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Thread: Obama health plan would curb insurers on rate hikes

  1. #21
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    Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

    Here's the numbers in question:



    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    And that is what they did with antitrust laws...

    And that is what they did with product safety laws...

    And that is what they did with consumer fraud laws...
    Antitrust laws regulate whether or not a particular company controls an industry in a marketplace. They do not set price.

    Product safety laws look at the objective safety of a product and set a minimum threshold for performance in order to allow things to be sold. They do not set price.

    Consumer fraud laws protect individuals from actual criminal frauds perpetrated by corporations. They do not set price.

    This entire thing just reeks of half-baked populism. How do they actually think this is going to work in practice?

    Insurance company: "We're raising rates 25% because our costs have gone up 25% because the country is full of fat, sick, and old people."

    Government: "No, you can only raise your rates 3% because the poor, hardworking, Joe Sixpack can't afford 25%."

    Insurance company: "Okay, we're closing/no longer going to cover XYZ/no longer going to insure X type of people."

    Government: "SEE! We need national health care!"

    Actually, now that I think about it, they know exactly what they're doing.
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 02-22-10 at 09:03 AM.
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    Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCourtesy View Post
    With the insanity and unethical practices in the insurance industry, this is one regulation that I completely agree with.
    Mommy Government is the only Answer to lifes problems.


    Here's the thing, if you increase competition by allowing insurers to sell across state lines... when a company starts jacking prices too high, a competitor will offer the same service for lower rates to get business!

    Works a hell'va lot better then the Gov't dictating market forces.
    Last edited by Renae; 02-22-10 at 09:56 AM.
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    Re: Obama health plan would curb insurers on rate hikes

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Obama health plan would curb insurers on rate hikes - latimes.com



    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?
    While I have strong reservations and concerns about such an approach, the idea that policy could evolve toward a solution where the health insurance industry is regulated with respect to rates in a fashion not too dissimilar to public utilities is not surprising. The up to 39% rate hike announced by WellPoint might well have been a catalyst.

    At this time, a look at the company's February 2010 10K filing suggests that business objectives other than benefit payment increases were the primary driver.

    From data on pages 14 and 93 of the 10K:

    Benefit payments per insured member:
    2008: $1,362.16
    2009: $1,383.16

    Change: +1.5%

    From data on pages 14 and 55 of the 10K:

    Premiums received per insured member:
    2008: $1,629.18
    2009: $1,674.55

    Change: +2.8%

    From its own financial disclosure, one finds that the company raised its premiums per covered person by $2.16 for every $1 increase in its benefit payments per insured person.

    To date, the company has provided no specific detailed actuarial and financial data that would allow one to really dig into its operations to assess the validity of the substantial rate hike. Worse, based on the highly general nature of comments from company spokespersons, I don't believe the company will provide Congress with anything close to that level of disclosure in its testimony this week.

    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. Otherwise, one can only go by the information it has filed with regulators and that information does not show a company that is hemorrhaging from rising benefits payments, much less one that is in a so-called "death spiral." And, in the absence of such disclosure, it is more likely than not that new policies that increase government oversight, even approval, over health insurance rates could gain political momentum.

    Does the company see the big picture, much less understand it? Stay tuned.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 02-22-10 at 10:04 AM.

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    Re: Obama health plan would curb insurers on rate hikes

    Instead of supporting theft by the government, start your own health insurance business.

    If our system is so bad, answer these three questions.

    1) Why are there no alternatives to the current insurance industry? With 50 plus percent of the country liberal, why don't they start their own businesses with new business models?

    2) Why do Americans spend so much money on non-essentials?

    3) Why don't Americans take better care of themselves?

    I humbly suggest that actions speak louder than words. Americans don't want to pay for health care. They want cars and big homes. They want 200 plus channels of on-demand goodness. They want to eat junk food all day and never exercise. The excess and high cost of health care in this country is a direct result of our collective actions. The solution lies with us, not government. If Americans would eat better, exercise and spend their money on necessities first, we would not be in this mess.

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    Re: Obama health plan would curb insurers on rate hikes

    Quote Originally Posted by MrVicchio View Post
    Mommy Government is the only Answer to lifes problems.


    Here's the thing, if you increase competition by allowing insurers to sell across state lines... when a company starts jacking prices too high, a competitor will offer the same service for lower rates to get business!

    Works a hell'va lot better then the Gov't dictating market forces.
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewC View Post
    Instead of supporting theft by the government, start your own health insurance business.

    If our system is so bad, answer these three questions.

    1) Why are there no alternatives to the current insurance industry? With 50 plus percent of the country liberal, why don't they start their own businesses with new business models?

    2) Why do Americans spend so much money on non-essentials?

    3) Why don't Americans take better care of themselves?

    I humbly suggest that actions speak louder than words. Americans don't want to pay for health care. They want cars and big homes. They want 200 plus channels of on-demand goodness. They want to eat junk food all day and never exercise. The excess and high cost of health care in this country is a direct result of our collective actions. The solution lies with us, not government. If Americans would eat better, exercise and spend their money on necessities first, we would not be in this mess.

    1. 50% of the country is NOT Liberal, nice try.

    2. Because their free to do what they want with their lives.

    3. Because too many figure the Government will save them.


    The solution is, you are right, for peopel to care about themselves, but that also means that Government needs to be stopped form OFFERING such "help".
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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    Re: Obama health plan would curb insurers on rate hikes

    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.

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    Re: Obama health plan would curb insurers on rate hikes

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1
    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.
    “We just simply don’t know how to govern” - Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR) a member of the House Budget Committee

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    Re: Obama health plan would curb insurers on rate hikes

    Quote Originally Posted by BWG View Post
    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"
    Climate, changes. It takes a particularly uneducated population to buy into the idea that it's their fault climate is changing and further political solutions can fix it.



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    Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    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?
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    Re: Obama to Urge Oversight of Insurers� Rate Increases

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    An example of regulated insurance.
    Pay attention to who denies the most claims, it's hilarious.
    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.
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