Health Care Law paying dividends- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Discussion in 'The Thunderdome' started by JayVols, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. JayVols

    JayVols Walleye Catchin' Moderator

    Editorial: New health care law starts to pay dividends

    I know most here probably disagree with the Affordable Care Act, but this is an interesting article dispelling some of the gloom and doom forecasts. I don't think that the ACA is a complete solution. Due to my own battles with health insurance companies (which are long and extensive), I favor health care reform. I feel that many insurance companies' practices are a breach of contract. I pay my premium; they should fulfill their part of the contract and pay without harassment. It is a gamble for both parties: all insurance is to an extent. They take the gamble that on average premiums will be larger than payouts. I gamble that my costs will be more than or equal to my premiums justifying the costs. My views are that denying legit claims wholesale, particularly the practice of denying all initial costly claims (which I have endured) is criminal. I know they lose money on me, but they entered into the contract willingly just like me before my illness. They lost. I wish they didn't have to pay so much for me because that would mean that I was healthy, but that's life.

    Key points from the article:
    Notwithstanding a fourth quarter that was less profitable than expected, health insurer WellPoint Inc. said Tuesday that it netted about $2.6 billion in 2011, the first full year since the ACA became law.
    A week earlier, UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation's largest health insurance provider, said it took in more than $100 billion in 2011 and had more than $5.1 billion left in net income.

    One provision in effect that I like is:Requiring insurance companies to spend 80 to 85 percent of premiums on actual medical benefits, with rebates to consumers if the targets are not met. This helps reduce the practice that some, not all, companies used to guarantee a certain profitability level.

    My personal feelings are probably quite different than most on the 8th. I believe that healthcare should not be a for profit industry. I prefer a not-for-profit system, like many hospitals, or a break even system. These are interesting and viable concepts to me. Why should a stockholder make money off of someone's health? Doesn't make sense. Some things in life are more important than making money, imo. Proper healthcare falls under this category.

    It also has a list of provisions now in effect and a list of new provisions and when they take effect. Check it out.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  2. IP

    IP "You don't know what it is like in our universe."

    Well, the prospects of making a profit is what made insurance come into existence. You remove that, you start piling up inefficiencies within the system and eventually collapse it.

    I agree with most of the points you made, and think the capping of 20 % profit is not a terrible idea to keep companies honest.

    It is a complex issue that capitalism and the free market doesn't do a great job of handling, on its own.
  3. JayVols

    JayVols Walleye Catchin' Moderator

    I understand your views on profit, but coverage can be accomplished without the profiteering. Salaries are included in my model of the not-for-profit insurance system. If you are the 'owner' or CEO of the company, you would have a salary just like not-for- profit hospital administrators. They make a healthy salary without having to answer to stockholders that have nothing to do with the operation of the system except getting pissed if they don't receive a healthy return for simply buying stock. I find this rather off putting. A person's health is not a forum to profit from, imo.
  4. kptvol

    kptvol Super Moderator

    Don't think too many of us are upset with someone with a problem like yours getting better coverage.

    I'm more concerned with obese diabetic smokers that eat exclusively at Taco Bell and Burger King driving up costs for everyone else.
  5. JayVols

    JayVols Walleye Catchin' Moderator

    Legit concern. I don't have an issue with higher premiums for those that engage in risky behavior. I don't want to pay for others' bad habits either. I am a dipper. Your rates shouldn't go up to pay for my jaw removal if needed.

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