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Old 07-26-2007, 10:35 AM   #121
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Never mind - I just realized how you could cheat using my idea, just sit on the couch and shake it, duh. Well it would prove you excersised your wrist though.
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Old 07-26-2007, 01:25 PM   #122
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Wow! This thing really took off.

I keep telling everyone at work I'm going to leave in a couple of years so I'll be paying for my own Health Ins., I hope I can afford it. Looks like I can, but I think someone who excersises like I recently started to do (running a few times a week) should definitely get some kind of discount. Do they do that? I had an idea that if they gave a person a security-sealed pedometer (only if you wanted a discount) and you could download the distance monthly to a website, it would be a way of at least proving in some regard how active you were. But it would only be voluntary for people that wanted to prove they excersised regularly. I don't know how else you could prove it. But a person who excersises is going to require less health care than a fat couch potato (well, unless you break a leg or a car runs into you while running, hmmmmm).
You can't get discounts, because the quoted rates are already the "super preferred" rates. They rate-up if there are any pre-existing conditions. Some carriers can also exclude pre-existing conditions, or any individual carrier can decline unhealthy people altogether.

Anthem BCBS has a new, Lumenos HIA plan that will give you credits in an account to use towards medical expenses when you use their health programs or complete their health questionnaires. It's the only plan of it's kind that I know of. Still, the Lumenos HSA (where you put away your own money towards the deductible) ends up being a better price when you take into consideration the tax savings.
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:40 PM   #123
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I'm sure they do pretty well. I don't see profit as an evil. I see it as a means to an end. I believe that people should be rewarded for their hard work, particularly doctors and healthcare providers, and scientists. If they want to give away their services for free - more power to them...but they should not be held hostage to government salary caps. They should be allowed to charge whatever the market will bear for their expertise.
You didn't answer the question. How much profit do insurance carriers make?
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Old 07-26-2007, 11:52 PM   #124
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You didn't answer the question. How much profit do insurance carriers make?
I've got a friend that works fairly high up in the IT organization at Kaiser. Kaiser has this problem where they're not allowed to make too much per year.. when they do then the state comes after them to complain about price gouging and other member groups come after them looking for a piece of that profit pie.

So, my friend has told me that he's had to come up with creative ways to spend even more money to help keep profits low; buying software / hardware they don't need, buying extra licenses, etc.

The story could be apocryphal but I'm inclined to believe it. Ancedotally, I used to work for a consulting company. The local phone utility hired several of our guys for a project. When they showed up on their first day, they were shown where they would be sitting and then told that they wouldn't have computers, none were expected, and to feel free to bring in books or something to pass the time. Basically, the utility needed a legitimate way to burn down profit so that it didn't look so bad.

To sum it up, I don't have a lot to add to the thread but I do have some pretty boring stories.
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:31 AM   #125
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I've got a friend that works fairly high up in the IT organization at Kaiser. Kaiser has this problem where they're not allowed to make too much per year.. when they do then the state comes after them to complain about price gouging and other member groups come after them looking for a piece of that profit pie.

So, my friend has told me that he's had to come up with creative ways to spend even more money to help keep profits low; buying software / hardware they don't need, buying extra licenses
I guess I'll ask the obvious question - why not refund part of the premiums to the customers?

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Old 07-27-2007, 08:34 AM   #126
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You didn't answer the question. How much profit do insurance carriers make?
The answer is, " I don't know" - I am sure it's a lot. But, as I said before, in a free market system, that's really a mute point, because whatever the market will bear is how much providers of healthcare and heathcare services should make. When the market won't bear anymore rate increases, something will change - as is already happening. People are adopting HSAs like crazy, and so far, the great MAjORITY of my clients have been HAPPY with the products they have chosen. Those who want full benefits will pay more and those who can't afford traditional plans or HSAs will ofentimes opt for limited-benefit plans, which offer very good coverage for office visits and prescription drugs at a greatly reduced price. Additionally, super-chain stores are now all competing over the $4 generic prescription list to get customers into their pharmacies, and insurance companies are frantically trying to develop affordable, full-coverage plans for young people to attract them back into the ranks of the insured. (A HUGE portion of the uninsured are currently people in the 19-34 yr old age bracket who are healthy and see less risk than reward in purchasing health insurance).

People will not pay for any product that costs more than their income or more than their lifestyles can bear. Rates will naturally flatten very soon, because insurance companies aren't going to raise their premiums so high that no-one can afford their products. People aren't going to pay more for insurance than what it would cost them to cash-pay....and they aren't going to pay for insurance if they feel they have less risk than reward. That would put the insurance companies out of business and I am sure they aren't stupid enough to do that. By the same token, doctors and providers are not going to be able to negotiate higher rates with insurance companies if it makes it so no-one in the whole United States can afford it. Markets take care of themselves over time.

