"Obamacare"
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
26-12-2013, 09:43 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
(26-12-2013 09:02 AM)BnW Wrote:  But, unlike you, I don't base my views on pure idealogy. You are throwing out a whole bunch of things that are just ridiculous.

Excuse me? I presented already a spreadsheet (post#151) proving mathematically how, even someone with worse than average health would end up with an extra $3 million by investing what they would spend anyway on insurance premiums (or what the government would subsidize) and paying for their health care themselves wherever they get the best deal, usually by going abroad. That's not ideology. That's math. Those are facts and figures. And, as someone whose been doing it himself, I have the proof that the numbers are sound. YOU, on the other hand, have never even attempted to refute the math, never disputed the numbers, never pointed any flaw in my formulas, but instead throw out your opinions.

(26-12-2013 09:02 AM)BnW Wrote:  Crap like people shouldn't be insured because it encrouages them to go sky diving without a parachute and other such nonsense.

Please, copy and paste when I said that. Because, as always, when one person is on the losing side of the debate, and his opponent presents mountains of evidence that cannot be refuted, the loser resorts to making strawmen up. Just make up ridiculous statements and attribute them to me. Notice, by contrast, that when I'm rebutting you, I actually quote what you say verbatim. I don't need to make up ludicrous statements on your behalf and attack them.

(26-12-2013 09:02 AM)BnW Wrote:  The rest of the things you desribed are not real options, including medical tourism. If you have the cash to go elsewhere that is always your option and choice but that does not mean medical tourism is a viable health care option for the country as a whole. It's not.

Remember, So you make it sound like it's MORE expensive, saying 'if you have the cash', when it's the opposite. If you need a hip replaced, in the US you're looking at $100k. And lest you think 'well the insurance company pays', no, YOU pay. The premiums everybody pays is sufficient to cover all medical claims + a 25% markup for the insurance companies. So, instead of paying $100k through insurance (which becomes $125k with the markup), for a $350 round trip ticket you can fly to Mexico City and get the same procedure done for $7k. It's not a matter of 'having the cash' to go abroad, it's a matter of saving and investing the cash that it would otherwise cost to get it done in the US.

(26-12-2013 09:02 AM)BnW Wrote:  [In response to my claim that as insurance companies pay more, those costs get passed on to the consumers with their 25% markup]
I have no idea what you're even trying to say. You seem to be implying that they get some magic payment of money when they have an outlay, but that is demonstrably false. The ratios of what they must spend are a floor, not a ceiling. They don't automatically get money to cover their mark-up.

Really? Because earlier, some wise person wrote in this forum that this year, since the insurance companies are spending more due to Obamacare, the policyholders “are seeing significant increases at that, some in the range of 20%.”. Hmmm... Who said that now? Oh wait, it was you! Just a couple days ago you were saying how, as the insurance companies spend more, they raise the rates accordingly. Now, suddenly, you're characterizing this as some “magical” process. True, the ratio technically is a floor, not a ceiling, but all the insurance companies stay at that mandated ratio. So, now that Obamacare mandates that ALL the insurance companies must pay for X, and ALL the insurance can markup X 25% (which they do), every time the insurance company pays X, the policyholders pay 125% of X. It's not a magical process at all. The insurance companies are NOT going to take a loss on your medical care. They're not going to go to their employees and shareholders and say “Gosh, we now need to pay for [X procedure] for everybody, and we don't want to raise our rates, so we're going to need all employees to take a pay cut and all shareholders to chip in and help out.” That's absurd. When their payouts go up, the rates go up. Duh. If you seriously see this as a "magical process" you shouldn't be commenting on it.

(26-12-2013 09:02 AM)BnW Wrote:  The rest of the things you desribed are not real You don't like Obama and his law. We get it. Move on already.

Look, as I've pointed out many times, people who, like me, without Obamacare would have chosen to manage their own health care and bypass the insurance industry, will lose several million dollars. Nobody has seriously attempted to dispute that point. So, it IS a pretty big deal when someone of average means earning an average income used to be able to save several millions of dollars for retirement and become financially independent, and now all of that is taken away and given to the insurance companies.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-12-2013, 10:18 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
BnW,

BTW, regarding your insistence that my plan is utter non-sense, here's a good article from the NY Times which backs up everything I said. They show how the manufacturing costs of an artificial hip in the US is around $350, but, after all the markups and middle-men, the hospitals charge $22,000 for it, and with the rest of the costs, the whole procedure is over $100,000.

