Advertisement

Letters to the Editor

Society’s job

June 20, 2009

Advertisement

To the editor:

I have just been watching CNN compare health costs and health results between some of the European and Canadian programs and ours. If we were to compare the results only for those with health insurance in the United States on effectiveness we would look better but be even more costly.

A charge is made that the government insurance would be unfair competition. It seems to me that private insurance has been tried and found wanting. A charge is made that this is moving toward “socialism.” This is used as a scare tactic with socialism being used as a dirty word.

In a limited way, it is only a recognition that some things are done better by society as a whole working together. Among the social entities are our public schools, air traffic control program, our highway system, our fire protection and the police protection. These are all recognized as best done together.

Personally, I would prefer a single-payer program of health insurance, but with the tremendous donations of the drug and health insurance groups to members of Congress, this is probably impossible to accomplish at this time. But we need to work toward it.

Comments

Chris Ogle 5 years, 3 months ago

here comes merrill...........(drum roll) ............

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

"We need to connect costs with the patients, not disconnect them further."

I agree to some extent, LO, but this would do nothing for someone who needs a heart transplant, cancer treatment, or any other life-threatening, expensive-to-treat disease. And if you're poor and young, or just poor, most likely you'll skip preventive measures in favor of eating and paying rent. While your answer may be ideologically attractive, it would leaves tens of millions with no meaningful access to healthcare.

0

Bob Harvey 5 years, 3 months ago

I tend to agree with Liberty on this one. Patients have become insulated from the cost of healthcare. (Yes I know that is not universally the case and I am confident we will hear of this horror story or that one). In my opinion health insurance should be just that...insurance. Recent discussions seem to interpret insurance as someone or some group to pay my health care bills...all of them. Insurance should help ensure against catastrophic loss, not a physician's office visit. When patients are seen for very minor issues, day after day, month after month with no "skin the in the game" the value of what they receive is minimal. As the old expression goes, no one washes a rental car.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, but developing the healthcare system under the assumption that everyone is a hypochondriac is just silly.

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

"Sorry, but developing the healthcare system under the assumption that everyone is a hypochondriac is just silly."

It's not the patients, it's the providers. People with health insurance that covers everything tend to get everything prescribed - necessary or not. You claim that many don't have "meaningful access" to healthcare because they have no insurance - yet you believe that covering them all with insurance won't add to the total services provided? Brilliant.

If the government put everyone on food stamps, with no limit, do you think food sales would go up or down, boohoozo? If they said we're going to start using taxes to pay for everyone's gas, use all you want, do you think people would conserve gasoline or squander it?


"I have just been watching CNN compare health costs and health results between some of the European and Canadian programs and ours."

Alert for Mr. Kasper: We don't live in Canada or Europe. Believing that changing our system to copy theirs would result in anything like the savings you imagine (or any savings at all) is completely baseless and delusional.

0

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

The USA needs a USA National Health Insurance to meet USA demands. Meanwhile the USA is the only industrialized nation without a National Health Insurance system. Face it a new system will make the USA more attractive to new industry and to those who want to become new small business owners.

How can National Health Insurance be welfare when OUR tax dollars which belong to US will be paying? Like all good americans WE will be paying OUR OWN way.

National Health Insurance = no insurance companies = a great opportunity to have OUR tax dollars work for US the tax payers for a change. This brings OUR tax dollars back to US the taxpayers.

*** National Health Insurance will improve the quality of life for all american citizens because it will remove corrupt politicians and corrupt corporations from the process.

0

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

The U.S. health care system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes which comes to $1.2 trillion. $1.2 trillion is a sweet gravy train for the insurance industry. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

That same $1.2 trillion can cover all americans. Now this is the real surprise. So the government is not using our tax dollars effiiciently which is to say WE need OUR tax dollars applied in a true fiscally responsible manner.

So where does this $1.2 trillion go? All to pay health care bills? Dream on. Americans spend more than anyone else in the world on health care.

Each of 1,500 health insurer adds its bureaucracy, profits, high corporate salaries, advertising,SHAREHOLDERS and sales commissions to the actual cost of providing care.

0

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Of a twenty-two-member panel, at least eight senators have financial interests in the healthcare industry.

