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I've been to about seven town halls. The one chant I heard over and over is a howl of anguish, "what's in it for me?"

Of course, we need get healthcare for every single American, that said, Americans who already have insurance, need and expect immediate relief.

President Obama would be well advised to speak directly to my friend on Wednesday evening. He wants answers and frankly, so do I.

I want President Obama to be unwavering in his support for a public option. No more God damn compromising.

I want to know, when we'll see relief from extortionist premium increases. How extortionist? This extortionist, and it's happening across America.

My best friend just received his insurance renewal. He has a small business (the um, backbone of the American economy), his renewal was 22%. So now he's at $1865.00 a month.

He and I live in New York, one of the more merciful states. Here we have guaranteed issue and community rating, the scum for-profit insurer must issue you insurance, without pre-exisiting condition underwriting, if you've been continually insured.

I also live in New York, my insurance is around $600 a month, I know at my own December renewal, I too will face a untenable and unaffordable renewal.


ALMOST ALL AMERICANS (EVEN THE KNOW-NOTHING TEABAGGERS) ARE DANGEROUSLY UNDERINSURED WITH JUNK INSURANCE:

So what's my friend going to do?

I laid out his really bad options.

I told him to increase the deductible, increase the co-pays, and lower the reimbursement for out-of-network providers, and he could probably reduce the premium increase from 22% to around 10-12%. I also explained that by doing this, he’d be moving deeply into the land of the dangerously underinsured.

He laughed. "Only a 10% increase, how lucky, but business is down 30% this year".

When the dreaded annual premium renewal arrives, scaling way back on health insurance, and going to what amounts to a bare bones policy, has become the only path most Americans can take. The choice is to become dangerously underinsured or drop insurance entirely.

Here's the problem for President Obama. Even I, nyceve, don't know exactly how reform will help me.

2013?! I'm hearing that any reform won't kick in until 2013. 2013, how in the world do we survive until then?

A BRIEF PRIMER ON RECONCILIATION:

Before I end, I'd like to direct you to an article the other day by Ezra Klein on the reconciliation process. He links to another 2007 article from the New America Foundationon reconciliation, which is well worth reading.

More on the Deficit Double-Standard
To say a few more words on the double-standards that afflict Democrats with regard to the deficit, take a look at how Bush passed his tax cuts. Since he didn't have 60 votes for the hefty package he wanted, he used the budget reconciliation process. This was, to observers, a surprise: the idea behind budget reconciliation was that it would make it easier for Congress to do the hard work of deficit reduction. As Kent Conrad told me, reconciliation "was designed solely for deficit reduction." The Senate parliamentarian, predictably, objected to the Bush administration's effort. He was fired and replaced with a parliamentarian that blessed the procedure.

Bush's 2001 tax cuts was the first time the budget reconciliation process had ever been used for a bill that increased the deficit. Ever. Democrats were appalled. When they retook the Congress, both the House and the Senate passed a rule barring reconciliation from being used for bills that increased the deficit.

It seems to me, reconciliation is exactly where we're headed, and I say, good fucking riddance to the obstructionist Democrats and all the republicans.

It will be some spectacle to see Democrats stand up on the floor of the United States Senate and vote for the insurance industry and against healthcare for the American people. I am not the world's finest political strategist, but I see huge money and top-notch primary challenges for these scum Democrats.

Using the reconciliation process is going to cause enormous anguish in Washington, but we have no choice. What does it say about our country, that delivering to the people the right to healthcare--a straightforward proposition, if there has ever been one--is going to be a bloodbath for the political establishment?

Making healthcare a right not a privilege in the richest country on the planet, will undoubtedly cause some real hardship to the political class. But keep in mind, this is the same legislative body which has looked the other way, for sixty years, as Americans at every socioeconomic level, have waged brutal, lonely battles against these massive denial killing machines.

And I won't remind you again, that the generous taxpayer subsidized healthcare we give members of Congress, makes it impossible for almost all of them to have a clue about what it's like for a middle class American running a small business to pay $1865.00 a month for junk insurance. Not. A. Clue.

But don't believe me, here's part one of my interview with Wendell Potter, the CIGNA whistle blower. I'll have the entire Potter interview in the next couple of days.

THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY HAS ONE MISSION, TO GENERATE PROFITS FOR SHAREHOLDERS. THEY DO THIS WITH SKYROCKETING PREMIUM INCREASES AND THE DENIAL OF CARE.


AND WE'RE ASKING YOU TO SUPPORT THIS WORK.

THERE ARE A GROUP OF PEOPLE WORKING LITERALLY DAY AND NIGHT TRYING TO SECURE A PUBLIC OPTION. WE RECEIVE VERY SMALL STIPENDS (FOR LIVING EXPENSES), BASED ENTIRELY ON YOUR GENEROSITY.

PLEASE DONATE WHATEVER YOU CAN. WE RELY ON YOUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT, AND YOU HAVE BEEN AMAZING.

THERE ARE 22,OOO LOBBYISTS,IN A FEW DAYS, THEY WILL DESCEND ON WASHINGTON DC. TO STOP HEALTHCARE REFORM  

PLEASE HELP US WIN THIS FIGHT FOR REAL HEALTHCARE FOR ALL AMERICANS.  

https://secure.firedoglake.com/...

Originally posted to nyceve on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:40 AM PDT.

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  •  Why aren't big companies begging for single payer (17+ / 0-)

    ?

    Seems to me that completely divorcing health care from the workplace would lead to a positive boom in economic activity.

    US companies would instantly be more competitive globally. They could price more accurately, not having to bake in that portion of health care into their  cost of goods sold.

    Amazing that big companies are keeping their mouths shut out of... I dunno, CEO solidarity with their health care CEO pals? Not wanting to step into a "political" issue?

    Any theories about why they're not calling for single payer?

  •  I own a small business (33+ / 0-)

    and I pay $1789 a month for myself and my husband.  No pre-existing conditions, mid-40s.

    My business partner pays $1500 a month for herself and her daughter.  She is in her early 40s.

    Yes, compared to many policies around, this one is pretty good.  Shopping around, the only thing that seems to be out there is a choice between a moderate deductible and 40% coinsurance, or a $10,000 deductible and 100% coverage of what the company considers to be 'usual and customary'.  It's such a scam.

    But considering I don't even know if this insurance will be there if I need it, and having had the experience of buying fully private insurance in Australia (where I can buy proper full coverage in private hospitals, any doctor, max out-of-pocket limits and no policy limits for less than $300 a month), I know that people in this country who think they have got 'good' insurance are also getting scammed.

  •  2013 is awful. (24+ / 0-)

    We need a Public Option on Day 1.  If they'd just let us purchase Medicare, as I keep telling the White House...

    The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

    by Leftcandid on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:51:07 AM PDT

  •  I am so knotted up waiting (23+ / 0-)

    for Wednesday.  If we get screwed on healthcare, we will never get it my lifetime.  I can't believe it.

    Worst of all, if the Dems let us down, they will prove Nader and the Naderites right.  I take take being betrayed, I just can't take feeling so stupid.

    But let's wait until Wednesday.  Perhaps Obama will smarten-up and decide to be more than a one-term president.  If he screws us on healthcare, he is finished.

    In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

    by TampaCPA on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:53:11 AM PDT

    •  Me too, Tampa, really knotted up . . . (14+ / 0-)

      will Obama be the leader for change we elected, is the big question. He needs to make some people angry, not be Mr. Bipartisan.

    •  You can't think that way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      donnamarie, Pris from LA

      If we get screwed on healthcare, we will never get it my lifetime.

      Not even a Congressional decision will resolve the issue.

      "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

      by Cassiodorus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:00:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, in another 20 years (6+ / 0-)

        I'll be ready for Medicare (if I make it that long.)  Exactly when do you think Dems will have a larger count in the House or Senate?  Now is the time, there is no tomorrow.

        In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

        by TampaCPA on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:04:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Republicans are shrinking -- (4+ / 0-)

          and if the progressives stay firm against the Blue Dogs and develop their own historic bloc, then, yes, there is a tomorrow.

          "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

          by Cassiodorus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:08:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If real health care reform doesn't pass (12+ / 0-)

            you'll see a landslide in 2010.  Obama will be out in 2012.  Exactly how do you imagine health care reform passing in the near future?

            The only way Democrats will expand power is to pass real reform, and make sure it really works.  A successful program will guarantee future success.  The lack of a program will guarantee future failure.

            In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

            by TampaCPA on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:15:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think so (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              surfbird007, Jesterfox, neroden, laker

              If real health care reform doesn't pass (0+ / 0-)

              you'll see a landslide in 2010.  Obama will be out in 2012.  Exactly how do you imagine health care reform passing in the near future?

              I think this sort of "scare-prediction" is way off base.  The Republican Party has been getting by for the past forty years on a coalition which was stitched together in 1968 by Richard Nixon under the banner of the Southern Strategy and the ideology of the "Silent Majority."  They have had to disseminate an incredible pack of lies in order to keep this coalition going in the face of significant changes in the makeup of the American electorate.  Fewer and fewer people believe in their crap.  As Kos said after the election, the only places in America which are seeing growing Republican populations are in Appalachia.  They're not even gaining from Obama's dip in the polls.  They are washed up..

              Kill the phony reform bills.  Defeat the Blue Dogs in 2010.  Get the public option.  It's the only way.

              "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

              by Cassiodorus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:21:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are likely right. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassiodorus, Pris from LA

                As it is headed now, it would be incredible from a historical perspective to have a major Democratic wave followed 2 years later by a major GOP wave, even if the GOP wasn't in total disarray.

                And they are in disarray.

                1994 is not a good example, because Bill Clinton was not part of a major wave anyway. Congress had been mostly Democratic during Reagan and Bush I. Also, Gingrich had been priming for the fight, was articulate, and had excitement in his recruiting efforts. The GOP currently has no real leader, doesn't have a hope at a plan (remember their laughable health care chart), and has little to no recruiting excitement, and plenty of retirements.

                Modest gains for the GOP is probably the most likely scenario.

                "This health care thing is make or break for your leadership, but for us, it's life and death. No more Mr. Nice Guy, Mr. President. We need a fighter."

                by surfbird007 on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:34:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Name one Rethug who will lose next year (7+ / 0-)

                if reform fails.  Then, start naming Dems who will lose.  Better be sure to include formerly "safe" seats that won't be because there won't be a liberal base to turn out.

                In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

                by TampaCPA on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:48:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I agree with you Tampa CPA (6+ / 0-)

                  I have been an Obama supporter since day one.
                  There are two things I elected him to do - two things: out of Iraq (so he substitutes Afghanistan) and health care.
                  So, out with Iraq and in with Afghanistan - and health care? he has handed off to the Congress?

                  If this deal doesn't get done, Obama deserves to be primaried.
                  I am saying this as a person who gave time, money, and shoe leather to Obama.
                  Don't think liberals will hold their noses next time, that they can be guilted into accepting whatever the President wants or lets happen. We ain't stoopid.

                  •  Obama won't get primaried. (0+ / 0-)

                    However, he is running the real risk of not getting re-elected by isolating his base, who may fail to turn up in enough numbers to ensure that any opponent is elected.

                    Depends on who he runs against.  If he is running against another charismatic candidate, and there's a minority on the ticket, Obama will be in real trouble.

                •  This liberal base(my white ass) won't turn out. (5+ / 0-)

                  I have been out here going to rallies and protests since June for health reform.  Our side's being ignored and the birthers, deathers, tenthers, and gun nuts are all over the media, like they are the freaking majority.
                  I've been calling on you(my kossack bros & sis's to get out in the streets for months.)
                  If a weak bill passes without a public option because of blue-dogs like my congresman Jim Cooper,
                  I will not vote for him.  And, I might just use that valuable voting time to work at the 2nd job I'll need just to pay for my individual health insurance.  If they fuck this up at this time in our history, there is no more democracy here.
                  The Corporations will have won.

                  "I am my own forerunner"

                  by Cassandra77 on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:21:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Why restrict it to "liberals"? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  neroden, ilex, Calamity Jean

                  There is broad support for a public option, and mandates with no public option is going to piss off far more than just the "liberals."

                  "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

                  by Cassiodorus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:32:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Progressives won't lose (0+ / 0-)

                  Blue Dogs will.

                  And only because of depressed turnout, not because the Republicans have any ideas, let alone new ones.

                  The Republican Party stands for three things: torture, outsourcing, and racism.

                  The Blue Dogs (except perhaps those in rural districts) are just scared and stupid. We need to primary them.

              •  Here's how it will go down (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden

                First: Liberals within the Democrat party will sit the next election out, or try to primary non-liberal candidates.  

                Second: independent swing voters will see a lack of change on the major issues: Iraq, Afghanistan, health care, the economy for the majority on the bottom (foreclosures, unemployment, rising cost of living in the face of decreasing real wages), and the impending climate catastrophe.  They will sit it out.

                On the other hand, there are always a number of candidates that run unopposed.  (Great democracy, a choice of one candidate.)

                •  Thanks for sharing (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  neroden

                  Your defeatism is appreciated.  Now go advise the Republicans on what to do with their inevitable victory while the rest of us build a historic bloc of our own.

                  "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

                  by Cassiodorus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:35:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Your optimism is unwarranted (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    laker

                    and flies in the face of what people actually think about the US.  A new historic bloc, when the majority truly believe in capitalism, and truly believe that they can get wealthy if they just work hard enough?  When a large portion of poor people believe they are poor because they are doing something wrong, and not because the system is flawed? We need to show people that their beliefs are flawed, and most people do not want to hear that.

                    We need pessimists in order to kick others in the ass to wake up about what can happen if they do not act.  In other words, to put political pressure onto a group to say what you are doing isn't good enough.  Because if we do not put on such pressure, when the right is doing this, we will end up with legislation that we do not want.

                    If we do not put pressure on the Democrats, and say what you are doing is not good enough, we will end up with a significant compromise with Republicans that will not be what liberals want.  

                    •  After thrty years of pessimism, more pessimism. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      neroden

                      Because if we do not put on such pressure, when the right is doing this, we will end up with legislation that we do not want.

                      We've had just that for the last thirty years, legislation we don't want, from enormous "defense" budgets to NAFTA to the Welfare Bill to the repeal of Glass-Steagall to NCLB.  Why do you think it counts as some kind of threat at this point?

                      "Be afraid of a Republican victory" sounds like "pander to the Right" to the Blue Dogs.  They hear you loud and clear, and they're acting on your message.

                      People need a shred of hope.  Are you offering it?

                      And how well do you understand Gramsci's concept of the historic bloc?  Go back and read my diary.

                      "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

                      by Cassiodorus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:01:30 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I'm a pessimist (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        neroden

                        Not an optimist.  I read your diary. I see plans to change policies, without any plans to change our entire culture and way of thinking first.  Progressives cannot win seats when we are viewed as crazy by a good chunk of society.  Our society cares far more about who wins American Idol than who wins our local House seat.  Local elections are, by and large, ignored.  People do not know, nor do they care, how politics effect their daily lives.  They do not see a connection between an unfixed pothole and the people they do or don't elect to public office. They care about being entertained and outraged.  Thanks to Reagan, "the government" has been the enemy for far too long.  Furthermore, the majority of the population believe in the "American Dream", believe that it is possible for everyone, and believe that modern day corporate capitalism works for everyone.  Without addressing this, without a massive education campaign, we will not have a major change in politics.

                        I'm not saying be afraid of a Republican victory.  I'm saying be afraid of losing my vote, because I can and will give it to someone more liberal.
                        As a citizen, it is my duty to question my leaders at every turn to ensure that they are meeting my interests, and not ignoring them.  

                        We had crappy legislation in the past because most people truly believe in Reaganomics, despite overwhelming evidence that it is a failed policy.  I have little hope for America, simply because of the people I know, in every day life, who simply do not care about politics, nor do they believe government should have a hand in helping others.

                        •  No. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          neroden

                          You say:

                          I see plans to change policies, without any plans to change our entire culture and way of thinking first.

                          I said:

                          We need to be out there with our own educational institutions, our social get-togethers, our outlets for direct action, our think-tanks.

                          You didn't read it.

                          "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

                          by Cassiodorus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:21:06 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Those are generalizations (0+ / 0-)

                            Where is the actual plan?  What money is going to fund educational institutions? How are you going to get funding for such institutions? What teachers will you hire?  What kind of social get-togethers are you going to implement?  Generalizations are nice and dandy, but they are not a concrete plan.

                            Again, how are you going to change minds?  Saying that you are going to get an educational institution is fine and dandy, but how are you going to actually start and popularize it?

              •  Lack of a program has a chance; phony reform, no. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cassiodorus

                Politically, I mean.  Failing to pass a program because of obstructionists is acceptable politically.  Passing something which makes things worse, like Romneycare, is not.

