Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Help needed in argument with liberal about HMO's
n/a ^ | 07-03-03 | n/a

Posted on 07/03/2003 7:06:40 AM PDT by Monster Zero

Having a candid discussion with a liberal at work about what's wrong with health care. After being told that evil HMO's were the big problem, I stated that HMO's (I hate 'em too, btw)) were invented by Ted Kennedy and his crew back in the late 70's. He said, "well, Monster Zero, you've given me something to go look up."


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: healthcare; hmo; socialism
Rebuttal on the way, of course. Any useful information would be appreciated.
1 posted on 07/03/2003 7:06:40 AM PDT by Monster Zero
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
I had a similar arguement with a lib friend.
His claim is that HMO's are privatization of health care!
2 posted on 07/03/2003 7:09:05 AM PDT by Semper Paratus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
If both of you hate HMO's, what's the argument going to be about?
3 posted on 07/03/2003 7:09:27 AM PDT by Scenic Sounds (Summertime!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
The big advances in health care has been advances in drug therapy. Drugs are expensive now, but all go off patent in 17 years. Problem solved.
4 posted on 07/03/2003 7:11:31 AM PDT by staytrue
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Scenic Sounds
What does he think that HMO's do that is bad? Inflate the cost of health insurance, inflate the cost of private pay health care, or deny peopel needed health care?
5 posted on 07/03/2003 7:11:40 AM PDT by NYFriend
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
HMO Act of 1973
6 posted on 07/03/2003 7:12:01 AM PDT by CholeraJoe (White Devils for Sharpton. We're baaaaad. We're Nationwide)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
Google gave me a page from Institute for Health Freedom which says that ol' Sub Commander Ted was a sponsor of the '73 HMO act.

Also, it comments briefly on the root of the problem (IMO): "Today's workers are effectively coerced into HMOs because of federal tax policy established in the 1940s. Currently, health insurance is excluded from taxation if employers purchase it, but individually purchased insurance is not."

7 posted on 07/03/2003 7:22:03 AM PDT by m1911
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
Ask him this: If you don't like HMO's which attempt to cut costs by exercising pricing power over doctors and pharmacies, and serve as gatekeepers to patient care to ensure that patients don't get unneeded treatment, then why would you possibly support government health care which is going to try to control costs by doing the exact same things? At least now, if you don't like your HMO you can go to another one. What will you do when the only HMO is the government?
8 posted on 07/03/2003 7:25:54 AM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
what's wrong with health care.

The lawyer mafia and the Lawyers Party, the Democrats, have driven up the price of healthcare. Now if there's a still birth it's almost a given the parents get $35 million, 1/3d of which goes to lawyers who then funnel money back to Democrat protectors. Of course that gets worked back into insurance costs and ultimately the consumer pays 3 times more than they used to.

9 posted on 07/03/2003 7:27:24 AM PDT by Reeses
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: m1911
It's true that employer provided insurance is a tax write-off, but there are insurance options that are alternatives to HMO's. Are we talking about the argument that all insurance is bad for the health care system? There is an argument to be made there. I disagree, but you could argue that any insurance 1) encourages over use of health care by removing the finacial responsibility for care from the patient; and 2) the market power of insurance companies allow them to negotiate health care fees that are too low and force providers to overcharge private pay patients to make up the differance, effectively using private pay to subsidize the insured's health care.

10 posted on 07/03/2003 7:29:56 AM PDT by NYFriend
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
I think you are wrong about the establishment of HMOs. I was under the impression that Kaiser Steel established the HMO that later became Kaiser Pemenente during WWII because of the tremendous increase in employees. The HMO Act of 1973 did not really establish HMO, but instead provided for federal rather than state-by-state regulation (similar to most employee benefits being governed by the Employee Retirement Income Securities Act, ERISA).

If you start with the understanding that neither you nor anyone else is entitled to free health care, HMOs become alot more attractive. Before run away regulation, they were thought to be an effective cost saving device that allowed employers to provide better health benefits at a lower price. If a person does not like their HMO, they should pay for a better plan. If an employer provided HMO is not what the person wants, they should ask the employer for more options or get a new job with "better" benefits.
11 posted on 07/03/2003 7:31:04 AM PDT by Kaisersrsic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Scenic Sounds
I hate HMO's because they interfere with and micromanage medical care in much the same way that HitleryCare would. He hates HMO's because they turn a profit. The argument started when we were discussing a coworker's upcoming surgery and I said something about "If people think that problem is going to be solved by the Government..." and that set him off.
12 posted on 07/03/2003 7:34:46 AM PDT by Monster Zero
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: m1911
"Today's workers are effectively coerced into HMOs because of federal tax policy established in the 1940s.

