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Old 03-27-2013, 10:06 PM   #161
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I hope you are right, but I find all the different takes from every side in the battle confusing. It is hard to know who one should believe.
Agreed, bondi. We'll probably have to wait and see how this works out next year.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:07 PM   #162
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Here is my take: many in the individual market are not insured because of pre-existing conditions. The first couple years those folks will choose 'full meal deal' policies which will drive the costs of those policies up. In a year or two this will settle down, actuarially.

Keep in mind that the cost of treating the uninsured has been shifted to those who have insurance in the past. Now many of the uninsured will be able to buy insurance which should alleviate some economic burden on the rest of us.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:36 AM   #163
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To me it means ACA is working as intended. Insurance companies will be required to allocate more of their profits toward actual medical care for the insured and less for extravagant executive salaries, bonuses, administrative overhead, and bureaucracy.
Precisely. The aim shouldn't be to leave in place a system where some people can afford to be healthy and others cannot; there is an overwhelming cost to that, most of which cannot be measured by a dollar amount.

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It is hard to know who one should believe.
For this issue, I hear relatively little actual lying going on. I think that's because both sides know that the issue is so important that everything they say will be fact-checked.

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Trying to find politically neutral parties in this fight to gauge their opinion on the subject.
Moderates can often be found when people are arguing about incremental differences. This argument, as has been the case with several others recently, isn't an argument about incremental differences, but rather about diametrically-opposing, fundamental principles: Are we a society? or are we a collection of sovereign citizens? The legislation has to come down to splitting the difference in some way, but it isn't a matter of some kind of sliding scale between two mathematical models, but rather is simply horse-trading between two utterly incompatible views.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:15 AM   #164
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To me it means ACA is working as intended. Insurance companies will be required to allocate more of their profits toward actual medical care for the insured and less for extravagant executive salaries, bonuses, administrative overhead, and bureaucracy. If they plan to make up this rebalance by passing those costs onto the consumer in the form of higher premiums, I believe ACA will prevent that as well. A victory for American consumers, in my opinion.
The expected increase in claims cost is due to expansion of benefits and no underwriting. There has been a medical claims cost ratio restriction for over a year that limits the portion of premium that covers expenses and profit so the increase in the study has nothing to do with what you wrote. You probably should learn what you are talking about before getting on your soapbox.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:27 AM   #165
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I hope you are right, but I find all the different takes from every side in the battle confusing. It is hard to know who one should believe. Trying to find politically neutral parties in this fight to gauge their opinion on the subject.
Not to reopen an argument, nor to turn this political, but I think that the best advice for getting to the truth in any issue is to follow the money.

Who benefits from maintaining status quo, who benefits from change? Who is lobbying for what? What is the competition (rest of world) doing and why?
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:34 AM   #166
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Not to reopen an argument, nor to turn this political, but I think that the best advice for getting to the truth in any issue is to follow the money.
However, isn't that playing into the hands of those who care about nothing other than (their own) money? If you let others set the agenda, then what is considered important will be a reflection of their priorities, not a consensus view of society's priorities.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:39 AM   #167
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Back of the envelop math on healthcare insurance policy cost.

Healthcare today costs, on average, $8k or so per person. Adding an additional 20% , the average policy would cost between $9 to $10k. The allowable range for age is 3x, so that could mean a policy for a whippersnapper is $5k and for an old phart is $15k.

People paying less that than should expect to see their policy costs increase over time. Some folks will be fortunate and have their policies subsidized by the employer. Good for them. Others currently have their policy costs subsidized by keeping less healthy people out of the insurance market. Their costs will be going up in January.

As we do away with medical underwriting much of the cost shifting and reallocation will go away. Hopefully, when everyone sees just how costly health care is, we can actually do something about it.
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:51 AM   #168
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That's really the key: What is the money being spent on, not who is it being spent on. If there are costs that simply shouldn't be incurred, let's ban those expenses before we do anything else because that's surely something we all can agree on.
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:38 AM   #169
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I always thought that high deductibles, would lead folks to a healthier life style, i.e. less costly health insurance. Now it looks like you don't have to care. Eat, smoke, drink, and be merry.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:00 AM   #170
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I always thought that high deductibles, would lead folks to a healthier life style, i.e. less costly health insurance. Now it looks like you don't have to care. Eat, smoke, drink, and be merry.
You could say the same thing about just about every west European country that has universal health care. They don't have to care. They can eat, smoke, drink and be merry.

Yet, they spend less than us on healthcare, while at the same time they are healthier and live longer than us.
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:00 AM   #171
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The expected increase in claims cost is due to expansion of benefits and no underwriting. There has been a medical claims cost ratio restriction for over a year that limits the portion of premium that covers expenses and profit so the increase in the study has nothing to do with what you wrote. You probably should learn what you are talking about before getting on your soapbox.
Your ignorance of the law is astounding. How sad for someone to comment here while lacking proper understanding. ACA has everything to do with controlling how profits are allocated. Suggest you read up on this.

