Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
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13-12-2013, 02:22 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(13-12-2013 01:43 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(13-12-2013 11:22 AM)Nick Danger Wrote:  Sorry, but that’s nonsense. It is precisely because insurance is risk management that such things are covered. I work for an insurance company and we have a cancer policy that actually pays women to get pap smears, that’s over and above the cost of the checkup up itself. Why? Because we know that annual pap smears are an effective way to manage the risk of cancer.

You haven't thought this through. It is reasonable and logical for an insurance company to give women a discount for getting pap smears, or a penalty for not getting them, since it mitigates risk. BUT, what is illogical to have a law that says EVERY insurance company must give EVERY woman a pap smear and must pay for it and mark the cost up 25%. Once you do that, you've introduced a perverse incentive for the insurance company to drive up the cost of pap smears. Seriously, this isn't brain surgery.

Think about car insurance. The insurance company may give you a discount for taking an advanced driving course. Fine, good idea. But what if the government said every driver MUST take an advanced driving course, every driver MUST get an insurance policy that covers it, and every insurance MUST pay for the driving course with a 25% markup, and the insurance companies get to pick the driving courses and influence driving course regulation. If you do that, you've introduced a perverse incentive for the insurance companies to get regulation passed that drives the cost of advanced driving courses through the roof. It's just plain stupid. I don't get why so many Americans cannot comprehend this. Maybe there's something to the conspiracy theory that the government is putting fluoride in the water to make everybody stupid. Seriously, no other country does this. You can't find one other country that would even consider introducing this kind of perverse incentive, and yet Americans for some reason can't see it.

No, you obviously don’t work in the insurance industry, that’s not the way it works. Insurance companies cannot just raise rates at a whim. They are heavily, and I do mean heavily regulated, as they should be. Rates must be approved by the state insurance authority and products that are marketed in more than one state must have their rates approved by the insurance authority in each and every state where they do business. These rate must be supported actuarially, and the actuarial basis for rates is regularly audited. Every aspect of insurance company funding is heavily scrutinized, the rates they charge, the amounts that are put in reserve for the payment of claims, the amount of profit, all of it.

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13-12-2013, 03:08 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(13-12-2013 02:22 PM)Nick Danger Wrote:  No, you obviously don’t work in the insurance industry, that’s not the way it works. Insurance companies cannot just raise rates at a whim. They are heavily, and I do mean heavily regulated, as they should be. Rates must be approved by the state insurance authority and products that are marketed in more than one state must have their rates approved by the insurance authority in each and every state where they do business. These rate must be supported actuarially, and the actuarial basis for rates is regularly audited. Every aspect of insurance company funding is heavily scrutinized, the rates they charge, the amounts that are put in reserve for the payment of claims, the amount of profit, all of it.

Nick,

This response just proves that you guys 'can't get your head around' insurance. I keep making one point over and over again about perverse incentives. I've tried rewording it many, many different way. I've tried writing it as a simple math formula. But no matter how many times I make the same point, you guys keep disputing it by bringing up unrelated points that have nothing to do with the topic I brought up, showing that my point is going over your head. I don't think it's that I'm not explaining it right because I keep following up with basic questions that highlight the flaw in your logic, and you guys run from the questions every time and refuse to answer them. Let's try again...

To keep it simple, let's pretend that a pap smear is the only medical procedure there is, and the law says that EVERY insurance company must by law pay for an annual pap smear for EVERY woman, and EVERY body MUST buy insurance. There's a population of 1 million people, and the cost of a pap smear is currently $100, and state regulators make sure the insurance company maintains an 80/20 claims payout (ie a 25% markup). This means the annual spending on medical care is $100 million (1 million x $100/per person), and the insurance companies charge $125 million in premiums (to keep the 80/20 ratio) of which $25 million they get to keep for profit+overhead. And every body pays $125/year for insurance.

Now, let's assume there's a new type of pap smear on the market, and one company has a patent on it, and they charge $1,000 for it instead of $100. The new pap smear is not any more effective than the old one, but a lobbyist goes to the insurance companies and tells them that he can persuade legislators to mandate everybody get a new patented pap smear 2.0, instead of the old one.

Obviously, this is bad for the consumer, since they'd be paying 10x as much for a new pap smear that's not any better than the old one.

