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March 8th, 2010, President Obama:

"How much higher do premiums have to rise," he demanded, "before we do something about it?"

Mr. President, the American people are being slaughtered--lose their jobs, and their healthcare. Those of us in the individual and small group market are being gouged beyond recognition.  Premiums are spiking through the roof for all Americans. And my God, Mr. President, I have have nightmares at night about the uninsured, do you?

Here's the point. Some believe a discussion of how voters will respond to this price gouging should be tabled until after the midterm elections. This isn't a good idea, there's no hiding this stuff.

This is not about Iraq, a war in a distant land. The insurance industry is waging war against all of us, the renewal notices are landing in mailboxes across the country. You cannot brush this under the rug. If anything, it needs to be confronted head on.

Democrats need to address this jarring pre-election reality, with a lot more than angry words. Voters have a right to know, what's the plan to fix this deplorable state of affairs, if we give them another two years in the majority.

The fear of Sarah Palin may save the day for Obama in 2012, but right now, in the midst of a depression/recession, these unstoppable rate hikes are indeed rage inducing.

So let's see what's happening in spots across the country.

Keep in mind, voters are largely ignorant of the nitty  gritty of legislation.  All they know is a bill called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed and signed with much hoopla, and they see huge rate hikes, which will cause many people to drop their coverage. Someone's gotta gets blamed for this.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting this morning that huge increases are coming from Aetna.  Now, you and I know, that turning against Barbara Boxer for this is the absolute wrong thing to do, but you and I also aren't the average furious, poorly informed voter.

One million more seething voters receiving huge rate hikes on October 1st. How could Democrats have allowed this to happen?

More than 1 million Californians will see their health insurance premiums rise Oct. 1 now that regulators have wrapped up their review of a plan by Aetna Inc. to raise rates an average of 19% for 65,000 individual policyholders.

Aetna was cleared Friday by the state Department of Insurance to proceed with its new plan. It was the last of four major insurers to be reviewed by the department, which has OKd double-digit rate increases by Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California and Health Net Inc. in the last month.

. . .Blue Shield premiums will increase an average of 19%, and as much as 29%, for 250,000 customers.

Health Net rates will go up an average of 16%, and as high as 25%, for 38,000 customers.

Anthem rates will rise an average of 14%, and as much as 20%, for about 800,000 individual policyholders — down from an average of 25% and a cap of 39%.

Different state, same damn story in Connecticut.  You cannot brush a 22.9% rate hike under the rug. And you cannot tell voters who need healthcare to be patient until 2014.

State of Washington, same story, Patty Murray is in a tight race.

As so many predicted and warned, without real teeth in the legislation (of which there are none), insurers would use the four year period  until 2014, to go on an orgiastic rampage of obscene price gouging. This is precisely what's happening. If Democrats failed to see this coming, then perhaps they don't deserve the public trust.  And if they saw it coming and ignored it, could this possibly be a reason they and we are in such trouble?

Now let's turn to Kathleen Sebelius who some see as our savior in all this. The jury is out on her.  But, just as President Obama has done, she is bending over backwards to be I suppose a good referee between the for profit insurance corporations, now enshrined by Democrats at the center of our collapsed healthcare system, and the beleaguered and angry American people.

Secretary Sebelius did an interview with CSPAN which is worth watching if you have the time.  Here's the take home message.

"It will be a balance," Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Reuters in an interview recorded for C-SPAN's Newsmakers. "We definitely want consumers to get the bang for their buck .... On the other hand, we want to make sure that people don't see their companies exit the market, that we don't have a disruption."

Investors are eagerly anticipating the recommendations on the MLR rules from a state insurance commissioner organization that is advising government, which will ultimately decide on the final regulations.

emphasis added

Sebelius has to weigh the profit needs of Wall Street against the needs of the American people. This is the "reformed" Democratic healthcare system, fully and totally privatized, zero competition, and with a mandate to purchase private junk insurance. Let's hope it works.

What Sebelius means about "companies exiting the market", is that she needs to be mindful of their profits, if she's not there will be further consolidation, less competition and even higher rates.

Too Little, Too Late Department

So Sebelius takes to the HHS bully pulpit and admonishes insurers, don't you dare blame the PPACA for this egregious price gouging. This is what we must politely call, far too little, far too late.

Harsh words from Chris Dodd. Add this to the too little, too late department.

And Max Baucus, who I told you about yesterday.

It seems the Democratic response to this simply unbelievable state of affairs is to pillory the insurance industry.  The same industry that Democrats left at the very epicenter of our "reformed" healthcare system.

And frankly, it doesn't help one iota, to have President Obama ridicule those of us who knew that without a shred of competition in the form of a public option, that insurers would yes, behave like insurers.

Now, the second reason I'm telling you this is because Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get -- to see the glass as half empty.(Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed -- oh, well, the public option wasn’t there. If you get the financial reform bill passed -- then, well, I don't know about this particularly derivatives rule, I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven’t yet brought about world peace and -- (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.)

Yes indeed, we know who we are.  We also want to know as you yourself  asked:

"How much higher do premiums have to rise, "before we you do something about it?"

UPDATE AND ACTION:

People have asked what they can do.

This candidate list is from a senior progressive activist.

If you are able, please consider donating to any of these progressive candidates.

The current top 5 progressive House incumbents on defense who need help are:

  1. Raul Grijalva, CPC co-chair, actively targeted over the racial stuff

around SB1070, as Howie and Digby have said;

  1. John Hall NY-19, CPC member, running against a self-funder in a marginal

district in NY, solid on a bunch of key issues including choice;

  1. Alan Grayson, for all of the obvious reasons;
  1. James McGovern MA-03, who has been the lead on Afghanistan and quietly

panicking about his race for about 6 months;

  1. Tom Perriello VA-05, who Howie and I have a friendly disagreement over -- but I've watched him organizing his colleagues around things like energy

and healthcare, and his value is far greater than mere votes or
rhetoric.

For House offense:

Denny Heck, WA-03 (Baird open seat) - he has history that leans pretty
progressive, and his opponent would be a Republican poster child if
she won, as she's a young attractive Latina;

Manan Trivedi, PA-06 (Gerlach seat)

Ann McLane Kuster, NH-02(Hodes open seat) - primary Sept 14 against

Katrina Swett; endorsed by Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC;

Bill Hedrick, CA-44 (Calvert seat) - endorsed by Congressional
Progressive Caucus PAC;

Tarryl Clark, MN-06 (Bachmann seat) - she's a serious candidate
running against Michele Bachmann;

Brian Lentz, PA-07 (Sestak open seat);

Ami Bera, CA-03(Lundgren seat);

David Segal, RI-01 (Kennedy open seat) - has primary Sept 14, would be a terrific leader (he's tenacious to the point of crazy), endorsed by Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC;

Justin Coussoule, OH-08(Boehner seat) - a longshot, but a great
candidate, and harassing the Republican minority leader is inherently
virtuous, endorsed by Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC;

Beth Krom, CA-48 (Campbell seat) - a local elected, raising surprising $ including from independents and R's in her district despite progressive positions;

Suzan DelBene, WA-08 (Reichert seat) - very progressive on social
issues, and Reichert remains vulnerable. (I apologize for not
finishing him off last time.)

Senate defense:

Russ Feingold (WI), Patty Murray (WA), Barbara Boxer (CA)

Senate offense:

Jack Conway (KY) , Marshall (NC), Sestak (PA), Giannoulis
(IL), Conlin (IA), Meek (FL)

Originally posted to nyceve on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:04 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (160+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JekyllnHyde, Superskepticalman, Angie in WA State, Doug in SF, raboof, catdevotee, ferg, slinkerwink, tiggers thotful spot, mattman, RFK Lives, expatjourno, TheMomCat, conchita, Cassandra77, CoolOnion, stevej, chimpy, Nate Roberts, splashy, sidnora, psnyder, Winnie, 2laneIA, potatohead, churchylafemme, dwahzon, RebeccaG, Pohjola, barbwires, dkmich, zerelda, Kitsap River, Daddy Bartholomew, CTPatriot, relentless, Roadbed Guy, irate, Flint, willibro, reflectionsv37, Annalize5, bleeding blue, LNK, geonerd, cassidy3, WisePiper, MindRayge, dancewater, TMP, Jim P, SoulCatcher, glockw0rk, vigilant meerkat, Themistoclea, Krush, HoundDog, blueoasis, triv33, gooderservice, Sagebrush Bob, richmonds, Cassiodorus, means are the ends, Dreaming of Better Days, kurt, zedaker, shaharazade, crystal eyes, Hedwig, Aaa T Tudeattack, Bobjack23, tegrat, Noor B, marykk, bluicebank, dotsright, Haningchadus14, tgypsy, Jimdotz, ezdidit, deepeco, newpioneer, Orange County Liberal, HCKAD, millwood, Moderation, pioneer111, Brahman Colorado, LWelsch, keikekaze, cloudbustingkid, gregsullmich, fayeforcure, MikePhoenix, zerone, Youffraita, Unique Material, elwior, jamess, icebergslim, tamasher, Abra Crabcakeya, James Kresnik, allie123, Quilldriver, ZhenRen, dreamghost, Pris from LA, nippersdad, J M F, MTmarilyn, divineorder, lostinamerica, Magick Maven, output, Rabbithead, indres, zaka1, blueocean, notksanymore, Tommymac, Leftcandid, jethrock, angelajean, Eddie L, Lady Libertine, Benintn, quagmiremonkey, Funkygal, Betty Pinson, Oh Mary Oh, All In, Colorado is the Shiznit, angstall, StateofEuphoria, implicate order, poorbuster, OldGrammy, marleycat, LSmith, corvaire, peregrinus, randomfacts, kareylou, That Korean Guy, Willa Rogers, Proleft, Lucy2009, fgsfds, laker, James Robinson, southof, We Won, dance you monster, Eric Nelson, Joieau, Ginger1, Free Jazz at High Noon, supercereal
      •  How much of the premium increase... (27+ / 0-)

        Is a profit grab by insurance companies and how much is a reflection of the rising cost of health care?

        "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

        by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:29:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Correct Bob, so how many people lose (32+ / 0-)

          healthcare between now and 2014.

          Anyone want to guess what premiums will be in 2014?

          This is exceptionally bad news and bad timing for Dems.

          Why was this not addressed, the terrible timing, the massive premiums increases.

          Someone said yesterday, that Rahm wants to lose at least one chamber, this gives Obama something to run on in 2012.  I just refuse to believe this is the strategy.

          •  "Correct" (12+ / 0-)

            What is "correct"?

            You did not answer my question.

            Let me explain to you why the question is very important.

            If the rising premium costs are due to insurance company grabbing for more profits then that will be stopped on 1/1/11.  See my blockquote below.

            If the rising premium costs are due to rising health care costs then we're focusing our attention/anger in the wrong direction.

            My understanding is that the majority, the vast majority of premium cost derives from the cost of health care, not insurance/drug company profits.

            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:40:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bob Trips, would like to see a link for this (11+ / 0-)

              because seems to be conventional wisdom....

              .... but I would like to know how much is rising costs and what percentage is still the cost of overpaying executives who continue to exploit the captive markets in the states.

              •  This is easy (12+ / 0-)

                and BobTripps knows it - just run comparisons for life expectancy and dollar costs between the USA and other countries.

              •  I checked Atena... (8+ / 0-)

                We buy my wife's insurance from them.

                Their CEO's salary is 0.05% of revenue.

                Out of every 100 dollars that one pays in premiums the CEO gets a nickle.....

                "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:09:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's a Lot (13+ / 0-)

                  So Aetna gets 0.05% of revenue. They're paying out at least 80% on actual medicine. So of the remaining 20%, that 0.05% is 0.0025, 1/400th (or more) of what the insurance corp keeps. That sounds like a lot, in a corp that employs probably 10,000 people, has plenty of operating costs, and produces a hefty profit for its shareholders.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:40:23 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The question was about ... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    foufou, science nerd

                    How much the CEO's salary contributes to premium cost.

                    The answer is very, very little.

                    --

                    As for heath care insurance being an extremely profitable industry, here's where they stood in 2009.

                    The final number is 2008 profits as % of revenues.

                    1 Network and Other Communications Equipment 20.4
                    2 Internet Services and Retailing 19.4
                    3 Pharmaceuticals 19.3
                    4 Medical Products and Equipment 16.3
                    5 Railroads 12.6
                    6 Financial Data Services 11.7
                    7 Mining, Crude-Oil production 11.5
                    8 Securities 10.7
                    9 Oil and Gas Equipment, Services 10.2
                    10 Scientific, Photographic, and Control Equipment 9.9
                    11 Household and Personal Products 8.7
                    12 Utilities: Gas and Electric 8.7
                    13 Aerospace and Defense 7.6
                    14 Food Services 7.1
                    15 Industrial Machinery 6.9
                    16 Food Consumer Products 6.7
                    17 Electronics, Electrical Equipment 6.5
                    18 Commercial Banks 5.2
                    19 Telecommunications 5.1
                    20 Chemicals 5.0
                    21 Construction and Farm Machinery 5.0
                    22 Insurance: Life, Health (stock) 4.6
                    23 Information Technology Services 4.5
                    24 Computers, Office Equipment 4.3
                    25 Metals 3.9

                    Numbers 3 and 4 are interesting.  

                    "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                    by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:59:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Bob, this is the wrong place to (9+ / 0-)

                      defend the insurance industry. You're free to do so, but truly the mind reels.

                      •  Um, I'm no fan of the health insurance industry. (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AaronInSanDiego, nyceve, denise b, foufou

                        But it would seem to me that if someone did want to defend it, this is as good a place as any to do so.  

                        Remember: if you think I'm making fun of you, that's only because I am.

                        by turnover on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:20:33 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm certainly no fan of the health insurance... (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          foufou, science nerd, Onomastic

                          industry.

                          But I think they should be held accountable for the bad that they actually do, not for the bad that we assume they do.

                          The more I look into the health care/insurance cost problem the more it seems to me that we're all atwitter over the cockroach in the room and ignoring the rattlesnake....

                          "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                          by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:28:40 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, yeah. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou, science nerd, Onomastic

                            I'm reading this thread in an effort to learn. I've read both yours and Eve's comments with interest, though it seems to me that Eve has been rude to you with some of her responses.

                            Remember: if you think I'm making fun of you, that's only because I am.

                            by turnover on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:32:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Why would you come to a blog (8+ / 0-)

                            to read up on teh insurance industry? Wouldn't your time be better spent, as I did when I did not know the rules of the industry, researching the topic?

                            Without that research, by the way, you wouldn't know that Bob is spinning you. It would also help if you have a basic understanding of comparative advantage and other economic issues. There's a reason why people suggested that Bob compare and contrast our situation to other countries. For example, the health of citizens in some other countries are actually worse than the US. Thus the costs should in theory be higher. Yet, even in a country like England, where they have a diet that's worse than ours, the numbers for the cost of health care per person is lower. If it were about the cost of health care alone- why are other countries , even those with comparative issues that the US faces, still able to have cheaper per person coverage with better results?

                            In other words, Bob's whole argument makes no sense to me, but it works because he's playing off (at least to me) the ignorance of others about cost. Since- what cost is Bob talking about when he speaks of increased costs  to the health insurance company?

                          •  I'd not responded to this comment... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou

                            ...because I was busy doing something more important - namely, watching college football.

                            Why would I read here to learn? Well, if I don't learn something here, what's the point of coming here at all? Anger? Cheerleading? It certainly ain't actual organization - I generally see very little of that going on, and given that this is a midterm, local stuff is more important anyway.

                            You'll note that I made no comment as to the relative validity of Bob's or Eve's posts. My only issue was one of tone.

                            Oh: while England's diet is seemingly worse than ours, that's not necessarily the case. having just returned from Ireland and the UK, I can certainly see why folks believe that. A lot of meat, a lot of dairy. But, their food is largely locally produced, and generally travels much shorter distances than ours before reaching their plates. There is much less processing. And no where near the level of obesity.

                            But that's neither here nor there. Several people below pointed out that much of the problem relative to insurance cost controls exists at the state level. And rarely have I seen anything in these pages that directly addresses those issues.  

                            Remember: if you think I'm making fun of you, that's only because I am.

                            by turnover on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:27:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You lost me with the snide begining (0+ / 0-)

                            If youwant to be ignorant enough to rely on a blog to get your facts from, that's your decision. But, don't bitch then don't bitch when someone says to you that the person that you are advocating for is full of shit as to the issues being discussed. It simply comes across as arrogant know nothingism.

                          •  And its not seeming regarding the UK (0+ / 0-)

                            this is factual analysis that i can back up.

                            Again, if you had done some research you would know this.

                          •  By the way, you might also want to read (6+ / 0-)
                            up on what was being discussed last year regarding the economics of the insurance industry. Many people predicted these hikes due to the concentrated nature of the industry allowing monopoly rents.
                      •  eve, it this the wrong place... (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Cedwyn, foufou, Onomastic

                        To present facts?

                        Perhaps a bit of mind reeling wouldn't hurt those who are basing their beliefs on myth rather than facts....

                        "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                        by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:26:00 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Actually Bob, I should have said (13+ / 0-)

                          that you are free to make any argument you chose, and in fact your a role model for doing it in a very polite and respectful way.  So go right ahead.

                          My point was, you won't find too many people around here who think removing the insurance corporations is not essential.

                          Read Wendell Potter (former CIGNA exec). He'll make you see what they're up to.

                          •  I totally understand... (5+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AaronInSanDiego, nyceve, jim bow, kurt, foufou

                            That your diaries are meeting places for those who are most unhappy that we don't have single payer insurance or at least a government insurance company option.

                            But sometimes I find that addressing what to me seem to be myths is a very good way to get me to look up facts.

                            --

                            Personally I wish it had been politically possible to offer a buy-in for Medicaid (Medicare is not the answer).  But that was not possible.

                            As for single payer, I'm not convinced.  I spent too many years working for government agencies along with time working for non- and for-profit corporations.  I've seen too much government waste and too much reluctance to change policy as conditions change.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:54:17 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There is waste and resistence to change in (5+ / 0-)

                            most large organizations.

                          •  Yes, but... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AaronInSanDiego, jim bow

                            In large organizations where people loose their jobs when budgets get out of control waste and resistance to change tends to be minimized.

                            I've watched both non- and for-profit organizations work hard to get their costs down.  Failure to do so can cause the business to fail.  And I've seen some fail because they couldn't operate within the monies available.

                            I've never seen a management person in a government agency loose their job because their budget wasn't being spent in an efficient manner.

                            Now, I know that one persons observations do not establish facts, all I'm doing is reporting my observations....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:11:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My experience is rather limited. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jim bow

                            I work for a government contractor, so perhaps that combines aspects of both.

                          •  Inefficiency is exists in both sectors (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            nyceve, splashy, zedaker, output

                            .  More over, one does not even need to do the analysis that you are trying to do here. If you compare the per person cost of say Medicare (which covers older and more unhealthy patients) to the private sector, the per person cost for medicare is comparably less. Were the private sector more efficient than the public, that should not be the case. Indeed, it should be the reverse.

                          •  Actually I don't think this statement is true... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou

                            If you compare the per person cost of say Medicare (which covers older and more unhealthy patients) to the private sector, the per person cost for medicare is comparably less.

                            If you look at these numbers for 2001-2005 it appears that Medicare spent about 25% more per person for administration than did the private sector.

                            Link

                            Medicare pays out much larger benefit costs because they cover a much more healthcare-needy group.  That makes their administrative cost/benefit ratio smaller.  But they seem to start with larger administrative costs.

                            (Higher administrative costs are understandable.  Many more claims to process.)

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:40:55 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It takes a quick google (5+ / 0-)

                            search to realize you are wrong. I am not interested in debating the finer points because I think that's a waste of time. Is the absolute cost of Medicare less than private insurance? The answer is yes. This is not in dispute except amongst conservatives. And to be quite frank, the answer should not even be a close one for several reasons; a) Medicare covers older patients  and those who are unhealthy b) the private sector (were you right) should be more efficient  and it covers younger patients, tries to exclude the unhealthy, etc

                            - I am not interested in breaking down the specifics. The administrative cost manipulation only works, by the way, if you do not account for population of the respective classes- meaning who is covered by medicare and who is covered by private insurance. You are going to have more claims under medicare because they are older patients who are going to be sicker. The question is why is it raising higher for private insurance??

                            Moreover, if you do a comparative analysis of the US and other countries, the cost of private sector health care in the US accounts for almost all the increases compared to other countries.

                            Here are multiple links that rebut you with regard to the numbers in terms of the system

                            "Here’s the raw fact, from the National Health Expenditure data: since 1970 Medicare costs per beneficiary have risen at an annual rate of 8.8% — but insurance premiums have risen at an annual rate of 9.9%. The rise in Medicare costs is just part of the overall rise in health care spending. And in fact Medicare spending has lagged private spending: if insurance premiums had risen “only” as much as Medicare spending, they’d be 1/3 lower than they are."

                            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/...

                            The link you provide comes from a conservative talking point- which compares apples and oranges in the health care system, but pretends to be comparing just apples. Here's the issue being discussed here:

                            http://www.stat.columbia.edu/...

                            I actually did some research on this last year, but I see others have written more articles on the subject.

                            The real issue, that no one wants to discuss, is pricing

                            http://content.healthaffairs.org/...

                            The health care market is irrational. I don't mean as in patient. I mean doctors. I saw an example, and I have never confirmed it to be true, but my gut says it is. They point out that a study was done that showed that the more doctors are in a community, the more cost increases.  Thus, every doctor in that community will have an MRI machine rather than pooling for 1 MRI per a certain number of doctors or better yet per number of patients.

                            There are only two systems that do that- Medicare and VA. Medicaid does it a bit, but its underfunded as a rule since it relies on the states. The same states that are traditionally bad at regulating insurance companies,a nd yet we are expecting to help with enforcing regulations under the bill.

                            I am not going to get into the neo-liberal self serving arguments over privatizing the services in medicare for which these administrative costs argument are really based.

                          •  This can't possibly be correct... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou

                            Is the absolute cost of Medicare less than private insurance? The answer is yes.

                            Medicare pays out more per patient in health care dollars than does private insurance.  Medicare covers those who use medical services the most.

                            That large payout is what takes Medicare's larger per person administrative cost and turns it into a small percentage number when one divides admin costs/overall costs.

                            And your Columbia link does nothing but express an unwillingness to believe the numbers which Robert Brook generated.

                            If you have any actual numbers which show Brook's numbers to be inaccurate I'd like to see them.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:44:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your opinion doesn't rebut the factual links (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            splashy, phonegery, dreamghost

                            a) When I speak of absolute terms- I mean when comparing them as apples to oranges rather than the spin game you are engaged in which you pretend someone who is old and sick is the same as someone who is young and healthy.

                            I have now said this several times. You don't have a rebuttal so you stick with trying to now claim the data and analysis are wrong.

                            Let me know when you have some data backed up with comparing things equally rather than trying to manipulate the conversation to avoid the actual comparison of like to like.

                            b) You didn''t rebutt the links for either Krugman (which you only say "Can't be right" although the data says it is right. And you don't discuss the issue regarding comparing like to like.

                            Its like saying an old guy with cancer should perform the same as a young healthy man. Its simply not credible.

                            Thus, I can only conclude you have your talking points since you have now been rebutted, and you reduced to saying the rebuttals are wrong without any real arguments as to why they are wrong.

                            Like most conservatives, you are good up to a p oint with facts, but when people offer up complexity, you fall back on your simplistic frames.

                          •  You can't back up what you claim... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AaronInSanDiego, foufou

                            So you call me a conservative.

                            That's the way you prove your points?

                            a) This is what I said...

                            Medicare pays out more per patient in health care dollars than does private insurance.  Medicare covers those who use medical services the most.

                            And then you claim that...

                            you pretend someone who is old and sick is the same as someone who is young and healthy

                            b) Here's the entire Krugman blog post...

                            I notice from comments that a fair number of readers think that Medicare has had runaway costs. What you need to ask is, runaway compared to what?

                            Here’s the raw fact, from the National Health Expenditure data: since 1970 Medicare costs per beneficiary have risen at an annual rate of 8.8% — but insurance premiums have risen at an annual rate of 9.9%. The rise in Medicare costs is just part of the overall rise in health care spending. And in fact Medicare spending has lagged private spending: if insurance premiums had risen "only" as much as Medicare spending, they’d be 1/3 lower than they are.

                            We don’t have a Medicare problem — we have a health care problem.

                            Krugman says exactly nothing about Medicare vs. private insurance admin costs.

                            Your link to Krugman had nothing to do with the issue being discussed....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:08:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So let's remind our selves we aren't on Fox (0+ / 0-)

                            You say:

                            "Krugman says exactly nothing about Medicare vs. private insurance admin costs."

                            in response to this:

                            ""Here’s the raw fact, from the National Health Expenditure data: since 1970 Medicare costs per beneficiary have risen at an annual rate of 8.8% — but insurance premiums have risen at an annual rate of 9.9%. The rise in Medicare costs is just part of the overall rise in health care spending. And in fact Medicare spending has lagged private spending: if insurance premiums had risen “only” as much as Medicare spending, they’d be 1/3 lower than they are."

                            So are you right? is the above comment by Krugman discussing somehow the cost of Medicare versus the private sector but is not somehow including the administrative cost?

                            Aside from the parsing that youa re doing, the argument even on its own terms if you look at what Krugman has to say in other context, does not hold water. Here is Krugman quoting Hacker who rebuts your entire argument.

                            "These administrative spending numbers have been challenged on the grounds that they exclude some aspects of Medicare’s administrative costs, such as the expenses of collecting Medicare premiums and payroll taxes, and because Medicare’s larger average claims because of its older enrollees make its administrative costs look smaller relative to private plan costs than they really are.