                -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                by neroden on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:16:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  2008 to 2012. Four years... (9+ / 0-)

              ...I liken it to a brand new tire. It can sit in one's garage and keep all of it's tread, but it dry-rots from lack of use. Or one can under-inflate it and cut it's life in half. Still, one can over-inflate it and run it until burns up. Then, there's road hazards along the way to its destination. Do we do the safe(or politically expedient) thing and keep it off the road? Or do we put the proper inflation and reach optimum performance by keeping our eyes on the road?

              All the power, all the wisdom and knowledge, all the good intentions, and all the political savvy in the world mean absolutely NOTHING, if we bury our talents in the ground-or cower in fear of the unknown. Obama has a once in a lifetime opportunity to accomplish good for the American people. It takes sheer guts and courage o take-on the special monied interests. He knew this --especially if he listened to any of the debate responses from Senator Edwards duing the campaign-- from the onset.

              Does the politics of fear of real change trump the politics of hope?

              "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

              by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:27:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Obama is not a liberal (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ladybug53

                he is a centrist. Liberals elected him because they projected their hopes and dreams for real change onto him, from his Hope campaign. They didn't listen to his actual policies, but only his message of change and hope.  Many feel disillusioned now because the reality of Obama did not fit with their dreams.

                I voted for Obama for one reason and one reason only: he was not McCain.  McCain would have gotten us into another war.  

                •  McCain was never an option for me... (3+ / 0-)

                  ...Our nation's problems are systemic, the roots of corruption running wild and deep. I'm a very pragmatic and at times cynical, 56 years on  this old planet making me question all authority and motives, if not a skeptical person whose hopes and dreams seldom rest upon fallable and imperfect men. But I was willing to walk out on that limb of outrageous fortune, that perhaps he meant every word he spoke.

                  I am no fool and I suffer fools even less than I do deceivers, liars and thieves. We gave him four years to right this ship. Time is of the essence. No one holding public office today deserves either a vacation or a raise as long as there remains one American without health care and one American who wants to work who doesn't have a job. We'll never get back the month of August they all squandered taking their leave of absence. The world didn't stop turning, true. But I expect a day's work for a day's pay! Tall order? Or an unalienable right? A promise made is a promise kept. I'd be hard-pressed to accept any excuse for failing us while they all saw fit to take their hands off the steering wheel!

                  Bush didn't do all this damage to America on his own, and Obama can't even begin to fathom the incalculable costs to this republic-much less repair it by himself. Which reminds me of the man who got ran-over by the train, who thinks he still has both his legs(freedom and liberty). America is like that man. But that book isn't quite finished yet, for me. But even I run out of patience with political expediency and convenient excuses!

                  "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

                  by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:18:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Then maybe you'll die (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                thethinveil

                then will my faith in you have been misplaced?

                "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

                by Cassiodorus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:34:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Maybe not you, NYCEve... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  neroden, thethinveil

                  ..but I might be dead by 2013.

                  The next Single Payer Happy Hour is 9/25/2009.
                  "THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM." -- L.R.H.

                  by Pris from LA on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:35:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I am a pessimist and if nothing happens by 2013 I (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Pris from LA

                    will be dead too.  I don't have until then to dick around, something needs to happen to help people now.  We are dying out here, we ARE turned away if we can't pay, we ARE given a bill if we go the ER, we ARE putting our health care on credit cards and hoping for the best.  Waiting until 2013 means I just have to keep racking up the bills, it's certainly not what I hoped for when I voted for Obama.  

                    If you're too young for Medicare and not poor enough for Medicaid and your employer doesn't provide insurance and you haven't popped out a few kids to qualify for state aid and you have a preexisting condition you are royally screwed.  There is absolutely, positively nothing you can do, there is no recourse, only bill after bill in the mailbox every day that you can never repay.  The public option was the compromise for single payer and if that is not on the table I am going to file for bankruptcy - anyone know a good BK attorney?  Hopefully with low rates.  

                    The cost if we do nothing about health care? I will die!

                    by ArtemisBSG on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:36:09 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Only for those who haven't died because (8+ / 0-)

            they didn't get the health care they desperately needed.

            And my son could be one of them.

            I'm not willing for anyone to die because of a lack of political and moral will.

            And need I say that includes my son who has been fighting against the odds for over thirty years and never given up!

            My son's the most courageous person I know.
            His President, his government, needs to step up and show the same level of courage.

            Isn't trusting the Insurance Industry, Big Pharma, and Congress with Health Care Reform, like trusting Wall Street with the economy? Or did I miss something?

            by Onomastic on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:19:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If indeed reform goes down this time, (6+ / 0-)

            I think it would be far smarter for us to take our fight to the states, and try to pass in-state single payer systems. The question is whether we can prevent an utter collapse in motivation in the progressive movement after a deflating national defeat.

            The California legislature is itching for single payer. They've passed it twice. Once the Schwarz is out of the way, we'll really have to go after it again.

            I might be naive about the ERISA fight, but I doubt Obama would stand in the way of it after dropping the ball on national HCR. Hell, with a raving State's Rights argument, even Scalia would probably vote to wave ERISA if it went to the courts. I was shocked when he screwed the banks in favor of the states (and democracy, and the people) on application of state banking laws earlier this year.

            I'm not expert and won't pretend to be. It just seems to me the state by state domino approach will lead to a national system long before anything else. As goes California...

            "This health care thing is make or break for your leadership, but for us, it's life and death. No more Mr. Nice Guy, Mr. President. We need a fighter."

            by surfbird007 on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:28:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Money (6+ / 0-)

    Interestingly, back in 1871 when health care costs were said by Nixon to be "spiralling out of control", the costs were around 6% of GDP and totalled around $100 billion.

    When the Clintons tried to get reform in 1993-94 the numbers were about 12% and $1.2 trillion.

    In today's environment the numbers are about 16.6% and 2.4 trillion.

    If no substantive change is made the CBO estimates, with serious statistical metrics to back it up, that we'll reach 20% and $4.2 trilllion by 2018.

    And if you want to extrapolate the pickle even further, by about 2050 1 out of every $2 in the United States will be spent on health care.

    That is insane and obscene.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:54:08 AM PDT

    •  er..1971 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ilex, thethinveil

      It just seems this "debate" has been going on that long...

      Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

      by Scarce on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:10:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From 1976 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden

        The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, 2nd edition, lists proposed national health insurance schemes on page 20.

        The National Health Care Services Reorganization and Financing Bill would have set up community-based health care corporations.

        The 1976 public option proposal was called the Comprehensive National Health Insurance Bill. Under 65s would have gotten Medicare. The older folks would have gotten improved Medicare coverage.

        Another plan called Medicredit or the Health Care Insurance Bill would have offered income graduated credits. It would have eliminated Medicaid, but retained Medicare.

        The Health Security Bill would have provided universal comprehensive coverage from Uncle Sam.

        The McCain type plan was the National Health Care Bill. This would have given tax incentives to individuals and employers and stuck the lower/no income folks and uninsurables into government-subsidized state insurance pools.

        Sorry if all this triggers bad memories.

    •  It won't last (6+ / 0-)

      The thing is, if we don't fix health insurance now, I am starting to believe that BOTH political parties will end up on the ash-heap of history because I for one am ready to replace Democrats with someone who will actually fucking fix things for me.

      I give it another 10 years AT MOST before the insurance industry collapses and the healthcare industry with it and probably our economy too.

      And the Democrats and Republicans alike can all go to hell for their god-damned complacency and resistance on this topic.  Fuck them all in the mother-fucking ear.

      Glenn Beck is a fucking asshole.

      by slippytoad on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:18:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The insurance and heath care industries (4+ / 0-)

        ..are doing very well by this present system, and won't disappear.

        What they fear, and what may have to happen, is radical single-payer change. That is why they're so conciliatory to this tinkering around the edges stuff going on right now, cutting deals on precription drugs and so on.

        Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

        by Scarce on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:29:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The HELL they won't disappear! (6+ / 0-)

          They are slaughtering the cash-cow herd, and will SOON be surprised to find there aren't enough left to keep them alive.

          When only the wealthy can AFFORD health insurance, the insurance companies will find there aren't enough wealthy to provide them any profits.

          I give it five years, ten at the outside.

          If it's
          Not your body
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          AND it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:21:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hystrionics are not arguments (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53

            Some 160 million Americans get their health coverage through their employer right now. Millions more through Medicare, private plans and so forth. That's more than a sufficient pool to keep this going for decades.

            If your "argument" made any sense the health care providers and insurance companies would be screaming for reform but they aren't. They're quite happy to tinker around and even get more people into the system through forced private plan coverage in exchange for these morsels being dealt out.

            Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

            by Scarce on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:34:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're forgetting the Tyranny of the Bottom Line (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              neroden, Cali Techie

              For-profit corporations no longer look past the immediate cashflow rewards of the end of the month, or that most the current quarter. It doesn't matter what happens in ten years, next year, next quarter, if they can make a big enough profit right now.

              Ever wonder how so many companies get driven so hard into the ground, so fast? THAT'S why.

              If it's
              Not your body
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              AND it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:40:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Employers are cutting (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ladybug53, neroden, thethinveil, laker

              both workers and benefits. Right now most employers are in "you're lucky you have a job" mode. At the current rate of inflation on premiums the insurance companies are going to eventually price themselves out of the market unless there's a mandate (with no public option). Even then it will only be delaying the inevitable. You can have the best product in the world but it does you no good if no one can afford to buy it.

              What's driving this is greed, pure and simple and it would be fairly easy for the federal government to dampen that greed by implementing a tax rate of 90% on all personal income (regardless of source) more than $5M / year. You'll see CEO and executive compensation drop, the income gap will narrow, and the middle class will grow, which is what we need to keep our economy going. Capping the greed will reign in costs.

              When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

              by Cali Techie on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:42:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I think it will take longer than that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53

            I agree with the spirit of your comment but think teh arithmetic is a bit off.  I give 20 years before it collapses completely.  I really wish that a think tank would make a projection.  I heard projections on percent of GDP but at what point does health care become essentially a high priced luxury accessible to less than 50% of the country.  I think that's the ultimate breaking point.

            Kent Conrad is chasing a white rabbit named Harvey (don't let him co-opt real reform).

            by noofsh on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:15:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Once it crosses 20% of GDP (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              neroden

              it's essentially unaffordable. The projections given above say it will do so within ten years.

              When the bottom falls out, it falls FAST.

              If it's
              Not your body
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              AND it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:11:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  10 years - sooner than I thought (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden

                This needs to be made more public.  Also, I think we need to make it clear who was responsible for allowing the bottom to fall out.

                Kent Conrad is chasing a white rabbit named Harvey (don't let him co-opt real reform).

                by noofsh on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:28:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Insurance concedes nothing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden

          w/o cost containment.  They just raise prices.

          "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

          by Cassiodorus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:44:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, they will disappear. (0+ / 0-)

          Nobody can afford decent insurance in the individual market.
          No small business can afford decent insurance.
          People are still mortgaging their houses to pay for it, but that will end soon.  I expect we'll see people "paying" for health care with their rifles soon.  :-(

          Big business is barely able to pay for its health insurance plans.  The ones which have contracts with unions will simply go bankrupt.  The ones which don't will simply drop it.

          Medicare, Tricare, and the VA are doing fine, but with small business utterly trampled, the economy is going to collapse further.

          This means more unemployed.  Only the unemployed, veterans, and those over 65 will be able to get health care -- all from the government.

          Expect a lot more off-the-books employment.  And mobs of bankrupt people in the streets.  And riots.

          Don't expect people to keep throwing money down ratholes.

          -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

          by neroden on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:22:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Our country will end up on the dustpin of history (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SingleVoter, neroden

        right along with the Romans....and for the same reasons.

        •  Maybe the empire deserves to collapse (0+ / 0-)

          I don't fear that.  I have nothing vested in our empire.  Of course, there will be some miserable years but if the net result is that we become more humane that will be a good thing.

          Kent Conrad is chasing a white rabbit named Harvey (don't let him co-opt real reform).

          by noofsh on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:31:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It Won't Go That High, People'll Be Priced Out In (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, ilex

      creasingly, gradually, as the industry finds the most profitable market size and rate structure.

      It's like falling into a supergiant black hole, there's no place where everything gets suddenly ripped apart. Just after a while, everything's gone.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:32:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If a reconcilation bill wasn't deficit neutral (6+ / 0-)

    The bill would expire in 5 years, as the Bush tax cuts kept having to be renewed every 5 years.

    Also, notice that Democrats made little to no mention of Republicans firing the parliamentarian. If we did that to pass health care, it would be all over the news media.

    There are a lot of problems using Reconciliation for this. It is much better to get all 59 Dems w/ Olympia Snowe.

  •  And it's not just junk policies (8+ / 0-)

    My mother, who was a business owner had a damn good policy.  She's now widowed, 73, and retired to Florida.  She also has intractable back pain  and was treating with a local pain medicine specialist.  He's top-notch and really did a lot to help her.  

    But she needs care where she lives, so he recommended a colleague in Tampa, in spite of the fact that she lives on the other side of the state.  This was the doctor she wants to treat with, but now can't.  Oh, Blue Cross will cover the treatment--nothing out of the ordinary, just solid pain management for a herniated lumbar disk--but it seems that her near Cadillac policy won't cover the $18,000 facilty fee.  She can't afford it.

    That's an insurance bureaucrat getting in the way of treatment. That's rationing.  That's what we need to fix, and I can't see anything doing so unless it contains a strong public option.

    Plus vini, plus veri.

    by GOTV on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:57:07 AM PDT

    •  Shockingly (0+ / 0-)

      even a public option might reach the same result.

    •  Wait a minute (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State, ladybug53

      Your mother is 73. Medicare should cover her pain management including the facility fee (what the hell is that?) unless she's been suckered into a "Medicare Advantage" policy where she'll pay more and not get the same coverage she would get under regular Medicare.

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

      by Cali Techie on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:46:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, Medicare doesn't cover it, either. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cali Techie

        The facility fee is the fee charged by the pratice, as stand-alone facility, which is operated outside of the confines of a hospital.  

        Plus vini, plus veri.

        by GOTV on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:32:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a bit excessive (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SingleVoter

          If she's on the east coast of Florida she should be able to find excellent doctors near where she lives who don't charge outrageous fees just for walking in the building.

          When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

          by Cali Techie on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:41:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree, and I'm sure she will (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden

            My points were that even her Blue Cross policy won't cover the fee and that this is as much an example of a bureaucrat getting between a patient and her doctor as anything the GOP and some Democrats are alleging will happen if the public option is passed.

            Plus vini, plus veri.

            by GOTV on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:55:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In this case (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SingleVoter, neroden

              I'd have to side with Blue Cross on this one. A $18K facility fee is outrageous and the sign of a doctor or practice that's overly greedy. Anyone who is willing to pay that is an idiot.

              When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

              by Cali Techie on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:24:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  She's not an idiot, and not paying the fee (0+ / 0-)

                But where would you draw the line?  According to this diary, that $18,000 is about 9 months of insurance premiums.  

                And, by the way, while you're throwing names around, I'm curious:  Have you ever lived with chronic pain?  (And because I'm sure you'll tell you have, what would it be worth to you to be relieved of it?)

                Plus vini, plus veri.

                by GOTV on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:47:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Of course not (0+ / 0-)

                  I didn't say she was and I understand chronic pain and how people would do pretty much anything to rid themselves of it. The flip side of that is there are people out there who will take advantage of that and charge outrageous fees because they can.

                  There's also thing thing called the market and I bet there are wonderful medical facilities all up and down the east coast of Florida that would do just as good of a job of managing her pain and that won't charge her an outrageous facility fee to do it, or that would do it in a way that it was all covered under Medicare.

                  When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                  by Cali Techie on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:35:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Here's where your so-called "idiots" treat: (0+ / 0-)

                The Laser Spine Institute.  I'll even bet some of them were relieved of their pain.

                And as for the $18,000 facility fee, most hospital charge similarly; the primary difference being that most insurance policies pay the hospital charges for surgical suites and room and board.  Are those who undergo the more invasive procedures idiots, too, because they go to the hospital for their procedure merely because most the tab is paid by the insurace carrier?

                Plus vini, plus veri.

                by GOTV on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:03:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm sure it's a wonderful practice (0+ / 0-)

                  and they help lots of people, at least those who can afford it. They aren't much help to those who can't though.

                  It's a prime example of out of control health care costs and a great argument for the single payer model.

                  When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                  by Cali Techie on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:36:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Why should "pain management" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State, Cali Techie

      require an $18,000 "facility fee"?

  •  Keep going, Eve. If we get decent (15+ / 0-)

    health care reform, I'm going to thank you, Slinkerwink, Jane Hamsher and a couple of others, personally.  You've done all the heavy lifting and I can't tell you how grateful I am.

  •  Why can't some people (13+ / 0-)

    get it through their thick skulls that America could actually be much more competitive in the world Economy if health insurance was not part of the cost to the degree it is now?

    Seriously, if every single American who works has insurance..... even part time, btw.....  that mean the cost per widget, cost per human per hour, goes down.

    How much of the cost of health insurance is included in a new American car?

    Just one of many examples but you get my drift.

