Senate may offer new option for obtaining health insurance

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:09 am   Post subject: Senate may offer new option for obtaining health insurance  

Dear Friends,



I was reading a letest news article on google, which I thought may interest you.



"Racing to complete work on healthcare legislation before Christmas, Senate Democrats worked Monday on a compromise that could leave their healthcare bill without a new government insurance plan.



Instead, Democratic lawmakers are exploring an alternative that would authorize the federal government to contract with a commercial insurer to offer benefits to millions of Americans who do not get insurance through their work.



The compromise could include an expansion of the Medicare insurance plan that would allow some Americans as young as age 55 to buy into the program, according to lawmakers and others involved in the discussions. That element is an effort to mollify liberal lawmakers who have been demanding that the government set up its own insurance plan, or "public option," to compete with private insurers.



Other issues that figure to be part of a final deal on the legislation include the size of subsidies that the government would offer to low- and middle-income Americans, as well as restrictions on federal funding for abortion, which the Senate may vote on as soon as Tuesday.



The closed-door negotiations have yet to produce a deal that could bring together 60 senators, the number needed to ensure passage of the bill.



Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a key swing vote on the issue, cautioned Monday that negotiators were "a long way'' from a final compromise.



And several leading supporters of a public option in the Senate and elsewhere reiterated their demands Monday. "Congress must enact a strong public plan if we want to create affordable, accountable coverage options for all Americans," said Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), who filed an amendment to bolster the version of a public option that is currently in the Senate bill.



But several liberal and conservative Democrats said Monday that they were optimistic of making progress on what may be the most contentious issue: whether to create a government-run "public'' insurance plan, or some kind of alternative, that would give some workers a new option for buying insurance."



You may read the complete story at http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/sns-dc-health-senate7,0,1820182.sto ry



and start a discussion here. Thanks

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:30 am   Post subject:   

If they think this is going to be passed by Christmas, they're dreaming. Once again, our elected and fearless leaders have suborned their opinion on a public that was once unsuspecting and grasping at straws to a public that's actually starting to get a clue. We hope.



There are countless blogs, articles and opinions on the national health care debate with little actually being done, per the norm. If you're keeping count, this is the third time the issue has come to Congress, and the 21st "idea" proposed by various senators, congressmen and others. I have no problem with the idea of the government administrating the plan; I have a problem with them coming up with the legislation in the first place.



Do you know why the AMA and AARP are "throwing" their weight behind these various plans? It's because they are so fed up with the BS that they've collectively come to the conclusion that something is better than nothing...so to speak. But is something better than nothing?



In this issue- yes. Our system is broken; blame it on who you want. The insurance companies, the drug companies, lawyers, courts, laws, government, Medicare/Medicaid, on and on and on. What about true tort reform? What about the premiums that are going to be associated with all of these mandated benefits? Who's going to pay for all of this? Federal subsidies? Thanks, gubmint (that's government), we appreciate it. Actually, my kids/grandkids appreciate it.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:38 pm   Post subject:   

this is interesting, sort of a fundamental shift in the US health market, something of a compromise between the free public health systems offer in other countries and the pure private model.



Hospitals are still privately owned/operated and effectively businesses, but govt winds up funding cover on a large number of patients.



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:49 pm   Post subject:   

heidrek, I'm sorry, but this busted me up:

Quote:
this is interesting, sort of a fundamental shift in the US health market, something of a compromise between the free public health systems offer in other countries and the pure private model.




There is NO SUCH THING as a "free public health system." They don't exist, anywhere, period. Somebody has to pay for it.



Go and look at those countries that have theoretical "free" systems and then look at their tax structures. Particularly Canada and England. 'Nuff said...



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:14 am   Post subject:   

Too bad nobody took McCain's plan seriously. Increased utilization of HSAs, tax credits, mandatory preventive care to receive your credits and no public option.



I guess that makes too much sense.



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:13 am   Post subject: insurance  

Thsi is the Government we are talking about, OHIOHEALTHINSURANCE. they are not SUPPOSE to make any sense!!.....LOL KISS-(Keep It Simple Stupid)..LOL What about the people that are Low-Income? If 'we' COULD afford ANY kind of payment for Health Insurance, 'we' wouldn't have Access cards, etc. I DO have to say, there are TOO many people that 'play the system' in reguards to this.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:11 am   Post subject:   

The fact of the matter is, for some reason, the elected dolts strolling the "hallowed halls of Washington, DC" believe that insurance companies are inherently bad because they make a profit. So "we" (InsTeacher's 'gubmint' -- I really like that one!) will put forth a "gubmint opshun" to "create competition" that "we believe" does not currently exist.



This is such a patent fallacy that it boggles my mind.



First, with 308,000,000+ people in the US and only 40-some million (no one knows the real number) uninsured, that means (apart from the Medicare beneficiaries) somewhere in the neighborhood of 240,000,000+ HAVE INSURANCE. And Congress is in a rush to overturn the entire system instead of dealing with the challenge of the 15% who have no coverage. So far every "plan" they've come up with only reduces the number of uninsured by no more than one-third. That's no solution.



