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Archive for Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Repeal hype

July 17, 2012

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To the editor:

As a small business owner, I worry about the cost of insurance. Recently, much to my surprise, a letter arrived from my health insurance company with a refund for 2011. Why? The Affordable Care Act requires that the company (United Healthcare) refund me a percentage of my cost if it does not spend at least 80 percent of the premiums on health care services. (They spent 74.8 percent)  Now, without the Affordable Care Act, I would stupidly pay the premiums and never receive this benefit.

Before everyone judges the Act, let’s understand all the benefits to the small business owner struggling to make it in this world. I would never have had this refund and imagine millions of others like myself are receiving checks that must be refunded by Aug. 1. I imagine there are many other aspects we do not understand, and the hype to repeal — without understanding the benefits and changes — is, in my mind, irresponsible.

Make decisions on objective fact and stop the hype. I, for one, am very turned off by the so-called repealers who say repeal but offer no alternative. I will vote my stance on this issue. In the mean time, I have an extra $500 to put toward the extra taxes the city will charge me for being a homeowner (sigh) so it can to fund some wreck center or some such.

Can’t win for losing.

I urge others to understand the facts before judging — not the hype. And enjoy your refund.

Comments

Benjamin Roberts 2 years, 5 months ago

"And enjoy your refund."

Your example does not match my experience. My portion (50%) of medical insurance went up about $20/month. You got a $500 refund; my premium increased $480 - as did the other 80 employees in our group.

The question is: Which example is only anecdotal; and, which is typical?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

Your insurance company is still required to keep administrative costs 20% or lower of premiums paid-- nothing anecdotal about that.

Phoghorn 2 years, 5 months ago

Ask the Yoch Brothers. Darned nuisance job creators. Hopefully their experience is like Ms. DeTommaso. Let's tax them Yoch Brothers until they leave town and hire folks in Bangladesh instead. Then there will be hope and prosperity for all Americans.

After all, the Yoch Brothers did not build their own business through thieir own hard work...at least that is what Obama told me...

Crazy_Larry 2 years, 5 months ago

Fred C. Koch (1900–1967), American chemical engineer and entrepreneur who founded the oil refinery firm that later became Koch Industries. In 1970, David joined Koch Industries. Nine years later, he would become the president of Koch Engineering. The Koch brothers inherited a business. It's easy to become a billionaire when you're given a billion dollars to start with.

Carmalee Winebrinner 2 years, 5 months ago

How much has your premium increased historically over the past decade?

Frankly, a $20/month increase is pretty low, compared to some years where I've seen our company premiums increase by as much as 25% (that was over $50 per month per person; and was nearly a decade ago, not just since the enactment of the ACA).

Abdu Omar 2 years, 5 months ago

There are many aspects of this law that need to be examined. As the letter writer said, let's not jump ship until we know where we are jumping. The GOP has not offered an alternative that I have seen or heard about, so where is the alternative? Be careful of what you wish for because you may wish to end something that you need without knowing it.

chootspa 2 years, 5 months ago

They're pissed off that Obama enacted Romneycare. The GOP should propose a single payer system or a public option. That'll show us!

grammaddy 2 years, 5 months ago

I have a friend who owns her own dog-grooming shop. She has 6 other employees, whom up to this point, mostly paid for their own medical insurance through this job. After the rebate, she was able to pay for it herself, hence giving them a "raise" on their pay checks. Don't kill Obamacare before offering up something better. And don't believe all the negative hype. It's working for those it was meant to work for.

Alyosha 2 years, 5 months ago

"Must just be another entitlement program" is a wholly invalid conclusion.

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 5 months ago

I would call owning a dog grooming business and having several employees working for a living, and making it possible for others to work by her hiring them. As Obamacare will be instrumental in her business growing I fail to see why it is not something that everyone would be for.

Stu Clark 2 years, 5 months ago

frankie,

Sorry to hear about your gout. I also had a painful case but after I started taking 1000mg of vit. C, it went away. It may not work for everyone but it's cheap and can't hurt.

