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Let's just finance Universal coverage by taxing the PROFIT of the Insurers

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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 10:53 PM
Original message
Let's just finance Universal coverage by taxing the PROFIT of the Insurers
Some huge rate - like 75% because they shouldn't be profiting from disease and denial of service in the first place. Let's also place administrative costs, executive compensation and bonuses under a microscope and tax anything past certain guidelines at 90%.

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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. couldn't we just sell the organs of the execs?
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Sarah Ibarruri Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. That is the BEST suggestion yet! nt
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FirstLight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. classic! I LOVE IT!
nt
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pfitz59 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. i like this!
tax 99% above the first 5% of profit. plus a fine for anyone with paid-up premiums who dies of a preventable/treatable accident, illness or disease, and was denied said treatment.
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earthboundmisfit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-30-09 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. To the greatest!
What a fabulous idea!
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K8-EEE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 03:23 AM
Response to Original message
6. Can we tax the BONUSES OF THE EXECUTIVES? n/t
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Yo_Mama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
7. Just Plain Idiotic
Look, I think the practices of the medical insurance industry are disgusting, but this includes many of the BC/BS groups and theoretical non-profits. And I am not in favor of being forced to pay more money to an industry which I believe is quite unethical.

But could you please look up the numbers before you propose stupid crap like this? Every time someone does something like this, it spreads disinformation and gets us further from a solution. In addition it makes Democrats look like wishful thinking dunces who wouldn't be able to recognize reality without electroshock treatment.

Here is the Forbes list of the top insurance companies and their profits in 2008:
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2009/...

If you add up the numbers, you see that the top 14 ins co profits (some of them had losses) totaled to 5,936.9 million.

The estimate is that over 45 million people were uninsured last year, but many of those were uninsured for only part of the year. So let's figure we have to cover 30 million people all year. Most people pay more than $5,000 for individual coverage, but let's figure it would cost us $5,000 to cover those 30 million people.

5,000 X 30 = 150,000 MILLION that we need to cover them, and
Total profits of the top 14 were 5,936,.6 MILLION. Thus, even if we taxed their profits at 100%, we would only get
5,936.6/150,000 = 0.0376 or 3.76% of the money we needed to cover the uninsured. There are other companies, but the industry is very concentrated into major players and many of the BC/BS are considered quasi non-profits. So your proposal is ridiculous.

But you can't tax insurance company profits at 100%, because profits are used to build reserves. It might astound you to know that insurance companies are regulated and audited, and that they have to keep an adequate reserve on hand in order to pay claims, or they are blocked from selling insurance. Almost all of the premiums paid in to these companies circulates back out in payment of claims or is used to pay administrative expenses, which do include CEO salaries. But the CEO salaries are not as high as you think, and if we taxed all of those at 100% we wouldn't get to 5% of the money we need to cover the uninsured.

Further, since the companies need profits, if you tax their profits you are directly raising costs to the employees and the individual insured who pay premiums, which is going to force more people to drop insurance.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Oh, I think there's a lot of available funds that could be used to help with the cost of HCR

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/08/05/are-health... /
By Igor Volsky on Aug 5th, 2009 at 1:30 pm
Health Insurance Industry Fudges Data To Downplay Its Astronomical Profits

Americas Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) the lobbying arm of the insurance industry maintains that for every dollar spent on health care in America, approximately 1 penny goes to health plans profits. The groups health care reform website offers the helpful visual of a subdivided dollar bill: Fact Check: Setting the Record Straight on Health Plans Profits, one blog post exclaims. Only one one-hundredth of the premium dollar is pocketed by the insurer, the rest is spent on providing medical care.

But as NPRs All Things Considered points out the groups fact check is itself misleading, since insurers are measuring their profits against total health care spending, not company revenues. All that statement says is, if you eliminated all our profits, national health spending in America would be 1 percent lower. It has meaning only in that context, health care economist Uwe Reinhardt explains. Within the context of companies revenues, insurers skim off 15-20 percent of premium dollars for administrative costs and profits. In fact, an examination of insurers medical loss ratio the fraction of revenue from a plans premiums that goes to pay for medical services suggests that within the last 10 years, insurers have been spending less on medical care and more on administrative costs or profits:


Moreover, a report by Families USA found that insurers in the individual market sometimes maintain medical loss ratios of only 60%, retaining 40% of premium dollars for administration, marketing and profit. For the 10 biggest insurers in the year 2006 (the year the insurers used for the 1 cent out of every dollar depiction above), profits were anywhere from 2 to 10 percent, or two to 10 pennies on the dollar. Thats two to 10 times as much as what the insurance industry group suggests in its illustrations.


skip

Despite lower than expected profits, insurers are not holding back. The industry already set records from January to March, when health-care firms and their lobbyists spent money at the rate of $1.4 million a day on campaigns designed to influence the health care reform legislation now moving through Congress.



*************************************************************************************************************************************
The CEO salaries ARE as high as I think. Much of the compensation is buried in the stock options.
http://sickforprofit.com/ceos /

*************************************************************************************************************************************


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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Kick! to promote 2 links in above message. I wish everyone would read them nt.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-01-09 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
9. They are spending 1.4 million per day lobbying Congress to screw the American people
I think, at the very least, a windfall profit tax is in order. After all, they increased their profits by 428% from 2000 to 2007 and are, likely, on track to reap larger increases with the current legislation.
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