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A liberal insurer betrays liberals by bowing to economic reality.

An insurance company in California plans to raise premiums by as much as 39%, and Democrats call it proof of industry malfeasance and the need for health-care reform. Now, another California insurer plans to raise premiums by as much as 59%—and Washington takes this as evidence of how great a year of this reform is working. Is something wrong here?

Why, yes. The first company is Anthem Blue Cross, the California unit of for-profit WellPoint, and the second is Blue Shield of California, a not-for-profit that is a member in good standing of the government health-care booster club. This discrepancy poses something of a problem for Democrats.

Blue Shield recently filed three cumulative rate increases that will raise average premiums for consumers in the individual market by 30% over two years. The jump primarily reflects the underlying cost of medical care, including an average rise of 19% in 2010 and expected increased for 2011 that will average 6.5%. The tab also includes a 4% jump solely to pay for required ObamaCare benefits like allowing 26-year-olds to remain on their parents' policy.

None of this is unusual. The laws of economics apply even to nonprofits, which aren't charities despite their tax status, and their premiums have to pay for the doctors, hospitals and drugs their customers use. Medical costs continue to rise despite the reform that President Obama claimed would lower them, even as it mandated benefits that many people didn't value enough to buy on their own.

Yet when Anthem floated that 39% jump last year—it was 24% on average—President Obama denounced it as "jaw-dropping." Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called it a gambit to "keep their profit margins going" and lavish compensation on WellPoint executives. Henry Waxman launched a formal investigation. In California, Assemblyman Dave Jones asked Anthem president Leslie Margolin at a hearing, "Have you no shame?" He also asked "How much profit is enough?" and participated in a rally against industry greed at Anthem's headquarters.

The attack on Anthem was in part demagoguery to lift an entitlement that was losing political altitude and in part retribution against WellPoint for accurately predicting that insurance costs would soar under ObamaCare. Yet now a nonprofit is making similar claims about the relation between premiums and benefits. And that company is none other than Blue Shield of California, the model liberal corporate citizen that has long supported policies like ObamaCare. In 2007, it joined with labor unions to lobby for Arnold Schwarzenegger's failed California plan.

Mr. Waxman of Beverley Hills lost his talent for vitriol for once, claiming in a statement that the Blue Shield increases merely show that "the individual insurance market is broken and won't be totally fixed until new exchanges open in 2014." (You've got to love the confidence of that "totally.")

But other Democrats aren't letting the cognitive dissonance slow them down. Ms. Sebelius says this shows how important her new rule prohibiting "unreasonable" premium increases is. Mr. Jones, now state insurance commissioner, has demanded that Blue Cross delay the increase by 60 days—presumably enough time to ram a bill he favors through the California legislature that would give him explicit powers to set premiums. The true test, though, is if he organizes a picket line at the Blue Shield offices.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704803604576077841465080236.html
 

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I don't see where the beef is.. :huh:

Wellpoint is paying their excec's and employees ridiculous salaries and benefits at the expense of working people. They are profiting from suffering.

I would imagine, that a non-profit like Blue Shield has a lot of volunteers to keep the costs down. I bet you won't see some exorbitant salary in the exec level of the non profit, like you do in the for profit, and after a 59% rate increase, I would think a non-profit will still offer better rates than the for-profit company does.
 

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Yet when Anthem floated that 39% jump last year—it was 24% on average—President Obama denounced it as "jaw-dropping." Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called it a gambit to "keep their profit margins going" and lavish compensation on WellPoint executives. Henry Waxman launched a formal investigation. In California, Assemblyman Dave Jones asked Anthem president Leslie Margolin at a hearing, "Have you no shame?" He also asked "How much profit is enough?" and participated in a rally against industry greed at Anthem's headquarters.

:thumbsup:


I dig these people......
 

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Ms. Sebelius says this shows how important her new rule prohibiting "unreasonable" premium increases.
Thank god we have Ms. Sebelius to decide what is resonable. The free market made up of Americans isn't capable. :crazy:

WASHINGTON SUCKS!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
:laughing: Nice !
 

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Thank god we have Ms. Sebelius to decide what is resonable. The free market made up of Americans isn't capable. :crazy:

WASHINGTON SUCKS!
Problem is-- there isn't a free market for a lot of these things. Several of the conglomerates have a lock on hospitals in clinics in many metroploitan areas.. witht that there is callusion on prices and plans. and as the "average" american you can't make a dent-- not like you can buy services from the internet or a foreign company.. Can't just go down the road because the same company owns all the shops.. Kind like whne a walmart runs through the town.. mom and pop are gone so where ya gonna go?
 

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Problem is-- there isn't a free market for a lot of these things. Several of the conglomerates have a lock on hospitals in clinics in many metroploitan areas.. witht that there is callusion on prices and plans. and as the "average" american you can't make a dent-- not like you can buy services from the internet or a foreign company.. Can't just go down the road because the same company owns all the shops.. Kind like whne a walmart runs through the town.. mom and pop are gone so where ya gonna go?
But when mom or pop are in the hospital needing life-saving care or end of life care that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, we expect these companies to pick up the tab. Are they just supposed to print the money, or do we understand all of those bills are paid for by premium payments?
 