The investors include Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), a senior member of the panel, who holds at least $165,000 in pharmaceutical and medical stocks, and freshman Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), who holds at least $180,000 in investments in more than 20 health-care companies.

The hearings will be led by Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd, whose wife serves on the boards of four healthcare companies. She received more than $200,000 in salary and stock from her service last year.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

0

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

How about med insurance for a family of 4 @ $12,106 with the insurance industry vs. HR 676 for $2,700

providing all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary andpreventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care, and long term care.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead, profits and SHAREHOLDERS of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

This IS fiscally responsible medical insurance coverage. Anybody that enjoys being fiscally conservative can realize this is a no brainer.

It would seem stupid to continue cheering on the highest premiums and the worlds most expensive health insurance coverage. The USA needs jobs NOT expensive health insurance.

0

verity 5 years, 3 months ago

"When patients are seen for very minor issues, day after day, month after month with no “skin the in the game” the value of what they receive is minimal."

Who are these people? Who has health insurance that covers 100%? I don't know of anyone. I have what is considered pretty good health insurance, but one still has to pay a co-pay for every visit to the doctor's office, even for the standard yearly checkup one is supposed to have to make sure you stay healthy. And any kind of extra procedure or even a short hospital stay ends up costing hundreds over what insurance pays.

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

“National Health Insurance will improve the quality of life for all american citizens because it will remove corrupt politicians and corrupt corporations from the process.”

Quite possibly the stupidest post merrill has ever made - and that's saying an awful lot.

National Health Insurance will destroy the quality of life for all american citizens precisely because it will install corrupt politicians into the process (among other reasons).

But don't let that keep you from your mindless cut-and-paste, merrill.

“The USA needs jobs NOT expensive health insurance.”

And herein lies the problem that the merrills, the boohoozos, etc., etc., etc. have with what passes for their argument. The problem isn't - and never has been - expensive health insurance, it's expensive health care.

When an ambulance drive across town costs two weeks pay, that's outrageous. When that trip to your doctor for your checkup, consisting of ten minutes of 'turn your head and cough' costs as much as your monthly grocery bill, that's too much. When a simple visit to the ER, even one that doesn't involve any fancy expensive tests or procedures, just observation, costs as much as a new CAR, that's exorbitant beyond comprehension.

But as long as someone else is footing the bill, who cares? Other than those without insurance, how many of you were even aware that ER visit was billed out at $12,000 or more? It's like car insurance - the vast majority of people couldn't tell you how much it costs to fix a dent and repaint, let alone something major like a bumper replacement. Their insurance pays for that, so who cares? Well, just why do you think collision coverage costs so much? When you can't afford the insurance, and you get that estimate-shock after an accident, it's quite a wake-up call - but we complain about the cost, we don't write our congressmen and ask them for taxpayer-funded single-payer car insurance.

Nobody wants to question why doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, durable medical equipment suppliers, etc., etc., etc., charge so much. The sheeple are in awe of medical providers, and don't feel worthy to question what they say. People like merrill and boohoozo and the other socialists want a nationalized system because they suffer from extreme class envy and think someone else should be supporting their lazy a**es. The rest of the lemmings are just drinking up the kool-aid they keep pushing.

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

verity (Anonymous) says…

"Who are these people? Who has health insurance that covers 100%? I don't know of anyone. I have what is considered pretty good health insurance"

From what you described, no, you don't.

And it's not the patient, it's the providers. When the ER repeats the exact same x-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, and blood workups on a Friday that they did for the same patient on a Wednesday and before that on Monday, then refer the patient to a specialist for follow-up when their GP could ask "Does your stomach still ache" just as well, when they prescribe the latest $600 wonder drug the salesman is pushing this week instead of an older, proven med that's been around for decades and has a $10 generic ($4 at Wal-mart), THAT is where the problem is. And all those things are more likely to happen with a patient who has coverage, and the patient is less likely to question the necessity as long as they don't see the bill.


Gee, one more time I'll ask (and then listen to the crickets chirp) a couple of questions the socialized-medicine fans don't seem to have an answer for:

1) If taxpayer-funded healthcare is so wonderful, how come more than half of all doctors won't take Medicaid?

2) If tax dollars are going to be used to pay for all our healthcare, what happens in recessionary times like this when those tax dollars dry up?

0

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

How many have read you health insurance policy? How many policies are riddled with limited coverage?

