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Healthcare premiums going up?

Posted on 2011-02-25
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I work at a small company, less than 150 people.  We just got notification that as of April 1 our premiums are going up by 40%.  That's about $200 out of my pocket a month, but even worse it's over $20,000 out of the bottom line for the company I work for every month, they pay a split 65-35.  Add insult to injury, our benefits are actually going down.  My co-pay will change from $20 to $35.  At this point upper management is discussing either shifting a larger portion of the split on the employee or doing away with the benefit just to stay viable.  At this point, I'm not sure what to do, maybe look for a different job?  I've been here almost 15 years and never seen anything like this.  Are we at the high end of the spectrum?  
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Question by:bergertime
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 34983053
The last company I worked for, 400 people, one of our employees had a baby with heart problems that required over one million dollars in care and the next year our costs shot through the roof as a result.  Has anyone, or more than one, been sufficiently sick recently for this to be the cause at your company?
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by:beetos
ID: 34999099
We faced the same 40% increase at our company - this follows a 27% increase from the year before.  We found another provider.  Still had to pay an increase, but not nearly as radical.  Oh yeah, and in both cases, benefits went down.

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by:MidnightOne
ID: 35037943
I am the cause of it wherever I get employed. I have a genetic abnormality that costs $40,000+ a year in orphan drugs  to treat. I wish there was anything I could do that would cure it.
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by:bergertime
ID: 35038014
Wow, I was wondering about that.  sbdt story is sad, as I have three kids if any of them had been born with some type of problem, I would have done anything to get them the treatment they needed.  But then on the flip side of the rollercoaster, once your baby is doing better, you then have to face your co-workers who now have to pay, in some cases a few hundred dollors more a month for your babies treatment.  Talk about a jacked up situation.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35056841
@bergertime & MidnightOne

It is a jacked up situation.  We shouldn't have to pay increased expenses just because people need to use the care that we are paying for, but unforunately that is the state of the system.
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by:MidnightOne
ID: 35059363
Oh, it gets worse. I usually get someone telling me to be thankful that other people's premiums cover my care. I usually call them a combination of an obscene gerund and a colloquialism for someone mentally disabled, then explain that's the gamble the insurance company makes - they'll be more people not needing expensive (or ANY) services than people like me.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35059442
@MidnightOne

It's the best argument for a single payer system.  Spread the risk among the entire population and there are always far more people not using many services than those who do.  It would keep expenses down for everyone while allowing those who need care to receive it.  IMO
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by:Tlingit
ID: 35062749
Unfortunately the cause for the hike in premiums is because of the healthcare that was passed last year.  President Obama promised if the healthcare law passes premiums will go down.  But the opposite affect is happening.  Even though the healthcare law doesn't go into affect until 2014, there were portions of the bill that went into effect immediately.  There are so many things in the law that is directly affecting our premiums.  The following link explains some of the mandates in the new healthcare that is affecting higher premiums:

http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/01/Obamacare-and-Insurance-Benefit-Mandates-Raising-Premiums-and-Reducing-Patient-Choice
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by:behenderson
ID: 35063427
The whole idea behind insurance is that you want everyone but yourself to pay your medical bills.  The way the system works is that members of small groups very otten times do get monumentally screwed because of the healthcare costs of a single member.

In this regard single payer really really is the way to go.  Unfortunately the benefits of a single payer system are completely contingent upon the cost effectiveness and efficiency of that same system.  Competition creates efficiency, and you cannot have competition AND single payer, so you will very likely see high costs.  What you would absolutely never want to do is to entrust your healthcare dollars with anyone who has a poor record of fiscal responsibility, like anyone who has rung up massive debts and no visible viable plans to address those debts.  You would not want to place anyone in charge of those healthcare dollars who would just give large chunks of money to their friends or to someone who would just say that they will pay for absolutely anything because they love to be popular more than they love to be responsible.  Entrusting your healthcare to people like that would just be idiotic, your better off in that small plan bergertime is talking about.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35069087
>>Unfortunately the cause for the hike in premiums is because of the healthcare that was passed last year.

I now work for a company of approximately 100 people.  Our health care costs rose about one percent this year from last year.  That includes the employer contribution as well as employee.  So, apparently the new healthcare bill does not have to impact premiums.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35070280
sbdt wrote:
We shouldn't have to pay increased expenses just because people need to use the care that we are paying for, but unforunately that is the state of the system.