                            However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found that administrative costs under the public Medicare plan are less than 2 percent of expenditures, compared with approximately 11 percent of spending by private plans under Medicare Advantage. This is a near perfect “apples to apples” comparison of administrative costs, because the public Medicare plan and Medicare Advantage plans are operating under similar rules and treating the same population.

                            (And even these numbers may unduly favor private plans: A recent General Accounting Office report found that in 2006 Medicare Advantage plans spent 83.3 percent of their revenue on medical expenses, with 10.1 percent going to non-medical expenses and 6.6 percent to profits—a 16.7 percent administrative share.)

                            The CBO study suggests that even in the context of basic insurance reforms, such as guaranteed issue and renewability, private plans’ administrative costs are higher than the administrative costs of public insurance. The experience of private plans within FEHBP carries the same conclusion. Under FEHBP, the administrative costs of Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) average 7 percent, not counting the costs of federal agencies to administer enrollment of employees. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) participating in FEHBP have administrative costs of 10 to 12 percent.

                            In international perspective, the United States spends nearly six times as much per capita on health care administration as the average for Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations. Nearly all of this discrepancy is due to the sales, marketing, and underwriting activities of our highly fragmented framework of private insurance, with its diverse billing and review practices"

                            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/...

                            So even on its own terms, your arguments attempt to parse fail.

                            If you going to ignore what I actually quote by quoting some other part, try to first respond to the part that addresses cost of the two systems that I raise and try to understand these arguments are not a one off that you can reduce to one post.

                          •  The discussion is about absolute admin costs... (0+ / 0-)

                            Not about percentage increases in cost.

                            Krugman says nothing about absolute admin costs in his blog piece.  He talks about rate of premium increase.

                            As for the accuracy of Medicare admin costs, it is clear that there are government costs related to Medicare which are not charged to the Medicare budget.

                            Fraud investigation is handled by the FBI.  Prosecution is handled by the Department of Justice and court system.  None of this is billed back to Medicare.

                            Additionally comparing costs by reporting the ratio of admin cost to payouts makes no sense.  That generates a dishonest number as it does not allow for the cost difference in the population served.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:26:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Dude- we are truly done (0+ / 0-)
                          •  Thank you. That is truly good news... (0+ / 0-)

                            You might notice me ignoring you in the future.

                            I think I've had my fill of your stuff....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:06:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  For other readers: Any time someone (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink

                            tells you that you aren't supposed to compare like to like- and want to keep shifting the nature of the discussion to reflect whatever pre-set conclusiont hey have, be suspious and move on as I am doing now.

                          •  One reason Medicare pays out more (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink

                            is because of me and people just like me, dialysis patients. We are the very definition of 'not cheap' just by virtue of the fact that we're still alive and most of us are trying to remain as healthy as we can. The fact is that we are not healthy and, as a population, cost Medicare more than any other group, by a factor of about five.

                            That said, there are only about half a million of us. And it would be insanely much cheaper to get us all lifetime coverage for transplants than, as is done now, to kick us off Medicare after 3 years, wait for our transplants to fail because we can't all afford the $20k or so out of pocket every year for prescriptions (to mention nothing of co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles, etc.) to keep the transplants in place and working well.

                            But am I arguing that we shouldn't have Medicare available to us? Not on your life - or mine, either.

                            Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

                            by Kitsap River on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:31:39 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do administrative costs per person (0+ / 0-)

                            scale linearly with the number of people covered? I would think it would go down if the pool were larger. Also are there more Medicare claims processed than private insurance claims?

                          •  I would think, up to a point... (0+ / 0-)

                            If you look at the fixed costs then a small company would have to spread their costs over fewer customers and that would raise their price per customer.  But insurance companies and Medicare should have reached 'an economy of scale'.

                            Some of the extra per person that Medicare spends is most likely to processing more claims per person.  But the link furnished by bruh states that the cost of processing claims adds very little to the cost of Medicare's costs.

                            The only portion of Medicare administrative costs that is at all sensitive to "going to the doctor and hospital more often" is the cost of claims processing. As I pointed out in my article, claims processing accounts for only 4% of Medicare administrative costs -- which is to say, less than 0.24% of total Medicare outlays. This amount is nearly small enough to be lost in the measurement error,

                            Link

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:29:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It looks like the data on that page (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            splashy, gooderservice, kareylou

                            is from the Heritage Foundation, using Medicare administrative costs from a study done by the Manhattan Institute, another conservative think tank.  The numbers for private insurance administrative costs appear to come from the Health and Human Services Department's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This combination of sources makes me skeptical of the reliability of these numbers.

                          •  I agree... (0+ / 0-)

                            Up to a point.

                            I'm not comfortable totally relying on numbers furnished by the Heritage Foundation/Manhattan Institute.

                            But if they were wrong it would seem that someone would have posted better numbers.

                            The actual numbers seem to come from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.  They're government numbers, not right wing think tank numbers.

                            If Heritage/Manhattan had posted bogus numbers and attributed them to HHS you think that would show up in a search....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:31:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The note for the numbers for (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink

                            administrative costs for medicare attributes them to this paper, which appears to add additional costs on to the officially reported administrative costs. I haven't read it, so I don't know what to make of that.

                          •  Actually, they are cited as the (0+ / 0-)

                            "author's calculations" based on numbers from that paper.

                          •  Thanks,... (0+ / 0-)

                            I'll try to plow through the paper, but don't think I'll be able to this evening.

                            I did a quick search for Zycher 2007 to see if anyone had posted a factual rebuttal on his paper, but found little.  One guy writing for the PNHP argues that Zycher's assumption of how much of the Department of Justice's budget goes to Medicare (fraud?)is too high.

                            Outside of that he doesn't have any numbers, just opinions....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:06:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've read "at" it... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AaronInSanDiego

                            I think Zycher makes a valid point in saying that the some of the administrative costs of Medicare are paid by other departmental budgets.

                            For example, the IRS collects Medicare payments (IIRC from my days writing payroll checks).  Premium collection costs are going to be part of private insurance company admin overhead.  The Medicare budget dodges some costs here.

                            What I can't do is to determine if his allocations are reasonable.  The one that really stands out is "Administration of Justice".  But if you think about it Medicare fraud is a huge problem, possibly $60 billion a year, so perhaps he's not too far off.

                            That fraud is going to be investigated by the FBI - not a Medicare budget item.  

                            And the resulting fraud trials are going to be carried out by federal courts and the Department of Justice - again not Medicare budget items.

                            I'm left with the impression that ~3% of collected funds used for Medicare administration is too low a figure.  That there are costs hidden in other government budgets.  But I don't know how accurate his numbers are.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 08:00:16 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Let me add that this , at base, is a push (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink

                            by the conservative /neoliberals to push for privatization of adminisration of medicare even more than it is now.

                            One of the reasons I don't give it much credence is the manipulation of data to confirm what they already decided was the answer. They really don't explain why a system that covers unhealthy people should be compared to one that covers healthier people. Nearly all these papers that I have read do the same game- try to massage the numbers to show Medicare is close to the expenses of the private sector. Even if that's true (which I don't buy) the argument itself is problematic regarding the private sector. If the private sector were more efficicent the numbers should not be close since their claims ultimately rely on the private sector being more efficient.

                          •  Nope (7+ / 0-)

                            I have had as customers governments (entire Federal agencies in the US & Canada, the City of Toronto, the NYC legislature's technology committee, and plenty of divisions) as well as many Fortune 500 corporations, and even more corporations of every size. My business is modeling their business for automation, so I learn how their entire business actually works, and where it can be made more effective through automation.

                            I can tell you that there is no meaningful difference between government and business. The only difference is in the size, and the consequent complexity, of the organization. If anything the government orgs tend to have both people inside who actually care that the public is served (motivation beyond profits and pay), and outside orgs that directly examine their performance. They tend to be larger than even large corporations, so the discipline and complexity balance out.

                            The idea that private business operates more efficiently on its budget is a myth, except perhaps in the small businesses that most people work in or own, but which could never do what governments must do.

                            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                            by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:15:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And to make an apples to apples (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            DocGonzo

                            comparison, Krugman by way of Hacker notes that private sector involvement in Medicare increases cost rather than reduces it here. So if the private sector were more efficient they certainly aren't showing it:

                            "However, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found that administrative costs under the public Medicare plan are less than 2 percent of expenditures, compared with approximately 11 percent of spending by private plans under Medicare Advantage. This is a near perfect “apples to apples” comparison of administrative costs, because the public Medicare plan and Medicare Advantage plans are operating under similar rules and treating the same population.

                            (And even these numbers may unduly favor private plans: A recent General Accounting Office report found that in 2006 Medicare Advantage plans spent 83.3 percent of their revenue on medical expenses, with 10.1 percent going to non-medical expenses and 6.6 percent to profits—a 16.7 percent administrative share.)"

                            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/...

                      •  Eve, (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm generally with you 100%, but I think it's a valid question. Insurance companies aren't the only ones making money here.

                        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. --Bertrand Russell

                        by denise b on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 06:04:25 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Very Profitable (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      splashy, zedaker, phonegery

                      Just because the US has plenty of other even more profitable industries doesn't mean health insurance isn't extremely profitable. I suppose IT services, computers & office equipment aren't "very profitable", nor are telecommunications and commercial banks - just a little more profitable than the reported profits of health and life insurers.

                      In 2009, any profit was extreme in any industry, since the entire US economy shrank by something like 6% from 2007-8. Of course, in 2009 the health insurance industry faced the closest scrutiny and greatest threat to its cartel probably of any year in history, as HCR was the #1 topic all year after #6, #18 and really all the rest were bailed out, and as reported in 2010 when their profits were the subject of the biggest relegislation package in generations.

                      I really can't believe you're defending insurers by citing their recent profits, after the last 2 years we lived through.

                      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                      by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:10:01 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  you're right, bob. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      nyceve, splashy

                      numbers 3 and 4 are interesting, but i think you misinterpret them and illustrate why PPACA is bad legislation. number 3 in particular since re-importation and price negotiation was stripped from it before it ever got going.

                      those sectors represent the front end price gouging and profiteering involved in healthcare costs where insurance is back end. they get those profits because they can because they know the cost is passed along through insurance so no one notices. those profits are what they are because of insurance, not healthcare/medical services, which i notice aren't even on that list, so that margin must be very low.

                      your point is valid, but eve is right to question your posting it in this thread because it acts like a red herring and distracts from the aspect she addresses even if you feel like you aren't actually defending the insurance industry.

                      your post is the equivalent of jon stewart's, "Squirrel!"

                      the embed failed.

                      Squirrel!

                      "Liberalism is trust of the people, tempered by prudence; conservatism, distrust of people, tempered by fear." Gladstone, Me -8.88/-7.08

                      by zedaker on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:39:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  All those listed companies provide (0+ / 0-)

                      a good or service:

                      1 Network and Other Communications Equipment 20.4
                      2 Internet Services and Retailing 19.4
                      3 Pharmaceuticals 19.3
                      4 Medical Products and Equipment 16.3
                      5 Railroads 12.6
                      6 Financial Data Services 11.7
                      7 Mining, Crude-Oil production 11.5
                      8 Securities 10.7
                      9 Oil and Gas Equipment, Services 10.2
                      10 Scientific, Photographic, and Control Equipment 9.9
                      11 Household and Personal Products 8.7
                      12 Utilities: Gas and Electric 8.7
                      13 Aerospace and Defense 7.6
                      14 Food Services 7.1
                      15 Industrial Machinery 6.9
                      16 Food Consumer Products 6.7
                      17 Electronics, Electrical Equipment 6.5
                      18 Commercial Banks 5.2
                      19 Telecommunications 5.1
                      20 Chemicals 5.0
                      21 Construction and Farm Machinery 5.0
                      22 Insurance: Life, Health (stock) 4.6
                      23 Information Technology Services 4.5
                      24 Computers, Office Equipment 4.3
                      25 Metals 3.9

                      Health insurance companies have no value, provide no service to the consumer.  They're legal money launderers.

                      If you going to post a chart of the percentage of revenue of the CEO, that's not good enough.

                      What are the perks?  What's the revenue for the side companies?  Who owns them?  Who's related to whom?  Who is friendly with whom?  What percentage are kickbacks?  Where did they buy their real estate?  Who do they pay for printing their millions of pieces of paper they send out every day?

                      What's the percentage in bonuses for those "reviewers" who deny care and save the company money?  

                      Aetna bought U.S. Healthcare, one of the sleaziest, slimiest, disgusting companies that ever existed.  I apply those words to the found and CEO of U.S. Healthcare, also, since it was his brain child.  A piece of shit is he.

                      Republicans want a do-over. No, really, a do-over -- do it the same way all over again. Every Dem should make that clear every day.

                      by gooderservice on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:18:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  they had 35,000 employees as of December 2008 (9+ / 0-)

                    but I'm sure they've pared that down some, to ensure that McRich (whoever is the CEO today) continues to receive his/her gold plated salary of approx. $13 million (minus bonuses).

                    Remember the 50 top execs in healthcare insurance took home about $530 Million in salary in 2009.

                •  Ron Williams made around $24 million in (7+ / 0-)

                  total compensation in 2008, according to this. Total revenue for the company in 2008 was over $30 billion, making his compensation less than 0.1% of revenue. However, the CEO is just one individual. How much do their senior executives make combined?

                •  What about stock options? (eom) (5+ / 0-)

                  Re. unity support for Blue Dogs/conservadems: I, for one, really don't want my extra value meal with a side order of sh*t.

                  by Superskepticalman on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:28:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The average insurance CEO... (7+ / 0-)

                  ...makes about $40,000/hour. Insurance-industry CEOs make about 50 percent more than financial-industry CEOs.

                  I'm sure the financial-industry CEOs only make a pittance of a percentage compared to what they rake in, too. That's not the point; the point is that insurance middlemen are a drain on the economy, on the healthcare system, and--most importantly--on consumers.

                  PPACA did nothing about that problem and, in fact, will force us to become beholden to the insurance industry.

            •  I Understand Bob (25+ / 0-)

              here's the response.

              Insurers are already blaming PPACA for the rising costs, this is not true, PPACA may account for around a 2% increase.

              Insurers also blame rising medical costs, naturally.
              AHIP produces endless self serving reports pointing to everyone but insurer greed and profits as a reason for rising premiums.  Of course this isn't true.

              •  What percentage of health care premiums... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Winnie, thestructureguy, foufou, Onomastic

                Goes to insurance company profits?

                I've seen only a single statement that insurance and drug company profits are responsible for 2% of premium costs.

                "For people to blame drug and insurance company profits for their predicament is just ignorant. People simply do not know what drives costs," said Uwe E. Reinhardt, the James Madison Professor of Political Economy at Princeton University. "What drives prices is the amount of services people are getting, plus the prices doctors and hospitals charge for those services."

                Link

                "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:15:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's a lie. (31+ / 0-)

                  They claim a small profit, over and above their operating margins, which are considerable, and excessive.

                  The truth is this:

                  Medicare runs at a few percent tops, delivering 95 percent or more of health care dollars to the people in the form of care.

                  Their medical loss ratio is an effective 95 percent.

                  Now, private insurers try to mask their larges by claiming a small profit, about what medicare has for overhead

                  ,but (and here's the kicker)

                  profit is not equal to operating costs!!

                  Private insurers consume nearly 1 out of every 3 health care dollars on their corporate operation.  After paying for the jets, the big buildings, and all the other cruft that is not needed, they claim a few percent profit above that.

                  We get nothing for that.  Absolutely nothing, and it's a huge waste, and it's the single most potent fact suggesting that private insurers are not actually needed, or if they are to be here, very strongly regulated, with competition.

                  Those things would trim the fat into a modest administrative profit nobody would be bitching about.

                  All of that is WHY people are pissed, and it's WHY our reform really isn't right now.

                  Good things happened, but no reform happened.

                  Remember, they are not the good guy here, neither are the corporate Democrats, who chose to lock in those corporate excesses.

                  IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                  by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:29:03 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  fine (7+ / 0-)

                  Then how does this bill address increasing health care costs? You seem to be implying something through your comments but I'm not sure what it is.

                  "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                  by catnip on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:36:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Try reading this page... (5+ / 0-)

                    Healthcare provisions by year

                    Here are some things happening this year...

                    Providing Free Preventive Care.  

                    All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance.

                    Effective for health plan years beginning on or after September 23, 2010.

                    Preventing Disease and Illness.  

                    A new $15 billion Prevention and Public Health Fund will invest in proven prevention and public health programs that can help keep Americans healthy – from smoking cessation to combating obesity.  

                    Funding begins in 2010.

                    Cracking Down on Health Care Fraud.

                    Current efforts to fight fraud have returned more than $2.5 billion to the Medicare Trust Fund in fiscal year 2009 alone. The new law invests new resources and requires new screening procedures for health care providers to boost these efforts and reduce fraud and waste in Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP.  

                    Many provisions effective now.

                    "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                    by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:45:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well Bob I suggest you start reading up on (14+ / 0-)

                      the definition of new plan. I have.

                      The law specifically says new plans so it will capture as few people as possible. Had the law intended to really make preventive scrrenings available to everyone, it would not apply only to new plans.

                      This is reality Bob, it may sound fine, but when you go to the fine print and into the weeds, it is truly hopeless.

                      •  New plans... (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Cedwyn, jim bow, foufou, Onomastic

                        Hard to make regulations retroactive.  

                        Those no-copay preventative regulations will phase in over time.  Certainly the 40 million Americans least able to pay for annual physicals, mammograms, etc. will receive that benefit soon.  And that's a very good thing.

                        --

                        You did pick out one small part of the provisions I presented and then present it in the worst possible light.

                        It seems to me that you work very hard to find the parts of the glass that are yet to be filled.  And then rather than working to fill them, you damn the rest of what is in the glass.

                        "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                        by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:29:04 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  regulations (7+ / 0-)

                          Doesn't this rest on how the regulations are written - a job that has yet to be done?

                          And I think eve's point that some of these benefits will only be covered under new plans is very valid.

                          Can you show how those things you pointed out will affect increasing health care costs since that's what we were talking about?

                          "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                          by catnip on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:55:11 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't have data... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou, Onomastic

                            That proves that earlier detection of health problems reduces the cost of health care, but don't you think that the case?

                            Last year I had a colonoscopy.  During the test the doc found a few pre-cancerous polyps and snipped them out.  Had we waited until I had colon cancer I'd expect the costs to be a lot higher.

                            Do you need data before you believe that stopping smoking and controlling weight will reduce future cases of heart disease, diabetes, etc.?

                            And do you need data to believe that cutting fraudulent payouts will reduce medical costs?

                            --

                            eve's point is valid.  But not to the extent she suggests.  New policies are written all the time and new policies will be required to pay for exams, etc.  

                            All the millions of people and small businesses buying insurance through the Exchanges will be covered.  (And I would bet that most who buy their own insurance will use the Exchanges.)

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:04:46 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  well (4+ / 0-)

                            I assume there are some cost-saving estimates somewhere that you could provide since you're touting that aspect of this bill?

                            I'll leave a rebuttal about the exchanges to someone else who knows more about them than I do. Is there an estimate of those who might use them as well?

                            "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                            by catnip on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:12:48 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're free to read the provisions... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            science nerd, Onomastic

                            I'll link the page again for you...

                            Here...

                            As for the Exchanges, my understanding is that of the 40 million Americans who were previously uninsured because they could not afford to purchase insurance approximately 15-20 million will receive free insurance (Medicaid).

                            That makes the Exchange pool 20-25 million minus the individuals who opt out.  

                            I've seen the opt out number estimated at 8 million, but I think that's a number that we won't know until 2014.  And I think it is a number which will start high and drift down.  Remember, the poorest, those with no real assets to loose, will get free health care.  I think more 'middle class' people will start to understand that it makes little sense to risk everything by not buying affordable insurance.

                            Then you have to add in the many millions who work for small businesses.  As a former small business owner I would have jumped at the opportunity to purchase employee insurance through an Exchange, not to have to plead with insurance companies to sell to us, and to get government help paying the premiums.

                            So I'd say in 2014 somewhere between 50 and 100 million Americans will be getting annual physicals, other tests as needed, without having to cough up bucks when they get tested.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:22:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No Bob, this is simply not correct (5+ / 0-)

                            New policies are written all the time and new policies will be required to pay for exams, etc.

                            There are myriad very complex rules about what constitutes a new plan.

                            Bob, this was done, to make this provision something Democrats could brag about, but which in practice, will not cover too many folks.

                            there are endless outs and loopholes designed to benefit insurers not the people, and this is true of so much of PPACA.

                          •  Not just new plans (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Onomastic

                            Cigna health has already instituted many of the provisions in the health care bill ahead of time.

                            All kids can now be insured until 26 on parents' policy.

                            They are not making preexisting conditions a reason to not insure.

                            States do have insurance regulators. They are supposed to hold hearings, etc. If those regulators are weak, the insurance companies will take advantage.

                            Prices will begin to look different when the exchanges get up and running.

                            Look, we all know this bill could have been better. Time to accept what it does do. I personally know a lot of people who have been helped by what has already become law.

                            At this point we need to embrace the good, while making sure our Congress people know we want more.

                          •  This is funny (3+ / 0-)

                            "Look, we all know this bill could have been better. Time to accept what it does do. I personally know a lot of people who have been helped by what has already become law.

                            "

                            a) The argument to progressives for the bill was that you would make it better after it was passed. Now the discussions about what needs to be done to make it better are being glossed over with "just accept that's all you are going to get"  undertones.

                            b) Anecdote is not data, and it's really not relevant. The analogy that I like to make over the anecdotal "it helps some" argument is this-- We are all in a car together that's headed over a cliff as the health care system is headed. We do things to slow down the speed of the car but not the direction. Indeed, that gives enough time for a doctor to save the life of someone in the car who is having a heart attack. That life saved is a great thing. It doesn't change the fact that the car (the system) is heading over a cliff.

                            The analogy in  a nutshell is the problem with the discussion here. You will say something is being done, but a) is that something relevant to the magnitude of the problem and b) is that something really even on point about the nature of the problem? Then when others say more needs to be done, the argument is an implicit (even as they claim its not) accept things as they are and lets move on. NYeve thankfully is not willing to move on.

                        •  Actually, you can set a law for existing plans (3+ / 0-)
                      •  Perhaps this will help clarify things a little. (0+ / 0-)

                        As the link you provided illustrated,
                        "grandfathered" plans are not cast in stone.

                        Grandfathered Plans: Any insurance policy that was purchased and active before the PPACA was signed into law on March 23, 2010 will
                        have what is called "Grandfather status." Plans can lose their Grandfather status if they change certain benefits. Call your insurance company if you are not sure if your plan is Grandfathered. If you have a Grandfathered plan, and you like it, you can keep it. However, some benefits in Grandfathered plans will be required to change in order to conform to new requirements in the PPACA.

                        --  Transitional Plans: Any insurance policy that was purchased after the PPACA was signed into law on March 23, 2010 but before September 23, 2010, when the new rules take effect will be in a transitional phase. If you have a transitional plan, your plan will be required to change certain benefits so that it meets all of the new government standards
                        that are applicable. But the timing of those changes will vary based on when your new policy or plan year begins and which insurance company you're using for health coverage.

                        --  Reformed Plans: In most cases, any insurance policy you purchase after September 23, 2010 will be required to conform to the new PPACA standards.

                        http://www.marketwatch.com/...

                        "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Daniel Hillel

                        by Onomastic on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:13:12 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Except then ... (0+ / 0-)

                        ... had the President not grandfathered in current policies as "acceptable coverage" under the minimum benefits package, the President would have broken his campaign promise (which he already did in many other ways) that if "you like what you have, you should be able to keep it."

                        Free preventative care will cause premiums to rise substantially or will cause plans to skimp on other areas of coverage (i.e., higher cost-sharing).  

                •  The top-level management class (14+ / 0-)

                  also rips off drug and insurance company shareholders.

                  In old news:

                  Banking, Insurance, Securities and Health Care Administration Commissioner Paulette Thabault ordered the state’s largest health care insurer — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont — to repay consumers nearly half of the $6.3 million retirement package it doled out to its former chief executive officer.

                  In 2009, "Fair Game" broke the news that BCBS gave $6.3 million to retiring CEO William Milnes Jr. That was on top of more than $1 million in compensation and bonuses.

                  BISHCA estimates BCBS overpaid Milnes at least $1.4 million during his last eight years of employment. As a result, his retirement package was inflated by $1.6 million. Milnes retired at the end of 2008 and now lives in Florida.

                  BCBS has agreed to return $3 million to subscribers in the form of lower, or lower-than-expected, premiums.

                  Don’t expect Milnes to pitch in a penny, though. BCBS asked him several times to repay some of the millions and he refused.

                  http://www.7dvt.com/...

                  •  Rip off, yes... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    foufou

                    But in terms of premiums we're talking small effects.

                    The CEO of Aetna makes $18 million.  That's 0.05% of company revenue.

                    Perhaps we've paid too much attention to CEO pay and not enough to where the money is really going....

                    "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                    by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:47:17 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  but even that's misleading (5+ / 0-)

                      Because Aetna is primarily a bill collector for the health providers, its revenue includes all the hospital, drug and doctor costs as an expense even though those aren't part of its own business.

                      If you take out the bill-collection for hospitals, Aetna's own income was $8.2 billion (for 2008), not $31 billion, making his salary 0.2% of Aetna's own income.

                      And if I read the income statement right, Aetna is consuming 26% of total premiums for its own expenses and profits. That's a shockingly high percentage for a bill collector, considering that they provide zero health care themselves.