    Why would any small or large business not want universal healthcare to make their own bottom lines bigger......??

    -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

    by MarciaJ720 on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:04:32 AM PDT

    •  So true (4+ / 0-)

      I posted something like this above.

      The economy here would boom (good boom). WE would instantly be more competitive globally.

      And by isolating health care costs OUTSIDE of the workplace - which makes it impossible to get a handle on because there are so many plans, so many workplaces - we could attack that issue much more rationally.

      We've got to do this.

      •  Not only that... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, MarciaJ720, Cali Techie

        think about the strain that would be lifted off every family in this country.  That's a toll that simply cannot be quantified in numbers, but is a silent killer of relationships and the bonds between families.

        We all know what the number one cause of divorce is in this country.  $$$$$$

        Funny, "Family Values" seems to be not so important to republicans when it comes to this specific issue.

        The GOP: Amateur Hour 24 Hours A Day

        by wastelandusa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:47:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Right Doesn't Even THINK About America (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MarciaJ720, ilex, Pris from LA

      Only the fools on the street do.

      Leadership, public and private, just use the US for their private work. They just don't care either way.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:29:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's the cost/family? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, neroden, MarciaJ720

      $12,000, $15,000 per family per year?
      It cost me $4-5 hund/month to cover my son's vision, dental, and health ins beyond what my employer plan(healthnet, cigna, etc)provided.

      "Chance favors the prepared mind"

      by tlemon on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:03:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now, $32K/year (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MarciaJ720, tlemon

        $31,200/year for individual-market insurance for a family in parts of New York.  Apparently HIGHER in Massachusetts.

        Small businesses are paying the same amount.

        Large businesses get some discount, particularly if they can "self-insure".  So for them, maybe $15,000/year.  

        For a giant plan with pricing power, no profits, and low overhead, like Medicare, half that, maybe $8000 a year or less. Single payer is the best option for saving money (apart from a VA type socialized medicine system).

        Oh, by the way, rates are going up by a minimum of 10% per year.  That means they double in 7 years.  They may go up faster.  Either way, total unaffordability for anyone within a decade.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:31:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The only real public option: (15+ / 0-)

    Let anyone buy into Medicare.

    That's America, buddy! So wake up -- to your only logical choice: Me. George Tirebiter

    by irate on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:07:03 AM PDT

  •  Reconcilitation ? It will never happen (5+ / 0-)

    and if it does it will be for a "Trigger of 5 yrs that will be given extension after extension right up until the Right either has regained the Congress or the Presidency and then will be tossed on the garbage heap.
    How many will end up dead while we wait for the "trigger" to kick in, be  voted another extension, right up until the next Republican Pres. voids the whole concept ?

    Universal/Public Option HRC will only work if we go BIG now. Anything short of that will be reversed in short order the next time the Right is in power.

    "The Dream Lives On", Sen. Teddy Kennedy

    by SmileySam on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:07:24 AM PDT

    •  Umm...mebbe not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SmileySam

      Can you imagine the gigantic shit-storm that would ensue if the nazi party tried to cut off the health care to 40 million or so who'd only be covered by a medicare for all plan?

      talk about angry mobs at town hall meetings!

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:50:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here in CA it's 1900 a month for two people (5+ / 0-)

    And that is more than twice as much as single coverage.

    Two years ago I was single and insured for about 800 a month.  Last year it would have been about 900 for me to insure myself.  When I added my wife it was 1900 dollars.

    Go figure that out.  When I added her to my car insurance policy I got a discount on my policy and hers so it was about 50% more to insure an additional person and an additional car.

    But with HeathNet it was more than double!

    Public Option now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "We will now proceed to construct the socialist order."

    by 7November on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:10:00 AM PDT

    •  Women's insurance costs more than mens (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cali Techie

      They do things like have babies.  And get charged more even if they do not plan to or are finished having babies.

      Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

      by barbwires on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:38:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seems pretty sexist to me (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jesterfox, barbwires

        Men are more likely to have life threatening accidents. Seems like it should balance out.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:49:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If it did balance out they wouldn't charge more (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cali Techie

          They have actuaries who spend their whole lives just developing models for how expensive it will be to insure different people based on the numbers they have available.  And it turns out that pregnancy-related health care costs are actually really expensive.  And it also turns out that women are more likely to become pregnant than men.

          Now, of course it's sexist.  But it's not really any more discriminatory than charging more to someone who was born with cerebral palsy, which is just as legal in most states.  The point is that we need community rating.

    •  Ages? (0+ / 0-)

      How old are you and your wife?
      I have a rate book handy.

      You really have many more options than $1900/mo.

      •  53 and 46 respectively (0+ / 0-)

        I'd be interested in what the tables show.

        The reason we are stuck with them is twofold.  They have to insure us as it is part of the agreement with our employer and it's the only plan we can buy with pre tax money.  They added the value of the health cost to our salary and we buy the insurance out with pre tax.  If we went with something else we would be using after tax money.

        As for the pregnancy arguments.

        1.  Pretty clear we are unlikely to become parents.
        1.  I could be adding a male domestic partner
        1.  More than half the people on this plan are women who are adding their husbands and they are also paying more than twice as much.

        "We will now proceed to construct the socialist order."

        by 7November on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:39:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And there it is... (4+ / 0-)

    Here's the problem for President Obama. Even I, nyceve, don't know exactly how reform will help me.

    The messaging from the Democratic side has been completely incompetent, to the point that I'm not sure they care what gets passed, as long as something is passed.

    Nyceve, Nyceve, does not really understand the plan. These kinds of plans from a political messaging perspective need to be kept simple.

    The Democratic message is going to be "we're going to adjust this parameter, and that parameter, and make mandates, or not, who knows."

    The Republican response is "DEATH PANELS! THE GOVERNMENT IS TAKING OVER YOUR HEALTH CARE!"

    The Democrats need a plan that makes sense and simple messaging to get that plan across to the American people. They've been able to accomplish neither so far.

  •  who in their right mind... (11+ / 0-)

    ...would not think junk insurance is out-right fraud, an attempt to deceive into a sense of false hope, and a crime? A bank robber is better than them! At least, a bank robber let's you know upfront that he's going to kill you if you don't give him the money!

    "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:13:54 AM PDT

  •  As ever, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Mary Mike, Pris from LA

    sincere thanks, nyceve.

    "Ancora Imparo." ("I am still learning.") - Michelangelo, Age 87

    by Dreaming of Better Days on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:13:59 AM PDT

  •  I'm up to $2047 / month. (10+ / 0-)

    Small family, self-employed, $1000 deductible, $25 co-pay.

  •  My conservative buddy agreed with public option (6+ / 0-)

    last night when we got into a discussion over health care.

    He likes the choice, the portability, the cost-reducing effect, and the long-term economic benefit of bending the curve.

    He can't understand why Republicans would be against it.  Sorry, thinking Republicans.

    Change takes time. it's a marathon, not a sprint.

    by LarsThorwald on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:15:15 AM PDT

    •  That gives me some hope (0+ / 0-)

      Ultimately, the real battle is making the case with the people.  When it's overwhelmingly clear that only a strong public system will work, the pressure will mount on politicians on both the right and left.  There's little pressure from conservatives right now.  The practical ones are being drowned out by right wing lunatics.  Perhaps your friend should consider why he continues to affiliate with the Republican party ...

      Kent Conrad is chasing a white rabbit named Harvey (don't let him co-opt real reform).

      by noofsh on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:49:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anecdotal story (14+ / 0-)

    I recently met a retired gentleman who worked for IBM for 32 years.  Non-union.  IBM offered healthcare insurance through Aetna for the retirees, of course he had to contribute to the premiums.  Right now he is paying $700.00 a month for he and his wife (he's now on Medicare and his wife is 64 years old.)

    He had two catastrophic medical events, which completely financially wiped him out.  So he's now working as a photocopy repair person so he and his wife have a roof over their heads and they can buy food.

    In 2002 and 2005 he contracted colon cancer, went through chemotherapy, the works, and then three years later had a heart attack and required bypass surgery.

    While he was "covered" for these medical events, he was only covered for 80%; he had to pay 20% of the hospital and doctor bills which amounted to tens of thousands of dollars out of his pocket.  It wiped out his pension.  Well, not totally; he gets $10.86 a month from his pension (ten dollars and eight-six cents).

    He is really bitter, and who could blame him.  

    But instead of him supporting the public option, he rails against government employees, especially state workers and teachers, who do have good coverage.  He calls the public option socialism.

    If you ever wanted to see a perfect example of someone who's against something that would help them, he's your guy.

    My mother, who is also on Medicare, paid for private insurance, not employer-provided, has been diagnosed with cancer many times, had many surgeries, radiation, et cetera, and her out-of-pocket expenses through many years was... one hundred dollars per year.  That's it.  That's all.

    I tried to explain to this guy that if we had the public option, everyone would be equal.  He's worried about having to pay more money for other people's healthcare.    

    I'm going to now vote incrementally, eventually years later, voting for a democrat, depending upon when my trigger sets in.

    by gooderservice on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:16:27 AM PDT

  •  Nothing about the Murder-by-Spreadsheet crowd (9+ / 0-)

    surprises me anymore.  I'm just plain worn down by the amount and degree of bullshit floating around,  Crack out the hip waders.

    Watch what you say, they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, Oh fanatical criminal...

    by minerva1157 on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:20:02 AM PDT

  •  My premiums have risen 430% since 1998. (12+ / 0-)

    the dollar amount increases become exponetially larger each year. Something I didn't anticipate when signing my mortgage papers 6 years ago was that my health insurance premiums would be higher than my mortgage payments, which is exactly what will happen within 6-8 years at this rate of increase.
    This is going to stop our economy in it's tracks in the very near future if we ever recover  from the current downturn. If we don't recover from this downturn, the health insurance issue will be the final nail in the economic coffin.

  •  Stupid question ahead... (3+ / 0-)

    Why don't we give the f*ckers tort reform in exchange for a robust public option?

    I think tort reform, from what I know about it, is a dreadful idea. However, I also have faith that American attorneys will be able to find a way around it for their clients who deserve compensation for malpractice. For a very simplified example, if someone lops off the wrong leg, and the maximum award is X dollars, some attorney will find a way to sue not for the 1 leg, but for the tibia, the fibula, each metatarsal, etc., etc., and be able to get the client their money anyway.

    Disclaimer: I understand that I DON'T understand the ins and outs of tort reform - I have only a passing acquaintance with it, so I may be completely off base here.

    We no longer have Ted Kennedy to fight the Good Fight or Walter Cronkite to tell us about it. Each one of us must now wear a small bit of their mantles.

    by SciMathGuy on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:31:12 AM PDT

    •  because the right to sue is the last thing (8+ / 0-)

      An individual can do to these monster corporations, and its like taking a pencil to a gunfight.  

      I STAND WITH THE PRESIDENT AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

      by Adept2u on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:35:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because Malpractice Costs are c. 3-4% Of Health? (7+ / 0-)

      Tort reform is to further insulate corporations in general from all accountability. It has nothing to do with costs of providing goods and services, it's all about freedom from regulation and accountability.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:35:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Its actually FAR less than one percent.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SciMathGuy

        Medical malpractice kills thousands of people a year, and they usually get away with it.. its rare that they get sued, and when they do, they usually settle for tiny sums.. You can't bring back the dead. We need to make it easier for people to sue in situations where they are hurt by avoidable medical mistakes.

        Many people are hurt by insurance companies avoiding necessary care...

        Of course, they are exempt from prosecution because of ERISA section 514

        Injured people's lives are often ruined because they don't get care. For example, look how many people have tick borne illnesses but are told they are not ill. They are sick, but sick, they can't afford to go out of network for an honest diagnosis.

        Look at those injured because of careless mistakes. For example, people who were given the wrong drug, etc or who had a provider miss something important because of carelessness, failure to do something they should have, or often, clearly impossible workloads. Sometimes, the patients medical bills are huge. Remember also that and people who have been seriously injured often can't work AND are uninsurable for the rest of their lives.

        What, as a society, can we do?

        The whole system is completely broken and we need to change...we need REAL ACCOUNTABILITY.

        Infiltrate groups, influence issues, with obots that just smell SO right!

        by Andiamo on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 05:25:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No SciMathGuy, great question . . . (13+ / 0-)

      here's the answer. And this is verifiable, just go on Google.

      Obama brought a bunch of repub leaders to the WH and made them exactly this offer, he'd through in tort refrom, if they would support healthcare.

      Not one Repub agreed to the offer, tort reform for healthcare.

      Repubs do not want this to succeed. period.

      •  Can you tell me more about this meeting? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SciMathGuy, Pris from LA

        Bill Bradley wrote an editorial recently saying that Obama should use some malpractice reform as compromise.

        You are saying he already did this? Who were the Republicans? Where did you learn about this and when was the meeting?  Sorry for all the questions but i am an information guy.

      •  Just like, I forgot who said it... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, JanL, Calamity Jean, SciMathGuy

        But someone reported the WH making a comment that Obama could literally concede on every single issue that Republicans are demanding (throw out the public option, throw out mandates, put all your marbles into just TRUSTING that the insurance companies will reform themselves)... and most Republicans would STILL vote against that bill.

        Because it isn't about reform to them, it's about beating Obama like a dirty stepchild, and beating him so badly that he can't recover from it.

        That we're even sitting here today debating what can be done to compromise with these fucks says a lot about the ability of some liberals to grasp reality.

        The GOP: Amateur Hour 24 Hours A Day

        by wastelandusa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:31:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tort reform doesn't work (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coral, Jesterfox, ladybug53, SciMathGuy

      Texas caps the amount you can win in a malpractice lawsuit to $250K. The city with the highest cost per capita for health care is McAllen, Texas.

      That's a clear indicator placing a maximum cap on how much you can get in a lawsuit doesn't do a damn thing to lower the cost of health care.

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

      by Cali Techie on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 11:04:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We need to make the malpractice stop, not reward (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SciMathGuy

      them for being more and more careless and hurting more and more people. Read this..

      July 2, 2009

      Medical Malpractice Payments Fall to Record Low, Public Citizen Study Shows

      Medical Malpractice Epidemic Persists Even as Compensation to Victims Decreases

      WASHINGTON, D.C. - Medical malpractice payments were at or near record lows in 2008, but the decline almost certainly indicates that a lower percentage of injured patients received compensation, not that health safety has improved, Public Citizen reported in a study released today.

      Medical malpractice is so common, and litigation over it so rare, that between three and seven Americans die from medical errors for every one who receives a payment for any malpractice claim, Public Citizen’s analysis of medical malpractice payment data and the best available patient safety estimates indicate.

      For the third straight year, 2008 saw the lowest number of medical malpractice payments since the federal government’s National Practitioner Data Bank began tracking such data in 1990. The 11,037 payments in 2008 were 30.7 percent lower than the average number of payments recorded by the NPDB in all previous years. Ratios of payments per capita and per physician have fallen even lower compared to historical norms. There were 13.5 payments per million physicians in 2006 (the most recent year for which the number of physicians is available), which is 29.2 percent lower than the average in previous years. The value of payments in 2008 (as distinct from the number of payments) was the lowest or second lowest on record, depending on the method used to adjust for inflation.

      The cost of the medical malpractice liability system - if measured broadly by adding all malpractice insurance premiums - fell to less than 0.6 percent of the $2.1 trillion in total national health care costs in 2006, the most recent year for which the necessary data to make such comparisons are available. The cost of actual malpractice payments fell to 0.18 percent - one-fifth of 1 percent - of all health care costs in 2006. Annual malpractice payments have subsequently fallen from $3.9 billion in 2006 to $3.6 billion in 2008, but comparative data on total health care costs are not available.

      "Any way you measure it, medical liability accounts for less than 1 percent of the country’s health care costs, and the vast majority of victims receive no compensation whatsoever," said David Arkush, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. "These are people who died or were left with serious permanent injuries - out of work, with enormous medical costs for the rest of their lives - and they and their families are getting nothing from the doctors and hospitals responsible."

      The relatively small amount paid out for medical malpractice generally goes to patients with the most serious injuries. More than 80 percent of the money paid out for medical malpractice in 2008 was for cases involving "significant permanent injuries"; "major permanent injuries"; injuries resulting in quadriplegia, brain damage or the need for permanent care; or death, according to NPDB reporting.

      Despite the hysteria surrounding debates over medical malpractice litigation, experts have repeatedly concluded that several times as many patients suffer avoidable injuries as those who sue. The best known such finding was included in the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) seminal 1999 study, "To Err Is Human," which concluded that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die every year because of avoidable medical errors. Fewer than 15,000 people (including those with non-fatal outcomes) received compensation for medical malpractice that year, and in 2008, the number receiving compensation fell to just over 11,000.

      There is no evidence that errors are any less rampant today. Most of the IOM’s safety recommendations have been ignored. Meanwhile, various safety indicators continue to raise alarms. For example, the Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, learned about 116 occasions in which surgeons operated on the wrong part of a patient’s body in 2008 and 71 times in which foreign objects were left inside patients’ bodies. Health experts call these "never events," meaning that they simply should not happen at all.

