Comments on: Did the GOP capitulate on healthcare? Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: Dwayne Thu, 11 Jun 2009 02:02:29 +0000 The real reason healthcare is so expensive is because healthcare companies decided that we should pay more to increase their shareholder value and executive pay. How can so many of these companies tell us that over the past years that healthcare costs would climb anywhere from 7% – 17% and then have their stock prices soar from less than $10 per share to some as close as $100 per share? It’s quite obvious where the money went. Look at UnitedHealth Group Inc. Chairman and CEO William McGuire’s 2006 compensation. He received $1.6 billion in unexercised stock options. The Wall Street Journal reported that the timing of McGuire’s stock options, when UnitedHealth stock was at its lowest so he would benefit as much as possible raised the possibility that they had been backdated. UnitedHealth Group’s medical loss ratio for 2005 was 78.6%. That means that UnitedHealth retained for its own intrinsic uses, including profits, 21.4% of premiums paid. Profit for 2005 was $3.3 billion. For that performance, CEO McGuire receives $1.6 billion in unexercised stock options. Take a look at other healthcare stock prices and executive compensation and you’ll see the same pattern.

By: C.D. Walker Thu, 28 May 2009 17:24:42 +0000 Kurt-
I am very happy YOU have insurance, but since YOU have it, how can you know the plight of those that don’t? Especially since you have it through your retirement, back when companies actually gave benefits like that all the way through retirement.
You said
“Yes, there are some people, many by their own fault, who are not insured”

How is it a persons fault if an Insurance company charges so much for health coverage, the person cannot afford it?
How is it a persons fault if an Insurance company will not insure them because of a previous condition?
Hos is it a persons fault if an Insurance company decides not to pay their bill for some technicallity?
How is it a persons fault if an Insurance company makes their plan so complex, a person has to hire a specialist just to understand what is, and isn’t covered?

Why are you defending an Industry that continually lies, extorts, denies coverage, and uses the great people of this country?

By: scott Thu, 28 May 2009 16:32:42 +0000 We need an HMO system, such as Europe and Canada has that gives everyone healthcare, but restricts it so it does not go over 10% of GDP. We all want the best health care and we all want to live forever, but we cannot afford it. That is why other countries have long lines, they only have the health care they can afford, or willing to pay for.

It seems clear and simple how their sytem works and how ours works. Theirs: everyone gets as much as the country can afford. Here the lucky get as much as they need. The problem is the lucky, are becoming fewer by the day.

By: Benny Acosta Thu, 28 May 2009 15:04:16 +0000 Kurt

I can speak from experience. My wife and I both work. We have six children and we can’t get insurance because we “make too much”. Get that. We work overtime hours to make ends meet and that overtime, even though it’s not steady, is counted against us.

This so called health care system is not serving the public at all.

The reason is simple. You can’t have anything resembling decent health care if you approach it from a financial perspective.

The market place has it’s value. But there are some things, like your health, your life, your education, that should not be subject to market forces. Because doing so puts your life/health as a secondary priority after money.

By: C.D. Walker Thu, 28 May 2009 05:43:35 +0000 What the Heath care industry needs is to get rid of Insurers, who set the prices of just about everything, all so they can make the most money of course, why else would they go into insurance? If they wanted to help people they would have went into Med school.
You want a radical idea for reforming health care?
Nationalize Casinos, State Lotto’s go towards each states health program, and put Americas gambling vice to work keeping Americans healthy in a national “FREE” health plan. How many casinos launder money for gangs anyway? And where is all the states Lottery money going? Certainly not for schools, and try getting a state lottery audited, just try, i dare you.
The benefits:
1. More jobs in Casinos and the web of industries supporting those casinos like Spa’s, Food, Transport, ect. Who wouldn’t go to a casino more knowing even if you lose, your not really losing.
2. Without insurers in the loop, prices can be set for procedures that don’t gauge anyone.
3. Doctors pay wouldn’t be effected at all, and the free market will hold sway as better doctors would still get better pay based on performace.
4. Malpractice would be handled differently, saving much money for hospitals and doctors alike.
5. Jobs in the healthcare industry are projected to grow – this would ensure the money needed.
6. The ease of financial burden on families, rich and poor.
7. The small handful of people who would be upset over this, screw em.
No one should make money on the ill and sick except those who care for them- screw health insurers, they been screwing us for decades.
And Casinos have always been a hub for underworld activity, like Prostitution, drugs, and money laundering; besides, only Mafia types want to make money on the vices of their fellow human beings.