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

cheeseburger, I'm real sure that the employees in this dog grooming business are working a whole lot harder than some CEO of an insurance company. Are you just irritated that your insurance company investments are not going to pay as much anymore, since they are being forced to do their job, instead of making just a few people rich? Boo hoo.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

The law is extremely long and complicated, with most of the provisions not even taking effect until after 2014, and some changing after that, assuming it's not repealed.

So, we won't really be able to evaluate the whole thing for several more years.

I'm sure there are some things in there that people like, but that doesn't mean the Act is a good thing in it's entirety.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

I don't hear people saying that "the Act is a good thing in it's entirety." Very rarely is anything perfect---or even close to it. We know it has problems, but the problems need to be fixed, not throw the whole thing out without even understanding what we're throwing out.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Most people seem to be either opposed to it or supportive of it - very few take a more nuanced approach.

While I might agree we shouldn't throw the whole thing out without understanding it, I might also argue that we shouldn't have passed the whole thing without understanding it as well.

The form of it makes it hard to evaluate well for some time, which is problematic for me.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

I would argue that being supportive of the bill doesn't mean that you approve of the whole thing.

I do agree with you about the bill being passed without understanding it and there's certainly enough blame to go around there. The Republicans insisted on certain things and then when they got their way, didn't vote for it anyway. The Democrats didn't stand up to the Republicans and nobody stood up to the insurance companies (follow the money?).

My question is why we didn't get a public option when a majority of citizens, at least according to the polls, were in favor of it. Well, actually, I'm pretty sure I know why---the insurance companies didn't want the competition.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

The problem is that we have had a Rube Goldberg healthcare system for decades, and Obamacare builds on that system rather than creating a completely new one. So, this one is a variation on that Rube Goldberg system, with improvements.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

Not going to argue with you there, bozo. That's why I support single payer.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 5 months ago

Your cautioning people to take a wait and see attitude reminds me of something that happened a couple of years ago. I was listening to NPR on my way home from KC. A former senator, who's name I don't recall was being interviewed. He was talking about when Medicaid was being debated and then passed. He said that the cost of Medicaid wound up being about 10 times the estimates the Senate was given. He speculated that had the true cost of Medicaid been known to the Senate at the time of it's passage, he did not think it would have passed.

Now we have Medicaid. And like with any well entrenched government bureaucracy, there is no chance in the world of it simply being eliminated. Costs associated with Medicaid will go up, as with defense, education, homeland security, every government program. Is Medicaid a good program? I sure hope so, given the costs. The point is, given Jafs' caution, is that we won't know, maybe for years to come. And the costs may be 10 times what Congress thought it would be when they passed ACA. Given government's history though, it might be wise to drop the first "A" in the Affordable Care Act.

Leslie Swearingen 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, I for one thank God for Medicaid. I am a elder and for reasons I will not go into I do not qualify for Medicare so this is the only medical insurance that I have. I have been able to have blood clots in my lungs treated, and have the tests I need for my various ailments. Without Medicaid I would not have known about the blood clots, or got pills for my high blood pressure. It is not hyperbole to say I would very likely be dead. Now I have been diagnosed with gout in my knee which is very painful. My primary doctor is able to refer me to specialists for my lung disease, which was discovered during the tests for blood clots, and the gout. I give a big thank you to those in Congress who made this possible and I know there are many here in Lawrence in the same situation I am in.

tbaker 2 years, 5 months ago

ObamaCare will result in the largest tax increase in the history of the country and will definately hit people making less than the evil rich (>$250K) which breaks Mr. Obama's promise of not raising taxes on the middle class. That isn't hype, it's a fact.

As I've said many times, there are a lot of ways to improve access to healthcare, reduce cost, and maintain quality - which were the stated goals of the democratic congress and the president. Many of these ways don't cost a dime. We should try them instead of ObamaCare.

Alyosha 2 years, 5 months ago

The claim that this is the largest tax increase in the history of the country has been roundly proven false. So, why repeat it?

If you're actually interested in "facts," and not "hype," your credibility is damaged by repeating a wildly hyperbolic partisan mistruth.

