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Moyer's interview with former health insurance exec
Old 07-11-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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Moyer's interview with former health insurance exec

Mind blowing! The top is part 1, the bottom is part 2.



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Old 07-11-2009, 02:21 PM   #2
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Can you sum up what the discussion is about--i.e., is the former health insurance exec revealing secret of health insurance, POV re national insurance, whatever, and what his stance is on whatever they are discussing?
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:26 PM   #3
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Can you sum up what the discussion is about--i.e., is the former health insurance exec revealing secret of health insurance, POV re national insurance, whatever, and what his stance is on whatever they are discussing?
To loosely paraphrase - 'the fix is in'. We got it rigged so we get our cut and there isn't a dang thing you can do about it - ha ha ha.

Got Moyers stirred up at the end.

heh heh heh - We got the best Congress money can buy - on both sides of the aisle. But isn't that what Mark Twain said back when he wrote The Gilded Age? Although back in the railroad age - they were a lot cheaper to buy - er I mean influence.
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Old 07-11-2009, 04:16 PM   #4
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Mind blowing!
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Can you sum up what the discussion is about--i.e., is the former health insurance exec revealing secret of health insurance, POV re national insurance, whatever, and what his stance is on whatever they are discussing?
Yes, can you tell us just what you found "mind blowing" about this clip?

I picked up a a few different themes:

1) Company executives are motivated to make their companies profitable - they probably don't pay much attention to people who are not their customers.

This shouldn't be too surprising. I suppose we could put up a video clip of some wealthy boutique winery owner, and a split screen of some children without clean water to drink, and claim the vintner was a "demon".

2) Lobbyists have a lot of power in DC. - Sad, but not mind blowing.

3) Micheal Moore - I won't even go there.

We know there are uninsured in the US - that should not be a surprise to anyone. I doubt that Congress has the will to do anything constructive about it.

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Old 07-11-2009, 04:30 PM   #5
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As much as I hate some types of federal regulation...
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:35 PM   #6
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I don't have any interest in starting a debate here. "Mind blowing" was my own reaction. Conclude what you will. I was just put it out there FYI.
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Old 07-11-2009, 06:46 PM   #7
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I watched both of them and found them very convincing. Usually Moyers just annoys me with his Captain Louis Renault act "I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!" But this was good.

I do worry that anything that might get enacted in the USA would be corrupt and somehow designed to screw the man in the street. Plans come and go, but corruption is the equilibrium state.

Ha
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Old 07-11-2009, 07:47 PM   #8
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This has been discussed ad nauseum here and elsewhere, but the USA is the only country without nationalized health care in some form. But we pay I(far) more per capita than any other country and we're not as healthy (as measured by longevity and infant mortality). I'm a conservative for the most part but I'd support going down a path like the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Germany or Taiwan to name a few.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:41 PM   #9
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I don't have any interest in starting a debate here. "Mind blowing" was my own reaction. Conclude what you will. I was just put it out there FYI.
Well OK then!

I guess I just don't understand putting something out there, with "!", and then saying that you don't want to talk about it. If it is an FYI, then I guess I could see something more like "What do you make of this?".

It can be discussed w/o debate - like "what did you find 'mind blowing' about it?".

But, as you wish....


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Old 07-12-2009, 12:39 AM   #10
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Do you know anybody who has dealt with socialized medicine

I lived in England for over a year... I met a lot more people who talked bad about it than people who talked well about it... If you wanted to go to a doctor for a checkup, you waited a month or more.. one girl had her baby at home with a midwife... because she did not want to go into the hospital...

OHHH, and BTW, I knew someone who's wife was a doctor... they made very little money... because the gvmt said how much you made...

Also, the biggest rising benefit (back in 2000) from companies was PRIVATE insurance.... where you could go to a PRIVATE doctor and have whatever you needed taken care of.... once when I was sick, someone told me to call a doctor... and he would make a house call!!! But I would pay for it...

Also, you can buy medication over there without a prescription that you can not here.... I used to by my allergy steroid spray from the store... you have to go to a doctor here...
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:15 AM   #11
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This health insurance industry insider's revelation is what we already knew.

Still, it is good to hear someone make it public.

I worked in the Health Insurance Industry in the past. If anyone thinks those insurance companies are looking out for them They sadly mistaken!

The biggest threat to middle class Americans is the cost of health care. It does not matter if you work, currently have insurance, can afford it now... etc. If the inflation of healthcare costs continue... many many more will not have access to affordable healthcare covers. For that increasing population of otherwise middle class Americans, they are one major health incident away from bankruptcy.

Some will be lucky and not be financially ruined personally. But they may have to stand by and watch a family member or close friend ruined... or worse denied some life saving treatment like chemo because they have no affordable access to coverage.

IMO - the only way to effectively contain costs is a public option. The health insurance industry will only contain their costs and maximize their profit. That usually means avoiding risk.

