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The federal mess

March 2, 2013

The issue is whether health insurance should be tied to employers and employment....

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(74)

philunderwood

Mar-02-13 5:29 AM

If we purchased our own health insurance like we do car insurance, home insurance and life insurance, pre-existing conditions wouldn’t be an issue when we changed jobs. Insurance companies would have to compete with varying prices and coverage offerings. Having governments regulating insurance coverage to make things “fair” adds to the cost and removes competition.

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mikekerstetter

Mar-02-13 5:44 AM

Phil, I disagree. If we purchased health insurance like we did auto insurance, health insurance companies would simply drop us after our first major cancer or heart treatment. I personally know a couple of people who were with their auto insurance companies for decades who were dropped like a hot potato after their 1st at fault accident.

I believe in Capitalism and the Free Market, but the greed needed to make them work isn't a good mix with health insurance, at least in my opinion.

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CHayes

Mar-02-13 6:12 AM

"If we purchased health insurance like we did auto insurance, health insurance companies would simply drop us after our first major cancer or heart treatment."

What rock have you been living under, they've been doing this for years. It's called "recision", and the practice has been banned by the ACA.

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philunderwood

Mar-02-13 6:14 AM

Mike, why should health insurance companies be any different than any other companies? If a company doesn’t provide good prices and drops coverage as you described, people will choose a company that doesn’t do that and the offender will suffer competitively.

You sound like a liberal equating greed with profit and distrusting anyone in business. Profit honestly earned is what makes the market work and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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eriklatranyi

Mar-02-13 6:23 AM

If I take care of my health, why should I pay for the increased costs of healthcare for a ****** addict down the street?

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MrShaman

Mar-02-13 6:39 AM

"Mike, why should health insurance companies be any different than any other companies? If a company doesn’t provide good prices and drops coverage as you described, people will choose a company that doesn’t do that and the offender will suffer competitively." - philunderwood

*

"...PEOPLE will chose a company..."????

In the interest of staying on-track (the subject being employer-provided health-care)...the "people" chose ZERO! The employer who's babysitting them (by providing health-care) is doing all the "choosing".

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MrShaman

Mar-02-13 6:47 AM

"You sound like a liberal equating greed with profit and distrusting anyone in business. Profit honestly earned is what makes the market work and there’s nothing wrong with that." - philunderwood

*

O.K., let's hear you justify premium-increases...not because care is getting more-expensive...but, because...keeping investors (in for-profit health-care) happy, because that same company is doing so poorly with their investments.

See:

BILL MOYERS JOURNAL | Wendell Potter | PBS (YouTube)

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mikekerstetter

Mar-02-13 7:08 AM

philunderwood-"Mike, why should health insurance companies be any different than any other companies? You sound like a liberal equating greed with profit and distrusting anyone in business. Profit honestly earned is what makes the market work and there’s nothing wrong with that."

Phil, you said if we bought health insurance like we bought car insurance preexisting conditions wouldn't be an issue. That is simply not true. Not only do you have auto insurance companies dropping people after 1 at fault accident, you have other companies who won't take them on or charge them ridiculous amounts because they were dropped.

And yes, I do worry about company bean counters making decisions that can and do result in catastrophic health and financial disasters for the people who are relying on their health insurance to pay for their health care needs. Although it isn't every company, greed is present in any industry. There is no denying it.

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mikekerstetter

Mar-02-13 7:14 AM

eriklatranyi-"If I take care of my health, why should I pay for the increased costs of healthcare for a ****** addict down the street?"

Erik, everyone who has insurance pays for a lot more than that addict down the street. In one way or another we all pay for the people who don't have insurance but whom Dr.'s and Hospitals have to treat. We pay for the people on medicaid who use our ER's as their primary care facility. We pay for those who are underinsured and have no way to pay the difference.

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JerryfromRI

Mar-02-13 8:00 AM

Today, ANY employer that offers its employees health insurance is doing so voluntarily, presumably offering it as part of a benefit package to woo the most talented people.

The premise that it is somehow the fault of the government that private companies voluntarily offer health insurance is ridiculous.

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CHayes

Mar-02-13 8:02 AM

" If I take care of my health, why should I pay for the increased costs of healthcare for a ****** addict down the street?"

I don't know eric, why should a woman subsidize your vasectomy? How about this eric, what if the addict down the street has TB. What if you find yourself next to him in line at Wegmans, and he's just standing behind you coughing?

So because you "take care of your health", are you saying that you've found some miracle way to guarantee that you'll never get cancer, or heart disease, or break your leg in a car accident? You'll NEVER need healthcare? If you have a secret please share, because I have an older friend right now that just finished up chemotherepay for his lymphoma. I'd like to know how I can guarantee that will never happen to me.

