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Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
10/30/10 7:32 a.m.

This all happened last year, the preexisting condition period ended before the Sept 23 date. There was another side effect of the legislation: for a while there the insurance companies would not accept even healthy kids on new policies. At that I would have been truly screwed if for some reason I lost my coverage.

So there are some good things to come out of ObamaCare. But back to the 'forced coverage' option: if a millionaire winds up in the ER, that person can definitely afford to pay their own way. So why should they be forced to buy a medical insurance policy? (Not that I'm a millionaire or anything.) If that person decides not to buy insurance, then on their next tax return there's a line that snatches, IIRC, $2k to put into the public health option. That's on top of all the other taxes they pay, part of which helps fund Medicaid.

About medical costs: Margie hit the' pill for every damn thing' nail square on the head.

The next thing is the lavish overspending on the physical plant (the hospital itself). The hospitals down here have valet parking and some of the most elaborate stonework you will ever see, ginormous aquariums, original artwork, I could go on for a while. One newly completed hospital recently hired the Beach Boys to play an all day concert at their grand opening.

I'm not saying hospitals should look like dungeons but there's a lot of expensive frippery which has zero to do with health care and everything to do with marketing and overblown egos. That hits right at the health care bottom line which is reflected in the insurance premiums and for you socialized medicine types in the taxes that you want to take the place of private insurance premiums.

Then there are salaries. Take a minute and google Kiawah Island real estate. Check out the prices. Then realize that a lot of my customers are doctors who, many times, own a big house somewhere up North, a vacation house on Kiawah and then we service their $100K 'beach buggy' Mercedes or Aston Martin or insert your favorite high dollar ride here. This is generally a car that they buy just so they'll have something to drive around when they decide to spend a weekend down here. Many times they'll have 2 expensive whatevers parked out there. The local scandal rag just this morning had an article about how many doctors won't accept Medicaid because it won't cover their costs. Hell, with two multimillion dollar houses and six or seven Mercedes spread out over a couple of states I guess not. (waits for forza12 to say something smart alecky about career choices)

So yeah there's a lot of places fat can be cut from health care. But no one has the balls to do it.

MrJoshua
MrJoshua SuperDork
10/30/10 7:43 a.m.

In reply to Jensenman:

And deciding that the problem was that the consumer was trying to find ways to cut costs instead of just blindly paying into the system that supports this nonsense is ridiculous. Health care being paid for by health insurance removes the ability of the consumer to evaluate cost. Any time you remove the customers ability or desire to evaluate the financial impact of using a particular business you allow that business to become a bloated inefficient monstrosity.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
10/30/10 8:11 a.m.

You are right, the consumer doesn't have a lot, if any, choice in the matter. My personal experience:

When I broke my left leg and tore the ACL several years ago, the doc looking at me walked in after looking at my MRI's etc and told me - I repeat, TOLD me - that I would be in the hospital the following Wednesday for an ACL implant. From a cadaver.

Whaaa? Slow down there, hotshot, let's talk about this. We need to discuss cost, side effects (possible transplant rejection drugs for the rest of my life, anyone?) Nope, no talking, be there. Uh, no. He got PISSED, told me this was 'the only way, you have no other choice'. I tried to reason with this jerk, he got ANGRY. I wound up walking (well, hobbling out on crutches) out of the office. To this day I still have no ACL in my left knee. I keep it worked out and it still serves me well.

The point is, in many cases docs won't will discuss cost up front. It's as if it's tacky to consider money. But that same doc will show up at my work and scrutinize his car repair bill with a magnifying glass.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
10/30/10 8:45 a.m.
Cone_Junky wrote: Oh yeah, why exactly did we start this war? Why did Obama pass the stimulus package? Intentions make a difference...

I'm not sure you really want to go there.

While I can agree with your implication that President Obama's intent was likely that he believed it would be for the betterment of the country, I have to STRONGLY disagree with your implied assertion that President Bush (and all of Congress that agreed with him) had mal intent in starting the war.

I REALLY doubt you could prove that, and REALLY doubt it is true.

I believe both had good intentions. They simply have different opinions of what is a good plan.

I realize you need a demon to point at for the war thing, and that President Bush is quite convenient as a scapegoat, but your assertion that his intent was malicious is completely unfounded.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
10/30/10 9:09 a.m.
SVreX wrote: I believe both had good intentions. They simply have different opinions of what is a good plan.

