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  1. #61  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    I read a story the other day that said that Insurance companies make an average of 2.2% profit--meaning 2.2 cents on every dollar. That is not anywhere near the top of US companies in terms of profit margin.

    Do you have some other number that you think is more valid? If not, then do you agree that 2.2% is "huge".

    You've again stated that insurance companies bring nothing to healthcare. Why does anyone use them then? Why would anyone choose to spend their money on something that "brings nothing"--which I understand to mean has no benefit to the consumer.

    I asked you in the other thread (I don't believe you answered) a very similar question. I'll ask it a bit differently--why are people paying for nothing? If they are, and you are correct, then shouldn't it be a simple matter to convince them of this. Shouldn't this be easily proven?

    KAM
    They bring nothing to health care. What benefit to the delivery of health care do they provide the patient? None. You can argue they administer the payment for services, fine. Do they do that well? No. Compare their administrative costs to medicare's. So what do they do to increase their profits for their shareholders? They deny services as often as they can.

    You ask why people utilize them if they're so dysfunctional? What are people's other choices? None. That's the point of a "public option". So if these health insurance companies are so functional and people want to use them, why are they so afraid of a public alternative to compete against?
  2. #62  
    Speaking of statistics...The WHO has the US listed @ a ranking of 30+ in multiple categories. One of those is life expectancy...a major factor in the high ranking is deaths caused by homicide etc which is why its so high...also the % of GDP the US spends on healthcare bothers me for a few reasons. One is that spending in this bill would already amount to 1/5 of our GDP. Who knows what growth we will have year to year to base that spending on. Not to mention the governments history on planning and running so many things that us taxpayers pay for essentially that cost more and lose more than the soundbites and clever speechwriting mentioned.
  3. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #63  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    They bring nothing to health care. What benefit to the delivery of health care do they provide the patient? None. You can argue they administer the payment for services, fine. Do they do that well? No. Compare their administrative costs to medicare's. So what do they do to increase their profits for their shareholders? They deny services as often as they can.
    First--if they are denying services contrary to the agreement they have with their customers, then it seems to me that is a legal issue. If they are breaking contracts, they should be punished. I'd suspect this is much more an issue of the customer not understanding their policy. I've been the victim of my own ignorance with this. It made zero sense to me, but it was there. I think most people would claim that their insurance company screwed them, because...well, it feels like you're being cheated, but whose fault is it?

    I know there are cases of people getting dropped and such, and that's an area of "reform" that should be in the forefront I think.

    Administrative costs compared to Medicare. Yes, I'd love to know what the actual administrative costs of medicare are. I've heard this past week that many of medicare's costs are off-budget in some way--actually accounted for in another area of the Federal budget. The claim (which I haven't been able to verify--yet) is that the supposed efficiency that is claimed really isn't. I don't know if this is true or not.

    So, let me ask another question. What benefit to the delivery of healthcare does government provide? How are they unlike insurance companies, excepting profit of course?

    Administrative costs are certainly wasteful, but you spoke of "huge profits" in the post I responded to. Do you think 2.2% is rightfully huge? Perhaps your point is 2.2% compared to 0% is huge enough.

    In regards to administrative costs however. Isn't it to the advantage of insurance companies to minimize their administrative costs? Wouldn't cutting that improve their bottom line? Isn't in their best interest to do everything possible to reduce administrative costs What motivation does a government system have to reduce administrative costs?

    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    You ask why people utilize them if they're so dysfunctional? What are people's other choices? None. That's the point of a "public option". So if these health insurance companies are so functional and people want to use them, why are they so afraid of a public alternative to compete against?
    Actually there is another alternative. Don't carry insurance at all. If they provide no benefit, then clearly this is the better option. If it is as you claim--that insurance provides no benefit, then people are literally throwing their money away.

    As far as public "alternative." Well, I think that is a fallacy. How exactly does a business compete against a government that has the ability to tax the ability to make laws and regulations, and can literally run at a loss indefinitely. If the government "fails" (in the economic sense) it simply taxes more or prints money. No private enterprise can do this, which is why the whole notion of this "competing" is in my view misleading.