As a percent of GDP, here are the top five tax increases from 1940-2006, according to Tempalski:

1. Revenue Act of 1942: 5.04 percent of GDP;

2. Revenue Act of 1961: 2.2 percent of GDP;

3. Current Tax Payment Act of 1943: 1.13 percent of GDP;

4. Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968: 1.09 percent of GDP;

5. Excess Profits Tax of 1950: .97 percent of GDP;

And here are the top five tax increases from the "modern" era of 1968-2006:

1. Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968: 1.09 percent of GDP;

2. Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982: .8 percent of GDP;

3(t): Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act of 1980: .5 percent of GDP

3(t): Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993; .5 percent of GDP;

5: Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990; .49 percent of GDP.

See http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jun/28/rush-limbaugh/health-care-law-not-largest-tax-increase-us-histor/

tbaker 2 years, 5 months ago

Proven false by who? Roundly indeed...

progressive_thinker 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, roundly proven false.

Reasonable readers note that you have offered no evidence or argument that would suggest that the fact checkers are wrong. Accordingly, we accept your admission that they are correct.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

"As I've said many times, there are a lot of ways to improve access to healthcare, reduce cost, and maintain quality" -tbaker

Right , like the Affordable Care Act.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

Where in the ACA is there a reference to taxes? Could you provide some context?

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

"As I've said many times, there are a lot of ways to improve access to healthcare, reduce cost, and maintain quality - which were the stated goals of the democratic congress and the president. Many of these ways don't cost a dime. We should try them instead of ObamaCare."

Let's hear more about ways to improve access to health care. What are they? Why don't we implement them in addition to the ACA?

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

Can we try to be realistic about this subject?

The House often passes bills which it knows the Senate will reject. They know they're safe from the actual consequences.

Since parts of the AFA (ObamaCare) have already taken effect and for the most part people seem to actually be happy with the results, it's going to be pretty hard to repeal the entire act.

Instead of falling for this election year propaganda, can we spend our time working on fixing it?

Phil Minkin 2 years, 5 months ago

Sadly, that's far too much to expect in an election year.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

"Since parts of the AFA (ObamaCare) have already taken effect and for the most part people seem to actually be happy with the results, it's going to be pretty hard to repeal the entire act."

You're assuming that congressional representatives will actually represent us. They seem to be on missions of their own. They're campaigning for power not policies.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

I absolutely agree that they're more interested in their own power than they are in people.

What I'm questioning is how the parts that have taken effect could be dismantled at this point. I'm sure our boys and girls in Washington (with help from our boys and girls in Topeka) could manage to do it, but I'm wondering what the fallout would be. While Brownback and friends no doubt would throw the dice, I think the US Senate will be more reserved.

Do you have an opinion on what would happen if the AFA actually were repealed in whole?

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

Repeal of ACA is a scary thought. We would be in free fall. It would throw the economy into an upheaval. The ACA has influenced some changes in access to medical care, but not enough to catch on. There are cost savings built into the ACA that cannot be eliminated without affect the budget. Votes would not depend on data or representation of constituency. The worst case scenario would be voters horrified by the mess made, and waiting for the next election. The best case scenario would be that voters would realize that congress needs to get its act together. Other than throwing off the economy, I cannot begin to guess the Impact of a total repeal.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

So, you're saying, that despite the foot stomping and tantrum throwing, repeal would be a disaster?

It sometimes seems that a disaster is exactly what some people want. I wish I'd left the theater before the really scary part.

Enlightenment 2 years, 5 months ago

I'd like to see the Republicans and their minions get on board with the ACA, but even more, I'd like the Republicans to collaborate with the Democrats and improve the ACA. Legislators need to tackle the high cost of health care providers.

Interestingly, the US has the highest healthcare cost of all developed countries (per capita of $8,233 per person), which is appr. twice of all developed countries. Sadly, the high health care cost in the US does not equate better service or longer life.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 5 months ago

No matter how you cut it, the producers will pay and the non producers will benefit. Frankly, I am tired of moochers and the government deciding what is good for me not only in health care, but my trash, and all the other things they legislate that they think will make my life better.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

Removing that burr that's up your backside would result in a much more immediate improvement in your life.

Alyosha 2 years, 5 months ago

By producer, you mean "worker," yes, and by non-producer you CEO types and Romney Types.