Politicians seem to always tout their own intent only after history bears them up... but are very quick to point blame at the action of others who are actively making the history. You really cannot judge a man by his good intentions.

[ not intended to cause Hate Crime Law flounder but... I'll run with that too ;) ]

RoosterSauce
RoosterSauce New Reader
10/30/10 9:16 a.m.
ignorant wrote:
Jensenman wrote: What frosts my butt is the whole 'either you buy insurance or we hit you at tax time' thing. That is just dead wrong. It's not like car insurance where if I hit someone my insurance pays for their whatever; if I decide not to buy medical insurance I hurt no one but myself.
I understand where you are coming from but must respectfully disagree. When someone without insurance goes to the emergency room for a cold or the flu, there are some major costs that are incurred by that hospital and are reimbursed by noone. The only way the medical system(hospital) has of covering those costs is to charge us all more.. And as medical insurance gets more expensive more folks opt out of insurance.

Last time I went to the ER with no insurance, I got a bill for about $600 a few weeks later. Are you telling me that I didn't have to pay it because your insurance would have covered it!? I'll remember that next time.

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
10/30/10 9:58 a.m.
ignorant wrote:
z31maniac wrote: Just so you know, the Iraq War cost LESS than the failed Stimulus package.
Define failed? GDP grew 2% this year. Did you expect rainbows and lolipops to come floating out of Obama's nose after they passed it and instantly all would be right with the world? Seriously, Failed is pretty harsh since we DON'T know the consequenses that could have happened without them. I prefer to say... "The bills really didn't have all the effect I was hoping for, but E36 M3 I'm sure glad the bridge got fixed." E36 M3 buddy.. When was the last time we had money in this country to repair bridges? Eisenhower? We all take them for granted until they fall down.

Rainbows and lollipops are not necessary, but realistic numbers wouldn't hurt.

2% growth in GDP (which is a PROJECTION for the 3rd Qtr, not an actual) is a LOT less than the average of 3.31% from 1947- 2010.

It is also SIGNIFICANTLY lower than the average for the previous 4 quarters, which was 3.0%.

2% is not an improvement, it is doing WORSE (though slighty better than Qtr2, which was 1.7%). It was 5% at the beginning of the year. What happened?

Considering the current annual inflation rate is about 2.3%, it's hard to get excited about 2% growth statistics.

The growth in GDP number is a comparison to the previous quarter. Since the total numbers had deteriorated so significantly over the last 2 years, there is an awful lot of room for growth. 2% doesn't begin to make up for it. It is a net loss.

Tell me again how much this stimulus has helped??

Come on. We don't have money to fix bridges. We borrowed money we can't afford from our grandchildren so we can pretend we are competent.

Please don't piss on my head and tell me it is raining.

2% growth from historic lows could have been accomplished easily with no intervention at all. It should have happened quite naturally. In fact, it should have been a lot more. Perhaps the growth would have been more if the darned government hadn't tried to meddle with it and shaken confidence by borrowing unreasonable amounts and dumping them into unproductive efforts they called "stimulus".

Here's a good read:

Zombie Capitalism

Coming Depression?

SVreX
SVreX SuperDork
10/30/10 10:22 a.m.

A very good read:

20 reasons Global Time Bomb

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/30/10 10:52 a.m.
SVreX wrote: 2% growth from historic lows could have been accomplished easily with no intervention at all. It should have happened quite naturally. In fact, it should have been a lot more. Perhaps the growth would have been more if the darned government hadn't tried to meddle with it and shaken confidence by borrowing unreasonable amounts and dumping them into unproductive efforts they called "stimulus".

the big problem is that you, me, a room full of economists, nor the crazy guy on the street can say for sure what would have happened without the stimulus nor can you say what should have happened. It's all monday morning quarterbacking at this point.. Thats the problem with economics. http://seekingalpha.com/article/180508-did-the-stimulus-do-its-job

Also how much of it has actually been spent, about $300B not the $700B number.. Here's a list of the spending.. http://projects.propublica.org/tables/stimulus-spending-progress

Please define for me what the stimulus actually did that hurt the economy, aside from the spending/debit discussion? Above you allude to the fact that it actually hurt the economy and I can't find a way that it actually stopped people from producing goods or services?

