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Old    Cliff (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-19-2016, 9:15 AM Reply   
it's official
starting August 1st, my health insurance premiums have doubled since Obama took office.

same coverage, same deductible

for those of you that want to cite other causes, I call BS

perhaps they should have gone up some, but not DOUBLE

Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-19-2016, 10:54 AM Reply   
That's the price you pay for a HC system that excludes people. The problem with HI cost is that the system is hyper inflated by govt policy. That's why we ended up with the ACA. It's "affordable care" for people who couldn't get it before. But it doesn't fix the underlying problem that's existed long before the ACA. HC has not been a free market and it should not be treated like a free market. The biggest culprit is hospitals. They have no competition and suck off the govt teat with no oversight.
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       06-19-2016, 12:33 PM Reply   
Interesting data point.

I can't compare to 2008 since my business wasn't large enough to provide health care benefits yet, but I doubled my gross and tripled my staff during Obama's time in office and our premiums are actually lower now than they were in 2012.

The bulk of my staff live in California with a few folks in the Midwest/east coast, not sure how much that plays into it vs. Texas costs.
Old    Cliff (ord27)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-19-2016, 1:45 PM Reply   
I am self employed. I have always had an issue it being less expansive for someone who works for a large corporation. The group rate thing, to me, is discriminatory. I don't see why Blue Cross, for example, would be out less money (or more) for a procedure performed on someone that works for himself, verses for IBM.

and John, that's what was so irritating about the talks when they were creating Obamacare. They seemed to avoid every issue that was the root of the entire problem
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       06-19-2016, 2:48 PM Reply   
So am I. And I misspoke when I said tripled - actually went from 2 staff to 10 during the Obama years.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-20-2016, 6:12 AM Reply   
"and John, that's what was so irritating about the talks when they were creating Obamacare. They seemed to avoid every issue that was the root of the entire problem "

And they will continue to. Bernie Sanders is the only one who has come close to addressing the problem. If we follow the model of other countries that pay half per captia and insure everyone then you are attacking the problem head on. There must be cost controls when an industry is subsidized by tax payer money. Our HC is hyper inflated by subsidies and a lack of cost control. People claim it takes to long to get certain kinds of treatment in universal HC countries. But that's exactly the cause of the problem here. Hospitals will throw every expensive test at you they can, not because of lawsuits, but because it generates huge amounts of revenue.

This nation priced HC out of the reach of too much of the population and now we are paying the price. The only thing Republicans did WRT HC reform is express the desire to keep HC out of reach of many to placate those who had good jobs with employer provided HI and received govt welfare to help them pay for it. Tying HI to employment was one of the biggest mistakes we made WRT creating a sustainable HC/HI system. You can't blame Obama. We can only blame ourselves for not paying attention to the economics of the HC industry and consequences of our policy.
Old    Big D (bigdtx)      Join Date: Feb 2005       06-20-2016, 6:31 AM Reply   
Cliff - look into an employee leasing company - that's what we do. Then your small business can get cheaper group rates by pooling with all the other companies under the same umbrella.
Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-20-2016, 12:20 PM Reply   
Actually, the driving factor behind cost, according to a friend of mine who works at an insurance company, is Medicare and all of its mandates. Not sure how you pulled off lower premiums, Wes, but congratulations. A friend of mine owns a two full-time businesses and premiums are $1500 a month for basically the same policy that was $350 a month before the ACA albatross hit. I still don't see why the ACA couldn't be like the car insurance mandate and just require everyone to buy a cataclysmic liability policy.
Old    Wes (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       06-20-2016, 12:24 PM Reply   
I don't know enough about the whole thing to say for sure, but I do know when we first started doing HI as a benefit we were getting worked on rates. When ACA hit ADP (they do our HI brokering) forced us to redo things and (in assuming since the pool was expanded) we ended up with lower costs overall, despite one or two staff going up. Personally I can't compare mine because I got married around the same time and now we have kids on there too.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-20-2016, 1:12 PM Reply   
Ron, what was your friends rationale as to how medicare drives up the rates of private HI? I know what the answer should be. But I'm not going to say yet. But here's a hint. Removing this requirement from medicare will drastically raise the price of garbage collection by.....
Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-20-2016, 7:43 PM Reply   
No way can I explain what she told me but a general answer would be the billing process and how the Fed.Gov. regulates the pricing. She acts as a negotiator between the insurance company, the hospital, and the Fed. Government. The magnitude of the paperwork and entire ordeal of [processing the pricing for a bill is just unimaginable.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-21-2016, 6:59 AM Reply   
OK, I'll finish my sentence....

...will drastically raise the price of garbage collection by "leaving the uninsured to die on the streets".