To me this is nothing but a win, win, win for the entirety of Americans, and the small amount of people who will be upset? Well, at least they’ll have health care.

By: Charlene Thu, 28 May 2009 00:13:16 +0000 If Pethokoukis thinks the Democratic and Republican plans are very similar, I question whether he has read them.

Democratic plans: require individuals to enroll in insurance; impose any mandates on employers; require a minimum benefit package; federalize insurance regulation; expand Medicaid or other public insurance; micromanage health-care decisions from Washington; and bankrupt the federal government.

The Coburn-Burr-Ryan-Nunes plan does NONE of that, and is built on individual choice of insurance, instead of being premised on government and employer control.

By: fbelz Wed, 27 May 2009 19:27:31 +0000 Sorry, forgot another comment.

Funny to hear the naysayers, the streets of Canada and England must be littered with dead bodies.

I do hope the Republican party fights the reform. Maybe we can put the final nails in the coffin and bury it.

By: f belz Wed, 27 May 2009 19:08:37 +0000 I do hope that people realize that we need a Chevrolet Malibu or Honda Accord and not a Cadillac Limo health care system. We already have a Cadillac system that costs more to run than we can afford. Health care needs to be indexed to costs in 1966 to 1970 when it was affordable and did a good job.

Without indexing the system the reform is DOA.

By: sg[ Wed, 27 May 2009 19:00:23 +0000 “At stake are billions in profits for them. For the rest of us, what’s at stake are the very lives of people who are already priced out of the American healthcare system.”

In one sentence you have boiled down the difference between the republicans and hopefully enough democrats with sufficient spine or health left to finally make true health care a reality for all Americans. Lets only hope that we can get it done this time. There may not be a next time, because by then the rest of the world, nearly every single country on earth, will have left us behind.

By: getplaning Wed, 27 May 2009 18:46:56 +0000 Craig Coal must have gotten his advance copy of Frank Luntz’s, 28-page memo, “The Language of Health Care,” written to help Republicans undermine health care reform efforts. As the debate over health care reform progresses, it was inevitable we’d see some pretty deceptive advertising from the right. But what they’ve come up with so far tells us quite a bit — some conservatives, left with no credible options, are just making up nonsense.

There’s a project, for example, called “Patients United Now,” organized by the same outfit that sponsored Sam “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher’s anti-Employee Free Choice Act efforts. This group, Americans for Prosperity, has a new television ad featuring a Canadian woman who said she came to the United States to be treated for brain cancer, because in Canada, she would have had to wait six months to see a specialist, a delay that would have killed her.

To hear the woman tell it, Canada’s system is a dystopian nightmare, in which the government forces taxpayers to “wait a year for vital surgeries,” and bureaucrats restrict access to medicine and treatments. She concludes by telling the viewer, “Now Washington wants to bring Canadian-style healthcare to the U.S., but government should never come in between your family and your doctor.” She encourages Americans, “Don’t give up your rights.” The message of the ad is completely wrong. This is consistent with the larger trend. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is spending millions launching a campaign in opposition to reform, and the message is wildly misleading. Rick Scott’s Conservatives for Patients’ Rights have ads up, and they’re no better.

So “this is where the conservative coalition can plant a flag and begin engaging in the debate?”

A debate is the last thing they want. Politically speaking, they want to crush health care reform, and especially any moves toward single-payer for the same reason they did in 1993: once enabled, the populace would embrace it as much as they did Social Security and Medicare, which would further strengthen Democrats’ consituency. Of course, we can’t underestimate the influence of the hundreds of potentially lost billions that buy lots of mansions & yachts for HMO execs, so there’s that, too. No, this isn’t a debate. For the insurance industry, who wrote the so-called “Patients Choice Act” for the Republicans, this is a war. At stake are billions in profits for them. For the rest of us, what’s at stake are the very lives of people who are already priced out of the American healthcare system.