Duke
Duke SuperDork
10/30/10 11:08 a.m.
ignorant wrote: Please define for me what the stimulus actually did that hurt the economy, aside from the spending/debit discussion?

That's like saying, "Well, tell me what the car accident did that hurt you, aside from going through the windshield head first into the tree?"

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/30/10 12:35 p.m.
Duke wrote:
ignorant wrote: Please define for me what the stimulus actually did that hurt the economy, aside from the spending/debit discussion?
That's like saying, "Well, tell me what the car accident did that hurt you, aside from going through the windshield head first into the tree?"

incorrect. as it cannot be proven that this level of debit will actually hurt us. Lots of conjecture but we really don't know until something happens.

Also prove that it did damage to the economy so that it could not recover in the short term... I want to know how that is possible...

racerdave600
racerdave600 HalfDork
10/30/10 2:06 p.m.
ignorant wrote:
Duke wrote:
ignorant wrote: Please define for me what the stimulus actually did that hurt the economy, aside from the spending/debit discussion?
That's like saying, "Well, tell me what the car accident did that hurt you, aside from going through the windshield head first into the tree?"
incorrect. as it cannot be proven that this level of debit will actually hurt us. Lots of conjecture but we really don't know until something happens. Also prove that it did damage to the economy so that it could not recover in the short term... I want to know how that is possible...

This amount of debt can actually hurt you, and there are plenty or references for you throughout history. Part of the problem is that in order to pay for the stimulus, the Fed had to print money or borrow it from China. Now the problem with printing money is that it deflates the dollar. I don't have the figures in front of me, but the money the US govt. has printed since the current administration has taken office is far and away more than any other administration. None of this is good.

To give it a car analogy, it's like you work at McDonald's, and decide to buy a McLaren with money you printed in your basement. You found somebody that will take your money, but eventually he is going to realize it is worthless. At the same time, you've found out the McLaren is actually a rebodied Fiero and also worthless, but you've used it as collateral for your house and business. In the end you will be left with nothing.

Also, as a friend that was a bank manager told me, there was a point where the US government tied up a huge portion of the available currency with all of this as well, making it difficult for some businesses to have operating capital. We won't even get into the part where they forced some banks to take Tarp money and then charged them more in interest than the banks could charge their customers.

I also hope one day that the stimulus is studied a lot more closely as to where the money went. So much of it has resulted in fraud and there are plenty of people at all levels that should go to prison over it.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/30/10 2:11 p.m.
racerdave600 wrote: This amount of debt can actually hurt you, and there are plenty or references for you throughout history. Part of the problem is that in order to pay for the stimulus, the Fed had to print money or borrow it from China. Now the problem with printing money is that it deflates the dollar. I don't have the figures in front of me, but the money the US govt. has printed since the current administration has taken office is far and away more than any other administration. None of this is good.

prove this and your allegations of fraud..

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/30/10 4:22 p.m.
Datsun1500 wrote:
ignorant wrote: prove this and your allegations of fraud..
He knows to call it debt, while you call it debit. It is hard to take someone seriously when they don't know what it is they are actually talking about.

nope, sorry for the misspelling. I had a 2 year old crawling over me while typing. Its tough to get things right.. Why don't you contribute to the conversation. If you want to really get pedantic, find out how possible it is for the government to use up all the operating capital of a corporation. I didn't jump all over racerdave even when he got that wrong. Operating capital includes fixed assets such as a physical building or machine. I don't know how the governments could use all of that up.. Ha..

Now it could be hard to get loans, if you are dependent on such, for working capital. But.. Noone mentioned working capital. I let it go, cause I knew what he meant.
I could call you one of those.. But I won't.

madmallard
madmallard Reader
10/30/10 5:06 p.m.

i have another generalised question.

why do people think health insurance should cover various 'health maintenance' things?

