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health care reform
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Familyman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's why medical savings accounts could really help. Between that, allowing insurance to be sold across state lines and tort reform we could really improve the cost situation. These ideas could be implemented without destroying the whole system and economy with it.
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:10 pm    Post subject: ins Reply with quote

In ft.Worth there is a great hosptial that people can go that has no ins.
it is great ..
however john and i could never use it as we have a home ..

at one time they rasied the co-pay for meds and then the percent of people that was using this hosptial went down as they could not afford the copay and it really wasent that much but if you need more then a few meds it all adds up ..

so after john retires and has to pay a huge amount of money for the ins. plan then we are out of luck ,,,, no trips to that hosptial because of the home and the money we saved for retirement that may not get us though .... cause like everyone else we have lost alot of it too

the teachers now do not get that great plan they had back when my friend and lani hired in ....

johns retirement plan is not as great as it was when he hired in over 20 years ago ,,they keep cutting it ,, bummer ,,
get the job with good benefits and work all those years then in the end its not cut out to be what you planned on

my story is like all the rest here ..we are all in this together

i have never complained about our ins plan even though its got worse though the years ..i was just happy and thankful to have ins....
our deducable went way up this year as its been going up each year ..

i am enjoying what we have as what will it be like after he retires ?? take most of our money to pay for ins plan ???

the ins. companys are very RICH
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Article from our local newspaper:

Give Me Money

Stand in the halls of Congress and you will hear this:

I'm poor, give me money. I'm old, give me money. I'm in college, give me money. I'm an artist, give me money. I'm in a union, give me money. I've mismanaged my business, give me money. I've lost my job, give me money. I'm an illegal immigrant, give me money. I'm a minority, give me money. I'm a political activist, give me money. I'm a farmer, give me money. I've spent all my own money, give me money. I have children but no spouse, give me money. I didn't buy insurance, give me money. I made stupid investments, give me money.

What you won't hear:
I'm a middle class, middle-age person who works hard, takes care of his own family and hopes to retire someday. Please give me back what I've earned.
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully your insurance will carry you and lani thru Mike. With the way everything is going with the schools, teachers, etc. that too is not looking all that great. Look what is happening with the state employees. GM retirees and thier benefits. I do say that what ever happens it should not fall on just one group of people. It has to be Nation wide. Remember too that when you reach Medicare you will have to have supplemental insurance to go with the Medicare. Hopefully Medicare will be around for along time.

theeisland girl, what money we have saved towards our retirements, I feel our government will be sure we use it up for insurance, medical, etc. He wants us all the same. No one person have anything more than the other, even if we have worked for it. He-they want us all in the same boat.

I too have never complained about our insurance. Like you-Thank God we still have it. And yes, more and more changes have taken place. Scary, yes. Bigger copays, more for office calls, etc. Like I said, they will be sure to make us all use up what dollars we do have. Our primary care doctor has given us different scripts for meds to be filled at Walmart that our insurance no longer pays for. And at Walmart you can get 90 scripts or just 30 days scripts for a very reasonable price. Same as if your insurance was paying for it. Meijer's give our alot of free antibiotics. So if you need any antibiotic check with Meijers first to see if it is one of their's that they give free.

Mike, did you and lani or any of us really even think about insurance coverage way back then? We did, but didn't. We just thought it would always be there. Back when we were young, this you know was really on the back burner, as far as really thinking about it. I sometimes think we all took insurance for granted. Now that we are having to pay more, getting older and know that we will be needing health care even more, we are running scared. And very understandable.

Seeing all of those doctors from all over Mi. standing in front of the State Capitol was pretty darn scary to me. Never in My Life Time have I ever seen anything like that.