Why not?  It's the same for car insurance.  You get in accidents you pay more.  You get tickets you pay more.  You should pay insurance rates based on your personal risk.  The opposite happens as well.  You stay out of trouble and your rates go down to a minimum.

Spread the risk among the entire population and there are always far more people not using many services than those who do.  It would keep expenses down for everyone while allowing those who need care to receive it.

Aye, this is how it works, but it should not be REQUIRED for everyone to join in if they don't want to.  That's my only issue with the healthcare bill.  I've gotten health care once in the last 5 years and that was to get a vasectomy.  Explain to me why I should fork over 300+ dollars a month for nothing?  Health care preys on the healthy people's fears and in turn covers the people who go in for every stupid reason they can think of.  Insurance profits are huge.  the average person has no need for insurance and would end up paying less in the long run for straight fees for a doctor visit than paying a premium.  Really what saves those that do have medical conditions are companies that provide free health care to their employees.  If it weren't for these companies, health care insurance would be bankrupt imo.

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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35070347
sbdt wrote:
So, apparently the new healthcare bill does not have to impact premiums.


It'll depend on the company.  keep in mind the full law has not gone into affect.  Also a lot of coverages DO change even though prices may not change much.  the company I work for had a very small increase in premiums, but the coverage actually went down.  The biggest change was co-pays and deductibles went up.  Thus more out of pocket expenses for the insured.  Some companies have insurance coverage that is not much affected by the heath care bill.  These may be minimal coverage insurance providers, or even full coverage.  Typically it's all brought out in the premiums though.  Having numbers in the system also helps to alleviate any big changes.  Job descriptions even have large factors in premiums as well.  For example if your job is law enforcement, your insurance is considered high risk, vs just being a telephone customer service center.  
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35071873
>>Aye, this is how it works, but it should not be REQUIRED for everyone to join in if they don't want to.
That's my only issue with the healthcare bill.  I've gotten health care once in the last 5 years and that was to get a vasectomy.

Except you will need it eventually.  Everyone does.  By requiring everyone to pay a small amount regardless of their need at that moment in time, the expense is smaller and everyone has care available when they need it.

>>Why not?  It's the same for car insurance.  You get in accidents you pay more.  You get tickets you pay more.  You should pay insurance rates based on your personal risk.

But it is not based on personal risk.  If you belong to a smaller company, a smaller pool of payees, one or a few high cost users can raise everyone's cost.  Spreading this risk out to the larger population eliminates this and keeps costs steady over the long run.

As far as the healthcare bill's effect on premiums, my company's benefits did not decrease and co-pays and deductibles did not increase.  I only mention this as a single case I can present where I know costs did not rise significantly
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35072155
Read what MidnightOne says about having to listen to snide comments from coworkers as though he chose to be born with his condition.  Read what bergertime has to say about taking a pay cut to retain reduced benefits.  Health insurance costs have been rising for years prior to the new health bill and are going to continue to do so by all accounts that I have read.
The question in my mind is whether or not decent health care is a right for everyone or only those who can afford it.  I believe it is a right for everyone and that if we pooled our resources it could be affordable for everyone.
Alternative: "Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly"  
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35072157
Except you will need it eventually.  Everyone does.  
Not as much as people make it out to be.  There are many people who don't really need the medical attention they end up going in for.  And if you truly take care of yourself, you might be amazed with how little medical attention you DO need.  

By requiring everyone to pay a small amount regardless of their need at that moment in time, the expense is smaller and everyone has care available when they need it.

For most people, it still doesn't make it worth it in the long run.  Most people would be better off investing that money instead of paying the premiums, and use it as they need it for medical expenses.  Of course this is if the individual is paying rather than the business...

But it is not based on personal risk.
I know, and my question was, why not?  Why should others have to pay such a ridiculous amount for the high risk individuals?  Not saying either way is wrong.  I just know how I want it to be.  If my employer didn't pay for insurance, I would not have it.  I have gone for several periods of time without insurance as well.  I have no problem going in to pay for my leg to be set if I break it.  Just like I have no problems going to pay a plumber to fix my pipe that burst.  Things happen and you have to pay for the fixes.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35072222
Health insurance costs have been rising for years prior to the new health bill and are going to continue to do so by all accounts that I have read.
Aye, but there are many reasons for this, and the biggest is frivolous law suits.  When you sign a waiver because there is a threat during surgery and that threat happens, you shouldn't be able to sue doctors for it.  It's part of accepting medical service.

