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Old 06-02-2007, 09:10 PM   #221
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Given I pick out an air compressor and some tools, any interest in becoming a test patient? I'll only charge half my expected usual full rate since you're "in the business"...
Tempting...
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:13 PM   #222
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Getting rid of the middleman is a very capitalist concept.

Universal healthcare systems have been well tested in other countries (since the 1930s in western Canada), and in most cases they deliver better healthcare at a lower cost. Fear not

Sadly, it won't help much. Brokers don't make as much as you think they do! It's not the middlemen that are causing the inflation...it has more to do with cost-shifting from the private to public sectors than anythig else....and the willingness and ability of Americans to pay the high price.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:16 PM   #223
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I think it has a lot to do with the insurers overhead increasing from less than 5% to 25-30% in the last 10 or so years.

But lets not let any actual data screw up our hypothesis.

Probably came from some commie organization or a right wingnut or a leftist gorilla anyhow.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:25 PM   #224
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I think it has a lot to do with the insurers overhead increasing from less than 5% to 25-30% in the last 10 or so years.

But lets not let any actual data screw up our hypothesis.

Probably came from some commie organization or a right wingnut or a leftist gorilla anyhow.
I wish there were some hard data on that. I haven't been able to find any. It's just hard for me to believe, since, over the past 10 years, I have seen the business admin. change drastically from intensive paperwork and lots of different servicing departments to electronic claims filing, internet applications, internet quoting tools, internet member tools, consolidation and reduction of administrative service reps, etc...Humana sites that their admin costs are only about 11%. I can also tell you that brokers have gotten pay cuts, too! Most carriers have gone from a percentage of premium commission to a flat $20-25/primary member/month commission system (on group healthplans), which really resulted in big pay cuts for small business brokers.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:33 PM   #225
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Theres plenty of hard data on it. In fact I posted a whole shebang of it a year or two ago with a whole ton of specific references in response to some folks who believed that illegal immigrants were a major health care problem.

Turned out the insurance companies spend more money on paper than on paying for illegal immigrant health care.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:39 PM   #226
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Theres plenty of hard data on it. In fact I posted a whole shebang of it a year or two ago with a whole ton of specific references in response to some folks who believed that illegal immigrants were a major health care problem.

Turned out the insurance companies spend more money on paper than on paying for illegal immigrant health care.

Please send it my way if you still have it. Guess I'm not looking in the right places. I'll give you my email address if you PM me. The fact that insurance companies may spend more on admin than what is spent on illegal immigrants doesn't surprise me. IMO, cost-shifting due to low medicaid and medicare reimbursement is at the heart of our problem....that, and adverse selection issues.
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:41 PM   #227
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Why?
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Old 06-02-2007, 09:45 PM   #228
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Why?
I like to collect info. on that kind of thing. I have a huge file full of stuff on healthcare costs. DH and I are heavily involved with organizations that work on healthcare legislation, and I like to know my facts...it helps me make better decisions.
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Old 06-03-2007, 05:52 AM   #229
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FWIW--In another post a person linked a survey that also listed infant mortality and life expectancy. I do not agree with some of the findings of the survey, simply because I think they consider factors irrelevant to it's purpose, but I cannot argue against some of their figures.

It seems that the much better life expectancy and infant mortality levels referred to in other countries with socialized health care are not all that much better then we have been led to believe.

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Old 06-03-2007, 09:46 AM   #230
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How can you say that? Someone will have to foot the bill. It will be upper middle class and wealthiest Americans.
God forbid that upper middle class and wealthiest Americans should have to be inconvenienced.......
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:24 AM   #231
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God forbid that upper middle class and wealthiest Americans should have to be inconvenienced.......
I don't mind doing my part, but what a lot of people forget, is that when someone is forced to pay 30 or 40 or even 50% of their income in taxes over the longrun, they might have to change the way they do business, fire employees, or even close shop. As a business owner, I know that if I had to pay an additional 10 or 20 grand in taxes, I would have to fire one or two employees.

It's a wonderful ideal to take care of everyone by spending other people's money, but if you take enough of other people's money, pretty soon, they might not be motivated to work so hard anymore, and then that source of money goes away.

It always amazes me that people are so willing to vote to raise taxes to the wealthier Americans with little or no forethought as to what kind of LONGTERM impact that will have on the economy.