If we do not get an effective healthcare reform solution... middle class america is in jeopardy. As the costs continue to increase with our current system, more an more of people dollars will be spent on health care coverage... more small companies will likely drop it.

Of course, I suppose when they/we have lost everything that they/we worked for, they/we may qualify for Medicaid.
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:54 AM   #12
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IMO - the only way to effectively contain costs is a public option. The health insurance industry will only contain their costs and maximize their profit. That usually means avoiding risk.

If we do not get an effective healthcare reform solution... middle class america is in jeopardy.
The current debate is depressing. It looks like we will end up with some sort of expensive universal coverage under essentially the same inefficient, confusing, bureaucratic insurance model we have today. Our mistake was starting out with employment based insurance but we won't get out from under it in our lifetimes.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:36 AM   #13
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As long as the private insurance companies have a vote, Don's scenario will probably occur in one form or another.

One solution I have no heard discussed widely is a federal catastrophic coverage plan, where they take over payments after, say, $25K to $50k of expenses per year per individual. The privates could compete for the first dollar coverage, and there could be a means test for the indigent. Universal coverage, no underwriting, and some day require a primary care physician (not sure we'd have enough of them now).
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:51 AM   #14
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I have been working in Canada for the last 5 years or so and have personal experience with the Alberta healthcare system (emergency surgery). There are weaknesses in the system, but it is functional.

It is not a rosy in Canada as Michael Moore portrays it, but it is accessible, more or less. People may have to wait a long time in the waiting room in emergencies. There have been a few cases in the paper where people have been in the waiting room for more than 24 hours and died in their chair. People may have to wait a long time to get appointments for things like diagnostic attention. People have died of cancer waiting for a chance to get diagnosed. Some things are not covered at all.

I have options most Canadians do not have, as we have excellent private health insurance through my wife's job in the States. Desperate Canadians got to the US for treatment. I know several personally who have, and living near the border as we do, we know it is common. As everywhere else, if you have money, you can get health care.

When governments do the decision making, a special kind of inefficiency happens. Years ago, Canada reduced the number of doctors graduating in the country. Now, there is a shortage of doctors as the existing ones are retiring and there are even fewer to replace them. To make matters worse, it is extremely difficult--almost impossible--for a foreign-trained doctor to get permission to practice in Canada. I gather that the review process is broken. Canada allows people into the country but they won't let them work. In contrast, I have been told by Canadian immigrants that it is harder to get into the US, but once in, it is much easier to get permission to work.

Building hospitals is a political process up here. Some regions are neglected. People fly out of Fort McMurray to Edmonton for important health care. The hospital is sized for a much smaller population and contractors are not counted when setting priorities. Canada seems to be knocking down more hospitals than they are building.

Helathcare is available in the US--you just can't afford it. Health care is affordable in Canada--it is just hard to get.

The public healthcare system in Canada is as sacrosanct as Social Security is in the US. Discussing a "two-tier" (allowing private health care to co-exist with the public system) system is political suicide, even in Alberta.

Most of Latin America has a two-tier system that seems to work very well, judging from the buzz in the expat forums. Treatment is not uniformly good, though. I have read horror stories of health care in Latin America, but a wise man can find good treatment. I have heard it said that the best health insurance in Brazil is a plane ticket to Argentina. It is sort of like the postal system in the US: you can choose the Post Office or Fed Ex.

Health care costs money everywhere. Doctors and nurses must be paid. Services cost money. Support costs money. The issues are, who pays, when do they pay and how much, and where is the inefficiency? Individuals bear the cost eventually, through taxes or out of pocket. Government-run health care seems always underfunded.

I like options. I do not like being forced to have only one course of action. In my experience, there are a lot of Canadians who wish they had more than one choice. And it seems that there are a lot of Americans who have no choice at all. We cannot go north for treatment. A few go south to Algodones. Otherwise, we are beggars.
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Old 07-12-2009, 08:53 AM   #15
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One solution I have no heard discussed widely is a federal catastrophic coverage plan, where they take over payments after, say, $25K to $50k of expenses per year per individual.
Ronald Reagan proposed something along these lines back in the 1980's but it got nowhere in Congress.
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:20 AM   #16
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IMO - the only way to effectively contain costs is a public option.
What is it about a "public option" that you connect with "containing costs"?

I think there are some public options that could be designed to contain costs, but I doubt that we will get one of those. That would require an actual cost/benefit analysis of the overall system and various options, and turning a deaf ear to special interests.

Is Medicare containing costs (search "wheelchair" on the forum)?

I am afraid that we are more likely to end up with the DMV version of "public option".

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Old 07-12-2009, 11:58 AM   #17
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What is it about a "public option" that you connect with "containing costs"?

I think there are some public options that could be designed to contain costs, but I doubt that we will get one of those. That would require an actual cost/benefit analysis of the overall system and various options, and turning a deaf ear to special interests.