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But when mom or pop are in the hospital needing life-saving care or end of life care that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, we expect these companies to pick up the tab. Are they just supposed to print the money, or do we understand all of those bills are paid for by premium payments?
The libs want it for free. The doctors and the hospitals are supposed to be Florence Nightingale and provide it at no cost...that's the way it works in flower and unicorn world. ;)
 

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The libs want it for free. The doctors and the hospitals are supposed to be Florence Nightingale and provide it at no cost...that's the way it works in flower and unicorn world. ;)
You are correct. The idea that there is no competition is also absurd. Around November, nearly every company in America offers a list of insurance policies for employees to select from. From year to year, the companies on that list change. The reason is that there is furious competition between the companies to be the ones on that list. And they don't get there by charging higher premiums for equivalent policies. If you know any HR people responsible for obtaining healthcare, they will tell you competition in that industry is rough and tumble. :cheers:
 

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But when mom or pop are in the hospital needing life-saving care or end of life care that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, we expect these companies to pick up the tab. Are they just supposed to print the money, or do we understand all of those bills are paid for by premium payments?
Healthcare can't be fixed. Hell, nothing can be fixed at this point.. :laughing:
 

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The route cause of insurance premium increases is an increase in medical care costs. Electronic records, routine checkups, etc can help immensely.

What can we as a nation do to decrease our medical expenses without reducing our high quality of care?
 

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The route cause of insurance premium increases is an increase in medical care costs. Electronic records, routine checkups, etc can help immensely.

What can we as a nation do to decrease our medical expenses without reducing our high quality of care?
There is a massive up-front investment in electronic records for every provider in the country. No savings will come from that for many years. As for routine checkups saving money....I don't get the logic. Routine checkups themselves cost money and lead to expensive tests. They may catch diseases earlier, but does that really offset the cost of the checkups and tests? The assumption is that they do, but has anyone put the numbers to it? One thing is for sure. You can't cut the overall cost of medical care by consuming more of it, which the healthcare reform bill will cause in spades.
 

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But when mom or pop are in the hospital needing life-saving care or end of life care that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, we expect these companies to pick up the tab. Are they just supposed to print the money, or do we understand all of those bills are paid for by premium payments?
I understand that.. But what does it serve mom and pop to elect a different carrier if the nearest hospitals have preferred co pay and premium for a hospitals in another town or across the city.

I'm sure you have better relations with some insurers than others.

I'm thinking we need to make people pay a lot more for their drugs and life style related injuries.. Sorry if this offends but if you are severely overweight and need meds or health care you should pay more for those as a percentage than someone who just needs a weeks supply for an ear infection or care for single event like a broken arm.
 

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The route cause of insurance premium increases is an increase in medical care costs. Electronic records, routine checkups, etc can help immensely.

What can we as a nation do to decrease our medical expenses without reducing our high quality of care?
It's very simple. Put down the fork get off the couch and do something beside eat the entire hostess snack lineup for breakfast. You should see where I work thin people are rare as bald eagles.
 

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What can we as a nation do to decrease our medical expenses without reducing our high quality of care?
Die young.

Nationalized healthcare is not the best option, but it's the most sensible option. Single payer can and does work for the majority of people, but not everyone. Now, as a nation you gotta look at the whole and determine how to make sure everyone has access, without financial ruination. But, to make single payer work, you must control prices/profits and figure out incentives for people to enter medical school, as opposed to law school.

Obamacare is a massive mess because it helps no one, and the ones who fare best at first under the plan are the insurance companies, which will eventually be bankrupted, bailed out and nationalized. The ones who get the shortest end of the stick, are the middle class people who already are taxed to death. Obamacare is an overreaching, fiscal nightmare fraught with bad regulation, poor oversight and too little input from the people who pay and use the system.

The healthcare system would have to be dismantled and reconfigured taking the profit motive out of it, while leaving enough money to create an incentive for students to enter the medical field. Problem is, the reason we have such good care in this country is the capital investment which built it.

Tough problem, but just doing something, to do something, makes it worse.

Single payer is the best, as a whole. But I don't see a way to get there..
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sometimes... the best system is the one currently being used. The fact of the matter is... you can not cover more for less... and offer the same quality care.

-Remove medicare and have the government offer catastrophic insurance only and including dental... in government run facilities and universities (just like Canada) . $100 per month per person... from a newborn to the golden years. Poke out your eye... your covered. Break your arm... you are covered. Get cancer... you are covered.

Any other service you want, you pay for through regular insurance providers (Cadillac plans). Competition is key here.

I have an entire detailed plan (self promoting as that sounds). This would satisfy everyone's concerns... and still provide for the excellence that we are known for, world wide.
 

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These parent companies like Wellpoint need to be broke up.

There is no reasonable competition......
 

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Discussion Starter #18
They do not need to be broken up. Competition needs to be broadened. World competition. Pure unadulterated Capitalism is the answer.
 

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These parent companies like Wellpoint need to be broke up.

There is no reasonable competition......
I hear this a lot and I don't get it. As a provider, I deal with literally hundreds of plans. Yes, there are a dozen or so biggies, but in most industries, a dozen biggies would not be referred to as a no-competion industry. Why this one? There are many, many plans out there, but if you get your insurance through an employer, they whittle the list down to a few they have negotiated the best deal with. How do you back up a claim of no competition in the insurance industry?:huh:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That's not even to mention that it was governments regulation that allowed for their dominance in the market due to governments regulation of competition... in the first place. NOW... you blame provider for becoming so dominant and call for their monopoly to be broken up by the very same that allowed for it's existence to begin with ? Because in worked so well for GE, Ma Bell, PGE and Comcast... that actually did the very opposite of it's intended purpose. But, boy-o-boy... it sure made those of you anti corp. guys real happy at the time.
 
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