    I'd prefer to eliminate both insurance companies and government from the equation--to the maximum extent possible, for the exact reason that they Don't add anything. They SEEM to add something, but they really just take from one and give to the other, spreading out costs. They function very similarly in that fashion.

    KAM
    Last edited by KAM1138; 09/14/2009 at 12:04 AM. Reason: additional point
  4. #64  
    Not that I am for or against anything here, but fedex and ups compete with the government just fine.
  5. #65  
    Believe you are a bit wrong there. Fedex & UPS do not carry mail - the Post Office does. That is the big difference there. Incidentally, you are aware of the Post Office and its financial condition. So after that, say it again, Sam.
  6. tamvegas's Avatar
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    #66  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1thing2add View Post
    Would you like the excel file of those Republican-sponsored amendments accepted or would you prefer a different format? I'm sorry that you feel Orin Hatch's and other Republican-sponsored amendments don't warrant consideration, but they were approved anyway.

    img.slate.com/media/1/123125/2220911/2221030/2222297/GOPHELPAmendments.xls
    Thanks for the link to the excel file.
    Interesting.
    If you look at the spreadsheet, you'll see that only 20 amendments have been passed. 30 have failed.
    And the rest of the 124 amendments listed have merely been accepted for consideration.
    Doesn't that mean that they aren't even in committee, but basically accepted to the pile of stuff to look at "eventually"?
    And in the sponsor column (A), I believe that the only Congressman named Kennedy is a Democrat and the only Senator Reed is a Democrat as well. Senator Dodd is a Democrat too.

    I make no claim to know for sure the Party affiliation of the rest named.

    So that brings the number passed with probable GOP sponsorship to 14.

    I'd say that Slate attached the name of this spreadsheet to the wrong document.
    If you have access to an actual "official" document backing up the statement with a credible source, I will be glad to look it over.
    As for now, "Slate" is neither "official" nor credible.
  7. 1thing2add's Avatar
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    #67  
    Quote Originally Posted by tamvegas View Post
    Thanks for the link to the excel file.
    Interesting.
    If you look at the spreadsheet, you'll see that only 20 amendments have been passed. 30 have failed.
    And the rest of the 124 amendments listed have merely been accepted for consideration.
    Doesn't that mean that they aren't even in committee, but basically accepted to the pile of stuff to look at "eventually"?
    And in the sponsor column (A), I believe that the only Congressman named Kennedy is a Democrat and the only Senator Reed is a Democrat as well. Senator Dodd is a Democrat too.

    I make no claim to know for sure the Party affiliation of the rest named.

    So that brings the number passed with probable GOP sponsorship to 14.

    I'd say that Slate attached the name of this spreadsheet to the wrong document.
    If you have access to an actual "official" document backing up the statement with a credible source, I will be glad to look it over.
    As for now, "Slate" is neither "official" nor credible.
    You'll need to re-read the file, as Orin Hatch, alone, accounts for 35 amendments under consideration, with 7 already having been passed and 5 voted down. Not all amendments have been voted on yet, obviously.
  8. KAM1138
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    #68  
    Quote Originally Posted by windzilla View Post
    Not that I am for or against anything here, but fedex and ups compete with the government just fine.
    First, it should be important to note that FedEx and UPS were created long after the Post office was in place, and they didn't go head to head against the Post office's business--they selected a particular segment.

    The US post office is also obligated to provide service and is also a monopoly. As such, the US Government determines on what grounds others can compete with it. In other words--they CHOOSE to let someone compete--in a specific area.

    That is not at all what is being proposed in regards to health care.

    Additionally, before proponents of government run healthcare break their arms patting this statement on the back, you might want to consider the other side of this--the one where the post office stands out as an example of government inefficiency, and which exists only because it has an unfair playing field.