I believe it is a right for everyone and that if we pooled our resources it could be affordable for everyone.
Which is fine.  You have the right to believe that, but what about the people who do not believe it's a right, like me?  We have to just deal with it and pay a penalty for not believing it?  I say let those who want to participate in insurance to do so freely, but leave the people who don't out of it.  It should be our choice.

Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly

There are many alternative cures for quite a few problems that people do not know about.  Mainly because either it's illegal (since the drug companies can't make money off of it), or it's not publicized (because drug companies can't make money off of it).  There is a difference between curing and hiding the symptoms of a sickness as well.  Hiding symptoms does not fix the problem.  If you have the flu, you SHOULD be in bed resting and eating and drinking (if you can).  That's the best course of action for it, not taking drugs to cover the symptoms so you can run your body into the ground and make it hard for the body to fight it off.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35072709
@CSOFlag
Breast cancer, brain cancer, automobile accidents, brain injury, stroke, alzheimers, leukemia, skin cancer, babies born with congenital defects, etc. etc. etc.
The list of health issues that can arise in a healthy person or member of the family that can not be covered by "investing that money instead of paying the premiums" is endless.  Most of us are not going to be able to save $100,000 to a million just in case the unthinkable happens. Paying cash for a plumber is a far cry from paying cash to replace a burned down house.

>>I say let those who want to participate in insurance to do so freely

Again it is a question of whether we as a people decide health care is a right or a privilege.  I believe it is a right that should be covered by all the same as highways, police, schools, etc.

>>Are we at the high end of the spectrum?  
I seriously doubt it.  I imagine it will only become more and more expensive.  Everything I have read and heard says so.  Gas and health care, up, up, up.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35072879
sbdt,

I agree the list of health issues is high, but the rate is quite low as to how many experience these issues.  Personally I say deal with it if you can't afford it, but I'm a cold-hearted bastard according to some.

Most of us are not going to be able to save $100,000 to a million just in case the unthinkable happens.
Depends on when that unthinkable happens.  Sure, not if it happens when you're 15, but if you saved, you'd definitely have at least 100k+ when you are 50 when most people start deteriorating.  But yes, that's what insurance is for, if you are afraid of those things happening or wanting medical attention if those things happen.  Again I'm not disputing whether you want insurance or whether you think you should have it.

I believe it is a right that should be covered by all the same as highways, police, schools, etc.
Sure, and that's once again where we are different.  I believe in pay as you go society.  That includes, interstates, schools, etc.  Once again, I know, I'm a cold-hearted bastard.  But nothing changes how we feel and what we believe.  Only we do based off of our experiences and preferences.

Gas and health care, up, up, up.
Everything goes up.  Unfortunately we have inflation, but also other costs arise as well including previously stated law suits.  We still have some of the cheaper gas in the world.  We also are toward the top with medical technology.  Nothing is free.  It all costs money.  I personally will pay the prices as long as I want the service.  and until people stop paying for the services, the prices are just going to keep going up.  
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by:Tlingit
ID: 35072910
sbdt8631
Do you remember when President Obama promised that if you pass healthcare premiums will go down?  His healthcare bill was supposed bring down healthcare costs.  That was a direct promise to the american people.  In fact he is on TV promising families that their health insurance would go down by $2500!  But like all of his other broken promises, they are going up.  He was supposed to close Gitmo, another compaign promise, but it is still open and it looks like it will never be closed.  Unemployment wasn't supposed to go above 8% if they passed the stimulus bill, but it went up to 9.8%.  President Obama knew if healthcare was passed that premiums would go up and companies would have to make a decision of not covering their employees, pay the higher premiums, or move toward the government plan, and now people who voted him into office are complaining about higher premiums.  Humm, where is the hope and change?  I don't see it.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35073070
@Tlinqit
One of my favorite Sirius satellite radio programs was called "Lying C**ks*ckers, because that's what politicians are", off air now. I voted for the guy as the lesser of two evils and I don't believe the promises.  That said, his health care bill is a far cry from single payer health insurance.
Even if the republicans could repeal Obamacare immediately, health care costs and insurance are going to rise in the future.  IMO
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35073343
>> Personally I say deal with it if you can't afford it, but I'm a cold-hearted bastard according to some.