Kaiser Industries began the US concept of a company HMO (not unlike the British coal companies) to insure levels of production by reducing absenteeism due to the unavailability of doctors in certain areas. Kaiser, as an HMO, was simply insuring a steady work force. They did not cover employees after retirement. HMO's have merit in places where there are no doctors or hospitals, but there is industrial activity, such as Kaisers gypsum mines in rural So. California.

HMO's are not the answer to the whole national health question. HMO's are the answer to a specific problem. The federal government is so involved in health care that it will never do what needs to be done, not socialize it or privatize it, but make it all, "non-profit".

13 posted on 07/03/2003 7:37:50 AM PDT by elbucko
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: m1911
Also, it comments briefly on the root of the problem (IMO): "Today's workers are effectively coerced into HMOs because of federal tax policy established in the 1940s. Currently, health insurance is excluded from taxation if employers purchase it, but individually purchased insurance is not."

The reason for that was the wage freezes during World War II. Businesses needed other perks to attract workers. Group health insurance was such a perk. It makes sense that it is excluded from taxation if one considers that it is a business expense.

Everyone loves to say they hate HMO's and, in fact, there has been a 'Managed Care' backlash in the late 1990's. You should start to see new products coming out now, such as 'Consumer Driven Health Plans'.

Before bashing the HMO's, it is worthwhile to consider the cost of healthcare WITHOUT insurance. The HMO's may have some hoops but that is only because we, the public, have given them the responsibility of financing our health care AND accepting the risk. Ask anybody if they would like to go to any doctor any time and they will say 'Yes'. Ask them if they are willing to pay for it and they say 'No'. Some people have become so disconnected from the cost that they think health care is free when you have insurance. Getting the consumer back into the financial side (so they can consider the economics) is one step we need to take in order to improve our health care system.

Another major problem is our society's view of death. Two things have happened simultaneously in the last 30 years. We have become more secular and medical science has made huge advancements [the latter means more potential treatments at a higher cost and longer life expectancy with progressively more expense health care requirements]. The end result is the expectation that doctors should keep you alive no matter what (because this life is all there is) and that they actually can (because of all the wizz-bang medicine). With most people disconnected from the financing, the economic cost is lost in the equation. Inpatient hospital health care in the last 30 days of life accounts for a disproportionately high percentage of total health care cost.

Another fact that most people don't know is that 5% of the people incur 50% of the cost in a given year. (Which 5% will it be next year is the question - and that is why we have insurance)

14 posted on 07/03/2003 7:40:09 AM PDT by Pete
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
Google came up with this one from the Citizens Council on Health Care too - it seems to give a detailed, albeit one-sided, view of the development of HMOs.
15 posted on 07/03/2003 7:43:10 AM PDT by m1911
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
First, it's true that HMO's turn a profit at the expense of providers, such as hospitals. My insurance company makes alot of money off me. I don't need much health care. One day I probably will. I'm paying for piece of mind. My wife goes the doctor more frequently. She gets her money worth for sure, of course our employer picks up a bigger portion of our health insurance costs than we do.

I hate trial lawyers because they turn a profit. You and your friend are coming from different places. Drop the argument. Neither of you will win. As far as your problem with HMO's, it all comes down to choice. I pay more for my insurance, a PPO, than I would for the HMO option my employer offers. I don't need prior approvals for anything. I also chose to pay more.
16 posted on 07/03/2003 7:49:03 AM PDT by NYFriend
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
First, it's true that HMO's turn a profit at the expense of providers, such as hospitals. My insurance company makes alot of money off me. I don't need much health care. One day I probably will. I'm paying for piece of mind. My wife goes the doctor more frequently. She gets her money worth for sure, of course our employer picks up a bigger portion of our health insurance costs than we do.

I hate trial lawyers because they turn a profit. You and your friend are coming from different places. Drop the argument. Neither of you will win. As far as your problem with HMO's, it all comes down to choice. I pay more for my insurance, a PPO, than I would for the HMO option my employer offers. I don't need prior approvals for anything. I also chose to pay more.
17 posted on 07/03/2003 7:50:08 AM PDT by NYFriend
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
The issue is so clear: There is not enough money in the world to provide everyone with the best medical care available.

Now, how difficult is that to understand?

18 posted on 07/03/2003 8:22:37 AM PDT by pabianice
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
Didn't liberals invent HMO's?
19 posted on 07/03/2003 8:27:06 AM PDT by big bad easter bunny
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
First of all, a worthwhile discussion on this (or any other topic) would call for intelligence and logic. You might get lucky and find the former in a liberal, but I doubt you'll find a liberal who can practice the latter.

Why waste your time? I am in the healthcare industry. I've been a consultant at a major firm specializing in healthcare. One might charitably say that I am an expert in the field. Yet, here's what I know: Most people are so woefully ignorant on this subject, so misguided, and so much ruled by an illogical wish to live forever and to get something free, that there's very little point in discussing the subject.

