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Wed Apr 11, 2012, 06:48 PM

Obamacare Would Make Insurance Companies Give Consumers Their $2 billion Back

Obamacare Would Make Insurance Companies Give Consumers Their $2 billion Back

by Rachel Strohman

A recent report from the Commonwealth Fund predicts that, if the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) provision of the Affordable Care Act had gone into effect in 2010, consumers would have gotten $2 billion back from insurance companies last year.

You read that right: Insurance companies would have given consumers a $2 billion refund. But what the heck is MLR? This wonky term simply means that insurers have to spend the majority of your premium dollars on health care and improving quality, instead of profits, advertising, or other administrative expenses.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, in most states there was no system for making sure that the consumers' premiums actually went toward their health care expenses and not into the pockets of insurance company CEOs. Thanks to Obamacare, insurers must spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care expenses. Any less than that, and they are required to send their customers a refund to make up the difference.

The Commonwealth Fund calculated that difference using data from 2010, one year before the MLR regulations took effect in January of 2011. Although consumers will not receive refunds from 2010, many will see checks in the mail this summer based on how insurance companies spent premium dollars in 2011.

- more -

http://www.standupforhealthcare.org/blog/obamacare-would-make-insurance-companies-give-consumers-their-2-billion-back


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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obamacare Would Make Insurance Companies Give Consumers Their $2 billion Back (Original post)
ProSense Apr 2012 OP
savalez Apr 2012 #1
cindyperry2010 Apr 2012 #2
girl gone mad Apr 2012 #4
ProSense Apr 2012 #6
MannyGoldstein Apr 2012 #8
ProSense Apr 2012 #10
MannyGoldstein Apr 2012 #11
BzaDem Apr 2012 #12
MannyGoldstein Apr 2012 #21
BzaDem Apr 2012 #23
MannyGoldstein Apr 2012 #26
BzaDem Apr 2012 #27
MannyGoldstein Apr 2012 #30
BzaDem Apr 2012 #31
MannyGoldstein Apr 2012 #33
freedom fighter jh Apr 2012 #34
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #3
ProSense Apr 2012 #5
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #9
BzaDem Apr 2012 #14
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #15
MannyGoldstein Apr 2012 #7
BzaDem Apr 2012 #13
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #16
MannyGoldstein Apr 2012 #20
BzaDem Apr 2012 #24
MannyGoldstein Apr 2012 #25
BzaDem Apr 2012 #28
Fumesucker Apr 2012 #29
BzaDem Apr 2012 #32
Uncle Joe Apr 2012 #17
lonestarnot Apr 2012 #18
zipplewrath Apr 2012 #19
Zax2me Apr 2012 #22
Scurrilous Apr 2012 #35
Scurrilous Apr 2012 #36

Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 06:51 PM

1. Interesting.

Thanks ProSense.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 06:52 PM

2. This is why right here why they want this over turned so badly

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Response to cindyperry2010 (Reply #2)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 07:03 PM

4. They don't want all of it overturned..

they wrote most of it. There are many parts they want to overturn, and likely will overturn.

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Response to girl gone mad (Reply #4)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 07:08 PM

6. They want

"They don't want all of it overturned..they wrote most of it. There are many parts they want to overturn, and likely will overturn."

...this overturned:

16 million: number of Americans who become eligible for Medicaid under the health care law
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002531684

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Response to ProSense (Reply #6)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 07:13 PM

8. How many seniors will lose health care

If the Medicare eligibility age is raised to 67 as Obama has tried to do?

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #8)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 07:17 PM

10. Here,

"How many seniors will lose health care"

...facts: The President's health care law provided free preventive care for seniors for the first time ever and save them more than $3.2 billion in prescription drug costs.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #10)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 07:31 PM

11. Fact: the President attempted to raise Medicare eligibility by 2 years

Do you approve of his attempt?

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #11)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 07:41 PM

12. Do you have anything to say about ProSense's actual post?

Obviously, to whatever extent Obama offered to raise the Medicare eligibility age (and to whatever extent that offer was real), that was a bad idea. I doubt very many people here disagree that raising the eligibility age is bad policy.

