wow, you all are really keeping me busy here! yes

As Lon would say, I love this place

Originally Posted By: Stormy
if there is actually an insurance company calling the shots (highly unlikely - it is much more likely they are self insured with an insurance company processing the paperwork), the insurer is not really dictating that the students can't do something. They are just saying they will not pay the bill if there is a loss due to defined actions that are outside the scope of the insurance contract. As I previously pointed out, it is likely that the University is self-insured and that a University representative defined the unacceptable actions.

That is exactly what is happening, they are calling the shots. (Literally and figuratively, I doubt you meant the pun)
You can't shoot in NYC without insurance, you need one just to rent camera equipment, if one of these kids drops a $100,000 camera, they're not going to take his word that he'll stop buying video games for the rest of his life and pay to replace it

Hopefully you will trust me on this, like I said, shouldn't give more details, it's making me nervous enough already

Originally Posted By: Stormy
If it is easy to prove that the profits are huge (from a recognized standard business perspective) please do so. The Senate Finance Committee was unable to do this when they had the insurance company executives testifying before their committee earlier this year. Currently, it is well accepted that health insurance company profits are approximately 3% to 4% of gross revenue. That is not egregious or "huge". It is in fact pretty moderate. If you want to see huge, look up the the profit percentages of tobacco companies, software developers, and entertainment industry related businesses.

all right, I'll dig some up. (The time I spend on it may end up reducing my profit in my entertainment industry related business, though! tongue2)

and I'll provide the links, suggest you start doing the same, esp in regards to your claims that people in this country don't want health care reform

Meanwhile, you could start by looking earlier in this thread, where I posted some yearly salaries of CEO's of HC insurance companies, there was one who in 2007 made 24 mil, as I recall

Originally Posted By: Stormy
If the insurance companies were "replaced" by a non-profit entity, we would have a single-payor system that, because of its enormity, would be government run. Regardless of previous claims to the contrary, national independent polls show that a single-payor government run health care system is NOT what the majority of Americans want - Nor has it been truly effective in other countries that currently have similar systems. I am not trying to start an argument with those that are happy with their systems (they are welcome to their system - it is just not what I want or feel would be in my family's best interest). The fact remains that all of the socialized systems are chronically underfunded and teetering financially. The wait times for care and services are significantly longer then they are in the majority of the US. Patients in these systems have much less choice and fewer treatment options then the majority of Americans are accustomed to.

I have no problem with a non-profit entity being set up to "compete" with for-profit companies. The more, the merrier. However, it should be fair and equitable competition: No special treatment, No government subsidies, No government employees or advisors, No government bailouts. Unless Congress is going to suspend the laws of economics, I predict that this non-profit agency will quickly and catastrophically fail - just like the Kelki Care program in Hawaii a few years ago. Although it would be nice, it is just not possible to provide equal or better healthcare to more people for less money. Americans would want pesky things like TNF drugs and MRI's within a week or less of being ordered. Those things don't come cheap.

How long have you been following this thread? From the beginning, when we talked about a lot of these things, or starting in the last week or so? You are covering the same ground, suggest going back to the beginning, with a jug of coffee

I obviously disagree with your belief that it is not possible to provide equal or better healthcare to more people for less money. Economies of scale, elimination of monopolies or oligopolies (as Jay pointed out), ending the McCarran–Ferguson Act, are the goal here, we can learn from other countries that DO achieve those goals, maybe they are underfunded, have different socio-economic problems, don't have a well developed military, etc. They make different choices how to use their resources, and as a result, have different results

I also suggest looking at two other examples where the government has successfully helped the situation of the consumer

1. the breakup of AT&T

which resulted in competition that gave us lower phone bills, allowed new companies to provide the same services, and did not destroy the parent company, and they are still going at it in a new arena, mobile phone services, but yet we can now choose among multiple providers, that's our laws in action, that's a good thing

2. The requirement that all drivers MUST have accident insurance

which obviously makes sense, we can't have some crazy person running a red light, smashing into your car, giving you whiplash and have no way to pay for the damage

and the fact that there is healthy COMPETITION among the insurance providers helps too, as the fact that the bigger pool of mandatory insurance buyers lowers the prices that you and I pay

so I don't see it as impossible that we couldn't follow those leads, learn from them, and improve our status in health care in similar ways as well, go ahead, say I don't understand the situation..

Originally Posted By: Stormy
Since you mentioned how things are done in Canada, let's address it. The Canadian government collects income taxes at their standard tax rates from their citizens (and non-citizen workers). In turn, the government redistributes the money at an equivalent rate of approximately 11% of GDP to regionally based Medicare agencies in each province. These agencies are government departments not non-profit entities. The Provincial Government oversees the Provincial healthcare systems with mixed results. Some citizens are happy with their care and treatment. Others are desperately unhappy. Search some of the posts on his forum. I believe that Megan has been shortchanged by the system in her provence. Others leap to mind. Although Canadian citizens are not forced to participate in the Medicare system, they are forced to pay for it through their taxes.

I HAVE been following them, I don't need to search them. Some of the Canadians have spoken on this very thread. As has my comment that their HC is not free, I made that very point. Send me your address, and I'll mail you a Starbuck's card for Christmas...

Originally Posted By: Stormy
At the moment, we do not force people to spend their money on health insurance if they don't want to. If we have any hope of achieving universal healthcare coverage, we will have to demand universal healthcare payment and participation.

you might be right, there. Well, not ANY hope. But it's not going well at all, as anyone reading about it in the last week can see. It is looking that it could very well be a very bad hacked-together bill, which could even possibly increase the profits of the HC industry, with things like "we'll give you that end to pre-existing conditions" clause, and after the celebration is over, they will see on the bottom of page 672, written in nearly undecipherable legalize, is the fact that they can raise premiums with no ceiling because of it..

(sigh) sad

Originally Posted By: Stormy
You would be surprised. I am not an insurance groupie and I was not making a statement (intentionally or otherwise) by employing the phrase "big, bad" insurance company. I was merely using the phrase to point out the common current trend of passing the buck and blaming insurance companies for all of society's ills. I do believe that we have a crisis in healthcare. I don't agree with with your assessment of what the crisis is or what the solution should be. I definitely do not agree with the "solution" currently being put forward by Congress. From my business, economic and healthcare prospective, this solution will only make the situation worse. Buckle up - it is going to be a long, bumpy, and uncomfortable (for a Spondy) ride.

Seat belt on!