No one was ever able to answer my earlier question with certainty either...."How many people in single payor systems die or live in excruciating pain while they are stuck on a waiting list?" Isn't that question ultimately more important than how much money their doctor or health insurance company is making?
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:01 AM   #127
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I guess I'll ask the obvious question - why not refund part of the premiums to the customers?

Mike - I have to say I am in agreement with you on this question. The main reason why Kaiser, in particular, gets heat over making too much profit is because Kaiser is a HUGE proponent of single-payor systems. Why? Because Kaiser is trying to position themselves as THE single-payor....and they're doing a pretty good job at it. It would be hypocritical of them to take too much profit. (I can't stand hypocricsy). In all likelihood...if we ever get to the point where we go single-payor, Kaiser will be the system that the gov't will contract with to administrate it.....and that's exactly what they want. Don't be fooled folks...Kaiser is no different than any other evil, profit-taking corporation...they are preparing for a single-payor system and they know that they will be one of the only health administration systems that survives and profits off of it!

Don't get me wrong. I like Kaiser's reputation and they provide a good product, but they are saavy. They know how to attract business from people who don't like evil insurance companies....they put out a lot of negative reporting about our current system, in-part, because they know it helps them attract business from people who generally hate health insurance companies, AND because it helps them position themselves as the single payor system administrator when the "inevitable" happens.
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:37 AM   #128
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No one was ever able to answer my earlier question with certainty either...."How many people in single payor systems die or live in excruciating pain while they are stuck on a waiting list?" Isn't that question ultimately more important than how much money their doctor or health insurance company is making?

I can! A whole lot more people die or live in excruciating pain because they dont have insurance. The reason they dont have insurance is because they would dent the profitability of the insurance company.

I'm unaware of any concrete documented cases of someone in a single payer system that died because of bureaucracy, wait times or other reasons that are in excess of any other type of system. I'm also unaware of any concrete data that shows that people in a single payer system suffer more than people in any other system do.

But none of that would ever change your mind. You're on a jihad to protect your current way of life, regardless of the implications.

I just hope that once we become like cuba, that all four billion of us dont have to move to that little island.
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:50 AM   #129
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I can! A whole lot more people die or live in excruciating pain because they dont have insurance. The reason they dont have insurance is because they would dent the profitability of the insurance company.

I'm unaware of any concrete documented cases of someone in a single payer system that died because of bureaucracy, wait times or other reasons that are in excess of any other type of system. I'm also unaware of any concrete data that shows that people in a single payer system suffer more than people in any other system do.

But none of that would ever change your mind. You're on a jihad to protect your current way of life, regardless of the implications.

I just hope that once we become like cuba, that all four billion of us dont have to move to that little island.

Cute - did you watch these videos?:

On The Fence Films :: Movies

You are unaware, because our media only gives attention to one side of the story.
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:15 AM   #130
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You didn't answer the question. How much profit do insurance carriers make?
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:20 AM   #131
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I think Kaiser is incorporated as a not-for-profit. I have been insured by them for most of my life (they don't operate in my current locale) and found their care excellent. A former neighbor is a physician in their organization. I recall when AIDS first surfaced she said that they had a concern about the extent of their reserves so that they could care for those patients.

It is a fine line a not-for-profit must walk to assure that reserves are adequate yet they don't have problems with their status. Consider the cost of care when the next pandemic arrives (and it will, it is a biological certainty).

The spending pattern described by an earlier poster is not appropriate. I wish the money were invested in patient care information technology upgrades in the facilities that care for their members (Kaiser patients are often cared for in non-Kaiser facilities), it would benefit the medical community as a whole.
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:25 AM   #132
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Cute -

Since you are unaware of a SINGLE example, here are a few more for you to ponder:

Health Care America : Choice

Health Care America : Choice

Health Care America : Choice
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:31 AM   #133
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"Health Care America is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit advocacy organization devoted to promoting the fundamental principles of access, choice, quality, innovation and competition in our health care system. Consumer choice is our top priority. Reforms that foster competition, innovation and consumer choice will help ensure that every American has access to affordable, quality health care.
Health Care America promotes common-sense policies that limit government control and excessive litigation in the U.S. health care system. We believe that unnecessary regulations, mandates and frivolous lawsuits generate billions of dollars in excess health care costs and prevent millions of Americans from accessing the health care they deserve."



In other words, a lobbyist shill.