The subject of the story was hesitant to go to a medical tourism facility, like India, or Mexico, where the procedure costs around $7k, so he splurged and went to Belgium, a 1st world country with a highly regarded medical system, where the whole procedure cost $13k at a private hospital--and it was the same US-made hip from the same factory. Instead of costing $100k+ in the US.

So, are you going to insist that I'm making all this stuff up, when you can read the same thing in the NY Times, the Washing Post, and other respected sources confirming everything I've said? Or, to convince yourself that you're right on this are you going to keep fabricating your fantasy claims and attributing them to me, like your "without a parachute" gem?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
26-12-2013, 01:28 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
I never said medical tourism wasn't real and never said it could not save a person money. I never even addressed that. What I said it was not a real option for a healthcare system. A country of 313M people can't have a system where we all get on airplanes to get basic medical coverage. It's a preposterous idea. Oh, and as a random side note - most of the countries you are saying are doing it better have socialized medicine.

THE HORROR!

And, as an interesting side discussion, what do you think will happen to the cost of care in those countries if Americans start flocking there for medical treatments? Right now, you have outliers doing it. It's barely a blip on the radar. You start seeing people really doing it and you will see those countries change their policies on it, and very quickly. The idea that medical tourism is a viable option as a health care policy is totally, utter nonsense.

Regarding my sky diving comment, it was obviously an exaggeration of your point that people are now starting to smoke and drink because they are insured. Please.

Finally, my comment on insurance companies and preexisting conditions had nothing to do with what ever it is you're talking about. Insurance companies are regulated on minimum spends to minimize how badly they rip off customers. There is nothing to protect them, though. If they spend more on you than you pay, they lose. If they spend more on everyone than they take in, they go out of business. There is no regulatory protection against that. So, that is why they never, ever wanted to cover things like pre existing conditions. Why you think they did is beyond me.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like BnW's post
26-12-2013, 05:41 PM (This post was last modified: 26-12-2013 05:44 PM by frankksj.)
RE: "Obamacare"
(26-12-2013 01:28 PM)BnW Wrote:  A country of 313M people can't have a system where we all get on airplanes to get basic medical coverage. It's a preposterous idea.

Look at how heavily the drug companies pushed to get Obama to agree to close the border and start arresting people who went to Canada or Mexico to get their prescriptions filled, where the drugs are much cheaper. Obviously there were enough people willing to go across the border that the drug companies felt it was worth getting the government to plug that 'leak'. That tells me, then, that _IF_ Obama had done the opposite of what the drug companies asked, and instead ordered customs to make it EASIER to import medicine, eliminating import tariffs, and decriminalized filling scripts in Canada, I do think it would have put pressure on the drug companies to be more competitive.

I'm not saying ALL 313m people need to go abroad for their medical care. I'm only saying that IF enough did it, it would put competitive pressure on US companies. But, by closing the door, arresting people who go to Canada to get medicine, and making it impossible for people like me to go to Mexico, the government REDUCED the competitive pressure. And reduced competition is always bad for consumers, and good for the corporations.

(26-12-2013 01:28 PM)BnW Wrote:  Oh, and as a random side note - most of the countries you are saying are doing it better have socialized medicine.

And I've said a million times I think European style socialized medicine would actually be better than Obamacare. The best is, of course, a free market system, such as medical tourism facilities. They fight and compete to give you the best possible care in the world at a very affordable price. The second best, imo, is a smartly managed government system, like many European countries have. The worst, imo, is a crony capitalist system where the government forces everybody to buy a product from private, for-profit corporations, and regulates them so they all have to offer the same product, thus there is little competitive pressure, and a strong incentive for those corporations to see the prices get jacked up.

(26-12-2013 01:28 PM)BnW Wrote:  And, as an interesting side discussion, what do you think will happen to the cost of care in those countries if Americans start flocking there for medical treatments?

In the short term, prices would increase. But that would push more people into medical school to increase supply (basic supply and demand).

(26-12-2013 01:28 PM)BnW Wrote:  Regarding my sky diving comment, it was obviously an exaggeration of your point that people are now starting to smoke and drink because they are insured.