Which is better....having a bunch of unemployed people with free health insurance, or having a bunch of employed people who have to pay for a little bit of their own healthcare?
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Old 06-04-2007, 01:11 AM   #232
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Which is better....having a bunch of unemployed people with free health insurance, or having a bunch of employed people who have to pay for a little bit of their own healthcare?
Ok, so now you're trying to argue that universal healthcare will cause the unemployment rate to go up? If you were to actually have to let someone go, they wouldn't go find another job? Just lay around happy they had free healthcare and not do anything with their lives. If they can't work for you they might as well just lay outside a hospital and get drunk.

We have national healthcare here in Estonia and Estonia has a lower unemployment rate than the US. So do places like UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Denmark, etc. And I doubt those with slightly higher unemployment rates are so because of their universal healthcare benefits.

Unemployment rate - Country Comparison


And if you're worried about going broke, Europe has almost as many millionaires as the U.S. (2.8 vs 2.9 million). So you can still be rich and do the right thing by your fellow man. Maybe they made up for paying higher taxes by not having to shop around looking for a cheap place to get their broken legs fixed. Time is money.

World now has 8.7 million millionaires - International Business - MSNBC.com
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:20 AM   #233
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I'm not saying it's a given, I just think it's very important to take the possibility into consideration...that offering an unlimited "Medicare for All" type system, similar to Canada, could have an impact on the unemployment rates as taxes become a financial burden on big employers.
This is why I would be much more likely to support a national plan that requires at least SOME out of pocket responsibility rather than one that has little or no out of pocket responsibility....because when virtually no limits are placed on recipients of services, then there are virtually no limits on how much taxes may need to be collected down the line to pay for the unlimited demand.

The USA has a very different culture than many other countries. If taxes get to a point that large corporations have to cut back, there may not be other places for people to go for employment...jobs could become scarce. I think a lot of people fail to think about consequences like that.

What tax rate sounds good to you? What amount of money do you think would resolve the problems here? Germany takes over 50% of income for individuals without families...should we do the same?...if we do, what kind of impact might that have on the economy?
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:22 AM   #234
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:28 AM   #235
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Rock might fall out of the sky and hit ya in the head too.
Cute and Fuzzy - you have convinced me...it's not possible, whatsoever, that a poorly planned out universal plan, resulting in a huge, maybe even potentially, 25% take rate hike could result in higher unemployment rates. The odds are just as slim as a rock falling out of the sky and hitting me in the head.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:43 AM   #236
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Might force people to save more pre-tax money : )
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:43 AM   #237
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The odds are quite good that you'll never discontinue presuming the worst possible outcome and bandying the negatives that drop from that outcome.

Its also quite possible that a reasonably well planned universal plan will provide good healthcare to everyone at a reasonable cost...and perhaps even at a cost savings after a few years of sharpening up the processes. Increasing employment, productivity and reducing taxes.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:52 AM   #238
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The odds are quite good that you'll never Its also quite possible that a reasonably well planned universal plan will provide good healthcare to everyone at a reasonable cost...and perhaps even at a cost savings after a few years of sharpening up the processes. Increasing employment, productivity and reducing taxes.
Now there's something we agree on (well, not that the odds are good, but that it is possible to do it with good planning)! It's too bad that none of the current delegates out there have anything reasonable in mind (I keep hearing a lot of promises, with very little input on the longterm plans and goals) Most on this board will only support a plan if it has little or no out of pocket responsibility for recipients. I have posted some ideas about how we might be able to make a nationalized catastrophic plan work well, but have received more ciriticism on that than thoughful conversation.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:03 AM   #239
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Germany takes over 50% of income for individuals without families...should we do the same?...if we do, what kind of impact might that have on the economy?
"Germany's individual tax rates vary with the income, that is the tax rates are progressive as they are in most industrialized countries of the west. On salaries and wages, income taxes are paid as you earn. Income taxes have been reduced recently, and the maximum marginal rate is 42% in 2005."

"Health insurance is 6% - 7% of taxable income (before tax, minus deductions)."

More info on the German tax rates:

Taxation in Germany - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:14 AM   #240
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"Germany's individual tax rates vary with the income, that is the tax rates are progressive as they are in most industrialized countries of the west. On salaries and wages, income taxes are paid as you earn. Income taxes have been reduced recently, and the maximum marginal rate is 42% in 2005."

"Health insurance is 6% - 7% of taxable income (before tax, minus deductions)."

More info on the German tax rates:

Taxation in Germany - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Trek - Forgive me if I am wrong on this, but I beleive that the attached chart shows an apples to apples comparison of average tax rates paid among countries..Germany's tax rate appears to be much, much higher than the USA. Also, Germany seems to have a much higher unemployment rate too. Sounds like in addition to those high taxes, you're still having to pay a good chunk of taxable income towards healthcare costs, too!

Think your taxes are bad? - MSN Money
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