FREE I Love Obamacare bumper stickers


By tovarichpeter   Follow   Sat, 24 Nov 2012, 2:22pm   6,634 views   51 comments
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  1. Suburban Gal


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    12   6:34am Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    The main problems with Obamacare:
    1. No single-payer.
    2. No public option.
    3. No age bracketing to protect the young from having to pay for the old.
    4. No divorcing of health care from employment.
    5. Without 1 to 4, the individual mandate is just a win for the insurance companies as is just plain wrong. Give use 1 to 4, and the individual mandate is an acceptable price.

    Other problems with Obamacare:

    6. Does not address overcharging, although #1 would solve that.
    7. No public prices, although #1 would solve that.
    8. Does not eliminate waste due to inefficient administration.
    9. Does not remove the incentive of insurance companies to screw their customers.
    10. Does not prevent the insurance companies from screwing their customers.
    11. Does not address things that cause health care to be more expensive and scarce such as pollution, unhealthy food, lack of preventative care, over prescribing medication, etc.
    12. Does not remove the incentive of drug companies to find treatments rather than cures. Think cancer and AIDS.

    That's the difference between you and me. I try not to focus on the problems with Obamacare, as it can be honed over time. Nothing is ever 100% perfect in life nor will it ever be. There will always be someone who is unhappy. There's an old adage that says you can't please everyone. If you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one. So, I'd rather focus on the good points to Oamacare. I'm sorry you, and others, choose to be so focused on the problems with Obamacare.

    Had President Bush pashed Bushcare, I'm sure I and other Democrats would be hearing the same thing from Republicans even though half of us didn't like it and feel it could've addressed 12 more points to it.

  2. Bellingham Bill


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    13   7:13am Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Dan8267 says

    3. No age bracketing to protect the young from having to pay for the old.

    there's nothing wrong with that, actually, since the young and old are actually the same people over time.

    it's basically pre-paying our health care so we have to save less and have less to worry about in our older age.

    plus all taxes come out of rents anyway. The more we load onto payroll taxes the less rents and home prices will be bid up. This is totally a win-win free lunch thing that nobody can apparently see for some strange reason.

    as for:

    1. No single-payer.
    2. No public option.

    These alone won't fix anything, either. Coopting the present structure minimizes the change people will see in 2014. People don't like change, that's the buzzsaw the Clinton initiative ran into.

    And the insurance sector skim is minimal compared to the hospital sector skim (though of course Kaiser and other HMOs are double-dipping here).

    4. No divorcing of health care from employment.

    Again, that's just a bridge too far, and actually the state exchanges ARE an avenue for this.

    As it is now, plenty of Chambers of Commerce Republican party operatives are threatening to kill the middle class over ObamaCare's new regulations on minimal coverage.

    Health system had evolved into a colossal mess and expecting Congress to solve it in a single pass is . . . unrealistic.

  3. Bellingham Bill


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    14   7:22am Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    bmwman91 says

    at how much fun shooting paper targets at 50ft is

    I've done it a couple of times and found shooting handguns to be incredibly pointless.

    Just loud and smelly.

    If I had need for personal protection (ie blow someone away) I'd just buy a fucking shotgun.

    If I needed food I'd raise chickens and not go shoot deer, LOL.

  4. Dan8267


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    15   7:32am Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Suburban Gal says

    That's the difference between you and me. I try not to focus on the problems with Obamacare, as it can be honed over time. Nothing is ever 100% perfect in life nor will it ever be.

    There's a difference between an ancillary problem and a fundamental one. When the core of a plan is bad, it is better to reject the plan and insist on one that is not fundamentally flawed.

    Furthermore, a partial solution can and does prevent a more full solution from taking place. There are countless examples of this throughout history including IPv4 with NAT vs IPv6. But here's the fundamental reason why partial solutions are bad...

    There was great pressure for health care reform before Obamacare. Political will and popular opinion was putting a lot of pressure on politicians to make reform. A partial solution like Obamacare actually prevents real reform by alleviating that pressure. Yes, in the long run, it is better to stick with the status quo until pressure forces politicians to reform the system correctly than to accept a half-ass, incorrect solution. Now that we have a partial solution, it is unlikely we'll see real reform any time soon.