Is Medicare containing costs (search "wheelchair" on the forum)?

I am afraid that we are more likely to end up with the DMV version of "public option".
I pretty much agree with this. Most likely the public option we will end up with is one that will co-exist with private insurance. As long as private insurers continue to have underwriting, which allows them to cherry-pick the healthier applicants, the public option (which will be guaranteed-issue) is bound to become a dumping ground for those who can't pass underwriting and qualify for the presumably cheaper private policies. The insurance companies have said they would give up underwriting if insurance was mandated for all, but for some reason Obama continues to resist mandates. It seems to me that young and healthy folks will simply not buy insurance, and then take advantage of the public option when they get sick.

Massachusetts is a good test case. It has allowed people to opt out of insurance for a fee, and this hasn't worked. In fact, people there have gone so far as to buy insurance after getting sick, then cancel it and pay the fee once they were well again. As a consequence the cost of the Massachusetts system has spiraled out of control. No insurance system can work this way. I'm sorry to have to say this but, IMO, the only way not having mandates could work is to deny care to those who opt out.
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:01 PM   #18
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I suppose we could put up a video clip of some wealthy boutique winery owner, and a split screen of some children without clean water to drink, and claim the vintner was a "demon".
Sure, if the dirty water is directly related to the vintner's profits.

The profitability of the health insurance companies (illustrated by the employee flying on a corporate jet with lunch on a gilded tray) can arguably be related to the high cost of health insurance, and the large number of people without health insurance (illustrated by the crowded health fair).

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I am afraid that we are more likely to end up with the DMV version of "public option".
I just realized that the California DMV works pretty well. I renew online, the fees are reasonable, and I look dashing in my license photo.

Do I want government bureaucrats to come between me and my doctor? Blue Cross already comes between me and my doctor, and it's hard to imagine a more bureaucratic system than theirs. They decide what doctors I can visit, what hospital I can use, and what drugs I can take.
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:27 PM   #19
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Sure, if the dirty water is directly related to the vintner's profits.

The profitability of the health insurance companies (illustrated by the employee flying on a corporate jet with lunch on a gilded tray) can arguably be related to the high cost of health insurance, and the large number of people without health insurance (illustrated by the crowded health fair).
Ok, "argue" it, .... with numbers.

I doubt that a few corporate jets and fancy dishware are the primary reason that health care costs are up. That's like blaming Air Force One for the national debt. Plenty of corporations with private jets and highly paid executives provide products at attractive prices.

I'm not defending the ins cos here, I just thing they are a bit too convenient as a scape goat (in the actual biblical/historic definition of scape goat).


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I just realized that the California DMV works pretty well. I renew online, the fees are reasonable, and I look dashing in my license photo.
Our on-line renewal works OK. I wonder if they *really* check the insurance info I enter there? In IL, auto ins is supposedly required, but it was only in the last couple of years that they even make an attempt to check it before renewing your license (what a concept!) - outside of that, only a check on a traffic stop would detect non-compliance.

Oh, and good luck if you have a problem outside the routine renewal - (insert several long, boring stories here).


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Do I want government bureaucrats to come between me and my doctor? Blue Cross already comes between me and my doctor, and it's hard to imagine a more bureaucratic system than theirs. They decide what doctors I can visit, what hospital I can use, and what drugs I can take.
Trust me, I am not defending the current system. I consider it very "broken". I am just very skeptical that the govt is going to make it better. In fact, part of the the current problem (maybe a large part of it), stems from our govt trying to "help us". When they decided that employer provided health care should get preferential tax status, they sent us down the path of warping the free market, and tying us to our employer for our health care, which has a slew of negatives. Thanks for the "help" - maybe we got enough "help" already?

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AHIP astroturf campaign
Old 07-12-2009, 01:17 PM   #20
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AHIP astroturf campaign

Something to look out for is a new campaign from the "America's Health Insurance Plans" insurance industry lobby (AHIP). They've hired Dewey Square Group and other political marketing and consulting firms to exercise their free speech rights.

Alas, the form of exercise they've selected is a letter writing campaign, with letters written 'on behalf of' various folks in the community and sent to various newspapers. Most of the letters include Canadian or English medical horror stories, and imply that any changes in the American 'system' will lead to the same results. A common theme includes Canadians traveling to the US for treatment.

None of these mention Americans traveling to Mexico for minor medical or dental work, or to the Bumrungrad hospital in Bangkok. Going Overseas for Affordable Health Care | Newsweek Travel | Newsweek.com

I haven't seen any real proposals rattling about Congress that would push the US healthcare system into the English NHS or the Canadian single-payer insurance model.

Given the hefty campaign contributions made by the medical insurance and healthcare industry to select Senators and congressmen, a legitimate form of free speech (Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976)), I wouldn't be concerned that any real changes will be occurring any time soon.
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