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(Lehigh Valley Live)   A man Republicans can be proud of: Pennsylvania governor sticks it to the Obama administration with his "private" Medicaid plan; individuals being forced to pay premiums if they make $11,671 demonstrates his anti-Obamacare principles   (lehighvalleylive.com ) divider line
    More: Dumbass  
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2527 clicks; posted to Politics » on 31 Aug 2014 at 1:39 PM (1 year ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-31 11:08:54 AM  
FTA: Some low-income people will be charged premiums - those earning more than the federal poverty level, which begins at $11,670. Also, Pennsylvania will be allowed to reduce the 14 policies available under Medicaid to just one high-risk and one low-risk plan. Corbett agreed not to cut the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities program, which covers 33,000 poor and middle-income people with disabilities.

The article says any plan is better than no plan as the Republicans previously block implementation of the ACA.

So, that's like saying the poor in PA are now only in the 6th Circle of Hell instead of the 7th Circle. Making $11,670 annually is pretty low pay to still have to pay premiums, IMHO.

/Shafting the poor, the tired, the hungry is the Republican way.
 
2014-08-31 11:34:28 AM  
i595.photobucket.com

I can't wait until Tom Wolf eats this asshole's lunch on election day.
 
2014-08-31 11:34:51 AM  
Corbett's chances in the upcoming election are dismal.
 
2014-08-31 12:05:08 PM  
What a worthless piece of shiat.
 
2014-08-31 12:09:06 PM  
After deductions, minimum wage earners will be just above that level. Miraculous.
 
2014-08-31 12:17:41 PM  
Hey, yinz voted for him. What did you expect?
 
2014-08-31 12:24:27 PM  
He's just such a weiner.
 
2014-08-31 12:27:27 PM  
The delicious irony being that, while moderates Republicans and virtually all Democrats already hated his guts and considered him one of the worst governors in modern history who would let Shell or Chevron erect a drilling rig through the Liberty Bell, Heinz Field and his own mother's asshole, NOW even his derpiest of defenders are screaming for his head thanks to last year's gasoline tax and this recent "unprecedented government expansion that only helps the poors."
 
2014-08-31 12:42:28 PM  

Mr. Coffee Nerves: The delicious irony being that, while moderates Republicans and virtually all Democrats already hated his guts and considered him one of the worst governors in modern history who would let Shell or Chevron erect a drilling rig through the Liberty Bell, Heinz Field and his own mother's asshole, NOW even his derpiest of defenders are screaming for his head thanks to last year's gasoline tax and this recent "unprecedented government expansion that only helps the poors."


That's the dilemma facing the GOP teabaggers. You need to appease the rabid side of the party, while somehow looking fairly reasonable to the sane majority. And if you do anything that the sane people would say "ok, while not perfect we can live with it", the crazies will jump all over you.
 
2014-08-31 12:52:38 PM  
"Half our voters think our elections are broken. The other half think our elections are fixed."
-Swami Beyondananda
 
2014-08-31 01:05:56 PM  
Pennsylvania...... Texas of the North?
 
2014-08-31 01:44:21 PM  
In other news, Pennsylvania has a Republican Governor?  Who knew?
 
2014-08-31 01:47:31 PM  
"From the beginning, I said we needed a plan that was created in Pennsylvania, for Pennsylvania - a plan that would allow us to reform a financially unsustainable Medicaid program and increase access to health care for eligible individuals through the private market," Corbett said in a statement.

Which is why I waited years until my polls were in the tank to act!
 
2014-08-31 01:49:19 PM  

kxs401: Corbett's chances in the upcoming election are dismal.


Good.
 
2014-08-31 01:53:35 PM  
If you don't stick it to the poor enough then they'll want to stay poor. Duh!
 
2014-08-31 01:55:33 PM  
At first glance, I thought that was a picture of Leslie Nielsen.
 
2014-08-31 01:59:22 PM  

Doctor Funkenstein: [i595.photobucket.com image 500x340]

I can't wait until Tom Wolf eats this asshole's lunch on election day.


tossed salad for lunch ?
 
2014-08-31 02:03:23 PM  
I just can't turn my head around this. Imagine you are relatively poor but not poor enough. Imagine you suddenly feel, say, extrasystolic arrithmia, like I do right now. I am currently in Russia, by the way. What options would i have in this state and how much would it cost me?
 
2014-08-31 02:03:50 PM  

Doctor Funkenstein: [i595.photobucket.com image 500x340]

I can't wait until Tom Wolf eats this asshole's lunch on election day.


