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Old 04-10-2012, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
2,235 posts, read 1,651,402 times
Reputation: 2005
Default Why health insurance is so expensive

With all the talk about overturning Obamacare, what is missing in the discussion is the fact that the private health insurance industry is expensive, inefficient and serves no real purpose. Pittsburgh has one of the most uncompetitive markets in the country for health insurance with Highmark Blue Cross' market share in Western Pennsylvania estimated to be in the 60 percent to 65 percent range. Pittsburgh spends more on hospital care per person than any other major U.S. city.

Highmark has recently experienced the firing of their CEO after he was arrested for a fistfight with the husband of his employee/mistress. This woman had recently negotiated a $15M sponsorship contract between Highmark and the PGA for the exclusive right to sponsor, equip and staff medical trailers at PGA Tour golfing events nationwide for the next four years. A recent article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette states: "The deal is irksome given that Highmark sought a nearly 10 percent rate hike in July for its lowest-income insurance product (eventually pulling back to 4.9 percent). It outsourced 150 back-office jobs 16 months ago, and is pursuing an aggressive drug formulary that will save employers money on generics but put specialty medicines beyond most people's reach."

See the article at: Remind us, Highmark: Why sponsor national PGA golf events?
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Texas South High Plains
7,024 posts, read 6,344,800 times
Reputation: 8129
At least you don't have New Mexico's Lovelace Health system. They are wonderful as long as you are paying and not using.

Sadly, Lovelace has me voting for Obama's wretched plan.
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Old 04-14-2012, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
3,297 posts, read 1,257,186 times
Reputation: 3241
I can't say much about Pittsburgh, but in Detroit during th early 1980's, advertising for what evolved into the "limited" plans common among many "second-tier" employers was flooding the airwaves.

The common threads among these companies (I recall Independence Health Plan as one of the most prominent) were (1) no claim form for the dummies to try to fill out, and (2) a low or no deductible -- but of course, nowhere near as much coverage, and what there was more likely to cover repairing the fruits of bar fights and drunken drving (and. of course, pregnancy) than longer-term, more-serious considions.

The principal target of the campaign was the numerous small forging and stamping firms, often closely or singly held, which did a lot of subcontract work for the auto and similar industries. Since both the owner and his employees didin't expect to be around in 20-30 years, no thought needed to be given t the long run and a possible need for Major Medical.

That pehomenon proved to be the start of a trend that spread outward and ravged Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Michigan, Ohio, and much of the industial heartland.

In theory, free market economics is suposed to reward long-term thinking and individual intiative, but this appears to be oe of those relatively-rare incidents in whch short-term pandering to simple minds trumped it.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Land of debt and Corruption
7,454 posts, read 3,836,454 times
Reputation: 2712
I would hate Obamacare a little less if it actually addressed the cost side of health care and not just the insurance side of health care. Why it didn't include tearing down the insurance monopolies in states and allow people to shop across state lines? I think the intellectually honest knows damn well why, but then to use the commerce clause as the basis for its constitutionality when I can't even go outside my own state to purchase health insurance? That's a slap in the face.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:16 PM
 
31,308 posts, read 16,519,653 times
Reputation: 14235
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatyousay View Post
Why it didn't include tearing down the insurance monopolies in states and allow people to shop across state lines?
PolitiFact | GOP Pledge-O-Meter: Allow purchase of health insurance across state lines
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Land of debt and Corruption
7,454 posts, read 3,836,454 times
Reputation: 2712
Thanks, Ovcatto!

Quote:
In summary, the House Republicans have introduced legislation to allow the sale of health insurance across state lines. But it hasn't received a vote from the full House. Even if it does pass the House, it seems unlikely that it will become law, given that Democrats control the Senate and the presidency. We rate this promise Stalled.
Sadly, it doesn't appear to stand much of a chance. Maybe that will change in the future though.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Texas South High Plains
7,024 posts, read 6,344,800 times
Reputation: 8129
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatyousay View Post
I would hate Obamacare a little less if it actually addressed the cost side of health care and not just the insurance side of health care. Why it didn't include tearing down the insurance monopolies in states and allow people to shop across state lines? I think the intellectually honest knows damn well why, but then to use the commerce clause as the basis for its constitutionality when I can't even go outside my own state to purchase health insurance? That's a slap in the face.
I think many us of us would agree with you that Obamacare totally missed the mark of lowering health care costs but we would go further to say it actually increased costs dramatically. It would be my guess that this is what accounts for most of the anger in Americans right now.

However, I have to say that something has changed recently in the across state lines issue. I am currently using a "contractor" doctor in Texas under my New Mexico Health insurance plan and this was not available to me just a couple of years ago. This Texas doctor is currently my primary care physician.

Unfortunately my new "contractor" doctor is opening my eyes to a near useless plan I paid many thousands of dollars into for many years.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Houston
8,956 posts, read 2,512,381 times
Reputation: 2740
The primary reason health insurance is expensive is because health care is expensive. The primary reason health care is expensive is because government subsidizes demand and restricts supply.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Central Illinois -
11,710 posts, read 5,686,349 times
Reputation: 5260
Quote:
Originally Posted by whogo View Post
The primary reason health insurance is expensive is because health care is expensive. The primary reason health care is expensive is because government subsidizes demand and restricts supply.
Say what? I think you are confused on how private health care works in the U.S.

Germany, England, Canada, those are national health care systems that actually work.

The U.S. system is highly profitable, and it can increase its profit margins by denying healthcare to the sick. Aint that compassionate? God Bless America
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:56 PM
 
2,073 posts, read 1,004,041 times
Reputation: 1116
In the 2008 campaign Obama promised to kill Hillary's mandatory insurance plan but once in office he did the opposite. Obamacare forces everyone in America to buy worthless overpriced private health insurance whether you like it or not, whether you can afford it or not. This bill is the industry's wet dream. The day after Obamacare passed, health insurance industry stocks shot up an average of 30%.

So much for hope and change. Obama is the ultimate bait and switch used car salesman.
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