  5. Dan8267


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    16   7:38am Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Bellingham Bill says

    Dan8267 says

    3. No age bracketing to protect the young from having to pay for the old.

    there's nothing wrong with that, actually, since the young and old are actually the same people over time.

    There are several things wrong with that.

    1. It's a Ponzi scheme in which the later generations will always pay more and get less than previous generations.

    2. The older generations have already been favored economically their entire lives including having both the great stock and housing booms of the past century (and that's not including the housing bubble).

    3. The Millennials are already being dicked over with a workforce entry tax of half a million dollars called "college".

    4. Such a transfer scheme is socially unjust.

    5. Such a transfer scheme causes inter-generational conflict.

    6. The transfer of wealth from the young to the old is done by unethical corporations using non-transparent mechanisms that result in a significant amount of that wealth to be leached off during the transfer.

    7. Ultimately, such a system encourages wasteful spending on the old and discourages needed spending on youth health. The young are simply seen as cash cows to be milked.

    8. Decreasing the income of the young causes them to eat cheaper, less healthy foods, which causes more health problems in the future.

  6. Dan8267


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    17   7:40am Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Bellingham Bill says

    1. No single-payer.
    2. No public option.

    These alone won't fix anything, either

    A properly implemented single-payer systems would

    1. Standardized prices
    2. Make pricing transparent
    3. Lower prices by allowing competition
    4. Lower transactional and administrative costs, thus lowering prices more.
    5. Allow for increase competition in the health insurance industry. Now organizations could be created that are analogous to credit unions as opposed to banks in the banking industry.

  7. zzyzzx


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    18   8:13am Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    8. Does not eliminate waste due to inefficient administration.

    Because we all know that one way to eliminate waste is via a new government program.

  8. Suburban Gal


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    19   8:27am Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Dan8267 says

    When the core of a plan is bad, it is better to reject the plan and insist on one that is not fundamentally flawed.

    But this could be said by anyone of any plan.

    As I said, nothing is ever 100% perfect. There will always exist flaws no matter what plan is ultimately put on the table. You simply can't please everyone.

  9. monkframe


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    20   11:31am Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    There was great pressure for health care reform before Obamacare. Political will and popular opinion was putting a lot of pressure on politicians to make reform. A partial solution like Obamacare actually prevents real reform by alleviating that pressure. Yes, in the long run, it is better to stick with the status quo until pressure forces politicians to reform the system correctly than to accept a half-ass, incorrect solution. Now that we have a partial solution, it is unlikely we'll see real reform any time soon.

    I agree with you Dan, in many of your criticisms, however, some are predicting that if parts of the plan fail, it will force the government to take on a greater role, which I think would be the right way to do it.

    Just look at administrative costs; Social Security has about 3 percent in overhead, but the health insurance industry is 15 to 30 percent, depending who's analyzing it. Getting the profit motive out of the way in providing health care is the only thing that could possibly slow down the train.

    Medicare for all would have been a much simpler fix, but all kinds of industries that depend on runaway costs to fund their huge profits and salaries made sure they were heard over the people's voices.

  10. Suburban Gal


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    21   5:12pm Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    Dan8267 says

    There was great pressure for health care reform before Obamacare. Political will and popular opinion was putting a lot of pressure on politicians to make reform.

    Since neither side, Republican nor Democrat, could seem to come to an adequate agreement as to how to handle the whole issue of healthcare reform, we ended up with partial reform in the form of Obamacare. Given there was pressure from the people for change, it was better to given them partial change than no change at all. Partial change yields some satisfaction. No change just keeps angering the masses.

  11. Auntiegrav


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    22   6:53pm Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    bmwman91 says

    Auntiegrav says

    My point is that you will find much worse than "I hate Obamacare" when you bump into the part of America represented by the people at gun shows.