Imagine a father of two children who has worked hard all his life but is laid off through no fault of his own due to the recent economic downturn.  He looks for work for a couple of months when his youngest is diagnosed with a fatal disease that is curable with the correct treatment.  Are we to say too bad, but your child is going to die?  Should we say that you should have saved $500,000 from your $50,000/year job just in case?  Most people who cannot afford health care are not freeloaders, but are the working stiffs who don't get health care through employers.

I would prefer that we not be a society that says "Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly"
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35073385
sbdt,
Yes that is what I'm saying.  BUT that said, most people in true need are helped by others.  I have never seen a friend or family member of mine suffer  or go through hard times without help from family and/or friends.  I've even seen random people that didn't know the person in need help them out.  Personally I'd rather pay someone's medical bills directly that I choose, rather than line the pockets of insurance companies.
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by:Tlingit
ID: 35073555
My sister-in-law was diagnosed with cancer last year.  She was in a cancer treatment center for 8 to 9 months.  My brother missed worked during that whole time.  Their insurance picked up on most of their expenses including hotel, travel, and car rentals.  If it wasn't for their insurance she wouldn't have gotten the treatment she needed and probably would have died.  The doctors were able to treat the cancer and now she must do follow up visits.  The company where my brother works told him to take as much time as you need, your job will be waiting.  So it not all doom and gloom for insurance companies.  They will work with because that is why they are there.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35073586
They will work with because that is why they are there.

Exactly, that is what they're there for, but only to those who choose to spend the money. Not for those who don't want insurance.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35073612
CSOFlag
My brother in law has a friend who is going to die because he has brain cancer and no insurance due to being an independent trucker.  Sure, we could say he should have thought of that in advance, but insurance outside of a group plan is really expensive and most people can't afford it.  

I would prefer that we not be a society that says "Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly"
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by:bergertime
ID: 35073638
@sbdt8631,

Here is what I don't understand, where does your compassion end?  I can understand CCSOFlag, and your story is sad about the little boy.  But what about the guy in his early fifties who gets pancreatic cancer, are we will to spend as much on him as Steve Jobs has spent on himself?  Or the young basketball player that gets AIDS, will we spend as much as Magic Johnson has to keep them alive?  I feel for these people, I really do, including MidnightOne.  But at what price to my family?  Do I tell my boys they can't have 'new' jeans cause I gotta pay an extra $200 a month at work for insurance because we have a handful of people who don't take care of themselves?  Believe me we have far more obese and people abusing their bodies than we do cancer.  In the time I've been here(15 yrs), we've had one lady get brain cancer and die, but when she was diagnosed, she was able to get on medicare which paid her bills.  Can we ever do enough to save the sick?
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35073697
sbdt,

That sucks for him.  I'm not responsible to make sure people take care of themselves whether it's staying healthy or getting insurance.  I would only hope that his friends and family are going to help him out.  Not to mention who's the say after all the money has been spent that he's going to survive?  And BTW, truckers make quite a bit of money.  I don't buy that he couldn't' afford it.  I think there is more to the story than said.
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by:Tlingit
ID: 35073698
>>"Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly"

I don't think anyone in their right mind would like anyone to suffer.  And I am sure people in our society are not saying, "If you don't have insurance tough luck".  The person you are quoting was a democrat on the congress floor pushing for healthcare.  He was the only one saying this.  I don't recall any republicans telling people to die quickly.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35073722
Can we ever do enough to save the sick?

I agree with all you said, bergertime.  Personally my attitude is quality of life not quantity.  I'd rather die young of a disease than get old and suffer through treatments and medications the rest of my life.  How much money is spent to try to save certain people only to fail?  modern medicine isn't flawless.  Many people die due to neglect in the medical world as well.  Medications themselves take thousands a year even when prescribed correctly.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35073753
I don't think anyone in their right mind would like anyone to suffer.

I'd hope not.  It's never pleasurable to see people suffer.  Well I can think of a few people. :P  Sometimes even when people are suffering there's nothing you can do though.

If you don't have insurance tough luck

As I said, I think most people are willing to help others when in need.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35073799
>>Do I tell my boys they can't have 'new' jeans cause I gotta pay an extra $200 a month at work for insurance because we have a handful of people who don't take care of themselves? Believe me we have far more obese and people abusing their bodies than we do cancer.