Moochers are those who profit but do none of the work (investment of your family's money is not work, newsflash). So, yes, I'm in agreement: I'm tired of all the moochers too, who are making life difficult for the real makers and producers — American workers.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Investment isn't work, it's risk.

Can be valuable, of course, and/or necessary, but it hardly equates to labor.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Probably.

But, even well thought out investments are risks.

If you want to get paid for your labor, your best bet is to get a job that compensates you for it directly.

Topple 2 years, 5 months ago

What a completely ignorant comment. Does working in a cubicle equate to labor? Or physical labor all that counts as working?

It's not as if portfolio managers just throw 20 darts and call it a week. Just because you don't understand the work, doesn't mean it isn't work.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

The point is whether the "work" produces anything useful. Unfortunately, "investment" these days has become almost exclusively about "investment instruments" that do nothing but create froth that the investor can skim off for their benefit, with absolutely no consideration to what its other effects will be-- which is precisely what gave us the most recent economic collapse.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Also, it's interesting that research shows actively managed investments don't really outperform simple index funds over the long term.

Besides, LO's comment was that investing your own money is work, so portfolio managers have nothing to do with it.

Liberty275 2 years, 5 months ago

"my cost if it does not spend at least 80 percent of the premiums on health care services"

Doesn't the act then infringe on my freedom to purchase a policy that places high priority on customer service by having well-staffed call centers, enough auditors to pay each claim quickly and keep more complete records of my history?

On the surface, your 80% is attractive, but what is that going to cost us in the end? More call centers in India? More time before your doctor is paid?

The number seems arbitrary. I think the act itself is a ruse to run American Corporations out of the health insurance business so we'll be virtually forced into single payer. That's what the left wants. What happens down the road when the country swings right under a charismatic republican and the act is repealed? We will be left with the very few health insurance companies to stick it out and then we'll be paying double the current rate.

It seems to me that putting any American company out of business so the government can muscle in is just wrong.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

It's been widely demonstrated throughout the planet that administration doesn't need to take up more than 20% of premiums.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

The ACA doesn't require all to have health insurance - it imposes a fine, or penalty, on some who choose not to, but not even on everybody who makes that choice.

If you make up to 4x the poverty level, you won't have to pay any penalties.

If you have a small business, with under 50 employees, you can drop your employees' coverage and not pay a dime to the government.

This information comes from our accountant.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, we can hope they'll leave us some change.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

Is there anything in the ACA that would prevent medical tort reform? It seems to me that tort reform might have constitutional issues of its own and should be legislated separately.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

When a person is seriously ill, negotiating is not going to happen. It's already too hard to negotiate. Too many choices. Even a well person has a difficult time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

I bet that's why Sarah Palin's parents sneaked her into Canada for free healthcare when she was a kid-- because the care was so bad. (sarcasm alert)

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

Prominent Americans can get good health care here, too.

Enlightenment 2 years, 5 months ago

To all the opponents of the ACA, what do you propose we do, sit on our hands and continue to pay for health care expenses that prevent people from becoming entrepreneurs because they can't afford insurance for themselves or employees, cause some to file for bankruptcy because of lack of medical insurance, continue to have the insured pay for the cost incurred by the uninsured? What's your solution to the health care problem? We obviously need health care reform so instead of shooting down an attempt to improve the situation, come up with a viable alternative and/or convince your representatives to participate in a bipartisan collaboration to improve the ACA.

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

Oh yes. Let's let the private sector take over. Like the security company that couldn't handle the Olympic's job, the company that sold the state of Kansas a computer program, Enron, HSBC, Batclays, and bank interest ripoff, JP Morgan, Madoff and all the other Ponzi schemers, Enron, etc. I would keep going, but you want me to trust the private sector snakes? What a laugh.

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

And the insurance company enticed people into believing that health insurance would be a great deal, and it was for awhile. Then the greed took over. You know, that thing you libertarians worship. Greed is good. Greed is God.

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

That is the weirdest thing that I've ever heard you say LO. The people involved in all of these problems are MBA's with no morals. They got the job because of connections or they BS'd their way into a plush position. Of course, you would consider them a success. They got rich by ripping off people and the government. They are rich, so they are to be worshipped. They knew how to play the game, and except for the ones who were too stupid to do it illegally, will and have gotten away with it. And skipped all the way to their off shore accounts with a big smile on their face. You must be proud of your free market heroes. And don't even try and accuse me of class envy. I'd rather live on the street than to lower myself to their level.

