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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 06:37 AM
Original message
White House targets insurers over healthcare premiums
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE58L1L0200...

The White House kept insurance companies squarely in its sights on Tuesday in the push for healthcare reform by releasing research showing that health insurance premiums have risen far faster than inflation in every U.S. state.

U.S. states have experienced premium growth of 90 percent to nearly 150 percent in the past decade, while wages have risen 38 percent and inflation by 28 percent, the report by the White House's National Economic Council said.

"In every state, premiums have increased faster than wages and in every state, family budgets are consumed by an increasing share of healthcare premiums," the report said.

Vice President Joe Biden was scheduled to speak on Tuesday to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, in remarks highlighting the report.

(snip)
In excerpts from his prepared remarks, Biden noted that premiums in Alaska increased 145 percent in 10 years while wages grew 35 percent, and in Florida premiums rose 121 percent while wages increased 43 percent. He said Michigan had the smallest gap, 37 percent.
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CTLawGuy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
1. zOMG he is totally in teh pokket of ins cos!
:eyes:
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
2. Red herring
Insurance rates of any type are based on the probabilities of the occurence of an event in terms of risk and uncertainty. Income levels have no relationship with those probabilities.
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bread_and_roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. That's ALL they're based on? What about that "overhead?"
What about the up to 30% "Administrative" costs? Where does it come from if not from premiums? And what about profit? Where does it come from? And the "relationship" is cost of living/wages to cost of insurance premiums - which seems to me a valid comparison and sure ain't a "red herring" to those paying those premiums - or those who can't get a raise if they want to keep their health insurance benefits - or those who can't afford any sort of "insurance." So, exactly what is your point?

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RDANGELO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Two important points.
The government wouldn't have to worry about probabilities.

You are assuming healthy competition. There isn't so that means there is some gouging.
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Aragorn Donating Member (784 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. right
And more concretely, the cost for Medicare is tied to cost of living increases, and fees paid are also tied to that.

So private insurance companies are definitely NOT competitive with Medicare for all and/or not-for-profit insurance such as a (good) public option.

If we then drop Medicare Advantage subsidies, and set practice standards (as most medical fields already have), and insist on medication price competition, etc - we will be OK. American industry can compete again, etc etc.

My own insurance has increased 350% in 6 years BTW. Me and 2 college students.
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. I wasn't defending the insurance companies
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 09:31 AM by dipsydoodle
Just stating a fact rgardless of whether its health , motor, fire insurance whatever - that's the way it works and actuaries assess the probablilities.

I appreciate there's gouging on top.

The government wouldn't have to worry about probabilities - I know I'm UK so've got the NHS.
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