                      •  No, the argument is... (0+ / 0-)

                        That insurance company CEO salaries drive up premium costs.

                        Premium costs are revenue.  That's what the insurance company collects from those of us who purchase our insurance from them.

                        In the case of Aetna it appears that the CEO gets 0.05% of premiums collected.  A nickle for every $100.

                        The problem of high premiums must lie elsewhere....

                        "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                        by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:19:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Insurance companies are bill collectors (5+ / 0-)

                          You're making an apple and oranges comparison.

                          Premium income is income for the entire health system, not just income for the insurance companies. You're essentially pretending that the CEO of Aetna is the CEO of all the hospitals and drug companies that Aetna collects the bills for.

                          And 25% of premiums collected going to the bill collectors!

                          "The problem of high premiums must like elsewhere..."

                          What nonsense. 25% is a huge fee for bill collection. It's not the only source of waste, but it's a huge source.

                          •  Where do you get 25%? (0+ / 0-)

                            eve presented data that says 13% of premium dollars go to administrative overhead and profits.  Can you back up your 25% claim?

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:13:28 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  27.5% is from Aetna's own income statement (3+ / 0-)

                            Aetna is a public company and is required by law to report its income and expenses.

                            (2008)
                            Health Care Revenue:  $28.7 billion
                            Health Care Expense: $20.8 billion

                            Aetna Administration Overhead and Profit: $7.9 billion
                            Aetna Administration Overhead and Profit: 27.5%

                            Source: Aetna SEC Filing

                          •  I see the revenue... (0+ / 0-)

                            "$30,950.7 million" total revenue.

                            "93% of Aetna's revenue came from its sale of Health Care, both on a private and employer-funded basis"

                            That makes $28,784 million in health premium revenue.

                            But I'm not seeing where you get the $20.8 billion expense number.

                            On the page Aetna says that "medical benefit ratio (the ratio of medical costs to premiums) grew to 85.2%, versus 81.5% in 2008 and 80.4% in 2007".

                            That would mean $24,524 million going to medical costs.

                            That's 14.8%.

                            Where's one of us wrong?

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:25:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Here's another set of stats for you (0+ / 0-)

                            United we stand - Divided we are all truly screwed. Keep them blaming one another - they'll never notice what's really going on.

                            by Cassandra77 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:21:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  On your linked site... (0+ / 0-)

                            All the medical loss ratios are in the low to middle 80s.  A non-weighted average for the five companies is 82.6%.  

                            That means that about 83% of premiums collected went to cover customer health costs and about 17% to administrative costs/profits....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:12:44 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  The CEO isn't the only (8+ / 0-)

                      lavishly-paid executive.

                      •  OK, ... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Cedwyn

                        Double that $18 million, you're up to 0.1%.

                        Quadruple that $18 million, you're up to 0.2%

                        The money problem is elsewhere....

                        "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                        by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:20:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                          •  Well, according to the information eve linked... (0+ / 0-)

                            87% of every dollar paid in premiums goes to health care.

                            I would guess that the soaring cost of health insurance is likely to be due to the soaring cost of health care.

                            Some of the 13% going to administrative costs (including CEO salaries) and profits is likely being wasted.  But that can't be the big driver.

                            Some might be due to healthy people dropping their coverage.  That would mean that operating expenses have to be spread over a smaller number of customers, but I doubt that's a major factor.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:09:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How do you explain that healthcare costs (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, bruh1

                            in all other western democracies are way lower than in the US and cover more people at lower premiums?

                          •  He can't. He keeps parsing tot he point (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink

                            of absurdity. Or avoiding discussions he can't handle while pretend to be reasonable. Yet there's nothing reasonable about either his parsing or avoidance.

                •  I don't know who you are but your defense of (7+ / 0-)

                  these companies that have KILLED people from their denial of care and who have bankrupted thousands is sickening. Oh, well who cares if the CEO takes home $24 or $38 million per YEAR, what percentage of the insurance companies profits are affected by healthcare legislation is the real question? Give me a break. The only thing they care about - the ONLY THING - is PROFIT. Not care. Way to change the debate.

              •  Mr. Obama and the Blue Dogs have their blame..... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zaka1, Lucy2009

                .......share of the blame for the increase in premium rates.  When they first threw "single payer" and then the "public option" under the bus it was predicted that this would happen and guess what.  PPACA is turning out to be one f*cken big thing for the insurance companies and one f*cken big conjob on the poor, working and middle classes.I don't believe that Ted Kennedy would have liked or approved of PPACA.

            •  I just broke (35+ / 0-)

              my hand in April, the ER took an x-ray while I sat on a gurney in the hallway, the doctor came over told me it was broken, they put a temporary cast on it (done by a High School graduate, I know because I asked him his qualifications) and was sent home to get a permanent cast by another doctor later that week.

              Cost for ER visit = $10,000.00.  Please explain how a broken hand ER visit just ten/fifteen years ago the ER bill probably would have been around $500.00, but today it is $10,000.00.  What changed?  Why would the cost rise this much?  That is what I want explained to me.  

              I think the problem is not us, it is the deals between the hospital, doctors, and insurance companies.  They are profiting big time and the rest of the population is struggling.  There is something wrong with this picture.  I smell a rat.

              Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Herman.

              by zaka1 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:54:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The Transparency President met with Big Pharma (14+ / 0-)

                Big Hospital during HIR.  Might want to ask him?

                How were costs reigned in by the HIR law much celebrated by the happy dancers ?

                Are they still set to go in effect in a couple of years after thousands of more patient medical bankruptcies?

                Or can I ask that question before the election?

              •  Who is the "they"? (4+ / 0-)

                Hospitals are often struggling to stay open, at least to keep their emergency rooms open.

                Doctors, I don't know.

                Insurance companies, are they making "excessive" profits.  Or simply making "normal" profits?

                Is there extra money being extracted by any of the players?  Can anyone show some proof?

                "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:18:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry, (6+ / 0-)

                  but the community hospital just built a brand new ER at a cost of I don't know how many millions.  So, I ask again is this "excessive" profits or what?

                  Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Herman.

                  by zaka1 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:38:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The ER doctors (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Cassandra77, blueoasis, zaka1

                  are normally independent practitioners in all but a few dozen urban hospitals.

                  ER doctors even in cities normally survive 100% on patient billings.

                  There are a few nurses at about $60/hour each and modern digital X-ray equipment that no longer uses $4/sheet film. The non-paying poor person's X-ray costs as much as the three pictures of my cat taken with my digital camera earlier today.

                  One or two paying patients per hour would cover the nursing cost.

                •  Insurer margins are about twice they were (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Cassandra77, zaka1

                  in the 1960s.

                •  The Swiss hospitals (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis, lostinamerica, zaka1, Lucy2009

                  basically kept prices flat during most of the Bush administration while US prices almost doubled.

                •  Compare to Switzerland (0+ / 0-)

                  a very affluent and expensive country

                  A 50-year old male in Luzern, Switzerland (post code 6002)would have to pay 146.60 swiss francs per month for basic health coverage.

                  That's about $138/month.

                  via:
                  http://www.css.ch/...

                  Obligatorische Krankenpflegeversicherung mit eingeschränkter Arztwahl
                  Mandatory Sick Care Insurance with limited providers (Swiss PPO coverage)

                   
                  for alternative medical care add 15.20 swiss francs/month

                  for a private room add 6.50 swiss francs/month

                  optional ambulatory (outpatient?) coverage add 22.10 swiss francs/month

                  It isn't very clear what this covers or how it is covered. One thing that is clear is that out of Switzerland coverage can vary.

                  Many more coverages are offered.

                  The company needs to upsell to make a profit since basic coverage is not for profit.

                  It should be understood that Swiss insurance only pays for about half of Swiss hospital costs. I believe the Swiss pay taxes to cover the about half of hospital costs.

                •  I paid $57/month for COBRA (8+ / 0-)

                  continuation coverage in 1987 in the Washington, DC area from a computer company.

                  I believe COBRA is company rated and not age rated.

                  Compare my $57/month with modern COBRA prices.

                  Neither increased care nor inflation combined come close to justifying $700-$1,000/month COBRA premiums.

                  By 1987 the hospitals were well-unionized and CAT and MRI scanners were in broad use.

                  •  Not all the (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    output

                    hospitals where I worked were unionized.  They were basically fighting employees trying to organize.  Some of us like the Social Workers, were not even getting shift differential or overtime nor did we get time and an half on a holiday.  

                    Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Herman.

                    by zaka1 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:50:40 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I'll tell you why... (8+ / 0-)

                ...it's basic economics. Hardly anything is as inelastic as health care demand. In an emergency, people will pay anything to get healthy. That puts upward pressure on pricing --- because higher prices don't lower demand. Supply and demand laws really only benefit society when demand is rational. There is very little more irrational than demand for healthcare.

                Now, one might ask, if healthcare is so profitable, why there aren't more entrants to the market? Doesn't a high price situation warrant more competitors? Shouldn't more competitors then be the control on price? Well, it would be, except there are many reasons why not. There are a lot of barriers to entry for competitors. It's tough to put up a hospital and compete against Sutter. It costs tons of money to start up against the drug manufacturers, and it costs tons of money to start up against drug research companies. Insurers are protected against competition in local markets. Those are a few off the top of my head, others can think of more.

                Tea Party Successes Force Democrats to Amp Up Efforts to Alienate Potential Independent, Moderate Voters - Probe Headline

                by Doug in SF on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:35:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  my brother in law (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Angie in WA State, zaka1

                Went to the emergency room because an undiagnosed case of Whooping Cough started making him pass out.  16k, and they fucked up the swab test (contaminated sample) so he had to get another one from his doc.

                Hooray for the best health care system in the world!

            •  Well, the real question is how come private (24+ / 0-)
              insurers are not seeing lower margins as a result of this bad economy.

              The answer to your question Bob, is as much as it takes to keep that 30 percent profit premium intact!!

              Remember, we get NOTHING for that.  They deliver no value in return for that massive profit, which they are completely free to protect, regardless of the actual cost of health care.

              1 in 3 health care dollars are wasted on gold toilets, corporate jets, marble floors and parachute funds, while people die in the streets for lack of the ability to even use the coverage they have.

              IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

              by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:00:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

                •  Part of the 13%... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  divineorder

                  Of collected premiums which are used for administrative costs and profits.

                  "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                  by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:28:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Medicare does it ALL on maybe 3 percent. (18+ / 0-)

                    We don't need those fat companies deciding who gets care and who does not.

                    They profit by killing people.

                    Medicare consumes some money for overhead, because it's necessary to help people.

                    That's where we are at here.  Make no mistake.

                    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                    by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:30:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Something to think about... (0+ / 0-)

                      There are people who claim that Medicare has a low percentage rate because it's 'clients' are expensive to treat.  

                      If we look at administrative costs as a percentage of money paid out when there are very large health care expenditures then the administrative cost percentage is going to look small.

                      $300 admin cost / $10,000 medical expenses = 3%

                      The claim is made that if you look at administrative expenditure per person, not as a percentage of money spent, that superior performance of Medicare goes away.

                      $300 admin cost / $2,500 medical expenses = 12%

                      Same cost per client.  One system has more unhealthy clients who cost more per person to treat.

                      "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                      by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:43:26 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Doesn't matter. (15+ / 0-)

                        Profit for access to health care adds no value.  It's extortion, which is why the rest of the modern world has made it either illegal, or very fully regulated.

                        A few percent operating costs, with some profit out of that would be completely acceptable, and many nations do that, and where they don't no private primary care coverage is allowed by law.

                        In those nations, private insurers earn their profit by offering value added coverage services.

                        We don't do that here.  They just take the money, keep it, report a profit, and people die.

                        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                        by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:45:34 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Perhaps profit adds no value... (0+ / 0-)

                          But it seems to provide a motivating force in all other industries which serves to increase innovation and drive down prices.

                          Perhaps you can explain why a desire to increase the number of customers, thus increasing profits, will not cause insurance companies to work on cutting premium costs and increasing customer satisfaction....

                          "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                          by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:03:27 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Again, doesn't matter. (8+ / 0-)

                            Profit as a motivating force works well, when the product of that motivation is something of value.

                            In other words, the people get something in return for that motivation, and that's a net value gain to everybody, which is why allowing business to compete is a good thing.

                            In this case, we get nothing.  Their only motivation is to get more profit, and that means killing more people than would be otherwise necessary, period.

                            They don't add any value Bob.  The whole profit for access thing is a dead end that only costs us, and benefits them.

                            This is why it's illegal in most nations, and where it is legal, it's so tightly regulated that the motivation for the profit is focused on ever more efficient administrative operations, which does add value to the process, BTW.

                            None of that is in play here, and that's the problem, and that's why people are pissed off, and that's why those pissed off people are not going to let this go.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:11:00 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There's no profit in killing customers... (0+ / 0-)

                            There was money to be made by kicking off sick people and refusing to insure sick people.  

                            That was a problem of faulty regulations.

                            The way that insurance will be structured going forward is that insurance companies will make profits by lowering administrative costs (allowing more of the 15%/20% overhead cap to flow to profit) and by increasing volumes.

                            Volumes will be increased by furnishing coverage for less money than the competition and by offering better customer satisfaction.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:18:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Okie Dokie You have a nice day. (5+ / 0-)

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:30:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  for pete's sake BobTrips - are you blind (13+ / 0-)

                            or just obstinate?

                            Your insistance on equating healthcare (as a for-profit-service) with other services is a false arguement.

                            Potatohead just gave you chapter and verse on why that is, but let me try, too.

                            While in general, a for-profit servicer does want to increase customers, and must create and produce a service that attracts and keeps those customers to stay in business - healthcare services does not fit that model.

                            Why?

                            1 - Because there are limited healthcare provider services and an expanding population base. They don't have to search out new customers or even try to keep them, because there is a actual monoply on premium costs due to their (besides professional Baseball players) singular exception from anti-trust laws. Their prices ARE NOT regulated, nor is competion required from them, due to that exemption.

                            2 - For most services, a person can, and should, do comparison shopping to receive the best price. We already know that for premiums that is a non-issue (see #1 above). When a consumer has neither the ability nor the opportunity to comparision shop (at the time of service), then there is absolutely no reason for the providers of the service to even try and be competitive on prices (doctors and hospitals and clinics charge whatever they think they can get - and charge non-insured, private (cash) paying customers the most, because they as individuals have no organization to barter with the providers for the cost of services).

                            So stop thinking about Healthcare and Healthcare Insurance as "just another service". Because they are not.

                            I'm also appalled at your lack of knowledge about how the healthcare insurers 'hide' profits by re-categorizing administrative services as 'medical services' to shield a growing percentage of  premiums from the new Law's Loss Ratio requirements. I'm sure that you would agree that a clerical worker faxing a piece of paper does not constitute a 'medical service', right?

                            Not according to the insurers, who have done exactly that, and a whole lot more, this past year. Yes, they are claiming that a paper processor who faxes a notice to a medical office is a "medical service", so that the cost of it can be used to offset that "Loss Ratio".

                            There is nothing altruistic in my position. I've worked in healthcare. I've seen the cost of the system we use. It's nearly insane to argue that nearly 1 out of 3 dollars available in this nation to pay for the cost of actual medical services which is eaten up by the 'expenses' and profits of the Healthcare insurance industry is a reasonable way to proceed in a nation where about 50 million people (including yours truely) are now without any insurance whatsoever, due to the exorbitant cost of premiums.

                            I am working class my whole life. I saved when young to buy a small home. I've always worked at low paying office jobs, but that's what I'm suited to, without a college education. I don't expect anyone to pay my way. I live within my means.

                            But I'll never earn the money it takes to pay for healthcare insurance premiums, unless I choose to not pay my mortgage and all of my utility bills - because that's what the monthly premiums for some aged 49 with a history of type II diabetes, gallbladder removal surgery and seasonal allergies costs: more than all of my other bills, combined.

                            When the cost of a basic and necessary service is so high that a working class American cannot afford it, what are we to do?

                            Simply roll over and allow ourselves to die early from diseases which could and should be controlled?

                            If the fucking pirates who live on multiple millions of dollars in yearly salary simply took home a bit less, then I and 50 million of my fellow Americans might once again be living in the greatest country in the world.

                            As it is, we're living in the modern equivalent of the dying Roman Empire. The wealthy are fleecing the rest of us every day, in every way.

                            You, my friend, have been co-opted into believing their bullshit.

                          •  Gosh. Bob isn't replying to this. (3+ / 0-)

                            Wonder why?

                            I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                            by Daddy Bartholomew on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:44:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Angie, I had to stand up and applaud you for that (3+ / 0-)

                            comment.  I'm right there with you.  I work 60 plus hours a week, I'm self-employed, and I had to drop my health insurance a year ago, because I had to make the same choices as you.

                            United we stand - Divided we are all truly screwed. Keep them blaming one another - they'll never notice what's really going on.

                            by Cassandra77 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:29:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Angie, Cassandra, (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cassandra77, potatohead

                            Kareylou here. Had to leave this discussion to go work for a few hours. I'm also working 60+ hours a week, and I am only continuing to do so because I still have some hope that things might change for the better.
                            Angie's comment was spot on.

                            I refuse to believe that a system in which honest, hard-working Americans are forced to send their life savings to millionaires before being thrust onto the honest, hard-working taxpayers for charity care is the best we can do.

                            We can do better, right?

                            To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

                            by kareylou on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:53:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yesm Kareylou, We should be able to do better. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            potatohead, kareylou

                            I like your sig line.
                            I have to believe it will get better.
                            I have to...

                            United we stand - Divided we are all truly screwed. Keep them blaming one another - they'll never notice what's really going on.

                            by Cassandra77 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:36:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Co-opted? Maybe paid (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            potatohead

                            The cave, the Matrix, America.

                            by Grassee on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:38:26 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  He/She says not, in this same main thread (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            potatohead, kareylou

                            but further down, in a response to me.

                            I take him/her at his/her word.

                            But the tone of the entire set of comments by this person set off my 'warning will rodgers' anntennae.

                            The one thing which I cannot abide is a person who grabs a bad set of 'facts' and runs amuck with those 'facts', and then refuses to admit their error.

                            I can only hope that BobTrips stops using AHIP propaganda to base his/her arguements regarding Healthcare insurance on in the future.

                            See my comment and his/her responses starting here:

                            BobTrips asks for a link from me for proof of my claims about the 30% figure on healthcare insurers costs

                          •  *PLONK* (0+ / 0-)

                            Damn straight.

                            You tell 'em.

                            I'll take your rebuttal any day of the week.

                            :)

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:44:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  there is absolutely profit in killing customers.. (7+ / 0-)

                            ..the minute they get desperately ill and start costing you money.  

                            This is what happened to my mom, who paid her premiums for years only to be kicked to the curb the second she was diagnosed with the cancer that eventually killed her, after a prolonged, expensive illness.  But hey, it was all good for her insurer- they got to keep the profit from the 'good' years and skip out on paying for the bad ones.

                            It'd be great if people could apply basic logic to the stupidity of the 'insurer as gatekeeper of healthcare' system without having to lose a loved one.

                          •  almost happened to me (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            potatohead

                            I paid premiums for 20+ years although I was healthy as a horse. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer (not early-stage, sorry to say) they immediately hired a private investigative firm to try to find any discrepency or inaccuracy on my application form so that they could rescind my policy. They failed, but have now raised my premiums more than 600%, so it was a hollow victory I fought so hard to achieve.

                            I'm truly sorry about your mother. That is not how one should spend their last precious months on the earth--battling a large corporation.

                            To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

                            by kareylou on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:56:51 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  And they are paitents, not customers. (5+ / 0-)

                            A customer is somebody looking to do business because they have an opportunity to benefit from it.

                            A patient is somebody who has to do business because they might die otherwise.

                            That difference is why for profit insurers don't add any value.  All they do is increase the burden of access for everybody involved.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:12:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Heh. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            potatohead

                            Keep believin' that invisible hand fantasy.

                            The profit motive doesn't necessarily drive innovation, or higher quality.

                            Profit is the difference between what you actually give someone, and what they pay you for it. The key to high profits is simple: Give your customers the least you possibly can, while charging the most you possibly can. How do you do that? With ludicrous intellectual property laws and propaganda campaigns (i.e., marketing).

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

                            by UntimelyRippd on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:16:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Never does. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                            United we stand - Divided we are all truly screwed. Keep them blaming one another - they'll never notice what's really going on.

                            by Cassandra77 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:26:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  And where is your end game on that? (15+ / 0-)
                        Are you somehow saying that insurers are trying to do good?

                        They aren't you know.  It's just a way to make money, and they make a lot of it in a sure thing market because people need care, period.

                        They do that with no effective competition too.

                        My end game is to keep the cost of access to care to the minimum needed, and the risk pools as large as possible, so the people get the care at a cost that makes sense

                        ...so they don't die for lack of access.

                        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                        by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:47:14 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Insurance companies are in business to make ... (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          jim bow, foufou

                          money.

                          Computer manufacturers are in business to make money.

                          Essentially all businesses are in business to make money.

                          We have allowed insurance companies to pursue profits in ways that have harmed their customers.  One of the goals of the PPACA is to stop those practices.

                          Another part of the PPACA is to create a competitive market by making it easy for customers to compare premium costs on similar benefit policies.

                          My goal is also to keep the cost of access to health care to a minimum and to assure that no one is denied health care due to a lack of ability to pay.

                          I think the PPACA does a pretty good job of giving all Americans access to affordable health care.  

                          We may have further work to do to get the cost to taxpayers down.  But it seems to me that the major problem is the cost of health care, and not insurance CEO pay or shareholder profits.

                          "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                          by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:05:47 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  WRONG - the nearly 1 out of 3 dollars availble (12+ / 0-)

                            for actual medical services, which the for-profit insurers take out of that bucket, is a huge problem.

                            It is not the only problem, but it's right up there with the stupidity of not regulating the number of MRI machines in a city or county.

                            Hospitals, clinics and even individual doctors purchase test and evaluation machines (many of which cost $1 million or more apiece), intending to make a profit by providing testing.

                            But the widespread purchasing of them is so inefficient that it drives up the cost of a scan.

                            Every place that buys one, must charge a very high price per use to cover the cost of the machine. If the number of units available in an area were reduced via regulation - then the price per scan could drop exponentially - because more efficient use of fewer machines would drop the cost per use dramatically.

                            This is only one example of other issues which drive the cost of healthcare ever upwards without a single increase in better patient outcomes or a healthier population.

                            Please, I beg of you, stop supporting the bloated and overpaid Insurance industry. They are not your friends, I assure you.

                          •  Do you have a link... (0+ / 0-)

                            For "1 out of 3 dollars", one third of premium dollars going to insurance company administrative costs and profits?

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:36:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  How about this one (6+ / 0-)

                            Physicians for a National Health Program?

                            These are doctors, so I'd think that they know what they're talking about, when it comes to the cost of healthcare and healthcare insurance.

                            Excerpt:
                            The reason we spend more and get less than the rest of the world is because we have a patchwork system of for-profit payers. Private insurers necessarily waste health dollars on things that have nothing to do with care: overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments as well as huge profits and exorbitant executive pay. Doctors and hospitals must maintain costly administrative staffs to deal with the bureaucracy. Combined, this needless administration consumes one-third (31 percent) of Americans’ health dollars.

                            [emphasis added by commentor]

                          •  That's a 'combo' number... (0+ / 0-)

                            It includes medical provider's expenses along with health insurance company overhead/profits.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:33:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  when I said, "1 out of 3 dollars" (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            potatohead, newpioneer, lostinamerica

                            I didn't make a distinction, did I?

                            Know why?

                            Because it's irrelevant. The only thing which is relevant, is how many dollars having for-profit insurance companies as the middlman in our quest for healthcare takes out of the "Money for care" bucket.

                            In this case, the total amount that gets eaten up, according to my source, is 31%.

                            Yes, including the costs to individual medical providers to deal with the insurance companies and get paid for their work.

                            This is the point BobTrips, where I have to ask you, are you a paid poster for AHIP or some other insurance group? Because it surely does sound like it, after reading through your comments on just this one diary.

                            Is there some reason you are reluctant to believe that the truth about these companies is that they are fraught with corruption, malfeasance and a blight upon the American healthcare consumer?

                            I just don't get it.

                          •  Here's what you said... (0+ / 0-)

                            WRONG - the nearly 1 out of 3 dollars availble for actual medical services, which the for-profit insurers take out of that bucket, is a huge problem.

                            It appears that the number you should have used is more like 13%.

                            If you think it should be ~30% then it would be helpful if you could bring us some numbers to back that up.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:47:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It can't be 13 percent, or we would not (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, geonerd

                            have passed REFORM in terms of a 80 percent pay out, now would we?

                            That's 20 percent, down from SOMETHING HIGHER, right??

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:52:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Where are you getting that 13% figure from? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            potatohead, lostinamerica

                            You asked me for a link for my numbers, I'm asking for a link for yours, you know, for "some numbers to back that up".

                            And did you notice I said nearly 1 out of 3 dollars from the start? I already knew that some of that was the cost from individual providers to deal with those Insurers to get paid (sometimes as long as a year after the date of service).

                            And again, I am asking - are you a paid poster for AHIP or some other insurance related organization?

                          •  From the page eve linked... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            potatohead, foufou

                            Here....

                            ---

                            Just a head's up.   Meteor Blades threatened to kick me off this site because I asked someone if they were getting paid to post here.

                            I work for no one.

                            I do work to try to find facts....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:11:21 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Meteor Blades is the community moderator (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            potatohead

                            and he does a superb job of it, too.

                            Just so that you know:

                            Merely asking someone if they are a paid poster, due to the content of their comments is not a banable offense.

                            Calling someone out and claiming that they are a paid poster, without any proof is a completely difference kettle of fish, and a bannable offense.