Good lord, I hope he never stumbles across a Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar. o_o
 
2014-08-31 02:05:46 PM  

AirForceVet: FTA: Some low-income people will be charged premiums - those earning more than the federal poverty level, which begins at $11,670. Also, Pennsylvania will be allowed to reduce the 14 policies available under Medicaid to just one high-risk and one low-risk plan. Corbett agreed not to cut the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities program, which covers 33,000 poor and middle-income people with disabilities.

The article says any plan is better than no plan as the Republicans previously block implementation of the ACA.

So, that's like saying the poor in PA are now only in the 6th Circle of Hell instead of the 7th Circle. Making $11,670 annually is pretty low pay to still have to pay premiums, IMHO.

/Shafting the poor, the tired, the hungry is the Republican way.


I'm not having much luck finding specific details, but it seems as though that's the threshold where people begin paying any premiums at all and the max the premiums can be is 2% of income, so I guess that the premium for someone making that exact amount or just slightly over is pretty small. Although this program only applies to people making up to 16k (for an individual). I guess above that amount and you just have to get normal coverage on the exchanges, presumably with the assistance of the federal subsidies. So, if the 2% max premium is for people making close to 16k, I guess maybe 1% premiums would apply to people making halfway between 11,670 and 16k (assuming a smooth increase) and people making closer to the poverty level would pay even less. Just a guess, like I said I can't find that level of specifics.
 
2014-08-31 02:12:15 PM  

Cat Food Sandwiches: In other news, Pennsylvania has a Republican Governor?  Who knew?


Not all that unusual. Before Rendell we had Tom Ridge. We had Dick Thornberg in 80s
 
2014-08-31 02:22:36 PM  
$11k?

You poors should be so lucky you're not paid in company script anymore
 
2014-08-31 02:23:59 PM  

Grahor: I just can't turn my head around this. Imagine you are relatively poor but not poor enough. Imagine you suddenly feel, say, extrasystolic arrithmia, like I do right now. I am currently in Russia, by the way. What options would i have in this state and how much would it cost me?


People here in the US are not automatically 'covered' for health care. Generally speaking you have just have to pay for all your medical expenses. Most people purchase health insurance to help them pay for those expenses, so many people are not really aware of how much things like an EKG test (which would presumably be done on someone with extrasystolic arrithmia) costs.  Usually when you seek medial care, you give them your insurance information and the doctor/hospital/etc deals directly with the insurance company. If the insurance company does not fully pay the cost of the car, the doctor/hospital/etc may bill you for the remainder.

So, in your case, if you do not already health insurance, and needed to suddenly go to the hospital, you would be responsible for all the costs incurred. How much that would be, I have no idea, but assuming some tests would be done, I would imagine that it could be substantial. If you DO have health insurance, you'd likely just pay what is called a 'co-pay'. In my personal case, a hospital co-pay is $50. Of course I also pay monthly premiums for my health insurance whether I get any medical care or not.

Hope that helps.
 
2014-08-31 02:30:53 PM  

theknuckler_33: you would be responsible for all the costs incurred. How much that would be, I have no idea, but assuming some tests would be done, I would imagine that it could be substantia


But here's the thing- what the hospital bills you is  not what you actually have to pay. Insurance companies don't pay the invoice price for any hospital services- the invoice prices are pretty much invented out of thin air because there's no market price for any hospital services. Nobody shops around on price.

The important, but little discussed fact, is that you can negotiate the hospital bill. There are specialists who, for a relatively small fee, will fight the hospital on your behalf to negotiate out a reasonable price.

That's how screwed up our health care industry is.
 
2014-08-31 02:32:13 PM  
Christ, what an asshole.
 
2014-08-31 02:32:41 PM  
Shirley he can't be serious!
img.fark.net
 
2014-08-31 02:33:09 PM  

AirForceVet: FTA: Some low-income people will be charged premiums - those earning more than the federal poverty level, which begins at $11,670. Also, Pennsylvania will be allowed to reduce the 14 policies available under Medicaid to just one high-risk and one low-risk plan. Corbett agreed not to cut the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities program, which covers 33,000 poor and middle-income people with disabilities.

The article says any plan is better than no plan as the Republicans previously block implementation of the ACA.

So, that's like saying the poor in PA are now only in the 6th Circle of Hell instead of the 7th Circle. Making $11,670 annually is pretty low pay to still have to pay premiums, IMHO.

/Shafting the poor, the tired, the hungry is the Republican way.


The cynic in me wants to see how many of the benefiting private insurers "donated" to his campaign. Hopefully not the case, just the first thing I thought of
 
2014-08-31 02:35:15 PM  

t3knomanser: theknuckler_33: you would be responsible for all the costs incurred. How much that would be, I have no idea, but assuming some tests would be done, I would imagine that it could be substantia

But here's the thing- what the hospital bills you is  not what you actually have to pay. Insurance companies don't pay the invoice price for any hospital services- the invoice prices are pretty much invented out of thin air because there's no market price for any hospital services. Nobody shops around on price.

The important, but little discussed fact, is that you can negotiate the hospital bill. There are specialists who, for a relatively small fee, will fight the hospital on your behalf to negotiate out a reasonable price.

That's how screwed up our health care industry is.


And those who would need such services almost certainly can't even begin to hope to someday be able to afford it.
 
2014-08-31 02:38:47 PM  
So he's means testing Medicaid. As opposed to the actual ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2014/08/16/a-medicare-scam- t hat-just-kept-rolling/ ) fraud that happens on Medicare.
 
2014-08-31 02:41:35 PM  

t3knomanser: theknuckler_33: you would be responsible for all the costs incurred. How much that would be, I have no idea, but assuming some tests would be done, I would imagine that it could be substantia

But here's the thing- what the hospital bills you is  not what you actually have to pay. Insurance companies don't pay the invoice price for any hospital services- the invoice prices are pretty much invented out of thin air because there's no market price for any hospital services. Nobody shops around on price.

The important, but little discussed fact, is that you can negotiate the hospital bill. There are specialists who, for a relatively small fee, will fight the hospital on your behalf to negotiate out a reasonable price.

That's how screwed up our health care industry is.


Oh my god, this. THIS.
  My girlfriend clips coupons and haggles over the price of a can of beans at the grocery store but won't negotiate rental leases, credit card contracts, or medical bills -- things that have a huge impact on our lives. Everyone I've talked to about it agrees with her and thinks this is normal.

It blows my f*cking mind.
 
2014-08-31 02:41:51 PM  

t3knomanser: theknuckler_33: you would be responsible for all the costs incurred. How much that would be, I have no idea, but assuming some tests would be done, I would imagine that it could be substantia

But here's the thing- what the hospital bills you is  not what you actually have to pay. Insurance companies don't pay the invoice price for any hospital services- the invoice prices are pretty much invented out of thin air because there's no market price for any hospital services. Nobody shops around on price.

The important, but little discussed fact, is that you can negotiate the hospital bill. There are specialists who, for a relatively small fee, will fight the hospital on your behalf to negotiate out a reasonable price.

That's how screwed up our health care industry is.


Yea, I realize that. I was just trying to keep it basic for our Russian friend.

Speaking of screwed up though, I had a long conversation with a guy I know from Budapest, Hungary. They have a socialized medical care system there, but they apparently do still pay the doctors... at least in some cases. He told me a story about his mother having to get some sort of surgery. The care was covered under the system of course, but she still paid the doctor some cash... almost like a tip or something. Kinda like handing over an envelope and saying "hey doc, no drinking the night before the surgery, OK? Thanks... go and buy yourself something nice.". I asked him how they how much to give the doctor and he said something like "you sort of discuss it amongst the other patients".

It blew me away!
 
2014-08-31 02:46:43 PM  

theknuckler_33: Grahor: I just can't turn my head around this. Imagine you are relatively poor but not poor enough. Imagine you suddenly feel, say, extrasystolic arrithmia, like I do right now. I am currently in Russia, by the way. What options would i have in this state and how much would it cost me?

People here in the US are not automatically 'covered' for health care. Generally speaking you have just have to pay for all your medical expenses. Most people purchase health insurance to help them pay for those expenses, so many people are not really aware of how much things like an EKG test (which would presumably be done on someone with extrasystolic arrithmia) costs.  Usually when you seek medial care, you give them your insurance information and the doctor/hospital/etc deals directly with the insurance company. If the insurance company does not fully pay the cost of the car, the doctor/hospital/etc may bill you for the remainder.

So, in your case, if you do not already health insurance, and needed to suddenly go to the hospital, you would be responsible for all the costs incurred. How much that would be, I have no idea, but assuming some tests would be done, I would imagine that it could be substantial. If you DO have health insurance, you'd likely just pay what is called a 'co-pay'. In my personal case, a hospital co-pay is $50. Of course I also pay monthly premiums for my health insurance whether I get any medical care or not.

