Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2012

Care act praised

August 11, 2012

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To the editor:

When was the last time your health insurance company sent you a letter that was anything other than a denial of coverage or a notice of premium increase? Thought so.

Over the past six years, my health insurance cost increased from $350 per month to $850 per month.  The last time I had a major medical expense, it was denied as not covered. It was, but it took me over eight months to get my reimbursement.

Last week I had a surreal moment. I got a letter from the insurance company. I started grumbling as I opened it, expecting yet another rate increase. I was astounded to find it contained a rebate for a portion of my premiums paid the previous year!

How did this amazing turn of events occur? The Affordable Health Care for America Act, derided by the right as “Obamacare,” includes a provision, called the 80-20 rule, which requires that health insurers spend at least 80 percent of their customers’ premiums on health services, leaving no more than 20 percent for administrative costs and advertising. What a concept!

The AHCAA also requires insurers to end the practices of canceling policies when the insured becomes ill or denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. In exchange, everyone must have insurance. That protects the rest of us from those that would just rely on us to pay their bills through our taxes. Why on earth would anyone think these are bad ideas? Repeal this law? Are you nuts?

Comments

Abdu Omar 2 years, 10 months ago

Great letter, Doug. I wish many others would see that this bill is a good one, started out of necessity and is more than the Republicans cared to read or bring about an alternative. Thank you President Obama.

Phoghorn 2 years, 10 months ago

You realize that Mr. Burger's "rebate" was the profits of the Health Insurance Company. Now before we all start railing against profits, be aware that this law may put many insurance companies out of business.

Now, let us think back to Econ 101. The number of insurance providers will decrease, but demand will rise. Ie, Less supply, more demand. Now what do you think will happen to the cost of insurance?

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

Are you claiming that insurance companies need to spend more than 20% of their income on administration or go out of business?

Phoghorn 2 years, 10 months ago

No, not at all. What I am against is the government mandating what they spend on administrative costs. In a true free market, companies (of any sort) that spend too much money on administration will fail, and better stewards will come in a pick up the pieces.

In the case of health insurance, this will allow coverage and service to improve as shoddy companies will go under, and quality companies will rise.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

How's that working out for you so far?

Companies with bloated administrative budgets are raking in record profits.

And, you said "this law may put many insurance companies out of business" - are you now backpedaling on that?

Also, if it puts out of business those who can't make their business succeed without bloated administrative costs, then it has the same effect you claim for the free market, no?

Phoghorn 2 years, 10 months ago

My heath insurance is good, and I am happy with it.

No, I am not gonna backpedal - the law may very well put my health insurance company out of business.

When the free market dumps a business, then a better business will come along and pick up the slack. With the free market I can choose. With a government program, I am stuck with what they give me.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

What in the law may put your company out of business exactly?

You are aware that this law doesn't provide any government insurance, I hope - it expands the pool of customers for private companies.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

This is a silly letter.

Does the author really think these are the only two provisions in the ACA?

Also, if he's paying $850/month for coverage, I think he could do a lot better, unless there are factors we don't know about in his situation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

Do you think these provisions are good ones? If so, do you think that if the Republicans actually manage to overturn the ACA that they would pass new legislation that includes these provisions?

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

I think that the 80/20 percentage might be a good idea.

I think that without other provisions to contain costs, requiring insurance companies to cover more people, and sicker people will undoubtedly result in higher premiums, even with an 80/20 split.

And, I don't like the mandate, which is an attempt to contain costs.

You ask me, again, to choose between two unsatisfying options - the ACA, with all of it's complexity and outcomes we won't know about for some years, and nothing.

Why are you so content, as with the debt/depression issue, to limit your choices that way?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 10 months ago

I won't be content until we have a single-payer plan, which would necessarily include provisions that cut the overall costs of medical care (something that would go a long way towards reducing the deficit.)

But if it comes down to a choice between the ACA and whatever the Republicans might come up with to replace it (including repeal and returning to the old status quo) the ACA is the better option-- especially since the Republicans would also likely gut Medicare and Medicaid while they are at it.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 10 months ago

Insurance is not meant to cover only those who need it at the time they need it. It doesn't matter if it's auto, homeowner's, or health insurance. Everyone pays into the system to distribute the risk. How else do you think health coverage could work?