                            Nice to see that your obtuseness spreads to all issues.

                            That link, by the by, is from AHIP (American's Health Insurance Plans), you can see the AHIP logo on the linked document in the lower right hand side. I somehow doubt that nyceve was using THAT link to support any statement of fact.

                            Funded by and run on behalf of the private, for-profit health insurance companies.

                            So the companies that are gouging everybody is the source for your claims of 13% for expenses for the insurers - it's a number right out of their own pockets.

                            Those are the facts.

                          •  Well, all I did was ask someone... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou

                            if they were getting paid to post.  You've now asked  me twice.

                            ---

                            Facts.  If you don't agree with the 13% number then please provide numbers from what you believe to be a more accurate source.

                            I'm not comfortable using industry numbers.  But I'm even more uncomfortable with dismissing numbers simply because they don't fit ones belief system....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:51:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I did provide a link to PNHP (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, potatohead

                            and an excerpt with the 31% number.

                            I can't help it if you fail to follow the link, read the information and formulate an opinion as to whether the numbers provided there are reasonable and factual or not.

                            I urge you to go to the PNHP site and do some reading.

                            In response to the next comment you've already posted, I again repeat that the numbers generated by the healthcare insurance companies to prove that they are not taking exhorbitant profits is hardly likely to be a good number. Because they conflate everything that their business does with providing healthcare to lower the amount of dollars left to be considered 'profit'. (when, in truth, they don't actually provide an iota of 'healthcare', but only an insurance plan which is supposed to (but doesn't always) provide you with access to healthcare)

                            Get back to me after you spend some time (as nyceve and I have obviously done already) reading and processing the information from PNHP - data brought to you by an organization which has actual medical providers, doctors, clinics and other reputable sources for their data instead of profit-oriented, paperpushing, overpaid executives with an eye towards steering the nation to accept the corporate viewpoint as the only one that needs to be counted.

                          •  And I pointed out to you that the 31%... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou

                            Included both health insurance industry and health care industry numbers combined.

                            It was not a health insurance industry number.  Only part of that number belongs to insurance companies.  Part belongs to doctors and hospitals.

                            It really does not matter how much time you've spent reading info if you don't understand what you are reading....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:56:51 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Non-industry numbers... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jim bow

                            According to a report published by the CBO in 2008, administrative costs for private insurance represent approximately 12% of premiums.

                            Link

                            Net profit margin 2008 4.8%.

                            Link

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:59:54 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The Death By Spreadsheet industry (9+ / 0-)

                            is an obstacle to actual healthcare.  Why should I have to deal with someone whose only purpose is to make a fast buck before I can access much needed medical attention?

                            Big Pharma and insurance can cry me a river.

                            You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

                            by Johnny Q on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:37:47 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Why should you? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jim bow, foufou

                            Because enough of your fellow Americans did not want insurance companies closed down.

                            The health care bill we got is big change, and change scares many people.  It will take a few years of getting use to this much change before people will be willing to accept more.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:25:56 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Bullshit. Enough of our conservadem Senators (5+ / 0-)

                            didn't want it. When told the truth about what a public option is, and before the filthy liars in the Tea Party threw their temper tantrum, the majority of Americans supported the public option in poll after poll.

                            Digital Journal

                            Huffington Post

                            New York Times

                            Washington Post

                            CBS News

                            Big difference.

                          •  What sort of majority was that? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou

                            The majority of all Americans?

                            The majority of Americans in each state?

                            We don't pass legislation on the basis of overall majorities.  It takes enough pressure in an adequate number of states to bring the vote....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:44:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You said the following: (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, potatohead

                            Because enough of your fellow Americans did not want insurance companies closed down.

                            If you look at those polls and surveys prior to August, you will find many of those majorities were asked the question specifically regarding "government-run healthcare" or a government-run option.

                            Therefore, you are lying about our fellow Americans. Why don't you conduct a survey about how many of our fellow Americans want the insurance industry to profit even as they deny legitimate claims and care?

                            Your defense of the indefensible is indefensible.

                          •  I'm lying? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou

                            No. You do not understand averages.

                            As you pointed out  "Enough of our conservadem Senators didn't want it".

                            Not just enough "conservadem" Senators, but also no Republican Senators.  Democrats do not have enough votes to bust a filibuster.  They had 60 votes in their caucus for 96 days of this two years.  And for a lot of those 96 days Congress was not in session.

                            59% of all Americans wanting something does not mean that 60% of senators are going to vote for it.  It's likely that support was strong in the upper east and far west coast parts of the country, but those states in the middle and southeast each get two senators.

                            100% support in New York State can be outweighed by less than 50% support in two tiny population states.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:19:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes. You are lying. And derailing. nt (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            potatohead
                          •  "Lying" - the new definition... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou

                            Posting facts that someone does not want to hear.

                            Brilliant.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:10:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  BobTrips, mission accomplished. You don't have (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, bruh1, potatohead

                            to keep replying. Neither do I for that matter and I will stop after this. You have puked your shit all over this diary, obfuscating the real issues and trying to change and derail the debate. For what purpose I have no idea.

                            Here is what you originally said:

                            Because enough of your fellow Americans did not want insurance companies closed down.

                            You didn't say "because enough of your American Senators didn't want it."

                            Your "facts" are not factual. Hell, you can't even remember the argument you made two comments up.

                          •   Senators vote in Congress... (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jim bow, foufou

                            Largely the way the people in their states want them to vote.

                            If they don't they are generally ex-Senators.

                            Now, I've obfuscated the real issues?  Which 'real' issue?  

                            That high premium costs are due to CEO salaries?

                            (They are not.  CEO salaries eat up a tiny portion of premiums.)

                            Or that private insurance companies spend way more per customer on administrative costs than does Medicare?

                            (They apparently don't.  In fact, it seems that Medicare spends more per customer than does private insurance.  And those numbers come from the Department of Health and Human Services.)

                            If you want to live in some fantasy land where one is not guided by facts, have at it....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:39:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I would like to live in a country that doesn't (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kareylou

                            require someone dying of cancer for someone else to make a buck (or a million).

                          •  I think we all would... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            jim bow

                            But we need doctors and hospitals and I don't think you would them to offer their services for free....

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:09:35 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Who is suggesting that? I have no problem with (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, potatohead

                            someone making a buck off someone being treated for cancer. I have a big problem with someone making a buck off denying treatment.

                            I had single-payer for 3 years in Canada. We paid for healthcare through taxes. The system was very good, particularly for our family with some medical . . . difficulties. I am unafraid of single-payer healthcare and will continue to fight for it. Or at the minimum for a public option that provides affordable healthcare for everyone.

                          •  The PPACA... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            foufou

                            Deals with insurance companies refusing to pay for treatment in order to increase their profits.

                            Will the approach be "perfect"?  I don't know, we will have to wait and see.

                            Hopefully we won't discourage so many potential voters in our bad-mouthing of the PPACA and President Obama that we loose Congress and the ability to improve on the PPACA.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:29:34 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The basic premise of health insurance companies (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, potatohead

                            operating for profit is an inherent flaw in our healthcare system. It encourages, nay requires that actual care be limited or denied. PPACA doesn't solve this problem. I wish I could go to my family members who have been uninsured for the better part of five years (yet still vote Republican) and tell them that this legislation will help them in any way, shape or form. But it simply does not have the teeth. And I have searched for ways to help them both because I love them and because I want them to vote in their own best interests for once. They can't afford the coverage that their child (with a pre-existing condition) will be eligible for on September 26th. And I guess they have to hope they don't get sick until 2014. They could have been swayed. This is an issue that touches most Americans. And what we gave up in time and political capital was wasted. I will not sit out the mid-terms. I am contributing to and working with a handful of candidates who I believe still have the best interests of the people at heart. I still support President Obama. But after the mid-terms, if they return with a majority, Democrats (which I consider myself) will have enact meaningful health*care* reform to earn my contributions, my time and my vote.

                          •  Let's start here... (0+ / 0-)

                            This statement is 100% incorrect.

                            The basic premise of health insurance companies operating for profit is an inherent flaw in our healthcare system. It encourages, nay requires that actual care be limited or denied.

                            All that is required for a company of any type to generate a profit is to take in more than they spend.

                            Were we to, for example, cap premium payments we could generate a system where eventually insurance companies would have to limit or deny service, but we did not do that.

                            Under the Exchanges health insurance companies will be required to spend at least 80% of what they collect on health care.  Other policies will be required to spend 85% of collected premiums on health care.

                            This one...

                            They can't afford the coverage that their child (with a pre-existing condition) will be eligible for on September 26th.

                            Go to the Government healthcare page.  Look for ways to get a child covered.  There are routes other than simply through the parents insurance policy.

                            Now, please explain what you mean by "it simply does not have the teeth".  That sounds to me like a throw-away line.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:26:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Are you saying health insurance companies don't (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink

                            deny care in order to profit? Because if they didn't we would not have the current dire situation.

                            The healthcare page is a great site. Here is the immediate issue I find (and I will explore it more tomorrow).

                            These family members - both parents and children - have been uninsured for over five years because 1. The dad's employer is small and cannot provide affordable insurance (he has tried to find other work but he is in sales and the job market is pitiful) and 2. The private health insurance they could get (at least before the pre-existing condition) is prohibitively expensive. My own family had this experience when we were forced onto COBRA due to a job layoff and spent over $1200 a month for health insurance.

                            Recently, one of the children was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. None of her hospital expenses were covered by any insurance for a 6-day stay because the family is uninsured. They have not yet gotten the bill.

                            The website offers 7 possible options, two of which assume the family already has health insurance through a private company or employer. That is not the case. A third option is to purchase private insurance, but as stated above, they cannot afford private insurance. Medicaid and free clinics are two more options, but the dad's income, while not enough to afford private insurance, is too much to qualify for Medicaid. The site mentions CHIP which is something I am going to encourage them to look into - coverage for families with incomes under $45k who don't qualify for Medicaid. But that is a state program and their home state in the Southeast US is notoriously stingy and in the throes of the worst foreclosure crisis in the country. And CHIP was not 'created' by PPACA.  The final option is a high-risk pool which states the following:

                            You may qualify for this new health coverage option if you have been uninsured for at least six months, you have a pre-existing condition, and you have been denied coverage (or offered insurance without coverage of the pre-existing condition) by a private insurance company.

                            That assumes they will have been denied coverage which is not the same as saying they will have been offered coverage they cannot afford.

                            The upshot of all this complication is that the site lists 7 options, 5 of which would not work for this family for reasons that are very, very common in today's economy and 2 options that may work but one is a free clinic option and the other is a state-run program that may or may not offer affordable coverage.

                            If you had a 9 year old with Type 2 diabetes, would you feel confident relying on a free clinic for all of her care? Free clinics are being stretched to their absolute breaking point.

                            What if I could say to them, you know what? The Democrats passed healthcare reform and if you can't afford private insurance, if it isn't available through your employer (as in many small businesses) then you can buy into Medicare at a more affordable rate. And guess what? You won't have to wait until 2014.

                            People are hurting. We applaud that children up to age 26 can stay on their parent's plan. That is awesome. IF THEIR PARENTS HAVE A PLAN. That's what I mean by no teeth. The equivalent of trying to slay a lion with a flyswatter.

                          •  No, I'm not saying that denying services is not.. (0+ / 0-)

                            a problem now.  I'm saying that if the PPACA works as intended it won't be a problem in the future.

                            It certainly is a problem now.  As is denying people with pre-existing conditions and kicking off people when they get really sick.

                            Those are some of the reasons that the PPACA was created, to create regulations to stop that sort of crap.

                            --

                            Employer not being able to afford insurance for employees.  There's this part of the PPACA that you might want to pass on...

                            Providing Small Business Health Insurance Tax Credits.

                            Up to 4 million small businesses are eligible for tax credits  to help them provide insurance benefits to their workers. The first phase of this provision provides a credit worth up to 35 percent of the employer’s contribution to the employees’ health insurance. Small non-profit organizations may receive up to a 25 percent credit.

                            Effective now.

                            That is a significant drop in employer cost.  And remind his employer that the rest of the cost is a business expense which can be written off.  The final cost to employer should be well under 65%.

                            --

                            Look, there are lots of people who will suffer until this thing gets up and going.  I don't want to minimize their problems, but do focus on the fact that this sort of problem will most likely go away over the next three years.

                            I've got a current insurance problem, not as significant as the one you describe.  We  have to purchase private insurance for my wife as she isn't old enough to receive Medicare.  We would enjoy being able to buy more affordable insurance through the Exchange, but for the next three years it's all out of pocket.

                            Now I could get upset that nothing will happen to help us until 2014 or I can be happy that in 2014 we are going to get some significant help.

                            "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                            by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 08:30:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That is the reason they should be illiminated in (0+ / 0-)

                            the equation, Mr. Tripps.  Because health and well-being should not be something only the rich can afford.  Health insurance companies are in business to make more and more money.  

                            United we stand - Divided we are all truly screwed. Keep them blaming one another - they'll never notice what's really going on.

                            by Cassandra77 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:33:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  why would the cost per client be flat? (7+ / 0-)

                        If I never file a claim, the only expense is billing my account.  If I do file claims, they have to at least process some paperwork.

                        The question is not whether the chickens needed replacing, the question is whether the fox should have been guarding them in the first place.

                        by happymisanthropy on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:47:52 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You are right... (0+ / 0-)

                          Processing claims is a cost and Medicare will process more claims than an insurance company which serves a lot of healthy clients.

                          In 2001 - 2005 Medicare spent more per client than did insurance companies on administrative costs.  About 25% more per person.

                          Link

                          So is Medicare more efficient?  I can't tell from the numbers that I've seen.  The "3%/13%" number looks like a bogus way to measure efficiency if one does not control for expenditure per client....

                          "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                          by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:15:01 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  Do you have any "lower margin" data? (0+ / 0-)

                And where do you get "that 30 percent profit premium"?

                The data eve just furnished says that only 13% of premiums collected go to administrative costs (including CEO salaries, "gold toilets", corporate jets, and shareholder profits).

                "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:27:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  You hit the nail on the head. People need (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Winnie, Susan G in MN

              to look at their hospital and doctors bill and realize that if you take the insurance company out of the picture (i favor single payer) you'll see the bigger problem is that health care costs are going through the roof.  

              I don't belong to an organized party, I'm a democrat.

              by thestructureguy on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:25:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's my impression... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Winnie, SingleVoter

                We need to focus on getting the cost of health care down.

                We can put pressure on insurance companies to lower their administrative costs, and that would be a good thing.  But it does not appear that is where the vast amount of our money is going.

                I think we need to be working on preventative measures and looking for ways to treat people for less money.

                "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:31:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Medicare does it all on a few percent. (10+ / 0-)

                Private insurers profit adds NO VALUE.

                The discussion of what health care costs actually are is different from the reform we had on the table.

                We didn't get reform, and the most common thing people do, when confronted with that, is cite the other problem of care costs themselves.

                The reality is we have very thick companies, dividing the risk pools for profit --profit that is earned for adding NO VALUE.

                We get nothing.

                That's the crime here, and the fact that we've locked that in, isn't reform.  It's corporate larges between us and health care.

                IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:33:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  that doesn't make sense (8+ / 0-)

                Or I'm misreading your comment.

                if you take the insurance company out of the picture (i favor single payer) you'll see the bigger problem is that health care costs are going through the roof.  

                Look at the difference in costs between the US and Canada, where we have single payer. Where's your evidence that single payer has caused costs to go through the roof?

                "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                by catnip on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:44:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not saying single payer will make it cost (0+ / 0-)

                  more. What I'm saying is look at the major reasons costs are going up. Hospitals and  doctors keep jacking the costs up each year.  I guess I should have included in the comment what I have put in others.  Price control goes hand in hand with single payer.  Take out profit margin and costs increases go down but not to zero.  Health care costs increase each year despite the insurance companies.  Like I said I'm in favor of single payer. I've essentially been on it for over 30 years.  But it ain't no panacea.  

                  I don't belong to an organized party, I'm a democrat.

                  by thestructureguy on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:57:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  that doesn't jive with what you said... (0+ / 0-)

                    ..about costs going through the roof under single payer. In fact, you admit that with price controls those costs are controlled.

                    Health care costs increase each year despite the insurance companies.

                    Yes they do but you have to look at the relationship between providers and those insurance companies in your type of system to analyze why US costs increase at the rate they do compared to other systems. That's a major factor, I would guess.

                    "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                    by catnip on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:12:22 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think you're completely missing (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      thestructureguy

                      thestructureguy's point. His point, as I understand it, is that the problem with rising healthcare costs is much more about hospitals, clinics, doctors and pharmaceutical companies jacking up their prices than it is about insurance companiestaking profit.

                      The advantage of single payer is much less about eliminating insurance company profit taking than it is about creating a single entity that controls all payment and thus has the power to negotiate lower prices.  Negotiating lower prices means lower pay for doctors and other medical professionals, and lower profits for hospitals, clinics and pharmaceutical companies.

                      PPACA focused on taking on the insurance companies and actually did that very effectively.  But the fight with doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies was mostly put off for a later date because the combined power of all of those entrenched interests was too much to take on at once.

                      Basically what you get with ppaca is beneficial insuranc reform combined with massive government subsidy paid for through progressive taxation.  That is a very good thing and should be celebrated by all progressives. Many of Eve's complaints will actually be moot once ppaca goes fully into effect on 1/1/14.

                      We are going to need to do more to tacklie rising costs but ppaca was a huge step in the right direction when it comes to making affordable healthcare available to all Americans.

                      "Hope 2010 feels a lot different than Hope 2008. Tougher, deeper, more dearly bought." Femlaw, Hope 2010, September 8, 2010.

                      by seanwright on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:42:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  that's rather pie in the sky (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Angie in WA State, bruh1, newpioneer

                        First of all, the regulations haven't even been written yet so you don't even know exactly what will go into effect in 2014 - a long way away and a process that will be heavily influenced by politics.

                        Secondly, I don't know how you can state this so emphatically:

                        PPACA focused on taking on the insurance companies and actually did that very effectively.

                        Effectively? How? By legislating mandates? By handing them guaranteed customers and profits?

                        Thirdly:

                        But the fight with doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies was mostly put off for a later date because the combined power of all of those entrenched interests was too much to take on at once.

                        Guess who ran on taking on those entrenched interests? And guess who's still tooting his own horn about doing just that when, as you say, he hasn't? And how can you say that the fight with Big PhRma was put off when Obama cut a back room deal to appease that special interest group? That is the problem: what Obama promised is not what he has delivered.

                        In this anti-corporate, anti-Wall Street, anti-government political environment, your cheerleading of this bill falls flat.

                        "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                        by catnip on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:04:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Not at all pie in the sky (0+ / 0-)

                          PPACA will end pre-existing conditions and recission.  It will set a minimum amount that insurance companies must spend on healthcare as opposed to administrative costs.  It will set a minimum for the quality of coverage.  It will make medicaid available to millions of additional families.  It will provide hundreds of billions in subsidies to middle and working class families.  We know all of this before the regulations are written because it is contained in the statute.

                          And this IS the healthcare plan Obama ran on.

                          "Hope 2010 feels a lot different than Hope 2008. Tougher, deeper, more dearly bought." Femlaw, Hope 2010, September 8, 2010.

                          by seanwright on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:16:58 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  yeah - no (0+ / 0-)

                            He ran on the public option.

                            "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                            by catnip on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:02:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  By which you mean that he ran on a plan that (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thestructureguy

                            looked very much like PPACA but also included a public option.

                            Remind me how many votes we had to spare on PPACA in the end?

                            A public option that was tied in with medicare for the purposes of cost negotiation would have been a big victory.  The public option that passed the house did not do that.  The public option that passed the house would have done little or nothing to put downward pressure on healthcare costs.  And there weren't the votes needed for it in the Senate.

                            PPACA barely passed as it is.  If the president had drawn a line in the sand on the public option we probably would have wound up with nothing or a flimsy little figleaf "reform" bill.

                            Progressives who would have rather seen reform fail than to have it pass without the public option are letting a little better be the enemy of the very good.

                            "Hope 2010 feels a lot different than Hope 2008. Tougher, deeper, more dearly bought." Femlaw, Hope 2010, September 8, 2010.

                            by seanwright on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:13:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  got those talking points nailed down! n/t (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bruh1

                            "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                            by catnip on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:38:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  These actually are not talking points. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            thestructureguy

                            They are my well-informed views.

                            I recommend that you listen to this episode of This American Life on the topic, if you haven't done so already.  It's very informative and enjoyable.

                            "Hope 2010 feels a lot different than Hope 2008. Tougher, deeper, more dearly bought." Femlaw, Hope 2010, September 8, 2010.

                            by seanwright on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:57:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Or we can look at other statement (0+ / 0-)

                            that say something different. See that's k ind of the point of why its a talking point. It spins by ommission or changing the subject or whatever else. The idea that people are here making up shit about the president supporting the PO when in fact just last year many were here (of his more ardent supporters until he said a definitive no) swearing up and down he supported it. You are as usual trying to as a group have it both ways.

                          •  He did support a public option. (0+ / 0-)

                            But it didn't make it into the final legislation and he didn't make it a dealbreaker because he preferred the bill we got to nothing which is what we would have got if he refused to support a bill that didn't have a public option. How is that trying to have it both ways?

                            "Hope 2010 feels a lot different than Hope 2008. Tougher, deeper, more dearly bought." Femlaw, Hope 2010, September 8, 2010.

                            by seanwright on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:21:37 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  This is counter to the reports coming out (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink

                            of DC that specifically said that he was luke warm to fighting it while

                            One of the problems here is that many of you take him at his word rather than treating him just like any other pol.

                            If you consider him as I do to be a politician- then i realize his public statements are irrelevant. I no more trust them than I did Bush, or Clinton or any president.

                            The real way we test pols and what they mean is a) through legislation they put themselves on the line for (he didn't place himself on the line for PO or indeed hasn't on anything of "controversy" with that word being what DC thinks of as controversial) b) what others around him are saying (Democratic Senators and House members said he either didn't want it or was lukewarm) and c) generally understanding how politics works regarding double speak and language.

                            And yeah, you are trying to have it both ways because you pretend he wanted but "aww, they just wouldn't give it to him." That's a denial of what he actually according to the totality of evidence was doing behind the scenes. And yes, I trust multiple reports about what people said of the president's committment to the PO more than I trust your gut that he's telling us what he truly wanted to fight for. Its clear he never cared beyond a campaign slogan about this. That's been true on not just this issue,b ut amongst other topics- gay rights where he says one thing, and does another. That's what pols do, but only this adminitration as a group of supporters who will fight to the death to deny this basic truth of politicians.

                      •  interesting sig line (0+ / 0-)

                        "more dearly bought"

                        I'd say "Hope 2010" is on life support and can't afford the insurance premiums to keep it alive.

                        "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

                        by catnip on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:05:59 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  They're Cutting Benefits (11+ / 0-)

              My wife and I started a course of medical care this year that was going to use the maximum, to the cap on benefits from our insurer through her corporation. After we'd started, the employer announced that they'd cut benefits by 60%, which we now cannot afford. It's starting on 1/1/11. The part of Obama's programme that is controlling premiums for some is allowing insurers to cut benefits for others, including my family.

              That sucks.

              I supported HCR, then HIR, and now whatever this rob Peter / insure Paul scheme is turning into. Obama failed to protect us from the predicted consequences of his programme.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:33:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Who's cutting your benefits? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Whimsical

                Sounds like it's your employer....

                "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:44:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A more PERTINENT question would be (5+ / 0-)

                  WHY are they cutting your benefits?

                  But that might lead to an answer that would indicate higher insurance premiums for the company, which wouldn't fit Bob's narrative...

                  I sure wish my government gave me as much privacy as they demand I give them.

                  by Daddy Bartholomew on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:49:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The Insurer (0+ / 0-)

                  No, the insurer is cutting them. The employer is just the conduit for insurance, and is now of course facing demands from labor for even higher direct cash compensation to make up the difference.

                  This is how insurance works in America. How do you not know that?

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:18:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  And the Employer (0+ / 0-)

                  And even if the employer were cutting the benefits, as mentioned by the other person replying to your question, the reason they'd be cutting benefits is because they can't afford the increased premiums required by the insurer to continue to provide the same benefits.

                  Again, that's how insurance works in America. How do you not know that?

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:20:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Rising cost of health care.... (0+ / 0-)

              It is a shame no one had an opportunity to reform health care in the past 2 years.  

              Here is a hint.  To the public, that is a distinction without a difference.   Rising health care costs will be blamed on the legislation as well. And rightfully so.

              "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

              by justmy2 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:22:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  "exceptionally bad news" (16+ / 0-)

            and "bad timing for the Democrats".  'scuze me, but it's more than 'bad news' and 'bad timing'.  Every bit of it should have foreseen by the President who begged for this legislation, ignored the jobs situation, did everything under the sun to get it passed in exactly the form it is.  The 'bad timing' was precisely written in the President's legislation.  

            If the President had a little less thirst for legislative victory, he would have cut it off before it became law with Democrats' names written all over it.  

            Planning a vacation or convention in Arizona? Come to Palm Springs instead! Same desert weather, none of the bigotry.

            by grey skies turning to blue on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:12:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Any fool could have foreseen this... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassandra77, blueoasis, newpioneer

            ...given the way Congress and the Administration rolled over and played dead for the Health care industry and their lobby.

            The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

            by Bobjack23 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:17:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  More to the point - how much of the rising cost (20+ / 0-)

          of health care is based on bad medical practice - the huge and increasing costs of fee-for-service lunacy, wasteful (if not dangerous) high cost  drugs that are over prescribed, unnecessary and dangerous tests (imaging etc), and the dis-eguilibrium in med school specialty focus that place unnecessary  surgeries (often dangerous - prostrate, knee replacement etc)ahead of prevention. The whole system is broken - insurance, big pharma, medical. If we can no longer rely of the likes of JAMA to weed out those physicians who are getting millions of dollars to write about the drugs or products of particular companies, what does that reveal about the whole mess?  I really hope Elizabeth Warren will feel she can take on issues of patient consumer problems as well.

          •  Seperate issue. (5+ / 0-)

            Medicare funds care with a few percent administrative profit.

            The bill we passed allows 20 percent for the private insurers to profit from.

            They add NO VALUE for that profit.  

            We didn't address the cost of care.  We did try to control access costs, and failed.

            What we did do was get people coverage they may or may not be able to afford to use, and we did so at a very high cost premium, which is the corporate larges, compared to the rest of the modern world, who doesn't tolerate private profit for access to health care.

            That is actually illegal in most nations, because it ADDS NO VALUE.  

            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:36:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Ding ding ding ding. If only we could (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cedwyn, HoundDog

          acknowledge this.

        •  Wrong, Bob. (13+ / 0-)

          It's got nothing to do with the cost of healthcare.  It's revenge of the insurers.  The premiums will rise enough to put the Tea Party / Republicans back in power and control.  

          Planning a vacation or convention in Arizona? Come to Palm Springs instead! Same desert weather, none of the bigotry.

          by grey skies turning to blue on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:00:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The costs of health care services in this country (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            otto, Cedwyn, Winnie, divineorder, laker

            are virtually double of other industrialized countries.  How can this have nothing to do with the cost of health care itself?

            •  The COST OF ACCESS was the matter to be reformed (9+ / 0-)

              and we failed.

              In most of the modern world making a profit for doing that is illegal, or very highly regulated.

              We locked in 20 percent, a whole 10 percent down from the 30 percent operating margin for private insurers.

              We get nothing in return for those dollars.

              Medicare does this task on a few percent administrative costs, no profit.

              The cost of care is a seperate matter, and here's the ugly part:

              Our cost of care is multiplied by the cost of access where in most nations it's just the cost of care, because they don't allow profit for mere access.

              Why?

              Because there is no value returned for allowing that profit.  In other words it's legal extortion of the people for profit.  

              IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

              by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:38:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  OK here goes (7+ / 0-)

              The insurance companies were already making huge profits, and will continue to do so, to a slightly lesser percentage under the new bill.  

              The loss ratio, i.e. the ratio of what's 'lost' to the company divided by its total income.  From what I cn tell, it's running about 75%, now, before the premium increases. (some companies are lower, a few higher)

              Loss Ratio = Cost of care / Insurance Premiums

              Insurance Premiums  = Cost of care / Loss Ratio

              If the Loss Ratio is 75%, Premiums amount to a full 1/3 more than the cost of care.  And it could be more, since a lot health care in the US is delivered by medicare, tri-care, VA, at substantially lower cost than insurance companies.

              The insurance companies are raising premiums -- gouging -- because it's their last chance to get these 'costs' on  the books before their loss ratios come under control.  Already the insurance companies are trying to classify advertising costs and other costs of doing business into the 'cost of care' in order to let them raise premiums again.

              See?  Insurance companies are in business to make money.  They do that very well, but when it comes to delivering care, they are miserable failures.

              Planning a vacation or convention in Arizona? Come to Palm Springs instead! Same desert weather, none of the bigotry.

              by grey skies turning to blue on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:05:40 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Fact (13+ / 0-)

          American healthcare is the most expensive in the world and has really poor outcomes.

          Now you can answer your own question.

        •  Bonuses and corporate jets (10+ / 0-)

          Very important health-related costs. At least for the executive's health.

          Dear God, Please O Lord let it be Sarah Palin/Glen Beck in 2012? Amen, and thanks for all the fish

          by Pale Jenova on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:12:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Most Is Grab (10+ / 0-)

          Most of it is a grab. Healthcare costs didn't double in the past year.

          It's a grab that Obama's programme failed to protect us from. A grab that was totally predictable, as was totally predicted, and which has now happened.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:30:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Needed For Lobbying & Campaign Donations (4+ / 0-)

          Insurance companies need the increase to pay off promised donations to our politicians who, in return, passed a supposed health care reform law that will enrich them forever.  

        •  $2460 per year for two of us (0+ / 0-)

          Health insurance for my spouse and I went up $2460 per year just after health care reform passed.

          This has used up most our budget for all the Democratic fundraising groups that continually call.

          No decreases in sight.

          I would imagine there will be 20% increases again next year.

          We need more and better Democrats and Campaign Finance Reform.

          by Duke S on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:55:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And depending on you income (0+ / 0-)

            the so-called subsidies to justify this may not even help. If you are in an urban market, there's a penalty for living in a higher cost area as far as I can tell. Unless the bill has changed when I last read through the provisions.

        •  How is that going to matter to the voter in ..... (0+ / 0-)

          ....... November when you're trying to sell HIR?  

          Yanno, "we passed something, but you'll still pay more" isn't a winning message.  

          The only thing that will save the sorry asses of the Democrats is the Republicans.

          by ThAnswr on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:32:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Look at the profits (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink

          the insurance companies are posting, and you tell me.

          Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

          by barbwires on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:32:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  President "Half-Measures" and the Dems SHOULD (7+ / 0-)

        have "fixed" this when they passed their so-called "health care reform."

        The only time Obama "knocks it out of the park" is when he talking about a problem, instead of when he's proposed something that is supposed to fix the problem.    

        Talk is cheap.    

      •  Ask Baucus to hire a former Wellpoint Executive (5+ / 0-)

        to write another Insurance Reform Bill?

        No, wait.. that wouldn't be fair.  Baucus worked his ass off to make sure Obama had something to sign which would thrill Wall Street, even going so far as to hire a former Wellpoint Executive to write the damn bill.  I'm shocked the Heritage Foundation didn't sue for plagiarism.

        Perhaps Alan Simpson, when he's done trashing Social Security, can step forward and lead a "reform" commission?

        The Power of The Obama Photobomb Compels YOU! Resistance Is Futile.

        by Johnathan Ivan on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:48:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If only... we will do... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nyceve, Willa Rogers

        If only... we will do... starting tomorrow or after the election for sure, we see what is going on, we’ll fix those Republicans the dog ate my homework, if the dog hadn’t stopped to take a sh#t the rabbit wouldn’t have gotten away.

        My arse is raw from being promiserated by these servants of the plutocracy and first class hypocritical liars.

        They have little or no idea what is going on with or concern for Middle class Americans or they would not have been behaving as they have during the last five administrations. Yes there are some good guys in DC but they are outnumbered twenty-five to one.

        Talk is cheap; their walk is where their heart and rice bowl is.

        I can’t do much about it but bitch and vote against Republicans and Republicanism no matter who is practing it and most of the incumbents. So that’s what I am going to do.

        I am not happy with Obama, and the Democrat leadership and I think they are only marginally better than the Republican leadership. Inside the Beltway the political center is so far out in right field it is in the parking lot. Being just left of the Republicans is an indictment.

        Furthermore I am sick of the "yeah but" crowd.

        The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

        by Bobjack23 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:15:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Could've/should've: single payer... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lucy2009

        But noooooo....

        Wasn't bipartisan enough.

        Re. unity support for Blue Dogs/conservadems: I, for one, really don't want my extra value meal with a side order of sh*t.

        by Superskepticalman on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:26:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Dems created this "HCR" monster, and (0+ / 0-)

        Obama passed it into law....they own it. WTF are they going to do to fix it?

        Instead of running around like chickens with their heads cut off wondering why people are pissed, they might consider sitting their butts down, coming up with a solution to this human catastrophe happening under their very noses, (on their watch) and pushing it through Congress and into law between now and election day.

        Message to Obama: deriding, and belittling the very people who voted you into office is STUPID! So knock it off, and get down to doing the peoples business.

        I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

        by Lucy2009 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:00:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They're set for life. (11+ / 0-)

      They don't have to do anything.  The industry will give them jobs when they lose the election.

      "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

      by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:37:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  activism on HC premiums can only be (10+ / 0-)

      effective at the state level at this point. In fact, states have always had oversight authority over insurance, the fed has not.

      Rather than complain about the rise in insurance premiums while blaming the PPACA, we should be contacting state lawmakers and joining with local consumer advocacy groups to strengthen state laws.

      The PPACA makes some significant first steps to rein in future premium increases with standards for states to adopt and enforce. Whether or not future enforcement is effective depends largely on state laws that grant and fund authority to insurance commissions.

      Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person. -Jan Edwards

      by SoCalSal on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:52:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dems put Foxes in charge of our hen house (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, CTPatriot, Lucy2009

      Now they're acting upset that the fox is eating the hens.

      "These old Wall Street boys are putting up an awful fight to keep the government from putting a cop on their corner." - Will Rogers

      by Lefty Coaster on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:13:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A record 50.7 million Americans (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, Cassandra77, Lucy2009

      about one in every six Americans, now don't have health insurance.

      The only real answer is SINGLE PAYER, everything else that's been proposed is just pretending.

      41 million Americans on food stamps. So let's help bankers moar.

      by tiggers thotful spot on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:06:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's heartbreaking. In my family alone..... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tiggers thotful spot

        My fella has no ins...if he gets sick he'll just go back to England to get sorted out. (he's a Brit) Neither my son, nor my daughter-in-law can afford ins. My father and mother are both on Medicare...thankfully. Since I had brain surgery, my fam rallies around and pays my 565.00/mo premiums so I get the care I need.

        This, in America!

        I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

        by Lucy2009 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:10:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Shouldnt that be half-empty? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fcvaguy, Bensdad, GN1927, Pris from LA, Crider

    If more Democrats saw the glass as half-full, I don't think there'd be as much of a problem as there is.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:09:05 AM PDT

      •  Well, people who view the glass as half full (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nyceve, GN1927, BobTrips, Onomastic, SoCalSal

        tend to concentrate on the good things, like the fact that we've had, as someone said "The most productive, progressive legislation session in at least a generation".

        Its the people who view the glass as half-empty that tend to dwell on the negatives, like the lack of the PO, etc, etc.

        So I was wondering if Obama got the metaphor wrong.

        And its well known that I feel that too much negativity coming from our own side (instead of focusing on the positives) is one of the biggest problems the Democrats have

        "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

        by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:38:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks Whimsical, understood (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Daddy Bartholomew, divineorder

          he might have, hard to know.

        •  In short: (7+ / 0-)

          "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

          by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:42:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  More like (8+ / 0-)

            Which is going to motivate people to GOTV more:

            Listing all the things the Democrats did right, and the Republicans will undo?

            Or complaining about the handful of things the Democrats did wrong- which the Republicans will make worse?

            My moneys on the former.

            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

            by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:47:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I would add to that: (8+ / 0-)

              Most voter opposition is coming from our right, not our left. They don't think the bill isn't strong enough, they think there shouldn't have been a bill. If we lose races in November on health care reform it won't be because the bill didn't go far enough.

              The bigger problem for the midterms is a lack of strong messaging and the Dem's inability to break through the Republican spin. It's not a new problem, but one I hoped and believed we'd have a handle on by now.

              You're absolutely right that the more we focus on what's good about the bill when talking to voters, the better we'll do in November.

              And, FWIW, I'm actually out there talking to voters, so have some idea what I'm talking about.

              •  Hi casperr and when you talk to voters (9+ / 0-)

                facing unaffordable hc, what do you tell them, be patient?

                •  No, I tell them it sucks (6+ / 0-)

                  and that I understand their frustration. But I also tell them that the healthcare bill is already helping a lot of folks, but unfortunately many of the benefits won't kick in until 2014. And I say that even then it won't be a perfect situation.

                  If they really want to have a discussion about it, I then say that although the bill we ended up with isn't the best we had hoped and fought for, it is progress, and that if we had had any Republican support at all we would have had a chance at something better. And every seat we lose in Congress makes it that much harder to get anything passed in the coming years, and makes the chances for improving the bill that much less likely

                  No matter WHAT kind of bill we had -- even the best imaginable single-payer universal plan -- people would not yet be seeing many tangible results yet. It would take at least a couple of years to get things in place.

                  But honestly, I am really not hearing, "the health reform bill isn't good enough." I'm hearing, "Why did the Dems pass health care reform? Why are we spending my taxes so other people can have insurance? I like my insurance" and so on.

                •  I tell them the story. (10+ / 0-)

                  Progressives went to the mat trying to get real reform.

                  We got some small reform passed in the house, where there are enough Progressives to influence legislation.

                  We didn't get any in the Senate, where there are not enough Progressives to influence the legislation.

                  That's how it's going to go until we do have enough Progressives to influence legislation.

                  The real politics are corporations and profit vs people.

                  Growing the Progressive movement is a vote for the people over corporations, and we are the only ones, of size, out there doing that.

                  Grow the movement, take the party.

                  I also tell them to vote straight Dem this time around, because it's going to be easier and more politically favorable for Progressives to grow within a strong Democratic party, than it will be in a weak one, in survival mode.

                  HCR is the greatest Progressive story of our time.  It highlights the corporate politics in stark contrast, easy to see, motivational, so long as people hear we are there fighting for them.

                  IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                  by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:02:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I sympathize, commiserate, then tell them (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Cedwyn, casperr, potatohead, Whimsical

                  help is coming, and explain the constraints that begin in January on premiums and compare that to status quo. I explain that insurance has always been regulated by states, and I recommend that they phone or write their state senators and assembly members to urge them to pass laws that will rein in premiums. I tell them this is not my ideal health care delivery system, but the American health delivery system has been broken for so long and so broadly that this is a start, and attacks the problems on many areas.

                  "Help is coming" is much more empowering message than "ain't it awful." "Help is coming" is the message that kept people positive about FDR through times worse than today, and despite continuing high rates of unemployment and poverty throughout FDR's terms as president.

                  Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person. -Jan Edwards

                  by SoCalSal on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:13:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Help is coming from WHO?? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Daddy Bartholomew

                    That position is weak against "both parties suck"

                    It will, like others here, keep folks who are inclined to vote the party motivated to do so.

                    It will not convert the jaded, who feel ripped off over their efforts to elect Obama.

                    Those are the ones we need to grow the movement, and growing the Progressive movement needs to be the end game in all the messaging.

                    Why?

                    Because we are the only ones actually challenging the corporate politics.  Nobody else is, and people need to know that, and why it will benefit them, and how their vote and advocacy and dollars build toward a better future for them.

                    Unemployed people, people who have lost stuff, etc...

                    Need the most real, tangible elements to hold on to, and justify their efforts.  

                    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                    by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:30:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Salvation is just around the corner. (0+ / 0-)

                    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

                    by Johnny Q on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:50:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  sugar-coated, dream-piping, hope-pimping talk (0+ / 0-)

                    well, if you would canvass me and knock at my door, I would be even more upset. There ain't no help coming from anywho with that kind of "unsocial" democrat-talk. And you just would have enlarged the enthusiasm gap by a couple of football fields. May be something is wrong with me? I ain't buying your talk.

              •  So, to recap: (13+ / 0-)

                The problem isn't a bank bailout that further enriched the rich.  It's not an out-of-control military industrial complex which continues to rain down suffering upon Afghanistan and Yemen and Somalia and Pakistan and wherever else they're fighting wars and won't tell us.  It's not a "health insurance reform" bill which leaves its enforcement provisions up to bankrupt states while imposing mandate penalties on those who refuse to buy.  It's not the Catfood Commission, it's not the White House's insistence on the right to targeted assassinations, it's not Race To The Top, it's not the DLC core in the White House, it's not the Senate's refusal to do anything serious about Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson or Max Baucus or Evan Bayh.

                What it is is messaging.  The public doesn't understand that they should vote Democrat because the Republicans are worse and Obama has a big resume because we're not communicating it well enough.

                Does that summarize it well enough?

                "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

                by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:16:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Youre being sarcastic (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Cedwyn, casperr, dharmasyd, indres, foufou

                  But the negative messaging is ABSOLUTELY part of the problem.

                  Telling people why the Democrats suck doesn't motivate people to vote Democratic.

                  Telling them what the Democrats did right does.

                  "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                  by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:18:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  OK, let's role-play it. (7+ / 0-)

                    This could be instructive for many readers.

                    You are talking to voters who unemployed and who have had no serious job prospects for two years.  Their health insurance rates have gone up 40% in that timespan.

                    You are telling them about how great the Democrats are, and urging them to vote for those on their slate.

                    I will let you choose the geographic location of this dialogue.  What do you say, and what do you imagine will be their response?

                    "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

                    by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:01:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You first (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      casperr, Larsstephens, foufou

                      Go ahead and give me your best "This is why the Democrats suck, but vote for them anyway", pitch.

                      "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                      by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:07:44 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Actually, (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Cedwyn, Larsstephens, foufou

                        that doesn't sound like a canvasser/phonebanker I want on my team.

                        •  I know, right? (4+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Cedwyn, casperr, Larsstephens, foufou

                          And yet there are people convinced that dwelling on Democratic negatives is somehow motivational.

                          Baffling.

                          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                          by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:38:44 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You tell the truth, then highlight where the (3+ / 0-)

                            movement for change IS.

                            That's us!

                            We need to grow, and the negatives are why.

                            Connect that to a great progressive story of growth and that they are the only ones really pulling for the people, and they can see the future being good and understand why.

                            Then they can vote because they understand the value of that vote.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:45:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Ok. (7+ / 0-)
                        Listen Mr voter, I know you are not motivated to vote this time around because we've not seen things really get better, and you are hearing a lot of crap about it from the GOP.

                        The GOP stands for corporations.  They've advanced policies since Reagan that sent all the good jobs overseas, and transferred massive wealth to the upper class, hoping they would in turn let some of it trickle down to you and me.

                        Do you see that happening?  I don't.  Do you see your personal costs and risks rising every year, along with your wage being pressured downward?

                        Damn straight!

                        Now, let's look at health care.  Nobody is really happy with the result, but the key here is to understand why it went down the way it did.

                        The real politics in play here are corporations vs people.

                        All of the GOP is for the corporations.  That's why you and I are talking about things.

                        Some of the Democrats are corporate too!!  In the House, it's a healthy mix, and if you look at that legislation passed, we would be talking about how things really are better.

                        Why didn't it pass?

                        The Senate has few Progressives in it, and has corporate Democrats, who really don't differ from the Republicans all that much, stopping the agenda, preserving corporate interests, not ours.

                        Now, look at the Progressives and what they stand for, and tell me who else in Washington is saying those kinds of things, advocating for you and me?

                        Nobody.

                        The Democratic party has a corporate faction, and a Progressive faction, along with some moderates.

                        The Senate is corporate, and that's where the damage is.

                        Given the GOP is all corporate, allowing them more seats only does us and our cause more harm.  Progressives cannot grow to transform the politics of the Democratic party in a GOP dominant environment.  That's what they seek, because we Progressives are the only ones actually challenging the corporate politics that brought us here!

                        Without us, there is nobody pulling for you.  NOBODY.

                        Vote the party, preserve the state of things, then join us!  We can grow the movement, take some seats and change things.

                        Obama can't change it on his own.  There is a "we" in "Yes we can", and that means you and I and our friends doing the civics needed to bring him a more Progressive Congress, so he has some legislation to sign that will actually change things?

                        Do you need help figuring out who to vote for?  Let's talk some more, and I've some friends you should meet.

                        :)

                        This needs to happen, person to person 50 states, constantly.

                        We also could couple that with what Slink is doing in Texas, CONSTANTLY, fund raising and GOTV / movement building off of each local effort.

                        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                        by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:21:54 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I would add that the history of the movement (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          casperr, Daddy Bartholomew, elwior

                          is one of growth.

                          That's the good news!  We are strong, and growing stronger, almost able to turn the tide.  All we need are some more supporters, willing to go a few rounds with a simple vote, and some advocacy.

                          IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                          by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:24:40 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  although I, personally, would leave out a few (5+ / 0-)

                          of those lines, your arguments are very strong. I actually think I'm going to use some of them when I'm out door-knocking tomorrow. Thanks!!

                        •  I'd be a little more specific (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Cedwyn, casperr, potatohead

                          The Dems have done some excellent things- Sander's community clinics, for example, and those should be trumpeted as the successes they are.

                          But overall, a much better message then the person I was responding to..or indeed the original diarist.

                          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                          by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:32:43 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Absolutely, and I would reinforce those (4+ / 0-)

                            with the potential growth of the Progressive movement has.

                            I structured it the way I did because the thrust of it is growing the GOP means solidifying and intensifying the corporate domination we suffer from!

                            Progressives are the only ones checking that, and they are Democrats, who will transform their party, if they grow.

                            The good things that happened, are notable.  Worth it to discuss, but that voter has to know there is a lot more where that came from, if they grow this movement, and not voting means growing the GOP, because they have nothing to lose at this point.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:35:59 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We need to tell the truth. (4+ / 0-)

                            That means understanding why the bad things are not going away.

                            Sadly, our party has too many corporate Dems, and that's opening the door for GOP manupulation, lies and such.

                            That is also why we didn't see more good things.

                            Then, telling them who is fighting for them, why it matters, and what their vote can mean follows.

                            There is no positive only approach that's going to resonate.

                            "republicans are worse" won't cut it for a non motivated voter.  They've got to connect the state of things to their vote and see where there is potential for them to get something out of their support.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:39:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  do you think they will hear you out? (0+ / 0-)

                          I think I would straightly answer that I ain't voting for the corporate democrats and that I expect the progressives to fight tooth and nails against their own insiders who spoil the game. As this is not going to happen and there is no third party with a parlametarian system that would allow a third party to have a powerful coalition-building twisting arm of influence (if you had that system), why do you want me to vote at all?

                          Frankly, the GOP and their teaparty gangs are so awful that if they would win this country would so go to hell that it actually may help the democrats to get their ducks in a row and fight for the right goals.

                          •  They can't fight tooth and nail while in (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Whimsical

                            defensive mode checking GOP obstruction and regression.

                            Voting the party means strengthening progressives, who can and will take those corporate seats, if we build enough support.

                            That's not gonna happen with a weak party, is it?

                            Join us.  Vote a straight ticket, then help to build the Progressive movement so we can take our party back for the people and crush the regressive "trickle down" "free trade" GOP economic policies we've been struggling under for 30 years.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:40:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you know what gets me in all of it? (0+ / 0-)

                            Why do we, who criticize other democrats, have always make first a lip service and say, of course we vote for the Democratic Party, and then "allow me to voice some criticism please"?

                            Why do you always think, that people who criticize the Democrats, will not vote for the Democrats?

                            I will frigging speak my outrage, when I feel like doing so and anybody who deduct from it that I am disloyal and wouldn't vote for Democrats just prove how WEAK their thinking is. Where I would put my cross on the ballot is my private decision and trying to put down critical voices in blaming them as not loyal, anti-Democrat, party-splitters or what have you, is a manipulating method I have no respect for.

                            I will criticize the Democrats and Obama and I can support the better Democrats and still vote in a way that doesn't split the party.

                          •  That chaps my ass too. (0+ / 0-)

                            Of course we are duty bound to criticize.

                            That's the core of the civics, told to us by Obama himself, who gets that.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 08:51:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Are you conceding this one? (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        slinkerwink, potatohead, Kall

                        Are you saying that you would have nothing to say?

                        Here's a possibility.  I'm just throwing this out, since so far your best try is one of "you first" and "Bernie Sanders' clinics."

                        "We're sorry.  We blew it.  Our politicians promised everyone 'health care reform' and give you the Heritage Foundation's plan, forward-dated to 2014 to get a good CBO score.  Our politicians could have given us direct investment in a better economy -- instead, we get tax breaks for businesses and no real restraints upon offshoring.

                        We'll try to do better next time.  One thing you can count on, though, is that the Republicans won't do anything for you."

                        "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

                        by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:34:15 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  And here's the response (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Cedwyn, Larsstephens, foufou

                          "You're right. You suck. I'm staying home."

                          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                          by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:39:35 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The greater point here is that the (3+ / 0-)

                            truth is some of us do suck.

                            We have to connect the events that have occurred to the real politics, then show them who is pulling for them, how they have grown, and what that can mean.

                            Your initial position was "preserve the status quo, because republicans always suck"

                            That's not motivational, which was the point of this little sub-thread.

                            :)

                            Listen, we all get better at this by challenging one another.  You should feel good about it, and now have some better advocacy tools.

                            That's why I personally entertain time here.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:42:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Uh, no. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Larsstephens

                            My position has always been

                            "This is what the Democrats did right. This is the danger to that progress caused by Republicans. This is where the Democrats could've done better.

                            This is how we are going to eliminate Republicans and not only stop the danger to the progress that has already been made, but aid the Democrats in doing better.  This is how you can help"

                            Is a much better GOTV message then "This is why the Democrats suck. This is all the things they did wrong."

                            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                            by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:57:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If you are trying to get votes (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Daddy Bartholomew, Cassiodorus

                            you've got to hit them where they live and convince them how that vote is going to be connected to something they benefit from, and how that's different from that last vote they were sold on.

                            Your position does not win against "both parties suck".

                            It will encourage somebody inclined to vote anyway, but that's not enough.

                            In this cycle, there will be a lot of people staying home that could make the difference.  They are jaded, and feeling they were sold a bill of goods.

                            Telling them why that's not the case, means telling the truth, and that's largely what I wrote.  There are various ways to put that, but the core message is they need to know where the fight is, and that it's for them, and that means differentiating Democrats from corporate Democrats, because that's the core bit of information that checks "both parties suck"

                            There are other cases, of course.  I'm focusing on that one, because that's what I hear more often than not, and variations on what you read in this thread do work.  I've flipped them, and will flip some more.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:01:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's because you've shown no promise (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            potatohead, Daddy Bartholomew, Kall

                            that you will try harder next time.  If you had, your voters might find your honesty refreshing and contribute to your campaigns in 2012, when you indeed DO try harder.  

                            Instead, you're trying to put lipstick on a pig and call it "beauty."  Good luck with the unemployed.

                            "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

                            by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:50:28 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  True that. (3+ / 0-)

                            They are really, really jaded.

                            I've spoken with a few, and they are broken people, just in survival mode.  

                            They will listen to a future that's viable, but it's got to be real.  Being unemployed does that to a person.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:51:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I was severely underemployed for 11 months (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ferg, potatohead, Daddy Bartholomew

                            in '08 and '09.  I could make money off of tutoring, and running up credit cards paid the bills.  What I cared about, mostly, is living off of next-to-no money.

                            "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

                            by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:08:10 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Everybody does. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ferg, Daddy Bartholomew

                            Yeah, my family had it hit too.

                            I carried mortgages for a while because good people couldn't work.

                            It's horrible.

                            We lost our home.  I moved in to a duplex with my brother in law, who I helped to buy it.  We will split it, so it's not all bad.

                            I had to carry the mortgage for the first year, because he lost his job right after I lost my home, due to excessive health care costs.

                            We all almost broke down.

                            Jesus this shit sucks.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:14:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Not at all. (5+ / 0-)

                          Just wanted to see how lousy your effort was, and it was about as demoralizing as I expected.

                          "I know things are rough for you personally, but the Democrats have done some truly good things in the past two years. They've kept the economy from collapsing into a total depression, they've started the process of ending the Iraq war, they've extended unemployment benefits, and while they could've done a little better on the health bill  it still contains some amazing things- like 10,000 community health clinics, which will help hundreds of thousands of people.

                          And they've done this in the face of historic, unprecedented, insane opposition from a Republican party that thinks you are selfish enough not to care about the hundreds of thousands of people who are going to be helped as long as one of them isn't you and stupid enough to think you'll vote against your own best interests and hand them the power to further screw you into the ground.

                          But you and I know you are neither selfish nor stupid, and the answer is never to hand power back to the people who will take things backwards.

                          President Obama said he can't do this alone. Let's give him an even more Democratic Congress so that even greater progress can be made.

                          Here's how you can help."

                          "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                          by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:50:37 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  And the response will be: (0+ / 0-)

                            "Got a paying job for me?"

                            "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

                            by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:53:00 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  My rl GOTV experience says otherwise. n/t (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cedwyn, Larsstephens

                            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                            by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:57:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Nobody wants jobs from you? (nmi) (0+ / 0-)

                            "Always in motion is the future" -- Yoda, in Episode V

                            by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:59:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  People get (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cedwyn, potatohead, Larsstephens

                            that the answer to creating jobs is to elect more Democrats.

                            I've gotten Strickland and Fisher a ton of campaign volunteers from our local aid offices by pointing out what has been done right and what Kasich and Portman will do wrong if we are foolish enough to get elected.

                            People are not selfish enough to let the people who ARE being helped get shot to hell, even if they don't feel they're getting enough help personally. And they know who to blame for the mess they're in, and it aint Democrats.

                            At least that's the folks where I live. Dunno about where you are.

                            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                            by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:07:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not all of them. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink, Cassiodorus

                            Again, that will resonate with people who are inclined to vote Dem anyway.

                            So that keeps some of what we have in place, but it's not a growth message, which was my greater point at least.

                            We need a growth message, so those motivations build toward a changing the party politics, and so they can see through the lies.

                            "both parties suck" needs more than the warm fuzzy bits.  It needs more than the lesser evil bit, because when "both parties suck" they are as likely as not to just vote some minor league social issue, and the GOP wins a lot of those

                            or they don't vote at all because they cannot connect that vote to something of value for them, which is the point of my role play pitch messaging here.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:10:17 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The problem here is you do not show them (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            slinkerwink

                            where the core of the fight is.

                            Somebody hearing that, believing "both parties suck" is going to stay home, seeing you as a party loyal person (which isn't bad, just not motivational).

                            On the other hand, if you tell the story of where the Progressives are, and how they can impact the Democratic party, taking it back for the people, that's got some teeth.

                            Why?

                            Because both parties do actually suck, and we can change that, but it takes a vote and some advocacy support.

                            Will you join us?

                            See how that works?

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:53:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I can buy into that. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cedwyn, casperr, potatohead

                            But I insist we need to stay positive.

                            "This is why Democrats suck. This is all the stuff they did wrong" is de-motivational, not motivational.

                            "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                            by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:08:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  :) (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Cedwyn, casperr

                            We've just modeled what it really takes to grow the movement.

                            It's a lot of work, but that's what needs to happen old school, person to person, everywhere.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:11:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Let me put it this way. I have to sell stuff. (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            casperr, Cassiodorus, southof

                            I have to sell stuff, because those GOP corporate fuckers, and Corporate Democrats sent all the manufacturing and good paying tech jobs overseas.

                            I don't like selling stuff.  I would much rather be making things, and building systems to make things.

                            That no longer pays well enough for me to support a family and live a modest life, so I sell shit now.

                            Know what?  I got fucking great at it, because that's what is needed to make the money these days.

                            What I just wrote you sells.  It sells because people need to see how it all connects to benefit them.  If you don't do that, they won't buy in, period.

                            People generally will vote their self-interest, if they can see that it's being served.  A warm fuzzy is only a part of that connection required for them to mentally buy in.

                            Getting a vote and some support is no different than selling anything else.  You've got to hear where their pain is, show them a solution, and sell the value of it to them, if you expect them to act with dollars, time or a vote, period.

                            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:57:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  ok, let's play (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Cassiodorus

                    I say 60 percent of democrats suck and then I tell you what Democrats did wrong. Then you tell me where I lied and why I should vote for Democrats. Because it's clear that we ain't getting what we should with them Democrats.

                    And I don't think Cassiodorus was particularly sarcastic.

                    •  Where's your end game? (0+ / 0-)

                      If you qualify Democrats on economic issues, we've got corporate ones, and we've got Progressive ones.

                      Voting in the GOP, and staying home means essentially voting in the GOP, means increasing the economic ideas that are doing us harm.

                      That's always a loser, because they are the source for the economic policy that has brought us here.  They are the ones standing for corporations over people.

                      Some Democrats do this too, and they think that there is a "third way" where we encourage the corporations to take care of us, which is just a nicer, more friendly "trickle down".

                      Do you see it trickling down?  I don't.

                      So what to do about it?

                      Vote in ways that strengthen the Progressives.  Its easier for progressives to grow within a political environment that is favorable to Democrats, than it is to grow with the GOP causing all sorts of trouble.

                      Progressive Democrats, along with the likes of Bernie Sanders, are the only ones advocating a change to less regressive economic policy.  Many nations in the modern world have progressive policies in place and their people are not suffering like our people.

                      If we want to see more of that, we've got to grow the movement, and we can only do that when we are also not battling the GOP and it's agenda of regression.

                      There is more to it than just considering each vote a referendum on what we got out of that seat.  It's all about moving things forward.  Sometimes that means holding ground.  

                      It never, ever means giving ground.

                      In all of Washington, only the Progressives are fighting for the people.  Nobody else is doing this, and the Progressives need room to grow, and the most favorable room is within their own party.

                      Our two party system only allows for us to vote one party, the other party, stay home, or change the party, or parties.

                      Your Democratic ticket vote preserves the work done so far, enabling the work in the future to be productive.  Your stay home, loses ground, and those voting for the GOP are losing ground for us economically.

                      Will you join me, and the other Progressives in building our movement so we can take the Democratic party back for the people?

                      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                      by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:35:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  well, why do you think I wouldn't support the (0+ / 0-)

                        progressive left? For the little I make I poured a lot of money into progressive candidates (and I can't even vote, believe it or not). I even tried to canvass, but believe I am a lousy canvasser, the way I am a lousy negotiator and a lousy communicator. But I am with you in spirit and with the checkbook.

                        Your assumption is that a person, who criticizes Democrats, will not vote for Democrats. I think that is a mistake.

                        And I think the way to grow and strengthen the Progressives in the Democratic party is to exchange some stronly sternly worded comments and execute some tough love with the not so progressive Democrats, and right now it seems like Pres. Obama plays the "closet" progressive Democrat, who is too timid to "come out".

                        It's the centrist, corporate-ridden wing of the Democratic Party who destroys it from the inside, not the progressive left and certainly not the "professional left".

                    •  Then you talk about the house vs the senate (0+ / 0-)

                      If we actually got the House legislation as law, most of the agenda would have seen nice reform.

                      That's a fact.  We've enough Progressives in the house to favorably impact legislation.

                      The house Progressives stood strong for HCR, and got some good language in there.

                      We don't have anywhere near that in the Senate, and because of that, the work for the people sits on the Senate floor, filtered, diluted, and stalled.

                      That's where the battle is!  The House shows us what can happen, if we build the movement.  The Senate shows us what's gonna happen if we don't!

                      There is a "WE" in "Yes WE CAN!!", and that means you and I and our friends doing the civics needed to put better legislative tools into Obama's hands.

                      We will only get out of this what we put in, and that's why we need your vote.  Obama needs your vote.  The Progressives need your vote, because it's the way forward.

                      Tolerating corporate Democrats is part of building the movement.  Allowing the GOP to take those seats, is regression, and toxic to the Progressive cause.

                      Join us!  

                      :)

                      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                      by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:38:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  It's not the messaging... (0+ / 0-)

                    It's:
                     The Repugs are a big part of the problem...
                     The Dems are an equally big part of the problem
                       due to their fear of myriad things...
                     And the Corporatocracy is the biggest of all
                       problems for having both parties, the media,
                       us the peeps, and everything else in straight
                       jackets, unable to move.

                    Within the confines of this situation, there is no message available through employing the usual, acceptable,  and accepted modus operandi.

                    "The Future of Man" [... ???] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

                    by dharmasyd on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 06:58:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  The messaging is NOT the problem... (0+ / 0-)

                    The problem is:

                    1. The Repugs whose only message is retro...
                    1. The Dems who reside in total, paralytic fear...

                    And Mostly:
                    The Corporatocracy which has rendered all of us -- the repugs, the dems, the media, and us the people totally impotent inside our straight jackets of corp-washing.

                    In this state there truly is NO lesser of 2 evils.

                    "The Future of Man" [... ???] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

                    by dharmasyd on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:07:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Me too. I talk to folks almost every day. (8+ / 0-)

                You get much better results when you talk to people if you stay positive. Fact of life, really.

                "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:17:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  By the way, all of the above can happen in a (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  casperr, Larsstephens

                  positive.

                  Know why I'm here Mr. Voter?

                  I'm stoked!!  Just look at where the Progressives are and what they stand for!

                  We've got a real shot at taking the party back for the people, join me, join us!!

                  I've got some friends you can meet, and I can put you on the action list.  It doesn't take long, and you will be helping build the movement that's fighting for you and me.

                  etc...

                  IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                  by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:06:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Allright! (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    casperr, potatohead, Larsstephens

                    THAT, I can get behind.

                    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                    by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:10:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You are a good guy (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      nyceve

                      Sorry for pounding this home.  We are both better for it, and just so you know, that's my motivation.

                      Cheers, and that's the movement building that has to occur consistently, until we get some progressive legislation passed.

                      Bitch ain't it?

                      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                      by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:15:30 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Sorry if I took my frustration out on you, buddy (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        nyceve, potatohead, Larsstephens

                        I've always been a glass-half full sort of guy, and it drives me up a wall when people just airily dismiss what has been (as someone said) "the most productive, progressive legislation session in at least a generation" as if it was nothing.

                        And then decide that its somehow better NOT to mention that and focus exclusively on the negative...

                        "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

                        by Whimsical on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:26:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No worries! It was fun! (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          nyceve

                          Riffing on one another brought out some good stuff.

                          That's why we are here.

                          Happy to do it.

                          Honestly, if I put that stuff out there and somebody kicks my ass, I'm gonna look at it and up my game, and it's powerful stuff.

                          IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                          by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:32:22 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, one poll said... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                potatohead

                ...that while 50 percent of those opposed to the bill thinks it "goes too far," 38 percent of those opposed think it "doesn't do enough." (I think it was CBS's latest political poll.)

                It's a fallacy-of-the-political-middle example: A weaksauce bill will only garner weaksauce support. Too few folks are seeing any benefit from the healthcare legislation, which is Eve's point.

                •  Yep. And if we tell them why that is (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  casperr, Whimsical

                  we can motivate them for a vote and their support.

                  The reason why the bill didn't go far enough is because corporate Democrats in the Senate would not allow it.

                  Growing the number of Progressive Democrats will transform the party, ending that crap.

                  That's the "we" in "Yes WE CAN!"

                  It's only going to go our way when we build the support for it to happen.  Obama will take that and do great things with it, but we've got to build it up and put it in his hands before that will occur.

                  Voting a Dem ticket helps Progressive Democrats grow their numbers in a more favorable environment.  They can check corporate politicians, and in fact, are the only ones working to do that.

                  Nobody else is.

                  Not voting, or voting GOP, takes us back both as a party, which denies progressives the growing room they need, and as a people, because there is nobody else working for the middle class.

                  IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                  by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:33:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  new Bill Maher rule (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CTPatriot, Cassiodorus, elwior

              New Dem slogan: "Don't get up, we'll show ourselves out."

              "I have lived with several Zen masters -- all of them cats." - Eckhart Tolle

              by catnip on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:02:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  When your making (11+ / 0-)

          oh, let's say, $40,000.00 a year, if you have a job, and you get sick.  Your insurance pays 70% of your hospital bill, that bill totals $50,000.00, 30% of $50,000.00 = $15,000.00 and your deductible is $5,000.00 you now owe $20,000.00.  But there are other additional costs attached for instance pathology, labs, etc., well that can cost you even more than the $20,000.00 you already owe.  So now you owe half of your yearly salary.

          OK, now say your a single income earner, and you have six weeks to recover.  Suppose you don't have enough paid time off and you also lose income during this time.  Add to this you now have a pre-existing condition.  You now can't get sick with any complications within a year and if you do the insurance company will cover nothing, and I mean nothing.  

          OK, now say you do get sick within that year and need another surgery, and then another surgery.  Your now in debt for $50,000.00 and the medical bills are piling up and you just lost your job because you've been too sick.  Now your home is gone. . .is the glass half empty or half full?

          Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Herman.

          by zaka1 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:08:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And -- if you haven't had that job (5+ / 0-)

            for a year yet, you can still be fired or otherwise shoved out, because FMLA does not cover you.  I know.  It happened to me.

            "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, vol. 3, no. 18 (-8.50, -7.23)

            by Noor B on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:36:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your are (6+ / 0-)

              absolutely correct and the above happened to me.  And now I'm disabled.  I'm so sorry you lost your job and when your sick.  And the hospitals have  the worse insurance, and they are the first to fire you if your sick.

              I know one employee so sick and trying to hang on to her job, bills piling up because her condition was chronic, and her employer the hospital sued her and took her to court for not fully paying all her bills at once.  The Judge threw the case out.  They are vicious and no one knows until you work for them.  

              One hospital I worked at had a no tolerate policy for sick days, and I witnessed a co-worker getting written up for taking a day off with the stomach flu.

              The level of insanity just keeps growing and the more our own party makes fun of us and insults us the more I just want to say the hell with it.  

              Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable. Herman.

              by zaka1 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:46:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  sounds to me like a glass completely empty /nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zaka1
        •  Half empty vs half full (16+ / 0-)

          It pisses me off when I see and hear PSAs advising me to get tested for various health issues so that I can catch them early. I have health issues and I know damn well what tests I ought to be getting but... I can't. I can't afford the out of pocket expense and I can't get anything but absolute junk insurance. Once the mandates kick in and I can get insurance, I still won't be able to afford it unless my finances change substatially between now and then.

          It pisses me off even more when I'm told that I ought to just stop seeing the glass as half empty and see it as half full. It's a bit too much like when Republicans say that the only reason people are unemployed is because they're too lazy to go out and work.

          "If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

          by Sagebrush Bob on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:09:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Half full? Sure! (6+ / 0-)

      We should be pleased that our American insurance industry succeeded in getting a bigger slice of American pie!! All praise be to them!

  •  eve, have i told you recently how much (35+ / 0-)

    i appreciate the bull dog in you?  you have an amazing and enduring spirit and i so thank you for it.

    have been looking again at insurance options available to an employed new yorker whose employer does not provide insurance.  here's what i found available for this 53 year old healthy individual:

    GHI  $561/month for hospital coverage only
    Empire HMO  $1,228.20/month
    Empire HMO/POS $1,549.30/month

    the good news is that i will be laid off from my job at the end of october which, will make me eligible for a healthy new york plan.  the plans available are excellent, but to qualify for them you have to gross less than $2,257/month.  exactly how anyone lives on less than $2,257/month in nyc is a conundrum i haven't figured out yet.

    thanks for keeping up the good fight, eve!

  •  Problem is and always has been - Our premiums (28+ / 0-)

    are not reality to our President, our Congresspeeps, and our Senators.  They are living high on the hog and we are hanging on to the shanks for dear life.
    When health insurance premiums for policies with
    $2,500. yearly deductibles cost more than a mortgage payment, something is disastrously wrong.
    That's why we wanted a pubic option.  To give these
    fuckers competition, and quite frankly, to drive them out of business.  They are dinosaurs and they deserve to be extinct.

    United we stand - Divided we are all truly screwed. Keep them blaming one another - they'll never notice what's really going on.

    by Cassandra77 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:16:55 AM PDT

  •  It's sad (22+ / 0-)

    "How much higher do premiums have to rise," he demanded, "before we do something about it?"

    A hell of a lot longer, apparently.  It's completely obvious at this point that Gibbs didn't go off script at all when he made his professional left remark.  If there's a dumber way to campaign than ridiculing the people who worked for you and want you to keep your promises as lunatics who want world peace in 2 years and the Pentagon shut down, I haven't seen it.

    Proud supporter of the drug-addled, f***ing retarded professional left.

    by Kall on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:21:50 AM PDT

  •  When will they do away with Anti-Trust exemption, (22+ / 0-)

    for the insurance companies. This wiould certainly not be a total solution but it would help with all forms of insurance. Open medicare to any Americans.

    "Education is dangerous - Every educated person is a future enemy" Hermann Goering (NRSC?)

    by irate on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:21:54 AM PDT

  •  The States have the ability to control premiums.. (17+ / 0-)

    The PPACA provides financial help for states which wish to protect their citizens.  

    Holding Insurance Companies Accountable for Unreasonable Rate Hikes.  

    The law allows states that have, or plan to implement, measures that require insurance companies to justify their premium increases will be eligible for $250 million in new grants.

    Insurance companies with excessive or unjustified premium exchanges may not be able to participate in the new health insurance Exchanges in 2014.  

    Grants awarded beginning in 2010.

    Much of the 'business' of insurance was left to the states.  People might want to focus their anger/efforts where relief can be found.

    "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

    by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:22:40 AM PDT

  •  A corporate thumb is on the scale (11+ / 0-)

    to weigh the profit needs of Wall Street against the needs of the American people.

    This is not the change I voted for.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:23:44 AM PDT

  •  Thank you! (14+ / 0-)

    I wish that I could recommend this 100 times. A pretend solution to a problem is worse than no solution, because people always find out when it doesn't work. Democrats put themselves in a position where not only will they will be blamed for their corporate-friendly "solution" to healthcare, but also for the initial problem itself. And all the hard work the middle class put in creating this Democratic majority? Up in smoke. Just like my enthusiasm level for this current pack of blue dog enablers.

  •  So what's the action part? (7+ / 0-)

    What do you recommend callers say specifically to their representatives when they call?

    What should they ask them to do?

     

    "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

    by otto on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:26:05 AM PDT

  •  2014 is not the critical date. It's 2011... (7+ / 0-)

    Bringing Down Health Care Premiums.  

    To ensure premium dollars are spent primarily on health care, the new law generally requires that at least 85% of all premium dollars collected by insurance companies for large employer plans are spent on health care services and health care quality improvement.  

    For plans sold to individuals and small employers, at least 80% of the premium must be spent on benefits and quality improvement. If insurance companies do not meet these goals, because their administrative costs or profits are too high, they must provide rebates to consumers.

    The rebate program will begin January 1, 2011.

    Starting on 1/1/11 there will be limits on what insurance companies can collect for administrative costs (including CEO salaries) and profits.

    Link

    "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

    by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:26:09 AM PDT

  •  His actual words (18+ / 0-)

    Text here:

    Now, the second reason I'm telling you this is because Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get -- to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed -- oh, well, the public option wasn’t there. If you get the financial reform bill passed -- then, well, I don't know about this particularly derivatives rule, I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven’t yet brought about world peace and -- (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.)

    I'm not laughing.

  •  Health Insurance companies need competition (9+ / 0-)

    Repeal the Anti-trust exemption for health insurance companies, and allow people to use their own judgement to buy health insurance from any state or country they want. Put an end to these statewide fiefdoms where healthcare insurance companies can get together and decide how much they will change us.

    I'd like Medicare to be one of those choices. I support the Grayson bill.

    •  Medicare for All who want it! (7+ / 0-)

      I noticed how Dems seemed to run from that.

      Healthcare reform was supposed to be so difficult, with so many obscure parameters--sorta like the Social Security 'crisis' discussions.

      Just like "raise the cap" is the 10 second solution for the non-crisis crisis in Social Security, Medicare for All is the KISS solution for the country's healthcare crisis, IMHO.

      This is why I am very, very sure that the Dems absolutely do not want to solve these problems.

      I would never vote for a Republican, but I do not view most of the Dems in power as serving the interests of the people who vote for them.

      Follow the money is as true now as ever.

      I weep for my country. Truly.

      Life is a school, Love is the lesson.

      by means are the ends on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:00:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does anyone know the status of the anti-trust (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lucy2009

      repeal? Last I remember, even Reid was advocating eliminating it.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:59:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary, Eve! (8+ / 0-)

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:30:05 AM PDT

  •  Hi Eve. Rates will come under new regulations (12+ / 0-)

    beginning at the first of next year, which is why insurance companies are scrambling to get what they can yet this year.

    My question is this. How will this not have a positive impact (from PPACA) already in 2011?

    I seems to me that this will curb costs in a very meaningful way.

    •  Yes. They are taking their costs high so they (5+ / 0-)

      can see a small "loss" and reorganize their revenue to max that out, maintaining wall street profit expectations.

      That is exactly what will occur.

      The product of those regulations will still be a very thick 1 out of 4 to 5 dollars of health care given to them, with NO VALUE being given in return.  

      They pay a CEO, and make a nice profit, while adding NO VALUE, DOING NOTHING, in return for it.

      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

      by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:14:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did the CBO factor this gouging action (3+ / 0-)

      into their costs projections?

      Can we find better behaved and higher quality insurers that aren't American? Oops...there is that anti-trust obstacle.  

      Self-funded plans developed by organizations for their members would require state insurance commissioner approval and possibly enabling state legislation, and enough campaign contributions and lobbying to get the attention of officials.

      How long would it take to revive tax language for 90% windfall profits taxes, and tax rates on shareholders and management back up to 80%? How long to strike off the income caps on Social Security and Medicare? Such things could be passed in a week if House and Senate truly cared about the welfare of the majority of citizens, We the Average People of the United States

      Or simply dump these corporate pirates all overboard and go to a Medicare for all plan, paid as much as possible by taxes on the corporations and rich folk who currently withholding about $12 Trillion in cash reserves combined from the market, acquired during their pillaging and pirating of our 401(k) plans, employee benefits, home values, and jobs sent overseas, and vastly increased shareholder take of the profits made by productivity gains from remaining workers.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:17:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So let me get this straight (7+ / 0-)

    Because we didn't get single payer and insurance companies are still in business, Dems stating that HCR isn't responsible for the rate hikes is somehow bogus or wrong or...something.

    Gotcha.

    Troll-Free, and Anti-POTUS Proganda-Free: weeseeyou.com

    by GN1927 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:30:58 AM PDT

  •  They got insurance reform done. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink

    But the political winds have shifted, and it's pretty much pencils down as far as further reform goes. That's just the way it is.

    I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

    by doc2 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:31:28 AM PDT

    •  It was not reform it was a givaway to the... (4+ / 0-)

      ...insurance industry, a tax on those who could least afore it through the mandated program, and a lack of effective regulation. Those congress critters better do more than talk it was them that loosed the insurance industry on us and that is just how it really is.

      There are no political winds in the system anymore just bribes and deals for fat cats.

      The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

      by Bobjack23 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:44:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I said it before and I'm a gonna say it agin... (25+ / 0-)

    One of the aspects of true Health Care Reform that is not acknowledged is that health is not an expenditure that is part of the "free market" even in the best of situations. You don't bargain. You don't shop around.

    Basically, if you have a life threatening illness, it's a situation where it's "your money or your life." When you are facing something like that, of course you are willing to do anything. You're going to die? Your loved one is going to die? TAKE IT ALL, BANKRUPT ME, JUST SAVE ME AND SAVE THE ONES I LOVE.

    The Market is not involved here. Health care is an economic situation where you are captive to whatever your doctor wants to do to get you well.

    Something like this needs to be dealt with far differently than anything else except maybe for police protection, fire protection, and a standing military. Those are all "socialized" because we understand they mean our survival.

    There is no market in a situation which is your money or your life. We need to deal with health care like we deal with police, fire and the military. It should be a public good. We need single payer. Enough pussyfooting around. Alan Grayson's "Medicare You Can Buy Into" would do the trick nationally. Failing that, we need to do it state by state.