Hope that helps.


Also, the doctor/hospital bills the insurance company 3-10 times what the procedure or test really costs.  Insurance companies are the middle men between the health providers and the health consumers, and their cut is why our healthcare is the most expensive in the world without significantly better outcomes.
 
2014-08-31 02:47:05 PM  

Grahor: I just can't turn my head around this. Imagine you are relatively poor but not poor enough. Imagine you suddenly feel, say, extrasystolic arrithmia, like I do right now. I am currently in Russia, by the way. What options would i have in this state and how much would it cost me?


You could wait until something really bad happens, go to emergency where they will stabilize you and get rid of you and give you a big bill, which you ignore, Repeat until you die.
If you were rich you could throw money at the problem until it went away. Or if you lucked out and had a job that provided insurance you might be ok. Or if you made less than 11k a year (which is about 5.6$/hr full time) they'll give you insurance.
 
2014-08-31 03:14:01 PM  

AirForceVet: /Shafting the poor, the tired, the hungry is the Republican way

 
2014-08-31 03:20:13 PM  
The Republicans are caving on Obamacare in droves.

As per President Obama's plan.
 
2014-08-31 03:20:14 PM  

Aquapope: Also, the doctor/hospital bills the insurance company 3-10 times what the procedure or test really costs.  Insurance companies are the middle men between the health providers and the health consumers, and their cut is why our healthcare is the most expensive in the world without significantly better outcomes.


It's even more complicated than that. The insurance companies are not quite villains.

Hospitals and medical practices - which as businesses are under pressure to maximize revenue - try to highball prices for medical care. I used to do medical billing. It's not at all unusual for a hospital to try to charge $25 for administering 500mg of aspirin, for example. Insurance companies collectively bargain to reduce those prices down to reasonable levels ("reasonable" being $3 in the cases I've seen -- you can buy a whole bottle for less than that). For the consumer that's good!

However, like you allude to, those companies then tack on 15-20% in administrative costs because they, too, are businesses. For the consumer that's bad!

Meanwhile you have pharmaceutical companies with government-granted monopolies on drugs who are not at all shy about posing the question, "Which is more important, your money or your life?". They cry about how expensive R&D is but they blow the plurality of their budgets on marketing to drum up more business. That situation is even more of a mess because 1) they're ridiculously profitable so 2) most people's 401(k)'s are tied up in big pharma to take advantage of said profitability which means that 3) most people's retirement funds are effectively held hostage to prevent any kind of regulation.
 
2014-08-31 03:25:06 PM  
Dammit. I ranted about Big Pharma and I totally blew the Sodium Benzoate punchline...
 
2014-08-31 03:32:35 PM  

theknuckler_33: t3knomanser: theknuckler_33: you would be responsible for all the costs incurred. How much that would be, I have no idea, but assuming some tests would be done, I would imagine that it could be substantia

But here's the thing- what the hospital bills you is  not what you actually have to pay. Insurance companies don't pay the invoice price for any hospital services- the invoice prices are pretty much invented out of thin air because there's no market price for any hospital services. Nobody shops around on price.

The important, but little discussed fact, is that you can negotiate the hospital bill. There are specialists who, for a relatively small fee, will fight the hospital on your behalf to negotiate out a reasonable price.

That's how screwed up our health care industry is.

Yea, I realize that. I was just trying to keep it basic for our Russian friend.

Speaking of screwed up though, I had a long conversation with a guy I know from Budapest, Hungary. They have a socialized medical care system there, but they apparently do still pay the doctors... at least in some cases. He told me a story about his mother having to get some sort of surgery. The care was covered under the system of course, but she still paid the doctor some cash... almost like a tip or something. Kinda like handing over an envelope and saying "hey doc, no drinking the night before the surgery, OK? Thanks... go and buy yourself something nice.". I asked him how they how much to give the doctor and he said something like "you sort of discuss it amongst the other patients".

It blew me away!


It's sort of a grey market for medical care many places in Eastern Europe. If you get sick in Budapest, go to the American clinic.

Still a much more civilized place than Pennsyltucky.
 
2014-08-31 03:48:20 PM  

Cat Food Sandwiches: In other news, Pennsylvania has a Republican Governor?  Who knew?

 It's not like the identities of governors are top secret or anything, so pretty much anyone with an internet connection who isn't proud to remain ignorant. Oh darn, you were 1 for 1
 
2014-08-31 03:49:04 PM  

Grahor: I just can't turn my head around this. Imagine you are relatively poor but not poor enough. Imagine you suddenly feel, say, extrasystolic arrithmia, like I do right now. I am currently in Russia, by the way. What options would i have in this state and how much would it cost me?