Topple 2 years, 5 months ago

Free markets are why you can goto the grocery store and buy whatever the heck you want to buy for a reasonable price.

asixbury 2 years, 5 months ago

Wow...that was total nonsense. Ever read "The Jungle?" There are many reasons in that book, which is based on real-life occurences, that called for government regulations on the food industry. Reputation meant jack to the people back then.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

It absolutely is based on real life, although it is also fictionalized.

A quick google search will reveal that there was an in depth investigation of the plants that found many, if not all, of the activities and violations in the book.

jafs 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, first the author went undercover at the plants before writing the book.

Then, after it came out, President Roosevelt (not a big fan of Sinclair) sent a couple of folks to do surprise visits to meat packing plants. Despite the fact that the plants got wind of them (so they weren't actually surprised), the investigators reported that the majority of Sinclair's representations were correct, failing only to find one of his portrayals correct.

As a result, a few years later, Congress enacted some legislation to improve conditions at the plants.

Interestingly, Sinclair himself was disappointed at the outcome, since he really wanted to improve the condition of workers and immigrants, more so than food safety issues.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

I get a kick out of how many ways sprint can screw up my phone service and how many ways AT&T can screw up my internet service and have no clue what they did or how to fix it. I have to spend countless hours on the phone with these yahoos on and endless goose chase. These private corporations are a joke. You want them to take over our country. Oh, I thats right, they have with Citizens United. nevermind

tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

Don't you know that their screw ups are the governments fault? Everything's the government fault according to these libertarians.

Topple 2 years, 5 months ago

The free market allows you to switch your service when your current service doesn't meet your standards. Private industry doesn't mean everything will be fantastic, it means that companies are at the mercy of their customers. If they fail to perform, customers go elsewhere and the company goes away.

When the government steps in, it's our way or the highway.

msezdsit 2 years, 5 months ago

The only problem is that if you switch from one phone carrier to another, you get the same corporate nightmare just a different provider. Now if the government would put in regulations that said something like, well sprint, you have a contract with this person and your not honoring it so they can cancel the contract and go elsewhere.

What happens when you go elsewhere is you pay a major fine (tax) to the provider to cancel the contract that they didn't have to honor. Only you have to honor it.

Charles L Bloss Jr 2 years, 5 months ago

Read the other 1799 pages of it before you are so quick to decide.

Enlightenment 2 years, 5 months ago

To all who believe the frivolous lawsuits are greatly impacting the overall health care cost, you're wrong. Malpractice and other medical suits represent less than one half of one percent of the overall cost of health care.

tbaker 2 years, 5 months ago

What now? How about these ideas:

  1. Make the first dollar of healthcare spending tax deductible. Cost to taxpayers? Zero.

  2. Make every dollar put into a health savings account tax deductible. No limit on contributions. Cost to taxpayers? Zero.

  3. Permit the sale of health insurance nationwide. Exercise the Commerce Clause properly by knocking down all the state-level mandates and restrictions on cross-state insurance purchases. Cost to taxpayers? Zero.

  4. Reform state insurance commissions to remove “mandated” coverage so people can pick and choose what they want coverage for. Cafeteria plans, just like congress gets. Cost to taxpayers? Zero.

  5. Reform state and federal insurance laws so doctors can opt out of malpractice insurance. If a patient is willing to sign a hold-harmless waiver, the doctor should be able to treat him without the huge burden of malpractice premiums. Leave it up to the people / customers to decide if they want to be treated by someone without malpractice insurance. Let the healthcare provider compete in the marketplace and people make their own decisions. Cost to taxpayers? Zero.

  6. Reform medical licensing laws so nurse practitioners and physician assistants can deliver primary care. I don’t need 12 years of higher education to prescribe pink stuff antibiotics for a 5 year old with an ear infection. This will increase the number of walk-in primary care clinics which are way cheaper to operate than ERs are. Cost to taxpayers? Zero.