    The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 9/24/10
    The GOP wants to kill Grandma.

    by Pris from LA on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:38:58 AM PDT

    •  sounds like someone who's been there (8+ / 0-)

      or at least someone with a good deal of empathy. Thanks.

      To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

      by kareylou on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:42:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely true (5+ / 0-)

      I've had the same thoughts for a while now.  Health services needs to be addressed in the same breath as police and fire services.  It is a necessary service for a functioning society/country.

      Democrats should be making this argument.  They should of made this argument extensively in a lead-up to a health care push.

      It's good politics.  It's a clear, simple, persuasive argument.  And it's obviously good policy.

      Good politics and good policy?  Hmmm... not "pragmatic" enough for today's Democratic Party.

      We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob. -FDR

      by gila on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:50:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Medicare you can buy into can be set up (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, Pris from LA, Onomastic, PhilJD, laker

      through budget reconciliation, since it wouldn't be a new program.  The insurance companies are on probation.  If they don't heed the warnings, they will be undone.  They can either play paymaster for a modest fee, or they can find a new line of business.

      The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

      by hannah on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:54:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  May God read your words! n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Life is a school, Love is the lesson.

        by means are the ends on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:04:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  In countries with a comprehensive health care... (9+ / 0-)

        ...system, insurance companies do just fine, thankyouverymuch. They provide lucrative "gap" policies which cover the things that the nationalized systems don't. In some countries, things like dental and eye care are not covered and it's catch-as-catch-can. Some don't cover long term care well, and push frail elderly who could be cared for at home with a home health aide into skilled nursing homes. And there is surgery that is considered cosmetic and therefore not covered: you can get policies or finance plans for that through private insurance. The greedy bastards do just fine, they just can't be as greedy, and they can't hold you hostage as well as they can here.

        The next OneCare Happy Hour will be 9/24/10
        The GOP wants to kill Grandma.

        by Pris from LA on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:04:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly. My hubby has fam in Scotland, England (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pris from LA

          and New Zealand. They all get excellent care. Totally happy with the service, their outcomes, etc.

          They are shocked when I tell them my experience in 2008. I had a brain tumor and had surgery. After BC paid their "customary and reasonable" I was left with 140,000.00 in unpaid medical bills!!! Thankfully, I live in CA, and have an atty who says their behaviour is "egregious". Great word isn't it? Fits perfectly. I'm confident that the pricks aka Blue Cross will be forced to pay my bills and gimme a bit extra for all the stress. But I shouldn't have to go through this. I have top notch BC PPO insurance. Ins in this country is not a guarantee your bills will get paid, BUT it will get you in the door. And that is very valuable when you are sick. You pull out that BC card and you can get into see anyone, and get any test done you want. Whether BC pays, that's a different story! Uggghhh...

          I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

          by Lucy2009 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:20:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Sadly, I fear the bill will be dismantled.... (9+ / 0-)

    ...entirely on January 21, 2013. Allowing these rate increases and putting off the real benefits until 2014 was fatal not just to the legislation, but to Democrats in general. The great thing about the health care debacle is we got to learn who our friends are in the Senate. We can count them on our fingers and toes.

    British Petroleum: I think that means it's foreign oil.

    by Bensdad on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:43:17 AM PDT

    •  I'm not worried about 2013... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Whimsical, SoCalSal, Lucy2009

      By then I expect Iraq will be largely forgotten history, like the BP spill.  And that we will largely be out of Afghanistan.

      I think unemployment will have dropped to somewhere not far above 5% and most people will be feeling OK about the economy in general.

      And I don't think the Republicans will find an acceptable candidate, they'll most likely run someone easy to defeat.

      I personally put the probability of President Obama getting a second term at well over 80%.  The bill will not be dismantled if Democrats hold one branch of Congress and/or the White House.

      My concern is that we will give up control of Congress in November and that will prevent further work to make the PPACA better.

      Lord knows the insurance industry will be looking for loopholes which they can use to create better deals for themselves.  We will need legislation tweaks to close those loopholes.

      If we don't quit tearing down the party and the accomplishments of these two years then we will be helping Republicans take over.

      "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

      by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:04:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: fingers and toes....you can count them (0+ / 0-)

      on one hand unfortunatley.

      I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

      by Lucy2009 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:21:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fighting words is no substitute for a (7+ / 0-)

    public option

    "I've never believed that government's role is to create jobs . . . So this week, I've proposed a six year infrastructure plan."

    by Paleo on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:43:27 AM PDT

  •  When does the greed stop? (6+ / 0-)

    It stops when cost-benefit analysis warns of falling stock prices in two or three consecutive quarters.

    We are only fighting at the margins of capitalism in this battle.

    The wrongheaded death by spreadsheet industry has vastly more resources, and each state has weaknesses to exploit ...more politicians to buy.

    It will be with us until the dead start piling up so high in the morgues that hospitals and doctors will revolt. It's starting. Find your state legislators in CA, for starters.

  •  So, with many doctors refusing to accept Medicare (5+ / 0-)

    at current reimbursement rates, or shifting costs to private insurers and thereby contributing to those rate increases, how is it that they do not share in the blame?

    Much of the problem with inflated and rising costs in this country is due to the cost of care, not simply to insurance companies.

    But when anyone attempts to bring this into the discussion, we get cries of "death panels" and intense resistance to any kind of health care cost control.  it's also a problem with the mindset in this country that more is better.  Until this is addressed with honesty, there will continue to be an impasse, and no meaningful cost reform can be accomplished.

    •  Susan G - price vs cost (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan G in MN

      I think in your comment when you had a bold "cost", you really meant price. It is true that more and more physicians will not take Medicare patients and in some communities it is nearly impossible to find a physician who will take a Medicaid patient. My primary care provider will not take new Medicare patients, but does keep long term patient relationships once the patient turns 65. My primary care physician and I have a very candid relationship, and I have a reasonable understanding of health care economics, and I believe him when he tells me he provides care to Medicare patients at a loss. What the physician charges is the price of care. One of our biggest problems is that payers, including government at all levels, have no real interest in learning the actual cost of providing the care. It is because of that lack of interest that physicians are rapidly dropping out of government funded health care.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:33:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, the real elephant in the room is defense (0+ / 0-)

      spending, now around 20% of the Federal budget. If we reduced that to, say, 5%, neither the rising cost of insurance nor of care would matter much. There would be plenty of money to pay for healthcare for every American, with money left over to buy some high-speed rail, research green energy, fund education, and leave us with a fucking balanced budget besides.

      Our grotesquely bloated military is the real source of the impasse.

      When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

      by PhilJD on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:51:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't blame docs for not accepting Medicare (0+ / 0-)

      reimb rates. They are dirt low and not a fair exchange for services delivered sometimes. It costs between 200,000 and 300,000.00 to get thru med school. You gotta make a lot of money just to get that paid off. I'm not justifying for greed, just putting out another point of view.

      Alot of the European countries not only have national HC systems, but they also provide free or almost free college education. If we made if more feasible for smart, industrious kids to get through college and med school and not be saddled with 100's of thousands of dollars in debt, that would go a long way to handling some HC issues. For example, they wouldn't be desperate to make so much money from day one. Additionally, more would be interested in going into General Prac and Geriatrics fields, etc. These are areas that are severely understaffed, and ins co's don't pay out much for the services. Hence, most students are going into other higher paying fields so they can be viable as practitioners.

      HC needed an honest, and thorough RE-STRUCTURING from the bottom up. We didn't get that. The wound was oozing blood by the gallons, and we slapped on a baby finger sized band-aid.

      I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

      by Lucy2009 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:30:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Insurance companies are private businesses (11+ / 0-)

    chartered by the several states.  The federal government cannot effectively regulate what it does not authorize and control.  The tradition has been for public corporations to bribe private enterprise to comply with a modicum of social concerns (people who have mineral leases have to collect certain data to demonstrate how much pollution they put out).

    If we want to direct how corporations operate to protect the environment and the public health, then that has to be a condition of their charter and has to be enforced by the chartering authority.  Since one state has no jurisdiction in another, if we want national or international corporations to follow set standards, we are going to have to require them to be federally chartered.  Then, if they don't comply, the corporations can be dissolved.
    For corporations which operate in only one state, the authorizing state can set the conditions and require more than an annual registration renewal fee.  Which, btw, fill 25% of Delaware's state coffers.  I think Delaware is "home" to some 8000 corporations.

    The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

    by hannah on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:52:12 AM PDT

  •  over 100% increase to $70K per yr (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, nyceve
    And WHY should I buy their coverage when I have to wrestle every dollar out of them?
    Is there a catastrophic plan I can use instead?
  •  Eve, you inspire me. (6+ / 0-)

    Good on you for not letting go of the core matter.

    The real pain of health care insurance has not been addressed.  We got some warm fuzzy regulation, and we got some people on coverage, which is good

    ...but we will pay very dearly for that.

    Ideally, we can fix it, and that's why you inspire me.  Holding that picture out in front of people needs to be done, and you've not failed to do it with clarity ever.

    Thank you.

    IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

    by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:04:26 AM PDT

  •  Rising cost of premiums... (0+ / 0-)

    How much is due to healthy individuals dropping their health care?

    "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

    by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:06:00 AM PDT

    •  Stop trying to muddy the waters (8+ / 0-)

      You are only concerned about how this will reflect on the current administration.

    •  Probably a lot. (8+ / 0-)

      And why is that?

      Because those individuals are getting fucked all over the place.

      Downward wage pressure, upward personal cost and risk pressure, upward premium costs, and employers dropping coverage, all add up to a smaller risk pool.

      The fact that the insurers keep the risk pools managed for profit doesn't help either.

      They are not the good guy in this.  Neither are the coin operated Democrats, who chose to lock in the corporate larges.

      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

      by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:16:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you are healthy and your premium keeps going (0+ / 0-)

      up 15-30% per yr and your salary is going down due to the sucky economy.......healthy people are just the one's inclined to drop their coverage and hope they stay healthy.

      It's not a crime to want a roof over your head and food in your belly. In this 3rd world country of ours, people are increasingly having to make difficult choices to stay alive.

      All the more reason for Medicare for all, a ROBUST Public Option, etc, etc.......

      I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

      by Lucy2009 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:36:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I totally agree with you on this line (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, nyceve, turnover, newpioneer, PhilJD, SoCalSal

    Keep in mind, voters are largely ignorant of the nitty  gritty of legislation.  All they know is a bill called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed and signed with much hoopla, and they see huge rate hikes, which will cause many people to drop their coverage. Someone's gotta gets blamed for this.

    So what is the solution to that problem that you describe so well?  

    "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

    by otto on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:10:45 AM PDT

    •  Well one solution, otto (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, fayeforcure, elwior, Lucy2009

      would be for the Democrats to take ownership and begin to talk about what they will do to lower premiums if they get another chance.

      But you know truthfully otto, the dye may be cast. Why would voters believe them now. They had an historic opportunity and blew it.

      Christine O'Donnell is an irrational reaction--a primal scream if you will, to this deplorable state of affairs.

      •  I would expect an activist to respond (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        turnover, Whimsical

        If the problem is lack of information, then I'd expect the action to be inform people of the information.

        You're describing an emotional reaction to a problem that is more nuanced and deep than these particular voters are able to understand.  

        The obvious solution is to counter emotional reactions with information.  

        I see a description of a problem, and some possible consequences, but I don't see the information that would be necessary to counter the emotional reaction.

        "Can you dance faster than the white clown?"

        by otto on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:27:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  they should be busted (8+ / 0-)

    up they are a monopoly and should not be the only gate to recieving decent medical care. They should be regulated. there should be another option. Other countries do not pay what we do their health care systems are not geared to profit. Watch the TV all you see are ads for drugs that frankly sound like they will make you sick, but hey they will cure? your allergies, insomnia, give you a boner. the whole industry from the hospitals for profit to the extortionist's who block your access, to the drug pushers.

    Why don't we have another option? The Democrat's own this as they cut the deals and mandated that we all be customers to this industry the makes a profit off our sicknesses and need for day to day care. You can all talk about how great this landmark legislation is but that does not convince me or my children or my neighbors. My nephews wife is a neurologist and she half jokingly said 'I'm now not working for pay, I just work to cover our insurance.' The 30 million covered touted is just going to shift to a new group of people left out with no affordable way to pay for access and then their is the cost of actual health care you receive. This Democratic administration has no where to hide with this as they flat out refused to use antitrust laws they traded away the PO and they preferred mandates. Just because you call it reform doesn't make it believable or true.    

  •  nyceve: PLEASE give action link and (7+ / 0-)

    talking points where they can most easily be seen and followed.

    Surely there are some strategies and surely there are good group efforts to join.

    Starting with getting GOP candidates on the record regarding what they are doing about healthcare, with specifics.

    It's such a GOP- business trick. Raise rates and blame it on the Liberals for forcing insurers to carry a wider range of people.

    Question: What will stop the 'cherry picking'?

    Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

    by LNK on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:16:35 AM PDT

  •   Don't be so naive, the ins. cos. are (4+ / 0-)
    using this law as an excuse to raise rates. I am certain they would have done the same if  the weak p.o.  in the house version was passed instead. I would try to improve the law because it would be in my interest to eventually move to single payer. Undermining the health care  reform law will be counter productive.

    Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. John Stuart Mill

    by Micheline on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:16:56 AM PDT

  •  If Obama said that to my face (7+ / 0-)

    Now, the second reason I'm telling you this is because Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get -- to see the glass as half empty.(Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed -- oh, well, the public option wasn’t there. If you get the financial reform bill passed -- then, well, I don't know about this particularly derivatives rule, I'm not sure that I'm satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven’t yet brought about world peace and -- (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.)

    If Obama said that to my face, I'd tell him to go fuck himself. They could arrest me or whatever but to hell with that bullshit.

    "If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

    by Sagebrush Bob on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:18:11 AM PDT

  •  Single payer is the answer where we don't (3+ / 0-)

    pay premiums but taxes.  At least we won't be able to complain about raising premiums.  Oh, does anyone really think that health care costs are driven by just insurance company profits? Read your doctor's or hospital bill sometime. Price control is the other answer beside single payer.  Can't have one without the other.  

    I don't belong to an organized party, I'm a democrat.

    by thestructureguy on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:22:37 AM PDT

    •  What I wonder is how many people who complain (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, OIL GUY, Lucy2009

      about spending 7% of their income on insurance premiums would be happy to contribute 7% in taxes for single payer if we were to have a system similar to NHS in the U.K.

      In fact, since "tax" is such an evil word in this country, I suspect that the outrage might be even greater.

      •  I would take that deal in a second! (7+ / 0-)

        Out of pocket in the UK is small change.

        Here, it's insane!!!

        My personal policy costs me 10 percent of my income, and the out of pocket on it is another fucking 10 percent, if not more, if somebody actually needs the care.

        (in my family somebody does, and I currently cannot afford to actually use the insurance I have because the out of pocket is too high)

        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

        by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:41:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do understand and agree with much of what (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OIL GUY, Lucy2009

          you've said. But I think that oftentimes we think of single payer as a panacea without really considering that there are still costs involved.

          In addition, the fact health care in this national as a percentage of GDP is so much higher than other countries would mean that single payer for us would be a higher percentage of income.

          It's a very complex and nuanced issue, with many factors and disheartening realities to consider. I don't think it's quite as cut and dried as many of us might believe.

          I think that, at the heart of it, most all of us agree upon what our goals should be.  Achieving them and putting them into practice is where we have differences that tend to "muddy the waters" of discussion, which is unfortunate and sometimes seems to magnify our disagreements rather than our common goals. :)

          •  They are consistent costs. (5+ / 0-)

            What happens with a single payer system, is we get more of our monthly income locked in, because even though the costs are well distributed, they are still there.

            However, the trade-off is a much lower risk.

            Something a lot of Americans (and I am one, but I have a lot of friends overseas) don't understand is how risk costs you!

            If you have a lot of income free, but your risks are high, you really can't spend it, or you will suffer the risks!!  The product of that is being poor, despite most of the money being in your hands.

            That's Colorado Springs politics in action.  

            Now, a very low risk environment means the money you do have liquid is actually useful!  One can start a business, or invest in school, or simply save, if they want to, because they won't have to pay down risk.

            The average person in the UK can spend their mad money rather freely, because they see a lower risk than we do.

            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

            by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:06:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So what if they can spend their (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nyceve

              mad money more freely.  After I pay my premium I can spend my money more freely too since I covered the risk.  The point is the premium is so high I don't have much. The costs of healthcare even when you take out insurance profits is still very very high compared to other countries.  The only way to do that is price control.  Limit what docs and hospitals can make and their annual increases.  Everyone is going to be in shock when the bad guy insurance companies are out of the picture and you have taxes for health care going up every year and you still have to call someone nitwit to get approval for a procedure.  

              I don't belong to an organized party, I'm a democrat.

              by thestructureguy on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:21:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not if your out of pocket risk remains (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                newpioneer

                high.

                You only covered a part of your risk, and price of that coverage is ENOUGH TO COVER ALL OF IT, in most other modern nations.

                Think about that.

                When somebody gets sick, you are going to pay thousands out of pocket, in addition to the thousands you pay for a partial risk coverage.

                Being able to spend discretionary income freely means people are able to take on risk choices of their own, build business, save for the future, invest, entertain themselves and do all those other things people like and need to do.

                That happens in most nations.  It does not happen here, unless you are in the upper percent of income earners.

                IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

                by potatohead on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:47:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I would take it too (6+ / 0-)

        My total out of pocket costs are up to almost 50% of my gross income. I am literally sending everything I have to insurance companies and doctors, and living on scraps.

        To keep our faces turned toward change, and behave as free spirits in the presence of fate, that is strength undefeatable--Helen Keller

        by kareylou on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:47:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's my point. Out of pocket is for services (0+ / 0-)

          the doctor and or hospitals provide.  Insurance companies are bad guys in this story but not the only ones.  Don't buy insurance if you don't want to the insurance companies to make a profit.  Can't do it I know.  Can't even afford a minor illness. Why is that? Because the doctors and hospitals charge so much. My whole point is that costs are not only insurance company profits but doctors and hospital costs.  Price control is the solution and will allow single payer that won't bankrupt the country.

          I don't belong to an organized party, I'm a democrat.

          by thestructureguy on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:11:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I would happily do so. But you are right (0+ / 0-)

        in that the GOP thinkers in the country would have a heart attack en masse and that would really fuck-up our HC system.

        I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

        by Lucy2009 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:40:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  right modest progressive tax increases (5+ / 0-)

      wipe out parasitic middleman and use the savings to insure all Americans, with good, affordable and guaranteed insurance coverage.

  •  My Benefits Cut by 60% (7+ / 0-)

    My wife's global corp just announced it's cutting payouts by 60% starting 1/1/2011 for procedures in medical care that we're actually using right now. We started going down that road when the cap was high enough that we'd be paying only about 15% of the total costs, which we could afford. Now that we've committed to the course of action, we'll have to pay at least 75%, which we might not be able to afford, and certainly never agreed to accept in exchange for my wife working for her corporation - for which her insurance payments are part of her pay.

    I blame Obama. My wife and I knew our personal costs would probably go up some as our low risks got collected with a larger group of Americans whose higher risks cost more to cover. But we're not greedy, and we wanted everyone to have minimum coverage, especially since it pays for preventive and maintenance care that lowers costs and improves overall health. We care about our neighbors. But not so much that we're happy that Obama's programme protects dozens of millions of them at the expense of letting us get ruined.

    Yes, I blame our insurer first, and my wife's corporation second. They're the ones making us pay for their losses and unilaterally changing how much compensation my wife gets for the same work. But I also blame Obama, whose programme caused the insurer to raise rates and cut benefits, exactly as predicted, and from which his programme did not protect us.

    The Obama "Health" "Care" "Reform" was already crappy, but its ripple effect sucks. We should have Medicare for All, riding the wave of Obama's huge popular mandate, Republicans' total discredit, and $TRILLIONS being thrown around to fix America's problems. Instead my healthcare is worse. Thanks.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:29:35 AM PDT

  •  nyceve, it can get even more convoluted. (14+ / 0-)

    I go for surgery Thursday -- discectomy/fusion for a herniated cervical disc from a car wreck (rear collision, with me on the receiving end) this spring.  I do have an attorney who will do his best to wrest a settlement out of the at-fault party's insurer.  

    But here's the rub:  to get this done, I had to give the hospital my health insurance info.  I have an extremely bad feeling that I am about to become a football between all three insurance companies involved:  my health insurance, the at-fault party's car insurance and my car insurance.  Two of the three have said they won't guarantee payment, and I am on edge hoping this scheduled surgery does not fall through.  I personally cannot guarantee payment of $30,000 worth of neurosurgey and post-surg care.  But I have reached the limits of my endurance -- the pain is simply constant, I am in tears nearly all the time now, and I only get a few hours of sleep at a given time.  I have to have this surgery.

    We need a system that guarantees care for everyone, regardless of why they need care and who might be at fault.  This is why we need single payer, because no one should have to wait, in steadily increasing pain like I am, for some corporation to step up and do the right thing for rate payers, instead of their shareholders.

    "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, vol. 3, no. 18 (-8.50, -7.23)

    by Noor B on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:30:07 AM PDT

  •  Secretary Sebelius is "bending over backwards" (11+ / 0-)

    while balancing the profit needs of Wall Street against the needs of the American people?

    So she's focused on the profit needs of Wall Street?

    Really?

    According to the paragraph preceeding the one you quoted, Secretary Seblius' concern is that Insurance Companies are threatening to pull out of the market. In those states with only one or two insurance providers such a step would create huge problems.

    Health insurers are seeking broad definitions they say will give them flexibility to provide better care, noting that too-strict rules could force some to flee the market. Consumer advocacy groups and Democratic lawmakers want tighter limits to ensure that the companies spend enough on patient claims.

    http://www.reuters.com/...

    You didn't see fit to mention this portion of the interview either.

    Starting next week, other new reforms will disallow caps on lifetime coverage, and prevent discrimination against children with preexisting ailments, among other changes.

    Or this little interesting tidbit from Madam Secretary.

    Some Republicans have vowed to fight to repeal the health law or strip it of critical funding if they win control of Congress in November.

    "They could do some serious harm," said Sebelius, noting that consumers would have to give up some benefits.

    Sebelius, who said she has traveled to 30 states to promote the reforms, said the law is just a platform to build on.

    Apparently she doesn't see the PPACA as the end of HCR, but the beginning.

    I share your concerns about Insurance Company rate hikes.

    What I will never share with you is the way you constantly distort information in order to punish the Administration for not being able to give you what you wanted.

    "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Daniel Hillel

    by Onomastic on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:45:41 AM PDT

    •  Bullseye. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, GN1927, Yasuragi, Onomastic, Hopefruit2

      I share your concerns about Insurance Company rate hikes.

      What I will never share with you is the way you constantly distort information in order to punish the Administration for not being able to give you what you wanted.

      That ball just cleared the scoreboard and is still going.

    •  Are there lies the problem: (5+ / 0-)

      constantly distort information in order to punish the Administration for not being able to give you what you wanted.

      This is just so precise and spot-on.

    •  Thanks, Ono. Good points, all. :) (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, GN1927, Yasuragi, Onomastic, Hopefruit2
      •  Which is awful and has everything to do (6+ / 0-)

        with California's State Regulators and nothing to do with PPACA or Secretary Sebelius.

        You have repeatedly conflated rate hikes that have taken place due to lack of state controls and conflated those events with the PPACA.

        Repeatedly you have ignored facts which the Kaiser Family Foundation, Jonathan Cohn and others have documented, including that when provisions of the PPACA are correctly explained support increases.

        http://www.tnr.com/...

        Repeatedly you have ignored the fact that the PPACA's rate control mechanisms are NOT in play yet.

        Repeatedly you lay insurance rate hikes, which over all are lower than in previous years, at the door of this Administation, ignoring that rate hikes were climbing for years before PPACA. And would be doing so again without it.

        Repeatedly you ignore the factors that are increasing health care costs across the board, even in those countries with universal health care.

        Repeatedly you ignore the good the PPACA is doing.

        Repeatedly this twisting of facts and recasting of everything into a negative is happening six weeks out from an absolutely crucial election.

        That is not advocacy in my book.

        "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Daniel Hillel

        by Onomastic on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:20:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Profit is exactly what Sebelius is focused on (8+ / 0-)

      Like HIR itself, she must now focus completely on making sure these health-care landlords continue to collect exactly the rents they're accustomed to getting. Otherwise, they call the administration's bluff and walk.

      You still don't get it, do you? Those "huge problems" wouldn't exist if there had been a public option. If there had been a PO, the administration could call the insurer's bluff. Instead, the insurers can now bluff the administration into approving their rate hikes. Wait for it -- it'll happen. Just like we predicted all of this.

      The insurers -- and nyceve, and lots of the rest of us you want to dismiss as petulant 2-year-olds -- knew all that going into the HCR debate. That's why the insurers insisted that Obama deal that hole card away before negotiations could even start. And why the rest of us fought so hard to see it retained. Unlike the people now trying to defend this arrangement, we're not stupid.

      But really: Keep focusing on trying to discredit nyceve and the progressives who fought for a public option. And promising the electorate some more pie in the sky whenever you get around to "building on" HIR, and scold us some more for being petulant and insufficiently grateful. That approach is already doing such a world of good for Democratic candidates in the midterms!

      •  Hi willibro, and you do know (5+ / 0-)

        who will get blamed if there is a tsunami on election day, not Obama, not Dem leadership, but those of us who had the temerity to criticize bad public policy.

        Some people think if we just say nothing voters won't notice that things are kind of bollixed up in the country.