But what about the insurance company? Does it benefit them to get the lobbyist to go ahead with his plan? If that happens, how much will the insurance companies charge in premiums (assuming the state regulators maintain the 80/20 ration)? And how profit will the insurance company make if the new regulation passes?

These are REALLY basic questions. If you understand the point I'm making and simply disagree, then answer the questions and explain why there's no perverse incentive for the insurance companies to support regulation that will unnecessarily drive up the cost of pap smears. If you guys keep running from such super simple, basic examples, then it's a good indication you still can't get your head around the issue.
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13-12-2013, 03:28 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(13-12-2013 03:08 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Nick,

This response just proves that you guys 'can't get your head around' insurance. I keep making one point over and over again about perverse incentives. I've tried rewording it many, many different way. I've tried writing it as a simple math formula. But no matter how many times I make the same point, you guys keep disputing it by bringing up unrelated points that have nothing to do with the topic I brought up, showing that my point is going over your head. I don't think it's that I'm not explaining it right because I keep following up with basic questions that highlight the flaw in your logic, and you guys run from the questions every time and refuse to answer them.

"You guys", eh?

I like how Nick Danger here makes 2 posts and he's already part of the amorphous hivemind you think includes literally every person who's ever slightly disagreed with you ever.

Neat trick, that.

(13-12-2013 03:08 PM)frankksj Wrote:  To keep it simple, let's pretend that a pap smear is the only medical procedure there is, and the law says that EVERY insurance company must by law pay for an annual pap smear for EVERY woman, and EVERY body MUST buy insurance. There's a population of 1 million people, and the cost of a pap smear is currently $100, and state regulators make sure the insurance company maintains an 80/20 claims payout (ie a 25% markup). This means the annual spending on medical care is $100 million (1 million x $100/per person), and the insurance companies charge $125 million in premiums (to keep the 80/20 ratio) of which $25 million they get to keep for profit+overhead. And every body pays $125/year for insurance.

Now, let's assume there's a new type of pap smear on the market, and one company has a patent on it, and they charge $1,000 for it instead of $100. The new pap smear is not any more effective than the old one, but a lobbyist goes to the insurance companies and tells them that he can persuade legislators to mandate everybody get a new patented pap smear 2.0, instead of the old one.

Obviously, this is bad for the consumer, since they'd be paying 10x as much for a new pap smear that's not any better than the old one.

But what about the insurance company? Does it benefit them to get the lobbyist to go ahead with his plan? If that happens, how much will the insurance companies charge in premiums (assuming the state regulators maintain the 80/20 ration)? And how profit will the insurance company make if the new regulation passes?

That's nice.

Are you going somewhere with this?

(13-12-2013 03:08 PM)frankksj Wrote:  These are REALLY basic questions. If you understand the point I'm making and simply disagree, then answer the questions and explain why there's no perverse incentive for the insurance companies to support regulation that will unnecessarily drive up the cost of pap smears. If you guys keep running from such super simple, basic examples, then it's a good indication you still can't get your head around the issue.

The point you're making is that corruption is bad.

I'm not sure why you expect anyone to be particularly taken with it.

If you have anything at all to add to that depressingly mundane revelation, please do so.

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13-12-2013, 03:51 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(13-12-2013 03:28 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Are you going somewhere with this?

Yes. Because you were unable to answer those super basic questions that required no knowledge other than remedial math, that shows you STILL don't get the issue. After dozens of pages you STILL have not rebutted my original point.

(13-12-2013 03:28 PM)cjlr Wrote:  The point you're making is that corruption is bad.

No, you must not understand the concept of perverse incentives. Corruption is a subjective, moral judgement, and often suggests criminal behavior. This has nothing to do with my example. In my example, there is nothing criminal about the insurance company supporting the patented pap smear 2.0 tests. Whether it's corrupt or not is subjective and immaterial. The point which I keep making over and over is that it's a perverse incentive. The interests of the insurance company and the insured are NOT aligned. The insurance company benefits when the regulation requires pap smear 2.0, and the insured ends up paying more unnecessarily.

I'm stating basic math. That pap smear example in my last post is the sort of remedial math I remember doing in grammar school when I was a child. Yet, somehow, it STILL goes over your head and you just cannot comprehend that, when insurance companies are mandated to pay for something for everybody, and everybody is mandated to pay the insurance companies, and the insurance companies mark up the costs, the insurance companies have an incentive to see the costs go up.

