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The Insurance "Industry" Doesn't Oppose This Health Care Reform Bill

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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:08 PM
Original message
The Insurance "Industry" Doesn't Oppose This Health Care Reform Bill
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 12:35 PM by Truth2Tell
Some seem to forget that the Insurance Cartel Lobby was given "a seat at the table" at the beginning of the process of crafting Obama's heath care reform package. As of today they are still in that seat.

The Republicans may have taken their ball and stalked home, but the Insurance Cartel has never had any intention of making themselves so irrelevant. They are not exclusively tied to either Party.

Sure, the industry has made a ton of noise and spent a load of money on this issue - but let's not confuse attempts to influence the outcome of a bill with attempts to kill it.

When the Insurance Lobby accepted their seat at this table - represented by their Senate blue dog proxies - they implicitly acknowledged that a "health care reform" bill was a near inevitability. They knew it was a top political priority for Obama and thus could see the writing on the wall. They knew Obama would have a much more uphill - though not impossible - battle, without the help of Industry interests in Congress, and they made the strategic decision to be a part of the coalition rather than the opposition.

This choice has paid off for the Cartel. The lack of a viable public option and the government mandates have made this bill palatable to the Industry. Make no mistake, they hate the pre-existing condition reform and much else good in the bill. And until the ink dries they will continue to use their public voice, and their seat at the table, to try and make this bill better for them. But they are on board.

If The Insurance Cartel Lobby were inextricably and wholeheartedly opposed to this bill you wouldn't see 55+ Democratic Senators on board. You wouldn't have seen a bill get past Chairman Baucus. You wouldn't see all the Industry carrots in the bill (hint: they are in there to get votes). And you wouldn't see those pearly white grins on the faces of the lobbyists sitting across from all of the rest of us at this "table."

edit: then/than
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
1. HR 3962 was a HUGE win for the insurance industry. It's almost a dream bill for them.
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 12:16 PM by Roland99
They can charge high rates for pre-existing conditions.

They're going to get millions of coerced new policyholders.


They fought to keep Single Payer a distant voice.
They fought to keep a robust public option at bay.


This "reform" bill is a gift to them in terms of billions of dollars in new revenue. It's been watered down and filtered to a nice distilled revenue stream in the name of "compromise".



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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
13. Umm.. charging more based on health would be outlawed
you don't even know one of the most basic elements of the bill and you're trying say how bad it is?
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Show me where it sets premiums as such. HR 3962 only prohibits limiting coverage for Pre-Ex.
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 12:47 PM by Roland99
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. Section 213
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 01:08 PM by SpartanDem
So for example two 50 year olds, who live in the same area, no matter thier previous health conditions could not charged different prices.

SEC. 213. INSURANCE RATING RULES

In General- The premium rate charged for a qualified health benefits plan that is health insurance coverage may not vary except as follows:

(1) LIMITED AGE VARIATION PERMITTED- By age (within such age categories as the Commissioner shall specify) so long as the ratio of the highest such premium to the lowest such premium does not exceed the ratio of 2 to 1.

(2) BY AREA- By premium rating area (as permitted by State insurance regulators or, in the case of Exchange-participating health benefits plans, as specified by the Commissioner in consultation with such regulators).

(3) BY FAMILY ENROLLMENT- By family enrollment (such as variations within categories and compositions of families) so long as the ratio of the premium for family enrollment (or enrollments) to the premium for individual enrollment is uniform, as specified under State law and consistent with rules of the Commissioner.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #21
26. So they raise the lowest level and that makes the policies at twice that rate even higher.
Don't you recall the posts on DU where the insurance companies were laying out their plans for when this bill passed and it included raising rates?

All they have to do is raise the floor and the ceiling rises with it.


Oh wait...or are you telling us that you trust insurance companies to do the right thing?!

