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If you have the laws, you don't need the public option.

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gulliver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:53 AM
Original message
If you have the laws, you don't need the public option.
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 11:57 AM by gulliver
Just ensure that insurance companies can't screw anyone and that the government helps subsidize universal coverage for the uninsured and under-insured. Then the private options will be good and non-profits can spring up to compete with the commercial ones. No need for a "public option" (stupid term, as Bill Maher noted) to skeer away the paranoids and provide political fodder for slime balls. We can quietly "expand Medicare/Medicaid" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)) later, after the 2012 Dem landslide.

Once you get the good rules in place, then the Republicans will get to test their great theory: that competition will yield efficiency. I don't mind insurance companies competing. I think that will work well under good rules, the ones we get to set now. The insurance companies get profits and the good feeling that comes from knowing that they don't have to compete by hurting people. Bless their altruistic hearts. ;-)

Here's something: Lots and lots of people work in the insurance industry. Discuss.

<0 recs, here I come!
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. I suspect thats Obama's idea since he is a practical person
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 11:58 AM by stray cat
I think if done right it would be a huge step in the right direction and better than a weak or poorly conceived public option. I hope the public option is included but I tend to agree with you.

I also agree with your perception of the neg recs :hi:
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
2. completely false and uninformed about how health care is delivered
in the rest of the world.

If you want to test the work place for competing in delivering medical care then have a single payer system and let the doctors and hospitals compete in the market.

If you "have the laws" which specify that everyone has to be covered and what the insurance companies have to do, and mandate universal enrollment you have taken away all of the risk and basically set the insurance companies up as subsidiaries of the government.

The reality is that insurance companies don't add any value to health delivery change and as a result are an invisible tax on it.

By your line of reasoning if we simply passed a law small pox would have gone away.
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DURHAM D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
3. So transfer even more public funds to private insurance companies?
Not a great idea.

Why don't we just nationalize the health insurance companies and be done with it?
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
4. You cannot ensure that insurance companies don't screw anyone
all the ins. co. needs to do is identify "good" customers and "bad" ones, and they can differentiate the service they give accordingly. I'm sure that's already being done right now.

I do think that there is a crucial time at the beginning of each Presidential term where only so much can be done. In this year, that was saving the economy. I believe that the forces have been put in motion to do that.

Yes, lots of people work in the insurance industry. If we have a public option that grows, or better yet, a single payer system, they will just have to change employers. At least with the single payer system, the ones who worked in advertising and promoting the insurance companies will have to find something else to do, and that's not a bad thing.
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gulliver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Not really referring only to fear of job loss in ins. industry.
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 12:07 PM by gulliver
Lots of jobs in ins. industry, but that has many dimensions... Generally, people are good and like to help other people. So the current ins. industry is probably chock-a-block with people who are unhappy that their work often involves hurting people. Then there is the side where people may plain not want to work for the government and vice versa.

Ins. industry people are undoubtedly worried that playing with a public option would hurt their jobs. Just jumping to a new employer is not a good answer for them...how would you or I like to hear that--especially in an environment where Obama is talking about "efficiencies" saving money? That's like saying Hassenpfeffer near a hutch full of rabbits. They're not sure what it means, but they know they don't like it.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I believe you are right about that
most people who work in this industry are good people. The work they do will have to be done by either a public option company, or a government agency in a single payer system. In fact, if more people are covered, and more services are ultimately provided by either method, there will be more need for people to make sure that paperwork has been filed correctly, process claims, etc.

Yes, efficiencies will reduce jobs, but not overnight. Back when I started my working career in the title insurance business, we had a lot of the search work done by hand with giant "tract books" being consulted, which were also posted by hand. Computers certainly took over a lot of that work, and a title examiner who could do only four or five title exams per day can now do fifteen or twenty of them. But, that's just progress.

A lot of folks aren't going to like having to change jobs. A year ago, I was working for a surgical supply company full-time, now I'm part-time with a utility company. It sucks to have to change jobs, but that's part of surviving, too.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. Actually I think the pricing power of the Government is switching
costs onto the private sector.

When medicare/medicaid under-reimburses doctors, hospitals and other providers, it moves somewhere else.

Healthcare is a zero sum game. If that fella doesn't pay it, you do.

That is why I do want a public option, because that is the plan I want to be in so I don't get stuck paying everyone else's bills. If I could afford it I'd do so, but I don't see a very flush future and I need to save all I can for my own retirement.
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gulliver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I would prefer a public option also.
I would probably have better insurance than I have now (high deductible HSA) just from the competition. The main controversy from my perspective is not the public option, though. It is "who pays to make sure everyone is covered completely?" To me, that is the rich...a complete no-brainer. If we got that and we got universal coverage, I don't care that much about the details at this point. There's time for tweaking later, IMO.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. The rich don't make enough money.
People making over $250,000 taxed at 100% would just pay off our deficit for this year not counting how much we expect them to pay just for the proposed health care bill.

I ran the numbers earlier this year and was kind of shocked.

The thing is you can only tax them on money they make now, not on the piles they've accumulated in the past. You only get access to that money when they die.
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jannyk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
9. Are you old enough to remember Reagan's 'De-Regulation'?
Because de-regulating the 'strong rules' is one of the first things the next Repug admin (and there will be one eventually) would do - they won't hold.

May I also remind you that the Banks were 'regulated', as were all the other financial houses, including Bernie Madoff, that went berzerk and brought us to our knees. Look at how that worked out for us.

Implementing 'strong' government regulation of industry is always weak at best, and flagrant violations bring only minor hand slaps compared with the profit generated by the violation.

With your proposed agenda, everyone is 'insured', so what possible validation would there be for expanding medicare. We lose the biggest impetus, the un/under-insured!

We already had the 'landslide' victory. Why do we need a second one to get this job done?

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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
10. Didn't stop the Contract On America congress from passing Gramm-Leach-Bliley.
It's easy for them to undo a law. Tougher to undo an institution, Medicare and Social Security.
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Davis_X_Machina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
12. It's impossible and the places called "Switzerland" and "The Netherlands" don't exist. n/t
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