And besides, who doesn't want to do business with a profitable insurance company? At least they have the ability to pay claims, which is what my clients and I concern ourselves with.



So let's look at the Social Security and Medicare fiasco, which is the latest "model" to pattern a solution after.



According to the Social Security Trustees in their 2006 report, the amount of money (actual CASH -- not the special Treasury bonds currently in place) needed in the Trust Funds to provide the then-present level of benefits beyond the "infinite horizon" (time beyond 2080) totaled a mere $87,000,000,000,000 ($87 Trillion -- $14 Trillion for Social Security benes, and $73 Trillion for Medicare claims).



What was in the Trust Funds in 2006? $0 (but about $2 Trillion in special Treasuries because Congress has been looting the actual cash since the 1950s). How much is there today? $0. (but more special Treasuries than in 2006).



So what makes anyone think the US Government can run, let alone merely oversee, a national health plan for 308,000,000+ people? Most people are ignorant of the $87,000,000,000,000 shortfall that is pending. There is neither a plan to overcome it, nor the capability of overcoming it. GW Bush demanded that we "strengthen it" (impossible). Congress now announces its willingness to ADD WEIGHT TO THE SINKING MEDICARE SHIP -- and is desperate to make it happen in the next 13 days.



Please! There must be a call for sobriety in Washington, DC [the other possible solution could get me arrested for even mentioning it]. They've all gotten drunk on the "power" in the last 9 years. Democrats, Republicans, doesn't matter, they're all a bunch of fools. And they take the rest of us for idiots.



As InsTeacher observes, the PEOPLE are finally getting a clue. We had a summer full of Town Hall meetings, most of them highly orchestrated in one direction. But the PEOPLE came out in droves and registered their overwhelming OPPOSITION to Congress' tinkering, and yet Congress casts a blind eye to the will of the people and careens down the path toward hyperinflation that will cause toilet paper to become more valuable than paper currency. The "full faith and credit" of the US is being demolished because Congress believes that "insurance companies are making a profit" is a bad thing.



Understand this, I am no more a fan of insurance companies than the next guy. I pay too much for some of the insurance I have. But I also hope I never have a claim either. Because life is better in a claim-free world. Still, I don't want to see any insurance company stay in business if it can't make a profit, and neither do the regulators. Why not? They have no ability to pay claims. And that's not what we pay premiums for.



The "gubmint" has demonstrated that it has no intent to operate at a break even, let alone a profit. Clinton managed to get Congress to begin to act fiscally responsible with a "balanced budget" and GW Bush came in and said, "Aw, that budget stuff's for wimps. We can spend as much as we want. We're the gubmint." And they proceeded to do precisely that.



Now "we" discuss TRILLIONS of dollars of "stimulus money" as if it amounted to a handful of pennies. But look who it's gone to: failed companies and failed homeowners. Why reward failure with "stimulus"?



If they truly wanted to stimulate the economy, they would have sent me and tens of millions of other responsible homeowners whose loans were not in jeopardy a check for $100,000 made out to me and my mortgage lender with a note in the envelope: "Take this check and pay down your mortgage and refinance the lower balance at a lower rate." The BILLIONS of dollars that would have flowed into the true economy each month as that money was freed up from mortgage payments would have catapulted us out of this recession. Home values would be on the rise instead of in the toilet.



But that's anathema to the way Government works. Reward the lazy, the inefficient, the failures, and tax the wealthy, the working, the guy trying to get ahead just a little to pay for it. It's nothing more than Robin Hood in wool suits. And Sherwood Forest exists between Canada and Mexico, the Atlantic and the Pacific.



The solution to "health care reform" can be written in two or three paragraphs at most, not the 8,000-10,000 pages that have been written, trashed, and rewritten in the past 10 months. It's really pretty simple . . .



If you think insurance companies are making too much profit, you set "loss ratio" standards (already been done for Medicare Supplement and Long Term Care Insurance -- 60% for individual policies, 75% for group policies). If a company can't meet the ratio, their premiums are either too high or their claims payments are too low, or both. Fact is, though, many health insurers are already at or above an 80% loss ratio, which would be perfectly acceptable. Two sentences.



Don't like it that insurance companies turn down some folks whose health conditions are so bad, they would never allow the insurance company to break even, let alone see any hope of profit? Simple . . . assigned risk pools. Just like we do in auto insurance, each insurer gets a percentage of the pool in the same ratio as their market share in the state. Funny thing is, they already exist in many states. Two more sentences.



Finally, as InsTeacher mentioned, the last frontier: Tort reform. No need to outlaw insurance companies, outlaw civil trial lawyers instead. At least the "Larry H. Parkers" of the [lawyer] world who somehow beat the ambulances to the hospital. The very UNFUNNY THING is, those two sentences will never be written as long as lawyers keep getting elected to state and federal legislative bodies.



Six sentences could solve the whole dilemma.



But I and others, like Congress, have to expend a lot of effort just to try to make a simple point.



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