OK, so here's from personal experience.

Once I started having chest pains and a tingly left arm.  This was terrifying, so I went to get looked at.  My regular doctor did an EKG, and didn't find anything alarming, but I do have an irregular EKG, so they referred me to a cardiologist as a precaution.  This checkup ended up being a couple of hundred I think?

The cardiologist looked me over, and sent me for a stress echo and ultrasound (run on treadmill while they do EKG, then immediately they do an ultrasound).  Everything checked out fine.  This one was somewhat over $1,000.

Couple years ago I slipped on ice and cracked my radial head.  Visit to ER, x-rays, consult with orthopedist, return visit 2 weeks later with more x-rays and another consult, no actual treatment because the injury only required a sling and mild painkillers, $800.

Had I had health insurance (which I do now), not only would I have been liable for less of those charges, but they would have also cost less in the first place.

My mother once had appendicitis, the doctors charged her over $4,000 in tests to try to figure out what it was before she said fark this, went back to Europe for a few weeks, and got treatment (surgery) for roughly $250.

A friend of mine's baby was diagnosed at 1 month with dilated cardiomyopathy.  The full bill to his health insurance for the heart transplant was over $1.2 million dollars.  The last time the kid caught a cold, the hospital visit and tests ran $25,000.  If he had not had very good health insurance, his option would have been to let his baby die.
 
2014-08-31 03:53:29 PM  

The Why Not Guy: Cat Food Sandwiches: In other news, Pennsylvania has a Republican Governor?  Who knew?
 It's not like the identities of governors are top secret or anything, so pretty much anyone with an internet connection who isn't proud to remain ignorant. Oh darn, you were 1 for 1


So not knowing the party affiliation of all 50 governors constitutes ignorance?  Good to know.
 
2014-08-31 03:59:44 PM  

Cat Food Sandwiches: The Why Not Guy: Cat Food Sandwiches: In other news, Pennsylvania has a Republican Governor?  Who knew?
 It's not like the identities of governors are top secret or anything, so pretty much anyone with an internet connection who isn't proud to remain ignorant. Oh darn, you were 1 for 1

So not knowing the party affiliation of all 50 governors constitutes ignorance?  Good to know.


Yes. By definition "not knowing" does, in fact, constitute ignorance.

Sorry but he's got a good point - this is the information age. It takes like two seconds to find out who the governor of any given state is and their party affiliation. Your comment that started this all was kind of silly (don't sweat it, it happens).
 
2014-08-31 04:15:55 PM  

raerae1980: Hey, yinz voted for him. What did you expect?


Nope.  He was already in office when I moved back into this FSM-forsaken state.

My mother has been a diehard Republican for over 40 years.  Always voted along party lines.  When even she says "fark this guy, I'm voting Democrat," you know you done farked up beyond belief.
 
2014-08-31 04:26:52 PM  

theknuckler_33: AirForceVet: FTA: Some low-income people will be charged premiums - those earning more than the federal poverty level, which begins at $11,670. Also, Pennsylvania will be allowed to reduce the 14 policies available under Medicaid to just one high-risk and one low-risk plan. Corbett agreed not to cut the Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities program, which covers 33,000 poor and middle-income people with disabilities.

The article says any plan is better than no plan as the Republicans previously block implementation of the ACA.

So, that's like saying the poor in PA are now only in the 6th Circle of Hell instead of the 7th Circle. Making $11,670 annually is pretty low pay to still have to pay premiums, IMHO.

/Shafting the poor, the tired, the hungry is the Republican way.

I'm not having much luck finding specific details, but it seems as though that's the threshold where people begin paying any premiums at all and the max the premiums can be is 2% of income, so I guess that the premium for someone making that exact amount or just slightly over is pretty small. Although this program only applies to people making up to 16k (for an individual). I guess above that amount and you just have to get normal coverage on the exchanges, presumably with the assistance of the federal subsidies. So, if the 2% max premium is for people making close to 16k, I guess maybe 1% premiums would apply to people making halfway between 11,670 and 16k (assuming a smooth increase) and people making closer to the poverty level would pay even less. Just a guess, like I said I can't find that level of specifics.


Actually out of pocket support for patients who can then spend the money in a variety of ways is not such a bad idea. Medicaid (for poor people) has really low reimbursement rates so there are problems getting access to care. It also requires the government (state and federal) to be an insurance company. They manage patients, providers, and decide what drugs and services to fund and at what rates. There are huge bureaucracies to do this.