Again, that is exactly my point.  If we spread the costs across the population as a whole, you would not have to tell your boy he can't have a new pair of jeans because something like insurance, that maybe he doesn't understand, has gone up.  If everyone paid in from the time they started working, the young and healthy would help defer the costs of the older, more expensive.  When the young got older, they would reap the benefits of the young themselves.  Societies can work like that.

I understand where you are coming from with the insurance issue.  When I said our costs went up at my last job, every employee had to contribute $1500 single, $3000 family payroll deduction into a fund which would pay deductibles.  Mandatory and non-refundable, you couldn't opt out unless you could show proof of other insurance.  Luckily I transferred to my wife's plan.  Eight months later 1/3 of the workforce was laid off.  They all lost that money.  So, no, I am not a fan of the way our system works now.
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by:Tlingit
ID: 35073805
>>Here is what I don't understand, where does your compassion end?

The compassion ends when there is no more money to support social programs that people want.  Look at Europe and the hole they dug themselves into.  Look at Canada where the government wants to take a baby off life support because they can.  Where is the government passion in that?  In reality they have every right to take the baby off life support, even if the parents don't want them to, because they are the ones flipping the bill.  Once government takes over healthcare for any country, they have say in what will happen with your life.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35073831
Good point TLingit.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35073887
Societies can work like that.

Sure, they can.  It's called a socialist/communist society.  some people like it and others don't.  This country is moving closer and closer to it.  Again there isn't anything wrong with it per say, it's just I believe in the opposite.  I believe in individual rights and responsibility.  Don't make me do stuff and I won't make you do stuff.  I think we should all choose where our money, time, and efforts go.  If I want to spend money on insurance, then let me.  If not, then leave me out of it.  But if I do need help, I better not be crying to everyone to help me.  Tough luck.  I chose it.
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by:MidnightOne
ID: 35073922
>>Once government takes over healthcare for any country, they have say in what will happen with your life.

How is this different from what happens in the US prior to the health care bill, where insurers would rescind someone's insurance mid-treatment because they could?
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35073951
And an insurance company should be able to as well.  They are footing the bill as Tlingit said.  Whoever is footing the bill has a right to say what they are going to cover and what not.  Same with any insurance: life, car, pet, etc.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35073998
LOL, second time multiple posts show up before I can hit submit.

>>And BTW, truckers make quite a bit of money.  I don't buy that he couldn't' afford it.  I think there is more to the story than said.

They don't make what they used to with the cost of diesel and the new driving rules if they drive legally.

Tinqit
I know it was attributed to republican originally, but I did not point it at them.  I am saying as a society I would like us to not have that attitude.

CSOFlag
I also would rather die quickly than linger and suffer.  But I would rather be cured or treated and managed by medication to live a happy life than die.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35074025
>>And an insurance company should be able to as well.  They are footing the bill as Tlingit said.  Whoever is footing the bill has a right to say what they are going to cover and what not.  Same with any insurance: life, car, pet, etc.

And that is different from the government: " they have say in what will happen with your life" how exactly?
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35074081
I don't claim single payer health insurance is likely to be health care utopia.  I just believe that Medicare for everyone would save money for everyone and give people the basic medical care that I believe they deserve.  As far as how it would affect business, they could get out of the health care business and concentrate on the areas they are good at.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35074085
And that is different from the government: " they have say in what will happen with your life" how exactly?

Not sure what you're asking.  If I do understand, my answer would be I wouldn't choose to give them the authority.  I would not be purchasing insurance from a company OR the government.  I don't want the government footing any of my bills.  
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35074115
@sbdt
the problem word there is deserve.  What everyone deserves is different depending on who you talk to and what you sign.  If I sign a paper saying I only get coverage up to 50 dollars worth of surgeries, it doesn't matter what people think I deserve, I only get covered for that 50 dollars worth of surgeries.  What someone deserves is not a measurable object.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35074119
It sounded to me as though you were willing to grant the insurance company the right to make life and death decisions for people because they foot the bills, but the government having that right was bad.  I failed to see the distinction unless it was ok because insurance is private and government is government.
But maybe I misunderstood.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35074179
oh, no maybe I wasn't clear.  Personally I do not want either in control of my choices.  Thus I would not pay either a premium.  Although I'd say a private company is better than the government, but that's beside the point.  I don't think either is in a position to decide what is best for the individual who is seeking care, but when you put your care in their hands by purchasing insurance, then they DO have the say even though they are deciding from a business standpoint.  They have to make money...
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35074180
>>the problem word there is deserve.