    Yes, let the gun-hate flow. I hate to break it to you, but bible thumping white trash red necks are FAR from the only group that enjoys firearms, owns firearms or uses them for recreational purposes. The Bay Area is basically THE lib-tard Mecca, and there is quite a bit of gun ownership here, even among Obama supporters that I know.

    Well, thanks for the "I hate gun-haters" rant, but I was just pointing out that she needed to expand her experiences if she's going to talk about the anti-Obama crowd. Suburban isolation cells will often produce people who say they hate guns BECAUSE of the rednecks, but they've never actually MET any of them to see how low they really go. In the meantime, going to the gun show would be a good way to see that the rednecks sell a lot of t-shirts and bumper stickers that are mean and nasty and POPULAR right next door in suburbia: especially among their videogaming kids.
    There is a lot of truth to the redneck paradigm, and the more that suburbia is exposed to the depth of that wickedness, the more people can realize that the things they have to fear are not shown on TV, but caused by their isolation from neighbors that are right over the hedge, as well as the choices those neighbors make BECAUSE of the isolation of the hedges.

  12. Auntiegrav


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    23   7:05pm Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Suburban Gal says

    Partial change yields some satisfaction. No change just keeps angering the masses.

    Yeah. If "let them eat cake" isn't good enough, then "let them eat cake with FROSTING".
    You present a good, short explanation of the situation.
    What's missing is the paradigm shift from actual health care (when communities used to have public hospitals) to tax and spend health INSURANCE and corrupt regulation that built all of that 'private' bureaucracy and marble floors to be deducted as "expenses", and then, the expansion of drug-based critical care into drug-based living, as well as life-extension of 'those who can pay the bills': the rich boomers.
    Fox then gets the boomers riled up on the "death-panels" issue, because nobody wants them to stop blowing billions of dollars keeping their sugar and booze-laden bodies alive just long enough to make it through their great-great-grandkids' next birthday fiasco made in China. The food industry wants nothing to do with health, and the health industry wants nothing to do with food, yet the majority of the costs are generated by poor nutrition while the USDA forges ahead with corn/soy/dairy policies that keep the trade imbalance at least partially satisfied by selling empty calories in exchange for oil and plastic crap we don't need.

  13. curious2


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    24   7:33pm Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Auntiegrav says

    the USDA forges ahead with corn/soy/dairy policies that keep the trade imbalance at least partially satisfied by selling empty calories in exchange for oil and plastic crap we don't need.

    Actually our corn subsidies result in trade sanctions that make our deficits even bigger. As for "life extension," the best predictor of longevity remains education; money and health insurance pale in comparison.

  14. Dan8267


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    25   7:52pm Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    zzyzzx says

    Because we all know that one way to eliminate waste is via a new government program.

    Streamlining systems is always a way to eliminate waste.

  15. Dan8267


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    26   7:55pm Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Suburban Gal says

    Given there was pressure from the people for change, it was better to given them partial change than no change at all. Partial change yields some satisfaction. No change just keeps angering the masses.

    Which is why the partial change was bad. It prevented real reforms. Without at least single payer, no real reform in the health industry can take place.

    Obamacare was a win for big insurance, which is a loss for the rest of us. Ultimately, it's a big zero-sum game of us against big insurance.

  16. Suburban Gal


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    27   9:00pm Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Dan8267 says

    Without at least single payer, no real reform in the health industry can take place.

    Single-payer is a complete government-run health insurance system under which everyone is covered (e.g. Canada and Britain's system). I thought Republicans were largely against this because they don't like government intrusion in their lives and having government telling them how to live their lives. This is why itw as never on the table. Apparently, not enough Republicans support single-payer.

  17. curious2


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    28   9:08pm Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Suburban Gal says

    I thought Republicans....

    You can't blame what got enacted on the Republicans, they all voted against it. The relevant disagreements were among Democrats, many of whom tried to shift the blame onto Republicans anyway.

  18. Suburban Gal


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    29   9:18pm Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    Obamacare was a win for big insurance, which is a loss for the rest of us.

