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View Diary: Home Depot takes away health insurance (285 comments)

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  •  i was unaware that (2+ / 0-)
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    Fury, Sparhawk

    Home Depot employees were substantially healthier than the rest of the population.

    So it's not a matter of 'more' people, it's a matter of having healthier people to subsidize the less healthy. A good deal for one of those two groups.

    •  Also a benefit to the healthy. There's no (12+ / 0-)

      guarantee that anyone will remain healthy.  

      •  Except that many of the healthy... (0+ / 0-)

        ....don't agree, which is why they are being forced into this program under penalties for noncompliance.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 03:12:02 PM PDT

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        •  They don't agree because they're unrealistic. (1+ / 0-)
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          Look, I know how young people think nothing bad will ever happen to them.  Hell, I'm no longer young, and there's still a part of my brain that thinks that.  But there's also a part of all of our brains that are realistic and know it can happen.

          I went for years without insurance, confident that nothing would happen.  But there was always that niggling fear of what if?  Fortunately, I've now long been in a situation I can afford it, and the peace of mind it provides is great.  So while I thought I wasn't worrying about it much, I actually was worried a lot.

          One of the reasons I didn't worry much back then was because I didn't have much to lose if something happened.  I had little in assets, so bankruptcy would have been a fairly simple option.

          But that bankruptcy would have cost someone else.  And that's what anybody without insurance who becomes ill would do as well.  Yes, some individuals would rather have the money they spend on premiums to spend on something else instead.  But if they then get sick, someone else will be picking up the tab.  

          I'd much rather spend my money on things other than gas, heat, rent, etc. also.  But those are necessities in life, just as is insurance.

          Do I like the idea of a mandate?  No.  Do I think a single payer would have been better?  Yes.  But this is at least an improvement, in that many fewer people will choose to go without medical care and fewer will end up in bankruptcy because of medical care.

      •  not life insurance nor (1+ / 0-)
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        auto insurance. Your premiums were worked out based on your risk. It would seem like a good idea to reward the healthy with lower premiums as an inducement to being healthy.

        •  Not completely. While the higher risk can pay... (8+ / 0-)

          higher premiums, that is only for a sub set of the insured.   Risk is generally determined by age of the insured with higher premiums for life if older and higher for auto if younger.  The healthy 50 yo pays for unhealthy 50 yo in other words.

          Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

          by LiberalCanuck on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 06:58:49 AM PDT

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          •  when i got life insurance (1+ / 0-)
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            they did a physical on me as well. Had i showed up with any health issues, it would have affected my premiums, or prevented me getting coverage.

            So the unhealthiest don't get subsidized. I've a friend who had breast cancer. iirc, she said that she wouldn't be able to get life insurance.

            Not only age for car insurance. Get a few tickets or a drunk driving accident and you're headed for the assigned risk pool.

            It's imperfect, but they try to price for risk. But if i'm a 400 pound chain smoker, my healthcare coverage is the same as everybody elses here at work.

            •  Again you are talking subset. But there is a... (12+ / 0-)

              reason if you are 50 you pay higher premiums than if you are 25.  Higher risk.  Doesn't matter if you are healthier than an average 25 yo, you still pay higher premiums.

              That is because Insurance companies average the risk out over the entire pool.  Since the average 50 yo is riskier than the average 25 yo, you pay higher premiums, regardless whether you are in amazing health or below average health.

              Certain subsets can increase your premiums.  Smoking is the prime reason.  Depending on the amount of coverage being requested, high blood pressure, chronic health conditions and past medical history will also have an effect on premiums.

              Same goes for auto coverage but in reverse.  Younger means higher premiums no matter how good a driver you are.

              Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

              by LiberalCanuck on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 07:33:38 AM PDT

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        •  Congratulations. (7+ / 0-)

          You're a libertarian.
          Woo hoo.

          To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

          by UntimelyRippd on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 08:22:11 AM PDT

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        •  Yes, life insurance (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YucatanMan, mmacdDE

          At least if you're on a group plan at your workplace, this is exactly how it works. The insurance company says "you're a company of X size, so the averages work out to..." and come up with a single rate that the company pays for each new employee.

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt

          by Phoenix Rising on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 10:06:39 AM PDT

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    •  no, the key is "more people" (23+ / 0-)

      Insurance is to spread risk - and even though I am healthy today I can still have an undiagnosed illness, an accident, a lurking condition I don't know about, or some random fluke like amoeba in the water just around the corner.

      The more that sign up, the  better everyone's risk is spread out across a large pool.

      If 1 person in a family gets hurt, it's a catastrophe.  If one person in a pool of 100 gets hurt and they all share the cost, it's more manageable.   And nobody knows up front which one will get hurt - so they all benefit from risk management.   After the fact, it may seem like one person got a break at everyone else's expense - but the value added by insurance is risk management, not medical care.

      And we all need risk management.

    •  They have jobs (8+ / 0-)

      Drobin didn't claim that Home Depot employees are "substantially healthier than the rest of the population."  They simply stated that they are generally pretty healthy because they have jobs and usually unhealthy people aren't able to work at a regular job for very long before getting fired.

      And yes, having a large number of healthy people contribute to the health insurance premium pool is very, very good for everyone. Premiums for everyone are lower. Everyone gets sick eventually.

      Would you prefer that only unhealthy people get health insurance or that unhealthy people have a separate insurance program from healthy people so that healthy people don't have to "subsidize" the premiums of unhealthy people?  

      [Terrorists] are a dime a dozen, they are all over the world and for every one we lock up there will be three to take his place. --Digby

      by rabel on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 06:53:03 AM PDT

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    •  Most folks (7+ / 0-)
      So it's not a matter of 'more' people, it's a matter of having healthier people to subsidize the less healthy. A good deal for one of those two groups.
      will spend part of their life in one group, and part of their life in the other.

      That's the part that you're missing.

      •  At which point opinions often magically change (1+ / 0-)
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        I don't understand how so many people can care so little for others up until the moment they become the person that needs help. I guess it's hard to suppress our selfish impulses, but it would seem to me to be clear that it can always happen to you, no matter how well insulated you think you are from life's setbacks.

    •  The larger any pool is, the less risk overall, (1+ / 0-)
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      1)  The pool has more resources.
      2)  Age diversity comes with larger pools.
      3)  Risk diversity comes with larger pools.
      4)  Relatively few people have heavy cost illnesses, more people spreads the risk.

      Anyway, keep arguing against the practices of insurance going back over 600 years to the guilds and their mutual benefits societies.

      As far as Home Depot employees being healthier than the general population, it has long been the case that employed working people are generally healthier than those who are older, disabled, retired, or otherwise not working.  

      That is what was behind the whole rush to HMOs in the 1980s:  the BCBS programs there generally covered everyone.  Insurance companies approached businesses and said, "Hey, we can cover your employees under an HMO for much less."  And the reason they could? Because working people were healthier than the general population of adults.

      So, businesses jumped on the lousy HMO model and abandoned non-profit BCBS programs. Well, that made covering the remaining people a much more difficult and expensive proposition.

      "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

      by YucatanMan on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 11:05:55 AM PDT

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    •  You're saying that you don't know... (0+ / 0-)

      It seems to me that you're saying that you don't know how an insurance pool works.


      by otto on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 02:25:24 PM PDT

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