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

I don't understand your question.

Yes, that's how insurance works.

The idea that comprehensive health insurance is the only, or best, way to deal with health care is debatable.

I was without health insurance for about 20 years, had low health care costs that I paid for directly, never went to the ER, etc.

Also, socialized care is another vehicle that doesn't involve insurance.

Katara 2 years, 10 months ago

I am not sure why you seem to think that everyone has the same experiences as you. I was under the impression that your world was a bit bigger than just yourself.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

I never said or thought any such thing.

However, doctors say that many people need little health care from about age 20-40. So I imagine that I'm not the only one who could take good care of myself during that period, eating well, exercising, not smoking or drinking much, etc.

And, thanks for the compliment - I do try to take a broader view on most issues :-)

Katara 2 years, 10 months ago

You continue to bring yourself up as an example. Just because you were fortunate enough to enjoy good health does not mean that everyone else gets to and it also does not mean that everyone who takes good care of themselves avoids medical issues.

There are many chronic conditions that still require some medical attention and are a result of nothing that a person did. Autoimmune diseases are excellent examples. Just to name a few...

Celiac disease http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001280/ Hypothyroidism http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001393/ Hyperthyroidism http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001396/ Multiple Sclerosis http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001747/ Rheumatoid arthritis http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001467/

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

Sure.

I never said "everybody" could do it. But, I generally figure I'm not that special, and if I can do it, then many others can as well.

And, again, it's not just luck - I make a rather large number of good decisions, and pay attention to the information available from doctors.

Don't you agree that many people make bad decisions that affect their health, and could make better ones?

Katara 2 years, 10 months ago

In a lot of cases it is just luck. I hope that you should never been stricken with a bad medical condition but I fear that you will not cope well with such a diagnosis. People who think that following a checklist will be the magic cloak that shields them from harm do not do well when something deviates from that formula.

For example, you could dislocate your shoulder from patting yourself on your back so much & require shoulder surgery because you severaly tore your rotator cuff.

I don't believe that that should be beat over the head over and over again because of it. Your posts suggest that people who make bad decisions deserve the bad things (disease, chronic medical conditions, expensive medical treatments, etc) that happen.

And it is wrong to make blanket judgements about medical conditions that people have (such as type 2 diabetes) based on your very limited knowledge. You don't have a way to know the history to make such a judgment and you have no way of knowing what the best treatment is for them.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm going to stop responding now, because you've started to make the slide to insults.

It's very unfortunate that you do that.

I specifically said I didn't think I was special, so I'm not elevating myself above anybody else.

Seems remarkable to me that you don't agree that many people make bad decisions that affect their health, and could/should make better ones if they want to be healthy - there's plenty of evidence of that if you just look for it.

Yes, generally speaking, I find that the fact that actions have consequences is a good one - if you make bad decisions, bad things happen. It's a feedback loop that helps provide incentives for better decision-making.

Given that I take a lot of care to make good decisions (and I'm by no means perfect), invest in my own health through diet, supplements, exercise, etc. why exactly should I pay higher insurance rates for those that don't make that effort?

From Dr. Koop, former surgeon general - "Obesity, lack of exercise, and a high-fat diet...increase the risk" of getting type 2 diabetes.

And, to prevent type 2 diabetes "keep your weight within the healthy range for your age, height and build. Exercise regularly. This is very important in preventing diabetes."

Of course what we do is only part of the picture - the rest includes genetics, and other factors outside our control. But, it seems to me that the best approach is to do what we can about the things we can affect.

I can only speculate about why you seem to have such a strong reaction to what seems like basic common sense to me.

Katara 2 years, 10 months ago

That's fine if you want to stop responding. You act as if that is some sort of punishment. You obviously think very highly of yourself and it is no wonder that people react accordingly. Your posts are incredibly self-congratulatory on this topic and it is becoming quite tiresome. Perhaps some self-examination of your tone and word choice would be beneficial to you. That is, if you are truly interested in decreasing what you perceive as negative reactions to your posts.

It would be great if you would take the the time to learn the difference between risk factors and causes. It would also be great if you actually read the material on the ADA website. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/diabetes-myths/

Pay very close attention to this myth: "Myth: If you are overweight or obese, you will eventually develop type 2 diabetes.