    While it may be a big win for the insurance companies, I look at it as a win for the insured as well. Prior to Obamacare, routine and preventative services weren't free. I pay a lot for my healthcare coverage, as do other people. It's nice to be able to go to my doctor on an annual basis for a routine physical and and bloodwork and walk away paying less than $50 for my visit, especially at a time when my financial situation isn't the greatest due to the poor economy. It's nice to be able to go somewhere and get a flu shot every fall and not have to pay for it. Health insurance should do more than just leach money from the insured. People should get something decent out of it considering how much they pay for it. That said, I consider free routine and preventative services a win for the insured. Granted, it's a small win, but a win. It's more than they had prior to Obamacare.

  19. curious2


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    30   9:32pm Mon 26 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Suburban Gal says

    I pay a lot for my healthcare coverage, as do other people. It's nice to be able to go to my doctor on an annual basis for a routine physical and and bloodwork and walk away paying less than $50 for my visit, especially at a time when my financial situation isn't the greatest due to the poor economy. It's nice to be able to go somewhere and get a flu shot every fall and not have to pay for it... free

    You are paying a lot, by your own admission. There is nothing free about it. In olden days, you could buy a half-dozen eggs, now you pay double for the whole dozen - or, if it makes you feel better, you pay double but you get the other half dozen "free". Most people's premiums have increased by more than the cost of the "free" preventive services, e.g. a flu shot retails for $15 by itself but most people's premiums increased by a lot more than that.

  20. Suburban Gal


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    31   8:03pm Tue 27 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    curious2 says

    Most people's premiums have increased by more than the cost of the "free" preventive services, e.g. a flu shot retails for $15 by itself but most people's premiums increased by a lot more than that.

    I'm aware of this and they had to in order for the insurance companies to be able to cover the cost of routine and preventative services so that we, the insured, aren't paying anything out of pocket. Maybe everyone doesn't want to have to pay more in order to not have to pay anything out of pocket for routine and preventative services, but I and others I know do and we don't mind having to do so either. In the long-run, this will save both us and the insurance company from having to pay out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, to treat something that could've been caught early on or have been prevented altogether.

    I'm not going to be like the ones who just want to sit here and b****, whine, and moan because they didn't get their way with healthcare reform. I'm going to take what little good came out of it and make the best of it. It is what it is until any changes are made to it that make the unhappy happy. (If that's even possible.)

  21. Dan8267


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    32   8:12pm Tue 27 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Suburban Gal says

    Single-payer is a complete government-run health insurance system under which everyone is covered (e.g. Canada and Britain's system).

    No, that is nationalized public health care. From Physicians for a National Health Program,

    Single-payer is a term used to describe a type of financing system. It refers to one entity acting as administrator, or “payer.” In the case of health care, a single-payer system would be setup such that one entity—a government run organization—would collect all health care fees, and pay out all health care costs.

    Single payer is simply a centralized clearinghouse for health care payments. We centralized clearinghouses for stock exchanges, our banking system, and many other systems in which peer-to-peer would be inefficient and chaotic.

    Single payer ensures that everybody pays the same amount for the same meal in the same restaurant, or in health care terms, pays the same amount for the same procedure in the same hospital or practice. Different hospitals can continue to charge different amounts for the same care, but a single hospital can't charge different amounts by just making up bullshit prices after the service has been performed, which is exactly what they do right now. Prices are transparent and consistent.

    This will encourage lower prices because people can shop around for better health care deals, something they cannot do right now. This will also eliminate pure bullshit pricing like $500 for a cotton swab.

    A centralized clearinghouse will also eliminate the vast waste of health care dollars spent on inconsistent and costly administration by streamlining the entire process. This is estimated to save about a third of the health care costs without decreasing service at all.

    A single payer system is absolutely essential in any real health care reform.

  22. Dan8267


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    33   8:15pm Tue 27 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Suburban Gal says

    It's nice to be able to go somewhere and get a flu shot every fall and not have to pay for it.

    Nothing is free. Things are only subsidized. Someone is paying for that shot. That someone is you even if you don't see the bill.