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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. That is where the medical loss ratio and the caps comes in
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 02:00 PM by SpartanDem
sure they could jack up their rates, but 85% has to go to medical care otherwise you get a refund and with caps their is only so much money they can squeeze out of people anyway.
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Your faith and trust runs way deeper than mine.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #29
46. ...as well as his/her grasp of facts.
We are on hyperbole overload. EVERYONE is repeating wildly hypothetical conjecture which directly contradicts the language and stated intent of HR 3962 as if they were facts. For the most part, they are baseless speculation bordering on delusion.
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 06:54 AM
Response to Reply #27
31. The new medical loss ratio comes with the immediate caveat that the
new ratio doesn't "disrupt" the market.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 08:07 AM
Response to Reply #13
35. You're way off base here. Good job at getting it wrong while calling someone else ignorant!
:eyes:
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #35
47. Okay. Set us straight.
How much more will an insurer charge a diabetic hypertensive 39 year old man than a healthy 39 year old woman?
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Garam_Masala Donating Member (711 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 05:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
43. Correct you are! I give a C+ to dems for the house bill
Edited on Wed Nov-11-09 06:08 PM by Garam_Masala
profit by private insurance will be available for actual medical
sInsurance for profit is the big winner.
They get more customers due to mandates forced on every person.
They get to charge higher premiums for pre-existing condition.

The result? With bigger profits they can buy off more politicians.
Both Obama & Pelosi received millions in campaign contributions from
the health insurance and big pharma.

The result is crystal clear...people with expensive medical bills
will be harassed to the point they will end up in Public Option.
Which means PO premiums will be higher and higher taxes for all to
pay for it.

SINGLE PAYER is the only REAL HCR. Then everybody is in the same pool.
Young, old, healthy, sick, rich, poor....all will contribute and
therefore premiums will be the lowest. Best of all all the money going
to profit by private insurance will be available for actual medical
services. 25% of health care budget goes to profits currently.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yeah, they love
the fact that they're screwed

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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. There are major elements of the bill that they hate.
No question about it.

But they knew going in that this would involve some pain.

None of this means that they will kill the bill - that's what opposing a bill means.

They are a major part of the coalition crafting this bill. Their PR howls and their private threats are a part of that process - designed to produce the most favorable outcome for them.

Surely you are politically savvy enough to know they are still in their seat at this table.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Nonsense. This bill is the insurances industry's nightmare. n/t
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waiting for hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. Ahh, the House the Insurance Industry Built ...


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Lost-in-FL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
4. nt
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 12:21 PM by Lost-in-FL
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. My ass they don't oppose it. They spent money to create bogus reports to discredit it.
You think they want to lose their anti-trust exemptions? You think they are cool with having to use 85% of their intake for actual coverage, thus leaving only 15% for payroll and bonuses? You think they are thrilled at not being able to drop people, or discriminate for preexisting conditions or gender?

Go take a look at the laundry list of regulations being imposed on them and then try to tell me they aren't opposed to this. You are out of your mind if you think that.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. They oppose those elements of the bill - not the bill in whole.
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 12:30 PM by Truth2Tell
Just like many DUers oppose Stupak, but not the bill in whole.

They have accepted a compromise because they had no choice. And they were given enough really nice sweeteners to play along.

And they do their false studdies, and their astroturf and all the rest as part of their effort to influence the final content of the bill - not kill it.
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. Thats not even a well crafted conspiracy theory.
Those elements of the bill will completely shake up how they do EVERYTHING and not in a way that favors their bonuses and record profits. You are out of your mind.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Do you not believe that industry lobbyists
have helped write this bill? It's been well documented.

The Industry is part of the coalition that is crafting and will eventually pass this bill. That doesn't mean they like all or even most of it. But their hand is deep in it.
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phleshdef Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. That doesn't mean they like all or even most of it. But their hand is deep in it.
LOL, do you even realize how absolutely retarded that sounds?
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. " Don't throw me in that briar patch"
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Autumn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
8. Of course they don't oppose it
why should they, all their influence on the bill will pay off big time. "The Insurance Industry Profit Protection Act of 2009"
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Peacetrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. What are you talking about.? The insurance companies spent 126 million this year alone
and over 575 million in the last two years to fight HCR..



http://www.campaignmoney.org/HMO_insurance_spend_to_kil...
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. No - they spent that money to impact the nature of a bill
they knew was moving down the tracks with or without them.