Fact: Being overweight is a risk factor for developing this disease, but other risk factors such as family history, ethnicity and age also play a role. Unfortunately, too many people disregard the other risk factors for diabetes and think that weight is the only risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Most overweight people never develop type 2 diabetes, and many people with type 2 diabetes are at a normal weight or only moderately overweight."

Oh and before I forget. I didn't get a chance to correct your belief on Type 1 diabetes. You are not born with it. It develops during childhood. This is why it is called Juvenile Onset diabetes. That name has changed because more adults are diagnosed with it. Type 1 diabetics are insulin-dependent. Their bodies produce little to no insulin. Type 2 diabetics produce insulin but their bodies are not able to recognize it.

I also pay for things that happen to people who do things in pursuit of good health. I pay for the shin splints that joggers get. I pay for the surgery to repair damage to the bicyclist who gets hit by a car. The list goes on and on. To complain about one set of choices (that you feel are bad) is hypocritical when another set of choices (that you feel are good) cost you as well.

Again, people make bad decisions all the time. I just don't believe that further punishment is necessary or productive. You are content to pass judgment upon those even though you have no knowledge of their medical history or the actual cause of their medical condition. And while you can only speculate about why I have such a strong reaction to your desire to punish people for perceived bad decisions, you can also only speculate about how they got to where they are. All you have on any of this is speculation on your part.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

Also, some of your list can be treated with relatively inexpensive medication, like hypothyroidism.

One doesn't necessarily have to have expensive comprehensive health insurance for that.

Katara 2 years, 10 months ago

And all on my list requires regular lab tests and doctor visits. Those don't come cheap even the medication does.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 10 months ago

Ok, I see what you are saying. There was a time when we paid for doctor and dentist visits out of our own pockets. It was affordable because th doctors' offices did not need insurance staff and records. Health insurance did cover major medical. I don't remember why that changed, or if the changes were an improvement.

camper 2 years, 10 months ago

$850 is normal for covering a family. Mine is $450 for a single coverage. Amazing that coverage can equal or exceed a mortgage payment. And this does not even include deductibles and co-pays. If you are not fortunate enough to have employer provided care, and want coverage, you really have to pay up.

I have some reservation about the mandate, but as people continue to fall off employer provided care, premiums will continue to rise.....to the point where one would be better off putting a grand into the bank each month rather than shelling it out to insurance.

The public option is the way to go.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

He didn't say his family's insurance, he said "my insurance".

The public option would have been a nice aspect - I agree. But there are generous subsidies in the bill for many people to help them afford insurance on their own, and the exchanges are supposed to make it more affordable as well. We'll see how it works out.

camper 2 years, 10 months ago

Jafs "his" insurance can cover more than one person. $850 sounds like a family or a husband & wife plan.

Armstrong 2 years, 10 months ago

I believe there is a great deal of bivine fecal matter in this letter

tomatogrower 2 years, 10 months ago

The ACA is a working document and a start. If something comes up that doesn't work it should be addressed. But of course now we are run by a congress full of the "no' party, so it probably wouldn't happen.

I haven't seen any solution by the Republicans, except Romney as governor of Massachusetts, that seems fair or feasible. Most seem to want to protect the profits of people who invest in insurance companies and the big bonuses collected by insurance company CEOs, not in providing affordable health care to the citizens of the US. The message I have gotten from most of them is "don't get sick, unless you are wealthy enough". Our system is broke, but because some people are making big profits from it, then it's ok, right conservatives?

Carol Bowen 2 years, 10 months ago

Actually, the insurance companies have been reaping their highest profits under Obamacare.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 10 months ago

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/14/business/14health.html?_r=1

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/02/04/health-insurers-post-healthy-quarterly-profits-cautious-2011-outlook/

Of course, 2011 is the most recent available and more variables will be kicking in. The ACA will affect insurance companies more in 2014. So far, the health services to administration ratio, 80/20% has taken affect.

Enlightenment 2 years, 10 months ago

Hearme, do you realize that you in fact proved the need for the ACA? You proved that the insurance industry has been raking in crazy profits in the past before the ACA was passed. The so called proof you provided does not prove anything about the ACA resulting in insurance profits because the ACA will not be fully in service until 2014.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 10 months ago

Like I said. There are a lot of variables. The ACA needs to be supplemented with other legislation. Insurance premiums can still be increased under ACA. The 80/20 rule is great. We should do 80/20 for tort reform, for example.