    It's better to see the bill so that you can make sure you aren't being ripped off. This is true even if you want to socialize the cost of health care. In fact, it's true especially if you want to socialize the cost of health care.

  23. Suburban Gal


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    34   8:26pm Tue 27 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    Single payer is simply a centralized clearinghouse for health care payments.

    Which is run by the state* and one such example of that is Britian's National Health Service (NHS), England's publicly funded healthcare system, which is overseen by the Department of Health. Another example of this is Taiwan's National Health Insurance (NHI), Taiwan's publicly funded healthcare system, which is administrated by the Department of Health. In both cases, a centralized clearinghouse disburses healthcare funds.

    Single-payer systems may contract for healthcare services from private organizations, as is the case in Canada.

    And I'm fully aware that while the fund holder is usually the state some forms of single-payer use a mixed public-private system.

    *There is no academic consensus on the most appropriate definition of the state. State can refer to a country or individual state within that country. Either way, we're ultimately talking about government.

  24. errc


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    35   8:29pm Tue 27 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)  

    Suburban gal sounds like a rape victim rationalizing the rape by telling herself, "hey, at least I got laid"

  25. Dan8267


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    36   9:13pm Tue 27 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Suburban Gal says

    Dan8267 says

    Single payer is simply a centralized clearinghouse for health care payments.

    Which is run by the state*

    Yes. Although it doesn't have to be. It could be a Windows Server 2012 cluster running itself. No reason it can't be fully automated.

    The important thing is to have a centralized clearinghouse with one set of prices per health care provider and one streamline administration process to eliminate price gouging and administrative costs.

    Whether you want a this clearinghouse to be maintained by the state or the private sector or an NGO or a non-profit is not really important. Nor is it really important whether or not you want a full-fledged nationalized health care system or just private insurers going through the centralized clearinghouse. That's a secondary issue. The clearinghouse itself, however, is absolutely necessary. All reform is bullshit without it.

  26. monkframe


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    37   9:22pm Tue 27 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    "Whether you want a this clearinghouse to be maintained by the state or the private sector or an NGO or a non-profit is not really important. Nor is it really important whether or not you want a full-fledged nationalized health care system or just private insurers going through the centralized clearinghouse."

    Wrong. The state, which will depend in a democracy on large numbers of people to support it, will be a far more reliable arbiter/administrator than the private sector.

    That's why we are headed towards a European model - we simply can't trust people seeking profit to handle our healthcare coverage.

  27. Dan8267


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    38   9:58pm Tue 27 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    monkframe says

    Wrong

    Opinions, by definition, cannot be right or wrong. You need to think more clearly.

  28. Dan8267


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    39   10:01pm Tue 27 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    monkframe says

    The state, which will depend in a democracy on large numbers of people to support it, will be a far more reliable arbiter/administrator than the private sector.

    Which is entirely irrelevant to the question of whether or not a centralized clearinghouse is used. Whether I accept your opinion that the state should be in charge or I accept the opposite opinion that the private sector should be in charge, the clearinghouse is still essential.

    Let me put it in terms you might understand. You have two choices to make. The first is whether you want a free BMW or a free Lexus. The second choice is whether or not you want me to kick you in the balls. Regardless of which option you pick in the first choice, you're better off choosing not to get kicked in the balls in the second choice.

  29. curious2


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    40   11:52pm Tue 27 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    errc says

    Suburban gal sounds like a....

    ...hostage with Stockholm Syndrome saying "at least my captors give me free food."

    Suburban Gal says

    In the long-run, this will save both us and the insurance company from having to pay out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, to treat something that could've been caught early on or have been prevented altogether.

    The myth of preventive care supposedly saving money has been disproved repeatedly including by the CDC, but there it is again, because her captors told her so. If it saved money as she seems to believe, then premiums would have fallen instead of increasing. I can only hope she doesn't get irradiated for the "free" glow in the dark:

    "What's new is that CT is being marketed as a preventive or proactive health care measure to healthy individuals who have no symptoms of disease [but there are] No Proven Benefits for Healthy People."