Hope and Pray for the best for ALL...................
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Familyman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The average insurance company operates on a 2.2% to 4.3% profit margin.
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats not true, you are talking about local offices not companys. If they don't make that much money, how can they afford to put millions into special interest pockets to try to confuse the american people. Which they do. The more sh--t you throw against the wall the more s----t that sticks. And about the halls of congress and the people say I want money. The INS companys say the same thing to the american people every day and don't have to make it public. And you do not have any choise, or even a vote on it.
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BBIBABS
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh come on Kevin are you trying to tell us that every thing we see on TV isn't the truth......LOL How am I suposed to know what is happening if these forms of infomation are not telling us what we need to know????? If greedy polotitions and the specil intrest groups would stay out of the publics pocket books we would get a lot farther. Oh wait a minute then there is the Rebuplican and Democrat parties that want to blame each other for all the wrong in the world, what the heck ever happened to by the people and for the people. Voting party lines is shuch a pile of crap.
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Familyman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What exactly do you consider a special interest group? I would guess it's the group you don't like. Special interest groups are nothing more than groups of like minded people who group together and hire someone to represent their interests. Unions, teachers, healthcare workers, lawyers, environmental groups, Acorn etc. There is nothing wrong with special interest groups, what's wrong is when an elected official is bribed or takes a payoff to buy his vote. Ever wonder how Charlie Wrangle could accumulate all that wealth he dosen't pay taxes on. I, for one, support groups in my field that pay for lobbiests. I don't have the time or desire to go to Washington and attend hearings, focus groups etc. After all, we do live in a representative republic. How much longer is anyone's guess.
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Familyman
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just because you don't beleive it doesn't make it untrue.
Drink up.


Overall, the profit margin for health insurance companies was a modest 3.4 percent over the past year, according to data provided by Morningstar. That ranks 87th out of 215 industries and slightly above the median of 2.2 percent. By this measure, the most profitable industry over the past year has been beverages, with a 25.9 percent profit margin.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After all, we do live in a representative republic. How much longer is anyone's guess.

I think we have passed mark quite some time ago. Now we are down to survival of the fittest. Fittest meaning those most disconnected and least reliant from the remaining facade of a "system". Argue about it all day long, go puke out the window, then argue some more. Waste of time.

Every man for himself... How do you spell DISENFRANCHISED?
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BBIBABS
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with most men is we are week when it comes to temptations, money, sex, etc. If it is not offered it is harder to make the mistake of doing.......so the offer-er is just as bad as the taker...
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 7:36 am    Post subject: Health care Reply with quote

Every one asks questions about the COSTS of health care reform. Many say it is too expensive. Why aren't questions about the cost of our Military ever brought up??

Congress just passed another 128 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan and not a peep is said about that. Iraq is approaching a trillion dollar expenditure. We have 700 bases throughout the world that DOES cost a trillion a year. Yet we question health care costs, ad nauseum, and accept with open patriotic arms a militaristic system that CREATES more problems worldwide than it solves while spending TRILLIONS that we DO NOT HAVE!

And we think the FED GOV is going to run a successful health care program???

Debate on sheeple. Mike Whites "extreme" example is perhaps the best approach. It would put the pressure on the "community" to care for the less fortunate.

You think Charley Rangel is going to give up his tropical rental properties with a health program that benefits the people??? Laugh, people, laugh.
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mikewhite
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:13 am    Post subject: Profit Margins Reply with quote

Profit Margins can't be used to justify anything. I say this after doing accounting for a number of years.

Lets say that your corporation claims to be non-profit, like Blue Cross - Blue Shield. That means that expenses and income are equal. So lets say that Blue Cross doubles its income by charging you twice as much. To be non-profit they must then double expenses. Well that is easy. Salaries and bonuses can be increased. New buildings can be built. I think you see what I'm getting at.

Bonuses are an expense. You can adjust that, and many other employment expenses, to make a profit margin whatever you want.

Short term, you could even design it so you would run at a loss intentionally, so that subsidies might become available to you.