(13-12-2013 03:28 PM)cjlr Wrote:  I'm not sure why you expect anyone to be particularly taken with it.
If you have anything at all to add to that depressingly mundane revelation, please do so.

To me, yes, it's a mundane revelation. I seriously never imagined this would go on for pages and pages, or that I'd have to explain it a thousand times. I thought it was mundane and uncontroversial. But you STILL don't get the point I was making because you STILL haven't addressed it, and you STILL haven't been able to answer those basic questions. So I guess it's not as mundane as I thought.
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13-12-2013, 04:24 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
[/quote]

"You guys", eh?

I like how Nick Danger here makes 2 posts and he's already part of the amorphous hivemind you think includes literally every person who's ever slightly disagreed with you ever.

[/quote]

I feel so ... blessed.

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13-12-2013, 04:31 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(13-12-2013 03:51 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(13-12-2013 03:28 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Are you going somewhere with this?

Yes. Because you were unable to answer those super basic questions that required no knowledge other than remedial math, that shows you STILL don't get the issue. After dozens of pages you STILL have not rebutted my original point.

Yeah, that doesn't appear to bear any relation to anything anyone's said in this thread. But, uh, whatever self-absorbed fantasy helps you sleep at night.

I asked if you were going anywhere with this.

You didn't answer.

Are you going anywhere with this?

(13-12-2013 03:51 PM)frankksj Wrote:  
(13-12-2013 03:28 PM)cjlr Wrote:  The point you're making is that corruption is bad.

No, you must not understand the concept of perverse incentives. Corruption is a subjective, moral judgement, and often suggests criminal behavior. This has nothing to do with my example. In my example, there is nothing criminal about the insurance company supporting the patented pap smear 2.0 tests. Whether it's corrupt or not is subjective and immaterial.

... but whether it's perverse isn't?

You're very special.

(13-12-2013 03:51 PM)frankksj Wrote:  The point which I keep making over and over is that it's a perverse incentive. The interests of the insurance company and the insured are NOT aligned. The insurance company benefits when the regulation requires pap smear 2.0, and the insured ends up paying more unnecessarily.

Yes.

In your constructed scenario that is true.

So what?

I've already asked if you ever intended to go anywhere with this.

Because literally nobody has denied that connecting the dots in your constructed scenario does, in fact, lead to what you say it does. Literally nobody.

What people have done - and what I have now done once again - is ask you of what relevance is your constructed scenario?

(13-12-2013 03:51 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I'm stating basic math. That pap smear example in my last post is the sort of remedial math I remember doing in grammar school when I was a child.

Oh, I'll bet you were in the remedial math class.
Wink

(13-12-2013 03:51 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Yet, somehow, it STILL goes over your head and you just cannot comprehend that, when insurance companies are mandated to pay for something for everybody, and everybody is mandated to pay the insurance companies, and the insurance companies mark up the costs, the insurance companies have an incentive to see the costs go up.

If - and these are two staggeringly gigantic 'ifs' - neither insurance companies nor providers are competing with each other on price or quality.

So your point is that cartels are bad.

Are you going somewhere with this?

(13-12-2013 03:51 PM)frankksj Wrote:  To me, yes, it's a mundane revelation. I seriously never imagined this would go on for pages and pages, or that I'd have to explain it a thousand times. I thought it was mundane and uncontroversial. But you STILL don't get the point I was making because you STILL haven't addressed it, and you STILL haven't been able to answer those basic questions. So I guess it's not as mundane as I thought.

This is not a coherent response to what I said.

I did not deny the consequences of your one-dimensional toy analogy.

I questioned the relevance of it.

Those are different things, frankksj. Those are different things.

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13-12-2013, 04:34 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(13-12-2013 04:24 PM)Nick Danger Wrote:  
Quote:"You guys", eh?

I like how Nick Danger here makes 2 posts and he's already part of the amorphous hivemind you think includes literally every person who's ever slightly disagreed with you ever.

I feel so ... blessed.

Alas, no. It's nothing to do with you personally.

It's just how frankksj's mind works.

Person A disagrees with me. Person A is X.
Person B disagrees with me.
THEREFORE, Person B is X.

Airtight "logic", that.

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13-12-2013, 05:06 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
Hallelujah! Progress at last. I guess the light bulb finally went off! And the fact that this simplistic hypothetical thought experiment FINALLY clicked illustrates why I prefer Austrian economics, as I'll explain:

(13-12-2013 04:31 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Because literally nobody has denied that connecting the dots in your constructed scenario does, in fact, lead to what you say it does. Literally nobody. What people have done - and what I have now done once again - is ask you of what relevance is your constructed scenario?

Uh, yes, you have consistently denied this scenario is correct. That's what we're debating! I first presented this same analogy in this OP. I used the same math, the same model, and I described the conclusion as "self-evident" and "obvious". But you weren't convinced and replied:

(03-12-2013 08:10 PM)cjlr Wrote:  "Self-evident" and "obvious" apparently here meaning "in accord with your gut feelings".

We've fought in 3 different threads about this, and given that Hafnof is a mathematician, I asked him to chime in on whether my scenario was right or wrong:

(04-12-2013 09:46 AM)frankksj Wrote:  @Hafnof, ... as a professional mathematician, let me ask your opinion, please...

He refused, naturally. I've giving him the benefit of the doubt that it wasn't because this math was too complicated, but that he's a fellow liberal and so doesn't want to admit it when his peeps are wrong.

Regardless, NOW, FINALLY, after all these pages of debates, for the first time ever, you have acknowledged that my math and scenario are sound! That's HUGE progress! Of course, rather than admitting that it took THIS LONG for the light bulb in your head to go off, you convinced yourself that you knew it all along and said "nobody has denied" it, and now ask about the relevance. Whatever, if that what it takes to preserve your ego and trick yourself into thinking this basic 5th grade math problem hadn't gone over your head for weeks.

As far as the relevance.... Here's some simple questions for you:

1. Does my simplistic model scale no matter how many insurance companies and insured's there are? In other words, if we changed it from 1 million insureds and 10 insurance companies to 100 million insureds and 100 insurance companies, does the perverse incentive go away? Or does it apply regardless?

2. In my simplistic model we assume that the insurance company covers only 1 routine procedure (pap smears). Now let's assume there are a lot of routine procedures, which just like pap smears, every insurance company must provide for every insured. Does that change anything? Or does the model still apply whether we're talking about pap smears, mammograms, or some other procedure? If you say the model doesn't apply, then explain what is so special about pap smears that it's different than all the other procedures.

3. Once you accept that the model applies to ALL routine procedures (pap smears, etc.), then answer: Does the model still apply even if the insurance company additionally also pays for non-routine care, like emergency room visits and diseases? Imagine the insurance company separated their profit & loss statement into 3 sections: 'routine procedures', 'diseases' and 'emergency room', so that each is treated as a separate profit center. Even _IF_ the model (perverse incentive) doesn't apply to diseases and emergency room visits, it doesn't change the fact that when it comes to routine care, the insurance company will make more money and more profit if the cost of that routine care goes up. If you disagree, then explain why the incentive to increase the cost of routine care somehow goes away when the insurance company does other stuff besides that.

I maintain that this simplistic model is relevant because once adding back in those 3 things (more patients, more procedures, and non-routine procedures) doesn't change anything. The fact still remains that when it comes to planned, routine care the insurance companies make more money when the cost of those procedures goes up. And this is the whole point I've been making for weeks that you liberals just cannot get your head around.

Now, as far as why this relates to Austrian economics. A core premise of Austrian economics is that in a complex system with millions of moving parts and no possibility of control groups, it's impossible to know the effects one particular change has, and you can't prove correlation or causation. Therefore, thought experiments can be useful to strip out the effects of everything but the one issue at hand, and you can try to find "axioms", or logic points to make a case.

This thread is the perfect example because I've said for weeks that now that insurance companies must provide preventative care and everyone must buy insurance, the insurance companies benefit by seeing the cost of that routine care go up. However, you have denied it and denied it. You've said I'm paranoid, stupid, idiotic, etc. You've insisted there's no such perverse incentive.

But, by coming up with a simple, hypothetical thought experiment that focused just on this one issue, FINALLY, for the first time, I got you to acknowledge that my point was valid. AT LAST we have some progress.

However, had we done what the Keynesian economics advocate, which is to just look at empirical data, we never would have been able to reach any conclusions. Sure, the empirical data may have shown that health costs skyrocketed after the passage of Obamacare. But the Obamacare defenders would have blamed something else and there are so many moving pieces it's impossible to ever know what impact Obamacare had on the cost increases. However, by doing a simple thought experiment like this, we can prove that, whether or not it actually happens in real life, Obamacare DID introduce a perverse incentive by mandating everyone get insurance and every insurance pay for routine annual care with a 25% markup.
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13-12-2013, 05:53 PM
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Uh, yes, you have consistently denied this scenario is correct.

I did not say that.

I'd say citation needed, but we both know you don't have one.

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I first presented this same analogy in this OP.

No, you first presented it in this thread.

Helpfully, for those who want to keep track, the other one even has '2nd' in the title. So there's that.

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I used the same math, the same model, and I described the conclusion as "self-evident" and "obvious". But you weren't convinced and replied:

(03-12-2013 08:10 PM)cjlr Wrote:  "Self-evident" and "obvious" apparently here meaning "in accord with your gut feelings".

Oh. My.

You are priceless.

That is, indeed, a quote from a post of mine.

Which was in response to a different post in a different conversation in a different thread.

As anyone playing along at home may confirm for themselves by checking the links.

That is awe-inspiringly brazen dishonesty.

Now, such flagrant dishonesty is in my experience perhaps not the most effective way of making friends and influencing people. But apparently you've seen great results from it, because you do it incessantly - under the impression, one can only assume, that it is effective?

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  We've fought in 3 different threads about this, and given that Hafnof is a mathematician, I asked him to chime in on whether my scenario was right or wrong:

(04-12-2013 09:46 AM)frankksj Wrote:  @Hafnof, ... as a professional mathematician, let me ask your opinion, please...

He refused, naturally. I've giving him the benefit of the doubt that it wasn't because this math was too complicated, but that he's a fellow liberal and so doesn't want to admit it when his peeps are wrong.

First: that's a composition fallacy. AGAIN.

Second: nobody is disputing the trivialities of your scenario.

I did not say that.

So, yeah. Citation needed.

This is you, by the way -
frankksj: if I had two apples I'd have two apples. If I gave one away I'd have one apple.
the rest of the universe: What is your point?
frankksj: YOU'RE DENYING MATHS!
the rest of the universe: No. But why should I care about your hypothetical apples?
frankksj: LIBERALS HATE AXIOMS! RABBLE RABBLE OBAMACARE CONSPIRACY RABBLE.

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Regardless, NOW, FINALLY, after all these pages of debates, for the first time ever, you have acknowledged that my math and scenario are sound! That's HUGE progress! Of course, rather than admitting that it took THIS LONG for the light bulb in your head to go off, you convinced yourself that you knew it all along and said "nobody has denied" it, and now ask about the relevance. Whatever, if that what it takes to preserve your ego and trick yourself into thinking this basic 5th grade math problem hadn't gone over your head for weeks.

I said it was self-consistent.

That isn't the same as applicable to anything.

Once again, you fail to respond to external reality.

I never denied it. As you are utterly unable to provide any such citation, you instead settled for mixing and matching quotes from several different threads.

You are not engaging with reality.

Alas, that's not exactly a new development, so far as you are concerned.

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  As far as the relevance.... Here's some simple questions for you:

1. Does my simplistic model scale no matter how many insurance companies and insured's there are? In other words, if we changed it from 1 million insureds and 10 insurance companies to 100 million insureds and 100 insurance companies, does the perverse incentive go away? Or does it apply regardless?

So, uh, still gonna go with "you can't say 'corrupt' because that's subjective but I will go on saying 'perverse' because that isn't"? Just checking.

Remember, we're dealing with a scenario you constructed. Its parameters are whatever you want. That's how thought experiments work.

Are you going somewhere with this?

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  2. In my simplistic model we assume that the insurance company covers only 1 routine procedure (pap smears). Now let's assume there are a lot of routine procedures, which just like pap smears, every insurance company must provide for every insured. Does that change anything? Or does the model still apply whether we're talking about pap smears, mammograms, or some other procedure? If you say the model doesn't apply, then explain what is so special about pap smears that it's different than all the other procedures.

You're making up the scenario, you can make up whatever rules you want.

I am asking what's the point? You are masterfully not answering.

Are you going somewhere with this?

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  3. Once you accept that the model applies to ALL routine procedures (pap smears, etc.), then answer: Does the model still apply even if the insurance company additionally also pays for non-routine care, like emergency room visits and diseases? Imagine the insurance company separated their profit & loss statement into 3 sections: 'routine procedures', 'diseases' and 'emergency room', so that each is treated as a separate profit center. Even _IF_ the model (perverse incentive) doesn't apply to diseases and emergency room visits, it doesn't change the fact that when it comes to routine care, the insurance company will make more money and more profit if the cost of that routine care goes up. If you disagree, then explain why the incentive to increase the cost of routine care somehow goes away when the insurance company does other stuff besides that.

I repeat myself: it's your scenario, you can specify whatever parameters you like.

The question I raised was something else entirely: what's the point?

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  I maintain that this simplistic model is relevant because once adding back in those 3 things (more patients, more procedures, and non-routine procedures) doesn't change anything. The fact still remains that when it comes to planned, routine care the insurance companies make more money when the cost of those procedures goes up. And this is the whole point I've been making for weeks that you liberals just cannot get your head around.

Ooh, hivemind composition fallacy again!

No, I get that you're such a bloviating nincompoop that you think the following is revelatory:
"IF insurance companies' profit is based on a percentage of payable coverage, THEN profit is proportional to the amount paid in coverage".

But news flash: nobody has denied that. In any of your trollercoaster threads.

That includes me.

So, citation needed.

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Now, as far as why this relates to Austrian economics. A core premise of Austrian economics is that in a complex system with millions of moving parts and no possibility of control groups, it's impossible to know the effects one particular change has, and you can't prove correlation or causation. Therefore, thought experiments can be useful to strip out the effects of everything but the one issue at hand, and you can try to find "axioms", or logic points to make a case.

Apparently you still don't know what axioms are. You can try to find "premises". Notwithstanding that this is what all analysis entails (yes, even - gasp! - when people who aren't part of your in-group do so).

The premises of your thought experiment do not reflect reality. That raises the question, "of what applicability are conclusions based on such a scenario"? Which you apparently can't answer.

It is perfectly valid as a thought experiment. We may note the consequences of such a scenario. We may analyse the scenario. We may draw conclusions from the scenario. Again, that's merely how thought experiments work.

The heart of the matter is in the applicability of it. You have provided none whatsoever.

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  This thread is the perfect example because I've said for weeks that now that insurance companies must provide preventative care and everyone must buy insurance, the insurance companies benefit by seeing the cost of that routine care go up. However, you have denied it and denied it.

Citation needed.

I did not say that.

You are not engaging with reality.

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  You've said I'm paranoid, stupid, idiotic, etc.

I've said you're proving yourself incapable of engaging honestly with reality.

You've yet to prove me wrong.

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  You've insisted there's no such perverse incentive.

Citation needed.

I did not say that.

That is not engaging with reality.

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  But, by coming up with a simple, hypothetical thought experiment that focused just on this one issue, FINALLY, for the first time, I got you to acknowledge that my point was valid. AT LAST we have some progress.

Oh, it's progress, but only despite your flailing inability to read others' words, rest assured.

I acknowledge that your hypothetical was indeed a hypothetical. I never did otherwise. So what?

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  However, had we done what the Keynesian economics advocate, which is to just look at empirical data, we never would have been able to reach any conclusions.

You... don't seem to understand what the word "conclusion" means.

Is this just the ol' "but conclusions which aren't the same as my conclusions aren't conclusions" ploy again?

Like the whole "premises which I agree with are axiomatic, and premises I disagree with aren't premises" thing?

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  Sure, the empirical data may have shown that health costs skyrocketed after the passage of Obamacare.

Citation needed.

(13-12-2013 05:06 PM)frankksj Wrote:  But the Obamacare defenders would have blamed something else and there are so many moving pieces it's impossible to ever know what impact Obamacare had on the cost increases. However, by doing a simple thought experiment like this, we can prove that, whether or not it actually happens in real life, Obamacare DID introduce a perverse incentive by mandating everyone get insurance and every insurance pay for routine annual care with a 25% markup.

Insurance companies do not control the price of medical procedures.
Insurance companies compete on price amongst themselves.

So that right there contradicts the premises of your thought experiment. And so I ask you, with no hope of ever being answered, "are you going somewhere with this"?