If the poors get their premiums (and co-pays and deductibles) paid but get to pick the insurance plan (either private or public) then there are some improvements in the process. To the extent that a marketplace efficiently allocates goods and services this (kinda) works as the poors can choose their plan. It also reduces some of the government bureaucracy and perhaps shifts the bureaucracy to good, outcomes based regulation (it can happen).

It spreads out health care risk. The government's amount is capped at premiums, co-pays, and deductibles (with an annual limit) and the insurance company gets a patient who may or may not cost them money depending on how sick they are. If it's a healthy person, the insurance company wins. If it's a sick person, the company loses.

The more intangible benefit is that someone gets health insurance and can also access it. If you're healthy it's not such a big deal. If you're sick then it's a very big deal and part of why we live in big societies.

It's being tried in some states in smaller ways. Lots of details left out and plenty of room for policy wonks to wonk.
 
2014-08-31 04:32:00 PM  
When the ACA was being put for conservatives wailed and wailed that it was just a plan to move tax dollars to private insurers. Now some of those very same conservative Republicans are making a new law that moves tax dollars to private insurers. Republicans thy name is hypocrisy.
 
2014-08-31 04:32:45 PM  
"put forth" Fark really really needs a five minute re-edit window.
 
2014-08-31 04:42:41 PM  

KellyKellyKelly: My mother has been a diehard Republican for over 40 years.  Always voted along party lines.  When even she says "fark this guy, I'm voting Democrat," you know you done farked up beyond belief.


No offense, but will she actually do it?  If every Republican voter who I've heard say that exact sentence actually did vote Democrat, the House would currently be experiencing a policy battle between the Hippy faction and the Really Farking Hippy faction, the Senate would be scheduling group granola enemas, Cornell West would be Chief Justice of SCOTUS (while representing the ultra-neocon wing of the Court), and POTUS would be some bull dyke who who makes R Lee Emery look like a prissy little metro biatch.  We would have single payer, the metric system, and pegging would be the #1 spectator sport.  But we do not, so I am pretty sure a lot of people are going into the voting booth, shaking off coming to their senses, and voting GOP - again.
 
2014-08-31 05:06:51 PM  

Cat Food Sandwiches: In other news, Pennsylvania has a Republican Governor?  Who knew?


Sorry you don't read things.
 
2014-08-31 05:14:46 PM  

sparkeyjames: When the ACA was being put for conservatives wailed and wailed that it was just a plan to move tax dollars to private insurers. Now some of those very same conservative Republicans are making a new law that moves tax dollars to private insurers. Republicans thy name is hypocrisy.


I didn't remember that being a problem the Republicans had.  Tax dollars to private companies is basically the party's entire MO.  Hell, their party created the plan.

Their problem was it was government - socialism and death panels and no opting out and shiat.  The massive transfer of taxpayer money to private health insurance was the one part of the plan they liked.
 
2014-08-31 05:15:51 PM  

MusicMakeMyHeadPound: Aquapope: Also, the doctor/hospital bills the insurance company 3-10 times what the procedure or test really costs.  Insurance companies are the middle men between the health providers and the health consumers, and their cut is why our healthcare is the most expensive in the world without significantly better outcomes.

It's even more complicated than that. The insurance companies are not quite villains.

Hospitals and medical practices - which as businesses are under pressure to maximize revenue - try to highball prices for medical care. I used to do medical billing. It's not at all unusual for a hospital to try to charge $25 for administering 500mg of aspirin, for example. Insurance companies collectively bargain to reduce those prices down to reasonable levels ("reasonable" being $3 in the cases I've seen -- you can buy a whole bottle for less than that). For the consumer that's good!

However, like you allude to, those companies then tack on 15-20% in administrative costs because they, too, are businesses. For the consumer that's bad!

Meanwhile you have pharmaceutical companies with government-granted monopolies on drugs who are not at all shy about posing the question, "Which is more important, your money or your life?". They cry about how expensive R&D is but they blow the plurality of their budgets on marketing to drum up more business. That situation is even more of a mess because 1) they're ridiculously profitable so 2) most people's 401(k)'s are tied up in big pharma to take advantage of said profitability which means that 3) most people's retirement funds are effectively held hostage to prevent any kind of regulation.


Hey, do you have a way to contact? I'm seriously thinking of going for a cert in Medical Billin gand Coding; I have a few questions.
 
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