Why exaggerate if my claim was already outrageous? The answer is that it's not that outrageous. I was merely quoting a lead article on CNN, written by Sanjay Gupta, who himself is a democrat and was recommended to be US Surgeon General, which referenced a respected, peer-reviewed study which determined people with free medical care WERE more likely to smoke. True, others in this forum pointed to studies which showed there was no impact. So I backed off and left it as 'undetermined'. Bottom line is my claim was NOT at all outrageous. So, rather than using my actual claim, you fabricate some nonsense that I said people with insurance jump out of planes without parachutes, and then attack your strawman argument.

(26-12-2013 01:28 PM)BnW Wrote:  that is why [insurance companies] never, ever wanted to cover things like pre existing conditions. Why you think they did is beyond me.

You didn't read what I said. I said that before Obamacare, the insurance companies would have loved to cover pre-existing conditions _IF_ they would have been able to pass on those costs to the policyholders and maintain their profit. However, before Obamacare, they couldn't do that, since another insurance company, to offer a better price to healthy people, would have not covered pre-existing conditions. Obamacare solved this problem by requiring ALL insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions. This is a GREAT thing for the insurance companies because this means ALL the insurance will have to pay this, and, since they all strive to maintain their 80/20 ratio, they will all be pressured to raise their rates simultaneously.

But here's the bottom line.... If you still think that the insurance companies are going to be worse off under Obamacare now that they have to cover pre-existing conditions, let's make a bet. I predict that over the next 5 years, assuming Obamacare gets fully implemented, you will see insurance companies reporting unprecedented revenue and profit, higher than they ever had pre-Obamacare. I've gone down on the record with this, and am willing to state that if I'm wrong, and if the insurance companies are actually making LESS profit, I will make a public apology on this forum, and admit that you understood the system better than I. Now, will you do the same? Will you agree now, on the record, that if I'm right, and the insurance companies PROFIT from Obamacare and the pre-existing conditions mandate, you will admit that you were wrong and you didn't understand the system that well, and that you (collectively) made a mistake pushing Obamacare through?

The fact is the insurance companies know their industry better than you and or I, and they studied the ACA more than any of us, and would be much better at predicting how the ACA would impact their bottom line. So, if the pre-existing clause DOES result in their making more profit, chances are they knew it and, like I said, chances are they DID WANT mandatory coverage of pre-existing conditions, even if they feign contempt.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-12-2013, 07:50 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
I'm getting a bit bored with this, but want to respond to this last post.

1. I agree with you on the drug argument and why Americans are prohibited from getting drugs from Canada or Mexico. In fact, it's worse than that as US consumers are paying for drug regulations in other countries. Our government lets them artificially prop up prices to protect their margins. It's shameful and has been going on for decades.

2. I agree with you on the socialized medicine vs. Obamacare too. But, I'll take it further and say I think a European socialized medicine system would be vastly better than what we've had in this country the past 40 years. Obamacare didn't change all that much about our system. What is hilarious about this debate is the people complaining the most about it are complaining about the very things that have been wrong with our system since the HMO act was passed in 1973, but their proposal is to go back to that system. I can't take the Republicans seriously on this topic because they are offering nothing as a counter and are simply suggesting we go back to the system that has most of the problems they are complaining about.

3. The idea that peole will engage is more dangerous activities if they are given health care for free is so stupid, so outrageous that it deserves to be ridiculed. My sky diving analogy did just that. Sanjay Gupta is an idiot, period, who fails to understand the difference between causation and correlation. What is true about dangerous activities about smoking and heavy drinking is the lower you are on the economic spectrum, the more likely you are to smoke or drink heavily as it's more cultural. And, oh year, poor people are less likey to have health insurance. Go figure.

4. What you are saying now is not how I read your earlier comments about pre existing conditions. If that is what you meant, then I misunderstood but that is not what you wrote the first time. And, I never said I thought the insurance companies will lose money now that they cover them. I said I thought the rates jumped specifically because they now cover them and can't refuse people. Between the rate jumps and the push of people under 30 to now buy policies, or more expensive policies, I think this is a massive windfall for the insurance industry. I didn't specifically say it here but I've thought that since the day the law was passed. That has been one of my primary objections to the law (I said earlier I wasn't a fan) - that it will do fuck all to reduce our costs and will just push more money into the for-profit 3rd parties who are causing are rates to go up in the first place.