And it worked pretty well.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #11
32. Really? Watch 'em try to kill it.
They spent money to neuter it. They'll gladly spend more to euthanize it.
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NorthCarolina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
12. Why would they oppose something they themselves wrote? nt
Edited on Tue Nov-10-09 12:34 PM by NorthCarolina
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 07:40 AM
Response to Reply #12
34. Because they NEVER negotiate from a position of weakness. ever.
Unlike democrats.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
17. Would Joe Lieberman threaten to filibuster a BAD bill?
No.

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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Because it contains a feeble public option. He's not for any kind of public option
even if it only covers 2% of Americans.

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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #19
23. He is a shill for the insurance industry. nt
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. Lieberman will support cloture in the end.
Lieberman IS one of the Insurance Cartel proxies sitting at the negotiating table on this bill. This is negotiation gamesmanship on the part of Joe - it's an effort to gain more concessions and more benefit for the industry. And he and his cohorts will likely get a bit more. And then they will all come together and support the final bill, as they have essentially all agreed to do already - industry included.
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uponit7771 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 01:09 PM
Response to Original message
22. I don't see them loving recession or pools or abolishing pre conditions or caps. All of those are...
...going to lower their revenue without a doubt
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Trade-offs. nt
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
28. They shouldn't. They wrote most of it. They are just miffed that they couldn't
keep the pre-existing conditions part of it out. They will try before it gets to conference.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-10-09 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. yep. nt
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #28
33. There are other ways,
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
36. Only a child would pretend the insurers aren't slobbering over MILLIONs of new (forced) customers.
:hi:
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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #36
37. Yeah, all those folks with pre-existing conditions they've been trying to keep out
for decades!
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #37
38. Every deal is a quid pro quo--this for that.
Your argument is that because the insurers gave up anything at all this must necessarily be a bad deal for them. This ignores the fact that every deal, by very definition, involves a quid pro quo. It becomes a good deal when the thing given up is worth less to the giver than the thing gotten. So arguing that the insurers had to give something up (no pre-existing condition bars) to get something 40+ million new forced customers doesn't answer the question at all.

:hi:
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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. And they can't kick anyone out because of age, etc. They're going to have to
pay out LOTS of money.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. I guess I wasted the keystrokes on my previous reply. nt
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Amazing how that goes around here, isn't it? nt
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NYCGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. An industry doesn't spend millions to fight a bill it likes. NT
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 04:37 AM
Response to Reply #42
49. True. They spend millions to help shape it more to their liking. nt
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bornskeptic Donating Member (951 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #36
44. But of course there will be exactly zero forced customers for private insurance.
Under the House bill every person to whom the individual mandate applies will have the option of enrolling in the public plan.
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Since the PO is estimated to be more expensive by design
I guess that takes care of that. Sound like lobbying money was well spent.

As for that 85% MLR every touts as a victory:

Although medical loss ratios (MLR) (the proportion of premium revenue actually spent on medical care) are specified at a minimum of 85 percent, this loophole has been addedwhile making sure that such a change doesnt further destabilize the current individual health insurance market. By way of comparison, the Senate Commerce Committee has found that the average MLR for the largest insurers in the individual market is only 74 percent, with 26 percent of premium revenue going to marketing, administrative overhead and profits.

http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/11/05/health-care-reform-2009... /


I believe the ins. companies consider anything that causes a profit loss "destabilizing change" to the market so it looks like, once again, that lobbying money is working as planned.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-11-09 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. The subsidies are structured in such a way that the price is irrelevant.
There are two ways a company can compete;
a) price
b) perceived value. The CBO believes that the PO will charge more despite having lower administrative costs because they will do less case management, they will pay out a larger proportion of their premiums in care.

Given the choice between paying $200 for something good or $200 for something bad, I'll pick good.
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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-12-09 08:50 AM
Response to Reply #48
50. The price is irrelevant for whom?
At what income level does price become irrelevant.
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