    Tragically, her comment illustrates the self-defeating illogic that people fell to in order to rationalize this disastrous policy, and the terrible danger to their health. When mandatory insurance gives rise to mandatory "preventative" radiation, anyone with sense will leave the country.

  30. elliemae


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    41   9:09am Wed 28 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike   Protected  

    Curious2:

    How about looking at the situation as "Care" and not "Preventive Care?" Being able to see a physician on a regular basis for chronic conditions is alot cheaper than going to the ER and being turned away with a quick check, referral to your regular doctor and a bill for $1,500.

    I don't care if a full-body CT is being marketed as a tool for finding disease, I don't know a physician who will order one without good cause. They're not stupid, most don't order tests just because. And insurance doesn't pay for it unless there's a reason.

    I guess a full body CT would be good to detect metastatic disease but that's about it.

  31. Suburban Gal


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    42   5:58pm Fri 30 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Dan8267 says

    4. No divorcing of health care from employment.

    This would be a bad thing and it'd end up hurting more people than help people. Employer-based health insurance helps spread the risk out thereby significantly reducing the cost of premiums.

    As expensive as individual coverage is, many average Americans wouldn't be able to afford healthcare insurance UNLESS employers went with defined contribution in which they gave employees a fixed amount of money to cover or help cover a health insurance plan of their choice.

    Like it or not, employer-based health insurance makes healthcare affordable for many who would not otherwise be able to afford it.

  32. curious2


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    43   7:40pm Fri 30 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    elliemae says

    How about looking at the situation as "Care" and not "Preventive Care?" Being able to see a physician on a regular basis for chronic conditions is alot cheaper than going to the ER....

    That claim was used to sell RomneyCare in Massachusetts. Both ER visits and premiums increased. Although individual anecdotal mileage may vary, the aggregate numbers reflect the fact that a very substantial percentage of emergency hospitalizations result from legal drugs, including Rx as freak80/wthrfrk80 explained in describing his emergency hospitalization. In fact, a clear majority of emergency hospitalizations among Medicare patients result from just six legal drugs, mostly Rx. So, Massachusetts found that putting more people on insurance did not reduce costs or hospitalizations; it increased both.

  33. curious2


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    44   7:43pm Fri 30 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    Suburban Gal says

    employer-based health insurance makes healthcare affordable for many

    LOL - it makes it harder for them to see how much they're paying, and it facilitates salesmen and lobbyists larding up the policies with coverage people wouldn't buy otherwise (e.g. disproved SSRIs advertised on TV). Obamacare does contain at least one good provision: employers will be required to inform employees how much they're paying for their "employer-paid" insurance. Alas that built-in cost is a reason for continuing unemployment even with trillion-dollar deficits, but that's a longer story. Returning to the topic of the thread, the message seems to be, "Let them eat stickers!" BTW, somebody should send a box of these to Billy Tauzin, so he can put one on each of his Cadillacs.

  34. Suburban Gal


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    45   10:01pm Fri 30 Nov 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    Suburban Gal says

    employer-based health insurance makes healthcare affordable for many

    curious2 says

    LOL

    Laugh all you want, but it's the truth. My mom has $85.40 deducted from each paycheck to pay for the $350 GEHA deductible. That's $170.80 a month for employer-based health insurance. (According to mom's leave and earnings statements, the federal government pays $185.75 towards her healthcare coverage.)

    Outside of employer-based healthcare coverage, it's hard to find deductibles less than $1,000. Not to mention, the lower the deductible, the more you pay. If my mom were to sign up for an individual BlueChoice Select plan with BCBS, she'd pay around $457.95 a month for a $500 deductible with a $30 co-pay for office visits. The Select Blue plan would run around $827.84 a month for a $250 deductible with a $20 co-pay for office visits. Even if you halved those amounts and she tried to make bi-weekly payments that fell on or right after her paydays, she still wouldn't be able to afford an individual policy.