The basic liberal's take on healthcare amounts to this: Me want live always. HMO bad. Insurance companies bad. Me good. Me want free stuff. Gimme a new liver.

Save yourself the aggravation, and use your time more constructively. Go punch a liberal in the eye. -OhMike
20 posted on 07/03/2003 8:36:09 AM PDT by OhMike
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
It's really a freedom question. Ask the liberal this: Should have have the power to take away my freedom to choose an HMO?
21 posted on 07/03/2003 8:46:58 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (May you find some illegal fireworks and have a REAL happy July Fourth!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Monster Zero
You get what you pay for.

You pay $10.00 for a visit then you might get a 5 minute visit with which ever Doctor is on schedule that 5 minute time frame.

The next 55 minutes is spent filling out paperwork. Government work for the Union members.
22 posted on 07/03/2003 8:48:09 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Scenic Sounds
"If both of you hate HMO's, what's the argument going to be about?"

The question appears to be was Kennedey part of creating the HMO? Frankly, that question isn't very important. The big question: should others have the power to tell you what kind of insurance you buy? Should they be allowed to take away your freedom as a customer?
23 posted on 07/03/2003 8:49:40 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (May you find some illegal fireworks and have a REAL happy July Fourth!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: OhMike
"The basic liberal's take on healthcare amounts to this: Me want live always. HMO bad. Insurance companies bad. Me good. Me want free stuff. Gimme a new liver."

LOL!

England and Canada are helping their citizens purchase health care services from other countries, allowing their currency to flow here and elsewhere to prevent a needless death. That is desperation. So I say, let's all join in on this great concept. Let's all pay for overseas healthcare. Once that is a worldwide policy, we reduce the 'surplus population'. Only one catch, the US joins in last. I'm curious how all the other countries would react when we were last to join?
24 posted on 07/03/2003 8:58:56 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (May you find some illegal fireworks and have a REAL happy July Fourth!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Just mythoughts
"..You pay $10.00 for a visit then you might get a 5 minute visit..." How about $60 for a 2 minute nurse visit and a 90 second doctor visit after waiting three hours?
25 posted on 07/03/2003 9:02:17 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (May you find some illegal fireworks and have a REAL happy July Fourth!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: staytrue
>>>The big advances in health care has been advances in drug therapy. Drugs are expensive now, but all go off patent in 17 years. Problem solved. <<<

Surprisingly, in 16 years and 11 months, a study will be released which shows that these drugs have unexpected and serious side effects for a small, but unidentifiable segment of the population. Regrettably, they must be withdrawn from the market and we are recommending that the FDA rescind its approval for this class of medications.

Fortunately, diligent researchers at the lab have developed a new a better (just patented) medication without these effects, which is now being made available to the public.
26 posted on 07/03/2003 9:09:13 AM PDT by MalcolmS (Do Not Remove This Tagline Under Penalty Of Law!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: NYFriend; elbucko; Pete; Kaisersrsic
NYFriend: You may be right - but it especially hurts when the private insurers have to compete with government supplied care and government supported care. Also, on your last post to Monster Zero, "your employer picks up a bigger portion of our health insurance costs than we do." just means that your paycheck is smaller than it could be. It's all counted as part of your compensation. Of course

elbucko: I think that Monster Zero was referring more to what happened with the HMOs when they became Federal pets rather than their more distant origins.

Pete: I agree that the wage freezes created the benefit plans that led to the tax incentive - which only shows that gov't meddling usually leads to more gov't meddling. I try not to bash HMOs. I don't think it is good policy that businesses get a tax credit and individuals don't. And one origin of the problem the HMO Act was supposed to fix was Medicare/Medicaid - again, government meddling to fix government meddling.

Kaisersrsic: A comment - "If a person does not like their HMO, they should pay for a better plan". I agree, but I think that they should get the same tax incentives they would get if they got it through their business.
27 posted on 07/03/2003 10:28:12 AM PDT by m1911
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Arthur Wildfire! March
That bad. Never went the HMO method, even as a silly 20 year old knew that when HMO's were first offered it was a pig in a poke. Since that time have refused to go the HMO way.

I had a liberal get really ticked off because I had an MRI done on my leg and his HMO would not approve of one for him. Of course he could have had it done and paid for it himself, but that HMO primary physician would not refer him to have one done under his HMO.

Funny thing about it was when he signed onto his new job he had called me for advice about which insurance to buy and I told him that it depended on what he expected from that insurance and that I want to be able to see whatever physician I wanted without permission, well needless to say he did not listen and went the HMO way, it was all I could do to keep from saying "I told you so" when he could not get his HMO to get him his MRI.
28 posted on 07/04/2003 3:48:28 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson