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Thread: Insurance industry: If you pass any health reform, we'll jack up our premium rates

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Question Insurance industry: If you pass any health reform, we'll jack up our premium rates

    The insurance industry inadvertently gave health reformers the best argument we ever could have had to pass a public option and the strongest possible regulations on insurers. Declaring that rates will go up dramatically if reform passes, insurers launched a full-scale open assault on the idea of any reform at all yesterday, except I guess a reform plan especially tailored to them and their profitability. What they left out of their little study is that they are the ones who decide when rates go up because the biggest companies have very little competition in most of the markets they are in. There is no federal rate regulation, there is no anti-trust enforcement in insurance (they are specifically exempted from it in the McCarran-Ferguson Act), and unless there is a public option, there will be little competition. They will be the ones who decide if the rates go up, and they have just guaranteed they would raise those rates if we don't stop them from doing it.

    It's sort of like the sheriff in Blazing Saddles holding the gun to his own head, and saying "back off or I'll shoot." The insurance industry is saying that if they don't like what's in the bill, they will just decide to arbitrarily raise the rates. But we can stop those rates from going up by checking the insurers' power. That's why a public option, real competition for an arrogant out-of-control, way-too-powerful industry, is so essential. Without it, we are left to their whims, and anytime, for my reason, they will just jack up their rates. If their stocks go down, if they just want more profits, if some regulation they don't like is passed, they will just raise their rates. With a strong, robust, nationwide public option, we can force insurers to the table, and give them real competition.

    Personally, I think we ought to repeal McCarran-Ferguson and impose tough rate regulation as well. That would really open up competition and guarantee lower prices. But at the very minimum, we have to have a strong national public option. The insurance industry has just reminded us as to why that is. Thanks for the help in making our case, friends.

    By the way, it's not just me who thinks this. Voters do not support being forced to buy health insurance unless there is a public option- at that point, as the polling clearly documents, voters are fine with an insurance mandate. As long as there is real competition with a public option, voters are fine with being asked to buy insurance. Sometimes I think regular voters are smarter than the politicians they elect to govern them.


    Read more at: Mike Lux: Insurance Industry Declares Open War on Reform: They Promise to Raise Their Rates if Reform Passes
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    The insurance companies are still using the same scare tactics strategy. Except this time, they just shot themselves in the foot.

    And this isn't much of a threat, since they'll jack up premiums with or without healthcare reform. Hell, they've already been doing it for years.

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    Elite Member stella blue's Avatar
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    Sounds like the same move the banks pulled - bail us out or we'll collapse the world economy. Difference is, we actually can nationalize health care without bringing the economy to its knees if we have to.

    Our premiums are going up 30% this year anyway.

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    DH's company is self-insured. We have a network of doctors and a schedule of benefits, but the premium money is pooled and held in trust and claims are paid by an administrator. From what I understand we are bypassing a insurance company altogether. It is still darned expensive (as I've complained) but I'm wondering why this model isn't used more often. We can all just do an end run around the insurance companies if we join together.

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Let em cause then everyone will just go with the gov health care service.

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    Silver Member misrule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post
    DH's company is self-insured. We have a network of doctors and a schedule of benefits, but the premium money is pooled and held in trust and claims are paid by an administrator. From what I understand we are bypassing a insurance company altogether. It is still darned expensive (as I've complained) but I'm wondering why this model isn't used more often. We can all just do an end run around the insurance companies if we join together.
    We had insurance companies like that over here. The one I have the dubious pleasure of working for was started by a particular group of workers, and then spread across the rest of the industry, eventually becoming a mutual fund supposedly 'for the members'. But soon enough greed takes hold and demutualisation is proposed, and suddenly they're publicly listed and 'for profit'. Not that it took much to make me cynical about the industry anyway. But back in the day they were great - I think there's still a few around.

    Our government still strongly regulates (ahem, supposedly) and all price increases have to be approved before being actioned - but we still have a public system (paid through a tax levy), even though it's in shaky shape, so people have an alternative (unless you earn enough to be taxed for not having private cover) and the funds can't out price themselves too far or else they will shoot themselves in the foot. Until our public system finally crumbles - well that's the scare tactic they want us to believe.

    Sadly, my CEO has been in talks with Humana for a very long time. Awesome There's so many countries with universal healthcare that actually work - I don't know why others find it so hard to do the same. Why they're looking to Humana as an inspiration is baffling ... oh yeah, right, it's about profit now.
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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Of course rates will go up by thousands for most people. The proposed legislation requires companies to take whoever signs up with them and can't drop them. It's not too far a leap that the risk gets passed on to everyone else. Just having insurance available was not the point - it was having affordable insurance. The insurance industry needs to be strictly regulated and no insurance company should be publically traded. When profit maximization is the goal for insurance, of course the consumer loses to the shareholder.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    that's the thing, the public option would FORCE them to lower their premiums or they'd just lose customers to it

    they're just trying to scare people
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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Yup they are, but they will also raise rates. The Senate Finance bill is nothing more than more and higher guaranteed profits for the insurers.
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    The senate one is going to die at the hands of the house bill, the progressive Dems are holding steady
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    Elite Member crumpet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotncmom View Post
    DH's company is self-insured. We have a network of doctors and a schedule of benefits, but the premium money is pooled and held in trust and claims are paid by an administrator. From what I understand we are bypassing a insurance company altogether. It is still darned expensive (as I've complained) but I'm wondering why this model isn't used more often. We can all just do an end run around the insurance companies if we join together.
    I work for one of the major insurance companies in the country and we manage the benefits of many self insured plans. Basically, they contract with us to manage the benefits they provide via preauthorizations, etc. Yeah, I'm a managed care whore but it's a good job and I work with the nicest people I've ever worked with anywhere. I get paid well and am not micromanaged (probably the biggest reason I like it so much). I work with the Medicaid population.
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    Elite Member MontanaMama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    The senate one is going to die at the hands of the house bill, the progressive Dems are holding steady
    From your lips...errr fingertips
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    (716): I'd call her a cunt, but she doesn't seem to have the depth or warmth
    Quote Originally Posted by shedevilang View Post
    (Replying to MontanaMama) This is some of the smartest shit I ever read

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