Perhaps you ought to know these things because this is also known as under insured which could result in death and/or bankruptcy

25 Million Americans Are 'Underinsured'

Middle- and upper-income families find it harder to get needed medical care, report says

By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- The number of American adults who had inadequate health insurance to cover their medical expenses rose 60 percent from 2003 to 2007, from 16 million to more than 25 million people.

http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2008/06/10/25-million-americans-are-underinsured.html

These 25 million are barely better off than those with no insurance. This is known as rationing.

0

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

The U.S. health care system is typically characterized as a largely private-sector system, so it may come as a surprise that more than 60% of the $2 trillion annual U.S. health care bill is paid through taxes which comes to $1.2 trillion. $1.2 trillion is a sweet gravy train for the insurance industry.

That same $1.2 trillion can cover all americans. Now this is the real surprise. So the government is not using our tax dollars effiiciently which is to say WE need OUR tax dollars applied in a true fiscally responsible manner.

Our tax dollars are only paying for government connected individuals which apparently constitutes 60% of the insured. That is reckless use of tax dollars when that same $1.2 trillion can cover 100% of USA citizens.

Where is a lot of this reckless spent $1.2 trillion going? Each of 1,500 health insurer adds its bureaucracy, profits, high corporate salaries, advertising,SHAREHOLDERS and sales commissions to the actual cost of providing care.

Let's allow fiscally responsible National Health Insurance cover the cost of OUR medical care with OUR tax dollars which will pay the people who perform medical care within the private health care business.

This is not bumming off the government. These are OUR tax dollars generated by OUR hard work. National Health Insurance brings our tax dollars back to US the taxpayers for a change.

0

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

BTW the medical insurance industry is funneling $100,000,000(million) med insurance dollars through the US Chamber of Commerce to put out expensive ads and misinformation about National Health Insurance.

The medically insured should be outraged at this use of their insurance premium dollars.

0

jaywalker 5 years, 3 months ago

notajayhawk,

Loved your 12:24! Great response, brother.

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says…

"And yet we have billions for special road projects."

Talk to your buddy Obama, jackie. I didn't vote for him.

By the way, was there something in what you said that was supposed to be trying to answer my question?

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

merrill (automoton) says...

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]


I suppose it would be wrong to brand all nationalized healthcare proponents as lazy bums who won't get off their butts and pay their own way. But you only have to look at merrill's cut-and-paste spam to see just how lazy he is - not to mention completely devoid of original thoughts.

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Thanks, jaywalker.

Not that the usual suspects around here heard any of it.


Hey, jackripper - BTW, the road comparison is pretty apt, although I'm sure that was an accident. You've done nothing since you joined these message boards but put your hand out and beg for the rest of us to pay for something else you won't take responsibility for. I pay for my own transportation and you want me to pay for yours, too - same with healthcare, it appears.

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says…

"That is hilarious nota"

It's good that you can laugh at yourself, jackie - especially when everyone else has been for so very long.

"When are you going to start paying the Chinese since all that you think you have been paying for is thanks to their floating it all."

Again, jacquie, talk to your buddy Obama. He should be your idol - he even wants to pi away more money on those precious trains of yours that nobody's riding (did you happen to notice that people abandoned your pretty iron horses as the price of gas came back down, jacquie? Gee, wish I'd predicted that - oh, wait...). And, as usual, your argument is that because we're so deep in debt, we should spend MORE money we don't have. At least you're consistent in your mindlessness, jackie, babe.

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Anything else you'd like to add, jacquie? Anything else you 'almost' forgot before I reply? 'Cause while it is amusing responding to your continual self-immolation, I really have better things to do with my time than reply post-by-post every time you forget your Aricept.

Take your time. Try to come up with something sensible.

I can wait.

[Yawn.]

0

Satirical 5 years, 3 months ago

I think the Dems are brilliant. They figured out the perfect backdoor path towards government controlled society. First, regulate an industry so much that it either collapses or is extremely inefficient. Second, blame the problem on the private market. Third, have government come to the rescue.

I have to admit the Dems have worked this plan to perfection in almost all sectors it has been tried.

0

Satirical 5 years, 3 months ago

Whoever said the the private market leads to efficiency is obviously an idiot. Yeah for Obamanomics!