Thomas Bryce 2 years, 10 months ago

The conservatives want to re-write everything to suit them and them alone. Why not start with The Pledge of Allegiance. "I pledge allegiance to the PAC of Grover Norquist and Corporate America. And to the Republicans for which it stands, One nation, under OUR God, Indisputable, with Liberty and Justice for those of you who can afford it."

Topple 2 years, 10 months ago

Funny, I'm not familiar with health care plans that work for Republicans but not Democrats.

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 10 months ago

Great letter and thank you for writing it. I thank God for the medical care I receive and the kindness of those who dispense it. Here is a shout out to all those who worked on this bill in the House and the Senate and a special shout out to then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for the tireless work she did for the cause.

Enlightenment 2 years, 10 months ago

The ACA is a great start, but is a working document that will need to be revised over time.

However, Romney is bowing to the GOP and distancing himself from the health care reform in Massachusetts. And to add insult to injury, Romney has Paul Ryan from WI as his VP running mate. A career politician that wants to cut medicare with no alternative. Tell me, how many seniors will be able to afford health care under Ryan's plan?

Carol Bowen 2 years, 10 months ago

And, most people do not realize that after their Medicare options run out, they will be dependent on Medicaid.

Dan Eyler 2 years, 10 months ago

I like choices as a consumer. I am always better off than the government picking for me. Average denial of claims is 4-6% for all health insurance companies. What do you bet with a single payer system that goes up a whole lot more.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 10 months ago

You must be healthy. I guarantee when you are seriously ill, you are in no condition to sort out the technicalities of choices.

average 2 years, 10 months ago

If you like choice, Massachusetts has much more choice for more people than any other state. Really.

Most people have one semi-guaranteed choice. What their employer provides. If they provide anything.

Under half the nation could sign up for a private individual plan currently, and they do have some choices. But, the majority of Americans would not be offered a private insurance plan due to pre-existing conditions. The. Majority.

In Mass, those people have 9-15 (depending on what part of Mass) different insurance options. They can sign up for any of them. In the rest of the country, they have either one (their boss's pick) or zero. You want choice? Governor Romney gave choice. Too bad Mitt Romney doesn't agree.

jafs 2 years, 10 months ago

Since single payer has nothing to do with the ACA, your comment seems irrelevant.

But, I've also heard from a few people that they're quite happy with their Medicare coverage, even tea party folks who want the government to "keep their hands off my Medicare".

Katara 2 years, 10 months ago

How do you like rescission?

"When a person is diagnosed with an expensive condition such as cancer, some insurance companies review his/her initial health status questionnaire. In most states’ individual insurance market, insurance companies can retroactively cancel the entire policy if any condition was missed – even if the medical condition is unrelated, and even if the person was not aware of the condition at the time. Coverage can also be revoked for all members of a family, even if only one family member failed to disclose a medical condition.10

A recent Congressional investigation into this practice found nearly 20,000 rescissions from three large insurers over five years, saving them $300 million in medical claims11 – $300 million that instead had to come out of the pockets of people who thought they were insured, or became bad debt for health care providers.

At least one insurance company has been found to evaluate employee performance based in part on the amount of money an employee saved the company through rescissions.12 Simply put, these insurance company employees are encouraged to revoke sick people’s health coverage." http://www.healthreform.gov/reports/denied_coverage/index.html

I like the fact that my coverage now can't be yanked out from under me because of something unrelated on my initial application.

Laurie L Folsom 2 years, 10 months ago

Do you realize that the Affordable Healthcare Act is NOT a single payer system? Do you realize that the government is NOT picking your insurance?

Can you prove the percentage you cite?

Kirk Larson 2 years, 10 months ago

As to denial of coverage, I have had my insurance tell me something was not covered when I knew it was and had to insist until finally they admitted it was. My niece has a friend who works customer service for an insurance company who told her about the "three strike" rule: it is typical to deny that something is covered three times in the hope that the customer will give up and pay for the service themselves.

Katara 2 years, 10 months ago

My insurance denied a claim for the anesthesia I had for a C-section. They said it wasn't medically necessary. But the epidural I had for the labor right before the emergency C-section was okay.