      Proposals to limit patients’ legal rights have sprung up in the debate over health reform. The most popular idea this year is to establish special tribunals that would theoretically offer payments to more patients but in smaller amounts. Policy makers who wish to cut costs should steer clear of these proposals, Arkush said. The high volume of medical errors and the current infrequency of payments to victims ensure that proposals to increase the number of payments would inevitably cost far more than the current system.

      The only economically feasible and, indeed, humane way to improve the system is to reduce the number of senseless and tragic medical errors in our hospitals. In its report, Public Citizen calls on Congress to put safety measures in place that would set the nation on course to meet the IOM’s goal of cutting the number of avoidable deaths in half in five years.

      READ the report.

      Infiltrate groups, influence issues, with obots that just smell SO right!

      by Andiamo on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 05:13:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting. Thanks for posting this! (0+ / 0-)

        I really had no idea what malpractice costs actually were.

        It makes me wonder why there's so much Republican whining about it, if the costs are already so low. I guess, from reading people's answers to my Q, it's an accountability thing - and Republicans hate being held accountable.

        We no longer have Ted Kennedy to fight the Good Fight or Walter Cronkite to tell us about it. Each one of us must now wear a small bit of their mantles.

        by SciMathGuy on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:27:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The issue of "junk insurance" is a scandal (10+ / 0-)

    My partner works as a waiter in a chain restaurant and the insurance that they offer in order to comply with the current federal mandates has caps that pay LESS than the annual premium.

    On an unrelated note, I worked as a health insurance underwriter in the 1980s, and one company at which I worked would sell personal health policies for sick people containing exclusion waivers for the condition. For example, if someone had a heart attack, all circulatory system conditions were excluded from benefits. The bigger scandal was that they deliberately marketed these policies with the promise that they would "reconsider" in a year's time.  Sure, they would be "reconsidered", but then invariably rejected.  For this, the customers were paying FULL premium.  This company's policy was cruel, heartless, and totally legal.  For objecting to this I was fired--probably the best thing that ever happened to me careerwise.

    Cause we find ourselves in the same old mess singin' drunken lullabies--Flogging Molly

    by dalfireplug on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:35:17 AM PDT

  •  And why is this, nyceve? (7+ / 0-)

    Here in MA, like NY, we also have guaranteed issue underwriting and a community rating.  MA doesn't have a public option, either.  So why are premiums for the same level of coverage here in the Bay State half that of the Empire State?  What could account for this difference?

    Here in MA, unlike NY, young and healthy people here in the Bay State aren't allowed to wait until they get sick to purchase health insurance; they are required to purchase health insurance.  As a result, premiums here in the Bay State reflect a pool that is much younger and healthier than that of the Empire State, where older, sicker people take advantage of the community rating and younger, healthier New Yorkers decide it isn't worth the investment to subsidize older, sicker people through higher premiums.  The premiums in NY reflect a risk pool reflect a much older, sicker population than that of MA.

    It's not about insurance company profits, nyceve; Those amount to 3 percent per year.  It's about adverse selection.

    jim bow, ASA, MAAA

    by jim bow on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:39:12 AM PDT

    •  jim bow, 30 cents of every healthcare dollar . . (7+ / 0-)

      are profits, waste and redundant adminsitration.

      This is a fact.

      Medicare 3% overhead.

      •  And where do most of these costs come from? (4+ / 0-)

        The underwriting process.  As Wendell Potter ably points out, 5 percent of the population accounts for 55 percent of health care spending.  [Okay, Potter uses 10 percent accounts for two-thirds.]  Insurance companies spend most of their money trying to weed out having to bear the risk of this small percentage of individuals who comprise of a disproportionate share of the costs.  This is what your hero Wendell Potter says.

        Now if medical underwriting is eliminated (except for a minimal age differential), as all the current bills do, these costs go away.  If insurance companies and the public option have the identical underwriting criteria, then shouldn't they have similar administrative costs?  Again, this is what Wendell Potter says.

        The main advantage of the public option over insurance companies is the public option's bargaining power to negotiate lower payments to providers (in other words, lower doctors' salaries in order to lower costs for consumers -- after all, the cost of health insurance can be determined by the salaries of the providers.).  That's why I favor the public option.

        jim bow, ASA, MAAA

        by jim bow on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:02:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Jim Bow - question (4+ / 0-)

          The Republicans advocate creating state based high risk pools, and shifting the cost of high risk folks to the taxpayer.

          Do you know what percent of the population they would shift to the taxpayer?  Is it the sickest one percent, two percent of the under 65 population?

          I'm trying to get an idea to help me understand. If 5 percent make up over half costs, what percentage of costs do they want to shift to taxpayer? Then their idea suddenly is expensive.

          •  That would be unbelievably expensive. (5+ / 0-)

            And it wouldn't work.  States already have high-risk insurance pools, and premiums are still unaffordable for these people.  In other words, state high-risk pools don't work.  The only way to make health insurance affordable for the small portion of Americans who account for a disproportionate share of health care spending, is ample cross-subsidation through higher premiums for those of us young, health people and a requirement that healthy people don't wait until they get sick to purchase health insurance -- in other words, a community rating with a requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance.

            Other than the tax treatment of employer-provided health insurance, I believe Republicans are utterly clueless about health insurance (although some do favor a community rating with an individual mandate -- just not Jon Kyl, John McCain, Mitchy, Jim DeMint, and Mike Enzi, who sponsored a bill years ago to allow insurers to operate across state lines, and many others).  These people think that allowing people to go bankrupt because of large medical expenses from a high cost-sharing policy is a humane way to lower health care costs.  I disagree.

            jim bow, ASA, MAAA

            by jim bow on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:23:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly why single payer is the best system (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, Pris from LA

        At the very least we need a strong public option.

        Kent Conrad is chasing a white rabbit named Harvey (don't let him co-opt real reform).

        by noofsh on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:27:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have real problems with that 3% figure (0+ / 0-)

      I suspect that they are applying creative accounting to get to that 3%.  If nothing else, and we end up relying on them as part of our healthcare system, we need a good, solid look into their books.

      •  Sloth, that Medicare figure is fully . . . (8+ / 0-)

        vetted by CBO. It's a matter of public record.

        •  nyceve (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden

          I'm talking about the insurance companies.  They like to claim they only make 3% profit.

          •  Insurance companies lie with figures (4+ / 0-)

            Everyone knows it, no one will admit it or call them on it. It's the same way movie studios used to get away with paying out squat on mega-blockbuster movies: they juggled the figures until they had a "loss".

            If it's
            Not your body
            Then it's
            Not your choice
            AND it's
            None of your damn business!

            by TheOtherMaven on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:31:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Patently absurd (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jesterfox, Cali Techie, Pris from LA

            If so, how can they explain the numbers they report to wall street.  This sounds like the insurance companies have two sets of books - one they show to the government when they want to kill off reform and one they show to stock investors.  The real truth is that they are making absurd profits (double digit plus alot more).

            Kent Conrad is chasing a white rabbit named Harvey (don't let him co-opt real reform).

            by noofsh on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:31:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your money or your life.. (0+ / 0-)

              That's very pursuasive. Its like the feudal approach where the bandits force the villagers to bind themselves as serfs to the feudal lords, in exchange for protection from the marauding bands, who turn out to be in cahoots with the bandits. (and all incestuously related to each other.. i.e. the revolving door)

              Did you know that GWB used to be business partners with OBL's half brother?

              Infiltrate groups, influence issues, with obots that just smell SO right!

              by Andiamo on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 01:53:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Here's a link for you: (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53, neroden, Cali Techie

            "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

            by Cassiodorus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:37:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your link says that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              neroden

              health insurance profits are about 1% of overall health spending in this country.  

              With respect to the economics of the health insurance industry, your link says that 18% of the money they take in goes to advertsing, administrative costs, and profits together. It does not support or refute the notion that their profits are 3%, because it does not segragate how much is for marketing, how much for administration, and how much for profits.  

              •  That's not what it says at all. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ladybug53, neroden, Cali Techie

                It says this:

                America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) — the lobbying arm of the insurance industry — maintains that "for every dollar spent on health care in America, approximately 1 penny goes to health plans’ profits."

                It then goes on to determine the irrelevance of that statistic.

                Moreover, there is really no point in segregating "marketing," "administration," and "profits" out of the given statistics.  The point is that the vast majority of these "costs" are either redundant or irrelevant, and that therefore a single-payer system would eliminate most of them.

                "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

                by Cassiodorus on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:31:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Thx! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ladybug53, neroden, Cali Techie

              This is why I know AHIP claim is patently absurd.  If the health insurance sector was only making 1% profit their stocks would be dumped.  These companies would be selling below 5 dollars a share.  I checked Aetna's last earning report.  They are projecting a profit year over year of 8 percent plus.  I would betcha that the rest of health care sector is around 10%.  They took a hit this year because high unemployment has led to guess what - less people with haelth care insurance.  There is a breaking point.  No way that these companies can continue escalating the price of their policies at 10% per year not with American wages stagnating and growing about 1% per year. Just do the math - the group coverage system that most of us rely on will become untenable in 2 decades at most and maybe even in 1 decade.  We need another approach - start with a strong public option that can be transformed into Hacker's vision of allowing everyone to opt into Medicare.

              Kent Conrad is chasing a white rabbit named Harvey (don't let him co-opt real reform).

              by noofsh on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:19:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Because it's true. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coffeetalk

            If a company collects $100 billion in premiums, and has a $3 billion profit, that's a 3 percent profit margin.  Now if the next year, the company collects $130 billion in premiums, and has a $3.9 billion profit, that's a 30 percent (3.9/3 - 1) increase in profits, but it's no change in the profit margin (3.9/130 = 3/100).  That's where the figures come from.

            Now as for executive pay, suppose the CEO earns $30 million/yr from a company that collects $100 billion/yr. in premiums.  That means the CEO's salary represents 0.03% of premiums.  That's not very much.  That's not to say that those kinds of CEO salaries aren't grotesque, which they are, but it doesn't make a huge difference in the price of insurance.

            jim bow, ASA, MAAA

            by jim bow on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:43:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  CEO salaries are not profit n/t (0+ / 0-)

            It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. Jimmy Carter

            by coral on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:59:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  And, BTW (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jim bow, Pris from LA

      Totally agree about the effect of the enlarged risk pool. It seems to have worked well.

      If we don't get a public option nationally, we need to work to get one in this state.

      •  Well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, Justanothernyer

        nyceve leaves the impression that the sole reason health insurance costs more is because of greedy insurance company profits.  The laws of economics and actuarial science dictate otherwise.  I thought she needed to be corrected on this.

        jim bow, ASA, MAAA

        by jim bow on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:04:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you mandate (0+ / 0-)

          healthy young people buy insurance, the ones with high skills able to pay full price may relocate out of the country.

          That will sink the federal government budget and Social Security.

          ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Isobel Oliphant felt she was making an offbeat choice when she graduated from Fox Lane High School in Bedford, N.Y., and enrolled at the ancient university in this quiet coastal town of stone ruins and verdant golf courses.

          "I thought I was being original," said Ms. Oliphant, now in her third year at the University of St. Andrews. "But my high school class president came here, too. And when I got here, it was all ‘Hi, I’m from Massachusetts,’ ‘Hi, I’m from New York.’ "

          St. Andrews has 1,230 Americans among its 7,200 students this year, compared with fewer than 200 a decade ago.

          The large American enrollment is no accident. St. Andrews has 10 recruiters making the rounds of American high schools, visiting hundreds of private schools and a smattering of public ones.

          http://www.nytimes.com/...

          You can bet that European governments are eyeing those healthy young people too.

    •  Jim..how does this affect costs? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pris from LA

      I've learned in my state of Minnesota, they can't sell for profit insurance. How much does this lower premuims?

      Also, I learned that malpractice premuims in Minnesota are among the lowest in the country, but I don't know why.

      •  A ton (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coral, SingularExistence, joedemocrat

        MA also requires insurance companies to be non-profit, by the way, but the three main reason health insurance costs what it does are (1) the risk pool involved, (2) the generosity of the plan -- lower cost-sharing, more expensive, and (3) the salaries of the providers.

        By the way, I do very much respect HealthPartners, one of those terrible co-ops people here find so utterly unacceptable compromise.

        jim bow, ASA, MAAA

        by jim bow on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:08:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My insurance.. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jim bow, ladybug53, Pris from LA

          In Minnesota is $357 for a single person. I have a $20 copay for office visits, including mental health. My deductible is $300. My maximuim out of pocket expenses per year is $2,000.

          This is part of employer group plan so they don't ask any questions.

          •  Note: I'm fully aware (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jim bow, Pris from LA

            that if I tried to get individual policy my premuim would be much, much higher.

          •  I have BCBSMA HMO Blue Enhanced Value. (3+ / 0-)

            My insurance costs $560/mo., and my employer pays for 85 percent of the costs.  The BCBSMA HMO Blue Enhanced Value plan I have has no deductible, $20 co-pay, and a $2,000 out-of-pocket cap.  Because I'm 29, a plan as rich (actuarially equivalent) as this would cost me $100/mo. less on the Connector, and cost me far, far less on ehealthinsurance.com in another state that doesn't have a 2:1 community rating.  I accept that I pay more to care for the old and the sick, who would have much higher premiums if there was a larger or no community rating.

            jim bow, ASA, MAAA

            by jim bow on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:58:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That is a good attitude... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jim bow, neroden

              That you consider it fair for younger/healther people to help reduce premuims for older/sicker. There are so many people in this debate who care only about themselves or their ideology.

              I pay $1000 a year of my premuims and my employer pays the other $3,300 of the $4,300 premuim.

              Thank you for answering my questions. I find your responses and dairies very informational.

              If Obama fails, and he may if he keeps being boxed in front left and right, the Republicans are likely to win big in 2010 and maybe 2012. We will then get their "race to the bottom" type health care plan w/ deregulation, no community rating, high risk pools, and high deductible plans. Will the public react any better?

              There are so few people in this debate who realize we are never going to have a big liberal majority or a conservative majority; therefore there is no way around a fairly middle of the road yet still reasonable bill that can be built on. If we aren't able to compromise, the alternative is the debate continues until more and more people their health care and there is a total revolt. That is just too much human misery.

              •  No question (3+ / 0-)

                There's an ugly politics involved in the debate.  It's more about who is winning and losing politically than it is about whose lives would be made better.  The consequence is that we trivialize the stakes for the family with the diabetic child, the young professional with heart problems, the woman with arthritis, and millions of others with large medical expenses.  These people could have to file for bankruptcy because of medical expenses if this bill fails.  And yet we're fixated on this one (public option) or few (end-of-life care) provisions in the bill that have very little to do with helping prevent medical bankruptcies for these people.

                As you know, I'm much more comfortable with the policy than the politics.  But as I wrote yesterday, this bill's political fate won't be judged by the presence or lack of presence of the public option, which I support.  It won't be judged by whether or not there is an end-of-life care provision, which I strongly support.  The legislation will ultimately be judged by whether the investment was worth the benefits.  If the Blue Dogs and others scale back the legislation to $700 billion, many middle-income families will be forced through the individual mandate to spend a good portion of their income on premiums for a $1,500 deductible policy with a $10,000 out-of-pocket cap they can't really use and therefore hate.  That's a recipe for political backlash.  If the bill goes below $700 billion, it's worse.

                On the other side, you have to reduce the tax subsidy for employer-provided health insurance in order raise the revenue to make the subsides more generous and the benefits more protective.  The current House bill already has the subsidies and minimum benefit packages as insufficient:  people still will be paying a substantial portion, although less, of their income on health care.

                It's a difficult act to balance all these items.  The more money you take from one person's pockets -- the more money you have to put in someone else's pockets.

                jim bow, ASA, MAAA

                by jim bow on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:18:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I've heard of Health Partners (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladybug53

          There are a lot of people with it. There is also Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota (which I got), and Allina health plans and Preferred One in Minnesota.

          I get the impression Minnesota has more competition that most states. Not sure why.

          •  MN does better than most states (7+ / 0-)

            The Center for American Progress did fact sheets for each state on what you can expect if you have to purchase insurance on your own. Minnesota does do better than most states:

            Minnesota requires insurance companies to include 64 benefits in all individual insurance plans, which is higher than the national average of 38.4 This does not include basic benefits such as cancer medications and Alzheimer’s treatment.

            The number of benefits required by each state varies greatly. I doubt that most people realize what the exclusions are. The exclusions also vary but generally exclude some form of cancer treatment whether it's screenings or chemo.

            You can select fact sheets for each state here.

            There's also a study of consolidation that shows Blue Cross/Blue Shield has 50% of the market in Minnesota and Medica has 26%.

        •  And that leads to the next problem (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joedemocrat, Pris from LA

          Actually driving down costs.

          I get the impression that people think that a public option is the magic bullet that will instantly solve all our problems.