    My mom could easily afford my individual policy at $108.11 a month, but then again I have a really high deductible, $7,500 to be exact, and when push comes to shove, it's always better to have a lower deductible. The lower your deductible, the quicker you meet it and can start reaping the benefits of your policy — as insurance companies don't usually start paying out until you've reached your deductible.

    So based on the above, you can see how taking away employer-based health insurance would do more harm than good to the average Americans. Well-off individuals would be fine, as they could easily afford several hundred dollars a month, but those who aren't as well-off, which is what most Americans are, wouldn't be. These individuals can barely get by as it is and are virtually living paycheck to paycheck. Without employer-based healthcare, many more people would be uninsured.

    Sometimes I wonder about people like you. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know this. All this is pure common sense.

  35. monkframe


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    46   9:56pm Tue 11 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Dan8267 says

    monkframe says

    The state, which will depend in a democracy on large numbers of people to support it, will be a far more reliable arbiter/administrator than the private sector.

    Which is entirely irrelevant to the question of whether or not a centralized clearinghouse is used. Whether I accept your opinion that the state should be in charge or I accept the opposite opinion that the private sector should be in charge, the clearinghouse is still essential.

    Let me put it in terms you might understand. You have two choices to make. The first is whether you want a free BMW or a free Lexus. The second choice is whether or not you want me to kick you in the balls. Regardless of which option you pick in the first choice, you're better off choosing not to get kicked in the balls in the second choice.

    No need to condescend, as you're not making sense anyway.

    The state needs to be in charge of the health care system, as it is in every other advanced country. We are at a competitive disadvantage because of our profoundly stupid system, as well as in every other aspect.

  36. jvolstad


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  37. drew_eckhardt


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    Bellingham Bill says

    there's nothing wrong with that, actually, since the young and old are actually the same people over time.

    it's basically pre-paying our health care so we have to save less and have less to worry about in our older age.

    There's plenty wrong with it because

    1. Young people have yet to reach their peak earning years which makes subsidizing old people consume a disproportionate share of their income.

    2. The time value of money means that young people are effectively paying _much_ more than if they just took care of themselves when they get old (perhaps through mandatory escrow accounts). $1 from a 20 year old can provide $1 worth of benefits for a 60 year old today or $6.35 for their own care (S&P 500 returns from the last 40 years with dividends reinvested) at age 60.

  38. drew_eckhardt


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    49   10:13am Wed 12 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    Suburban Gal says

    f my mom were to sign up for an individual BlueChoice Select plan with BCBS, she'd pay around $457.95 a month for a $500 deductible with a $30 co-pay for office visits. The Select Blue plan would run around $827.84 a month for a $250 deductible with a $20 co-pay for office visits. Even if you halved those amounts and she tried to make bi-weekly payments that fell on or right after her paydays, she still wouldn't be able to afford an individual policy.

    My mom could easily afford my individual policy at $108.11 a month, but then again I have a really high deductible, $7,500 to be exact, and when push comes to shove, it's always better to have a lower deductible.

    No.

    As some one with health not too much worse than average you're better off with a large deductible given no differences in employer contributions (I get $500 towards my coverage and $100 towards my wife's for a $250 deductible group plan versus $0 towards a high deductible private plan, not even the token $100 per month my last employer offered), tax implications (It'd run me 1.6X in earnings to write the same sized check to an insurer for an individual policy compared to a pre-tax group policy), or risk pool (ex: group plan purchasers with "free" insurance may be a lower risk since they're a representative cross-section of the population while people buying insurance for themselves are more likely to be doing so because they need it).

    Stated simply in order to make a profit the insurance companies must charge more for the increased coverage than they're going to spend; so by going through them for the extra dollars you must spend more.

    Consider the Blue Cross plans for your mother:

    The one with the $250 lower deductible and $10 lower office visit co-pay costs $369.89 more per month which is $4438 per year. Assuming the co-insurance share is the same your mother would need 418 office visits to break even on that which is eight a week!

    My employer provided group plan is about $500 a month for younger breeding aged people with a $250 deductible and $2000 out-of-pocket maximum. The current private plan I buy for our son has gone up to $150/month for a $5000 deductible and $7000 out of pocket maximum.