Enlightenment 2 years, 10 months ago

It's extremely frightening to think about realty and insurance coverage. In the current system, we rely on employer provided insurance or no coverage at all, except for the very small minority that outright purchase their own insurance, or those that require medicare/medicaid. And now Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, medicare is at risk if he has any influence. So first off, we need to have a job that offers insurance or we go with out and risk financial bankruptcy if we require medical attention. Second, even if we are fortunate to switch jobs and continue to be provided with employer based insurance, we have no guarantee that the new employer's insurance will cover "pre-existing" conditions and the prescriptions necessary to treat these pre-existing conditions. Again, we risk financial bankruptcy even with insurance coverage simply because of a pre-existing condition that the insurance company decides not to cover. Lastly, even without the ACA, health care expenses are increasing significantly each year and offering less coverage. So even in the off-chance that the ACA results in a slight increase in premiums, we would have paid that regardless. The kicker is that with the ACA, we now have guaranteed coverage, the 80/20 rule, and in fact overall better coverage that includes no deductible services and preventative care.

Enlightenment 2 years, 10 months ago

FYI, the ACA is a working document that has provisions in place that allows changes to be made so that it can quickly change elements that are not working and expedite elements of the act that need tweaking.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

Once we start paying for all this stuff, be it ACA, Medicare, wars around the world, etc., rather than passing the bills on to our children and their children, then we'll really decide which of these things do we want and which can be put off until another time. But as long as we run up debt on someone else's credit card, we'll never have to decide.

Anyone out there want to post their credit card number here and I'll promise no to misuse it.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 10 months ago

Wars have been financed by using money from the Social Security trust funds.

ACA has some built in savings. If it is repealed, we will add to the federal deficit.

Armstrong 2 years, 10 months ago

And I have land in South Larry to sell you

pace 2 years, 10 months ago

The GOP radicals have done war dances on the health care act, more billions on ads and on lies. The health care act will help working families to have health care. Now Romney loads on Ryan ,who is trying to privatize medicare. He doesn't want health care to be available, they want it to be a money machine and a way to control the working people of this country. Yes we pay more for less than most first world countries. The health care bill starts to address that. Lose your job, yes you lost your health care or have to cough up 800 -900 dollars. Available health care will be a boon for the independent person or small business. When you must stay with a company because your family couldn't get health care under the old system. They knew it. Americans should have the right of choice of health care, not just a choice of which large business they must work for. Health care has become not a carrot but a whip for some corporations. By the way, if Romney is going to run on his business record, which include his business ethics, let us see at least the usual paper work. Who ever says the income tax returns aren't really important are fools. He should release at least 10 years. Why should we trust him if he doesn't trust us with the minimum of truth.

notajayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Yet you trust our current president, who lies every time he opens his mouth. Brilliant.

pace 2 years, 10 months ago

You seem to want to believe in a clear leader, the other side you label a demon. I am brilliant, I don't trust politicians, I go with what seems to be the best. I think it is important the American people share their voice, not just their vote. You are looking for a leader, I am looking more for a direction. One man or even one party won't heal this country. I don't believe Romney/Ryan will take the country in the direction I think would work. I need more argument on issues and solutions rather than your blame and hate Obama. Weeding out some of the nonsense both sides spew, I prefer to vote for the middle class. The trickle down myth is not mine.

notajayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Mr. Burger:

You DO realize that the 80% (and 15% for larger insurers) threshhold was set because that was already the industry standard, didn't you? What? No?

You DO realize that the reason your premiums more than doubled before you got this 'rebate' is the oldest bait-and-switch in the book, raising prices and then lowering them - a tiny fraction of the earlier raise - so the gullible will think they somehow came out ahead? What? You didn't figure that out either?

And most importantly, you DO realize that the only way insurance companies can increase profits now is to RAISE the cost of health CARE for everyone? Just as it has already happened in states that tried setting a mandated loss ratio in the absence of a premium cap? Gee, you didn't know THAT either?

No wonder you're a liberal.

notajayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

Market forces, Aggie? What market forces are involved when the government mandates that you buy the product, regardless of what happens to the price? Duh.

Greg Cooper 2 years, 10 months ago

But not from whom you must buy it, do you see? More people shopping for insurance increases competition, do you see? More competition means it is harder for the indurance industry to dictate prices, do you see?