Insurance is something that should be called upon for unforseeable health problems.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
10/30/10 5:18 p.m.
Jensenman wrote: So my kid has both asthma and eczema. Due to a recent upheaval in my life, I had to take on medical insurance at my work. Same company I was with before, only through a different employer. Won't name the company but it rhymes with RuRossRuRhield. So I get a letter from the insurance company telling me 'preexisting conditions are not covered for X time period'. Her asthma and eczema are preexisting conditions. Remember, this is the same company just a different policy number. That means I paid 100% out of pocket for her stuff during that time, along with the premiums. That really pissed me off. Yeah, there are some much needed reforms coming for the insurance companies. I don't really have a problem with that. What frosts my butt is the whole 'either you buy insurance or we hit you at tax time' thing. That is just dead wrong. It's not like car insurance where if I hit someone my insurance pays for their whatever; if I decide not to buy medical insurance I hurt no one but myself.

Just for the record, your employer determines if there's pre-existing, and what falls under pre-existing.

NOT the insurance company. They do in individual private sect coverage, but not in group insurance such as you have now.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
10/30/10 5:22 p.m.
RoosterSauce wrote:
ignorant wrote:
Jensenman wrote: What frosts my butt is the whole 'either you buy insurance or we hit you at tax time' thing. That is just dead wrong. It's not like car insurance where if I hit someone my insurance pays for their whatever; if I decide not to buy medical insurance I hurt no one but myself.
I understand where you are coming from but must respectfully disagree. When someone without insurance goes to the emergency room for a cold or the flu, there are some major costs that are incurred by that hospital and are reimbursed by noone. The only way the medical system(hospital) has of covering those costs is to charge us all more.. And as medical insurance gets more expensive more folks opt out of insurance.
Last time I went to the ER with no insurance, I got a bill for about $600 a few weeks later. Are you telling me that I didn't have to pay it because your insurance would have covered it!? I'll remember that next time.

In a roundabout way, yes. Or you and everyone else will through taxes since the hospital can't claim that $600 as income to be taxed on.

But of course, it's all depending on if you want that bill to be sent to collections and want to deal with that and the credit hit.

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
10/30/10 5:23 p.m.
madmallard wrote: i have another generalised question. why do people think health insurance should cover various 'health maintenance' things? Insurance is something that should be called upon for unforseeable health problems.

You have asked a question that the answer of which would help explain why insurance premiums are so high.

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
10/30/10 5:36 p.m.

That's odd. Every time I have ever looked at an application, regardless of where I worked or the insurance company, the app always says there is a waiting period for preexisting conditions. I have never had an individual policy, always group policies.

The most irritating thing about all of this is that it's the same insurance provider. It was previously handled through my wife's work (they paid something like 90% of the premiums) and when they closed down I picked up coverage at my work.

Her company changed providers 3 different times while she worked there and each time there was a waiting period for preexisting. Tell me THAT ain't some bullE36 M3.

madmallard
madmallard Reader
10/30/10 5:46 p.m.

On that note, lets point out something about our federal government.

It borrows money to pay for all the things it does in a large scale.

It borrows money against the entire US Economy by selling treasury bonds, both domestic and in huge numbers to foreign bodies (like China.) Thats not enough.

The government also for the last couple decades has been borrowing every last dollard from the surpluss funds that Social Security used to draw. Thats still not enough.

The government in the last session is borrowing against projected tax income to be paid by people who aren't born yet. and its still not enough.

this is in addition to all the income tax and capital gains tax they collect.... -_-

93celicaGT2
93celicaGT2 SuperDork
10/30/10 5:50 p.m.
Jensenman wrote: That's odd. Every time I have ever looked at an application, regardless of where I worked or the insurance company, the app always says there is a waiting period for preexisting conditions. I have never had an individual policy, always group policies. The most irritating thing about all of this is that it's the same insurance provider. It was previously handled through my wife's work (they paid something like 90% of the premiums) and when they closed down I picked up coverage at my work. Her company changed providers 3 different times while she worked there and each time there was a waiting period for preexisting. Tell me THAT ain't some bullE36 M3.

I'm not going to call it bullE36 M3, but i'll point out that pre-existing does not apply if you have proof of continuous coverage over a certain time before the new policy would start. You may have just not been informed, but it's usually a simple matter to call your previous insurance carrier and ask for a "certificate of coverage" that would show your eligibility dates. If there's no break, and you've had continuous coverage (usually 12 months), then pre-existing does not apply.

I know for a fact that less than 25 percent of the employers that i directly service do not have pre-existing. And don't hurt me, but i work for YOUR insurance company, which may be the only reason that i know these things.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/30/10 5:57 p.m.
Datsun1500 wrote: No person or business can survive forever by having a huge amount of debt that is not going down, and in fact, is growing the government is no different. It is simple economics.