          Even if you take the (putative) 30% admin overhead out of current insurance costs, they are still way high - and they are still growing too fast.  A few years at even a reduced rate and we're right back where we are now.

          Now, it may be that a public option will be able to aggressively manage costs such that we bend that curve.  I certainly hope so, but I also know that there are going to be some very, very difficult fights - and decisions - we will have to take on, even if we get a public option.

          No matter how you look at it, however this current round of healthcare insurance reform goes, it's only a base on which we will need to build.

          •  Not really (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            coral, Sloth

            The public option, assuming we (1) allow everyone the option, and (2) end ever-popular fee-for-service, premiums will be lowered by 10 percent.  We still have to do all kinds of things people hate -- namely, base payments to providers on comparative effectiveness research.  For (1) to happen, we would have to get rid of the employer-based system, and that's also incredibly unpopular.  We got ways to go if we want to control costs.

            jim bow, ASA, MAAA

            by jim bow on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:08:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm less worried about the immediate cost savings (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jim bow

              ...as important as they are, but much more worried about bending the cost curve in the medium- to long-term.  An immediate drop of, say, 50% would be a great thing, but soon enough we'll be right back where we are now unless that cost curve bends.

              I think eliminating the employer-based system is a must.  Everyone has got to see exactly what their current healthcare coverage is costing them.

  •  We're in the same boat (4+ / 0-)

    Our small business insures our family of three for around $1900 per month. Higher co-pays and deductibles than the coverage we had before my husband's old employer laid him off. And whem my son, who is a type 1 diabetic, is too old to be on our policy he won't be able to get any coverage at all.

  •  4 weeks 4 days (5+ / 0-)

    I figured out the yearly cost of my insurance, then divided it by my hourly salary.  For coverage for one person, I have to work 192.46 hours to pay for it for the year.  And I'm at the salary cap at my job!

    Maybe liberals should have an "insurance day" similiar to libertarian "tax day"; the day on which the average American with insurance starts working for themselves instead of the insurance industry.

    I mean it's like these guys take pride in ignorance! It's like they like being ignorant.

    by math monkey on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:45:12 AM PDT

  •  Realize It's Law: Corps MUST Make Profits (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Pris from LA, RustyCannon

    By law, corporations with shareholders have a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders to work in their economic interest, period. Anything else and shareholders can sue the corporation.

    So in health care, the question becomes: how are they making those profits?

    Ask yourself what's really in those billion-dollar profits. Efficiency? Please. Competition? Please. Access & affordability? Oh sister please.

    By law, insurance companies must maximize shareholder profits. Therefore by law corporations must charge as much as they possibly can and do whatever they can without getting prosecuted to make profits.

    It goes on and on, but that's enough to think about.

    Texas: Molly Ivins, Ann Richards, Walter Cronkite, Bill Moyers, Barbara Jordan, Lloyd Bentsen, Jim Hightower, Dan Rather, Willie Nelson, LBJ

    by TX Unmuzzled on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:45:42 AM PDT

    •  Precisely why for-profit corps (7+ / 0-)

      should not be in the health insurance business.  Only non-profit corps should be in the health insurance business.  Patient health and profits are always in conflict.  A fatal flaw in our healthcare system.

      In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

      by TampaCPA on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:51:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's called enhanced shareholder value (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TX Unmuzzled, nyceve, RustyCannon

      and it's the strategic goal of every for-profit corporation.

      Non-profit, however, enhances STAKEholder value, where stakeholders are employees and customers.

      Non-profit in name only is where we're headed. But that will be a excellent change made by the insurance companies themselves in order to compete against the public option, which, I predict, will pass the Senate.

      Woe be to any Senator who votes against it.

      First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. -Mohandas K. Gandhi

      by ezdidit on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 07:53:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Our Common Welfare - Highways, Defense, Police... (8+ / 0-)

        YES. How can we have life or liberty or the pursuit of happiness -- without health care? How is that not in the common interest, such as say, a common defense?

        Maybe Republicans would rather have privatized roadways. If you want to go north, for example, why should there be billion-dollar interstate highways for you to use? Shouldn't drivers pay for what they use? Shouldn't all roads be toll roads?

        Socialized Highways

        Shouldn't we have 5 or more highways for every major route, all competing against each other? Won't that bring efficiency and the lowest costs overall? After all, government can't do anything so why trust them with highways and our common need to be mobile.

        Yes, there should be AT LEAST 5 HIGHWAYS for every route, and at least five roads in any county from any point to point, all privately owned, privately developed, all paid for with tolls. Profit means efficiency!

        Why should someone who drives less have to pay for those who drive more? I'm tired of Sunday drivers mooching off my hard-earned tax dollars. It's theft!

        Socialized Education

        Why should childless people have to foot the bill for educating the children of those who made an individual choice to have kids? That really chaps my hide. For example, I only have gay sex. There's not even a chance I'm going to have a kid that will need schooling. So why do I have to pay for that for OTHER PEOPLE? Screw them. I make a responsible choice, I take responsibility for myself. If they want to have kids, it's their individual responsibility to pay for that kid's school if they want their kid to go to school. That's THEIR CHOICE SO STOP STEALING MY MONEY!

        Socialized Protection

        If someone wants a police officer to drive through their neighborhood and check on their house, they ought to pay for it with their own money, not my tax money. I, for example, have a scary-looking pit bull and CFL outdoor lights. I don't need police. So why should I pay for someone else's protection needs? I'm a big guy and I'm not worried about getting attached or into a street fight or mugged. Why should I pay for other people's protection needs? I don't need it! This is America! I should be free NOT to pay for other people's needs that I don't have!

        And my house is not going to burn down. I don't need firefighters! I sprayed that protective stuff all over my drapes and furniture. I don't smoke or use matches or candles. THAT'S MY CHOICE! SO WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S IRRESPONSIBLE CHOICES!? If they want their house to burn down, if they want to smoke and use candles and have gas stoves and fireplaces and "plug things in" -- that's THEIR INDIVIDUAL CHOICE, and they should pay for their own fire departments. Why should they mooch off MY HARD EARNED MONEY! THIEVES!

        Socialized Defense

        I was never afraid of Saddam Hussein and I didn't care if he did have WMD. I have a gas mask. That's my choice. I have duct tape for my windows and an air purifier. And if I should get nuked, I don't want to live in a world after it's been nuked, so I'm fine if I die from a nuke. So why should I have to pay for OTHER PEOPLE'S perceived security needs? Please! THIS IS AMERICA! STOP STEALING MY MONEY!

        I didn't need the government to fight WWII for me either! OUTRAGEOUS! Have we ever paid off all that spending! I could easily have learned to speak German. That's my choice.

        I also don't think my neighborhood is going to get bombed by Al Qaeda. I just don't think I live in a risky place for terrorism, and I choose not to use the banking system either so I don't care about cyberterrorism. You can't get your identity stolen if you don't use the banking system! That's MY CHOICE! SO WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S DEFENSE NEEDS?!!?! IF YOU WANT TO BE SAFE AND YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY, YOU CAN JUST MOVE AWAY! GET ANOTHER JOB YOU LAZY BUM! QUIT MOOCHING OFF MY TAX DOLLARS!

        Socialized Space

        NASA is socialism. I don't ever want to vacation in space. I don't use satellites and I don't need a cell phone. THAT'S AN INDIVIDUAL CHOICE and those who use those things should pay for them, not my tax dollars! I also don't want any medicine that may result from "outer space experiments". I'll keep my medicine from earth, thank you very much. I'm young, I'm male, I'm strong, and I don't even need medicine and I never will.

        I don't need to know how the universe was created or the nature of physics. I don't benefit from "technology advances." So why should I have to pay for other people's curiosity? OUTRAGEOUS! This country is on a dangerous dangerous path.

        Socialized Telecom

        I don't use the Internets!! I never needed the government to create it. If I have something to say to somebody, I can damn well walk through the back woods to their house (or pay a toll) and TELL THEM MYSELF! So why should I pay for other lazy bastards who want the convenience and luxury of telephones! I never needed the government to create the phone lines. OR THE POWER LINES. I have made an individual choice - I show individual responsibility for my power needs - and I use a generator! Why should the government lay down power lines or the power grid with my TAXES! OUTRAGEOUS! If I want to be all fancy and "read at night" - hell I can go outside with a candle and read a book. I don't need the power grid!

        I don't recognize this country anymore. The founding fathers are rolling in their graves....

        Texas: Molly Ivins, Ann Richards, Walter Cronkite, Bill Moyers, Barbara Jordan, Lloyd Bentsen, Jim Hightower, Dan Rather, Willie Nelson, LBJ

        by TX Unmuzzled on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:35:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  that 5000 dollar tax rebate would have rocked it! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Rogneid

    oh that was for the total year? well almost 3 of the 12 months a years is good... that's like a higher percentage than Dick "running in 2012" Chenney's popularity.

  •  I expect mine to go up 30%-40% next year. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Rogneid, Pris from LA

    That's been the pattern for several years...

    I am not a member of any organized party -- I am a Democrat. Will Rogers

    by RustyCannon on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:00:06 AM PDT

    •  Group insurance premium increase expected at 9% (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53

      PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute did a study and is projected a 9% increase for group plans.

      Here's other things we can expect:

      In the last five years, health insurance premiums have increased four times faster than wages, a trend that the report says is expected to continue in 2010. With their corporate profits pounded in 2009, employers told PwC that they will push more of the costs of health insurance to their workers in 2010 while expecting greater responsibility from workers for managing their personal health.

         * Forty-two percent of employers surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers said they would increase employees' share of healthcare costs.

         * Forty-one percent said they expect to increase medical cost sharing through plan design changes.

         * More than two-thirds of employers are offering wellness and disease management programs; however, few said they are very effective at lowering costs.

      •  I think 9% per year is conservative (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SingleVoter, neroden, RustyCannon

        Let's take that number and round it up to 10% increases per year with group plans.  In 20 years, the price will have gone up 4 times.  With the way wages have stagnated I would doubt wages will go up more than 10 - 20 % in 20 years.  So, where will the money come from to pay for something that is 4 times as expensive?  Employers aren't likely to increase their percentage of what they pay for.  I think in two decades even group insurance become untenable.

        The problem will be way more painful to fix if we delay.  There needs to be a public option tied to Medicare pricing to get this under control.  Then we need to work on the prices being charged for health care - not just the insurance aspects.

        Kent Conrad is chasing a white rabbit named Harvey (don't let him co-opt real reform).

        by noofsh on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:01:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  $1865 X 12 = $22,380.00/year (9+ / 0-)

    Does anyone else realize that that amount could buy a modest new car, or even a very recent used car?  It used to be able to buy a house, but that amount could still go a long ways toward paying for a decent small place.  In some regions of the US it only costs $2-500/month to rent a small house.

    $22,380.00/year doesn't guarantee an insurance corporation can't refuse to pay a medical claim... it represents pure profit that the insurance corporation can keep even while refusing to pay a claim, or even cancelling your insurance on the basis of you having a 'pre-existing condition.'

    Who, except the very rich, can pay that much for only health insurance every month, without taking into consideration car insurance (which all/most are required to buy by state law), gas for the car, rent/house payment, food, utilities, child-rearing expenses (including babysitting while working), et cetera?

    Does anyone realize that some seniors and disabled people only get $1000 or less per month - and that's before any Medicare payments are deducted before the government sends the money to the Social Security recipient?  Many are people who can no longer physically or mentally work, so that little Social Security check is all they receive each month; out of that must come rent, utilities, food, car expenses (if they still have a car), and co-pays if Medicare or Part D prescription insurance doesn't cover all of their costs.

    People on Social Security (and that includes me) need something MUCH more affordable than health insurance that is stretching upward of more than twice what they receive for an entire month.

    $1865/month for health insurance is unreasonable for normal people with an average or below average income level...!

    (¯`*._(¯`*._(-PROSECUTE-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯)

    by NonnyO on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:10:26 AM PDT

    •  But Nonny, the premium is just the . . . (10+ / 0-)

      tip of the iceberg.

      Then you've got the deductible, which for this family is $5000, then the co-pays and then the level of reimbursement for out-of-network providers.

      It is an utter catastrophe.

      •  Catastrophe... (5+ / 0-)

        Yup, that's the accurate description.

        If I were them, I think I'd search around for a more reasonable insurance company, or perhaps take my chances and just go without insurance (the latter is most likely what I'd do - and exactly what I did about Medicare Part D until after I was hospitalized with high blood pressure, so was forced into it; I didn't sign up at the beginning because I didn't want any of Georgie's corporate pals to get my money, no matter how much or how little).

        I've known for ages that insurance is a racket, especially since state law forces one to buy car insurance.  If the federal government forces us to buy health insurance at corporate rates, I can only assume the rates will be sky-high and go to profit-oriented companies.  That is what pisses me off so much about this whole "debate" when legislators sneak in words indicating "competition in the marketplace" phrases.  I know it's all for-profit crap that isn't really going to benefit the majority of us whether it's mandated by law or not.

        If we had legislators with any common sense, they'd mandate that these insurance corporations can't make a profit off of our illnesses, accidents, and medical conditions.  That's how the countries who have socialized medicine programs do it... and they have laws mandating not-for-profit medical care.  (Not-for-profit healthcare reform was what Dennis Kucinich was sponsoring.  Aside from his stance on impeachment which I favored, his healthcare ideas were what I favored.)

        (¯`*._(¯`*._(-PROSECUTE-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯)

        by NonnyO on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:42:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Often, they are not paying for coverage.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NonnyO

          they are paying for continuation coverage.. which is often the bare minimum..

          for example..this one

          "Perhaps he means cheap policies that don’t cover much, like the one Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield sold in Ohio last fall. It came with deductibles ranging from $4000 to $20,000 and $8000 to $40,000 for families who use out-of-network doctors. The policy covered only two doctor visits a year."

          People are trying to live within their means, and these policies are all they can afford with insurance costs being what they are and wages in the current economy.

          Its going to get worse.

          Infiltrate groups, influence issues, with obots that just smell SO right!

          by Andiamo on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 05:29:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Almost enough to buy a mansion (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, NonnyO, speedingpullet

      in many places.

      It would support about a $300,000 mortgage.

      It would be cheaper to send a smart relative off to become a medical doctor.

  •  100% for using reconciliation BECAUSE (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coral, nyceve, hatrabbit, Pris from LA

    it will force HCR to be stronger! Say what, stronger?  Yes, to get pass objections that it will increase the deficit, we will have to show that it is revenue neutral or indeed cuts the deficit.  That means coming up with the strongest possible measures. The strongest is of course single payer.  I am pushing for CBO to score single payer.  I want the nation to see for the record what is the most cost effective system.  The next best measure will be a strong public option - by that I mean Jacob Hacker's vision - everyone will be eligible and pricing will be based on Medicare.  It's not quite single payer but it's a step that a single payer advocate can back.

    Kent Conrad is chasing a white rabbit named Harvey (don't let him co-opt real reform).

    by noofsh on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:11:36 AM PDT

  •  talked to a friend yesterday (6+ / 0-)

    Her family (couple w/3 kids 10 and under) pays $800 a month for a policy with a $6,000 deductible. They can't switch insurance carriers because the husband has arthritis and the wife has a thyroid condition requiring medication.

    If her job stops offering health care benefits, or she loses her job, they are screwed. As things stand, they have to spend nearly $15K a year before they get any coverage for health care costs.

    Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

    by desmoinesdem on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:15:48 AM PDT

    •  Portability is a big problem (0+ / 0-)

      Health insurance should be portable, something you could keep when you changed or lost a job.

      I'd like to see it portable nationwide, because people move so much.

      Single payer would solve both these problems. Sigh.

      It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. Jimmy Carter

      by coral on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 01:06:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  People are Dying... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid, Pris from LA

    That's why!

    First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win. -Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:27:39 AM PDT

  •  Shareholder value. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, revsue, romperstomper, Rogneid

    I think many do not realize that a corporate charter legally requires a corporation to maximize shareholder value above all else.  Nothing in the charter stipulates that issues such as 'patriotism,' 'loyalty to the workforce,' and 'environmental pollution' play a mediating part in how a corporation operates.  Nothing in the charter says that a corporation is disallowed from owning say, a cable network to use for its political purposes.  

    Essentially then, a corporation is like a robot let loose on the land and society and it's sole goal is to maximize shareholder value--that is, profit, with no restrictions.  

    Imagine such a robot, a bunch of them, let loose in the U.S. with that goal--maximizing profit.  And the rule is 'anything is allowed unless it's forbidden,' including bribing Congress, propagandizing in the media, ownership of media, threatening citizens, laying off US workers to move the work to China or India, the list goes on.

    We need to develop a vaccine against the corporate robot infection, or we will see what we've got today grow worse and worse and worse.  In my opinion.

    •  That's what corporations have BECOME (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, Rogneid

      It isn't what they WERE originally - they mutated into these predatory monsters by degrees so slow that no one noticed until it was too late.