0

Kirk Larson 5 years, 3 months ago

So called "free" markets aren't applicable to health care. Do you shop around for the best price while bleeding after a traffic accident? When your child needs life-saving surgery, do you put it off until you can afford it? It's not like choosing a new dining room set. Decisions often have to be made quickly by people who are not equipped with the years of expertise acquired through med school. And the primary reason for personal bankruptcy or mortgage foreclosure? Catastrophic health care bills. And as for the auto industry, what's the most expensive input in the manufacture of a car? The health coverage for the workers who assemble the car. For decades, American manufacturers have complained that they can't compete with foreign car companies because they have state sponsored health coverage. So what's the best bet to bring down the cost of American cars? Public health care!

0

gl0ck0wn3r 5 years, 3 months ago

Since Richard cut-and-pasted his post, I'll do the same. Seriously though, I think Richard Heckler is a bot/script:

Here is a link about the health care system in Norway - a country that has been a free-rider on the American defense train since WWII. They've plowed tons of money into every possible Richard Heckler wet dream government program and, despite this, they are discovering even their system doesn't work. I wonder why? It's government controlled on a massive scale. Richard?

http://www.newsinenglish.no/News/healthreform.html

“Health Minister Bjarne Håkon Hanssen of the Labour Party has been examining the Norwegian health care system for more than a year and trying to come up with a new diagnose for long-term treatment. The existing system is fraught with delays and, some claim, inadequate health care unless the patient is in a life-threatening situation.”

“[Reform] will likely involve transferring more health care workers from state-run hospitals to local health centers, while the general practitioners called “fast leger” in Norwegian (state-assigned personal doctors) may be reassigned to more hospital or clinic work. In all, an estimated 200,000 health care workers in Norway would be affected by the reorganization.

Doctors already are opposing such reform, saying it means they'll have less time for the patients already assigned to them. Health care will suffer as a result, they say.”

Oh and…

“Norwegians like to think of themselves as an athletic population, keen on hiking, skiing and other physical activity aimed at keeping them slim and trim. A new study, though, dashes that self-image, suggesting that more and more Norwegians are now classified as officially overweight and in danger of developing type-2 diabetes. Professor Kristian Midthjell told newspaper Aftenposten that two-thirds of Norwegians over age 20 are overweight in the county of Nord-Trøndelag, which Midthjell thinks is representative for the country as a whole. That's a rate that's even higher than in the US, where obesity has been a problem for years.”

Richard, tell me it's not true!

0

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

According to the Congressional Budget Office the plan that excludes the insurance industry aka HR676 will save $350,000,000(billion) annually.

This is the plan that would cover every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental, mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care, and long term care.

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

Consider that taxpayers are shelling out $1.2 trillion medical insurance tax dollars now which only covers 60% of those with insurance who are connected to government.

If HR 676 and $1.2 trillion will cover all of us make the USA more employable eliminate bankruptcies due to medical reasons eliminate medical insurance dollars going to political campaigns encourage new small business ventures save $350,000,000 annually * eliminate deductibles and co pays

why in the hell is capitol hill designing more expensive scenarios?

And doesn't it seem stupid to continue cheering on the current most expensive scenario in the world?

0

monkeyhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

merrill, maybe you should have studied a little harder, gone on to get that degree, or maybe even joined the military. You could have gotten some good health insurance from your employer, and then you would know what it is like to actually be satisfied with your care (kinda like 3/4 of the rest of us).

Seems like most self-employed folks inevitably come upon the health insurance dilemma, but I doubt that most of them expect me to pay for it.