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13-12-2013, 06:44 PM (This post was last modified: 13-12-2013 06:47 PM by frankksj.)
RE: Why can't liberals get their around the concept of "insurance"?
(13-12-2013 05:53 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Which was in response to a different post in a different conversation in a different thread.... As anyone playing along at home may confirm for themselves by checking the links.... That is awe-inspiringly brazen dishonesty.

Yes, please, follow the links. Here was the OP where I presented the same scenario in this thread and made the claim “100,000x2 is less than 100,000x200”

now look at cjlr's post #23 here.

Yes, Cjlr, you quoted my '100,000x2' claim verbatim. You WERE absolutely referring the conversation in question. Then you quote me saying that this claim is so simple it's embarrassing to call it an axiom, again, referring to that same post. And directly underneath is your rebuttal: “self-evident" and "obvious" apparently here meaning "in accord with your gut feelings"

The historical record is inescapable. YES, you DID dispute the validity of my super-simple scenario. YOU are dishonest for now insisting that you got it all along and never disputed it. I did not in any way twist your words.

(13-12-2013 05:53 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Second: nobody is disputing the trivialities of your scenario.

Read my OP here and here.

For over a month I've been making this one simple point, that when insurance companies pay for planned, routine care as a middle-man marking it up, they're not adding value and have an incentive to see the costs go up. I never claimed it was a profound statement. To the contrary, I thought it was simple and uncontroversial, and thought I was just pointing out the obvious. But, if that were the case, the thread wouldn't have gotten any replies. However, there's now 19+ pages of replies where you, Chas, and a host of others keep insisting I'm wrong. If what I said was obvious to you, then WHY have you been telling me I'm wrong for over 1 month?!

(13-12-2013 05:53 PM)cjlr Wrote:  No, I get that you're such a bloviating nincompoop that you think the following is revelatory:
"IF insurance companies' profit is based on a percentage of payable coverage, THEN profit is proportional to the amount paid in coverage".

I never said it was a revelation. I thought it was simple and obvious. It's only gone on for a month because you insisted the premise was false.

(13-12-2013 05:53 PM)cjlr Wrote:  "of what applicability are conclusions based on such a scenario"? Which you apparently can't answer.

I have answered it repeatedly, including in the OP's and in all my replies. It's just that, like the scenario itself, the conclusion has gone over your head. Today the scenario just clicked. I sure hope it doesn't take another month for the conclusion to click too. The conclusion is, like I've said a million times, having an insurance company cover risk is a valid service, for which we logically pay a premium. BUT, having them pay for routine procedures out of pocket introduces a perverse incentive, so we should look for other ways to pay for mammograms and other planned routine procedures. Such as having the insurance company negotiate the price and even offer a credit if the patient gets the procedure done, but have the patient pay the doctor directly so it doesn't run through the insurance company and get marked up. The patient's paying for it anyway, so he might as well write the check to the doctor, not to the insurance company with a 25% markup.

(13-12-2013 05:53 PM)cjlr Wrote:  So, uh, still gonna go with "you can't say 'corrupt' because that's subjective but I will go on saying 'perverse' because that isn't"? Just checking.

No, I didn't say 'perverse', which is a subjective adjective, like 'corrupt'. Rather I said 'perverse incentive', which has a very specific meaning, and is a type of 'unintended consequence'. Dude you REALLY need to invest in a dictionary because your poor English skills are hurting your case. For example, by arguing this scenario is NOT a 'perverse incentive', you are actually saying the consequence WAS intended, that the Democrats deliberately rigged the system so insurance companies would benefit by jacking up preventative care costs. You've unknowingly fabricated a major conspiracy theory because you don't know the meanings of these phrases.

(13-12-2013 05:53 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Insurance companies do not control the price of medical procedures.
Insurance companies compete on price amongst themselves.

So that right there contradicts the premises of your thought experiment. And so I ask you, with no hope of ever being answered, "are you going somewhere with this"?

Now you're just plain clueless. See the trailer for Michael Moore's Sicko showing how much money the health insurance industry spends on Congressional lobbyists to shape policies which influence the cost of procedures.

So, the bottom line is that today, I'm saying the same thing I did a month ago: When you force everyone to buy insurance, and you force every insurance company to pay for planned routine procedures, and the insurance companies get a fixed markup on those procedures (25%), the insurance companies make more profit if the cost of the procedures goes up.
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