      (It was too late by 1886, for the record. And probably too late several decades before that.)

      If it's
      Not your body
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      AND it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:35:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Corporate Robot Infection! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, Rogneid

      I never heard it put quite that way.  For sure, we have a bunch of vultures preying on the American people.  How is it that no other industrialized nation puts up with this?

      Yeah, the right wingers will be singing the praises of the corporate vultures right to their early demise from not being able to get health care.  Have you ever seen a sadder display of people being manipulated against their own interests?  

      Yeah right wingers, health care for all is socialist idea AND it's JUST, cost effective and saves lives.
      Who knows, it may even save the right wingers miserable lives too.

      Kent Conrad is chasing a white rabbit named Harvey (don't let him co-opt real reform).

      by noofsh on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:37:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about an insurance boycott? (5+ / 0-)

    What if we got enough healty people to sign on a pledge to drop their insurance all at once unless certain demands are met.  If all the healthy people stop paying premiums, the health insurer industry has a big problem.  Think this is feasible?

    Unsustainable is unsustainable, which means it will eventually end.

    by Must Have Been The Roses on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:34:14 AM PDT

    •  Not to worry (6+ / 0-)

      with the trajectory of health care insurance prices, it won't be long before over 50% of America can't afford it.  At that point, you won't need to call for a boycott.

      Even with 50% of the country uninsured, I bet the Faux News zombies will claim that health care is great in this country. However, there is a practical breaking point where the brainwashing will finally wear out.

      Kent Conrad is chasing a white rabbit named Harvey (don't let him co-opt real reform).

      by noofsh on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:44:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Insurance boycott (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53

        I think there must be some kind of Orwellian plan to just let all the unhealthy die off, and as quickly as possible.  Isn't that what the teabaggers are shrieking at all of us pro-reformers?

        "If you can't afford to pay for 'free-market' insurance rates, you don't deserve to have any coverage!"
         Or any health care, either, apparently, as they are so in favor of cutting off any social-safety-net funding for any "socialized medicine".

        I'm currently paying $12,000 a year for 2 people in our household to be insured, with one of us having junk insurance that covers nothing.  How long in this economy we can keep up these $1,000 a month premiums remains to be seen.  Sometimes I'm just so tempted to just let go into free-fall with my insurance coverage.  But I haven't done it yet.  I was so hoping the Democrats in power would help us soon.  

        •  Google "mandate of heaven" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sockpuppet

          for the perspective on how 4000 years of Chinese history's history's cycles play out against the backdrop of the ruling group's tendency to burden the working people with more and more costs and exempt themselves from taxation.

          The point of democracy was to prevent that cycle of dysfunction and bloodshed but our current problem is that its been tragically turned into a parody of itself by the corporate sponsers of politicians like Obama.. the professional politicians who arguably at this point work for them, and their revolving door of corporate corruption..

          Also the "commons" has been replaced by the mass media and the village green by malls and the Internet and paid bloggers have figured out ways to drown out dissent in noise and lawsuits. Also, legally, in the US corporations are people and their money is now protected free speech !

          Infiltrate groups, influence issues, with obots that just smell SO right!

          by Andiamo on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:07:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It will double every five years (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sockpuppet

          Hate to kick you while you are down. (Of course, we are all down, and we do need to kick something!)

      •  Some Republican Senators about five days ago (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet, laker

        "Nothing makes me more angry," said Sen. Mitch McConnell at a health care town hall in Kansas City today, "... than the suggestion that America does not already have the finest health care in the world."

        Sen. John McCain, appearing alongside him, agreed: "The quality of health care in America is the best in the world."

        http://www.slate.com/...

        I read that five minutes before reading a Daily Kos diary about a sister who died because she couldn't afford a prescribed antibiotic.

  •  My health insurance is a plane ticket (23+ / 0-)

    I'm an Australian, currently a permanent resident in the U.S.

    My family is insured and paying through the nose for the privilege, but I have no illusions that we're covered adequately.

    At the first sign that something is seriously wrong with anyone in my family were hopping a plane back to Australia.

    When Obama got elected that was the thing that convinced me to become a U.S. citizen as soon as I become eligible. I still want to, but doubt  we can afford to live here permanently now.

    I just don't get why any elected Democrat cares about what happens with their campaign contributions, or the next election. You're in government, you  finally have the opportunity to relieve the suffering of millions of your fellow countrymen with the passing of one bill, a bill that makes a major advance on one of your parties key objectives.

    Just do whatever it takes to ram it home for fucks sake.

    If you lose your seat at the next election you can hold your head up high for the rest of your life with the knowledge that when the time came for to do the right thing you had the balls to follow through.

    Or you can be remembered as one of the gutless wonders who cared more about keeping your snout comfortably tucked in the trough.

    •  Great, great comment, hatrabbit (7+ / 0-)

      I just don't get why any elected Democrat cares about what happens with their campaign contributions, or the next election. You're in government, you  finally have the opportunity to relieve the suffering of millions of your fellow countrymen with the passing of one bill, a bill that makes a major advance on one of your parties key objectives.

      Here's your answer. The politicians only care about the next election, to lose an election is like dying.

      The don't do what's right, they do what they must to win elections.

      •  If that was true... (5+ / 0-)

        ...surely Obama would realize that a health care bill being defeated, or a very weak one being passed, will surely do more to energize his opponents than a successful, substantive change.  Which is better for the party for the midterm elections -- talk of Obama as an ineffective failure, or talk of Obama as a powerful leader?  The risk is in NOT having a huge success.  I honestly don't see how Democrats retain control of congress in 2010 if this fails (or is watered down).  The liberal base will be demoralized and the republicans will smell blood and, like in 1994, massively rebound.  

        Health care is the line in the sand for too many of us.  We've put up with mere lip service to gay rights, to continuing Bush's strategies in Iraq and Afghanistan, to continuing Bush's Reagan-squared economic policies, etc.  ENOUGH.  If having a liberal President and strong majorities in both houses of congress isn't sufficient to get anything done, then voting Democrat is simply pointless.

        The only people who oppose the "public option" haven't had a major illness yet.

        by cartwrightdale on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:12:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Change the rules (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet

      Let's term limit them all.  Presidents can have one six-year term.  Senators and Representatives can have two four-year terms.  And that's it.

      The only people who oppose the "public option" haven't had a major illness yet.

      by cartwrightdale on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:15:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  DCCC just called 8:30 a.m. asking for money (9+ / 0-)

    The person calling went on at length about how my donation would be matched and would help Congress to pass real health care reform legislation that includes a public option.   PLEASE could I donate?  "Oh, by the way, we're sorry for calling you so early on holiday weekend..." blah, blah, blah...

    I was feeling pretty crabby with all the backsliding on the public option lately, and the fact that they called me early on a Sunday.  

    I tried to tell them that I was only directly supporting those members of Congress who stand firm on the requirement of a public option in healthcare reform legislation and was otherwise taking a wait-and-see position.  If healthcare reform legislation lacks a robust public option, I told him that the DCCC, the DNC, the DSCC, and Organizing America would NEVER see another nickel from me.  More than likely, I was less coherent than that.  I wasn't really awake and hadn't had my coffee and was trying to get my kids ready for sim class.  After growling at him semi-coherently, I hung up...  

    Is this the right approach?  I figure if I give money to good Congresscritters through Act Blue, that's still helping our party, right? I'm so frustrated.  They just don't seem to be listening to us.  I feel powerless to do anything else after so many phone calls, e-mail, LTEs, etc.  I don't want to end up with another Bush in office, and I'm not a foaming-at-the-mouth liberal purist, but I think health care is a moral issue.  People should come before profits.  

    "What are Americans still buying? Big Macs, Campbell's soup, Hershey's chocolate and Spam-the four food groups of the apocalypse." Frank Rich

    by mrclean on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 08:51:08 AM PDT

  •  guarantee issue without premium caps is (5+ / 0-)

    meaningless, even with community rating the insurers are going to make sure they get the higher risks off their roles.  They are experts at gaming any system, from no system to Medicare Advantage.

  •  Family of four cost: US $28,000. Europe $16,800. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, sockpuppet, 3goldens, neroden

    So your friend is a bit lower than average. Under a European system where he would pay via taxes, his monthly bill would be cut by $5,580. From $1,865 per month to $1,400 per month.

    That is the kind of savings any health care reform plan should be offering.

    Lobbying for passage of HR3200 with public option, keep in mind it does not lower costs, it increases costs from current $28,000 for a family of four to about $30,000 and then insurance companies will add their normal yearly price increases (there are no cost controls) of about 7% so next year about $32,000 for family of four which is the entire take home pay for median income in US.

    None of the current bills deal with this cost issue.

    •  At least (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, neroden

      It gets the incentives more in line.  Guaranteed issue and eliminating lifetime caps will at least force the insurance companies to work for their profit.  A public option would have similar incentives.

      Right now, they are skewed.  If an insurance company wants more profit, they work to insure only healthy people because that's easy.

      That said, I agree (and said so above), nothing on the table right now takes a real swing at cost control.

      •  Insurance companies just raise rates. (0+ / 0-)

        It doesn't cost them anymore to deny claims under HR3200 than now. There is no cost control, they continue to have monopolies and charge whatever they want to charge.

        New regulations will increase the cost charged by the insurance companies.

  •  Good analysis. Wrong solution. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet

    While you are right and correct and highlighting how evil insurance companies you fail to come up with the only solution.

    Only single payer is reform.

    The public option will not have any significant impact on any of the problems you discuss.

    This is abundantly clear from any serious reading of the vast amount of research on the public option that is now widely available all over the internet.

    One payer, not 1301 (the public option).

    The Democratic Party has thrilled the biology community by creating a whole new class of invertebrates, utterly worthless in office. David Michael Green

    by neaguy on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:03:18 AM PDT

  •  I feel you pain. (7+ / 0-)

    My husband I have both been laid off.  My layoff was two and a half years ago and my husband was laid off in May.  We have an 11 year old son.  Fortunately, we are all healthy but we both feel that it is imperative that we keep our health insurance.  Our COBRA payment is $1400 a month. This is just to stay on a plan that in all likelihood we will never access.  It sucks.  We'll pay enough to the insurance company in six months to pay for a year of state college for our son.

    Something has GOT to change!!!!!

    I want someone to shine a light and lead the way. Obama, you're up.

    by fljelad on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:06:05 AM PDT

  •  Crippling Obama is the highest goal of repugs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, sockpuppet, Calamity Jean

    If there is a bloodbath it will be them persuing their self serving goal.

    Insulin in Ca public schools ruling STAYED during appeal. Great ruling for 15,000 diabetic students. http://preview.tinyurl.com/dxafql

    by foggycity on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:27:01 AM PDT

  •  The great american apple pie is shrinking (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bellatrys, sockpuppet, ladybug53

    but the gluttons still want their extra slices.

    "Take the crumbs you peasants, we have the good  war to fight."

    "Don't bother us now, we are in debt up to our eyes. (Actually you are, because we have more money, suckers.")

    "Trust us, we have your best interests at heart. And remember, good health is a sign of the chosen."

    "And never forget, we earned our money the old fashioned way, we were bribed."

  •  You can be denied coverage if too short (9+ / 0-)

    I admit that when I thought about being denied coverage for those who have to purchase insurance on their own, I automatically thought of pre-existing conditions. However, there are a lot more reasons insurers deny coverage.

    From the Center for American Progress:

    Too Sick for Health Care
    How Insurers Limit and Deny Care in the Individual Health Insurance Market

    Then there’s the application process. Insurers want to limit their exposure to customers that could need medical care—and cost the insurer money. So insurers use long and confusing insurance applications to look at all aspects of an applicant’s life and medical history to identify factors that could make them more costly. Insurers then charge higher premiums for those with real or perceived risk factors. Insurers look specifically for:

       * Health status and chronic illness. It is common practice for health insurers to use the application process to determine an individual's health status to decide both how much coverage to offer and at what cost. In one survey, half of those in fair or poor health found it very difficult or impossible to find the coverage they needed. And for those offered coverage, poor health status is used as a reason to charge higher premiums or limit coverage.

       * Prescription drug use. Taking prescription medications makes millions of Americans ineligible for coverage on the individual market. Case in point: Insurance companies in California bar individuals from coverage if they take any of 8 of the 20 most popular prescription medications sold in the United States. That list includes the top-selling drug in the country, Lipitor, which has been prescribed to more than 26 million Americans to treat cholesterol.

       * Height and weight. For the approximately one-third of adults who are medically obese—defined by a body mass index of 30 or higher; a recommended BMI ranges from 19 to 25—health insurance will cost more if it is available at all. Those with a BMI of more than 35 are simply denied coverage. But it isn’t just the obese who can be turned down. Coverage can more expensive, or denied, for those deemed too short, too tall, or too skinny.

       * Age. Age discrimination is prevalent in the individual market. On average, someone 60 to 64 years old and healthy is going to pay significantly more for health insurance than an 18- to 24-year-old. Of course, that is only for those who are offered coverage. Of those ages 60 to 64, 29 percent are turned down for individual coverage compared to just 4 percent of those ages 18 to 24.

       * Gender. Women are more likely to have to seek coverage on the individual market than men as they are less likely to qualify for employer-sponsored coverage. However, being a woman means paying more for health insurance. Pregnancy has long been a reason insurance companies use to charge women higher rates for health insurance, even though many individual insurance policies don’t even cover maternity benefits.

       * Occupation. Insurers will use your occupation to decide if you can buy insurance. Roofing, window cleaning, lumber work, and asphalt work are occupations that insurers will sometimes not cover. Volunteer firefighters, a common occupation in rural areas, can be denied coverage even if their full-time occupation only involves office work.

       * Hobbies. Even hobbies such as scuba diving and skydiving can mean being denied coverage.

    How can so many be against reform? I can only conclude it's because they are so uneducated about the realities. They evidently feel very secure in their current situation.

    •  Their business model depends on collecting money (0+ / 0-)

      and delivering as little in return as they can get away with. They are constantly lowering the "standard of care" and getting away with itt. That means this feudal situation hurts people more and more.

      Given the realpolitik, I think that the whole death panels fear is completely legitimate and based on experiences that people - with people they know, often their parents, have had with insurance companies and their minions.

      When the money runs out, even when sick people are not terminally ill, just expensively ill, not so mysteriously, they often end up dead. People have seen it happen. I know I have.

      We need to start fresh with a new system.

      The one we have is seriously BROKEN. Obama doesn't want to get that we can't get to what we need via his approach.

      Infiltrate groups, influence issues, with obots that just smell SO right!

      by Andiamo on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 05:47:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is precisely the point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, 3goldens

    If pre-existing conditions are "outlawed", the insurance companies will just raise the rates.  What a bunch of crap.

    I've supported Obama from the beginning, but if he drops the ball on the PO, his numbers will descend into the toilet.

    What is essential is invisible.

    by bebimbob on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:46:33 AM PDT

    •  They will use age as a proxy for illness.. (0+ / 0-)

      so people over 35 or 40 will be excluded.. by cost..

      It seems like it may well have been part of Obama's plan from the beginning to figure out ways to exclude expensive sick people by making their insured care impossible to afford. Then they will be stuck with Medicaid which basically does not offer quality care, at best its quite minimal and at worst, its not available, many who need it (like sick single adults without children) aren't eligible.

      Rationing...

      Just like the HMOs ration.. maybe not as blatant and shameless and unaccountable, but its still the same thing.

      Infiltrate groups, influence issues, with obots that just smell SO right!

      by Andiamo on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 05:54:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nyceve--can you link to my action diary? (3+ / 0-)

    I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

    by slinkerwink on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:59:33 AM PDT

  •  Check out my YouTube movie! (8+ / 0-)

    Guess what I did this morning?  I made a movie, using my HP "muvee" program:

    Got a story?  Got a camera, or a friend with a camera?  Tell your story on YouTube, with this title:

    Re: Reality Check: Vice President Biden Asks You to Bust a Myth

    and these tags

    "Vice President Joe Biden" "White House" "President Barack
    Obama" "Health Insurance Reform" Myth Participate

    Watching Pete Sessions and reporting from the Taliban-controlled 32nd Congressional District of Texas.

    by CoolOnion on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:03:36 AM PDT

  •  A friend of mine (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suswa, sockpuppet, ladybug53, ArtemisBSG

    survived melanoma.  Five years out and clean thank heavens.  Cheapest individual policy he could find was 35k a yr.  And that was with a pretty high deductible.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:18:06 AM PDT

    •  That's more than I've ever MADE in a year (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      barbwires

      And they say that those of us w/no insurance "choose" to go without!

      Yeah, like we "choose" to go hungry &c.

      "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

      by bellatrys on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:35:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds about right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      barbwires

      I am 5 years out from non-Hodgkins lymphoma, doc says I am healthy (for now) but no one will insure me at all.  All I can hope for is agreeing to a policy that would not cover anything cancer related through the state of CA Major Risk Medical Insurance plan, and that would still be hugely expensive with a really high deductible, essentially junk insurance.  

