Skip to comments.Health care insurance industry is real problem in this country
Posted on 06/19/2007 7:31:52 PM PDT by Nachum
Michael Moore's riveting new film "Sicko" is about to become the X factor in California's health care debate - casting an unforgiving spotlight on all those proposals from Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger and some legislators who think we can solve the health care crisis by handing over more money to the insurance companies.
Lack of insurance is not the problem - it's the insurance industry itself. A Zogby/UPI poll in February found that 42 percent of Americans said their insurer had refused to pay a medical bill. A USA Today/ABC poll in March found one in four Americans had trouble paying for medical care in 2006. Two thirds of those were insured.
"Sicko" puts human faces on those numbers. Like Donna and Larry Smith who had to sell their home and move into a cramped room in their daughter's house when their medical bills became unpayable. Or Laura, the young woman sent a huge bill for her post-accident ambulance trip because it wasn't "pre-approved."
(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...
Who decides these things?
BS, the Federal Government is the problem!! (I have 25 years in the field, I know of what I speak.)
Can't get past this.
That’s pretty much where I stopped.
I would support a limit on total insured deductible as a percentage of annual income, say 3%. And, for those who have an income, no other means of payment than themselves. No Medicaid, no $200 deductibles. Lifesaving care would be required for all, but the provider would have an opportunity to sue for payment if the patient has the assets to pay.
Set up the 3% of annual income to be the minimum total covered deductible. You pay everything below that at 100% yourself, just as you pay for car repairs and food on your own. Bring back some competition and consumer discretion. More health care value gets more business. People are more careful with spending when it's clearly their own money.
bump for later read.
Medicare and Medicaid reinbursement create their share of problems but state insurance regulations are killing competition, jacking up rates, and destroying group coverage.
It’s not the insurance industry, it’s the government.
It’s the GOVERNMENT, stupid.... (not you Nachum)
This is topic that I have some familiarity with given that I work in an allied industry. Health insurance companies face their own challenges thanks to ever-rising medical costs, fraud, and bureaucracy.
That being said, the fact that millions of Americans are uninsured is an area that can’t be ignored anymore. It seems ridiculous to me that the uninsured don’t have too many alternative avenues available to them.
IMHO, 4 basic changes are needed to the current system to make it both cheaper and more responsive to the needs of their users:
1. Tort reform; must be accompanied by negating the influence of the wretched trial lawyer/medical malpractice lobby.
2. Drug industry reform (based on a true free market system and free import of FDA-approved drugs)
3. Private member networks that are similar to employer groups but are based on the free self-association of people with similar health profiles, needs, and affordability criteria.
4. Preventive disease management
To be fair, it is a combination of both - industry and government. In addition to govt. interference, a true free market system is largely missing from the medical and health sectors.
Star Parker had a great line tonight. We’ve had socialized medicine for the poor for 40 years. It’s called Medicaid, and you would never catch Michael Moore going to one of those hospitals, like the one where people walked around a dying drug addict and people called 911 from the hospital for help, recently.
I am watching her interview on Hannity and #$%^%^ right now.
BTW, while I agree with your point about govt.-run healthcare, I think the industry can do its bit as well.
As if Pizza the Hut should talk about health care.
3% would be much too low unless the efficiencies you describe are effective. My current plan’s deductible from a Fortune 100 company is approximately 8% (and I am pretty well paid), and I am thankful to have the insurance. It pays absolutely nothing until we reach that amount.
They do pay for preventative care at a generous level (I just had a complete annual physical).
The government’s allowance for High Deductible Health Savings Account is a step in the right direction. I like the idea of setting aside money which is free from Social Security, Federal, and State taxes (already a 30-40% benefit or so) for health care expenses. The money grows like in a 401(k) with the same investment vehicles, and you are never taxed if the money is used for health care expenses.
The high deductible forces us to shop as best we can for the lowest prices (we have already changed doctors to ones who have a lower negotiated rate). I have been pushing to have our plans mandate that the prices for all procedures be placed online (they already have drug prices online).
The big secret is that if you have a large non-emergency medical procedure is to get preapproval in writing from your health care insurance provider in advance. Also, you need to use your Human Resources department if your insurance provider is doing a bad job.
I have had Medicare for 10 years. I call it the Medicare money machine. You should see how unscrupulous docs manipulate it. Right now the Feds pay more for my Medicare coverage than my social security. That makes health care a higher priority than everything else combined. If I got the money instead of the benefit, I sure would not spend it that way. And I have to find a new doc, again, because they drop it as soon as they build a practice because reimbursement is so screwy.
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