0

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 3 months ago

The assumption that insurers are charged full price for anything by hospitals, physicians or other health care providers is asinine. I know this because my friendly insurer sends an itemized statement each month of what care I received, what the provider charged and what they (the insurer) paid. In what are called "PPO"s (preferred provider networks) your insurer provides you with a list of "acceptable" physicians and hospitals. You are forced to choose from that list what doctor/hospital you go to. This is because the insurer has negotiated a flat rate with providers that is less than what the provider charges an uninsured person. In this sense the insurer acts like a coop. Go "outside" the network to a physician or provider not on contract to the insurer and they will pay a certain portion of the bill but anything over and above that is the responsibility of the insured. Same goes for drugs (for those lucky enough to have a pharmacy benefit with their insurance). Insurers have what they call "formularies", which is a list of acceptable drugs for almost every condition under the sun. If a physician prescribes a "non-formulary" drug the insurer will only pay a portion of the bill or force your doctor to switch to the formulary drug. I recently was forced to switch from Lipitor ( a drug I had been on for three years) to Zocor because we switched insurers and Lipitor was not in the formulary of the new insurer. The reason? Zocor had a generic; Lipitor did not. The first time I got one of these "cost comparison" statements I nearly had heart failure thinking I was going to be responsible for the difference between what was charged and what was paid when my policy stated that coverage was "100%". I called my doctor's office and was told by their business office that, no, what the insurer didn't pay was literally written off because of their negotiated contract with the insurer. (continued)

0

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 3 months ago

(continued) Given all of this, this where the uninsured/underinsured (fully half the people in this country) takes the full hit.These people are literally being forced to make up the shortfall of what insurance companies refuse to pay. Deductibles are insane. People are paying thousands of dollars each year for insurance where they, in turn, have to pay thousands of dollars before their insurance even kicks in. This may be acceptable for auto insurance if you're a careful driver but people are NOT cars! You can have the healthiest life style in the country and still keel over from a heart attack thanks to your great-great-grandfathers genes. As for preventative medicine, insurance companies are a joke. They would rather you kept smoking than pay for the drugs to help you kick the habit. And covering bariatric surgery if you're grossly obese? Ha! That's considered "cosmetic" surgery believe it or not. You're simply considered "lazy" and "self-indulgent" if you don't simply starve yourself to death and lose the weight, never mind that your body may be based on generations of familial phenotype. I don't know why I'm bothering to post this since no one will read it anyway but the truth is we have a severely broken health care system in this country and the only ones that seem to want it fixed is the half that are paying the back breaking expense that insurance companies are refusing to pay for the other half.

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

Satirical (Anonymous) says…

"I think the Dems are brilliant. They figured out the perfect backdoor path towards government controlled society. First, regulate an industry so much that it either collapses or is extremely inefficient. Second, blame the problem on the private market. Third, have government come to the rescue."

You forgot the next step.

I've heard that in some parts of England you can be denied coverage for a hip replacement if you're overweight.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23410977-details/'NHS+should+not+treat+those+with+unhealthy+lifestyles'+say+Tories/article.do

In others heart surgery is out if you smoke. How many times have you heard the argument made for helmet laws or seatbelt laws based on the 'cost to society' for paying the medical bills of those who get into accidents without those protections?

Lifestyle changes will be legislated, on the basis that since Uncle Sam is paying for your healthcare, he can tell you how to live. Welcome to the future.

0

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Health care reform will profoundly affect each of us —so it’s too important to trust politicians to figure it out!!

Even if you’re healthy now with insurance you like, you’ll not always be healthy and private insurance costs will continue to skyrocket —so eventually this year’s health care legislation will impact you personally.

SINGLE-PAYER is not just another proposal. It’s the ONLY proposal that: ~ eliminates $400 billion in current waste annually
~ covers everyone without spending more than America already spends on health care!
~ provides comprehensive care (dental, mental health/drug treatment, prescriptions)
~ means your choice of doctor—not your choice of insurance plan ~ has public accountability (insurance companies are only accountable to shareholders for profits!) ~ has a realistic funding plan which makes fiscal sense

If this seems too good to be true, get the facts from Physicians for a National Health Program:

http://www.pnhp.org/facts/single_payer_resources.php

This is the plan where we all pay our own way with our tax dollars.

Where does the gov't get our tax dollars?

From Us the taxpayers so why not put OUR tax dollars to practical use.... providing all of us citizens with fiscally responsible health insurance .

This will give all of US more expendable cash to spend or invest elsewhere = dollars and sense.

0

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

The reasons state run universal health care plans cannot function for less is:

  • they still include insurance companies! HR 676 does not.
  • states do not have access to the $1.2 trillion tax dollar medical insurance pie that WE taxpayers pay to apply to their own system
  • they do not have the leverage that a whole nations population can apply to suppliers
  • citizens of state run operations are still paying not only there own but still contributing to the $1.2 trillion medical insurance tax dollar that finds its way to insurance companies. HR 676 eliminates this multiple payment conflict.
  • HR 676 brings everyone under one umbrella thus opening doors to many sources of revenue aka efficient,practical and a fiscally conservative approach to medical insurance.
0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

merrill (automoton) says ...

Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam

[insert link to ideological misinformation here]

0

notajayhawk 5 years, 3 months ago

JackRipper (Anonymous) says…

"Merrill brings links and information from various sources and along with other sources people can gather information to decide what they think is best"

I know a fossil like you, jackie - one that once said there's no reason to teach computers in school because it's nothing more than pushing a few buttons - probably doesn't even know what spam is, but merrill cuts-and-pastes this same inaccurate cr*pola on every single thread that mentions a single word related to healthcare (and half the ones that don't). Sometimes he even pastes it in more than once. His 'sources' are ideological propaganda - much like when you cite one of your choo-choo magazines in support of mass transit. I, as well as many others, have addressed the 'argument' he purports to be making many times, not that it matters. Like you, merrill is an automoton that doesn't ever respond to challenges to his misinformation, he just keeps saying the same thing over and over and over and over and over (again, like you). He even posted the same spam to a LTE he wrote himself!

Saying the same dishonest littany a thousand times doesn't make it any more true than saying it once, jackie. Neither does the fact that weak-minded people looking to have someone else pay their way are awed by the misinformation, eat it up like like spoon-fed pabalum and beg for more.

I (and many others) have disputed merrill's sources many times, jackie. I (and many others) have responded to his posts with questions he never, ever answers (again, much like yourself). I have posted information from my own experiences as a provider with the disaster we call taxpayer-funded healthcare, and with the experiences my family, friends, and patients have had as consumers. I (and many others) have posted more documented information that proves the lie of merrill's posts than he could ever dream of linking to.

I know you've read many of these posts, jackie, you replied to them - alleging that I just try to ridicule merrill rather than address his 'points' is just yet another example of your own dishonesty. It makes a lot of sense that you'd defend merrill. You two have so much in common.

You said on another thread that you don't have an opinion on the healthcare issue - yet you feel compared to challenge my posts. You may want to familiarize yourself with another internet term that suits you to a 'T', jackie - it's called being a troll.

0

Richard Heckler 5 years, 3 months ago

Senate Report Finds Insurers Wrongfully Charged Consumers Billions http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released today by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

At a hearing this afternoon, Rockefeller's panel is slated to air allegations by a former industry insider that insurers have put profits before people's health.

The report released this morning alleges that insurers have systematically underpaid for so-called out-of-network care. The issue has been brought to light in past litigation and investigations, including a probe by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo described it last year as "a scheme by health insurers to defraud consumers by manipulating reimbursement rates." A dozen insurers have reached settlements with Cuomo agreeing to change their practices.

Many Americans pay higher premiums for the freedom to go outside an insurer's network of doctors and hospitals. When they do, insurers typically pay a percentage of what they call the "usual and customary" rates for the services. How insurers determined the usual rates had long been opaque to consumers and difficult if not impossible for them to challenge.

As it turns out, insurers typically used numbers from Ingenix Inc., which was a wholly owned subsidiary of the big insurer UnitedHealth Group. As such, Ingenix had an incentive to produce benchmarks that low-balled usual and customary rates and shifted costs from insurers to their customers, the report said.

Making matters worse, Ingenix got all of its data from the same insurers that bought its benchmark information, the report said. Insurers that contributed data to Ingenix often "scrubbed" their data to remove high charges, and Ingenix further manipulated the numbers, removing valid high charges from its calculations, the report said.

Cuomo found that insurers systematically under-reimbursed New York consumers by up to 28 percent, the report said. Earlier this month, New York's Department of Insurance issued a regulation prohibiting insurance companies in New York from obtaining data on usual and customary charges from anyone with a conflict of interest.

In March testimony to Rockefeller's committee, UnitedHealth Group's chief executive expressed regret that there was a conflict of interest inherent in his company's relationship with Ingenix, the report said.

But chief executive Stephen J. Hemsley also said UnitedHealth stands by "the integrity of the Ingenix data" and the way UnitedHealth "used the data to make reimbursement decisions." He said the company worked with Cuomo to transfer its databases to an independent, nonprofit entity.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.