    And that of course is the point--that the government does not create a level playing field if it doesn't wish to. If you have a government that has decided that insurance companies are bad (which is exactly what the government plan supporters here are saying repeatedly) there is no reason to believe that they will not use that ability to not compete and drive their more restricted competitors out of business.

    To be more precise, I should say that private enterprise cannot compete with government if government decides they don't want to allow them to. One cannot rightfully side-step that fact.

    KAM
  9. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #69  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    They bring nothing to health care. What benefit to the delivery of health care do they provide the patient? None. You can argue they administer the payment for services, fine. Do they do that well? No. Compare their administrative costs to medicare's. So what do they do to increase their profits for their shareholders? They deny services as often as they can.

    You ask why people utilize them if they're so dysfunctional? What are people's other choices? None. That's the point of a "public option". So if these health insurance companies are so functional and people want to use them, why are they so afraid of a public alternative to compete against?
    Sorry to reply to the same message twice, but I had some additional points.

    You mention that insurance companies deny services. That isn't really correct is it? As you state--they don't provide services at all--they provide payment. Doctors, hospitals or other healthcare providers are the only ones who can deny SERVICE. They may do so based on your insurance coverage, but if they do, that isn't ethical in my view. They deserve to be paid of course, but insurance isn't the only means of payment.

    If the "public" alternative was set up with the exact same restrictions and limitations as any other entity, and had to run itself only using the funds of its direct customers, and had to provide coverage in the same way as insurance companies, then I'd say go ahead. Is that what is being proposed, or is it really an entitlement program that tries to look like insurance? Are they going to be drawing money from taxation as well as direct payments from customers? Will they be responsible for all of their administrative costs directly?

    I don't believe that Medicare currently operates in this manner.

    So, when people talk about "competition" I think its important to account for all the factors involved.

    Also--in regards to your statements that insurance provides nothing. Are you really meaning to say that they return less than 100% of what they take in to provide payment? Obviously, insurance companies pay out billions of dollars to pay for healthcare costs of their customers, and many of those customers receive much more than they put in. So, clearly--those people are getting something much more than "nothing" as you say.

    The real situation is that they provide less than X dollars of medical care payments than X total dollars taken in. I'm guessing that's what you are actually intending to say, and of course that is true. Its also true of medicare, and medicaid as well--and true of ANY system proposed that has any administrative costs of any kind.

    Of course the same is also true of medical care providers themselves. As the doctor on the other thread mention--they have overhead too--gardeners, maintenance people, etc. Hospitals have fairly large administrative staffs typically. All of which reduces the amount spent on providing healthcare service.

    My question to you is why then is this a major point of contention with insurance companies but not with these other entities--who all have overhead and inefficiency. Why are insurance companies the target?

    Don't get me wrong--I'd love to have medical services cost reasonable amounts of money so I could just pay for it directly like I do for dental services, but that isn't the insurance company who sets those prices--that is medical care providers.

    KAM
  10. mikekey's Avatar
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    #70  
    there used to be free clinics and hospitals in america, republicans and democrats got rid of them by passing legislation for their insurance company friends. Remove that road-block and health care will once again be back on track, the new bill just creates a 100% sure fire fix for insurance companies to get free money from the government forever.
  11.    #71  
    Quote Originally Posted by mikekey View Post
    there used to be free clinics and hospitals in america, republicans and democrats got rid of them by passing legislation for their insurance company friends. Remove that road-block and health care will once again be back on track, the new bill just creates a 100% sure fire fix for insurance companies to get free money from the government forever.
    I really don't know what you are talking about. What in the bill creates a fix for insurance companies to get free money?

    BTW, We still have Charity Hospitals and Public Health Units that offer excellent care and charge based on a sliding scale. Free for many. If you go to a Charity Hospital with a minor problem, bring your lunch it may take awhile. But, if you have a major trauma, expect the best.
  12. Micael's Avatar
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    #72  
    Quote Originally Posted by daThomas View Post
    They bring nothing to health care. What benefit to the delivery of health care do they provide the patient? None. You can argue they administer the payment for services, fine. Do they do that well? No. Compare their administrative costs to medicare's. So what do they do to increase their profits for their shareholders? They deny services as often as they can.