But what does that have to do with the healthcare bill? ProSense's pointed out that the healthcare bill included the largest expansion of public health coverage in decades. More than half the insurance expansion was through Medicaid. It turned Medicaid from a program where states could erect barriers to eligibility (turning away even the poorest of the poor depending on non-income factors), to making it a GUARANTEE for anyone up to 133% of FPL in every state.

If the best you can do in replying that is to change the subject entirely, that says a lot about the claimed liberal case against the healthcare bill.

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Response to BzaDem (Reply #12)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 09:27 PM

21. I'm

Pointing out that Obama wants to make more seniors fend for themselves in order to pay for ACA.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #21)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:14 PM

23. To trade something away, don't you have to have it in the first place?

Obama's opinion on single payer is irrelevant. In fact, he supported it in the past. It doesn't matter, because no one cares what Obama's opinion would have been. Red state Democrats would LOVE it if Obama supported Single Payer. That way, they could go back to their state, and say "Obama wants to take away the healthcare plan you currently have. I'm here to tell him NO."

It wouldn't matter how misleading or false those statements are. That's what they would say. Everyone knew that Medicare for all had as much chance of passing as Social Security for all. In fact, anyone who studied our political system in any depth knows this.

It is easy to support something when you aren't responsible for what happens if you fail. It is easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize, knowing that when 16 million people don't get public healthcare, you can just blame someone else. Anyone can do it; all it takes is a keyboard and an Internet connection.

It is harder when you actually are responsible for what happens if you fail. It's hard to live with yourself, if you had the opportunity to ACTUALLY help people, but instead blew that opportunity by pushing for a program that you knew wouldn't make it out of a single committee.

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Response to BzaDem (Reply #23)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:43 PM

26. Two-Thirds of Americans want Medicare for All

Which part of that is confusing to you?

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #26)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:02 PM

27. No part of it is confusing me; I'm not the one who's confused.

Most polls do not show anything close to that. But for the sake of argument, let's assume that 67% of people will currently answer a polling question in favor of Single Payer health care.

How in the WORLD do you get from there, to "there's even a remote possibility that Single Payer will pass?"

How well do you think Single Payer will be polling, after months of Republican ads (with the corporate media's help) saying that Obama is proposing that the 75% of Americans who supposedly like their healthcare plan (at least according to the polls) give up what they have, in favor of a government-payer system paid for by raising taxes? How well do you think it will poll after the insurance industry pours in billions of dollars of heavily-focused-grouped ads, that aim to mislead and misdirect in the optimal way to suit their purpose?

And why do you think it even matters? Are you really assuming that things with public support always have a chance of passing? Really? Have you ever studied how our political system works, and how it has worked for 200 years?

Let's step back a bit. Assume there is a policy X, that you really really want (and can find a poll stating that others want). Also assume that you are not going to see the policy enacted, despite how much you want it. (In other words, whether you like it or not.)

Do you even acknowledge that such a policy could exist?

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Response to BzaDem (Reply #27)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:27 PM

30. We've had it your way for 20 years. Happy?

The Third Way and its autocapitulation/triangulation/we-can't-do-what-Americans-want-it's-untenable have ruled our Party for 20 years. You've nearly destroyed our country.

FDR Democrats (We fight - if we don't win there'll be blood and teeth left on the floor) ran the Party from the early 1930s to the late 1970s. The 99% prospered. Even the 1% prospered. I like that outcome a lot better.

Sorry, I'll never believe that folding like a cheap lawn chair over something that's supported by two-thirds of Americans is a winning strategy. Nobody thought a black guy could become President, but Obama used his passion to change our minds. Then his passion went on vacation for 3 years until it was election time. Most everyone thought Occupy was a really bad idea - but they won big because they were right and they stood their ground.

If we stand for what's right, and we stick it out, we win.

Have a good night.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #30)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 12:57 AM

31. The only reason we have Social Security is because FDR IGNORED views like yours.

Plenty of people on the left thought accepting Social Security as passed was folding like a cheap lawn chair. Partly, it was because it didn't include healthcare, and partly, it was because it discriminated against so many people. (There were other reasons as well.)

The only reason we have Social Security is because FDR ignored all of them. LBJ realized the same thing -- even with two thirds of the Senate, Medicare would NEVER have passed if it was for all. It was limited to the elderly because the elderly were PRECISELY the people for whom the political tactics of destruction would be least effective.