      The cost if we do nothing about health care? I will die!

      by ArtemisBSG on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:53:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kris The Sis The Nurse (4+ / 0-)

    Kris left her County Hosp. job to work per diem. Has a house in Arroyo Grande Ca. and bought a cabin in the forest near Quincey, Ca. Adopted a wild mustang from Nevada and now the local ten year old girls ride Bart around. Pics if you want to see.
    But that's just background. She is a RN and knows how to get the most from the system. Y'know, girl-net and nurse-net....
    She buys ins. and just told me her total costs are $12,000/year! NO dental. Single, livin' the Cowgirl dream.
    Her hrs. were down to 30/month but someone had to leave so Kris is back in business!
    Her son Adam suffers from Ankylosing spondylitis, more battles w/ ins. and medical coverage.
    She is sixty. The older ya get, the easier it ain't.

    "Chance favors the prepared mind"

    by tlemon on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:24:40 AM PDT

  •  And junk insurance is what the Republicans and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet

    conservatives like Kathleen Parker want us all to sign up for. SIn her article "Whole Grain Healthcare Reform" she writes glowingly about junk insurance: "He [Whole Foods's CEO] urged removing legal obstacles to allow creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts such as those that his employees enjoy. she has the gall to say that Whoole Foods's healthcare plans "offer a path that is pro-market, pro-individual and pro-choice -- all concepts that are organic to America and, like spinach, good for you." So she wants everyone to sign up for worthless junk insurance.

    What I find the most hypocritical about their positions is that I doubt that Parker and her colleagues are rushing to sign up for junk insurance. I bet that they are probably very satisfied with their "Cadillac Plans", but want everyone else to take junk insurance.

    The worst part is that, while these plans work for the very young and very healthy (a young person in his/her 20s with no health problems would be the only person who would do well with such a plan), they don't for everyone else. People with catastrophic conditions would probably have to pay the entire amount of their deductible and the monthly premiums for junk.

    It sickens me also to see that the anti-reform side has all but won. I'd like to think that the reconciliation process will bring the public option, but I'm realistic enough to expect Obama to capitulate on Wednesday.

    •  They actually work very poorly (0+ / 0-)

      for the young since the young generally don't have much in savings.

      They are just cheaper for the lucky young.

      The deductible and expected co-insurance amount for common hospital care should generally never exceded half of your existing funds on hand.

      •  I was thinking that they worked well for (0+ / 0-)

        the person right out of college or the young adult in his/her 20's because the only "medical care" that they generally need every year is the annual physical, a visit or two for a sinus infection or cold, a dental exam, and an eye exam. For them the only real peril against which they need to insure is a catastrophic illness. For them junk insurance and health savings accounts would work.

        For the rest of us, though, these plans wouldn't. They would be horrible for people who have chronic conditions that need frequent specialist care or who need monthly medications. They would be the biggest losers.

  •  How are NY costs (0+ / 0-)

    With guarenteed renewal and community rating in NY,
    I'd be interested in seeing how their cost add up.

  •  The PROFIT Insurance business is what they (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, Paper Cup, thethinveil

    are in, not the services for people business.

    Their profit is NEVER threatened. They can just raise rates, deny claims and drop people. Risk-free business.

    •  That's the nut of it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thethinveil

      The ultimate goal for many of us is single-provider, universal healthcare.  The inevitable fallout of that is that the for-profit health insurance industry will cease to exist.

      That's a lot of jobs and business activity that just vanishes out of the economic picture.  It's a tough hill to climb to get people to swallow the implications of all that.

      What makes it 2x as hard, IMO, is we're talking about eliminating a business sector that ostensibly keeps people healthy (putting aside murder-by-spreadsheet for argument's sake).  We can't even eliminate the tobacco industry which has been shown to actually hurt people's health.  How the hell are we going to convince people to do away with the former while the tobacco companies are allowed to keep making money?

  •  $22,380 per annum (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, ladybug53, neroden

    Wow!!!  If you put that money aside...and become a medical tourist.  That would be an excellent vacation and have more than enough for medical care.  It's your money...why waste it all...spend it more wisely.

    •  Big business in India (0+ / 0-)

      Get your torn ACL repaired for $8000 vs. $50K and up in the US.

      Assuming you have the cash, of course. (Then again, that's only four and a half months of that junk insurance premium, and you aren't going to tear your ACL twice a year, I hope!)

  •  What if the issue were framed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden

    Like this?:

    "Many of my friends on the left insist on a new government bureaucracy to run a new government health care system. Many of my friends on the right insist that there is no place for government in health care other than Medicare and the V.A. Some would even wrongly insist that private insurers with virtual monopolies shouldn't have any competition.

    That is why I am proposing that Americans younger than 65 have the option to buy into the existing Medicare system."

    I think many wingnuts assume one can do this anyway (Maria??) and it would leave them fighting Medicare.

    "...this nation is more than the sum of its parts ..." Barack Obama-18 March,2008

    by Inventor on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:00:03 PM PDT

  •  Speaking of tourism... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, neroden

    I know what medical tourism is, but what about regular tourism?  What if you or I want to go somewhere on vacation and get sick or injured while there?  How much of a nightmare is it to find an "in-network provider" while hundreds of miles away from home?

  •  I searched for dental insurance and found... (5+ / 0-)

    Ok, I don't have good DNA for teeth.  I remember as a small kid being in the dental chair (and being yelled at for reacting to pain).  For 22 years I had dental insurance through my employer (one of those massively huge international corporations), until I got cancer, got treated and had surgery, and was laid off a year after I got back to work (in the mid 90's).  

    I've paid out of pocket since then since I could not afford health care premiums.  Recently, I went 'on line' to look at dental insurance from my carrier (one of the top three insurance companies where I have car and renter's insurance).  The web site of this company had a link for 'dental insurance.'  I clicked.

    What came up next was a page of various insurers/companies offering dental coverage---but not my primary insurer.  And the description was the same: "save from 10 to 28% on dental fees." The list of companies was lengthy, most I'd never heard of, except for Cigna and a couple of others.  

    Save 10-28%?  for a fee of $115.00 per year.  So on a 1000.00 dollar root canal, I'd save $100 or maybe $220.00?  

    I wondered: what kind of insurance is this?  

    But this is what my own carrier was offering via it's 'partners.'  

    I suspect that 'health care reform' will be like this--- 30 companies, in exchange for my monthly premium--offering to save me 10 to 28% off --which on a cancer treatment of chemo (that costs $37,000 a visit) offers nothing.  

    On Bob McChesney's Media Matters on WILL radio today, his guest was a health care whistle blower, Wendell Potter, who said the trend is:  to offer crap insurance that has huge deductibles, thus transferring the cost to the individual of his medical care.  (get the podcast via http://www.npr.org/...  or search for media matters in iTunes.
    Media Matters airs each Sunday at 2pm Eastern Time via WILL AM, the University of Illinois Radio Service. Audio link is at their web site.

    How will Obama 'reform' this sick, abusive system?  US citizens are being targeted by corporations and banks as 'profit centers,' and so also with health care, the corporate 'maximize shareholder value' is the rule--and we pay for it.  

    If you are a corporate employee, you may not realize what is going on, but if you are outside the corporate club, you do.  I do.

    This is a total scam.   It's like those 'rent to own' companies.  

    •  There is no private dental (0+ / 0-)

      insurance that pays adequately. You have explained the issue well. Just think of all the people who have never left big corporations...they are clueless. But as the jobs continue to leave...they'll find out.

      Dental insurance is a big deal. Bacterial infections can affect the heart. The autopsy will say "heart attack." But the cause can often be tooth decay...not even Medicare pays for dental care. Seniors who are living on social security...are on their own.

      "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

      by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:20:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dental insurance is a sucker business (0+ / 0-)

        It's way to hard to draw the line between cosmetic/discretionary and medically necessary dental work.  There's way more subjectivity to it than for straight health insurance.  I just don't think it's a good insurance kind of business, unless it's done stingily.

        Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

        by Rich in PA on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:29:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  More and more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, neroden

    this "reform" seems as though it will be too little, too late. It's not enough. Medicare For All is really the only thing that will make the difference needed.

  •  Here's my tip for a bipartisan compromise (snark) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thethinveil

    Single payer health care for Blue States, same old, same old for Red states.

    With portability too--if you're a registered Republican living in a Blue State, you get to move to a Red State and escape the shackles of socialism.

    If you're a registered Democrat living in a Red state, you get to move to a Blue state and live longer.

    Maybe even Snake-in-the-Grassley can get behind that one.

    •  The thing is (0+ / 0-)

      our politicians aren't explaining the issue to their constituents ~ even the ones that are yelling the loudest. Extraordinary leadership is called for...maybe most of them just don't have what it takes.

      "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

      by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:15:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well in California (0+ / 0-)

    I looked up what an HSA 2500 plan would cost in California for a family, age 40.

    $379/month

    Balance Net would be $740/mo for that family.

    I don't know the age of the family in the original post but I think the disparity points out what guaranteed issue plans end up costing the consumer because the insurance carrier is not compromising its profit.

  •  This does not sound right (0+ / 0-)
    Not to be a pest, but there must be more to your friend's story. The monthly insurance premium seems way too high. My family has priv insurance and never was my premiums close to what your friend is paying.  If my insurane company wanted me to pay that, I would have enough sense to run to some other insurance company. If one member has a pre existing condition, I would then keep that person with the current company and insure the rest at the new company. Actually this is what I did.

    I jst need to know why your buddy's premium is so high.

    •  Not so unusual (0+ / 0-)

      My boss's son is around 40 with 3 children under the age of 15. He needs medication for bipolar disease that was diagnosed when he was very young. He works in the real estate industry and so is an independent salesman. He pays $1800 a month for his insurance, alone.

      He pays separately for his children and wife. Junk insurance is right. He and his wife had their third child recently, and "with" insurance they owed over $10,000 in medical bills. They get bills every month and never know when another one might be coming.

      He is a social conservative Republican...but believes that the public option is essential for his situation. Just goes to show that the people directly affected by all of this understand the issue.

      My thought on all of this is that, like other financial issues, many people don't want to "admit" they have these issues with their health insurance. It would be "admitting" that they aren't "rich," when there is such a stigma in our country about admitting to financial struggles.

      "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

      by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:10:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He sounds like he's self-employed. (0+ / 0-)

        The self-employed are being screwed the most.

        "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

        by Setrak on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:39:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, (0+ / 0-)

          so if they screw him less, it will be better?

          "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

          by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:15:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I can't figure out your tone. (0+ / 0-)

            so if they screw him less, it will be better?

            ?

            "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

            by Setrak on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:20:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  When you "qualify" (0+ / 0-)

              that the "self-employed are being screwed the most," it implies that being screwed "less" would be an improvement. The more convincing public-reform minded statement is: "the self-employed are being screwed."

              It's the way you made the statement. And it goes along with your diary yesterday, "Take the trigger."

              ...but even next to nothing is a hell of a lot better and more acceptable than nothing.

              "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

              by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:30:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ugh, yes. (0+ / 0-)

                Getting screwed less is better than getting screwed more.  Of course, not getting screwed at all is even more preferable.

                You're just looking for an argument.

                "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

                by Setrak on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:32:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  What age are you? (0+ / 0-)

      That makes a difference, too. And never having any big health costs for your provider. You would be considered highly desirable.

      "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

      by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:47:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm 56, been insuring myself forever...insured (0+ / 0-)

        with Blue Cross. ..high deductable but have a HSA.  The premium plus contribution to the HSA is a lot less than what is being mentioned in this diary.

        •  And healthy, too? (0+ / 0-)

          And if so, perhaps you've never really had to test your insurance. I mostly insured myself my entire life as well and I can tell you that things have changed a lot in the past 10 years or so. There is also a lot of credit checking and premiums based on where you live (your zip code can affect your premium).

          "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

          by suswa on Mon Sep 07, 2009 at 10:21:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I like how you added extra zeroes in the title. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure it's very important for us all to see the fact that no small change(pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars) was necessary.  I'm sure the addition of ".00" in your diary title has nothing to do with making it look like a lot more at first glance.  After all, it's not like you have some financial stake in this lobbying effort.

    "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

    by Setrak on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:27:34 PM PDT

    •  What's your beef? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bellatrys

      I always add zeroes to my dollar amounts. It makes it perfectly clear. So, really, what's your problem? Who do you work for? No health issues? Group insurance?

      Or maybe you are working for the insurance industry? Bingo!

      "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

      by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:30:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hahaha.. ahhahaa! (0+ / 0-)

        Did you really just accuse me of that?  Priceless.

        There was no reason for the diarist, who is known to be getting paid for blogging here, to add ".00".

        I don't really think it's a big deal that several are being paid to do all they can to get this thing done.  I just wish there was more honesty about it.

        "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

        by Setrak on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:34:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I already knew that (0+ / 0-)

          My questions stands. And it's not a laughing matter. I don't care about your recent diaries. Why are you criticizing people and their efforts? That's the part that's "priceless."

          "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

          by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:51:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm criticizing a specific thing. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm criticizing the ".00" in the title.  I'm criticizing the dishonesty of some who did not reveal the fact that they are being paid to say something to us.  I think even they would conclude that they should have been the ones to let us know first.  It wouldn't have been much of a deal if they had done that.  In fact, it probably wouldn't have been a deal at all.

            "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

            by Setrak on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:04:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Concern (0+ / 0-)

              is uncalled for about it. If that's your only beef, and this is an "important" issue as you see it, why haven't you rec'd it? Because of the zeroes? How do we know you are not being paid? How does anyone really know? Your wife or partner could be "paying" you to write if you are unemployed. It's a silly point you make.

              "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

              by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:09:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What I said was uncalled for, but suggesting that (0+ / 0-)

                I'm some kind of covert lobbyist or PR man for the insurance companies is not?  Why not just suggest that I'm a freeper or red stater?  Why stop at corporate lackey?

                Being a lobbyist for pro health reform groups is not a bad thing.  My point is there should be honesty/disclosure about that.   A loss of credibility is suffered, and that comes back to haunt when the title has something that to me looks and smells fishy.

                My other main reason for not recommending this diary(or the HUNDREDS of other pro HC-reform diaries) is because it isn't anything that stands out.  Granted, I feel bad for the family being overcharged along with the millions of other families also being screwed, but there will be another ten diaries along these lines over the course of the next 24 hours and I think you are smart enough to know that.

                "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

                by Setrak on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:17:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Like so many here (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't read "every" diary that pops up on the recommended list. It's impossible to do that unless you sit staring at DKos all day. And there's nothing wrong with that. I just recommend diaries that do a good job of providing important information about an issue that is extremely important to our country. I think you are protesting it too much. And that makes me question your motives.

                  "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

                  by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:36:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, and (0+ / 0-)

          why haven't you recommended this diary?

          "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

          by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:55:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because of the reason I already cited. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            askew

            Are you implying something about all those who don't immediately recommend a diary put forward by someone being paid to publish it?

            Please elaborate.

            "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

            by Setrak on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:06:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              I'm just pointing out that you are disruptive to this diary.

              "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

              by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:11:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then stop suggesting that I'm an anti-reform (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                askew

                lobbyist.

                "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

                by Setrak on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:19:12 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I never said that (0+ / 0-)

                  I said that you may be indirectly paid for blogging. Your recent diary does seem to be waving a red flag on the public option.

                  "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

                  by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:22:19 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, at least the flag wasn't white? (0+ / 0-)

                    Heh.

                    I fundamentally don't think the trigger would be the end of the PO.  As this very diary notes, the PO would not even go into effect until 2013.  It gives insurance companies plenty of time to continue screwing people like the family described in this article.   However, a trigger might push insurance companies to move as fast as possible on enacting a lot of very-much needed reform.  If the trigger only pushes a date for the PO back a year or two(as opposed to over three years from today), it's not really a big difference, is it?

                    Fact of the matter is that I don't think reconciliation will work.  It seems like there might be ways to poison it and force the need for 60 votes to remove the poisoning.   I don't think we have 60 votes unless we do the trigger.  Byrd isn't well at all, and the senior senator of my state is currently resting in peace.   Hence why I always hated math.

                    "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

                    by Setrak on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:30:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  They say that at most, 10 million people (0+ / 0-)

                      would be eligible for a limited public option.

                      The whole money savings thing is a shameless lie. the fact is, it will lose money and so its going to have to be limited.

                      The only way to make healthcare affordable is single payer, so it has to be avoided at all cost. Where is the profit in that!?

                      Infiltrate groups, influence issues, with obots that just smell SO right!

                      by Andiamo on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 05:58:11 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure why this is a big deal to you. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          suswa

          I didn't understand during the first go-around and I don't understand during this (lamely) attempted second go-around.  

          Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

          by Rich in PA on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:27:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Junk Insurance Is Right! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassiodorus

    And why should we pay huge premiums when we can't even get a truthful answer to what we're paying for???

