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Sev
02-09-2011, 01:45 PM
From NPR with love.

Mocking or not?

http://www.npr.org/2011/02/08/133503755/alternatives-to-mandating-insurance-maybe
<span style="color: #000000">
February 8, 2011

Both supporters and opponents of the health care law routinely refer to the requirement that most people get health insurance or pay a penalty as the measure's "linchpin." But is it? Not everyone thinks so.

"The biggest fear is that without mandatory health insurance, there will be no incentive for people to buy health insurance until after they're sick, and then the system won't work," says Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, a California-based advocacy group that supports the law but opposes mandatory health insurance. "I would take issue with that."

Court says the biggest problem with health insurance is that it costs too much. He thinks that rather than having a mandate — which, he points out, is highly unpopular with the public in both parties — lowering costs would lead more people to buy insurance.

"You could offer discounts to people who sign up early. You could increase premiums for those who delay," he says. "Medicare actually does this."
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Mostly, Court says, states could be given more power to ensure that insurance companies can't impose premium increases that are unjustifiably large.

"The easiest way to get more people into the health insurance pool is to make health insurance more affordable," he says.

The insurance industry says that's not a good solution because premiums merely reflect underlying health care costs. But insurance officials seem warmer to some other proposals that could entice more healthy people to sign up without actually requiring them to.

One comes from Paul Starr, a health care expert and professor at Princeton University.

<span style="color: #990000">Starr has suggested giving people who don't want coverage a chance to opt out. But if they choose to remain uninsured, he says, "you won't be eligible to opt back in and get any of the benefit of the subsidies or use new health insurance exchanges or buy without pre-existing conditions exclusions."

In effect, he says, "you are basically opting into the world we have now" — for five years.</span>

Yet some analysts worry that still might not get enough healthy people to sign up compared with an actual mandate.

<span style="color: #990000">Len Nichols, a health economist who teaches at Virginia's George Mason University, says without a requirement for coverage, Congress might have to find another way to make the consequences of not having insurance even more dramatic.

For example, he says, perhaps if people don't buy insurance when it is first available, "if you ever try to buy insurance again, you'll have to pay three times the market price, and we will put a gold sticker on your forehead and say to all hospitals, 'You do not have to treat this person; this person has forfeited their right to uncompensated care.' "

Nichols is only half serious about that gold star. He is quick to point out that doctors and hospitals are bound by professional standards not to turn away patients in need of emergency care. So he says Congress may want to consider another option: Make the states do the hard work. Lawmakers could withhold federal funding in the health law unless states require people to have health insurance. That's how Congress got states to lower speed limits in the 1970s.</span>

"It would have the virtue of avoiding the constitutional debate," he says. But "it would have the downside of enabling states that were not inclined to expand coverage for their populations. They would then have an out, and they would withdraw from the reform."

Nichols says Congress could also theoretically do something Republicans have been pushing — create separate "high-risk" pools for people with pre-existing conditions. Those pools already exist in many states, and there are new, federally sponsored pools to serve as a bridge to the new coverage in 2014. But in both cases, they have been underused, largely because they are so expensive.

"To make the premiums humane, the subsidies would have to be quite large per person," he says. "It could be made to work, but most economists think it would be more expensive than what we're trying to do in the current reform bill."

In fact, Nichols says, in the end, "I think the mandate is the best tool to use" to get people covered and make private insurance work.</span>

JohnnyD
02-09-2011, 02:13 PM
Very interesting article Mr.sev.thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to write it.Have a wonderful day
JD.

Soflasnapper
02-09-2011, 02:13 PM
Thanks for posting this, an interesting discussion.

(However, caution: when you find graduates (Rumsfeld) or professors (Bernanke, Starr) of my old alma mater, don't take everything they say at face value.)

Would reducing the cost help? But of course, but still, IF YOU'RE BROKE AND/OR UNEMPLOYED, not so much. (Even Obama understood this and said so, back in the campaign. His inclusion of subsidies for lower income people may make up some of the difference, but not all.)

Would making early entrance cheap, and later entrance more expensive, push people into buying the coverage, even without a mandate? Yes, obviously, but ENOUGH OF THEM? Not sure.

Sev
02-09-2011, 02:42 PM
Most people have immortality complexes. The younger you are the more likely your are to roll the dice and say screw it. I have better things to do with my money.

cushioncrawler
02-09-2011, 03:38 PM
I dont know how this all works, but i dont understand why anyone who duznt earn enuff to pay any inkum tax shood havta pay anything for (gov) health cover at all. I dont.
I hav near'nuff zero inkum, and i pay zero inkum tax, and i pay zero gov health tax.
mac.

I had a speed-read of that article -- and i woz nearly blinded by 3 words that hit me like a baseball bat -- i saw one "expert", and two "krappynomicysts". Did i miss any (too skared to look).

JohnnyD
02-09-2011, 03:40 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I dont know how this all works, but i dont understand why anyone who duznt earn enuff to pay any inkum tax shood havta pay anything for (gov) health cover at all. I dont.
I hav near'nuff zero inkum, and i pay zero inkum tax, and i pay zero gov health tax.
mac.