    You ask why people utilize them if they're so dysfunctional? What are people's other choices? None. That's the point of a "public option". So if these health insurance companies are so functional and people want to use them, why are they so afraid of a public alternative to compete against?
    They provide access to services that would be too expensive for many people to afford. Are you seriously this uniformed as to the benefits of health insurance? Do you have any clue as to the ratio between "for profit" versus "not for profit" health insurance companies? Or what their "administrative costs" are?

    I get the distinct impression that you're simply wanting to ram an ideology into place, not a solution. If you were, you'd look elsewhere at cutting costs.
    Last edited by Micael; 09/14/2009 at 10:04 AM.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  13. 1thing2add's Avatar
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    #73  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    They provide access to services that would be too expensive for many people to afford. Are you seriously this uniformed as to the benefits of health insurance? Do you have any clue as to the ratio between "for profit" versus "not for profit" health insurance companies? Or what their "administrative costs" are?

    I get the distinct impression that you're simply wanting to ram an ideology into place, not a solution. If you were, you'd look elsewhere at cutting costs.
    To the heart of the matter, how has it been demonstrated, in tangible terms, that an insurance company's profitability, specifically, improves care?
  14. Micael's Avatar
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    #74  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1thing2add View Post
    To the heart of the matter, how has it been demonstrated, in tangible terms, that an insurance company's profitability, specifically, improves care?
    For "not for profit" health insurance companies, the "profit" goes back into the pool to pay for premiums. As for the rest, the evil profiteers certainly pay their bills with their greed profits, send their greedy kids to school, and pay the governments greedy taxes.

    Why do we continue to ignore that pharmaceutical companies were the third-most profitable industry last year, with a 19.3 percent profit margin, and "for profit" health insurers ranked 35th, with a 2.2 percent profit margin?

    I don't believe that you're serious about fixing healthcare.... your interest seems to be focused just on transitioning health insurance to Big Government's control. Otherwise, this conversation would be broader in scope that just around insurance companies.

    I've said this repeatedly, and each time it's been ignored.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  15. #75  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    I've said this repeatedly, and each time it's been ignored.
    Speaking of being ignored, why doesn't anyone (well, other than groovy) want to comment on the Healthy Americans Act? I've linked to information on it several times, and instead of anyone actually opining on it, we're just seeing more back and forth where 'one side' tries to make the 'other side' look foolish or biased. I suppose either everyone has me on ignore, or nobody really wants to discuss the meat of the issue. C'est la vie.
    ‎"Is that suck and salvage the Kevin Costner method?" - Chris Matthews on Hardball, July 6, 2010. Wonder if he's talking about his oil device or his movie career...
  16. 1thing2add's Avatar
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    #76  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    For "not for profit" health insurance companies, the "profit" goes back into the pool to pay for premiums. As for the rest, the evil profiteers certainly pay their bills with their greed profits, send their greedy kids to school, and pay the governments greedy taxes.

    Why do we continue to ignore that pharmaceutical companies were the third-most profitable industry last year, with a 19.3 percent profit margin, and "for profit" health insurers ranked 35th, with a 2.2 percent profit margin?

    I don't believe that you're serious about fixing healthcare.... your interest seems to be focused just on transitioning health insurance to Big Government's control. Otherwise, this conversation would be broader in scope that just the insurance companies.

    I've said this repeatedly, and each time it's been ignored.
    I would still appreciate an answer to my original question: "How has it been demonstrated, in tangible terms, that an insurance company's profitability, specifically, improves care?" Anyone?

    I've certainly made no claims, here or elsewhere, that Big Pharma is off the hook, in any way, shape, or form! By my estimation, they are a co-conspirator in the demise of healthcare economics today. However, they are dependent upon the current insurance-driven healthcare economy to derive the lion's share of their revenues.