Unlike Obama, FDR and LBJ had massive House and Senate majorities. (Obama's were tiny in comparison.) Yet both made a cold, hard political calculation: "if I base my strategy off of views anything like that of MannyGoldstein, tens of millions of people will not get the help we could have given them, and I will have to live with that for the rest of my life."

Our entire social safety net exists today because the kind of "if you want it, it will come" magical thinking has been ignored when it really was essential to ignore it. So it is a bit rich for you to claim that we should revert to thinking that would have put us back to before the new deal, had it not been ignored before.

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Response to BzaDem (Reply #31)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 07:50 AM

33. Compromise vs. Capitulation

Social Security and Medicare changed the status quo. RomneyObamacare extends the status quo.

Huge, huge difference.

We've had self-proclaimed "realistic" Democrats running our Party for 20 years now. We can each judge the results for ourselves.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #30)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 12:35 PM

34. +1 nt

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 06:55 PM

3. So someone somewhere actually has the figures for current MLR?

I didn't see it in the article and I didn't see a link to the actual report.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #3)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 07:04 PM

5. What

So someone somewhere actually has the figures for current MLR?

I didn't see it in the article and I didn't see a link to the actual report.

...does that mean? There was no enforcement of the MLR prior to the health care law.

It is enforced for Medicare, which is very efficient. Increasing the MLR and enforcement should be expanded to all programs.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002500237

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Response to ProSense (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 07:15 PM

9. To calculate any difference would require the actual current MLR..

Then we could say for example, "the MLR in 2011 was 24.9%, the ACA cut that to 20% in 2015".

But we would have to know the actual MLR in 2011 in order to make that judgement.


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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #9)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 08:22 PM

14. I think they said that whatever the various MLRs were for each insurance company, the amounts

over those MLRs (but under the ACA's MLR limits) in 2010 amounted to 2 billion in the aggregate.

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Response to BzaDem (Reply #14)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 08:26 PM

15. I've never seen the actual figure for the current MLRs..

Which was my point, scientific studies have to be open to be of any worth, if the results can't be independently duplicated then they are of little to no value. I didn't even see a link to the original study in the piece linked to in the OP.

As Reagan so famously quipped, trust but verify.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 07:10 PM

7. That's one-tenth of one percent of health care costs

If we had world-class health care financing like Medicare for All, 600 times that would be returned (30%).

Two-thirds of Americans want Medicare for All. But the 1% don't.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #7)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 08:08 PM

13. That's nice. How is that relevant to politics in this country?

Enacting Medicare for all was as politically feasible as enacting a guaranteed minimum income for all. Bernie Sanders himself said that Medicare for All wouldn't get 10 votes in the Senate.

When you attack the healthcare bill by praising Medicare for All, you are attacking a straw man. Almost everyone here agrees that Medicare for all is far preferable to what we have. So what? What does that have to do with what is actually in the realm of possibility? It seems that all liberal arguments against the healthcare bill rely on being blinded to the political reality in this country.

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Response to BzaDem (Reply #13)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 08:27 PM

16. It shows that 1% > 99%?

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Response to BzaDem (Reply #13)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 09:24 PM

20. When Sanders said that, Obama had already traded away Single Payer

in a closed-door deal with Pharma and the like.

Once the leader of the Party swore to oppose it, would you expect members to openly fight the President?

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #20)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:18 PM

24. So what? Are you actually suggesting that it would have gotten a non-negligible number of votes in

the Senate if Obama supported it?

It wouldn't have even gotten a vote. It would have suffered the same fate as Clinton's proposal, and for that matter Truman's proposal. In fact, many Democrats with very conservative electorates would love for nothing more than to Obama to come out in favor of single payer.

There are close questions in politics. This isn't one of them. That's why it is so frustrating to read arguments that are based on manifestly false premises -- premises that are obviously false to those that have studied our political system.

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Response to BzaDem (Reply #24)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:42 PM

25. I guess we'll never know.

Because the Third Way refused to try.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #25)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:05 PM

28. But that's the thing -- the vast majority of people who understand our political system DO know.

Just because you aren't convinced doesnt mean the answer isn't certain.

Fortunately, every SINGLE elected progressive of the Democratic party disagreed with you, and agreed that given the political reality that you deny (or express uncertainty about), the bill that passed is far better than nothing.

