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Obama health plan would curb insurers on rate hikes

ptif219

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If this bill is so good why is Obama claiming this as a budget process so he can ram it through using reconciliation?

This is more of Obama showing he IS NOT bi-partisan.

The way this is being done should scare people. The meeting this week is not about hearing what the GOP has to say it is a media event to promote what Obama wants to shove down our throats.
 

BWG

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donsutherland1 said:
IMO, the company should use the opportunity presented by its testimony before Congress to fully disclose financial and actuarial data by demographic group, census tract, and other market subsegments if it wishes to substantiate its forthcoming rate hike.
In this instance, I think that that's all people are asking for - at least it is for me - is to justify that large of an increase in light of what we currently know and that you have pointed out.

There is one other thing about this that stood out to me...

Anthem Blue Cross is telling many of its approximately 800,000 customers who buy individual coverage -- people not covered by group rates-- that its prices will go up March 1 and may be adjusted "more frequently" than its typical yearly increases.

Why target only individual customers? Did Anthem think that individuals would just meekly go along? Did they not want a fight with companies that offer group coverage to their employees?

There are questions that deserve answers and I'm glad someone called them on it on behalf of the average American consumer.
 

Renae

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In this instance, I think that that's all people are asking for - at least it is for me - is to justify that large of an increase in light of what we currently know and that you have pointed out.

There is one other thing about this that stood out to me...

Anthem Blue Cross is telling many of its approximately 800,000 customers who buy individual coverage -- people not covered by group rates-- that its prices will go up March 1 and may be adjusted "more frequently" than its typical yearly increases.

Why target only individual customers? Did Anthem think that individuals would just meekly go along? Did they not want a fight with companies that offer group coverage to their employees?

There are questions that deserve answers and I'm glad someone called them on it on behalf of the average American consumer.
You poor man, you think this about helping the "average American"
 

obvious Child

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

There are many problems with this. One, "regulation" is very general. Should the government enforce contracts between insurers and those who use them? Of course.

Which is nothing more then I ask.

Two, I find it very unlikely that, however many individual cases you find, money insurers save by denying to pay for things they have promised to pay for is any more than a drop in the bucket.

And what makes you think that?

Three, even if what you say is true and insurers make money by denying services, how will regulating their price increases stop that?

When did I talk about regulating prices?

Or are you again incapable of actually arguing what people say without fabricating things to attack them on?
 

obvious Child

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

An example of regulated insurance.
Pay attention to who denies the most claims, it's hilarious. :lol:

Outright denial and delay of service are two different things. If an insurer simply delays until you're dead, that's not counted as a denial of service.
 

upsideguy

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

Yup.

And they did that with lowering the home loan requirements.

How's that worked out for us? :roll:

OT, but that is not what happened. The problem with home loans was substantially a supply side problem. It does, however, work reasonably well for many public utilities.

Personally, if we can't have a single payer system, which in my view we should simply return all health insurers to a not-for-profit highly regulated status (where most were in the 1970's) where compensation is fixed to revenue and benefits paid must be a fixed % of revenue.
 

Dav

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

When did I talk about regulating prices?

Erm, that's kind of what the whole thread is about.
 

drz-400

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Bad idea in my opinion, if you start conroling prices like this someone is going to get screwed. Would have been better if he used a more competitive approach to controling prices, like buying across state lines and a public option...
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

Outright denial and delay of service are two different things. If an insurer simply delays until you're dead, that's not counted as a denial of service.

Look at the specific reasons for denial.
It isn't always what you think it is.

You won't hear many complainers from Medicare though, that's because many of them are already near the end of their lives.
 

donsutherland1

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As I had suspected, the WellPoint testimony provided today to the House Energy and Commerce Committee did not provide any detailed actuarial or financial data that could allow one to analyze specific subsectors within the company. Instead, it offered technically accurate general arguments. At the same time, a Committee memorandum cited documents that lean toward the idea that business objectives, not benefit payment developments, may well be the main driver of the rate hikes.

Given today's testimony and lack of disclosure of vital actuarial and financial details that could have substantiated WellPoint's arguments, I strongly believe that the 10K report provides the best picture of what was happening. Business objectives, not a dramatic deterioration in benefit payments, is largely responsible for the company's up to 39% rate hike in California.
 

American

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

With the insanity and unethical practices in the insurance industry, this is one regulation that I completely agree with.
But of course the govt option won't be needing that oversight, because afterall, it's the govt. :mrgreen:
 

American

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As I had suspected, the WellPoint testimony provided today to the House Energy and Commerce Committee did not provide any detailed actuarial or financial data that could allow one to analyze specific subsectors within the company. Instead, it offered technically accurate general arguments. At the same time, a Committee memorandum cited documents that lean toward the idea that business objectives, not benefit payment developments, may well be the main driver of the rate hikes.

Given today's testimony and lack of disclosure of vital actuarial and financial details that could have substantiated WellPoint's arguments, I strongly believe that the 10K report provides the best picture of what was happening. Business objectives, not a dramatic deterioration in benefit payments, is largely responsible for the company's up to 39% rate hike in California.
You mean greed, right Don?
 

donsutherland1

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You mean greed, right Don?

The idea of meeting profit goals is not necessarily "greed." That's an oversimplification. IMO, WellPoint should have offered an accurate explanation rather than going through pains to make an argument it is unwilling to substantiate. My guess is that an explanation that the company sought to meet profit objectives would have been highly unpopular. Hence, the company's public statements were aimed at creating a different perception, but where concrete information is required under law to be accurate, the company was careful to avoid violating its legal obligations. It's easier to make a public relations argument that something customers find unpopular was due to "necessity" than to argue and demonstrate that the rate hikes are justified by the value customers receive (the argument that needs to be made when business objectives are involved).

If the so-called "death spiral" were involved, the company would have provided the relevant detailed data. That it didn't mention any such issues with detailed supporting data in its February 2010 10K report and again in today's Congressional testimony, both of which are required under law to be accurate, highlights the reality that business objectives were the leading driver of the rate increases.

On the larger issue, I have serious reservations about government rate setting though things might go down that road. I do favor full and accurate disclosure. I also believe the WellPoint situation highlights exactly the case for eliminating barriers to competition. Health providers/insurance companies should be able to compete across state lines, they should have freedom to create pools where individuals could benefit from risk diversification, and foreign companies/providers should be able to compete in the U.S. market. Artificial legal protection of price arbitrage should also be eliminated.
 
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hazlnut

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

Yup.

And they did that with lowering the home loan requirements.

How's that worked out for us? :roll:

Oh, Really -- please show us all where "they" lowered the requirements. Or forced banks to give bad loans... or any other far-right talking pointing blaming government for everything...
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Because this worked soooooo well when we did it with oil.

Seriously, this is absolutely appalling. Oh hey, what was that about this not being a government take-over?

Wage and price controls always work wonderfully.

The government grows.

Why else do you think politicians like them so much, when they never actually control either wages or prices, but only reduce the demand for labor and reduce the commodity being controlled.

What would curb the insurance companies gratuitous price hikes, you ask? (You didn't ask) Allowing interstate competition for clients, which both expands the market for insurers and greatly multiplies consumer choice.

But since that's a free market approach, since free market approaches work, and since free market approaches reduce the need for government, government is opposed to the free market.
 
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Scarecrow Akhbar

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

Oh, Really -- please show us all where "they" lowered the requirements. Or forced banks to give bad loans... or any other far-right talking pointing blaming government for everything...

CRA

CRA II

Acorn Lawsuits on so-called "red-lining" lenders.
 

American

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

CRA

CRA II

Acorn Lawsuits on so-called "red-lining" lenders.
We just had these debates not long ago, how could hazl forget?
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

We just had these debates not long ago, how could hazl forget?

They like to pretend the fantasy of history their masters tell them to believe in is reality.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Bad idea in my opinion, if you start conroling prices like this someone is going to get screwed. Would have been better if he used a more competitive approach to controling prices, like buying across state lines and a public option...

No Constitutional authority for the "public option".

The government has committed enough crimes, we shouldn't burden it's soul with more.
 

hazlnut

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

I do not understand how anyone with even the loosest grasp of economics could support this.

I don't understand how anyone who knows how private health care works can possibly dismiss this as a government 'take-over'. Health Insurance is backwards business model -- sign up as many customers as possible, then provide them with the as little service/good as possible.

A board that monitors rates and sees that consumers are getting the services they pay for... Wow, what a horrible thing:roll::roll:

Consumer protecting / government oversight has its pro and cons. Far-right partisans dismiss it without any acknowledgment of past corporate misdeeds and how government has played a role in protecting consumers.

This sounds like a pragmatic approach to getting health insurance providers in line.
 

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

I don't understand how anyone who knows how private health care works can possibly dismiss this as a government 'take-over'. Health Insurance is backwards business model -- sign up as many customers as possible, then provide them with the as little service/good as possible.

A board that monitors rates and sees that consumers are getting the services they pay for... Wow, what a horrible thing:roll::roll:

Consumer protecting / government oversight has its pro and cons. Far-right partisans dismiss it without any acknowledgment of past corporate misdeeds and how government has played a role in protecting consumers.

This sounds like a pragmatic approach to getting health insurance providers in line.
A govt option is not oversight.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

Any industry that makes its money by denying service to those who have paid for such service needs regulation.

No. They need to be prosecuted for fraud, and, if the fraud can be shown to cause the death or injury of any customer, prosecuted for negligence as well.

Jail.

That fixes people who don't honor contracts.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

I don't understand how anyone who knows how private health care works can possibly dismiss this as a government 'take-over'.

Because government interference as a result of prior government interference is a form of takeover, albeit a slow form.

What's next, changing the definition of death so Il Duce can claim he's made the trains run on time...er made the insurance companies more effective?

Health Insurance is backwards business model -- sign up as many customers as possible, then provide them with the as little service/good as possible.

Something wrong with that model?

My car insurance works that way just fine. So does medical insurance when the people have more choices and the insurers are competing for bigger pools of customers.

A board that monitors rates and sees that consumers are getting the services they pay for... Wow, what a horrible thing:roll::roll:

Yes, it' a horrible thing that never works as planned.

This sounds like a pragmatic approach to getting health insurance providers in line.

But it isn't pragmatic at all.

For something to be pragmatic, it has to work at least in theory. Both history and theory show that price controls don't work.
 
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