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Dow Offline
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Hi John:

I'll try not to argue against each of your points, because to do so is against my nature and beliefs, there will never be winner

that there isn't a right side and a wrong side, a night and day

we need both, are a better country because of it

will say that Lieberman is a special case, he would still have that "D" after his name if he hadn't lost the primary in 2008 to a Democrat, after which he quickly changed his strategy, and became an "I", now he caucuses (if that is actually a word) with the Democrats

sorry for my error in saying that he is a 'D"

I mentioned him as a way to show that I am opposed to his current positions, as my way of pointing out that I can, and do, often disagree with some of the people in "my" party

I would add as one of Clinton's mistakes that he was responsible for the laws that changed the ownership of media companies, so he took Reagan's repeal of the Fairness Doctrine even further, in which it was no longer a broadcaster's mandate to give equal time to both sides of an discussion, now we have entire "news" organizations, both radio/print/TV, completely owned by corporations, and even a single non-American.

I don't think of myself as a liberal, even though I am sure that is the label I would be given by many, they'd take a look at my voting record, that we drive a fuel-efficient Prius, and that we did small things, like change our light bulbs to CFL's after deciding to take the time to get a closer look at the global warming debate

I'd like to think of myself as open-minded enough if when you or another person here make a point that I see the good in, I may act on it, so that in the future, I may end up with a different label


Dow
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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!


Dow
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Just so the waters don't remain muddied...here's some information about health care insurers and their CEO's. I find it interesting that their compensation is similar to, and apparently significantly less than in some instances, to those of some in the media industry. As stated before, I don't condone some of the actions of the health insurers. However, I don't condone the majority of the valueless, morally bankrupt garbage that, for instance, Les Moonves puts on his network. Therefore, I don't tune in. Apparently though, someone sees fit to award him a hefty salary for peddling much of this trash. I've also posted the operating and profit margins of a few of those companies. All information was either obtained from AOL Finance or Yahoo Finance, but the source is likely to be their annual financial disclosures as they are public companies.

Industry = Health Care Plans

Aetna CEO Ronald Williams Total Compensation = $7.65 Million
Aetna Profit Margin = 3.87% (Operating Margin = 6.76%)

Humana CEO Michael B. McAllister Total Compensation = $1.69 Million
Humana Profit Margin = 3.13% (Operating Margin = 5.10%)

United Health CEO Stephen J. Hemsley Total Compensation = $1.42 Million
United Profit Margin = 4.20% (Operating Margin = 7.36%)

Wellpoint CEO Angela F. Braly Total Compensation = $3.06 Million
Wellpoint Profit Margin = 3.83% (Operating Margin = 6.94%)

Cigna CEO H. Edward Hanway Total Compensation = $1.16 Million
Cigna Profit Margin = 4.10% (Operating Margin = 6.73%)

Industry = Entertainment - Diversified
Time Warner CEO Jeffery L. Bewkes Total Compensation = $4.00 Million
Time Warner Profit Margin = -31.29% (Operating Margin = 18.72%!)

Industry = Entertainment - Diversified
Walt Disney Former CEO Robert Iger Salary = $15.95 Million*
Walt Disney Profit Margin = 9.15%! (Operating Margin = 15.76%!)

Industry = Entertainment - Diversified
News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch Salary = $13.54 Million*
News Corporation Profit Margin = -11.03% (Operating Margin = 12.18!)

Industry = Entertainment - Diversified
Liberty Media CEO Gregory Maffei Total Compensation = $3.00 Million
Liberty Media Profit Margin = -8.15% (Operating Margin = 11.78%!)

Industry = Broadcasting TV
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves Total Compensation = $24.80 Million!
CBS Profit Margin = 2.33% (Operating Margin = 9.62%)

Industry = Movie Production, Theaters
Marvel Entertainment CEO Issac Perlmutter Total Compensation = $3.18 Million
Marvel Entertainment Profit Margin = 24.40%!!! (Operating Margin = 43.76%!!!)

Industry = Movie Production, Theaters
Dreamworks CEO Jeffery Katzenburg Total Compensation = $6.10 Million
Dreamworks Profit Margin = 21.76%! (Operating Margin = 26.33%!)

Industry = Cigarettes
Altria CEO Michael E. Szymanczyk Total Compensation = $5.08 Million
Altria Profit Margin = 19.09% (Operating Margin 37.01%!)