    Lacking the insurance industry's direct participation in its own overhaul, what do you expect but change to occur from outside its domain? Seriously. The insurance industry is acting far more arrogant and belligerent than even Big Tobacco execs did when they lined up before congress and each, individually, declared that "Nicotine is not addictive".

    Please site an original reference source for your 2.2% private insurance industry margin claim.
  17. Micael's Avatar
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    #77  
    Quote Originally Posted by Toby View Post
    Speaking of being ignored, why doesn't anyone (well, other than groovy) want to comment on the Healthy Americans Act? I've linked to information on it several times, and instead of anyone actually opining on it, we're just seeing more back and forth where 'one side' tries to make the 'other side' look foolish or biased. I suppose either everyone has me on ignore, or nobody really wants to discuss the meat of the issue. C'est la vie.
    From what I understand of it, I like it, especially that it will supercede the federal employees insurance system, and it would apparently be less impact to the federal budget/deficit.

    How do you explain that it's not the current bill under debate? And, back to my point, why are we still not addressing the pharmacuetical companies and tort reform?
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  18. Micael's Avatar
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    #78  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1thing2add View Post
    I would still appreciate an answer to my original question: "How has it been demonstrated, in tangible terms, that an insurance company's profitability, specifically, improves care?" Anyone?
    It's a silly question, that's why it's not answered. Thats why I gave you the silly response. Silly

    Profit is just that, profit. It's what we take back out of our investments that allows us to pay bills, hire more employees, send our kids to school, donate to charities. It's part of a capitalist sytem.

    The money that flows into insurance companies, every day, flows right back out again to pay the doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, third parties, etc. They pay claims. Billions of dollars worth. Every day. Don't you have these fundamentals down?
    I've certainly made no claims, here or elsewhere, that Big Pharma is off the hook, in any way, shape, or form! By my estimation, they are a co-conspirator in the demise of healthcare economics today. However, they are dependent upon the current insurance-driven healthcare economy to derive the lion's share of their revenues.
    Huh? How does that work exactly? I'm really starting to wonder if you have the fundamentals down on how the healthcare economy works.
    Lacking the insurance industry's direct participation in its own overhaul, what do you expect but change to occur from outside its domain? Seriously. The insurance industry is acting far more arrogant and belligerent than even Big Tobacco execs did when they lined up before congress and each, individually, declared that "Nicotine is not addictive".

    Please site an original reference source for your 2.2% private insurance industry margin claim.
    I'm all for making changes to the insurance companies, like covering pre-existing conditions when you switch jobs, and more controls over what can be denied coverage. And the original source was Fortune Magazine.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  19. 1thing2add's Avatar
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    #79  
    Quote Originally Posted by Micael View Post
    It's a silly question, that's why it's not answered. Thats why I gave you the silly response. Silly

    Profit is just that, profit. It's what we take back out of our investments that allows us to pay bills, hire more employees, send our kids to school, donate to charities. It's part of a capitalist sytem.
    You're quite right. Yours is a silly response.

    The money that flows into insurance companies, every day, flows right back out again to pay the ... pharmaceutical companies. Don't you have these fundamentals down?
    Trying to have it both ways, within the same argument, is just embarrassing. My fundamentals are based in a lifetime of experience on this subject, not internet browsing for slanted argument support.

    Huh? How does that work exactly? I'm really starting to wonder if you have the fundamentals down on how the healthcare economy works.
    Confused by your own distortion of how the healthcare economy flows?

    And the original source was Fortune Magazine.
    As you're well aware, more info is needed to discuss your claim. That is, assuming you have any inclination for its discussion.
  20. Micael's Avatar
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    #80  
    Quote Originally Posted by 1thing2add View Post
    Trying to have it both ways, within the same argument, is just embarrassing. My fundamentals are based in a lifetime of experience on this subject, not internet browsing for slanted argument support.
    If you don't know the difference between setting a price, and paying that price, then your "fundamentals" are seriously lacking.
    The Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
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