Last time I checked, everyone is allowed to express their opinions and views here, so please don't denigrate with your soapbox comment. I hear people get grumpy as they get older...
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:08 AM   #172
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We're among friends, so let's keep it friendly and respectful
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:13 AM   #173
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I"m certain that everyone that posts here is "on their soapbox".
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Old 03-28-2013, 09:42 AM   #174
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You could say the same thing about just about every west European country that has universal health care. They don't have to care. They can eat, smoke, drink and be merry.

Yet, they spend less than us on healthcare, while at the same time they are healthier and live longer than us.

i am not an expert on healthcare but-most european countries have universal health care(run by government). if they say an MRI is 200 for example it's 200 dollars-they set the price. in the US the government does not set the price( although individual insurance plans negotiate a price).

because of this i don't think you can compare the costs.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:08 AM   #175
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Back of the envelop math on healthcare insurance policy cost.

Healthcare today costs, on average, $8k or so per person. Adding an additional 20% , the average policy would cost between $9 to $10k. The allowable range for age is 3x, so that could mean a policy for a whippersnapper is $5k and for an old phart is $15k.

People paying less that than should expect to see their policy costs increase over time. Some folks will be fortunate and have their policies subsidized by the employer. Good for them. Others currently have their policy costs subsidized by keeping less healthy people out of the insurance market. Their costs will be going up in January.

As we do away with medical underwriting much of the cost shifting and reallocation will go away. Hopefully, when everyone sees just how costly health care is, we can actually do something about it.
Is it $8K per PERSON

Hmm, I see you say healthcare cost and not insurance cost... but still want to check what you are saying.. IOW, our company insurance cost about $4K for individual and a bit over $10K for a family... this is total costs paid to the insurance company...
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:28 AM   #176
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Back of the envelop math on healthcare insurance policy cost.

Healthcare today costs, on average, $8k or so per person. Adding an additional 20% , the average policy would cost between $9 to $10k. The allowable range for age is 3x, so that could mean a policy for a whippersnapper is $5k and for an old phart is $15k.

People paying less that than should expect to see their policy costs increase over time.
Can you define your parameters? At what age does a person become an old phart, and the true cost of his/her insurance policy should be around 15k? This is not asked in a snarky way.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:28 AM   #177
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Since insurance companies are limited to a percentage of the profits, and they are the ones supposed to be negotiating pricing, it seems to me they have every incentive to have higher prices. Wouldn't high health care costs increase their actual profits?
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:07 AM   #178
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Is it $8K per PERSON

Hmm, I see you say healthcare cost and not insurance cost... but still want to check what you are saying.. IOW, our company insurance cost about $4K for individual and a bit over $10K for a family... this is total costs paid to the insurance company...
Check away. Total US healthcare in the US in 2011 was $2.7T. That works out to $8.6K.

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Can you define your parameters? At what age does a person become an old phart, and the true cost of his/her insurance policy should be around 15k? This is not asked in a snarky way.
Not my parameters. The PPACA limits cost increases based on age to 3x. Individual policies begin at age 26 and end on the first day of 65th birthday.

In both cases, I'm just doing the math.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:42 AM   #179
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I always thought that high deductibles, would lead folks to a healthier life style, i.e. less costly health insurance. Now it looks like you don't have to care. Eat, smoke, drink, and be merry.
You could say the same thing about just about every west European country that has universal health care. They don't have to care. They can eat, smoke, drink and be merry. Yet, they spend less than us on healthcare, while at the same time they are healthier and live longer than us.
Good point. The cost issue isn't related as much to subscriber deductibles as it is to how much pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and to a lesser extent, health care service providers are able to charge; and tangentially, to lifestyle considerations that are relatively unaffected by how health care is arrayed.

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ACA has everything to do with controlling how profits are allocated.
It is important to note that ACA is a prerequisite to any serious cost reduction efforts, paving the way for such efforts without the risk that rationing of health care based on affluence will come into play. Once ACA is fully deployed and operating, then we can take the next steps toward reducing costs responsibly.

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i am not an expert on healthcare but-most european countries have universal health care(run by government). if they say an MRI is 200 for example it's 200 dollars-they set the price. in the US the government does not set the price( although individual insurance plans negotiate a price). because of this i don't think you can compare the costs.
Actually, nothing about that says you cannot compare the costs. If their infant mortality rates were significantly higher, or life expectancy was much lower, or their general level of fitness and health were inadequate, then I could understand not wanting to compare costs.
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Old 03-28-2013, 11:47 AM   #180
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Check away. Total US healthcare in the US in 2011 was $2.7T. That works out to $8.6K.


Not my parameters. The PPACA limits cost increases based on age to 3x. Individual policies begin at age 26 and end on the first day of 65th birthday.

In both cases, I'm just doing the math.
Total US healthcare costs also include care for non-citizens (illegal aliens, medical 'tourists', etc.), so it's a bit more complex than dividing official US population # into $2.7T. For example in some areas along US northern border up to 10% of patients are Canadians paying cash to get visits/procedures done (inc. sooner, perceived quality, etc.). But agree Michael's calc should put us somewhere in the ballpark when using PPACA's cost limits, at least as they are written now.
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