I think everyone deserves basic health care the same as I believe they deserve food and a roof over their head.  That is my opinion.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35074200
>>then they DO have the say even though they are deciding from a business standpoint.  They have to make money...

IMO healthcare should not be a for profit business.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35074229
I think everyone deserves basic health care the same as I believe they deserve food and a roof over their head.  That is my opinion.

Sure, I'd say a good number of people would probably agree with you.  But who defines "basic health care", "food", or "roof"?  The problem is people are never happy with what they get.  Is Doritos and ice cream considered food in this case?  Should others be footing the bill to let people eat that?  Or should it just be some meat and veggies, which is healthier?  Does a tent work for a roof?  What if someone says they won't settle for less than a 5k sq ft house?  Is basic health care giving you a free doctor visit a year?  Is it covering 10k worth of surgery?  1 million?  50 million in expense?  Where does the line get drawn on what people deserve?
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35074255
IMO healthcare should not be a for profit business.

Legitimate request, but the problem is now you are hindering research and development along with medical field workers.  the draw to the medical field is the money to be made.  It costs a lot of money to go through medical school and learn what need to be learned to be a good medical doctor or researcher.  You really think people are going to spend that kind of money for the schooling if there is not a good reward for it?  If a researcher discovers the cure for AIDS they will be rich.  This is why there are so many people driving to find a cure.  Know what I mean?  If you have less people entering the field, then you are going to lose service in that field.  
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by:bergertime
ID: 35074258
sbdt,  

Here is where my concern lies.  You say the gov't should provide 'basic medical care that I believe they deserve', where does that end?  Do you cover MidnightOne?  How 'bout Steve Jobs, how far does your coverage go for all the poor people with AIDS.  What about the guy who smokes 3 packs a day dying of lung cancer?  Is he covered under 'basic'.  
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by:Tlingit
ID: 35074368
Sbdt

So you believe government should also provide food and shelter as well as healthcare?  Where will this government giving end?  And who will will flip the bill for all this giving?
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35074440
And who will will flip the bill for all this giving?

You and me, of course.
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by:Tlingit
ID: 35074734
>>If you have less people entering the field, then you are going to lose service in that field.

Quality of care goes down and quality of doctors as well, research and development suffers because there will be no money to fund it.  Competition will no longer exist because you have one entity running the whole show--government.  If single payer is implemented, it will greatly fall short because it will not be able to cover everyone.  There will have to be drastic cuts and it will cost the tax payer way more than what they projected.  People who are still supporting this bill ten years down the road will be complaining about how inefficient government healthcare program really is and will wish there was another alternative.  In the mean time seniors will not have their SSI because it will be so far into debt because this administration failed to fix SSI, Medicare, and Medicaid before fixing the healthcare problem, so now the problem has compounded itself.
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by:behenderson
ID: 35080470
>>IMO healthcare should not be a for profit business.

IMO healthcare should never be a government run business.  Politicians have not ballanced a budget more than once in the last 40 years.  You will lose more money that should go towards care with government ineficiency and waste than you will ever lose through profit motives.  The Social Security system is going to go bankrupt our currency is devalued more and more every year.  The government is just not capable of running healthcare.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35082507
>>Legitimate request, but the problem is now you are hindering research and development along with medical field workers.  the draw to the medical field is the money to be made.

Non-profit hospitals have for years and continue to employ many medical workers who make quite a good wage.  Non-profit hospitals do research and development.  Non-profit hospitals do not pay executives hundreds of millions of dollars a year that could better be spent on patient care and research and development.

>>You say the gov't should provide 'basic medical care that I believe they deserve', where does that end?  Do you cover MidnightOne?  How 'bout Steve Jobs, how far does your coverage go for all the poor people with AIDS.

Yes we cover MidnightOne.  Yes we cover Steve Jobs.  We also cover bergertime and the rest of us. How far does it go?  I can't answer that.  I am not qualified.

>>And who will will flip the bill for all this giving?