Profit margins can't be used as an arguement.
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Dan Reynolds
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is nothing to prevent nonprofits from making a profit... Expenses and income are not necessarily equal.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live in a rural corner of Michigan, 25 m west of mount Pleasant. A once properous community I have seen go from good to bad to worse and now right to hell. The school system has shrunk 60%, Most private small business has evaporated. People have left the area and left the keys in the door. Property values have crashed... The farmers are hanging on marginally, those sticking it out are hanging on by their fingernails maybe because they have nowhere else to go.

I am not making crap up as I go along. How it really is and isn't improving.

These aren't people looking for a handout. They don't want "socialism" They want to work and earn a living just like they did not so long ago. I am not talking about uneducated laborers, either. I am talking about middle class people that have been cut off at the knees and hung out to dry. Around here, they are now the rule and not the exception. 21% unemployment not counting those that have given up.

With the high cost of living, and maybe making ends meet by corner cutting, Health insurance just isn't the budget any more. They aren't out there buying Tvs and ATVs... They are paying propane bills and gasolene to drive distances to what meager jobs remain. Breaking even if lucky.

Is that "their fault" They haven't asked for any of this.

So, someone gets sick and no H.I. or cash at the end of the month. Do what? Off to the emergency room. They can't turn someone away. And who pays for this?

And thats the reality of this predicament.

If a fraction of the money the government rips from us and squanders on military and empire maintainence, were redirected into this countries infrastructure, including level paying field health care regulation, we would all be ahead. Stick any tag you want on it.

It's not about what it is going to cost. It is about what it already costs every taxpayer in this country, front door or back door. Unless the situation is brought under control, by any means necessary, it will only get worse. No easy answers here.

As bad as things have gotten, I would rather be here than in an urban area totally system connected. I have been self sustaining before and can do it again. I still have that option.
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Rich
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A local man's wife got ovarian cancer, his premiums got tripled twice. Unable to find a job that could keep up with his medical bills he left his family this week for basic training. He signed up for 4 years in hopes to save his wife's life. He is 39. This could be anyone of us.

I'm all for capitalism, but it doesn't work well with things the consumer has no choice whether to buy or not. We should have a publicly funded national healthcare system, paid for like social security. Everyone pays the same %. Eliminate health insurance companies, medicare, veterans medical benefits, politicians lucritive health plans and all local, state and federal employee health plans. These programs already account for 50% of our healthcare anyway and would no longer be necessary.

Eliminate special interest money so the government would actually negotiate low prices with healthcare providers and drug companies on our behalf.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:20 am    Post subject: Health care Reply with quote

Rich, I think you hit the solution on the head...everyone enlist!!!

That way we can all have "Government" insurance, three squares aday, income, maybe a future, etc. We are expanding the empire in over 130 countries in over 700 bases...it is a growing market!

The USA makes little anymore except WAR. No jobs equals work for the military.

Keep on voting for the candidates endorsed by the Dems/Reps and we will continue to get the exact same crap year after year after year after year.....
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Uncle Steve
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Very Happy

And here are your options, what plan do you want John.. Twisted Evil


http://www.military.com/benefits/tricare/tricare-prime/tricare-prime-overview
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Rich
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See you at the recruiter's office.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi HO Hi HO, its off to recuiters I go.

Skimmed through the TriCare site, looks to me like a lot better insurance that I can afford on the open (civilian) market. Amazingly, it actually covers something.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject: Health Care Reply with quote

Hey Steve, thanks for the website. Just glanced at it but one would have to STUDY that info with dedication to pick the right option.
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doug miller
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder how much trouble and expense all the regulation involved in the insurance industry causes.

For example, why we can't pick and choose the coverage we want does not make sense. That is, require everyone to have catastrophic coverage but allow them to pick and choose the rest.

You want that burger plain or with the works . . .

You want that policy plain or do you want physical therapy and meds with a $10 or $50 copay and new joint coverage or abortion coverage or Viagra coverage or--well, you name it. Tailor the insurance to the individual. It would not fix everything, but it would certainly be a start.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have sort of ala carte insurance. Add things on but it isn't worth it.