    "I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back." ~ Ann Richards (Governor of Texas, 1990-94)

    by suswa on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:28:01 PM PDT

  •  My brother-in-law's family is in the insurance (0+ / 0-)

    business and they have (I believe) always voted Republican.  My husband asked his brother what he thought of the proposed health insurance reform and his brother replied, "It'll be really good".  

    Bottom line - The family members vote Republican, they are insurance brokers and they hope the bill passes.  Why do they hope the bill passes?  Health insurance policies will be less expensive, so they'll be able to sell more policies.  

    Honestly, I hadn't thought about it from their perspective.  

    •  Car dealers tend to be Republicans, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moondance

      yet they absolutely loved Cash for Clunkers even if the system got a bit over-loaded and some had to take out loans during the wait for the rebate from DoT.

      Insurance providers love the idea of a mandate.  I'm a lot more "eh" about mandates.

      "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." John Conyers 1/26/09

      by Setrak on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:38:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand what you're saying. (0+ / 0-)
        I think their line of reasoning is that more people will be able to afford a health insurance policy.  If, of course, the PO brings down the prices of private insurance policies.  I suppose that remains to be seen.
    •  hold on, more demand + less supply (0+ / 0-)

      equals MORE EXPENSIVE, NOT less..

      that pesky Economics 101, again..

      DON'T say that we didn't warn you!

      Look at this chart, see how closely Canada and the US tracked each other until just a few years ago.. then...

      US Healthcare Spending Relative to Other Nations (sobering graph)

      According to the drug industry, one reason US prices are high is because other nations decided to save money by adopting single payer, placing all that extra burden on us.

      So, what are our options? We can hope that the government-run health plans of most other developed nations see the error of their ways and, voluntarily, go back to coughing up all that dough, for no reason (unlikely) or we can generously, take that money, by force if necessary, from American families, bankrupting many hundreds of thousands a year, (Obama's approach) avoiding the savings of single payer, or we can admit that we are beaten, we have no choice but to save money too, and adopt single payer too.

      That seems to be the only way!

      Infiltrate groups, influence issues, with obots that just smell SO right!

      by Andiamo on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:17:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I chose to go bare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Massman

    I could have paid $289/mo for a junk policy with a $5,000 deductible. Wanna bet anything that happened to me outside a car crash would be a pre-existing condition? Youbetcha!

     I went bare, spending $679 for a doctor's visit and an amazing $1,050 for prescriptions this month. Now that's a five month supply and I am likely to come through this Lyme disease experience well and whole, but I think my employer cutting me a check equal to the expenses is a benefit that most Americans don't have.

     If we don't fix health care in 2009 what hope have we in 2010?

    "Not dead ... yet. Still have ... things to do." -Liet Kynes

    by Stranded Wind on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:36:53 PM PDT

    •  I pay (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stranded Wind

      I don't know why.  Into deep, been paying 10+ yrs, self employed.  I figure the minute I get rid of it, I'll be diagnosed  with cancer, not that they would help me, I know, It's psychological.  BUT, I don't buy shit retail.  All garage sale and Craigslist.  I make sure I pay NO Sales tax, if I can avoid it.  and of course its a write off, which as long as I'm making money, I can do.  Of course I would never dip into savings to pay it.  I just think of it as a cost of doing business.  

      The San Francisco Bay Bridge, MADE IN CHINA

      by east bay on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:18:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Washington state employee coverage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve

    Year: 2009
    Enrollee Type: Employee (state agency and higher education only)
    Location: King County, Washington

    Employee (state agency and higher education only) plans in King County, Washington for 2009
    Aetna Public Employees Plan  
    Group Health Classic  
    Group Health Value  
    Uniform Medical Plan  

    Aetna Public Employees Plan

    Lifetime maximum None

    Annual deductible None

    Annual out-of-pocket maximum Enrollee pays $750 per person/$1,500 per family

    Office and clinic visits $10 copay per visit

    Ambulance services (air) $100 copay per trip

    Ambulance services (ground) $75 copay per trip

    Chemical dependency services (inpatient) Enrollee pays inpatient hospital copay

    Maximum payment for all plans is $14,500 per 24 consecutive calendar month period for any combination of inpatient/outpatient treatment
    [Not as bad as it might appear - read about the $600 hospital maximum.]

    Chemical dependency services (outpatient) $10 copay

    Diabetic education
    Additional education programs available; costs vary $10 copay per visit; limited to 10 hours per calendar year

    Diagnostic tests, laboratory, and X-rays $10 copay per visit to diagnostic imaging facilities

    Covered in full if part of an office visit

    Durable medical equipment, supplies, and prostheses Enrollee pays 20% coinsurance

    Emergency room (copay waived if admitted directly to hospital) $75 copay per visit

    Hearing (examination) Covered in full under preventive care benefit; one exam per calendar year

    Hearing (hardware) $800 maximum plan payment every 36 months for hearing aid, and rental/repair combined

    Home health care Covered in full

    Hospice care (including respite care) Covered in full; respite care is limited to five days per three-month period

    Hospital services (inpatient) $200 copay per day (maximum $600 per person per calendar year)

    Hospital services (outpatient) $100 copay for facility fees per surgery or procedure; surgeon, anesthesiologist, etc., covered in full

    Massage therapy $10 copay per visit; up to 16 visits per calendar year

    Mental health care (inpatient) Enrollee pays inpatient hospital copay

    Mental health care (outpatient) $10 copay per visit, up to 50 visits per year

    Physical, occupational, speech, and massage therapies (inpatient) Does not include massage therapy (see massage therapy benefit)

    Includes neurodevelopmental therapy

    Enrollee pays inpatient hospital copay

    Physical, occupational, speech, and massage therapies (outpatient) Does not include massage therapy (see massage therapy benefit)

    Includes neurodevelopmental therapy

    $10 copay per visit, up to 60 visits per calendar year

    Prescription drugs, insulin, and disposable diabetic supplies Retail (up to a 30-day supply):

    Tier 1, (generic): $10 copay
    Tier 2, (preferred brand): $25 copay
    Tier 3*, (nonpreferred brand): $40 copay

    Mail order (up to a 90-day supply):

    Tier 1, $20 copay
    Tier 2, $50 copay
    Tier 3*, $80 copay

    *Enrollees pay more for Tier 3 drugs that have a generic equivalent. The plan pays as if the enrollee purchased the generic; the enrollee pays the rest.

    Preventive care Covered in full

    Radiation and chemotherapy services $10 copay per visit

    Skilled nursing facility care (150 days per benefit period) Enrollee pays inpatient hospital copay

    Spinal manipulations $10 copay per visit, up to 10 visits per year

    Vision (examinations) $10 copay per exam; one annual eye exam

    Vision (hardware) $150 maximum plan payment every 24 calendar months for frames, lenses, contacts, and fitting fees combined

    http://www.pebb.hca.wa.gov/...

    •  It costs $3,816 per year (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve

      for family coverage.

      http://www.pebb.hca.wa.gov/...

    •  And sink your teeth carefully (0+ / 0-)

      into this dental coverage:

      [figures on the right are what you would pay in dollars]

      D2740 Crown - porcelain/ceramic substrate 155
      D2750 Crown - porcelain fused to high noble metal 175
      D2751 Crown - porcelain fused to predominantly base metal 125
      D2752 Crown - porcelain fused to noble metal 150
      D2790 Crown - full cast high noble metal 175
      D2791 Crown - full cast predominantly base metal 125
      D2792 Crown - full cast noble metal 150
      ....
      D3310 Root canal therapy - anterior (excluding final restoration) 100
      D3320 Root canal therapy - bicuspid (excluding final restoration) 125
      D3330 Root canal therapy - molar (excluding final restoration) 150
      D3346 Retreatment of previous root canal therapy - anterior 100
      D3347 Retreatment of previous root canal therapy - bicuspid 125
      D3348 Retreatment of previous root canal therapy - molar
      ....
      D3410 Apicoectomy/periradicular surgery - anterior 70
      D3421 Apicoectomy/periradicular surgery - bicuspid 50
      D3425 Apicoectomy/per. surgery molar (1st root) 100
      D3426 Apicoectomy/periradicular surgery (additional root) 25
      D3430 Retrograde filling - per root 5
      D3450 Root amputation - per root 0
      ....
      D5110 Complete denture, maxillary 140
      D5120 Complete denture, mandibular 140
      D5130 Immediate denture, maxillary 140
      D5140 Immediate denture, mandibular 140
      D5211 Maxillary partial denture, resin base 140
      D5212 Mandibular partial denture, resin base 140
      D5213 Maxillary partial denture - metal base with resin saddles 140
      D5214 Mandibular partial denture - metal base with resin saddles 140
      ....
      D6210 Pontic - cast high noble metal 175
      D6211 Pontic - cast predominantly base metal 125
      D6212 Pontic - cast noble metal 150
      D6240 Pontic - porcelain fused to high noble metal 175
      D6241 Pontic - porcelain fused to predominantly base metal 125
      D6242 Pontic - porcelain fused to noble metal 150
      D6251 Pontic - resin with predominantly base metal 150

      http://www.deltadentalwa.com/...

      Implants are expensive though:

      Pre-Implant Consultation Fees $25
      Initial Implant Exam or Consultation
      Detailed and Extensive Oral Evaluation $ 125
      Implant Fees - Case Rates
      Single Tooth $2,800
      Two Teeth $5,464
      Three Teeth $7,644
      Full Denture (two implants) $5,120
      Full Denture (three implants) $6,885
      Each additional tooth $2,095

    •  That bugs the heck out of me: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      suswa, Shuruq

      They will pay for a new pair of glasses every two years, but not the full costs of even one pair of hearing aids.

            Sighing,
            Heather, who has used hearing aids
                     for about 15 years

      Planning a March for Accountability

      by Chacounne on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:05:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  because insurance is junk (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Massman, east bay

    it already has met the trigger; we pay the premiums the insurance cos don't deliver the product, they deny the claims, cut the services and wildly increase the costs the system is broken we have already met the trigger.......

    Study CA: first GOP opens up a wedge then Libertarians plow right thru it & they are going national. ~ Hate, Greed, Lies, Gullible vs. Health Care For All

    by anyname on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 02:46:38 PM PDT

  •  no kidding (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suswa, nyceve

    Cost me 1000.00 a month for NOTHING!  Husband has to go to emergency once, cost us 3500.00 out of pocket. For NOTHING.  Never paid it.  Fuck you!  NEVER will pay it.  Suck my ass, I tell 'em.

    The San Francisco Bay Bridge, MADE IN CHINA

    by east bay on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:13:25 PM PDT

  •  No more God damn compromising. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve

    No more God damn compromising.

    That's the most sensible thing I've read in weeks.

    Not wanting to seek Republican approval for everything Democrats do means you're "The Left of the Left".

    by William Domingo on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 03:49:58 PM PDT

  •  If you are uninsured & cannot afford a mammogram (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poe

    Call your local community hospital to see if they have a grant funded by the Susan G. Komen foundation.

    I was due for a six month mammo in May as there was some suspicious lymph node activity apparent at my 12 month check up and my doc wanted to keep an eye on this. (My sister is in stage four of breast cancer.)  I was laid off in May and lost my health insurance that day. I found my way to a free mammo eventually and thankfully, this mammo from last week was a-okay and I do not have to get another one for another year!!

    It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    by FriendlyWays on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 04:01:03 PM PDT

    •  some health resources (0+ / 0-)

      Community health centersprovide health care regardless of your ability to pay and even if you have no health insurance. Find the community health center closest to you. Phone the community health center for more information or to make an appointment.

      [NOTE: COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS MAINLY DO THINGS A FAMILY DOCTOR WOULD DO]

      Hill-Burton obligated facilities [mainly in big cities] provide free or reduced-cost services to those who are unable to pay. Each facility chooses which services it will provide at no or lowered cost and who will receive them. Eligibility for Hill-Burton is based on family size and income. You may apply at a Hill-Burton obligated facility for free or reduced-cost care either before or after you receive care. Find Hill-Burton obligated facilities. Apply for free or reduced-cost care at the Hill-Burton obligated facility.

      [NOTE: HILL-BURTON IS THE MAIN HOSPITAL BASED OPTION AND IS VERY LIMITED]

      State medical assistance programshelp people with incomes under certain limits pay for prescription medications, visits to the doctor, hospitalizations, and insurance premiums. Each program is different and not all States have medical assistance programs. Contact your local department of social services or a local hospital's social worker to see if your State has a program and if you might be eligible to apply.

      National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Programfor low-income women provides free or low-cost mammograms and Pap tests. Find a free or low-cost mammogram and Pap test in your State

      Veterans Medical Benefitsprovide care to enrolled veterans. If you served in the military and were discharged in other than dishonorable conditions, you are probably eligible. For more information, see the Veterans Administration Web site

         
      Note: To get free breast or cervical cancer treatment, the cancer must normally be detected via the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

      New York State also covers prostate and colon cancer based on the same income limits.

  •  just for fun (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Massman, hatrabbit

    and jollies with simple math and a little projection into the future.

    With $1865 a month for junk health insurance premiums, if as few as 50 million families pay that:

    1.  It is $93 billion a month, enough to finance 7.5 Iraq wars simultaneously.  
    1.  It is 1.11 trillion a year, enough to bail out 20%, or 1/5, of what bush bailed out of fannie mae and freddie mac by nationalizing them last fall for a 'cool' $5 trillion of bad debt dumped on taxpayers.
    1.  Over a 10 year period of time, not including the periodic leaps in premium costs every year, it is $11.1 trillion out of 50 million families pockets providing economic welfare for the profiteers in the healthcare system scam... equivalent to the 'bailout' of the insolvent banking system to date.  

    $11.1 trillion paid out in premiums by 50 million American families over 10 years would buy the American people:

    1.  200 well equipped publicly funded hospitals ($350 million each hospital) for every state of the US (or 10,000 hospitals).  -$3.5 trillion
    1.  Pay the tuition for 12 million NEW doctors, nurses and various healthcare specialists (assuming avg of $80k between nursing, MD, and other specialized education and we don't even need that many healthcare people) -$1 trillion
    1.  Pay the salaries for 37.5 million healthcare workers for 1 year at an average of $80k (doctors bump the avg up though some nurses do make good money, not many though) or pay the salaries of 5 million healthcare workers for 7 years straight.  -$3 trillion
    1.  Pay the utilities bill for the 10,000 hospitals for 10 years straight assuming a $20k a month bill -$2 billion (barely noticed)
    1.  Pay for 50 million empty syringes at an average outrageously overpriced cost of $25 each (its plastic with 25 cents of steel needle)  -$1.25 billion
    1.  Pay for 1.2 billion prescriptions for 5 years straight at an average outrageously overpriced cost of $175/month (it costs less than $2 to manufacture any of these drugs unless the Pharma CEO's are brewing them themselves)  -$1.05 trillion
    1.  With $2.55 trillion left over we can send 42.5 billion people to disneyland at $60 a pop or the entire world's population to disneyland 7 times.

    This shows how broken our healthcare system really is.

    Hope is getting weaker and weaker, just what the money power paid for.

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 04:57:43 PM PDT

  •  One of the best lines in a wonderful diary: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve

    No more God damn compromising.

  •  The Deal (0+ / 0-)

    Take a read of Matt Tabbi's take on Health care.

    http://www.commondreams.org/...

    I think he's got it just about right. Obama is full of shit. He's another empty suit dreamer is about all and his vaunted political skills are BS as well. He's just another Corp. flunky with a smile. We've all been PUNKED!

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 06:54:55 PM PDT

  •  I pay $3600 a year for a plan which covers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, Cassiodorus

    myself, the beautiful part of the spousal set, and one daughter who insists upon drilling holes in her body and inserting metal objects into it [she got a lip ring .. argh .. this parental unit disapproves strongly] ..

    um .. yeah .. sorry about getting sidetracked ..

    Oh, and my employer?

    With the rate increase, they kick in over *$15,000/year more*. So we pay a total of over $19K for a half way decent plan. I still have co-pays and deductibles, and my out of pocket expenses last year were well over $6,000 [not including the $3600, mind you].

    I make almost six digits a year, and I still qualify to have part of these expenses taken off my income on Schedule A.

    And I live in the pastoral State of NH, where things are supposed to be 'affordable'. Well, it's not affordable. It's driving us nearly into insolvency.

  •  OK, here's what I suggest (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve
    1.  Sell your house.
    1.  Put all assets you have under your mattress.

    That's it.  Then, if you get really sick, Medi-Cal will treat you.

    This was said rather sarcastically, but not 100% so.

    The day the vast majority of Americans stop putting more than $1000 in banks, AND give up their houses, things will change.

    I am sorry to say, but the only thing the Powers-That-Be pay attention to is THEIR bottom line.  And Americans are WAY too enamored of owning a house.  Get over it.  Millions of Americans live in rentals -- you can, too!  And, of course, banks can't live without money in them.  Ah, you say most of their money doesn't come from small depositors, like us.  Well, when your money isn't sitting in a bank and you drop your 401-K, they will notice.  And they will scream.  About time.

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