Great source.
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:53 AM   #134
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"Health Care America is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit advocacy organization devoted to promoting the fundamental principles of access, choice, quality, innovation and competition in our health care system. Consumer choice is our top priority. Reforms that foster competition, innovation and consumer choice will help ensure that every American has access to affordable, quality health care.
Health Care America promotes common-sense policies that limit government control and excessive litigation in the U.S. health care system. We believe that unnecessary regulations, mandates and frivolous lawsuits generate billions of dollars in excess health care costs and prevent millions of Americans from accessing the health care they deserve."



In other words, a lobbyist shill

Great source.
Fine. But they site the sources where they get all of their statisctics....so you can look them up and see if they are viable or not. So, you won't even take a look at the examples? How can you tell me you don't know of a single example and then bawk at the examples I have given? Are you saying the examples are only good if Michael Moore gives them?
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Old 07-27-2007, 10:56 AM   #135
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Sheila Nunn, a Kitchener woman who was suffering seizures was told by her doctor that she urgently needed an MRI scan. She was also told she would have to wait three months to have it done locally. Nunn, who had been suffering blackouts, memory loss, confusion and seizures for two months, did the only thing that made sense. She paid $1,100 US to have the MRI scan done in Michigan. "Wait for MRI tests too long in region" Kitchener-Waterloo Record (June 9, 2007)
That's what I find ridiculous on these examples....As if in the U.S., health care isnt already rationed I personally have had to wait months for endocrinologist appointments...

You are going to get similar denials off care in the U.S. And dont just say go talk with the "Dept. of Insurance", B.S. again....

And WTF with these threads going 20 pages anyway...Mykids is almost always "currently active" if you check below waiting in the weeds...
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:38 AM   #136
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Fine. But they site the sources where they get all of their statisctics....so you can look them up and see if they are viable or not. So, you won't even take a look at the examples? How can you tell me you don't know of a single example and then bawk at the examples I have given? Are you saying the examples are only good if Michael Moore gives them?
Nah, i think michael moore sucks too.

I dont look at your examples because they're a collection of outliarsliers that arent representative of reality, cobbled together by a group with an agenda, to provide talking points for people such as yourself.

I "bawk" at your examples because 90% of the time you dont have a straight fact and you obviously have a motive to be spending all this time threadbombing any discussion surrounding healthcare.
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:58 AM   #137
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Nah, i think michael moore sucks too.

I dont look at your examples because they're a collection of outliarsliers that arent representative of reality, cobbled together by a group with an agenda, to provide talking points for people such as yourself.

I "bawk" at your examples because 90% of the time you dont have a straight fact and you obviously have a motive to be spending all this time threadbombing any discussion surrounding healthcare.
IMO - if you don't even at least look at the examples, then how can you say whether or not they are based on reality? As an American voter, don't you want to be deeply informed about both sides of the story? Yes, I am very passionate about this subject. I think that's pretty ignorant to ignore the other side. I've done a lot of research and watched tapes and vidoes with examples from BOTH sides. Yes - BOTH systems have major faults. I just find our system to be the lesser of two evils. Can it be improved upon? YES! But, IMO, a single-payor system is not the best way to go about making changes.
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Old 07-27-2007, 12:04 PM   #138
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I dont look at the examples because the source is too heavily biased. If I sent you some nice documents that explained how nice it is to be a Skinhead, would you read them and consider them before forming an opinion?

I have plenty of first hand experience with the health care industry to form my own opinions. That doesnt require adulteration by biased sources...either the foil hat alien variety nor the michael moore ones.

It sucks. Theres too much bureaucracy. There are too many people making money off of sick people. There are sick people that cant get care. It costs too much.

Scaring me about taxes, waiting lines, transforming the US into Cuba, and all this other malarkey isnt impressing me a bit.

We've had a single payer system in the form of medicare for some time. I'm halfway there with my current HMO.

Every other major country has implemented these plans successfully and so far the majority of people in those countries like the plan, or they'd have voted it out.

There are exceptions. There are whiners. Go drop by the local emergency room and check out the 30 people with the sniffles all complaining about the long wait.

So what?
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:52 PM   #139
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Bunny, I think you summed it up. No more hasenfeffer for me!
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Old 07-27-2007, 08:07 PM   #140
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When it comes right down to it, I agree with you on every point. I too think it would be wonderful if everyone had acess to preventive and remedial care....and it wouldn't even be that difficult to pay for that from a tax standpoint....in fact, I would favor a solution that included those benefits. It's not the preventive and remedial care that is costing our country a fortune....it's the drugs and expensive tests and equipment...and expensive doctors and overutilization....all combined with people being, for the most part, sheltered from all of those costs.
If you are going to include doctors on the list, why not include overpaid health insurance executives/professionals? Are they exempt?
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