You speak in absolute numbers of debt, but it is more accurate to talk in terms of debt ratio.

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/debtratio.asp Or even debt as a ratio to income or profit.. or something else.

It is feasible to have a "huge" ammount of debt that continues to go up and still be incredibly profitable. For example, If I was to increase my debt by 2X but was able to increase my income by 10X, it wouldn't be an issue.

So technically your statement above is incorrect.

Anyway, I agree we are running a too high of a debt right now. An economic downturn in the middle of war time is completely to blame for this... War costs a silly ammount of money.. 2 wars cost a really silly ammount. + the costs incurred trying to restart the economy = a big debt. But where you and I probably disagree is that debt is a bad thing. I think being appropriately leveraged is a very smart business device. If you aren't leveraging yourself to some extent, you are leaving a good bit of growth potential on the table. Seriously do you want the country to be cash positive? I 'd rather it be flat and balanced at the most. Or running some debt, but at a much lower % of GDP. If they were cash positive, wouldn't you be thinking, what more could they do with that money? Education, fixing bridges.. cleaning up the environment, buying more land to make more national parks?

Jensenman
Jensenman SuperDork
10/30/10 9:53 p.m.
93celicaGT2 wrote:
Jensenman wrote: That's odd. Every time I have ever looked at an application, regardless of where I worked or the insurance company, the app always says there is a waiting period for preexisting conditions. I have never had an individual policy, always group policies. The most irritating thing about all of this is that it's the same insurance provider. It was previously handled through my wife's work (they paid something like 90% of the premiums) and when they closed down I picked up coverage at my work. Her company changed providers 3 different times while she worked there and each time there was a waiting period for preexisting. Tell me THAT ain't some bullE36 M3.
I'm not going to call it bullE36 M3, but i'll point out that pre-existing does not apply if you have proof of continuous coverage over a certain time before the new policy would start. You may have just not been informed, but it's usually a simple matter to call your previous insurance carrier and ask for a "certificate of coverage" that would show your eligibility dates. If there's no break, and you've had continuous coverage (usually 12 months), then pre-existing does not apply. I know for a fact that less than 25 percent of the employers that i directly service do not have pre-existing. And don't hurt me, but i work for YOUR insurance company, which may be the only reason that i know these things.

No plans to hurt you (at least not when anyone's looking) because that is very good information. Since it looks like there may be yet another upheaval in the sorta near future, that will help a LOT with getting the kid's stuff covered. Thanks!

Now the rest of you get back to arguing about stimulus packages and wars which really should have their own threads.

mtn
mtn SuperDork
10/31/10 1:01 a.m.
Jensenman wrote: Now the rest of you get back to arguing about stimulus packages and wars which really should be ignored for the sake of keeping this a friendly forum in which every non-troll is welcome regardless of stance on any car-situation.

Fixed that for you.

Its not that I'm exactly against any politically colored post... Wait, thats exactly it. Really, I think we all will probably get enough of this from other forums/sources on the internet (although admittedly not as intelligent and well versed from both sides as one will get from GRM.)

I've been thinking about it lately... Do the GRM forums really need this? (And the answer could be a dominant and definitive YES, I really don't know and am just asking the question.)

Although I will admit that
A) I've found more really good viewpoints opposite of what I think from anywhere else
AND
B) Its Halloween and I've had more than a few brewskies at this point, so take this post with that in mind. But I'm (already) tired of the political posts. I don't even want to think about it come 2011/2012 time.

ignorant
ignorant SuperDork
10/31/10 7:39 a.m.
Datsun1500 wrote: In reply to ignorant: You are correct, when I was talking about debt, I meant the debt ratio, and did not make that clear. While I personally do not like any debt, it can be leveraged and used wisely. If you put the word ratio after debt in the part you quoted, that is what I meant, and stand by.

I understand completely. Sorry for being a bit of a pecker above..

Now.. I think these conversations along with the stuff about healthcare can all be tied up by the article I posted above, which talked about what service level we as a country want from our government. If we want stuff such as Health Care reform or Social security, we all need to make a proper decision about it then fund it all at the level it needs to be funded. The big problem though is that we'll never vote for a politican who will say, "look we all need to sacrifice now so that we can have a better future."

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