        •  The people who will get blaimed... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cedwyn, willibro, Onomastic, Woodrow Stool

          Will be those who failed to work to get Democrats elected.  And those who worked against Democratic candidates.

          You might consider putting effort into keeping Democrats in control of Congress.

          After November we can start talking about what the next changes in health care law should be.  

          If we let Republicans take over even one house then we will see no improvements during the next two years.  

          And we hurt our chances for control later on.  Once the economy has recovered people are more likely to look favorably toward their new Republican Representatives and Senators.  It's hard to get rid of incumbents during good times.

          "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

          by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:08:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hi Eve, and I do know that (8+ / 0-)

          I don't actually care much anymore about being blamed, even though I (and lots of others) have been predicting this since the HCR bill started to go south in a big way last year.

          What has me absolutely terrified is that even the majority of our fellow Kossacks seem to really believe that these policy failures don't actually exist -- that unless we weren't pointing them out, they somehow would be invisible, or not even real.

          To me, that means hope is really over. It means that even the high-info Democratic electorate is so blind and fearful that we can really expect a tsunami in November, with low-info Dems and independents sending a pack of stark, raving loons like O'Donnell into office for the last half of Obama's administration.

        •  Our ability to notice the problems this country (0+ / 0-)

          is facing and policy imperfections does not rely upon you to point them out.  

          Reality is much larger than you.

          "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Daniel Hillel

          by Onomastic on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:55:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or you (0+ / 0-)

            Of course, YOUR particular situation medically stands in for everyone else, right?

            •  Oh, I certainly hope not. Though (0+ / 0-)

              the 30+ year struggles with my child's life threatening health issues did give a clue as to what so many were dealing with. Lots of time spent in hospitals through the year, the fallout from $100s of thousands in medical bills, lost work, our society's inability to grasp what long term health issues do to individuals and families, do tend to broaden one's viewpoint.

              I wouldn't presume to speak for those in the middle class who have apparently recently woken up to what
              so many have been dealing with for so long though.  

              "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Daniel Hillel

              by Onomastic on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 04:56:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  how about quit obsessing on blame (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nyceve, Onomastic, Woodrow Stool

          and put as much effort as possible into getting a better congress?

          seriously, eve...what is your goal here?  

          do you see any path to improved HCR except through dem control of congress?

          electing dems is a step towards your goal.  no matter how mad you are at them right now, you can't get what you want without them.

          the field of psychology is riddled with study after study after study indicating that you get better results with positivity than negativity.  nobody is asking you to praise obama daily.  but it would be !@#$%& awesome if you could forget about him for a single month.  obama is not up for election in november; maybe that should be my sig...

          one week of GOTV -- simple, non-gagging message of "work with me for even better reforms -- would do more towards your long-term goal than a month's worth of these diaries.  but i do have to give you mad props for constantly coming up with new ways to say the same goddamn thing over and over and over.

          Die with your boots on. Gonna try? Well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

          by Cedwyn on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:03:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously Cedwyn, what's *your* program? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink

            Do you see any path to improved HCR WITH Democratic control of Congress? In case you failed to notice, WE HAD THAT. And look at the bullshit we've got.

            The field of psychology -- and those of history and political philosophy -- is "riddled" with no such studies at all. What studies in this area that do exist do, in fact, remind us rather constantly that those who refuse to examine or even so much as FUCKING ACKNOWLEDGE what is right in front of their noses, such as past performance, are doomed to repeat it.

          •  For the answer... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Onomastic

            Look no further than willibro below:

            Do you see any path to improved HCR WITH Democratic control of Congress? In case you failed to notice, WE HAD THAT. And look at the bullshit we've got.

            Can they make it any more obvious? Jeezus H, how much more plainly can they state it?

            These people are so deranged in their desire for revenge that they would throw every single progressive cause into the hands of those who've vowed to destroy everything liberals stand for if only to have one night of popping champagne and braying "I told you so" at fellow progs.

            That's not a smear. That's the truth.

            Stool of Woodrow (though most of it was bleeped!) - elwior

            by Woodrow Stool on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 09:11:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, if it's any comfort (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Onomastic

              he also said this:

              The field of psychology -- and those of history and political philosophy -- is "riddled" with no such studies at all.

              which is just patently absurd.  so it's safe to say one needn't take willibro too seriously.

              ; P

              Die with your boots on. Gonna try? Well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

              by Cedwyn on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 12:32:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Forgetting about the exchanges aren't you? (0+ / 0-)

        And the $50 million sent to the states to help them regulate and track insurance companies behavior, including rate hike requests?

        Those that blow it will not be allowed in the exchanges. Remember that?

        This is Kathleen Sebelius we're talking about here. She does not suffer greed or fools lightly.

        Sebelius was the Kansas state insurance commissioner back in 2002, when she blocked a controversial and widely publicized takeover merger between two health-insurance providers. A for-profit company had made a very public offer to take over Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, the state's nonprofit entity that covered about 45 percent of Kansans. Both companies claimed that the merger was essential to them staying afloat. Anthem, the private company based in Indiana, was eager to spread its risk over a much broader pool of patients. For Blue Cross, the takeover would mean that it wouldn't have to insure everybody, including risky people with bad health, and could be more competitive.

        Tasked with approving the deal, Sebelius argued that a takeover by a private company would be bad for consumers. "I am denying this takeover because it would have cost Kansas businesses, small employers and families millions of dollars in additional health insurance premiums," she told a roomful of reporters at the time.

        It was a bold move that didn't make her any friends with either insurance provider (both of which appealed the decision, and lost, all the way to the state Supreme Court). They covered the state with anti-Sebelius ads and argued she didn't know what she was doing. But voters really appreciated the effort, which she deliberately made public. For three days, she summonsed Anthem execs to testify before state legislators and prove they wouldn't raise premiums, which of course they couldn't do. She also appointed a special commission to investigate the costs, which confirmed what Sebelius had predicted about the rise in premiums.

        http://www.newsweek.com/...

        But how silly of me.
        I forgot.
        The Obama administration is apparently where all good people are immediately turned into Corporate handmaidens or easily led astray lackeys.

        I mean just look at what happened to Elizabeth Warren for pete sakes! It's just horrible.

        "I get up, I walk, I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing." Daniel Hillel

        by Onomastic on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:48:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Time to go back (10+ / 0-)

    and insert a public option so consumers can opt-out of the private insurance scam.

    That is what Obama needs to propose.

    Pu the fear of God into these bastards.

    "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

    by greendem on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 10:45:45 AM PDT

    •  Obama and the Dems got played (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, blueoasis, newpioneer, Wom Bat

      or played for the insurance lobby.

      That entire sector needs to be banned from health care and replaced by a non-profit only system. Obama gave Big Insurance one more chance to show how bad they were and they took the bait.

      If Obama fights back, good.
      That's actually his friggin job!

      Ban private insurance from "Health Care, Now!"

      Moneychangers, Out of the Temple!

      "One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity nothing beats teamwork." - Mark Twain

      by greendem on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:09:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Somebody mentioned earlier that the CEO of (5+ / 0-)

    Aetna's salary/compensation was .05% of revenue. Or the CEO gets a nickle for every $100 in revenue. How does the poor guy survive?

    I'd be happy to have .0.05% of this CEO's Compensation

    Well, to look at it in real dollars and cents terms, this is how:

    Despite the trials and tribulations of the past year, there are several executives still raking in quite a few dollars at the end of the day. This is a look at some of the top total compensation packages from 2008 based on information gathered from the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission.

    Aetna's Ron Williams - CEO Compensation
    Total Compensation: $24,300,112

    Details: Williams earned $24,300,112 in total compensation for 2008, with more than half of that ($13,537,365) coming from option awards. He also received an additional $6,456,630 in stock awards to go along with his base salary of $1,091,764.
    Personal use of a corporate aircraft and vehicle, as well as financial planning and 401(k) company matches added up to $101,487 for Williams

    •  The issue of very high CEO pay... (0+ / 0-)

      IMO, goes across most, if not all, industries.

      Aetna's revenue in 2008 was $27.6 billion.  Williams made $24.3 million.  That's 0.09% of revenues.  Less than a dime out of every $100.  

      If you're looking for the reason for high health insurance you aren't likely to find it in CEO pay.  We need to be looking at where the other $99.91 went....

      ===

      (And for those who don't read carefully, I am not defending high CEO pay.)

      "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

      by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:02:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so, if you are not defending high CEO pay (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nyceve, southof

        what's the purpose of your comment? I think you said already several times here that we need to look the other $9.91 went ... Did you look already? Have you found out? Will you tell us about it? Will the answer make any difference?

        •  The purpose is to get people to look at ... (0+ / 0-)

          the problem, not at a distraction.

          As for the $99.91, some seems to be due to administrative inefficiencies.  Both insurance companies and care providers are spending too much on paperwork.  I'm guessing that the waste is not a huge amount of the $99.91 since administrative overhead is likely no more than 15% (high estimate) of the total.

          There are provisions in the PPACA to lower administrative costs.

          Reducing Paperwork and Administrative Costs.  

          Health care remains one of the few industries that relies on paper records. The new law will institute a series of changes to standardize billing and requires health plans to begin adopting and implementing rules for the secure, confidential, electronic exchange of health information.

          Using electronic health records will reduce paperwork and administrative burdens, cut costs, reduce medical errors and most importantly, improve the quality of care.

          First regulation effective October 1, 2012.

          The other 80%+ of where our insurance premium dollars get spent are on delivered care.  There are many elements in the PPACA which address the cost of health care.

          Just a couple, for example, insuring everyone and giving people free annual physicals as other tests as needed.

          Right now a huge burden on our hospitals is treating the uninsured in their emergency rooms which is very expensive.  Treating these people in less expensive health care centers will save lots of money and treating their problems early will be cost cutters.

          You might want to read through the PPACA provisions to see the ways the bill intends to help cut costs....

          Link

          Just look down the page for the heading "IMPROVING QUALITY AND LOWERING COSTS".

          "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

          by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:22:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why I don't believe that this is the real reason (0+ / 0-)

            These are private insurance companies, whose goal is to make a profit. Usually such companies can figure out the most cost effective ways to manage their tasks. I would understand that a government run non for profit insurance would run cost inefficiently, but not a private for profit one. That is not logic. So can you tell me why specifically the health insurance providers industry can't work efficiently, whereas most other industries can?

            Why would the cost for a prescription drug be different from country to country, if the production and research costs for the pharmaceutical companies are the same everywhere.

            It makes absolutely no sense to me that I can get a well known drug against high blood pressure for 1/5th of the cost in Germany than it would cost me here. I can pay three round-trip tickets US-Germany and would still save money to get treated in Germany compared to the US. I bet you it has nothing to do with inefficient paperwork.

            In Germany you have private health insurers and they have to compete with the public ones. They are very efficient. Contrary to here they don't waste tons of money sending out useless information material in the mail every month to tell me what most people already know.

            Delivered care? Why would the costs differ from country to country? They use the same treatment procedures. To fix a broken leg is done pretty much the same way everywhere, so why does it cost you a leg and an arm, to get your broken leg fixed in the US, while it costs almost nothing in other countries?

            Why do people with a flu or some other acute, but not life threatening illnesses have to go to an emergency room anyhow? Why can't a person walk into any doctor's office (without being dependent on a primary care doctor) and be seen? You know doctors are supposedly be there for seeing patients when they feel sick, and not the other way around, that a doctor sees a sick patient, when he feels he has time for it.

            So, what and who imposes such a system on the doctors and the patients?

            What is this, pardon my German, shit of being on a trip, having to see a doctor other than your primary care one, and voila, your are not being covered, because you were forced to see an "out of network" doctor during a trip? Did you hear what NYeve said? That she forgot to check if the anethesiologist was doctor in her providers network? Well, next time I am unconscious in a car accident, I'll make sure I wake up before the surgeon puts his knife in my flesh and ask him, if "he is in my providers network". And if not, he better dare not to operate, because I ain't paying my bills, if he does.

            Why is your system so unbelievable complicated? You want me to read the nitty-gritty of the legislative text? I would have, years ago, not anymore. Heck, I read it. It doesn't answer any of my very basic questions. As always it's not precise when it comes to numbers. May be we need a patients protection agency with a clone of Elizabeth Warren leading it.

            I think it's pathetic to call the healthcare legislation which was passed "historic". And President Obama knows that very well. So, he should think twice about how he sells himself. A bit more honesty goes a long way and mocking your sceptical critics doesn't.

            •  Well, that's a real piece of "work"... (0+ / 0-)

              One reason that private insurance overhead is high is the lack of standardized record keeping and billing practices.  That will change.

              (Apparently private insurance overhead per customer might not be higher than Medicare.)

              Drug prices are higher in the US, I understand, because some other countries control the price of drugs and a larger percentage of costs get shoved back on US purchasers.  It is clearly the case that some pharmaceuticals are sold at greatly reduced prices in less developed countries.

              Delivered care.  Perhaps other countries also control what doctors and hospitals can charge.  Certainly medical workers earn significantly less in some other countries than they would earn in the US.

              Why do uninsured people with the flu have to go to emergency rooms?  Because since they can't pay for services they can't go to a private provider.  Doctors are not required to work for free.  Emergency rooms are required by law to turn no one away.

              In an emergency you are not required to be treated by someone on your provider list.  

              We've got a bad system.  The PPACA goes a long, long way to fixing many of the problems.

              You might not appreciate that fact.  Many of us do....

              "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

              by BobTrips on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 09:41:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  oh, you know, it's not that I do not (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                slinkerwink

                appreciate some band-aid fixes of your health care system with the recent legislation and I don't say that it hasn't done some things right. I am also sorry to have you made answer my questions, which where rethorical ones (and to which I obviously knew the answers) to express my bewilderment. I on purpose express myself "badly" to cut through your shield of "politeness" which is often used to obfuscate truthfulness.

                But the legislation doesn't solve the basic problem because it doesn't provide a strong public option and probably still doesn't include enough regulations of the private insurance industry.

                I really don't think that this legislation has done "a historic job" and think it's not an item Democrats can use to pad themselves on the shoulder and believe it's a good selling point to ask the majority of people for their support. The bill is not good enough.

                Now, if Obama would come out and say, listen, folks, if you would vote for Democrats you can rest assured that we will fight tooth and nails for a strong public option (Medicare for all or something like the Tricare System for all or anything that automatically insures everybody under a certain income level in a publicly availabe health insurance plan and if it included the right for any person to see any doctor within the US no matter where they are and be covered), then ... that would be a motivator.

                So, I am waiting for Democrats and Obama show their true colors. The fight for a public option isn't over.

                •  Well, if you like... (0+ / 0-)

                  I can quit being polite.  However, the message won't change.  I am stating the truth as I see it.

                  And I think you're assumption that the PPACA doesn't solve the basic problem because it doesn't include a public option shows stupidity on your part.  (Is that impolite enough for you?)

                  The basic problem is that some 40 million Americans could not afford health care or health care insurance.  And others were being treated badly by their insurance companies.  The PPACA takes care of those problems.

                  The lack of a public option means, at most, that taxpayers are going to be paying a little more in subsidies in order to use private insurance companies to furnish that coverage.  But I say "at most" while realizing that private insurance might be able to furnish coverage for less than a government insurance company.

                  Feel free to fight for whatever you believe in, but I can pretty much guarantee that you won't get anywhere until well after 2014.  If it turns out that a well-regulated openly competitive system does not produce acceptable insurance options and/or hold down expenses to taxpayers then it should be possible to revisit extending Medicare to cover more people.

                  "They were overwhelmed by the learned ignorance, the accepted say-so of the times." Teale

                  by BobTrips on Sun Sep 19, 2010 at 09:26:57 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  I had to make a decision this year (12+ / 0-)

    As with everyone else who still has a job in this economy, I am acutely aware that it might not last-so I am trying to pay down debt, keep my mortgage solidly covered, and save up for my taxes.

    My crappy health insurance got so crappy that  there is literally no first dollar preventive care.Everything goes to my ridiculously high deductible.

    So, I decided I need to treat my insurance as Major Medical coverage only.  No visits to the doctor for aches and pains.  While I might be able to keep my anti-statin rx going that is a proven protection I cannot expect my doctor to continue prescribing any drug if I am not visiting for follow ups. So I let that RX lapse.

    Chest pains, urgent escalations in my chronic conditions, or accident, I will head for the clinic and find the money somewhere. But the normal maintenance medicine I've been trying to do over the time since my hospitalization (after years w/o insurance coverage at all) is just gonna have to wait.

    Technically, my insurance company isn't forcing this-it's the coverage my employer purchased, after all, based on the premiums they were offered.

    I'm just a middle class, middle aged chick who is lucky enough to have some insurance coverage (so won't be eligible for risk pools for the uninsured) who can do enough math to know there is not enough in my wallet to do all I need to do.

    I am glad, I truly am, that there are people who will be getting help who are worse off than I am, but I'll be god damned if I am going to celebrate enabling insurers to keep gouging the rest of us in an utterly predictable way.

    My blood pressure won't stay calm if I try to force myself to do that.

    I can't afford to go to the doctor for that.

    Before you win, you have to fight. Come fight along with us at TexasKaos.

    by boadicea on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:16:01 AM PDT

  •  Obama at a Blumenthal rally in Conn. (14+ / 0-)

    Excerpt from Obama speech in Conn. yesterday

    We will not let them.  We are not about to allow a corporate takeover of our democracy.  We’re not about to go back to the days when special interests took advantage of Main Street families.  (Applause.)  We’re not going to go back to the days when insurance companies wrote the rules that let you languish without health care because you had a preexisting condition.  We’re not going to go back to the exact same agenda we had before I took office.

  •  progressives (0+ / 0-)

    I am with Gibbs,Biden,Obama on the liberal media complaining if these guys didnt complain so much the democraTS  would be energized i am tired of rachel maddow and ed shultz and keith olberman  chris mathews complaing and whinning just shut up already its too much even stephan miller on her radio shaw its complaining all the time

  •  I wonder when Eyve will learn to spell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve

    Sebelius correctly.

  •  And you ask why the Dems are not campaigning (15+ / 0-)

    on health care?

    The law is a sham and a damn shame.  The anger will be towards the Democrats.  Raising premiums every quarter, 6 months, yearly is enough for anyone to say, "What the fuck??"

    The law is coming to bite the Dems in the ass.  People are not legislative wonks, they care about the hear and now, what is in front of them, what is affecting them now!!

    And right now it is rising health care costs, premiums and less coverage.  And the health care law does nothing to bring these costs in.  The gift that keeps giving the insurance companies millions for years to come.

    •  Non-effective and "Make-believe" HC Reform (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve

      The Dems can't get anything of substance done will be the over-all impression.

      Single-payer was out at the start. The public option died. A Medicare buy-in died. The number of Americans who would be covered shrank.

      by fayeforcure on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:07:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Baucus Bill (9+ / 0-)

    was a political failure.  In time it will be seen as a policy failure.

    "I've never believed that government's role is to create jobs . . . So this week, I've proposed a six year infrastructure plan."

    by Paleo on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 11:59:28 AM PDT

  •  What's wrong with strongly worded letters? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newpioneer, FishBiscuit

    geez!

    Sunshine on my shoulder...

    by pkbarbiedoll on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:17:29 PM PDT

  •  phone shock at insuance companies (5+ / 0-)

    Just like that well worn Claude Raines scene in Casablanca.

    In truth they (meaning the Democrats you listed) don't give a rat's ass. They are owned lock, stock, and barrel by the Insurance Corporations (and any other corp that can spare the money).

    Their modus operandi is promise the voter anything, but give them the shaft.

    New improved bipartisanship! Now comes in a convenient suppository!!! -unbozo

    by Unbozo on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:22:45 PM PDT

  •  PNHP link for Western Washington (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, blueoasis

    For the latest news, analysis and opinion on health reform legislation

    It’s Time to Add Your Voice

    Nice work nyceve

    I don't want your country back..I want my country forward - Bill Maher

    by Eric Nelson on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 12:39:29 PM PDT

  •  Damn. Eve, you are the best. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, zaka1

    Wow.

    Still serious about getting you some decent insurance.

    15 million voters in 47 days. Sign up at OFA today.

    by Benintn on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:04:45 PM PDT

  •  Obama's been up in Greenwich crabbing about how (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, nyceve, blueoasis, zaka1, Lucy2009

    we prog Dems (you know, his earliest, strongest, most active supporters) are insufficiently grateful to him for reforming our healthcare system.

    And my God, Mr. President, I have have nightmares at night about the uninsured, do you?

    So offhand, I'd say the answer to your question is No.

    As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

    by Wom Bat on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:07:41 PM PDT

  •  Kathleen Sebellius said she would not let this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, blueoasis, Lucy2009

    happen! Where is she in all this?? the insurance companies are gouging and the dems are crouching. Health care reform was necessary for job creation. Gates, Buffet etc...said that universal health care would make american workers more competitive and products made in america cheaper. So health care reform: CREATED jobs in the private and public sector. Made it possible for small business to hire new workers because of the lowering of benefit costs, and lowered the costs for manufacturing in America, opening up new markets worldwide for exports and closed the donut hole for seniors. It is time the dems to the offensive on this and Kathleen Sebellius get out the law books and go after these insurance cheats. Maybe Elizabeth Warren could help!!

  •  Bravo, Eve~! The absolute BEST I've seen... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, blueoasis, newpioneer, zaka1, Lucy2009

    as to the State of the State of the downfall of this State of the Union~!

    From the Declaration of Human Rights

    Article 22.

       * Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.

    Article 23.

       * (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
       * (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
       * (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
       * (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

    Article 24.

       * Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

    Article 25.

       * (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
       * (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

    "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

    by Annalize5 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 01:45:11 PM PDT

    •  hi Annalize, well the right (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Annalize5, blueoasis, newpioneer, zaka1

      to healthcare is in the Iraqi constitution.

    •  Thanks. That is very clear, concise and correct. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, Annalize5, zaka1

      England lives by that. They value their mothers and children (when it comes to HC). They provide excellent care for free. Parents get approx 500.00/mo for the first yr to help out with baby expenditures....and it's not means tested. Everyone is eligible for this.

      In this country, we talke about the value of women, children, families, but do precious little in reality to enhance the survival of them.

      I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

      by Lucy2009 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:52:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So true, Lucy... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zaka1, Lucy2009

        In this country we have "throw away" children, many of them wind up living on the streets.

        And as to our aging population? Ha~! This diary is a testament to how we feel about them. I look forward to sampling the various brands of cat food soon.

        What do you think? Fancy Feast? lol

        "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

        by Annalize5 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 04:05:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Hi Lucy, in the interest of accuracy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Annalize5, zaka1

        I think all women in this country get some prenatal care, after the birth, either they qualify for medicaid or they and the baby get nothing.

        So many are falling right between the huge cracks in our collapsed system.

        •  Yes and this is what happens... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nyceve, zaka1, Lucy2009

          when a society worships at the altar of money and forgets the human beings.

          So many are falling right between the huge cracks in our collapsed system.

          "The first step towards madness is to think oneself wise." ~Fernando de Rojas

          by Annalize5 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 05:56:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I love how level-headed you are! Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nyceve

          I'm sure you are right about the pre-natal care. For that matter, I'm sure new mommies and babies  qualify for some sort of food/housing/medical assistance.

          The difference is in England, a new single mommy gets enough money for housing/food/baby items, and of course HC is free for all. Mommy also gets free dental, including cosmetic in the first year of babies life. A midwife comes to the house once a week the first month of babies life to answer questions and do the newborn checks.

          In other words, they don't live a degraded existence because they become pregnant and mothers. That's a very different scenario than what we provide for our mothers.

          Of course, England has a whole other set of problems. They have mothers who pop out baby after baby after baby, they get bigger and bigger houses, and more and more money!! There is no perfect system. But I think I would like a little socialism in my Govt, personally.    :)

          I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

          by Lucy2009 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 07:06:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks eve (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve, zaka1

    and I read Bobtrips posts, too, and have come to the conclusion he posts here to defend for profit health care. I note how he stays with the same talking points, and dodges when he gets cornered. He's good, no doubt, but his slickness and dodges belie a pro representative at work. He may say that he is just here to cite facts, but he always cites his facts, and that is the tell.

    I think he's not telling the truth when he says he doesn't get paid for it. I think he does. In fact, his denials are carefully worded, so that there is still the dodge that he gets a salary for a list of duties, but not specifically for posting on DK. IOW, does Bob receive any money at all from any insurance company, trade group or association, lobbying group, etc.?

    That said, he always defends insurance company profits - making money off of people's woes and ills, and profiting off of sick people is wrong. There is no other way to put it. It is immoral to make a profit off of sick people. Why should money determine whether you receive life giving care or not? What is wrong with raising the income tax to cover the costs of a nationwide free health care plan, like many other countries have? I mean, besides that in doing so, it will eliminate a parasitical industry.

    I would like to see how Bob would respond to that.

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 02:48:54 PM PDT

  •  nyceve, you are inspirational. Thank you! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve

    I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Thomas Jefferson

    by Lucy2009 on Sat Sep 18, 2010 at 03:53:39 PM PDT

  •  See above for the question and response; (0+ / 0-)

    Have no opinion, whatsoever, on what someone does or doesn't do to make money.

    I actually found the response to a post wanting to know the ratio of rising costs/executive compensation sort of humorous, and none too subtle -- in its apparent inference that CEO comp isn't really that much, given that it's only a nickle for every hundred dollars.

    I checked Atena...

    We buy my wife's insurance from them.

    Their CEO's salary is 0.05% of revenue.

    Out of every 100 dollars that one pays in premiums the CEO gets a nickle....

    of course, those nickles sure do add up fast, given the fact that Aetna's overall comp for its CEO was more than  $24,000,000 in 2008.

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