I had a speed-read of that article -- and i woz nearly blinded by 3 words that hit me like a baseball bat -- i saw one "expert", and two "krappynomicysts". Did i miss any (too skared to look). </div></div>Your right on track.

LWW
02-10-2011, 03:04 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I dont know how this all works, but i dont understand why anyone who duznt earn enuff to pay any inkum tax shood havta pay anything for (gov) health cover at all. I dont.</div></div>

They don't in the US.

The reason this myth persists is that the poor are eligible for MEDICAID and other state programs ... yet most don't even apply for said coverage until disaster strikes. Hence they are technically "UNINSURED" until said disaster strikes.

LWW

LWW
02-10-2011, 03:05 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">hit me like a baseball bat </div></div>

Are you a fan of the Oz baseball league?

LWW

Qtec
02-10-2011, 06:05 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">While some lawmakers and wonks are busy cooking up alternatives to the controversial federal mandate requiring people to have health insurance starting in 2014, one early backer of the approach insists it remains the best way to get more people covered at the lowest cost.

And, MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber isn't just any old mandate supporter. He's an architects of Massachusetts' insurance mandate program. And he also did a little economic modeling for the Obama administration during the debate that led to the passage of last year's health overhaul.

Now, in a paper released by the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, Gruber revs up his estimating machine again to argue that the leading mandate replacements, such as penalties for people who delay buying insurance, wouldn't do nearly as much to address the twin problems of coverage and cost

And Gruber points out that in Massachusetts, where there is a real world example of an individual mandate, insurance premiums are actually going down. "According to insurance industry figures, nongroup premiums have fallen by 40 percent in Massachusetts while rising by 14 percent nationally," he wrote. </div></div> NPR (http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/02/09/133630880/intellectual-backer-of-insurance-mandate-faults-alternatives)

Q

LWW
02-10-2011, 06:13 AM
Or, maybe not:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><span style='font-size: 11pt'>Massachusetts has the most expensive family health insurance premiums in the country, according to a new analysis</span> that highlights the state’s challenge in trying to rein in medical costs after passage of a landmark 2006 law that mandated coverage for nearly everyone.

<span style='font-size: 11pt'>The report by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit health care foundation,</span> showed that the <span style='font-size: 14pt'>average family premium for plans offered by employers in Massachusetts was $13,788 in 2008</span>, <span style='font-size: 17pt'>40 percent higher than in 2003. Over the same period, premiums nationwide rose an average of 33 percent.</span> </div></div>
TRUTH VERSUS TRUTHINESS! (http://www.boston.com/news/health/articles/2009/08/22/bay_state_health_insurance_premiums_highest_in_cou ntry/)

Hoist by thine own petard yet again my ill informed friend.

LWW

Qtec
02-10-2011, 09:54 AM
Of course when you add more people to a program, the costs will always rise but in the long run costs will go down...if there are solid regulations in place.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Massachusetts officials point to the state’s near-universal coverage as evidence that their approach is working. The Census Bureau says 95.6 percent of Massachusetts residents were covered by health insurance last year, compared with 83.3 percent for the nation as a whole and 85.2 percent for Utah.

<span style='font-size: 14pt'>“We have the lowest uninsured rate in the nation, and we are immensely proud of that,”</span> said Glen Shor, executive director of the Massachusetts Connector. </div></div>

Why did costs go up? Its no surprise.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><span style='font-size: 14pt'> Double-digit increases in premiums have become almost routine in Massachusetts, with <u>the state’s major insurers saying they will raise rates</u> about 10 percent next year.</span> This trend began well before the overhaul passed, however, and when asked whether the law was having an impact on the cost of their own care, only about one-quarter of those surveyed said the law was “hurting’’ their own costs.</div></div>

If you had real competition people wouldn't accept these hikes.

Q





Q

Soflasnapper
02-10-2011, 01:38 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: LWW</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I dont know how this all works, but i dont understand why anyone who duznt earn enuff to pay any inkum tax shood havta pay anything for (gov) health cover at all. I dont.</div></div>

They don't in the US.

The reason this myth persists is that the poor are eligible for MEDICAID and other state programs ... yet most don't even apply for said coverage until disaster strikes. Hence they are technically "UNINSURED" until said disaster strikes.

LWW </div></div>

The so-called 'working poor' or 'near-poor' (above the poverty line, but only barely, say at 150% the poverty income level), are not eligible for Medicaid unless the state participates and pays extra to receive federal matching funds for this cohort.

Some states save money on this by limiting the extension of Medicaid to households with under 120% the poverty level of income. Regardless, once you've taken care of those in poverty, and in near-poverty at one of these multiples, you still have people too poor to afford insurance who do not qualify for Medicaid.

LWW
02-10-2011, 04:58 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Qtec</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Of course when you add more people to a program, the costs will always rise but in the long run costs will go down...if there are solid regulations in place.

Q </div></div>

That's just precious.

You were just convinced they were going down.

Now that it's been shown to have been a lie ... you insist that rising prices really means falling prices.

We've always been at war with Eastasia haven't we.

LWW