    If we could buy a plan like mine for our son with the same tax treatment the cost difference for the high deductible plan would be $350/month and $4200/year. We'd do better with the less expensive insurance provided that he averages a hospital visit less than every two years (based on a $5000 difference in out-of-pocket expenses and rounding up).

    If my son was young enough for me to buy him insurance through my employer using pre-tax dollars it'd be $300 a month of take home pay which is $150 more monthly and $1800 a year. The break even point would be a hospital visit every three years.

    These differences are big enough that you can often win with a bigger deductible in spite of unfavorable tax treatment. It's also worth noting that having a high deductible plan allows you to fund a Health Savings Account (which you keep until you die, as opposed to the use-it-or-loose-it this year Flexible Spending Accounts that go with low deductible plans) with pre-tax dollars, where a middle class person paying 28% in Federal tax and 9.33% in California state tax gets $1.61 in health care spending for each dollar drop in effective take-home pay; or to look at it another way the deductible and co-insurance costs are effectively 63% of what they are on paper.

    The lower your deductible, the quicker you meet it and can start reaping the benefits of your policy — as insurance companies don't usually start paying out until you've reached your deductible.

    Nope. You get your insurance company's negotiated discounts starting with the first cent. I once paid the $12 my insurance company negotiated for blood work instead of the $350 list price.

    So based on the above, you can see how taking away employer-based health insurance would do more harm than good to the average Americans.

    Not necessarily. With the same tax treatment of privately purchased insurance and mandatory coverage which does not require low deductibles we'd do better with private insurance.

    The price markets will bear for products allows for a certain Cost Of Goods Sold which includes the labor to make them. $1 spent on an employee's wages is the same as $1 spent on her health insurance.

    Wages could rise and should do so as employees demanded the same compensation package value they had with insurance.

    With mandatory coverage the risk pool demographics should be more similar for group plans and private insurance which will make for lower rates on private plans (they're required to spend 80% on actual medical expenses and must refund excess).

    Smart employees would setup Heath Savings Accounts with pre-tax dollars, buy a high deductible plan, and pocket the thousands of dollars of difference in premium prices once they'd funded the HSA well enough to provide a comfortable "deductible".

    Sometimes I wonder about people like you. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know this. All this is pure common sense.

    Math and common sense disagree, and when push comes to shove facts trump emotions.

    Employer provided health insurance is great for the insurance companies since it gets people into more expensive and profitable insurance than they'd buy for themselves. It was good for people with pre-existing conditions who otherwise couldn't get insurance. It forced middle aged people into group plans which made for better risk pools and lower costs. For many people it wasn't a good deal financially and with the Obamacare rules it becomes a bad deal for most people.

  39. Suburban Gal


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    50   11:49am Wed 12 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Suburban Gal says

    The lower your deductible, the quicker you meet it and can start reaping the benefits of your policy — as insurance companies don't usually start paying out until you've reached your deductible.

    drew_eckhardt says

    Nope. You get your insurance company's negotiated discounts starting with the first cent. I once paid the $12 my insurance company negotiated for blood work instead of the $350 list price.

    True. However, there's this thing called co-insurance. Co-insurance is the percentage of the insurance company's allowance that you, I, and other insurees MUST pay for our care and it doesn't begin until we meet the deductible. This is why you want a low deductible. The quicker you meet the deductible, the quicker your insurance pays their portion whether it's 80% or some other percentage. You, as the insuree, want the insurance coverage to work in your favor. This is why a lower deductible is better than a higher deductible.

    drew_eckhardt says

    Math and common sense disagree, and when push comes to shove facts trump emotions.

    That they do. However, for the sake of the record, I've said what I have to say about this and believe that doing away with employer-based health insurance would do more harm than good to the average Americans based upon my analysis, experience, and knowledge of healthcare. Continuing this line of discussion will just have us going in circles because neither one of us will bother budging on our stances.

    Apparently, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

  40. edvard2


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    51   12:04pm Wed 12 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    wee.

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