Industry = Beverages, Brewers
Molson Coors CEO Peter Swinburn = $3.55 Million
Molson Coors Profit Margin = 13.61% (Operating Margin = 20.38%)

* Total Compensation Information not available on AOL Finance so sourced from Yahoo Finance

Oh, and also, I'm not sure why it is necessary to be so hostile toward Stormy (at least this is my perception). It is an emotional topic, but I believe all of us can stick to the issues and respectfully disagree when needed.

Last edited by Jaybird; 12/18/09 06:07 PM. Reason: Don't Worry About It

Kind Regards,
Jay

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson
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I'm confused as to why the entertainment industry or the cigarette and and brewery industries are relevant. People choose to purchase these non-essential products of our western lifestyle. If these corporations get their forumala right, they make big profits - all paid for by choices made by individuals. The numbers may seem absurdedly high but it's the law of supply and demand.

Isn't health insurance providing an essential service, particularly for those with life-threatening or chronic illnesses?


Wendy

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Originally Posted By: Jaybird
Just so the waters don't remain muddied...


Jay:

What's going to make the waters muddied here, is if I let you guys turn my statement saying that the HC industry has huge profits, into an comparison about which industry makes the most money. That is NOT what I said, and what I promised to provide evidence of.

Turning this into an attack of our entertainment industry, for example, as evidence of why our country's health care should not be fixed, is a diversionary tactic, I expect better of anyone here on this thread.

it's also self-reflexive, one of biggest sources of revenue for the television industry is the endless advertising from pharmaceutical companies, "side effects may include..."

Lastly, I've worked for Les Moonves, at CBS, I did it by choice, and I'm proud of the work I've done there.

It was not political in nature, unlike Fox News. The shows were not "valueless, morally bankrupt garbage"

So please get back on track.


Dow
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Wendy said it better


Dow
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Health insurance is not an essential service. One doesn't need insurance to get health care. I'm sure that arguments could also be made that certain functions of health care aren't essential either.

I don't know what Stormy's point was, but mine was simply to highlight the fact that in comparison to some of the "industries" mentioned in Stormy's post, the health insurers aren't making "fat" profits as the current administration has stated. The CEO salaries of those organizations, while hefty, are definitely not out of line with other big businesses/corporations.

Now whether health insurers should be for-profit entities is another area of discussion.


Kind Regards,
Jay

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson
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Quote:
So please get back on track


Only if you do so first. I believe this post was originally titled "What To Do About Healthcare? Can It Be Fixed?" I don't recall it ever being about profit motives of the insurance industry in general (including LIABILITY or another other type of insurance), nor about the perceived evils of U.S. corporations which, and I'm not sure why after mentioning it once, that it is even pertinent to this discussion. This discussion is supposed to be about health care not your distaste for corporate entities.

Therefore, I'll follow your lead.


Kind Regards,
Jay

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,231
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If you are poor in a country that only has a private health care system, you can't get health care without insurance. From the postings on this site, it's clear that people are very scared about the risk of losing their healthcare insurance.

The children who we serve in our social services organization typically come from extreme poverty. Fortunately for them, they live in Canada and can get health care. We have to fund raise to help them get dental care. If they're in pain (from dental issues, for example) we make little progress in assisting them to develop life skills and become useful employable members of our society. They're far too distracted.

We get frustrated because we can't get dental care for them without the endless rounds of fund raising. I can't imagine what it would be like if we couldn't get them into a doctor for their physical or mental health problems.

Last edited by WendyR; 12/18/09 07:29 PM. Reason: typo

Wendy

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If you are poor in the United States and don't have health care insurance, there are assistance programs. There is Medicaid. There is S-CHIP programs for children. There is WIC for Women, Infants, and Children to make sure they eat. There are food stamps. There are more programs that I'm sure I don't know about. I don't know what the qualifying criteria is and what the constraints of those programs are, but they exist for those without economic means.

I am an individual with an autoimmune disease/chronic illness and I don't have health insurance. I wasn't able to get it due to my pre-existing conditions. I'm not thrilled by this, but I can get health care. I just have to pay for it (what a concept). I go to the county health clinic for blood work. I pay out of pocket for any doctor appointments. I pay out of pocket for medications. I invoke dietary measures to help me manage my pain levels (and hopefully the progress of my disease). I rely on medication like LDN that is cost effective and provides enough benefit to make it worth taking. I'm not advocating that this approach should be accepted in lieu of, what may defined as, a more structured approach to treating/managing adverse health conditions. However, barring any trauma/emergency events, I don't have many complaints.

Bottom line is that I know of many doctors who provide health care without health insurance.


Kind Regards,
Jay

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson
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