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Response to BzaDem (Reply #28)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 11:20 PM

29. I utterly despise being sold to an entity I blame for the deaths of loved ones..

There's been a lot of talk in the last few days of seeing things from the other person's point of view.

My point of view is that an insurance company deliberately caused the death of family members of mine in order to maximize their profits, I will never be convinced that they are anything other than malign entities.

And I agree completely with Candidate Obama...






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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #29)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:11 AM

32. The real question is: are you willing to tell 16 million people that they can't have Medicaid,

because you (correctly) hate insurance companies?

At what point would you change your view (that no HCR can result in any money going to insurance companies as a necessarily evil to get it passed)? If the other choice was tossing 20 million off of public health coverage, would that change your mind? What if it was 30 million people? 40? How many people is too many? At what point do you change your mind, that your personal view should override the views of tens of millions of Americans who want public health insurance (even if that means insurance companies get some money from the bill)?

Some people claim that they refuse to answer the question, because it is "extortion." It is a "hostage negotiation," and they won't answer.

Well I have news for those people: that is EXACTLY what it is. Politics is ALL ABOUT hostage negotiations. ANYONE who follows our political history knows that this is how our system works. Any major bill that passes is the result of 100 hostage negotiations. Social Security only passed because of large concessions to the southern rascist wing of the Democratic party. Medicare passed precisely because it was NOT for all, and would NOT destroy the insurance industry. It would not have passed if faced with a multi-billion dollar ad campaign against it. It wouldn't have come close to passing.

Saying "I won't answer your question, because that's extortion" is a cop-out. It's like saying "I won't answer your question because it is cold at the north pole." Refusing to answer really shows that people are not really confident in their own positions, and are happier to shut their eyes and plug their ears to the logical consequences of their views.

Someone who believed in their position would say "I would cast the deciding vote against providing public healthcare to tens of millions of people, ignoring all of those people's views, if the bill included money for insurance companies."

Or, they would say "I would cast the deciding vote in favor of providing public healthcare to tens of millions of people, even if it contained certain necessary but undesirable components that I hate."

What they would not do is refuse to answer.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 08:44 PM

17. This is the motivating dynamic that will drive up health care costs even faster than

it's going up now.



"Prior to the Affordable Care Act, in most states there was no system for making sure that the consumers' premiums actually went toward their health care expenses and not into the pockets of insurance company CEOs. Thanks to Obamacare, insurers must spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on health care expenses. Any less than that, and they are required to send their customers a refund to make up the difference."



For profit "health" insurance corporations will still be driven by the same capitalistic desires to maximize profits for their owners, bonus loving management and stockholders.

20% of $100,000 is more than 20% of $10,000 so long as that remains true, for profit "health" insurance corporations will have even less motivation to put downward pressure on the costs of medical goods and services.

Hospitals, doctors and big pharma will be more than happy to increase their prices, knowing that it's not only in their best financial interests but the for profit "health" insurance industry paying the bill as well.

Premium dollar increases will follow suit.

Thanks for the thread, ProSense.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 08:54 PM

18. K & R.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 09:24 PM

19. $10 per person

Assuming 200 million people, that's $10 per person. Assuming something closer to 300 million (which is where we actually are) that's even less. Of course, not every single American is spending money on health insurance. Spouses, children, whatever, they are covered by someone's health insurance premium. So let's use the common "two and two" which is two adults and two children. That means that one person is paying for 4 people. So that's $40 per person purchasing health insurance. $40. That's $40 out of a MONTHLY payment of anywhere from $300 to $1800 per year for any basic policy. It can be even higher. So, yeah, "Obama care" saved the population a couple of billions. A couple of billions that might pay for ONE MONTH of copays for their medication.

Man that was worth 18 months or so of political capital and time on health INSURANCE reform that didn't do diddly squat for health CARE. (Which is the only sentence Prosense will quote)

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Wed Apr 11, 2012, 10:03 PM

22. Good start. Then the govt can give consumers/tax payers back a few trillion.

 

From all the wasteful spending the last 30-40 years.
Especially from 2000-2008.

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 01:20 PM

35. K & R

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Response to ProSense (Original post)

Thu Apr 12, 2012, 05:35 PM

36. K & R

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