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Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:57 AM

The US healthcare system can be reduced to two factors.

1) The insurance companies essentially control access to healthcare for most Americans.

2) The insurance companies charge high premiums, and they profit by denying access to healthcare for their customers.

And that is the essence of the US healthcare system. I am a Federal annuitant, with an FEHB company. Yes, I can literally go to any doctor, but if that doctor is not part of my PPO I will pay significantly more. And that extra cost is a big factor for many people.

And every time an insurance company denies care, they pay out less, which benefits only their bottom line.

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Reply The US healthcare system can be reduced to two factors. (Original post)
guillaumeb Oct 31 OP
guillaumeb Oct 31 #1
guillaumeb Oct 31 #2
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 31 #19
guillaumeb Oct 31 #20
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 31 #21
guillaumeb Oct 31 #22
discntnt_irny_srcsm Nov 2 #26
CurtEastPoint Oct 31 #3
guillaumeb Oct 31 #4
ck4829 Nov 1 #24
Hermit-The-Prog Oct 31 #5
guillaumeb Oct 31 #7
leftstreet Oct 31 #6
pecosbob Oct 31 #8
guillaumeb Oct 31 #10
JenniferJuniper Oct 31 #9
guillaumeb Oct 31 #11
Uncle Joe Oct 31 #12
guillaumeb Oct 31 #13
Uncle Joe Oct 31 #15
guillaumeb Oct 31 #17
Uncle Joe Oct 31 #18
ck4829 Nov 1 #25
roamer65 Oct 31 #14
guillaumeb Oct 31 #16
ck4829 Nov 1 #23
KY_EnviroGuy Nov 2 #27
guillaumeb Nov 2 #28
Wounded Bear Nov 2 #29
guillaumeb Nov 2 #30

Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:05 AM

1. Big 8 health insurers rake in more than $7B in Q3, setting up strong finish to 2018

From the article:

The eight largest insurers made more than $7 billion during the third quarter of 2018 and pulled in a hefty $132.4 billion in revenue.

So far this year, the eight publicly traded companies have made more than $21 billion, a 31% increase over the same period last year.
With few exceptions, most performed noticeably stronger during the third quarter of 2018 compared to last year, despite facing a whirlwind of regulatory changes while bracing for open enrollment and the midterm election.


To read more:

https://www.fiercehealthcare.com/payer/big-eight-insurers-set-to-finish-strong-year-raking-132-4-billion-total-q3

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:07 AM

2. America's largest health insurers in 2018

From the article:

Here are the eight health insurers with the most members and revenue in 2018, as reported by Forbes:
1. UnitedHealth Group
Membership: 49.5 million
Revenue: $201 billion .....


To read more:

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/payer-issues/america-s-largest-health-insurers-in-2018.html

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 12:39 PM

19. Healthcare premiums can be deducted pre-tax from your pay.

This encourages people to buy the best (usually most expensive) plan they can.
These companies have executives with huge salary and benefit packages.
If $28 billion is expected as this year's profit for the industry, that puts the federal tax take on that money at just under $6 billion. According to news this past June, UNH (UnitedHealth) is paying out about $4.25 billion in dividends.

TEN BILLION DOLLARS is coming from United subscribers and going to taxes and dividends. This same money would actually go to healthcare if health insurance providers were mandated to be non-profits.

That's ONE company.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #19)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 04:40 PM

20. Agreed.

But some would argue that the US cannot afford Medicare for All, or that what is cheaper than the US system would magically become far more expensive in the US.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #20)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:32 PM

21. Can't afford medicare for all?

We are providing this care now but in many cases such care doesn't begin until it is somewhere between urgent and life threatening and sometimes too late. I would argue that treating people medically as early as possible for serious conditions especially would be cheaper.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #21)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 06:37 PM

22. Agreed.

Preventative care is far cheaper. But the controllers of the US system makes more money on expensive treatment.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:07 AM

3. I say this with all sincerity. Goddamn them all. They add ZERO to health CARE. NADA!

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Response to CurtEastPoint (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:08 AM

4. Agreed. Their only goal is to maximize their profits at the expense of their customers. eom

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Response to CurtEastPoint (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 06:06 AM

24. +1

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:10 AM

5. healthcare will cost less without the executive mansions

Wealthcare should be replaced by healthcare.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:23 AM

7. That is a nice meme.

And short enough to be on a button.

Well done.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:11 AM

6. DURec

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:34 AM

8. Letting folks die to make a few extra bucks...the American way.

Pramila Jayapal, a second-term Representative from Seattle who has rapidly ascended as a progressive congressional leader, wrote the House version of single-payer. The co-chair of the Progressive Caucus has been touring the country to talk about it. She feels Medicare for All has been unfairly maligned during the presidential primary cycle.

“It is very frustrating to have your own party making the arguments of Republicans and insurance companies.” Jayapal told the Prospect in an interview after a health care town hall in Los Angeles. “And they’re not accurate in their representations.”


Jayapal’s bill, H.R. 1384, has 119 co-sponsors in the House, and was the subject of historic hearings in the Budget, Rules, and Ways and Means Committees, the first time Medicare for All has been formally debated in Congress. Jayapal said that Energy and Commerce, another committee with jurisdiction over health care, would hold hearings soon. But as Elizabeth Warren hunkers down to determine the financing for a national health care program, and as Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg attack the concept, the benefits of getting everyone in the nation covered have been pushed to the side.

For Jayapal, the debate comes down to two things: coverage and cost—but not government costs. “It is absolutely absurd to subject Medicare for All to a different standard of scrutiny,” she says. “Instead of saying, ‘Wow, Medicare for All costs too much, how are you going to pay for it,’ the question to every candidate should be, ‘What is your plan to bring down health care costs over the next ten years? And what is your plan to universally cover everybody, because none of the other plans do that.’”


https://www.democraticunderground.com/100212640154

https://prospect.org/health/pramila-jayapal-takes-on-medicare-for-all-critics/

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Response to pecosbob (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:43 AM

10. And we read some of those same arguments here.

Arguments such as Medicare for All will not work.

Or that single payer, which is cheaper than the US system everywhere it exists, will somehow be unaffordable here.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:39 AM

9. "If you can't afford our bill, don't you tell me that you're ill,

'cause that's the free enterprise way!"

Sang Phil Ochs. In 1964.

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Response to JenniferJuniper (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:44 AM

11. True.

And the GOP response is that people are free to go to the emergency rooms.

The US system is unsustainable if the health of the American citizen is the actual goal.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:47 AM

12. Study: 45,000 Deaths Per Year Due to Lack of Health Insurance



A new study from the Harvard School of Medicine says that 45,000 people die every year due to a lack of health insurance, and therefore a lack of access to ongoing medical care for a wide variety of treatable conditions. This seems so obvious as to not need documenting, but studies like this are still very important.

Nearly 45,000 annual deaths are associated with lack of health insurance, according to a new study published online today by the American Journal of Public Health. That figure is about two and a half times higher than an estimate from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2002.

The study, conducted at Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance, found that uninsured, working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts, up from a 25 percent excess death rate found in 1993.

(snip)


https://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2018/10/15/study-45000-deaths-per-year-due-to-lack-of-health-insurance/




Thanks for the thread guillaumeb.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #12)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:49 AM

13. Think about that. 45,000 deaths.

Casualties of a system that puts profit above people.

And when we hear talk about the supposed unaffordability of Medicare for All, or the cost of Medicare for All, how do we calculate the cost to society of these unnecessary deaths?

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #13)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:51 AM

15. Nothing but blood money and I believe too many people

would rather forget about it as if it doesn't happen.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #15)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:53 AM

17. And many of these people live in GOP controlled areas.

They would rather fall for the scary stories about socialized medicine and ignore their own poor health conditions.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #17)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:57 AM

18. I agree guillaumeb, many of them do.

Decades of corporate media conglomerate propaganda has been most effective but I believe the effects are wearing off.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #12)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 06:06 AM

25. Chilling

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:49 AM

14. The average lifespan in Canada is 4 years longer than the US.

82 vs 78.

And ours is dropping.

That represents the failure of our for-profit clusterfuck.

Fact is, a single-payor Medicare for all system has better overall outcomes.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #14)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 11:52 AM

16. Yes, single payer has better health outcomes,

but US insurance companies are massively profitable. And that profitability is the only concern of these insurance company executives.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 06:05 AM

23. K&R. Control and profit.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 07:11 AM

27. Agree, but who sets the price of healthcare line items?

If a hospital charges $1,000 for a Band-Aid and big insurance negotiates it down to $800, am I supposed to celebrate?

Second only to the defense industry, healthcare in America overall is arguably the biggest racket on the planet. A short hospital stay now involves several corporations billing for various doctors and services, plus the hospital itself and various billing agencies. I've watched the system add layer after layer of companies (and costs) just to execute one doctor's visit since the 60s and it's completely out of control.

And, nowadays the insurance companies want to BE your doctor.

Frustrated in KY........

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #27)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 03:00 PM

28. In Canada, each province sets a budget.

Medicare could also do so, but as it is currently designed, it cannot.

So these item costs could be regulated rather than the current system where an aspirin can cost $5 per tablet, or more.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 03:28 PM

29. We don't have a healthcare "system"...

We have a health care industry, a for profit industry for whom patient care is a secondary issue to the value of stocks.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #29)

Sat Nov 2, 2019, 05:55 PM

30. And that is a reflection of the US love affair with capitalism.

Under capitalism, what can be a source of profit must be a source of profit.

But the profits, of course, are reserved for the 1% and above.

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