For $280/month I get $5k deductable. nothing is covered below $5k, all out of pocket; Trainwreck insurance.

For a mere $15 a month, I added "dental" Great deal right? It covers two cleanings and one filling annually, IF I went to one of the PPOs on the list, which only is 60 miles from here. If I go to my regular dentist, only 50% is covered. Do the math. Anything other than cleaning/filling (as in xrays) not covered. What a friggin rip off!

I just had $2500 worth of crowns put in. Who paid for that? Neither the government or the tooth fairy. Oh well. I should have had the work done two years ago but between all other budgeted costs of living... Oh well.

Trust me, rates keep climbing every year. I spend two days on line looking over various packages and the above was the best I could come up with and it isn't much. Last year, My deductable was a mere $2500.

My insurance guy commented yesterday that he could no longer afford coverage for his employees. (including himself with 3 kids) He started a Medical savings acct which is about the only where left to go.

Something is going to have to happen. Cost have spiraled beyond the reach of the middle class. If you are self employeed, you're screwed.
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rich
I'm with you,I think you're right.
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Familyman
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The truth is starting to trickle out.

AP Monday October 29th 2009

FACT CHECK:
Health Insurers' Profits Not So Fat
Democrats have criticized insurance companies as rapacious profiteers, but health insurance profits are not too fruitful compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries.

But in pillorying insurers over profits, the critics are on shaky ground. Ledgers tell a different reality.

Health insurance profit margins typically run about 6 percent, give or take a point or two. That's anemic compared with other forms of insurance and a broad array of industries, even some beleaguered ones.

Profits barely exceeded 2 percent of revenues in the latest annual measure. This partly explains why the credit ratings of some of the largest insurers were downgraded to negative from stable heading into this year, as investors were warned of a stagnant if not shrinking market for private plans.

Insurers are an expedient target for leaders who want a government-run plan in the marketplace. Such a public option would force private insurers to trim profits and restrain premiums to compete, the argument goes. This would "keep insurance companies honest," says President Obama.

The debate is loaded with intimations that insurers are less than straight, when they are not flatly accused of malfeasance.

The insurers may not have helped their case by commissioning a report that looked primarily at the elements of health care legislation that might drive consumer costs up while ignoring elements aimed at bringing costs down. Few in the debate seem interested in a true balance sheet.

A look at some claims, and the numbers:

THE CLAIMS:

--"I'm very pleased that (Democratic leaders) will be talking, too, about the immoral profits being made by the insurance industry and how those profits have increased in the Bush years." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who also welcomed the attention being drawn to insurers' "obscene profits."

--"Keeping the status quo may be what the insurance industry wants. Their premiums have more than doubled in the last decade and their profits have skyrocketed." Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, member of the Democratic leadership.

--"Health insurance companies are willing to let the bodies pile up as long as their profits are safe." A MoveOn.org ad.

THE NUMBERS:

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.

The star among the health insurance companies did, however, nose out Jack in the Box restaurants, which only achieved a 4 percent margin.

UnitedHealth Group, reporting third quarter results last week, saw fortunes improve. It managed a 5 percent profit margin on an 8 percent growth in revenue.

Van Hollen is right that premiums have more than doubled in a decade, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study that found a 131 percent increase.

But were the Bush years golden ones for health insurers?

Not judging by profit margins, profit growth or returns to shareholders. The industry's overall profits grew only 8.8 percent from 2003 to 2008, and its margins year to year, from 2005 forward, never cracked 8 percent.

The latest annual profit margins of a selection of products, services and industries: Tupperware Brands, 7.5 percent; Yahoo, 5.9 percent; Hershey, 6.1 percent; Clorox, 8.7 percent; Molson Coors Brewing, 8.1 percent; construction and farm machinery, 5 percent; Yum Brands (think KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), 8.5 percent.
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