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View Diary: What you should know about health insurance industry lobbyists and their lies (276 comments)

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  •  You and I are not arguing different things. (2+ / 0-)
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    freakofsociety, Edgewater

    My comment was in response to the idea that the Health Insurance industry should be eliminated altogether.  I suggested it should not be eliminated, but exist to service the needs of those who want luxury care.

    If you are looking to pick a fight about Nationalized Health Care, you won't get one from me ; )

    Whoever determines what can be talked about also determines what can be known.

    by fearisthemindkiller on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 09:55:20 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not looking to pick a fight and (3+ / 0-)
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      snakelass, Lying eyes, Egalitare

      I don't think honest debate is the same thing.  I apologize if I gave the impression I meant anything other than to honestly discuss the issue with you.

      The reason I thought we may have different viewpoints was because of this statement that you made:

      "...Health Insurance companies should not be eliminated, but force to compete with a Government program available to all Citizens/Permanent Residents."

      I think we're in agreement that health insurance companies can be left alive to supplement the national plan for wealthy people who want extra medical perks as opposed to competing with it.  

      This seems ok as long as those people who opt for a supplemental plan are still paying in full for the national plan.  This would allow people to personalize their plan if they can afford to while not allowing the private sector to be in competition with the national plan.

      "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

      by Edgewater on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 10:11:22 AM PST

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      •  Well OK (2+ / 0-)
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        nyceve, Edgewater

        In the interest of honest discussion, I can explain from my experience in Germany that Private companies do compete with te government programs.  In Germany, the Nation Healthcare offers different levels of coverage, the basic which is very good, is the most affordable.  The plus coverage -- which covers Spa's, massage, and even Botox, is additional.

        So here, the national plan competes with private companies who offer benefits primarily to get the dollars of those who want more than the basic offering.

        I don't think what you're saying imagines different levels of plan being offered by the government.

        As far as everyone paying into the plan, I think the difference is taxes.  19% VAT for example.  These countries have different attitude towards tax, and they are far better at collecting it.  

        I don't actually know if you can opt out of the Governemnt program in Germany.  I know that if you are employed, you are expected to pay 50% of the plan and your employer the rest -- basic is around 400 euro a month.  Split by two that's pretty easy.  If you are self-employed you pay for your own insurance 100%.  Again, I don't know if you can opt out because seriously no one would really consider going without insurance?  The culture is different.

        So yes, if our version of National Health Care is supposed to pay for itself, without drawing additionally, on the tax base then everyone paying into it is more fair and the competition is for the supplements.

        The other option for paying for the National Plan is of course to increase taxes, on either sales or income.  The end effect, however, is basically the same -- either we pay more in tax, somewhere, or everyone has to buy into the national plan.

        However, I do not believe that a sizable number of American's would choose to be uninsured if quality programs were available under 400 dollars a month.  Certainly I think enough people would opt in that the program would become financially viable.  

        Whoever determines what can be talked about also determines what can be known.

        by fearisthemindkiller on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 11:36:43 AM PST

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        •  But (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nyceve, snakelass, Egalitare

          I don't actually know if you can opt out of the Governemnt program in Germany.

          if you don't know that then you cannot know this:

          I can explain from my experience in Germany that Private companies do compete with te government programs.

          Competition with the government program means that private companies could offer insurance that citizens could choose instead of the government plan.

          If citizens can opt out of the national program then there is direct head-to-head competition to provide coverage.

          If, on the other hand, citizens cannot opt out then private insurance is being used by some citizens as a supplement to their regular government coverage.

          These are two very different things and the key to which type of situation Germany has rests on whether citizens can opt out of the government plan in favor of a competing private plan or whether they are supplementing a compulsory national plan with extra perks.

          "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

          by Edgewater on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 11:49:41 AM PST

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          •  The point, in my hastily written comment, (0+ / 0-)

            was that the question of mandates is irrelevant in a culture where no one would think that going without care was an option, mandated or not.

            Whoever determines what can be talked about also determines what can be known.

            by fearisthemindkiller on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 04:26:27 PM PST

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            •  Mandate isn't irrelevant though (3+ / 0-)

              if the question is whether the country has a single payer plan or some other form of health care system.

              If private companies are competing with the government plan and people can opt out of the government plan in favor of the private one that isn't a single payer plan.  

              A plan like that would be precisely what I hope America avoids because it would adversely affect the government plan to have the healthiest/wealthiest cherry-picked out by private plans seeking profit by promising spa-type treatment.

              Private plans should only exist as supplements to a universal plan that everyone pays into IMO.

              "The time for justice is always right now!" - Samantha Booke, Wiley College debate team, 1935

              by Edgewater on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 04:55:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes you are making a valid policy point (2+ / 0-)
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                snakelass, Edgewater

                and I am trying to make a cultural point about how the presence of national health care system changes people's perceptions of health care and of being sick.

                My friend in Berlin called out sick because he woke up with a sore throat, he wanted to go to the doctor and check it out.  It was nothing major and the doctor told him to take the day and rest.

                I have read diaries here on dkos about people who suffer strokes and other terrifying symptoms and are still afraid to see their doctor because they can't afford it. This is the perceptual difference I am trying to illustrate.

                Same with perceptions of health insurance -- when it is a given that you should be and can be insured there is no need for someone to mandate that you do.  

                America will not transform into such a place immediately, but the presence of a nationalized plan over time will mean that people will eventually not even consider going without coverage, and people will take more preventative care on their own initiative.

                Whoever determines what can be talked about also determines what can be known.

                by fearisthemindkiller on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 05:35:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  "400 dollars a month" (2+ / 0-)
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          nyceve, snakelass

          That's more than what I hope to live on this year.

          I'm thinking about killing the $23/month phone and $13/month Internet service.

          Who would want to sell stock when everything is down, even Tampa Electric.

          •  A person in your situation (0+ / 0-)

            would not be forced to pay anything for healthcare in most EU countries with nationalized system (even if those countries also have for profit options).

            Whoever determines what can be talked about also determines what can be known.

            by fearisthemindkiller on Sun Jan 25, 2009 at 04:24:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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