It would not be "giving."  Instead of paying money to for-profit insurance companies that siphon off hundreds of millions of dollars to executive pay and profit, we would all contribute to a Medicare for everyone plan that could cover us better for less.

behenderson and Tlinqit
All I can say to your last arguments is that you must be psychic because you appear to be able to predict the future.  I am aware that government is not always the most efficiently run but private industry suffers from the same abuses.  The present system is broken, IMO, and a change is needed.
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by:bergertime
ID: 35083249
sbdt, I'm somewhat torn on the issue.  I agree the system we had was bad, now it's even worse. But what I want to know is in a single payer system will I get the same care Steve Jobs did with pancreatic cancer?  How many houses did he have to buy to get a liver transplant.  Or if I get AIDS, will I recieve the same care Magic Johnson did, or in other words, will the gov't spare no expense to save my life?  I can always buy more insurance.  Right now as it stands, I can buy all the coverage I want.  With a single payer system, is there a cutoff?  I understand you said you aren't qualified to answer this, but who is?  Obama, Reid?  How about Palin or Bush.  Who decides it's better to spend the money on a guy with lung cancer who smokes 3 packs a day, since survival rate for lung cancer is well over 50%, when I get pancreatic cancer with less than a 6% survival rate, who decides if I get treatment or not, more than likely I'm going to die anyway.  
That's my problem with it and no one seems to be able to answer it.  With private insurance, I can cut out spending money on this or that and buy more insurance.  With single payer I have no options.  Now if Obama can say that with single payer, the gov't will spare no expense to save everyones life, then cool, but is that possible?

On a side note, you trucker friend, say he owns his own rig, he decides not to insure it.  He hits an icy patch and totals it, along with taking out another car and killing the parents of 3 small children....Now the trucker is screwed because he lost his way of making a living, his family will be foreclosed on.  They are in finincal ruin.  But even worse, what about these 3 small children?  Do you believe we should also have single payer car insurance?
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35083251
Non-profit hospitals have for years and continue to employ many medical workers who make quite a good wage.

I think you may have a false idea of how these "non-profit" hospitals actually work.  For one they get government funding through grants, tax breaks, etc and also they aren't as "non-profit" as you might expect: http://www.greenchange.org/article.php?id=2435

Even so, non-profit organizations benefit from the R&D done  by for profit companies.  A new technology gets invented, that "non-profit" hospital is allowed to still purchase that equipment.  
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35083377
@bergertime

The people you mention have money.  That is why they got the care they got.  I wouldn't even be surprised if they didn't have/use insurance.  Insurance will never be able to provide that kind of care without making the taxpayers fork over butt loads of money.  The only way you could somehow make it work is by making the rich fork over millions of dollars a piece so the ones who can't afford it now can.  This is in no way fair to the rich.  A premium should be a premium no matter how much you make.  Even the medical field must be in the green with their finances.  If they spent million upon millions for every individual who gets cancers, it will not be sustainable at all.  It's just not possible.

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by:sbdt8631
ID: 35083612
bergertime
No, I don't think you would get the same care as Steve Jobs.  The rich will always receive better than the rest of us.  Having a single payer system would not mean that private insurance would have to go away.  Other countries have systems where a person can purchase additional insurance if they so choose to spend their money that way.  So your choice as to how to spend your money is not by default eliminated.  I also fail to understand why people think it is ok for non-medical people at an insurance company to decide what treatment they can receive but respond in horror at the idea that someone in the government could be making a similar decision.  Personally, I don't like the idea that anyone can make that decision for me, but I would rather it be an objective government employee than a person who has a profit motive behind his decision.

CSOFlag
I was only using the non-profit status of some hospitals to show that doctors and nurses still get paid the same salaries as for profit, so shortages are not a foregone conclusion, as well as R&D being done.
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by:behenderson
ID: 35083756
>>All I can say to your last arguments is that you must be psychic because you appear to be able to predict the future.

You wouldn't put a pedophile in charge of a day care and you shouldn't put the government in charge of more of your money.  You don't need to predict the future to know that most experts predict insolvency for the social security system, or that the government cannot ballance it's checkbook.  I know that every year government workders work less and are paid more and that government workers are almost never fired for being slow or lazy.  You impl.y that since you cannot predict the future that you should not plan for it.
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by:CCSOFlag
ID: 35083760
I was only using the non-profit status of some hospitals to show that doctors and nurses still get paid the same salaries as for profit, so shortages are not a foregone conclusion, as well as R&D being done.

