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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:29 PM
Original message
You think insurance companies are awful? Just wait...
We hear horror story after horror story about health-insurance companies denying legitimate
claims or canceling on people while they're in the middle of chemotherapy. These
stories are awful; and clearly these companies are putting profit before the health and safety
of the American people.

However, these horror stories will only become worse and more abundant if we don't pass real,
meaningful health-care reform--with a strong public option.

These insurance companies see the power that the Democrats have amassed. We've got a majority
in the House, in the Senate and in the White House. They know--that if the politicians fail to
deliver real reform to "We The People" now--it will never, ever happen.

Insurance company executives will be dancing in the streets--with no fear and no incentive to ever do
the right thing.

During the past two decades, insurance companies have been afraid of reform. They've been screwing over
some customers, but they've been strategic. They treat many of their customers the right way. They
use marketing and public relations to help the consumer feel warm and fuzzy about how well they're
doing and how much they care. Four-color newsletters from Wellmark in your mailbox and a Macy's Parade
balloon sponsored by Cigna--means they're still worried about their image.

The facade evaporates once these health-insurance companies know for sure that they are safe from any
real reform. There will be nothing that threatens them. "We The People" will have absolutely no
leverage with them. These horrible, awful insurance companies will understand that the corporate takeover
of the government is now complete--and they'll go for MORE profits--which means more people will be harmed
or killed and more Americans will go bankrupt because of canceled insurance, unpaid claims and other
profit-centered decisions.

It's now or never. Americans need health-reform now--but just as important--these insurance companies need
to understand that they cannot continue treating the American public like objects. If we fail to do that now--
with Democrats in control of our government--it sends a signal to the health-insurance industry that they can
take our money, abuse us and even kill us--and there's not a damn thing any of us can do about it.

Real reform. A meaningful public option. NOW!
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Ruby the Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. Happy to K & R to the main page.
Good writeup.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. Currently they skim about 30%, but that is self regulated. They can increase that % at will and they
will. Greed is not self-sustaining. It will grow and grow until the source of the booty is dead. The goose is dead.
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FormerDittoHead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. +1 Consider the loopholes written for them in the Baucus bill.
I'm thinking there are some WHOPPERS in the Baucus bill, but frankly, I don't trust ANY bill written 'with their consent'.

My bottom line is THEIR bottom line, and the ONLY bill that will be of ANY GOOD to the PEOPLE is the one which they fight tooth and nail over.

Single Payer, anyone?



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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I agree. If we pass a bad bill, the enraged public won't ever listen to us again.
Single payer.
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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. KR+11.

At this point, I don't want any sort of an "insurance reform"(*) passed AT ALL unless it has a robust and viable PO. Anything less than that will be counterproductive and will only delay the *real* health reform by many years, maybe even dozens of years.


*: But generally speaking, what we need as a nation is not an "insurance reform" but a TRUE health care reform - i.e., Universal Health Care for all Americans that is funded by (progressive) taxation and starts at birth.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Insurance industry gearing up to fight for customers??? ...
first annual conference in October.

http://www.vbassociation.com/index.php

Note: There is a video that begins when you click the link below.

http://www.voluntarybenefitsconference.com /

"The Voluntary Benefits and Limited Medical Conference Los Angeles October 25th and 26th, 2009

Voluntary Benefits and Limited Medical Plans are a multi billion dollar industry and one of the fastest growing segments in the insurance industry in America...


Credit Crisis & the US Economy

The conference will also address how the credit crisis and the US economic recession will affect the voluntary benefits, mini medical, limited medical and worksite industry. Will there be a positive affect, or a negative one? How do we position ourselves in this industry to take full advantage of the credit crisis and the economy and help it to increase enrollments and sales for our organization? The credit crisis and economy can help a broker or insurance carrier increase their block of business, but only if they position themselves correctly.


The Uninsured Marketplace

The United States has over 50 million Americans with NO HEALTH INSURANCE. Over 120 million Americans have no dental insurance. It is estimated an equal to or larger percentage are underinsured! What are your plans on how to target and market to this potential customer base?


Other key aspects attendees will learn are:

What are the best voluntary benefits and worksite products to be packaged with a mini medical or limited medical plan?
Which are the best enrollment companies for your voluntary benefits, mini-medical plans, limited medical plans and worksite products?
Who are the voluntary benefits and worksite insurance companies you can work with?
How to penetrate the Hispanic marketplace?

....."


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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. they are nothing but vultures and parasites on the ailing body of the nation.

btw, "voluntary benefits" sounds downright orwellian to me.

i can picture it already - being FORCED to cough up (up to) 13% of one's income for premiums alone (and ending up with a crappy/worthless policy requiring additional THOUSANDS of $$ in deductibles/copayments) is considered "involuntary/mandatory" "benefits".

if the suckers (i.e., us) want anything worthwhile, they have to buy into "voluntary benefits".


omg. i hope that Obama is going to nip this monstrosity (i.e., anything having to do with the Baucus bill) in the bud, but... i'm too disillusioned to count on that at this point.


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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I feel that this will be a defining moment for Obama...
Maybe it was a good strategy that he allowed Congress to define the bill.

If he had sent something to them--Reps would have run to one corner, and some Dems in another--and
a big clusterf&%$ would have ensued.

But now...it's go time. He's been signaling that he wants a meaningful PO, and that is good. I think
that's a vote of confidence, thrown toward the Dems who don't like the Baucus debacle, and a signal
to Baucus that he's full of baloney.

I like it...if that's what is happening.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Very true and I wonder what loophole there will be to sell these
scaled down policies, since they are planning the first annual convention you would think they know something.

:shrug:



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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. even with strong reforms, imagine the abuses they will pursue...
...during the next four years, before the reforms go into effect. The insurance companies, like the banking and credit industries, will exploit their "resource base," i.e. their policy holders, as much as they possibly can during that preimplementation period-- that's largely the boon that congress is throwing them to sweeten the deal-- and that abuse will form the backdrop for implementation of any reform plans that eventually emerge from congress.

Weak reforms will simply allow a terrible situation to remain pretty bad, maybe considerably worse than our present mess. We need STRONG reform that will not only improve the present, but also roll back the abuses that are bound to come during the preimplementation period set aside for insurance companies to pillage their policy holders for maximum short term profits.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. You're right...weak reforms will cause a bigger mess...
...and then the Republicans will point toward that pittance reform and
say, "Look at the mess SOME healthcare reform caused! Just imagine
the bigger mess that would have happened if the Democrats had taken
over healthcare completely like they wanted!!!"

If a weak, inferior public option is passed--it will be the death knell for
meaningful health care reform for more than a generation.

The Republicans could also win seats in 2010 and also win the Presidency in 2012
because of this issue.
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WeCanWorkItOut Donating Member (182 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
12. Good points. Then there's the question of how to control the costs of hospitals
drug companies, imaging centers, doctors.

'm also worried about the "medical homes" or ACOs
("accountable care organizations") which we'll be hearing more of
if we can't bring down medical prices by doing something
about the special interests.
Now we are used to hearing sad tales of the insurance company
denying tests, etc.. But in the ACOs the doctors will have
an incentive to deny or underdiagnose. We need to find better ways.
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