What amuses me is that you probably have work-subsidized insurance and an income that makes you comfortable, if not rich, and you complain that the lower income earners have a chance at insurance. What's the problem here? You are not being punished for having insurance, which, by the way, was purchased as a result of competitive bidding, I'd judge, either by yourself or by your employer.

Get off the bandwagon unless you truly don't want others to enjoy health and security such as you do.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 10 months ago

Not so. Some companies were using extremes like 60/40. That's why they had to send rebates.

bad_dog 2 years, 10 months ago

nota:

Please provide a reference for your comment regarding "industry standard" for profits. I've been employed by both Fortune 500 and regional insurers as well as two different state regulators and I've never heard of this profit "standard". When regulators approve product pricing, administrative costs are "presumed" (by the regulators) to be "X%" per premium dollar. Nevertheless, when issued some types of policies are more expensive to administer due to commission splits, marketing costs, claim adjustment expenses, investment requirements tied to a certain book of business, etc. These "presumptions" coupled with industry experience and actuarial projections form the basis for product pricing. Keep in mind these are only educated guesses. I've seen numerous books of business that had loss ratios in excess of 100%. Those ratios are entirely attributable to poor claim experience sans admin costs.

As for your final paragraph, regardless how much an insurer charges, under the ACA they will have to return a portion of those premiums to policy holders if the profits are excessive. What incentive will an insurer have to raise prices if they still have to return excess profits? What will increasing prices do to their market share? Marketplace reputation is a huge issue for insurers, so competitve pricing is essential to their real and perceived success.

As for mocking the writer of this LTE, when was the last time your insurer sent you a check for something other than payment for a loss?

notajayhawk 2 years, 10 months ago

"Please provide a reference for your comment regarding "industry standard" for profits."

You're the one questioning its validity, stop being so lazy and do your own homework. It's called "Google." Of course, while that information was relatively easy to find a couple of years ago when this was being debated, it seems to be harder to find now that Odumbo is claiming this as a feather in his cap.

"regardless how much an insurer charges, under the ACA they will have to return a portion of those premiums to policy holders if the profits are excessive. What incentive will an insurer have to raise prices if they still have to return excess profits?"

Gee, you ALMOST had it there. Yes, if PROFITS are excessive. Now, if you weren't a typical liberal who somehow believes that the cost of health CARE is the price of health INSURANCE, you MIGHT have figured out that when insurers raise their reimbursement rates, they are allowed to increase their premiums accordingly, which increases their profits. Using a somewhat simplified example, let's say that out of $100 collected in premiums, the insurer pays out $80 for medical services, approximately $4 goes to profits, and the rest is administrative costs. Now the insurer starts paying the provider $100 for the services they formerly paid $80 for - they raise their premiums to $125 (still staying at the 80% loss ratio), their administrative costs don't change at all, and their profit more than doubles to $9. They've more than doubled their profit with a 20% increase in their reimbursement rates (while conversely, if they reduce reimbursement rates by 20%, they completely eliminate any profit - thus removing any incentive to hold down health care costs, and providing a healthy incentive to inflate them).

"What will increasing prices do to their market share? Marketplace reputation is a huge issue for insurers, so competitve pricing is essential to their real and perceived success."

Ooh, again, SO close. That USED TO BE the only thing that kept insurers from doing that in the past - but now we have to buy insurance, don't we?

As for mocking the LTE writer, let me add you as well - his premiums have INCREASED by 143% in just 6 years (and I'd bet dollars to donuts that almost all of that increase was in the past two years), and when he gets a check for a few bucks, he (and apparently you) thinks he came out ahead? You're right, I haven't gotten a rebate check - then again, I'm not paying 2-1/2 times what I was paying six years ago, either.

bad_dog 2 years, 10 months ago

You know Ag, I just took about 10 minutes saying essentially the same thing, reminding nota that his statements = his burden of proof and advising how he/she was ignoring potential anti-trust implications with his/her collusive schemes. I thought it odd that nota couldn't find the information so easily obtainable a mere two years or so ago. I clicked the "Post reply" button and it disappeared into cyberspace, so...

Anyway nota, keep in mind mocking is most effective when the "mocker" is both accurate and in a dominant relationship over the subservient "mockee". You enjoy neither advantage here.

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