The idea that we have a 3rd party, for profit payor in between every single transaction is ridiculous. Add to that the fee for service model we operate under and it's no wonder our costs are out of control.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like BnW's post
27-12-2013, 09:33 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
I'm glad we agree on most issues now. However I need to point out that if you read my post #5 you'll see I didn't change anything on my statement on pre-existing conditions. I was ALWAYS clear that insurance companies would ONLY like to cover them if ALL insurance companies were required to do so.

And you're claim that Sanjay Gupta is an idiot for writing about the moral hazard of insurance, he links to a report published by the National Bureau of Economic Research and it DOES include empirical data to support it, and controls for economic and cultural factors by looking at the behavior of the same people both before and after obtaining insurance. The correlation isn't strong, so I'm not making a big point of this. But it's absurd for you to insist there is absolutely zero evidence that insurance results in a moral hazard. If it was so absurd, government agencies and economists wouldn't be researching it, pouring through economic data looking for trends.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-12-2013, 10:56 AM
RE: "Obamacare"
I never said Sanjay Gupta was an idiot for that one article. I said he was an idiot. You inferred, incorrectly, that I drew that conclusion from one article. I did not.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-12-2013, 12:21 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
BnW,

Fine, let me ask you this....

Imagine a group of hikers are deciding if they should take the steep, dangerous shortcut, or the longer but safer path.

What if they're in a remote area in Africa, far from any medical facilities... Do you think it's possible that just one of the hikers who might have otherwise taken the shortcut might opt instead for the safe path because it crosses his mind that if he breaks his leg it might be very difficult to get medical care?

What if there is a hospital nearby, but this trip is not covered by their US insurance, so if they need medical care, they will have to pay a lot of money to get it. Do you think it's possible this might tip the scale for just one of the hikers to opt for the safer path?

Now, what if this happens in the US, but a hiker knows his insurance policy lapsed and he's not covered, putting him in the same situation as the previous example. Again, do you think it's possible this might be the “straw” that convinces just one of the hikers to opt for the safe path?

Remember, nobody ever said that EVERYBODY with insurance engages in risky behavior. The point was that in a population of hundreds of millions of people, some are teetering on the fence, and the fact that insurance provides a safety net may be enough to tip the scale in favor of the risky behavior.

You insisted that “The idea that people will engage in more dangerous activities if they are given health care for free is so stupid, so outrageous that it deserves to be ridiculed.” But, that's a typical liberal response—not a scientific, mathematical one. In the real world, when analyzing the behaviors of millions of individuals, you'd see everybody has different levels of tolerance to risk. Some are natural risk adverse, others love living on the edge, and many are in between, and can be swayed by any number of small things. In my 'dangerous path' example, one of the hikers could have felt an ever-so-slight breeze, which made him wonder if it was getting windy, and that tiny little thing might be enough to get him to take the safer path.

Liberals HATE admitting that this happens because then it often leads to subjects of regulation, taxes and other government actions, and they'll have to admit that if you raise taxes just 1%, or add just one more regulation or hurdle, that might be the last straw for some on-the-fence entrepreneurs which tips the risk:reward scale a little bit so they decide not to choose the risky path. Liberals, in my experience, prefer to think that they know everything about everybody so they can say with confidence that 'not even 1 person will change his behavior if we pass this new tax or regulation'. It's the same with insurance. You don't want to admit that maybe the insurance safety net tips the scales just enough to change a handful of people's behavior. So you speak in absolute terms, saying it's “stupid and outrageous” to suggest that even 1 person will take on extra risk. That way you don't need to ask if your new policy causes more harm than good, you convince yourself that it causes absolutely zero harm, and thus you can ignore the issue.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-12-2013, 02:10 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
(27-12-2013 12:21 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Liberals

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like BnW's post
27-12-2013, 05:10 PM
RE: "Obamacare"
(27-12-2013 02:10 PM)BnW Wrote:  You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Fine, it was a poor choice of words. However, that's just a distraction. The fact is you made a claim, in my last post I asked you 3 basic yes/no non-trick questions. You were unable to answer them because if you said 'yes' to those scenarios it would be admitting your initial claim was wrong, and if you said 'no' you'd look like an idiot. Checkmate.

The matter is resolved. It is not outrageous to suggest that insurance introduces a moral hazard to take risks by reducing the consequences.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: