published Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Monopoly

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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nucanuck said...

I'm about to celebrate my ninth anniversary of being denied coverage by Blue Cross. I continue to lead a healthy lifestyle and I have all the money I would have paid them,had they chosen to insure me.

Insurance companies priorities and their customers needs are at cross purposes. Crossing state lines to compete won't change that.

October 25, 2009 at 2:18 a.m.
friedchick said...

here we go again

October 25, 2009 at 3:24 a.m.
rolando said...

Ah. Much explained... The uninsurables are among those in favor of free medical care. That's called getting sick on other people's dime. [Lots and lots of dimes.] No surprise there.

Insurance companies are in the business of making money...typically two to four percent return according to reliable business stats [google it]. If they deem someone uninsurable, that means there is a very high probability that person will draw considerably more than they pay in -- not 100% probability, but high enough to raise everyone else's premiums to cover their loss. Same thing for Emergency Rooms except they can't get more money -- they close instead. That won't change with ObamaCare.

From what I have seen with auto insurance companies, forcing them to have one rate throughout a state [much less the whole country] raises everyone's premiums...because most are rural drivers with low accident rates and their premiums show it. Enter state-wide, one-rate and they suddenly have to cover all the high-accident rate folks in the big cities...rates go up everywhere -- except the big cities where they drop because the "rich" country folks pay their way. That happened in Calif when statewide "one-rate" was forced on the public.

The big city drivers love this and vote for the people who forced their rates down. Ain't big government grand?

Anyone see a similarity here? Vote for higher premiums [read taxes]...vote for fedgov ObamaCare.

October 25, 2009 at 6:06 a.m.
anniebelle said...

I see rolando's got all the "Wealthcare for Billionaires" talking points down pat. Personally, I paid into Social Security since I was 18 years old until I retired. Now, call me a wild and crazy liberal, but yes, I do believe I'm "entitled" to some return on my investment. "Entitlement Programs" indeed. And this oft repeated lie of "free health care" for all. Nobody's saying that except the liars trying to defend the obscene salaries of "insurance" CEOs. I pay a premium every month out of my SS payment. People without insurance go to the emergency room and guess who pays for that? Santa Claus?

October 25, 2009 at 6:52 a.m.
alprova said...

This must be a very bad time for companies that are in the business of manufacturing glass windows and mirrors, because the growing number of hypocrites have to live in houses with neither, or else they would see themselves for what they are and the stones they throw would be like boomerangs.

It's absurd to expect that any Federal legislative attempt to allow consumers to be able to purchase health care insurance across state lines, would create an aura of competition, or that it would save consumers a dime.

What it would create is a worse mess than we already have and it would diminish the powers of the states to protect their citizens from sleazy insurers, who by the way are behind the idea and pushing for this particular "reform" measure. I find it outrageously hypocritical that the same people who have been arguing that the Federal Government is attempting to take away state's rights, would suddenly do a 180 degree turn and call for the Fed to step in to take away consumer protections that have been in place for decades.

State insurance commissioners have done a fine job of setting terms and conditions that must be complied with in order to sell insurance to consumers within their states. Over the years, yes...attempts have been made to amend those terms and conditions, to try and even out the costs to consumers for policies of several different types, with some success in many areas, and failures in others. Overall, I do think that the states have done a fine job of keeping insurers in line and fairly honest.

Comparing other types of insurance to health care insurance is and always will be similar to those attempts to make valid comparisons of apples to oranges, simply because the fact of the matter is that many people can go their entire lives without ever filing a claim for coverage of their homes and autos, while the vast majority of people in this country who have health care insurance coverage, will file claims multiple times each year.

The products are not the same, nor are they comparable.

As it stands now, when a consumer has an issue with an insurance company, they can file a grievance with their state insurance commission office to seek a resolution. A recent case that made the headlines was where a family was denied health care coverage because an infant son was deemed to be "too fat." Rocky Mountain Health Plans, a Colorado based insurer, reversed their decision after the story went national, and when the State of Colorado threatened to intervene.

If people are suddenly allowed to purchase an insurance policy from any insurer, who is the consumer going to turn to for resolution when an insurer acts up? Insurers are currently required to have a physical presence within a state in order to do business within that state.

Eliminating or side-stepping this requirement would be devastating to consumers, for they would then have to litigate across state lines when an insurer refuses to act in good faith.

October 25, 2009 at 8:14 a.m.
woody said...

Well, well, Rolando, you have certainly done wonders for my self-esteem this morning....

I was unemployed for approximately 3 years (age-related, who knows, but health insurance went with the job), until just about three months ago. I was officially diagnosed with a form of Leukemia (just the luck of the draw...mostly men over the age of 50)about 8 months ago. I am too young for Medicare and now I must work as long as I can just to help my wife keep up with all of the extra medical bills my condition has brought about.

I have never asked for a "free" lunch and I hope to never have to. What would you suggest? You seem to have all (or at the very least most of) the answers.

Which part of, "...between a rock and a hard place..." do you not understand or give a darn about??

Woody

October 25, 2009 at 8:38 a.m.

Sheesh! So much hot air, no idea what they're talking about and no experience to back any of it up. Figures.

Seeya in 10 years, if you're still alive.

October 25, 2009 at 8:39 a.m.

Note: Woody, you and I posted at almost the same time. My sympathies to you and your family. When I lived for decades under Gov't sponsored Healthcare, I had family members who were sick, my 17 year old cousin died of Leukemia. Other, older friends and family members were NOT given the care they should have received considering all the decades we paid into the 'System'. Now, around the world, similiar, "compassionate" systems are failing their people.

Oh, but that is THEM. We, under Obama will prosper and live long. Pity.

October 25, 2009 at 8:48 a.m.
InspectorBucket said...

"Nice Die"

"Do-or-Die"

"No Dice"

October 25, 2009 at 9:24 a.m.
rolando said...

The thing is, woody, I DO care. About you and the rest of the people in your [and my] situation. My last post was not aimed at you, of course, nor others who have lost their jobs due to the collapse of the housing bubble [the root cause of our Depression]. "Free" medical care for all -- which isn't free at all -- is not the answer...it isn't even a beginning. Two things are required for that: 1) tort reform to release doctors from onerous malpractice insurance -- fedgov doctors are immune, why not all? And 2) kill MediCare and make that a state job -- without unfunded mandates such as TennCare labors under.

I may not have cancer in any form [that I know of] but there are other things...diabetes, for instance. Nasty, nasty disease, that. Attacks literally everything...slowly, ever so slowly. And that's just starters for a 70 year old. However, my health is actually rather good -- I drive, walk, can move quite well, see fairly well, hear OK with help, etc.

Just the same, I was forced to accept MediCare Part B at a high cost -- either that or lose my drug coverage...which runs $500/mo or so.

I am lucky -- my insurance was 40-years work-related but carried over into my retired life. The chunk taken from my retirement pay is sizable -- but I have it. There is no easy answer...but what do you think will happen if ObamaCare -- fedgov mandatory insurance -- takes over? As it will.

Many comments here re: Death Panels. Someone WILL make the decisions whether or not those with serious or terminal illness will receive life-extending care that they receive today . Let us say that I am very, very concerned about that. Today I see 10, maybe 15 more years. Tomorrow, under ObamaCare, 5 maybe, just maybe.


This for anniebelle -- that MediCare cost is taken from my lousy windfall-affected SS check, too -- along with income tax -- so it isn't free. None of this stuff is free. As with you, I paid into SS for about 25 years...without it you and I would be millionaires today -- through interest earned -- had we invested those monthly payments.

October 25, 2009 at 9:46 a.m.
alprova said...

Woody, I am saddened to read your post, but I thank you for sharing it with us. People, even the hard to reach ones, need to know what is going on out there. You and your family are absolutely in my prayers.

The trouble with Rolando, is that he refuses to acknowledge his utter hypocrisy, in that it's okay for HIM to have his taxpayer funded health care, not to mention his 40-plus years of taxpayer funded paychecks and his current taxpayer funded retirement, but he recoils in horror at the thought of a system where other people, not affiliated with the Government as he was, are allowed to pool their money to be able to obtain affordable health care coverage.

I've not seen anyone in this forum call for any system of "free health care," but that does not stop him from spinning it as such to make his inane arguments.

That aside, his positions on this issue are typical of those who have been spared life's more cruel of surprises. Because his boat is currently sitting in very calm water, he doesn't want anything at all to risk the making of any waves that could begin to rock it. Given his stances time and again, I don't think the man has a compassionate bone in his body.

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for him to offer any solutions to the problems that are at the core of this issue and why it is such a hot potato at the moment.

He's quite busy, quietly wondering whether or not he's going to receive his $250 check from Uncle Obama to offset the COLA that will not be forthcoming for the next couple of years, so that he can fork over two bucks more a month for his Medicare Part-D insurance. I'm quite sure that he is not planning to refuse to cash it because it represents an expenditure that the Government can ill afford to spend at the moment.

He might be planning to spend it on some tea bags.

Oh...but don't mind me and my decision to break protocol to rant. I'm well aware that he is the only person on the planet that "earned" his "entitlements."

Everyone else but himself is a leach.

October 25, 2009 at 9:47 a.m.
OllieH said...

Here’s a nice list of reports on the status of health insurance markets in all 50 states. Each report shows just how few companies control how much of each market: http://tinyurl.com/l7kab9

Here is some statistics from these reports about the Blue Cross & Blue Shield market share in various states:

North Dakota- 89% of the state insurance market controlled by Blue Cross Alabama- 83% of the market Rode Island- 79% of the market Hawaii- 78% of the market Vermont- 77% of the market Montana- 75% of the market Arkansas- 75% of the market Wyoming- 70% of the market South Carolina- 66% of the market Michigan- 65% of the market South Dakota- 61% of the market Minnesota- 61% of the market Louisiana- 61% of the market Alaska- 60% of the market

No doubt, Blue Cross seems to be the 800 pound gorilla in this room. But second place goes to (as this cartoon illustrates) WellPoint Inc.

Gee, in much of United States, it looks like we practically have a single-payer system already. Unfortunately that payer seems more intent on paying stock holders than it is in paying for medical treatment.

One last thing, I am apparently very insurable, having had private health insurance for the past thirty-five years. This fact does not make me resistant to government health care, rather completely supportive of it. Those like me (the privately insured) are already paying for those who either do not, or cannot, get insurance. A plan that offers a more universal coverage is much more fair than a system that places the financial burden of those of us who can't pay, on the backs of those of us who can.

October 25, 2009 at 11:23 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Side note: Several days ago H1N1 shots were made available to all Canadians who wished them. The US still has limited availability. The Canadian system is not perfect,but its focus is health care and prevention,not corporate profit and bonuses.

Also, Canadian health care is not free,the government spends over 10% of GDP to provide universal health care. Canadians pay more in taxes to have this coverage and as a result,no one loses coverage,or goes bankrupt,or is trapped in job,because of health care.

The US spends 60% per person more on a system that is very good for some,not so good for some,and devastating for way too many.

October 25, 2009 at 11:33 a.m.
Lightnup said...

And the Democrats, who have complete control of both houses of Congress and the White House have not yet passed this splendid government-run healthcare because.....?

Maybe it's not really the slam-dunk wonderful idea that people like alprova, ollieh and anniebelle would have us believe it is (along with Pelosi, Reid, Obama and that nutcase Alan Grayson). The libs have been trying for 5 decades to do this to us. You'd think 50 years of Americans saying "we don't want a government run healthcare system" would be a clue. Sadly, no.

left = Liberals Engineering a Federal Takeover.

Why wouldn't it take effect until 2013? Because every single promise that Obama is spouting about "defecit-neutral" and "lower cost for better healthcare" and "no rationing" is a lie but he and the Democrat cabal do not want the sheeple to wake up to that fact before the 2010 and 2012 elections.

Despite alprova's spinning, this is not a debate about compassion. To believe that you would also have to believe that the framers of our Constitution who set up our Republic based on the foundation of limited Federal government did so because they disdained compassion.

If it was about compassion and concern that all Americans be covered, the Baucus plan would not have left 25 million people still uncovered. If it was really about getting the uninsured covered, it would concentrate on covering the uninsured, not destroying the system for the currently insured (85% of whom are happy with their coverage) and trying to take over the private health insurance industry.

Instead, this is a debate about the Imperial Federal government wanting to take control of another 1/6th of our economy, wanting to decide what medical treatment you are entitled to rather than letting your doctor decide that and wanting to make sure citizens get needed treatment only if they are economically viable. If you are old or disabled, too bad, so sad, you're not worth fixing.

Anniebelle, that money you paid into S.S. that you are now rightfully entitled to? IT'S NOT THERE! The government, in their typical irresponsibile fashion, has spent it all on other entitlement programs and left only IOUs. What makes you think that they can now be trusted to run the country's health care system with any more fiscal responsibility than they have used to bankrupt the other Federal entitlement schemes?

October 25, 2009 at 12:21 p.m.
alprova said...

Lightnup wrote: "And the Democrats, who have complete control of both houses of Congress and the White House have not yet passed this splendid government-run healthcare because.....?"

They're working on it. It WILL happen. They are attempting to get it right.

"The libs have been trying for 5 decades to do this to us. You'd think 50 years of Americans saying "we don't want a government run healthcare system" would be a clue. Sadly, no."

What a wonderful, inaccurate, and utterly wild accusation. Health care reform, to the best of my knowledge, was not an issue until the nineties. Hillary's mistake was to want to fold EVERYONE into a single payer system at one time.

57% to 77% of Americans, depending on which polls you look at, have collected the opinions that we are ready for and should be offered an OPTION of a single payer, Government operated health care system, and that is something that you simply cannot refute or spin.

"Why wouldn't it take effect until 2013? Because every single promise that Obama is spouting about "defecit-neutral" and "lower cost for better healthcare" and "no rationing" is a lie but he and the Democrat cabal do not want the sheeple to wake up to that fact before the 2010 and 2012 elections."

I always find it amazing that people on the right are all gifted with the power of ESP. You've determined all of this without knowing at all, a single thing about what will be included in the final health care reform bill, much less when it will be passed, signed into law, and when any clause will take effect.

Your closed, right-wing mind is so overcome with grief and concern for how health care reform might affect your wallet to the point that you fail to realize that health care is CURRENTLY being rationed on a daily basis.

You seem to be woefully ignorant to the fact that lives are cut short because health care is DENIED to many people because they cannot afford simple things like an office visit or necessary or needed medication.

And until the day comes that so much as one check written by the Federal Government bounces at any banking institution, I really fail to see why anyone has ever had any legitimate claim to make that any Government program is "bankrupt."

I posted the figures a couple of months ago that prove that a 5.5% premium of every working American's gross income would more than pay for every American to have their entire medical costs paid for 100%, without forcing a provider to cut what they charge for their services.

Imagine what could be done, and how much more could be saved if providers were forced to charge a more realistic profit for a box of Kleenex on a medical bill, one of thousands of exorbitant charges that have been slipped in under all of our noses.

Rhetorical rants, clairvoyance, and obstruction will never dampen the truth, nor begin to refute the facts.

Reality will triumph fantasy in the end.

October 25, 2009 at 2:26 p.m.
moonpie said...

Even with competition, the company with the most enrollees gets the biggest price breaks from doctors, hospitals and labs and other services.

Opening competition will mean little if we don't level the playing field for the smaller companies.

Maryland has a model for this.

Reimbursements are fixed for services across all insurance companies.

This is done at the state level.

This means what differientiates insurance companies are what services are covered

October 25, 2009 at 4:14 p.m.
woody said...

I really appreciate all the kind words. It was not my intent to garner sympathy. However, my family and I will accept any and all prayers proffered.

What I can't seem to understand is, how can something that (on the surface) seems like it would be a benefit to everyone, from birth to old age, be so demeaned before it has even been completed to the point it might actually be brought up for a vote?

Why would anyone fight anything, with every fiber of their being, before the 'thing' even has a face or at least some sort of form?

The last time I saw any actions comparable to this was right after 9/11 and the focus of all that concern was Bin Ladin.

However, to be perfectly fair, I ask once again, why can't all of you Conservatives put as much effort into something as positive as helping your representatives draft a 'bill' of their own? Even if it didn't pass on its own merits, it might be incorporated into a final product I and others like me might be able to 'live with'.

Thank you, again, for your time and attention, Woody

October 25, 2009 at 5:11 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

151 members of the House and Senate currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care - Medicare.

55 of which are Republicans who have steadfastly opposed other Americans getting the public option, like the one they have chosen.

Among the 55 are anti-public option crusaders Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell - KY, Sen. Chuck Grassley - IA, Sen. Jon Kyl - AZ, Sen. John McCain - AZ, Sen. Orin Hatch - UT, Sen. Richard Shelby - AL, Sen. James Inhofe - OK, Sen. Mike Enzi - WY, Rep. Virginia Foxx - NC and Rep. Peter King - NY.

Imagine that.

http://weiner.house.gov/news_display.aspx?id=1364

October 25, 2009 at 8:59 p.m.
rolando said...

alprova, you imbecilic, history-ignorant, incompetent. You want to start on me again? I have left you alone since our last have-at-it but you, in your inability to keep your yap shut on subjects of which you know little, have decided to slip in a nasty comment based on something of which you have NO competent knowledge.

All right, baby-boy [assuming you have a fixed gender], let's have at it.

To recap your own posts, you admit to living off the proceeds of others without ever having contributed anything of value to this country.

You are like a sick sponge off the Greek island of Lesbos, soaking up all value floating your way and yet incapable of even holding water. All you are capable of is tearing down the moral and ethical values that made this country the most powerful in the world -- you are a fit minion of your Dear Leader who feels as you do -- Tear It Down!

Go ahead, whine to the sysop here about this post...I would suggest they first read your October 25, 2009 posting at 9:47 a.m. before removing this one.

October 25, 2009 at 9:05 p.m.
rolando said...

Hey, nucanuck, all those swine flu shots up there must be killing yáll off like flies, huh?

October 25, 2009 at 9:07 p.m.
rolando said...

[cont] Did you notice, nucanuck, Dear Leader hasn't had HIS kids take the stuff? That stuff, along with ordinary health care and public schools, are just for the common people and the riff-raff down here.

October 25, 2009 at 9:10 p.m.
rolando said...

eeeeeeek -- Medicare is mandatory for ALL over age 65...our Congress supposedly has no choice in the matter. Provided what you claim is true, which is questionable. Sources, please.

October 25, 2009 at 9:12 p.m.
rolando said...

Most Conservatives tend toward the Republican ticket for some reason, woody. Where else can they go?

Democrats totally outnumber the Republicans in both houses and ignore any and all suggestions, amendments to bills, etc proposed by Conservatives. Period. They will brook no interference in their version of Amerika 1984...if they can just find out what it is.

When are you coming to the good side of the force -- the Conservative side? You are half-way there already.

October 25, 2009 at 9:18 p.m.
alprova said...

Hades just froze over.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/index.html#

Note: The above link to the poll will probably only be good for the next 12 hours or so.

Fox News Poll:

"White House advisers say President Obama will not demand a government-run health insurance program. Would you support the Senate's health care reform bill if it excludes a so-called "public option"?..."

8% said Yes

81% said No

11% said Maybe

I'm wondering if people understood the question...because this is not typical of the responses to questions like this on Fox News.

October 25, 2009 at 9:45 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

rolando... I supplied a link to the study results in my post..

The Senators and Representatives are rich enough they could easily pay out of pocket and could easily opt out of Medicare... They just chose not to.

While in most cases Medicare is automatic for most seniors, enrolling in Medicare need not be a conscious choice. Congress automatically enrolls most eligible seniors in the program. In order to opt out of Medicare Part A (hospital insurance), a senior must give up all Social Security benefits – an extremely painful option for low or middle income individuals who have been forced to pay payroll taxes for their entire working lives. Medicare Part B (outpatient care) is subsidized by general tax funds. Most seniors pay only 25% of their Medicare Part B premium. For every year that eligible seniors opt out of the program, their premiums increase cumulatively by 10%.

Between automatic enrollment, the loss of Social Security funds for opting out of Part A, punitive premium increases for opting out of Part B, and the artificially low cost of enrollment, choosing not to enroll in Medicare has become such an unrealistic option that, by 1997, private insurers had completely left the senior health insurance market. Only seniors rich enough to pay their own unexpected health care fees can afford to seek health care outside of Medicare.

Here's another link for you

http://www.cms.hhs.gov/default.asp?

Next time you wanna say something out your butt which most of the time seems questionable.. supply your own sources...

October 25, 2009 at 9:50 p.m.
alprova said...

Rolando offered: "alprova, you imbecilic, history-ignorant, incompetent. You want to start on me again? I have left you alone since our last have-at-it but you, in your inability to keep your yap shut on subjects of which you know little, have decided to slip in a nasty comment based on something of which you have NO competent knowledge."

Hilarious.

"To recap your own posts, you admit to living off the proceeds of others without ever having contributed anything of value to this country."

I did WHAT? Are you totally delusional? I have admitted no such thing.

Not to totally burst your bubble, but the fact of the matter is that I have paid just shy of a million dollars in personal income taxes since I began working in 1975. During the years that I had employees, I paid a quarter of a million in Social Security taxes on their behalf. That's off the top of my head, and there's lots more.

You are like a sick sponge off the Greek island of Lesbos, soaking up all value floating your way and yet incapable of even holding water. All you are capable of is tearing down the moral and ethical values that made this country the most powerful in the world -- you are a fit minion of your Dear Leader who feels as you do -- Tear It Down!"

Okay...if you say so. Personally, I think you should lay off the sauce before you post.

"Go ahead, whine to the sysop here about this post...I would suggest they first read your October 25, 2009 posting at 9:47 a.m. before removing this one."

I've never requested to have but one post removed. It wasn't one of yours, and it was removed for highly improper language being used in that particular post.

I would never restrict the right of anyone to voice their opinions.

You'd like to think that your vitriol bothers me and that you've really told me off this time, but I am about as bothered by your words as I am when swatting at a fly.

As usual, you make up your facts as you go along. This time, you've really outdone yourself.

"...you admit to living off the proceeds of others without ever having contributed anything of value to this country..."

That's a good one Rolando.

I admit to one thing. At the age of 50, I am starting over from scratch and I am off to a very good start too, despite the current economic climate. I did very well for thirty years being in business for myself, but due to the actions of an idiot who ran a red light, I spent it it all on saving the life of my spouse.

If you are harboring some sense of guilt because you cannot justify your self-righteous and baseless stances on this issue, perhaps you need a time out to look into a mirror to reflect and ponder the blatant hypocrisy that oozes from your pores every time you post on the subject.

And hey...if you want to live your life as if it were the 1700's, more power to you. It's 2009, in case you didn't know it. Our world is nothing at all like their's was.

October 25, 2009 at 10:43 p.m.
alprova said...

Rolando wrote: "Dear Leader hasn't had HIS kids take the stuff? That stuff, along with ordinary health care and public schools, are just for the common people and the riff-raff down here. "

Perhaps you should have read the entire article, unless of course the version you read, from a media outlet that wasn't controlled by the White House, left out a very important detail.

The vaccine is not available to the Obama children based on their risk of getting the virus.

At this time only children with chronic medical conditions are receiving the vaccination because their immune system is not strong enough to fight off the strain.

Even INFOWARS and FOX NEWS got that one right, and we KNOW that the White House doesn't control what they post or say.

October 25, 2009 at 11 p.m.
Lightnup said...

alprova wrote of my assertion that the Dems have been trying to reform health care for the past 50 years: "What a wonderful, inaccurate, and utterly wild accusation."

So, once again, I did his research for him:

"Obama said health care reform must be tackled now, but he admitted that it will take a few years to have a new system set up. "But if we wait, if we say, 'Well, you know, since we're not going to get it right away, let's put this off until two or four or five years from now,' it's never going to happen. That's what's been going on FOR THE LAST 50 YEARS NOW, people have said, 'We can't do it right now,' and as a consequence, it never gets done. Now's the time to do it," he said. (lightnup's caps added for alprova's benefit) http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/11/health.care.debate/index.html

"The President first responded very well to Vierra's question of "why the rush" on health care reform. The President correctly pointed out how if left alone nothing gets done in Congress and just "waiting another month" has been the philosophy that has kept reform from happening FOR SOME FIFTY YEARS" (lightnup's caps added for alprova's benefit) http://www.examiner.com/x-5738-St-Louis-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2009m7d21-VIDEO--Obama-gets-grilled-by-Meredith-Vieira-of-the-Today-show-on-health-care-reform

alprova, you'd better contact Obama right away and tell him he's making inaccurate and utterly wild accusations. I'm sure he'll appreciate your straightening him out.

October 25, 2009 at 11:42 p.m.
Lightnup said...

In response to my thoughts on why Obamacare is not going to take effect until 2013, alprova wrote: "I always find it amazing that people on the right are all gifted with the power of ESP. You've determined all of this without knowing at all, a single thing about what will be included in the final health care reform bill, much less when it will be passed, signed into law, and when any clause will take effect."

So, once again, I did alprova's research for him:

October 23, 2009: "As Congress inches closer to passing a health care reform bill, many things remain uncertain, but one isn’t: Most of the bill’s major provisions won’t take effect until 2013." http://oudaily.com/news/2009/oct/23/health-care-provisions-will-not-take-effect-until-/

"But if President Barack Obama gets to sign a health care overhaul this fall, the uninsured won't be covered until 2013 — after the next presidential election." http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32013032/ns/politics-white_house/

There are so many sources regarding this "hurry up and wait" strategy that it only makes one look silly to deny it exists.

October 26, 2009 at 12:12 a.m.
alprova said...

I thank you very much for the links Lightnup, but you really should have read what is written in the articles.

In the "oudaily" article, the following two sentences appear;

"Givel said it is not yet known if any of the major health reform provisions will start immediately.

Although Congress is considering five different bills, it is not certain which one will pass, or exactly when, Lapolla said."

In the MSNBC article, posted in July, it referred to H.R. 3200, which is not the bill that went to the Senate floor. The "Baucus Bill" is the current bill under consideration. It will undergo many changes over the coming months, including the establishment of any timelines that will be contained within it.

That article, only three months old, is ancient history.

You and I know that health care reform has been seriously proposed only over the past two decades, with the demand for it growing and growing and growing.

Yep...Obama made the statement. I happen to disagree with the timeline he offered in that statement and it could simply be a misstatement. He's as human as you and I are, and just as apt to speak off the cuff. I stand by my previous statement despite the quotation.

Before the Republicans began to dominate the political process, most everyone in this nation had a decent job, with decent benefits, and everyone did rather well in this nation.

When Reagan came into power, and introduced the nation to his "trickle down economics," this nation went into spiral mode...straight downward. During several years while Bill Clinton was in office, there was a brief and very recognizable boom, and that remains a verifiable and irrefutable fact.

So you're hanging a 50 year timeline on Obama's head as if it means something, all the while ignoring what led up to the mess that we currently find ourselves in at the moment, and more importantly ignoring which political party is mainly responsible for it as well.

Like it or not, and I know you don't, the fact is that our current President inherited the result of 16 years of Republican dominated power, and despite all efforts currently underway and more being schemed behind closed doors, the Democrats are going to fix this crap once and for all.

They know doggone well that if they do not prove their worth, the swing of the pendulum will be swift and resounding. So have no worries, the Democrats are extremely motivated to produce results and they will do exactly that.

I will add one more thought. If the Republicans would quit whining about taxation issues and roll up their sleeves and fix our broken tax system, transforming it into one that would be fair for all, then they might gain the respect of some that they have lost.

But, they like tossing that political football back and forth too, so I won't hold my breath on that one.

October 26, 2009 at 4:32 a.m.
anniebelle said...

So,lightnup, let me get this straight, if I had saved my OWN money and given it to say, Bernie Madoff, to invest for me, or better yet, how 'bout the hairbrained scheme Bushboy thought up to give all our Social Security funds to his buddies on wall street, I would be FLAT broke right now. So what's your next theory? I have lots of friends who lost so much on their 401's as Bushboy was gathering the funds of our treasury up as he was headed out the door, they won't be able to make up the funds they lost EVER! I guess you're not old enough to remember (or read history books) the elderly in this country were dying in their homes or the streets for lack of food and medical care -- and then along came FDR to change all that. The repukes have had their panties in a wad EVER SINCE. Get over it. Lead, follow or get out of the way.

October 26, 2009 at 6:06 a.m.
Lightnup said...

alprova, you said 50 years was "inaccurate and utterly wild." Here's just a couple more out of many available:

"At the close of World War II, President Harry Truman proposed a new national health care program." http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/article1023887.ece

“Our country has been working on this issue for sixty years..."

http://murray.senate.gov/news.cfm?id=316055

I know you get defensive when proven wrong (over and over), but you were wrong. Deal with it.

October 26, 2009 at 7:27 a.m.
Lightnup said...

anniebelle, you're delusional.

Please point out to me where I said you should invest with Bernie Madoff. Please provide proof that the financial debacle can be laid at Bush's door step. You'll go to your grave mindlessly repeating, "Bush's fault, Bush's fault." What a crock.

Who blocked all efforts to rein in the out-of-control Fannie & Freddie practices that led to the meltdown (hint: think democrats Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi). Who made $90 million dollars in 5 years as head of Fannie (hint: think democrat Obama pal & advisor Franklin Raines). Who even stopped a Clinton administration regulator, Brooksley Born, from sounding the alarm on derivatives (hint: think democrat Obama administration official Summers).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs

http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/frontline-warning-one-lone-regulator

The point annie, is that your irrational and oft-repeated "bushboy, bushboy" just makes you the typical uninformed leftist drone who doesn't have anything meaningful to contribute. Lead, follow (apparently your selection) but stop sounding stupid.

October 26, 2009 at 8:03 a.m.

I feel pity for those who accuse conservatives of being partisan or in the pockets of the insurance companies. And then go on to cite polls, statistics from Canada or Timbuktu or wherever. Anyone can look at various videos of Obama or his minions telling the public that none of these 'bad' things are in the bill(s). Meanwhile, the bipartisan committee who hashed over the recent one did tell us what some of the things will be. As well, over the months, many Repubs and Dems made good suggestions to amend the HC bills and they were pushed aside. It looks as if "transparency" and a "bipartisan" WH is a fool's wish.

For those who quote Canadian or British Stats on HC, pleassse. You know nothing of reality living under those 'Systems'. I do, I was there-for a very long time. Canadians and Europeans who are not wealthy do not have a better life or better HC. There is way less money for them, Big Gov't and its minions get the lion's share. The wealthy come here to Loma Linda and the Mayo Clinic or go to European spas.

Some of you really do not get history and today's reality. The whole-life experience and your bank accounts will diminish with the increase of government in your lives and the decrease of your paychecks. The monoplization of industry and government has been a two-horned Beast for decades now and will continue to grow, while the masses become more impoverished.

Trouble is, those who think Obama is a messiah are going to suffer the most-all deluded people eventually do. You know, the shock.

To say that Rolando is not "compassionate" is idiocy and shows disrespect for a man who served his country and his community better than most of us ever will by putting predators and child molesters out of commission. Is he tough? Better believe it. We need people like him in the WH and Congress, not effeminate wimps like we have there now.

October 26, 2009 at 11:16 a.m.
Lightnup said...

46 million uninsured? Just another liberal lie. Try 10.6 million.

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NTQxNjQ0YzJjMThlMmJmNzFiZmY4MDI2Yjc2MzNkOWQ=&w=MA==

October 26, 2009 at 11:16 a.m.
aces25 said...

So much name calling on this post. I feel like I'm reliving fourth grade recess.

I still don't understand why so many think that government is going to be such a better choice over insurance companies. It is essentially like leaving the Twinkie diet for the Moon Pie diet because the Twinkie diet doesn't work. The fact is that neither diet works, and it is up to us to demand a diet plan that will work.

October 26, 2009 at 11:23 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Lighnup

I agree that Bush's tax cuts and increased spending didn't cause the contraction,only contributed significantly. The philosophical direction change that occurred in the 1980s combined with the bipartisan failure to curb spending reached its logical conclusion during the last two years of Bush's term. We are left with a problem too big for easy answers and where afixing blame divides us further.

We will either form a new vision for America together or slowly destroy her by fighting over ideology. Obama is attempting to be a consensus builder and so far neither the left nor the right is happy. The partisan divide has been growing since 1992 and seems to be getting worse.

The lack of respect and civility often displayed on this comment board are,to me,a manifestation of our political and societal decline. We can all do a better job of respecting others and offering our opinions without insulting others. That could be step one in a healing process that the whole nation needs.

October 26, 2009 at 12:03 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

"Obama is attempting to be a consensus builder"

What planet are you living on? Obama is the most divisive POTUS since probably FDR but maybe even Lincoln. Things are either his way or the highway, and those who disagree are demonized and dragged through the muck. Surely you are not so drunk on the kool-aide that you cannot not see this.

October 26, 2009 at 12:33 p.m.
Clara said...

I haven't been on this Caroon or several others, as my phone went Kaput! I'm at our local library and I have about 5minutes left to make a comment.

These arguments have been gone over and over, for months! I cannot add anything new on health care.

I'd like to thank Alprova for his patience, which is estimable, and thank Pro_Reality for her links.

The last one was hilarious and I admit every fault with which I was accused. Thank you.

Now to get my overdue e-mails. Bye!

October 26, 2009 at 12:55 p.m.
nucanuck said...

SCOTTYM

The view from your vantage point may be obstructed because of distance and/or prejudgemental unwillingness. Whatever the explaination,you represent part of the divide accellerating the long term downward slope. Neither of us represent the middle ground. If we don't look toward the middle surely we won't find it.

I want Obama to abolish lobbying,pull back from Israel,pass universal health care,withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan,begin to close down military bases around the world,down-size too big to fail firms,put us on the road to energy independence...you get the idea. Well Obama isn't doing those things,he seems to be closer to Bush's policies. But...I think he is smart,wise and deserving of our respect. If we can't give him that at a minimum we are lost as a nation.JMO

October 26, 2009 at 1:52 p.m.

Consensus builder???? Like the Beer Garden fest on the WH lawn with the poor cop surrounded by three rabid Leftists yukking it up among themselves and largely ignoring the one person who actually does his job and upholds the law (and who heads up a Race Relations taskforce that works-unlike the Gov't's)

See, the problem isn't that we aren't talking softly and appearing to be kind-lots of fake, uncompassionate types are very experienced at doing just that-pretending they're something that they aren't.

The main division in this country is the one that can be called the Great Divide. It's not drawn along party lines. It's the dichotomy between those who deal in lies and half-truths, who want a total overhaul of a system that was designed to respect individuals, their freedoms, God-given rights and their property; and those who are fighting to maintain and retain those freedoms.

These insidious individuals and organizations/monopolies want power and control for themselves. They are surrounded by drones, sycophants and like-minded ignorant citizens who merrily dance after the Piper and sing the piper's music. The only consensus building and brotherly love will come when the majority of people in this country are suffering and so impoverished that their only avenue of hope or ray of light will be in huddling together. Keep taking God out-we all lose. Unfortunately.

October 26, 2009 at 1:57 p.m.
Lightnup said...

nucanuck wrote: "Several days ago H1N1 shots were made available to all Canadians who wished them. The US still has limited availability. The Canadian system is not perfect,but its focus is health care and prevention,not corporate profit and bonuses."

Let's see, Canada's population is roughly the same as California's. Big whoop.

October 26, 2009 at 2:35 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Canary

When you refer to "ignorant citizens",are you excluding you and me?

October 26, 2009 at 2:37 p.m.
aces25 said...

nacanuck - "Well Obama isn't doing those things,he seems to be closer to Bush's policies. But...I think he is smart,wise and deserving of our respect. If we can't give him that at a minimum we are lost as a nation.JMO"

Sorry, this left me a bit confused. So many accused Bush of being an idiot, but we need to give Obama respect because he is smart? All while he follows closely to some of Bush's policies? Just something to ponder.

October 26, 2009 at 2:42 p.m.
nucanuck said...

Lightnup

"Big Whoop" ?

Are you inferring that the US is too big to succeed?

October 26, 2009 at 2:50 p.m.
nucanuck said...

aces25

In my convoluted way I am saying that Obama is moving in small incremental steps,rather than what I might prefer. The fact that he succeeded Bush seems to have made Bush policies the starting point for those incremental steps.

October 26, 2009 at 2:57 p.m.
whoknows said...

Just because one company is the largest in the state, does not make them a monopoly. It makes them competitive. Even though Alabama coverage is 83% in BlueCross' hand, there are still pleny of other insurance companies there that can give a bid to the major companies around the areas. Just because a company chooses one insurer over the other, does not define a monopoly. That just means that the insurer is offering the most of what said company is looking for. Now, moving everything to a single-payer system or government run health program, that would be a monopoly. And what makes that monopoly the worst is it would be government controlled, taking away the idea of capitalism. So if you are against a monopoly in a free enterprise, are you seriously FOR a monopoly run by a socialist government?

October 26, 2009 at 3:22 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

whoknows,

Many of those who claim to dislike monopolies are also big supporters of labor unions which are labor monopolies.

For many leftists monopolies are only bad if they are business monopolies, labor unions and total governmental control of individual industries do not count. Don't expect consistency from a leftist, to them everything is subjective, based upon their own perspective, with no objective reality.

October 26, 2009 at 3:51 p.m.
Lightnup said...

nucanuck, I'm saying that it is a lot easier to supply ANYTHING to 34 million citizens than it is 300 million citizens in a timely fashion.

October 26, 2009 at 4:08 p.m.
Oz said...

Excellent point SCOTTYM....You'll never see more than one union representing any industry or profession. Most union members don't have the same belief system as the union representing them but they feel pressured to join or don't have a choice.

October 26, 2009 at 5:17 p.m.
alprova said...

Lightnup wrote:

"I know you get defensive when proven wrong (over and over), but you were wrong. Deal with it."

You know...I couldn't care less if health care reform has been proposed on and off for 50 years or not. You win. So what? I find it rather silly that you dug up enough to make the 50 year timeline valid, but you conveniently forgot to admit that you haven't a clue as what will be in the bill and when it anything in it will take effect.

Go have a cookie and send me an invoice. I'm happy with the fact that you have proven that President Obama was right. Ooops!! Imagine that.

canaryinthecoalmine wrote: "To say that Rolando is not "compassionate" is idiocy and shows disrespect for a man who served his country and his community better than most of us ever will by putting predators and child molesters out of commission. Is he tough? Better believe it. We need people like him in the WH and Congress, not effeminate wimps like we have there now."

Now wait a minute before you start playing the Star Spangled Banner in honor of Rolando's "service to our country." The man admitted that he did not EVER see battle. I'm almost sure that he posted that he was a glorified secretary or something of the sort.

I don't care what he did or how he served. The man is a judgmental horse's hind end and a total hypocrite to boot. Pardon me all over the place for reminding him of those facts. I have all the respect in the world for our military, but I'm no boot licker. He's been more disrespectful more than a few times and he deserves a cyber hand slapping every now and then for it.

And for the record, there are plenty of horse's patooties already serving as Republicans in Washington, just as judgmental and lacking just as much compassion for anyone who does not offer to write them a check.

Sheesh...

October 26, 2009 at 6:38 p.m.
Lightnup said...

Oh my. Looks like all that demonizing of health insurance companies for their so-called obscene profits is really just so much hot air.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/washington/6685411.html

"FACT CHECK: Health insurer profits not so fat By CALVIN WOODWARD Associated Press Writer © 2009 The Associated Press Oct. 25, 2009, 1:37PM

"....Health insurers posted a 2.2 percent profit margin last year, placing them 35th on the Fortune 500 list of top industries. As is typical, other health sectors did much better — drugs and medical products and services were both in the top 10."

"The railroads brought in a 12.6 percent profit margin. Leading the list: network and other communications equipment, at 20.4 percent."

"HealthSpring, the best performer in the health insurance industry, posted 5.4 percent. That's a less profitable margin than was achieved by the makers of Tupperware, Clorox bleach and Molson and Coors beers."

Oh well, at least the left still has George Bush to blame for everything.

October 26, 2009 at 7:38 p.m.
moonpie said...

Lightnup, I'm not concerned with the profit margins of insurance companies. I'm concerned with a system which contributes to 60% of the bankrupties in the United States and allows us to be among the worst performers for preventable death due to a lack of health coverage (OECD).

I think the numbers you show can be useful, though. I do not know where health insurance companies rank in terms of gross expenditures and revenues. That information would be essential to understand if your assessment is valid.

For example, as your company or industry gets bigger and bigger you don't need to make as high of a % profit, because the total amount of profit is so great. For example: which would you rather be, a $500,000 company with 10% profit, or a $100,000,000 company with a 2% profit?

Do the math. In that case, you'd take the 2%, for sure.

See what I mean. You can't judge on percentages alone.

Otherwise you'd think a guy who plays one round of golf in a year and shoots a 65 is better than Tiger Woods, based on scoring averages.

I don't know for sure, and don't have time to investigate tonight, but if you asked me yesterday which was a bigger industry: health insurance or railroads, I'd say health insurance by a lot.

I'd be curious to know.

Giving a cursory glance to the listed industries, and given the total % of medical costs in the U.S. and given that insurance companies broker much of that cost, I would bet the insurance companies drawf many of those competitors.

They also profit from denying you medical treatment.

Interesting slant, but I need more than simple percentages.


Final thought. Even if they were losing money, I still think there is a better way. I don't want to take away insurance company profits. I want to see health insurance companies eliminated (except as supplemental care).

October 26, 2009 at 11:16 p.m.
alprova said...

I was waiting on that one. I knew it would be posted.

It's no wonder that insurers are experiencing a diminished profit margin lately.

It couldn't be due to the fact that they have poured $585.7 million dollars since 2007 in lobbying members of the Congress and Senate to dissuade them from voting for meaningful health care reform and to instead, toss them some more customers by forcing people to purchase policies through them, could it?

Of course not. We're supposed to swallow this silly notion that they are on the ropes and are merely making peanuts, compared to other industries. It could never be that they control their profit margins by stalling the payment of claims, denying tests ordered by physicians, or canceling policies in the middle of treating patients who are seriously sick or injured.

Ah yes...when I am broke or am tight on funds, I ALWAYS sit down and write large checks to my politicians. It's such a wise investment to make, that is if you have an agenda, like desiring to use the Government to force people to do business with you.

And we're supposed to be the Kool-Aid drinkers?

I guess that makes sense to you. I'm just a little more dubious of any press release that claims that insurance companies are having a hard time keepin' up with the Joneses...

October 26, 2009 at 11:38 p.m.
Lightnup said...

Nice spin alprova, but where did you read that insurance companies are on the ropes, having a hard time keeping up with the Joneses or merely making peanuts? Must be something you made up, I guess. All the article says is that they are not making the "obscene profits" that the left so loves to claim.

Of course, to those on the left "profit" in itself is an obscene word, although you said you were doing well in starting over. Isn't doing well pretty insensitive when their are other people not doing very well in this economy?


moonpie wrote: "For example, as your company or industry gets bigger and bigger you don't need to make as high of a % profit, because the total amount of profit is so great. For example: which would you rather be, a $500,000 company with 10% profit, or a $100,000,000 company with a 2% profit?"

"Do the math. In that case, you'd take the 2%, for sure."

"See what I mean. You can't judge on percentages alone."

Again, spin from the left. Is that what business schools teach...if you're big you don't have to operate as profitably as if you're small? Profit margin is profit margin. All industries have standards for what are acceptable grosses and nets. According to your view, small business have to really screw their customers because they have to make a higher profit margin than the big guys. I don't think it works that way.

October 27, 2009 at 8:18 a.m.
Lightnup said...

alprova came up with this gem: "It's absurd to expect that any Federal legislative attempt to allow consumers to be able to purchase health care insurance across state lines, would create an aura of competition, or that it would save consumers a dime."

That statement in itself is absurd.

"What it would create is a worse mess than we already have and it would diminish the powers of the states to protect their citizens from sleazy insurers, who by the way are behind the idea and pushing for this particular "reform" measure. I find it outrageously hypocritical that the same people who have been arguing that the Federal Government is attempting to take away state's rights, would suddenly do a 180 degree turn and call for the Fed to step in to take away consumer protections that have been in place for decades."

My head is whirling from all this spin alprova. Wanting the Feds to remove a Federal regulation that inhibits "choice and competition" - a phrase which is the administration's sleazy usurping of a capitalist ideal - is not hypocritical for state's rights proponents in any way.

Perhaps in your world, you equate doing business across state lines with eliminating all state insurance commissioners and having a wild west insurance free-for-all. (wait a minute, "free for all" is a good thing to lefties, isn't it.)

When you buy your fruit and vegetables at the grocery store, how much of it comes from other states but, for your health and safety, is regulated by the Georgia Agricultural Commissioner? When you buy gas for your car, how much of it is trucked in from other states but, for your protection, is regulated for proper labeling and calibrating by the Fuel and Measures Division of the Georgia Department of Agriculture?

Any company that sells anything "across state lines" has to abide by the state regulations in the individual states in which they do business.

Competition reduces cost to the consumer. Unless you are competing with an entity that can just print more money or raise taxes to cover its losses. Then consumers are just screwed when their taxes go up and their choices go away.

October 27, 2009 at 9:15 a.m.

Good points Lightnup. There's been a lot of spinning the stats here and taking out of context what some of us have stated. The bottom line is there are people in this country and in both poli-parties (and the peripheral ones) that want to completely change and/or do away with the Free Market. If they are not malicious or ignorant, they are deluded completely by the powers-that-be.

Clarification: I believe in business and free enterprise because that is what creates jobs for the rest of us and allows us to make a decent living. I do not believe in immoral business dealings-I have watched the West over 4 decades deteriorate into greedy, selfish societies of individuals and mega monopolies-we are witnessing today the results of decades of this. What makes a society? What makes a great country, with prosperity, contented people and flourishing businesses? These are questions of values and principles-one cannot have a life or a business devoid of morality, decency, respect.

October 27, 2009 at 11:07 a.m.

Some of us have watched for a long time North America, Britain, Europe, Russia, China, etc. morph in so many ways, with so much fallout along the way. Canada: the monopolization (the 2 horned Beast) of Gov't and Big Business started with the Banks and then the media. CBC was the ONLY source of information for years. The gov't allowed BBC to broadcast entertainment, little else. Sweden and much of Europe for decades had 1 station for everything-all was gov't controlled. Russia and China today, continue to control the internet, the media, people's lives. Yes, China is getting richer, but guess who is taking the lion's share? Why is our Gov't so different today? I say it is no better than the Communists. It's just a matter of degree (and whether Pelosi decides to 'change' the name of something this week so it will sound better).

For those who take my words out of context: I am a former Liberal whose eyes were opened by the reality of experience and by growing up. I am not a party drone, never have been. I do not love the insurance companies or any business or individual who takes advantage of people and uses/abuses them for profit. The HMO's (except for Kaiser in Woodland Hills-which was fantastic), I find horrible. I have witnessed first hand how they treat the elderly and those with terminal diseases, etc. I looked at 3 plans here in TN. They stink. But so does the Gov't HC and 'treatments' in Canada and Britain. We were better off years ago when most of us rarely saw a doctor and we took care of ourselves and our elderly. And we had more money in our pockets. The only ones that seem to like and want Big Gov't to 'give' them so much help are the young, the naive and those who are not being taxed to death, eg. those not working. I remember well how in one generation of gov't handouts, the gov't created a dependent welfare society. Why work when you get more $$ doing nothing?

You could not PAY most Brits and Canadians to choose one of their hospitals over most in the US. That is changing though-California, Mass. are the testing grounds and the tests have come back negative. Very negative. For those Brits and Canucks living here and saying how wonderful everything is back home, I have one question. Why are you living here then?

Government involvement/regulation/monitoring? Big mistake because history and many countries who have gone there also have robbed their own people along the way with more programs, more interference and intrusions on their freedoms. It does not work to allow governments to rule your life in any way.

October 27, 2009 at 11:17 a.m.
rolando said...

Glad you enjoyed the post, alprova. It was filled with techniques right out of your playbook. You know -- innuendo, outright fabrication, misinformation and unfounded accusation. You should have recognized it for what it was.

Rather naive of you.

BTW, the swine flu shot thing came from a website most assuredly NOT approved by Dear Leader. [Which makes it trustworthy for that reason alone.] You didn't actually expect to see that anywhere else, did you?

BTW again...the second paragraph of the news clip spelled out the reason for his kids not getting them. Which changes nothing because public school kids here get them en mass...NYCity public school kids got them whether the parents wanted it or not. So that excuse drys up.

October 27, 2009 at 3:29 p.m.
rolando said...

anniebelle:

EVERYONE is automatically enrolled in MediCare Part A upon reaching age 65, provided the requirements for general eligibility are met. They have no choice in the matter. If they don't meet them they are NOT eligible no matter who they are.

Nice try though. I must say I had a choice in taking Part B...Hobson's Choice. Just like ObamaCare. Take it or go to jail/pay a fine.

October 27, 2009 at 7:17 p.m.
alprova said...

Lightnup, in his quest to find anyway at all to discredit me, wrote: "My head is whirling from all this spin alprova. Wanting the Feds to remove a Federal regulation that inhibits "choice and competition" - a phrase which is the administration's sleazy usurping of a capitalist ideal - is not hypocritical for state's rights proponents in any way."

Do you think that the states regulate insurance companies because they want to strictly limit competition? No, they weed out the undesirables and they limit those allowed to sell policies in their respective states by those insurers that are on solid financial ground, those that honor their policies with little interference, and the states keep the scam artists at bay.

Let's say that the states are no longer allowed to screen insurers any more and you go out and you purchase a policy from Joe Blow insurance company at a bargain. Their corporate offices are located in Kansas with no physical presence in the state of Tennessee.

Six months later, you or one of your loved one's winds up in the emergency room. You are told by the admitting nurse when you present your insurance card that the company in question has not been paying their claims and effectively, that your insurance is no good as far as the hospital is concerned. They'll be happy to treat you or your loved one if it is an emergency, but you'll have to be on your way once they are stabile.

Now you're mad. You have paid for insurance, but you discover the hard way that the insurer over the past six months has lost it's once fine rating, for whatever reason. You contact Tennessee's insurance commissioner's office and are told that they can't help you because the insurer is located in Kansas.

So being the intelligent person that you know you are, you contact the State of Kansas to find out what assistance they can give you and are told rather quick that it's a civil matter, because you are not a resident of the State of Kansas, and even if they were in a position to assist you, they have a long list of complaints by thousands of Kansas's own against the company. Of course, you can hire a lawyer in Kansas if you want. It'll probably take you a couple of thousand to get a decent attorney off his hind end to look into the matter on your behalf.

That's your reality if you obtain a policy from a company that was ever rated as a decent insurer. Right now as we speak there are hundreds of companies that have been around for years, that sell next to worthless policies to people every day. Open the borders, eliminate the state's ability to protect their citizens, and you can multiply that by a thousand. They'll get away with it too.

States are strapped for money, in case you were unaware of that fact. They have a hard time coming up with enough in the budget to prosecute murderers. You're going to find your complaint of being ripped of by an insurer way down the list.

They might even laugh at you. I would.

October 27, 2009 at 7:25 p.m.
Lightnup said...

Cute story alprova, you should write fantasy stories for a living.

There will still be state insurance regulators, there will still be state insurance rules and standards, there will still be mechanisms for states to restrict sub-par insurance companies from doing business in that state.

Why will state regulators who now protect the public from unscrupulous businesses suddenly be unable to protect the public from unscrupulous businesses who apply to do business in their state?

What proof do you have that any state's ability to protect their citizens will be eliminated?

October 27, 2009 at 8:12 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

rolando... Sources please

You can opt out of Medicare (all parts)! You have to give up your Social Security Benefits to do it.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced House Resolution 1118, the Health Care Choices for Seniors Act, in February.

It's an attempt to prevent losing Social Security Benefits when opting out of Medicare (all parts)

The bill

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.1118.IH:

One of many too many articles

http://www.heartland.org/publications/health%20care/article/24993/Bill_Would_Let_Retirees_Forgo_Medicare.html

October 27, 2009 at 9:21 p.m.
alprova said...

Lightnup wrote: "Cute story alprova, you should write fantasy stories for a living."

Sir, I'm not writing fiction. That is the reality that comes from your fantasy that deregulation of the insurance industry is the panacea that will save us all.

"There will still be state insurance regulators, there will still be state insurance rules and standards, there will still be mechanisms for states to restrict sub-par insurance companies from doing business in that state."

Think about what you are saying. The mechanisms are in place right now that work to protect consumers from being ripped off by low rated insurers. What possible sense does it make to dismantle that system, to allow companies that are barred from doing business in states that work to protect their citizens from being subjected to unscrupulous insurers?

There's no evidence whatsoever that suggests that any legitimate insurance company that is willing to abide by the rules and that operates in good faith, is being excluded from doing business in ANY state. There are plenty of insurers out there that have been banned from selling policies within several states because they have acted in BAD faith.

Opening up the borders, so to speak, will only allow those sub-par companies to go into high rip-off mode, and trust me, they are keenly aware of the fact that this form of deregulation will "insure" and insulate them from prosecution in the vast majority of the cases, because it will be prohibitively too expensive to pursue them legally, on an individual basis.

"What proof do you have that any state's ability to protect their citizens will be eliminated?"

We all know what happened to our financial institutions. Well guess what? This push to open up the consumer insurance market is our next crisis in the making, and it has very strong ties to those who exploited our investments for their short term gains.

The Financial Modernization Act of 1999 (Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) removed another long line of restrictions that most people are unaware of at the moment. As it stands today, banks, insurers, and investment firms can sell banking and investment services, and insurance, thus supposedly promoting more competition, and allowing one-stop shops.

As we have seen, GLB has not produced the results expected in the financial sector. It created a monster, and one that is looking for another avenue to exploit the unaware and to siphon cash any way they can, now that they have killed many banks and investment firms.

What do you think will happen when insurance companies, controlled by these same players, are allowed to bypass state protections currently in place?

It will be pandemonium, and the states will be rendered powerless to prevent it or protect consumers, just as they were to prevent most of us from losing 40% to 60% of our investments.

October 28, 2009 at 2:46 a.m.
alprova said...

Rolando wrote: "Glad you enjoyed the post, alprova. It was filled with techniques right out of your playbook. You know -- innuendo, outright fabrication, misinformation and unfounded accusation. You should have recognized it for what it was."

Well, this is a first. You admit that you purposely lied.

Given that you have to date, not been able to refute a thing I have ever stated in this forum, and that you have refused to refute anything when others challenge you, combined with your current admission, I think you just shot your credibility to death with your own gun.

I own up to my errors, even when I don't want to. There's more than enough proof to that effect as well. I've retracted statements every time I was shown to be incorrect.

Forgive me a moment of digression, but I've always wondered something. Do people like you put themselves up on those pedestals because they really think they are better than everyone else, or do they consider the poop that is dropped by the birds that that fly over their heads, to be their "bling?"

October 28, 2009 at 3:16 a.m.
Lightnup said...

alprova wrote: "There are plenty of insurers out there that have been banned from selling policies within several states because they have acted in BAD faith."

And those companies can and will STILL be banned from selling in those states. You fail to understand that allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines does not remove the state's ability to protect it's citizens by banning those bad companies.

Florida's Insurance commissioner has banned many sub-par property insurance companies from selling policies in Florida.

October 28, 2009 at 8:19 a.m.

Lightnup has good points and so does everyone else who posts-some more than others (on this issue, a very sensitive one). Too bad alprova you don't get rolando's irony and humor-it's very "british". (You also need to lighten up and realize that no one said he served in the military unless he said that previously?). Yet there are many ways one serves their country and community. He does not boast but talks about his work with family/child abuse. That's noble and not everyone could stomach it.

You're all correct re: across state lines insurance but the bottom line is we don't know yet what exactly will transpire. I can surely guess based on other gov'ts forays into this type of "public option", "co-op", "consumer option", "competition and choice", or whatever the flavor of the month may be.

The reality is a great, very big, fat Tick is taking over/regulating/monitoring/controlling a lot of programs and money. The Tick can't even regulate and inspect its own bloated bureaucracy-body and guard the silly servants it has heading up these programs, never mind do a good job of it.

What makes us think this one will be any different or any better? Because Obama says so? We have the largest Gov't Bureaucracy in the world, save maybe China's. Look at how they control their people. No thanks. Corruption? Rampant everywhere I look. I'm hopeful about the future, just not the future many of you envision-that's nothing but an Orwellian nightmare for humans. Time to go read Animal Farm for your enlightenment folks.

October 28, 2009 at 9:14 a.m.
alprova said...

Lightnup wrote: "And those companies can and will STILL be banned from selling in those states. You fail to understand that allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines does not remove the state's ability to protect it's citizens by banning those bad companies."

Right now, consumers in most states can purchase policies written to include the standards set forth by your state insurance commissioner and through insurers that the state evaluate and approves to be allowed to sell policies within their borders.

If you, as a consumer, were allowed to bypass those standards and list of approved insurers, to then purchase plans from any insurer, located anywhere in the country, it would negate and eliminate the protections currently in place.

It could not be any other way.

There are approximately 358,000 businesses registered to sell insurance policies throughout the United States. There are 6,000 insurance companies that issue policies. No state in the union has the resources to track the financial standings of all these companies, much less the authority to force all of these companies to play fair when consumers within their states decide to do business with them.

The very act of being allowed to cross state lines to purchase policies through insurers located elsewhere is a literal bypassing of your state's insurance commission and all that they do to protect you, as the consumer.

You, and others, think that this would be a great way to save money and to force competition among insurers. If all insurance companies were created equal, then you might have a point. The fact of the matter is that they are not. Very few companies pass the smell test and are rated high in all categories of evaluation.

I also remind you that currently, in case you were unaware of the fact, that there is no Federal agency that has oversight authority over any of these 358,000 sellers and 6,000 insurers. Oversight and regulation of insurance companies has always been done at the state level.

If the market were opened up, it would be a literal boon for the insurance companies, whose management are very much aware of the fact that the Federal Government is less likely to drop the hammer than the states are.

Why do you think that they have been lobbying for Federal oversight and such deregulation? They want to pry oversight and authority out of the hands of the states.

You know, you and I argue about a lot of things, but this isn't an issue that we should find disagreement when discussing. States have done a very good job of regulating insurance companies.

Turning oversight and authority over to the Government would be a very, very bad idea.

Think about all the other industries that have been deregulated. Monopolies have been created or sustained when the process of eliminating the REAL competitive forces has been completed through our bankruptcy courts.

October 29, 2009 at 5:28 a.m.
Lightnup said...

alprova, removing the restriction on selling insurance to residents of other states does not mean turning oversight and authority to the Federal Government. If it did, you know it would be a centerpiece of any Pelosi or Reid health care plan, since more Government control is the reason for their health care agenda in the first place.

Tennessee has a Department of Commerce and Insurance. As you said, they evaluate, approve and regulate the insurance companies allowed to do business in Tennessee.

Georgia has the Office of Commissioner of Insurance. They evaluate, approve and regulate the insurance companies allowed to do business in Georgia.

Allowing a Georgia resident to buy insurance from a company that is regulated by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, or allowing a Tennessee resident to buy insurance from a company that is regulated by the Georgia Commissioner of Insurance in no way resembles the mass market chaos that you describe.

You say that being able to sell across state lines won't save consumers money. Think about the Geico gecko..."15 minutes could save you 15% on your car insurance." Why? Because Geico HAS to be super-competitive to win your business away from AllState, State Farm, Progressive, USAA, Amica or any of the other insurance companies competing to sell car and home insurance nationwide. Do those insurance companies still have to meet state insurance regulations? Yes. Do states still have control over shoddy or unscrupulous car or life insurance companies? Yes.

Your statement that "Turning oversight and authority over to the Government would be a very, very bad idea" is easily applicable to every subject we discuss in these forums, especially health care, and I believe is the most sensible statement I have seen you make.

October 30, 2009 at 12:09 a.m.
alprova said...

Lightnup wrote: "Tennessee has a Department of Commerce and Insurance. As you said, they evaluate, approve and regulate the insurance companies allowed to do business in Tennessee.

Georgia has the Office of Commissioner of Insurance. They evaluate, approve and regulate the insurance companies allowed to do business in Georgia.

Allowing a Georgia resident to buy insurance from a company that is regulated by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, or allowing a Tennessee resident to buy insurance from a company that is regulated by the Georgia Commissioner of Insurance in no way resembles the mass market chaos that you describe."

And that is in no way what I am referring to, nor is it what insurers are wanting when they are asking to be allowed to sell across state lines.

The move has been on since 2005 to take away the oversight of insurance companies from the states. It's not all about health care insurance. It's about ALL insurance products.

Google the issue. There are literally dozens of stories that have been written on the subject of insurance oversight, and who should should be in charge of overseeing insurers.

Insurers grabbed the coattails of this debate over health care to revive their movement to be allowed to market health care policies in states where they are not currently allowed to do so.

I am in no way stating that all insurance companies are evil, but the states stepped up to the plate years ago when the Government refused to do so.

There are plenty of insurers who are licensed in all 50 states. They have a local presence in all states, or bond amounts established that can be seized in the event of financial collapse.

For every one of these solid and well established insurers, there are a dozen that could never begin to meet the requirements set forth by the states. There are others who want to grow their businesses, recklessly in some cases, in order to gain market share.

These are going to be those companies that have been created through the elimination of the protections that forced insurance companies to be separate and distinct institutions prior to the GLB Act, which allowed banks, investment, and insurance companies to merge and operate under one roof.

Haven't we learned a thing? Haven't we allowed these idiots looking to make a quick buck to ruin stable industries that have been guilty of nothing but dominating the marketplace by building stellar reputations and providing superior products to consumers?

How can you sit there and not understand what is behind this, another attempt in a long line of successes in fleecing America and raiding pockets under the guise of deregulation?

October 30, 2009 at 6:50 a.m.
Lightnup said...

So, you say that turning regulation of insurance companies over to the government is a very, very bad thing that would hurt consumers, but at the same time you're in favor of having the same government run its own nationwide health insurance company and regulate the entire health care industry. And you don't see a contradiction in that?

October 30, 2009 at 4:23 p.m.
rolando said...

I lie all the time, alprova...it comes with being adult. Many a time I have told a perp he/she has nothing to worry about if they just tell all...and that they will feel better. As with you, they fell for it.

The times Lightnup has refuted your rants are legion and he does it so much better than I do; I wisely leave that job to him.

You bury yourself in so much verbiage in an attempt to build walls around your shallow thinking...and it flops. Badly. All you do is show your ignorance and your narrow, myopic vision.

October 30, 2009 at 7:09 p.m.
rolando said...

eeeeek: The information is located on the government's own website for MediCare. Google it. There is an abundance of info there. Read the requirements for MediCare. Social Security is one of them. So it works the other way around -- no Social Security, no MediCare.

The proposed bill is nothing more than a penalty for refusing MediCare Part A; the use of threats/penalties is the ONLY way -- short of force -- that the fedgov can get people to do what they want. [I should know, I dealt with those every day for a couple decades.] The fedgov ALWAYS has a penalty and a threat worked into every form they print. When was the last time they gave you a form to fill out that did not have some form of threat or penalty, implied or real?

No one with any money to pay taxes wanted or wants MediCare. Why? Because they are the ones who must pay for it several times over. As I said, Hobson's Choice.

October 30, 2009 at 7:23 p.m.
alprova said...

Lightnup wrote: "So, you say that turning regulation of insurance companies over to the government is a very, very bad thing that would hurt consumers, but at the same time you're in favor of having the same government run its own nationwide health insurance company and regulate the entire health care industry. And you don't see a contradiction in that?"

Maybe, but the states are ALREADY doing a good job of regulating insurance companies. Relieving insurers of stringent regulation is not the magic fix to the health care issue. They will abuse it for profit potential, just as they are now, when they can get away with it.

Look, the Government run health care systems are not truly Government operated. The administration duties of Medicare and most all the others are farmed out to established insurers, that administer the plans much like they would their own, with subtle differences.

So this farce perpetrated, claiming fear of elimination is much ado about nothing. Insurers stand to gain everything from anything at all that comes out of Washington. But they want a trade-off as well. That trade-off they are seeking is to be allowed to bypass state regulations, so that they can market THEIR products in all 50 states without limitations and auditing requirements that are currently in place.

October 31, 2009 at 2:53 a.m.
alprova said...

Rolando wrote: "I lie all the time, alprova...it comes with being adult. Many a time I have told a perp he/she has nothing to worry about if they just tell all...and that they will feel better. As with you, they fell for it.

The times Lightnup has refuted your rants are legion and he does it so much better than I do; I wisely leave that job to him.

You bury yourself in so much verbiage in an attempt to build walls around your shallow thinking...and it flops. Badly. All you do is show your ignorance and your narrow, myopic vision."


Considering your track record and history in here, you don't really think that I'm going to get all worked up over any opinion that you express about me, do you?

Let's see...you've claimed that were a GI Joe secretary, you then went on to work as a civilian for the Government, and now you are alluding to being some sort of a cop.

Given that it is now an established fact that you have the propensity to lie, and that you have readily admitted it, who knows what the truth is? I really don't care Rolando.

Apparently, you are rather lazy too. You drop your little turds in here, presentations of facts and you refuse to flush as a courtesy to others, when you refuse to back up your words. You expect others to clean up behind you.

I love interaction with others and I love being challenged. Unfortunately, you present no challenge to me, your personal assessments aside. It's a waste of my time to discuss anything with you, but you're not going to get any free passes from me when you drop your little bombs that you so lovingly embrace and seem to be proud of.

Me shallow? Hardly. I'm as deep as the ocean. Everything you have ever accused me of being is clearly reflected in your own words contained in your posts. Maybe you don't know the definition of the word, "shallow.". I'm certainly biased, but aren't we all? At least I have my reasons for having adopted my biased opinions, and I've never had any reservation in explaining them either.

And no opinion that I have, has been born from shallow thinking. I look at EVERYTHING from several different angles before I form an opinion.

If that were not true, I would have never voted for my first Democrat, two elections ago.

October 31, 2009 at 3:23 a.m.
Lightnup said...

alprova wrote: "Relieving insurers of stringent regulation is not the magic fix to the health care issue." and: "That trade-off they are seeking is to be allowed to bypass state regulations, so that they can market THEIR products in all 50 states without limitations and auditing requirements that are currently in place."

Please provide proof of your allegations that state regulations will be eliminated with interstate health insurance sales.

Nobody that I've heard is advocating selling health insurance across state lines through elimination of all restrictions or bypassing of state regulations. Your "sky is falling" scenario is way overblown. Being allowed to sell their products into other states, subject to individual state regulations, would force insurance companies to become much more competitive (i.e., less expensive for consumers) or risk losing market share.

Being allowed to sell across state lines, and being approved to are two different things. I'm allowed to carry a concealed weapon in Tennessee, but first I must meet state licensing and permit requirements.

Do you not think it's possible to craft interstate health insurance sales guidelines that include the requirement to meet a state's standards before being allowed to sell into that state? State requirements still exist for property and life insurance companies that want to sell into other states. There is no reason to assume that would not be the case for health insurance sales. In fact, I'd bet all 50 state Governors would insist on it.

October 31, 2009 at 11:37 a.m.
alprova said...

Lightnup wrote: "Please provide proof of your allegations that state regulations will be eliminated with interstate health insurance sales."


I asked you to Google the issue a couple of days ago. But, since you have challenged me, I am well prepared to offer you that evidence.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2009/01/23/97228.htm

http://ifawebnews.com/2009/10/30/naic-seeks-supplementary-not-replacement-federal-oversight/

http://www.lifeinsuranceselling.com/Exclusives/2009/6/Pages/The-move-toward-federal-oversight-of-the-insurance-industry.aspx

October 31, 2009 at 7:42 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

rolando wrote eeeeek: The information is located on the government's own website for MediCare. Google it. There is an abundance of info there. Read the requirements for MediCare. Social Security is one of them. So it works the other way around -- no Social Security, no MediCare.


Thank you for repeating and acknowledging my point for me.

Most of the 55 Republicans against a public option can well afford to opt out of medicare and lose social security.

Of course you could push for Rep. Marsha Blackburn's (R-TN) House Resolution 1118, the Health Care Choices for Seniors Act

My response would have been sooner, but it's Halloween weekend and it's party time.

November 1, 2009 at 6:34 a.m.
Lightnup said...

Watching C-Span coverage of House debate on Health Care debacle. If I hear "Choice and Competition" one more time, I think I'm going to puke.

November 7, 2009 at 5:39 p.m.
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