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1 Eclectic Cyborg  Sat, Jun 30, 2012 11:23:59am

That is my major gripe with Obamacare/ACA: It fails address the core problems in the health care system.

Chief among are the skyrocketing premiums, increasing cost of care and complete lack of any pricing transparency by providers. Health care is a fine example of a business where legalized price gouging is the norm.

$250 for a single aspirin pill at a hospital? Are you KIDDING me?

2 moderatelyradicalliberal  Sat, Jun 30, 2012 1:27:31pm

re: #1 dragonfire1981

That is my major gripe with Obamacare/ACA: It fails address the core problems in the health care system.

Chief among are the skyrocketing premiums, increasing cost of care and complete lack of any pricing transparency by providers. Health care is a fine example of a business where legalized price gouging is the norm.

$250 for a single aspirin pill at a hospital? Are you KIDDING me?

I could be wrong but this is might be the thinking. Cost controls can only come after near universal coverage. Your aspirin cost $250 in large part to recover the costs of the uninsured that show up at the ER. Once people have something you will have a very difficult time taking is away, so throwing people back out of the system won’t be a cost control option after you have universal coverage. After that you are only left with going after the price gouging. You can’t go after the cost controls used in other countries that really work (price ceilings, capitation, buying drugs in bulk, etc.) until pricing 10s of millions of people out of the system is off the table. Denying millions of people any care as a de facto means of cost control had to be dealt with first.

3 researchok  Sat, Jun 30, 2012 2:55:25pm

My concerns as noted in a comment to an earlier post:

The political response (spin) as opposed to actually examing what this means is what concerns me.

I’m absolutely for health care reform and the ACA is a good start. That said, my concern is the costs, both short and long term.

The talking points of ‘saving money’ are nice but have you ever heard of a government program that actually ended saving money?

I would have much rather seen a phased in program and allow insurance companies to sell across state lines, like they do with car insurance and other kinds of insurance.

The insurance industry lobbied Washington hard because they didn’t want that (competition!) and we’re all going to pay for that.

4 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Sat, Jun 30, 2012 3:03:41pm

re: #3 researchok

The talking points of ‘saving money’ are nice but have you ever heard of a government program that actually ended saving money?

Yes. Many government programs save money. You’re just kidding with that kind of talk, right?

Easy examples: Levees, canals, and other water projects which limit the damage from flooding.

Immunizations, which saves tons of money on medical treatment.

Fire departments, which save the cost of entire neighborhoods burning down. Etc. etc.


And in this case, we’re talking about a system where the government is already underwriting the bill in many ways, from subsidizing hospitals to subsidizing doctor’s educations. The cost of the uninsured already largely falls on the government.

The money is already being spent.

5 MichaelJ  Sat, Jun 30, 2012 5:55:59pm

Right now the only effect I’ve seen from this bill is huge increases in my premiums. It seems like every time another part of the law goes into effect, premiums rise to “reflect the higher cost of” whatever that benefit is.

The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that the insurance companies do not offer a wellness-based policy. It is almost impossible to find a plan that covers holistic treatments, acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, etc. until “after the deductible is met”, which is something that healthy people rarely achieve. These type of treatments are the things that can keep a person healthy and injury free, but one has to pay 100% for these services. There should be a plan for the healthy, active people in our country that covers the type of things they do to keep themselves healthy. Unfortunately, insurance isn’t sold based on need - it is sold based on if this happens, how will you pay for it. Keep people healthy and you keep health care costs down. Period.

6 researchok  Sat, Jun 30, 2012 6:41:59pm

re: #4 Obdicut

Just to be clear, are you seriously suggesting history has proved government funded projects are the best way to save money?

Perhaps I should have been more clear- do you really believe government run projects save as much as privately funded projects?

I would be more impressed with that argument if the government allowed insurance companies to cross state lines, as they do with car insurance.

If saving money really was an overriding concern, interstate health insurance would be a reality.

To be clear, money is involved- political money. Lobbying precluded that scenario because increased competition decreases profits.

This precedes Obama and goes back a long way.

Blame Congressand the party National Committees. .

7 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Sat, Jun 30, 2012 7:03:05pm

re: #6 researchok

Just to be clear, are you seriously suggesting history has proved government funded projects are the best way to save money?
.

No, because I’m not an idiotic absolutist. There are some projects which the government can save money— the ones where private industry has no incentive to provide service, or where rent-seeking inevitably creeps in. There are some areas where private industry will never provide the service of its own accord, so the government has a lot of naturally inefficient stuff to handle, like environmental cleanup, stuff you can’t possibly profit off of— but it saves money to have the government do it, because otherwise the problems would grow more and more costly.

But health insurance is a place where it is easily demonstrable that government-run systems are more efficient that private systems.

If saving money really was an overriding concern, interstate health insurance would be a reality.

And why wouldn’t all corporations simply incorporate in the state with the weakest consumer protections, as the credit card companies did with Deleware?

To be clear, money is involved- political money. Lobbying precluded that scenario because increased competition decreases profits.

No, this is not true. It would only help the current monopolies grow if they were able to trade interstate. The reason it hasn’t happened is so that an insurance company based in one state with weak consumer protections can’t do business in another state with stronger protections.

Why do you think that opening up the states would increase competition, when the very obvious trend is towards monopolies? A small insurance company has no, zero, nada competitive advantage over a larger firm, and it has many, many disadvantages. This isn’t making widgets.

8 MichaelJ  Sat, Jun 30, 2012 8:48:08pm

Opening up the states would only help if you could offer better coverage from a nearby state than what can be had in your native state. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.


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