By law hospitals that accept Medicare must accept people who don't have the means to pay.
Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-21-2016, 12:14 PM Reply   
The biggest problem besides the mound of paperwork is without a cataclysmic liability policy the hospital has to absorb the cost. For example, I have a friend who has no insurance and almost lost his leg in an accident. His bill so far is $250,000 and I see no other option than bankruptcy. With a much more affordable cataclysmic policy ($200), the hospital would be able to recoup some of that money. I find this interesting also
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-22-2016, 6:41 AM Reply   
They should stop taking Medicare patients. Problem solved. I guess your friend should have bought HI. It's all of his friends who have HI that are driving up the price.
Old    Someone Else (deltahoosier)      Join Date: Jun 2002       06-22-2016, 11:39 AM Reply   
I think John and I are as close as we are ever going to be on this topic. If you are forced to take customers at a bargain rate, then the hospitals are going to recoup the costs of those with the money.

Question is, do you want it to be a corporate give away or hit the tax payers? Right now, they corporations are paying the highest penalty as they are the other people's money that is being spent. They would love to offload this cost.

If you move it to tax payer funded, then all of the regular people pay.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-22-2016, 12:15 PM Reply   
I want to examine other HC systems that can provide HC at much lower costs than incurred in the US. We already know they exist in other modern countries with universal HC systems. Life expectancy is as good as or better in those countries. There are going to be those who argue that our system is better and life expectancy is tied to other lifestyle factors. My response to that is that if people are going to live bad lifestyles that's their problem. The bottom line is that the facts indicate that good HC can be much cheaper per capita.
Old    Ron T (Laker1234)      Join Date: Mar 2010       06-22-2016, 12:23 PM Reply   
That is a big part of the problem with the ACA. Insurance Companies are forced to take pre-existing conditions, in addition to the "young" not signing on, and that has cost them money. Some are even pulling out. To me, all of the money that is being "thrown" down the ACA hole could nave been spent building and staffing "free" government run health care clinics.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-22-2016, 12:31 PM Reply   
The ACA is not the way to solve the problem. It was the only way to get people who couldn't get coverage covered. The bottom line is that Democrats spearheaded changing the system to get everyone included. The Republicans tried to make that not happen. What the Democrats did needed to be done. If the Republicans ever get off their collective dumb a$$es to implement a real fix then democrats will get on board with that as well. Unfortunately the correct solution of cost controls is against the fundamental philosophy of Republicans. They want to somehow believe that HC is still a free market, should act like a free market, and that the govt implementing cost controls is an anathema to a free market. But if you really made HC a free market it would be anarchy in the industry because revenues would fall drastically. And the industry could not handle it gracefully.
Old    Someone Else (deltahoosier)      Join Date: Jun 2002       06-22-2016, 4:20 PM Reply   
That is where insurance companies come in. They bargain with the medical providers to try and make ends meet. At the end of the day, someone has to be in that role.

No insurance and pay as you play. What happens?

Fully regulated. All costs fixed. What happens?
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-22-2016, 7:01 PM Reply   
Hate to tell you but HI companies don't have an absolute incentive to contain costs. Now there is a rule that they must pay out 80% of payments in HC costs. I got back several hundred dollars this year because my HI company didn't achieve that goal. That means the HI company was leaving 20% of those refunds on the table. They can justify rate increases when HC costs go up. 20% of higher costs means more revenue for the HI company. They are effectively punished for lower costs. If they want to make more money then either they must get more customers or they must see costs go up.

The only thing that will make HI companies want to control costs is if the customer base goes down when prices rise. But both the govt and the HI companies are in agreement that everything possible must be done to increase the customer base. This is not an economic model for containing costs.
Old    Someone Else (deltahoosier)      Join Date: Jun 2002       06-23-2016, 11:33 AM Reply   
I know they don't have absolute incentive to contain costs, however they are getting most of their money from corporate buyers I would think. Anywhere with deep pockets that don't ask a lot of questions. The insurance company is gong to pass along all costs until the money supplier screams. Costs go up because of usage and pay raises in the industry. They want new customers that are not going to use the benefit.

I worry that if this goes public, there will be no one who gives to craps about the cost. I guess it goes one of two ways.

- Either the government would put the clamps on costs, thus you have the long lines and delayed care and maybe no care if there is not hope for much recovery.

- Or the government lets all people use as much as they want. Market gets bloated due to the extra money in the system. People taxed out of their minds because no one knows how to get rid of the free lunch line.
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-23-2016, 2:02 PM Reply   
Seems like there shouldn't be much mystery in it seeing as how there are other countries that we can use as a model.


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