  7. End tax breaks for business. De-couple healthcare from employment. Employee-sponsored health insurance is a dumb relic from WWII price controls. By incentivizing employee-sponsored insurance, we've choked off the individual market, making it much harder for freelancers, and other people who don't want to work for a big company. Under the current system, the true cost of health care is hidden by tax incentives provided to businesses. Cost to taxpayers? Zero.

  8. End casino lawsuits / tort reform. Lawyers add costs to the health system in all kinds of ways. First, there's the obvious way, in that they frequently try suing the pants off professionals, forcing doctors to get very expensive insurance. But what's more, is that they contribute to the over testing culture, as doctors order up extra tests and exams, just so they can't get sued. Cost to taxpayers? Zero.

Make healthcare choices a decision that occurs between people and healthcare providers, not the unholy alliance of big government and massive campaign-contributing insurance companies. Individuals who are free to make their own choices, who control their own healthcare dollars, are best suited to make decisions for their particular desires in a free marketplace. This works. Government stranglehold on markets doesn't work and is why healthcare costs so much. Less government and more free people making their own choices is the answer.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

  1. What's the point?
  2. Unless you itemize deductions, and have a pretty high income to boot, this would do nothing. Useless to the vast majority of Americans.
  3. Better than the status quo, but it'd likely just foster a spate of acquisitions and mergers, and we'd end up with a duopoly of a just a few mega-insurance corporations, and we'd still have a healthcare system designed primarily to deliver (really big) profits, not healthcare.
  4. This is a means of rationing, nothing more, nothing less.
  5. Red herring. Malpractice suits are a minor contributor to overall healthcare costs. The problem lies with the gouging of doctors by insurance companies.
  6. Good idea, but it could also be a means of rationing-- the working and middle class get basic care from minimally trained "practitioners," while the wealthy get all the most highly trained doctors with the best and latest equipment.
  7. Agree- but going to single payer would be even more helpful to business, especially small businesses.
  8. See #5

Healthcare doesn't work well in a purely market-driven system, no matter how badly you want that to be true.

tbaker 2 years, 5 months ago

  1. Because Agno said "what now."
  2. I meant to say tax "exempt" not deduction.
  3. Competition makes everything better.
  4. You're either confused or didn't read what I wrote.
  5. Malpractive insurance costs are a huge component of healthcare costs.
  6. Class warfare aurguments don't make this a bad idea. Cheaper, more accessible care.
  7. Single Payer = More government, not less. More government is why Healthcare is screwed up.
  8. It is why malpractice premiums are high. See #5.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

  1. Apparently there was no point.
  2. What's the difference between "exempt" and a "deduction?" None that I can see. Unless it's made a tax credit, it won't do anyone but the fairly well-to-do any good.
  3. But once the market concentrates into a duopoly, there is no, or very little, competition.
  4. I understood perfectly well. A person walking into a cafeteria with 93 cents will make much different choices than someone with a million bucks-- rationing based on wealth, pure and simple.
  5. Yes, insurance is expensive, but there is minimal correlation between malpractice insurance premiums and actual malpractice payouts.
  6. I didn't say it was a bad idea-- I merely pointed out that it very well could be used as a weapon of class warfare-- something the Republicans have been very effective at the last 30 or so years.
  7. No matter what happens, healthcare is expensive, and requires very expensive equipment and infrastructure-- it'll either be administered by a massive corporate bureaucracy, designed primarily to deliver profits, with minimal control by or input from the people it "serves," or a massive government bureaucracy, with democratic controls, designed specifically to deliver healthcare and wellness programs, not profits. I'll take the latter.
  8. Patients should have the right to sue for malpractice. And the fact is, payouts for such suits are NOT major drivers of overall healthcare costs. At the risk of repeating myself, that's just a fact. So, all tort reform will do is encourage incompetent doctors to be even more careless than they are now.

verity 2 years, 5 months ago

Since malpractice accounts for about 1/2 of one percent of health care costs, tort reform will bring down total costs considerably. Oh, wait . . .

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

As Bozo and Verity said, payouts from lawsuits are minor compared to other healthcare expenses, but if we really want tort reform, why don't we cap the 40% attorney fees at 20%? That would bring down the award amounts considerably.

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