I think you missed my point though.  these "non-profit" hospitals are not in fact non-profit.  Most hospitals in the US are supposedly non-profit, but yet these hospital's owners/directors make more than the ones at "profit" hospitals.  non-profit really doesn't mean non-profit in this case.  All they have to do is do something for the community to be considered non-profit.  I really like the part in the article where it talks about the marble floors and over 100 pieces of art in the hospital.  Why are you not complaining about that?  Don't you think that's a waste of money that if terminated could lower the cost of health care?

My problem is people think that insurance is the answer to lowering costs for health care.  Health insurance has a very minimal role in the cost of health care compared to so many other things.  Let's jsut look at liability issues.  Now that doctors seem to be responsible for anything and everything that happens to a patient, they run every test imaginable when someone comes in with a problem.  Most people try to say they are just trying to make money, but that is not the reason, the reason is they keep getting sued if they miss something.  Why are people not complaining about this?  Why aren't people up in arms about the law suits?  You can't have it both ways.  My best friend's wife is a doctor, and her single largest cost as a doctor is liability insurance to try to protect them against these stupid law suits.  Who do you think ends up eating the cost of this insurance, well you and me of course.  It's a cost for them, thus it gets passed on.

Health insurance is health insurance no matter what the plan is, the premium is, who runs it, etc.  Some agencies run things better than others, but it doesn't matter who runs it, the cost of medical care is not going to change.  You really think the government can just wave a magic wand and say ok, all doctors can no longer pass on the cost of liability insurance to the patients.  They can't wave it again and say, ok the cost of MRI machines will no longer cost more than 200 dollars to make.  The cost is the cost.  People have to make money off of what they invent and build.
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by:bergertime
ID: 35084087
I also fail to understand why people think it is ok for non-medical people at an insurance company to decide what treatment they can receive but respond in horror at the idea that someone in the government could be making a similar decision

But they don't decide what treatment I get.  I do, buy the insurance I buy.  Just like my car insurance.  If I get liability and cause a wreck, they won't buy me a new car.  If I get liability with un-insured coverage, if someone hits me that's not insured, my car gets fixed.  If I get car insurance with a $500 deductable, I get to pay the first $500.  It's the same with helath insurance.  

So great, with single payer I'll have to pay more in taxes and get the added bonus of having to also pay for insurance to cover the things that single payer won't and hope that even though the gov't changes things every year, I'll still be covered.  I don't see the benefit.  Isn't the whole point to single payer, well single payer?
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by:
sbdt8631 earned 25 total points
ID: 35084321
It's been a great discussion but I am afraid I am going to have to opt out of it now.  I did really enjoy it.  I'll just finish by saying I still believe everyone should have medical care available to them when they need it and a Medicare for all system would accomplish that better than our current system.  That's my opinion and I sure we will continue to agree to disagree.

As far as health care being non-profit I am aware that is a pipe dream.  It is similar to saying we should have no war.  It is a great concept, but is totally impractical.  I recognize that.

bergertime, I hope you can figure out a resolution to your health care cost issue.  I have no good advice to give you.  The only "solution" would seem to be finding another job, but it would be a shame to lose fifteen years with a company.

Thanks everyone.
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Assisted Solution

by:CCSOFlag
CCSOFlag earned 25 total points
ID: 35084391
As far as health care being non-profit I am aware that is a pipe dream.  It is similar to saying we should have no war.  It is a great concept, but is totally impractical.  I recognize that.

I agree.


I did really enjoy it.

Me too.  Too bad you're leaving though. :(  I always enjoy getting others perspectives.  As I said, there is nothing wrong with you thinking a health insurance for everyone is a good thing.  We all just have different opinions.  I think the logistics of it is the stumbling block.  Mainly because it would required everyone to join in, but this infringes on people's freedom of choice.  This is the huge debate right now in the courts.  We will see how the supreme court rules on it, and who knows, maybe you will get what you want in a few years. :)  
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Author Closing Comment

by:bergertime
ID: 35084484
Thanks, I really enjoyed it also.  It's tough to split 50 points, so I did the best I could.  On a side note out of the 4 other quotes we were waiting on, 3 declined to quote but the third came in at just over 10% increase.  Looks like we will be changing providers.   Thanks to everyone.
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