have more coverage, not less.

    Do you even care that 5 million Americans in mostly red states have been denied the Medicaid expansion thanks to their Governors not wanting to take something that's 100% paid for by the federal gov't the first three years?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    Insurance is a wager that you make betting a certain thing will happen. The insurance company is your bookie and is betting that the event wont happen.

    In the case of health care, you are betting you will get sick and the insurance company will pay a greater amount than the amount you paid in premiums. You win the bet if you get sick.

    If you don't get sick, the insurance company doesn't pay out anything and the premiums you paid are all theirs in profit. The insurance company wins if you don't get sick.

    By carefully studying the statistics of illness, the odds, of people getting sick, the insurance company sets the premium rate at such a point that they always have some money left over after paying for the sick costs for every one in their betting universe.

    Privately owned insurance companies have varying levels of honesty and capability of figuring the odds. They can manipulate the odds by including or excluding various factors and conditions.

    The best insurance would be a single insurance company that takes all people and pays all expenses without conditions.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    ... When you wait till you are sick and THEN come to the insurance company and demand they pay your expenses... (when you haven't paid them a single premium)... it breaks.

    It was already illegal in the United States for insurance companies to turn you down for pre-existing conditions IF you were coming from another insurance plan (COBRA laws, been around for decades).

    But it is not illegal for them to reject you if you have not been participating in ANY insurance and just pocketing the premiums until you have a crash, find out about new problem, or decide you want them to pay all your expenses for an existing problem.

    This insures you pay into the system for some time... you can't just come in with your known expenses which they know you will never pay for even if you pay premiums the rest of your life. And you can still drop them and stop paying premiums they day you leave the hospital.

    Basically you want everything to protect you... but NOTHING to protect the insurer.

  • 2 bit Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    RE: "Everyone deserves the right to pay a reasonable cost for a health plan and get it regardless of their prior health"...

    But you DON'T have the right to not carry insurance UNTIL you get a dreaded diagnosis and THEN go to the insurance company and say "Pay all my expenses".

    The rights of both need to be considered here (not just yours).

    The way insurance works is... you pay premiums all your life... not just AFTER you have an expensive illness.

    You pay premiums all your life (sick or not), and probably pay more some years than you use in benefits (those years part of your premiums goes to pay for somebody else who's having a bad year). And the theory is that in the years when YOU need it... there will be people paying their premiums so YOU can have your huge expenses paid out of what you paid in previous years and through the premiums others are paying (but not using every dollar they put in).

    When you wait till you are sick and THEN come to the insurance company and demand they pay all your expenses....

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    Please share where you get your statistics "Redshirt"...please provide them. I was a past insurance worker and the rates would go up every year long before we had the ACA. The hope is that this will stabilize these costs. I think many people get their information from people that simply don't like the program (because it was instigated by Democrats). I believe much of the information they received are only half truths (or not true at all)

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 7, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    Yes, I agree that we should pay a reasonable price for insurance. However, the ACA has done nothing to lower insurance costs or improve care.

    The average increase across the US has been 43%, due directly to the ACA. When you combine that with the way most insurance policies have cut benefits to bare minimum because of regulations, it does not get any better.

    Why do you liberals continue to support a bill that has increased insurance costs, cut benefits, encourages people to mooch off their parents or the government, and will add to the deficit?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 7, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    @ Thid: Yes, many people who had income replacement plans (aka inadequate insurance that doesn't actually cover medical expenses - you will see they are included in the numbers in my first post) have been told they need actual, real medical insurance - and yes, actual, real insurance costs more than income replacement - but it also covers more and offers real protection. Again, this number was covered in my first post.

    However, it is nowhere near 6.2 million and they can still keep their income replacement plan if they want to - insurance companies must now tell them the truth about what it is and what it covers upfront without hiding the limitations in fancy fast speak.

    And the real numbers for those who have list coverage entirely are closer to 10,000. Where have you been?

    And you have not yet answered my question of how your 6.2 million (less than 1% of the US population) compares to the 44 million without insurance and the 38 million with inadequate insurance (together more than 10% of the US population).

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:44 a.m.


    Pay no attention to the numerous folks who will likely tell you (in whatever terms) that if you were a more responsible, hard-working person you would have had health insurance all along. And now that you do, our great nation will crumble.

    As for me, I'd like to say Good for you! I appreciatied reading your personal story.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    Where have you people been saying millions of Americans have not lost their healthcare insurance because of Obamacare? Did you miss Obama's apology? Have you been asleep? Its been all over the news! Go back to sleep and dream of your 'free' healthcare! Its impossible to have a discussion with people who have no clue or refuse to accept things as they are. Letters and phone calls have been pouring into congressmen and women from their constituents complaining about millions of cancelled policies, higher premiums, higher deductibles and higher co-pays because of Obamacare! This according to them, not me! Wake up!

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 7, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    Several of my family members were in the same position as the letter writer. They are all pleased and relieved with their new insurance. Before that, they lived in fear. Yes, the rest of us may have to bear a little heavier burden as a result. I for one am glad to bear it. Those who protest it are selfish.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    Everyone deserves the right to pay a reasonable cost for a health plan and get it regardless of their prior health. A single payer system would achieve this nicely, and at a lower overall cost.

    Jan. 7, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    Third Barker says, 6.2 million Americans lost their current healthcare insurance that they paid for and now must pay higher premiums, higher co-pays and higher deductibles

    Please post your sources; I don't believe it.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 7, 2014 8:28 a.m.

    @ Thid: You need to update your stats, dude. Those numbers have been proven to be bogus. And how do those supposed 6.2 million compare to the real 44 million that have had no insurance (such as this author) and the 38 million that had inadequate coverage (of whom your supposed 6.2 million would have been a part)?

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    To Thid Barker:
    You must be one that hasn't studied the true case of health insurance loss. The people that lost plans had plans which needed upgraded so that they would meet the fair standard of coverage. They were also given the chance to either keep them for a year, or look for something better on the Marketplace. These people would have become like me and the millions that didn't have coverage at all. This is an example of how this needs studied out (I know it's hard when the information isn't readily available). Good luck to you if you are one of them!

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Jan. 7, 2014 6:41 a.m.

    Kim, do you even care that 6.2 million Americans lost their current healthcare insurance that they paid for and now must pay higher premiums, higher co-pays and higher deductibles for less coverage so you can get subsidized coverage? Do these people "deserve" that? I am glad you got coverage but at what burden to others that you feel you deserve? You should at least be grateful and thank your neighbors for what they have been forced to provide for what you think you deserve! There really is no such thing as something for nothing and what you believe you deserve must come from people who didn't "deserve" what they are getting! Next round of cancelled plans will happen this year when employers will be forced to choose whether to pay more for their employee's healthcare insurance or turn them over to Obamacare, which according to you is what they "deserve".