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philunderwood

Mar-02-13 8:07 AM

Mike, do you wait until you have an accident and then buy car insurance to cover it?

If left to follow good business practices, insurance companies will base premiums upon the risk involved, that way low risk customers will have lower premiums and won’t be paying for other's risky habits and lifestyles.

You’ll have to explain the difference between reward for effort, risk and investment and what you’re calling greed. There are some that even call government workers with their high pay and benefits greedy.

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CaveFelem

Mar-02-13 8:13 AM

@JerryfromRI - I found a paper from the University of Denver about the history of health insurance. During WWII, the government instituted wage freezes, and employers responded by offering benefits, such as health insurance. Then during the 1940's, unions gained the right to collectively bargain for health benefits. In 1953, company contributions to employee benefits plans became tax deductible.

So the government may not have set out to link health insurance to employment, but it became so as a result of other policies.

The entire paper can be found at www dot du dot edu.

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JerryfromRI

Mar-02-13 8:18 AM

@CaveFelem

Carter froze wages too.

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philunderwood

Mar-02-13 8:21 AM

Not too long ago, company provided health insurance was for major medical expenses and you could afford to pay for day-to-day medical care out of pocket, but that was before government and unions stepped in to “fix” things.

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JerryfromRI

Mar-02-13 8:27 AM

@philunderwood

So now unions and big government are one and the same?

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Fredzz

Mar-02-13 8:40 AM

Partial Quote:

Phil, you said if we bought health insurance like we bought car insurance preexisting conditions wouldn't be an issue. That is simply not true. Not only do you have auto insurance companies dropping people after 1 at fault accident, you have other companies who won't take them on or charge them ridiculous amounts because they were dropped

End Quote:

Mike,

The Preexisting condition Clause has little to do with how one [ purchases ] Insurance. the Preexisting condition Clause is in the policy because our Government allows it.

Our Government could Ban it any time they want. But.... so far... our Government thinks its OK..?!

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CHayes

Mar-02-13 8:42 AM

Phil, I know nurses that aren't members of a union that under some overtime circumstances, make $80/hr. We have doctors that become millionaires by ordering unnecessary tests, because they make more money if their pateients get more tests. My sister in law is a nurse practitioner, and her husband is an OR nurse, and between them they knock down almost $200K/ year.

You want to explain to me how govt or unions are responsible for that? How does a union increase the cost of healthcare? By receiving a so called."cadillac" insurance plan that generates more profits for healthcare providers and insurance companies?

Just because you don't like the govt, and you don't like the govt, and you don't like unions, and you don't like increased healthcare costs, doesn't mean theyre related. I don't like chocolate ice cream or terrorism, but there's not really a connection there.

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philunderwood

Mar-02-13 8:54 AM

Chris, as often happens, I fail to see what your last post has to do with the point I made in my post.

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CHayes

Mar-02-13 8:54 AM

" the Preexisting condition Clause is in the policy because our Government allows it.

Our Government could Ban it any time they want. But.... so far... our Government thinks its OK..?!"

And of course the reason the govt has allowed it is to prevent people from waiting till they get sick to buy insurance, then dropping it, and waiting again.

That's one of the primary advantages of a healthcare mandate. If almost everyone has insurance, its no longer necessary to allow pre existing condition exclusions.

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CHayes

Mar-02-13 9:02 AM

" Chris, as often happens, I fail to see what your last post has to do with the point I made in my post."

Phil, if you want to run around and say that the big mean govt, and those nasty old unions are directly and solely responsible for the high cost of healthcare in the US, shouldn't you be able to explain how?

Virtually every country in the world has both unions, and a govt. Almost without exception, all their govts are more intimately involved in their healthcare system than ours is, yet we have the highest healthcare costs per capita in the world.

Can you explain that?

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CMReeder

Mar-02-13 9:03 AM

Now we are going to play the blame game here as well.

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CHayes

Mar-02-13 9:08 AM

Doctors in the US should be paid in part based on how healthy their patients are, and patient outcomes. But if doctors are no longer set up to be pitchmen for the pharmecuetical industry, and unnecessary but profitable medical tests, then it just isn't "free market" enough for some people.

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Fredzz

Mar-02-13 9:16 AM

CHayes,

You really are that naive. WoW.

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Premier

Mar-02-13 9:22 AM

The unnecessary medical tests are done because of so many malpractice lawsuits. One of the biggest ways to reduce healthcare costs would be tort reform. Conseritives tried to get this into the ACA and the Dems scoffed at that.

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