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'KamalaCare' Fails to Address Big Problem: That We Cannot Trust Insurance Companies

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/08/05/kamalacare-fails-address-big-problem-we-cannot-trust-insurance-companies

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Archer/Potter sez:
“For several years now, Medicare Advantage plans have not disclosed complete and accurate data that reflects actual services their enrollees have received.”

Priorities, people! Have these plan managers not “disclosed complete and accurate” financial reports that reflect actual dividends and profits their shareholders have received? There are only so many hours in the day …

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We CAN indeed trust insurance companies’ (along with other corporations’) mandatory financial reports to reflect their missions to maximize shareholder value

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Here’s what I think will happen under Harris’s plan, or even under single payer. Health insurance companies will drastically reduce premiums, co-pays, deductibles, etc because they’ll finally face real competition. Their bottom lines will definitely take a hit. At that point they’ll bank on the maggot implanted into the American brain by Reagan 40 years ago that whispers ‘your government is inept and corrupt’. Who would you rather have in charge of your vital health care - us or bureaucrats?

If that doesn’t work, they’ll conspire with doctors and hospitals to limit or outright deny services to anyone on the government plan - even if it hurts profits in the short run. So keeping themselves in the game after the upcoming election is the urgent goal right now. STOP SINGLE PAYER AT ALL COSTS. They can then continue working on their bought legislators and shape the narrative through media, chipping away at the commons until the pendulum swings back in their favor. With a weakened public system, insurance companies will return to their present model which is way more expensive, causes bankruptcies and misery, limits choice but showers untold gains on investors, doctors, big pharma and hospitals.

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Good article by Wendell Potter. Read this article if you want to know why I predict Kamala Harris will be picked for Joe Biden’s V.P.

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Nor can we trust any candidate supported by the DCCC, DNC or DSCC to tell voters the truth.

If the DamnocRats saddle us with a Biden-Harris ticket in 2020 then Tweetle-Dumb will win re-election.   (He won’t REALLY win, but the ‘PoopLickens’ gerrymandering and voter suppression will be enough to sneak him over the line.  IMHO, our ONLY hope is a MASSIVE turnout that overwhelms the rigging, and that means Bernie & 'Beth – or 'Beth & Bernie – at the top of the ticket in 2020.)

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I agree, but even if Bernie through some miracle would get the Democratic nomination for POTUS, which would bring an overwhelming voter turnout, I do not think in my opinion, that Trump would step down and knowing the Mafia Don, he would probably start some kind of national emergency because Trump knows if he lost he would lose his presidential, veil of immunity that protects him from being indicted for all his crimes…but of course would love to be wrong!

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What will happen with a Public Option is this.

The Insurance Companies will cherry pick those that they cover. Premiums might drop a wee bit but this will only be temporary and then ramp up. Any Policy Holder deemed too great a risk will be dropped and the Public Option suggested to them.

The reason single payer works in Canada is because of single payer. They looked at things like a Public option and realized this was little more then a subsidy to the Insurance industry as the pool covered under the Public plan would be all of the peoples the insurance companies did not want to cover. When the insurance companies no longer have to cover those considered high risk, profit margins go up.

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Of course we can trust insurance companies! We can trust them to maximize profits, whatever the cost to subscribers’ health. That’s why the current system simply does not work.

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Kamala Harris in 2 words: Corporate tool.

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Exactly why I posted above that Kamala Harris will be nominated for Biden’s V.P.

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Some countries, for ex. Germany, have private NON-PROFIT health insurance companies. I haven’t heard any candidates suggest this as an alternative.

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Yes, I too have mentioned this previously, that even if we have fair elections (fat chance, with the 'Poop­Lickens in charge of the Senate and so many state legislatures) there’s a good chance Tweetle-Dumb will use some pretext to avoid stepping down and his minions on the Supreme Court and in the Senate will go along with it.   To counteract the boredom of the bullshit DamnocRatic nomination process over the next year or so, the three months of November 2020 through January 2021 is going to be a VERY interesting time . . .

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Shudder to think of a world without insurance companies, and corporations. What a nightmare that would be.

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Their #1 requirement is make a profit and pay off shareholders. Everything else is secondary. What could go wrong?

We can save big bucks 3 ways by sending the insurance companies to the way of the Dodos

  1. The 35-40% administration overhead and profits.
  2. The as yet not computed cost of delayed maintenance for the millions of services they deny every day, and for the millions of ‘pre-existing’ conditions they exclude.
  3. The cost to groups and individuals they decline to ‘cherry pick’ to have to go to ER, digs into savings, or do without care.
    Apologies to the great spirit of the Dodo birds.
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This is rich!
Did anyone notice that on one the authors of this piece is
Wendell Potter:former Vice President of corporate communications at CIGNA, one of the United States’ largest health insurance companies

Harris’ tough talk on new rules of the road for private insurers sounds terrific. But President Barack Obama said the same thing 10 years ago

Yes, President Obama did say that TEN years ago and in those 10 years, the Republicans did nothing to help make that a reality. In fact, Republicans sought only to dismantle the benefit.
Please … don’t blame any Democrat for the failure to reach universal health care in this nation.

– and health insurers won out under the Affordable Care Act, making tens of billions of dollars in profits since the law passed. Insurers are in business to drive big profits and shareholder returns. How would Harris prevent insurers from gaming the system, as they always have?

See above: Republicans fought the ACA tooth and nail wasting almost an entire decade.

It would be wonderful if Congress could enact a law that would turn our for-profit health insurance industry into the heavily regulated, largely non-profit insurers that offer better coverage at a lower cost in Germany, France and Japan.

Yes, it would, wouldn’t it?
Golly gee willikers, I think you just answered many of the questions posed in the article.
No one knows details about any candidate’s plan for healthcare until Congress writes the law.
As of now, any plan put forth is a guide, a direction, a roadmap - the details cannot be known.

Wait, there’s one plan we can be sure of - the Republican plan - don’t get sick.

But with the health insurance trade association spending nearly [$7 million] on lobbyists in 2018 alone, thinking Congress would remove the profit motive of those companies is magical thinking.

So, we need a Houdini, then? I’m all for that … nothing up my sleeve, presto Affordable Health Care
Who elected the health insurance trade association to represent us anyway?
Where do they get all that money and who do they bribe? Isn’t bribery illegal?

Harris underestimates the ability of for-profit insurers to corrupt our political system and health care regulators.

Vote out the corrupt politicians and replace corrupt health care regulators with decent American civil servants! No elected official or appointed regulator should be beholding to corporate greed, corruption, and influence.

Blaming Harris or any other Candidate for the mess is disingenuous Mr. Potter and your unwitting mouthpiece Ms. Archer.
How much were you paid as a VP at CIGNA?
When did you try to fix the corruption or refuse to pay for lobbyists to advance the goals of CIGNA?

There was a time when non-profit Health insurance providers existed - I guess there’s a LOT of corruption in our systems.

What a hoot!

Listen, America just went through a tumultuous 8 years of reconciling the perception, not fact, of the ACA - wasted time.

Medicare Advantage was originally slated to be phased out under the ACA, but guess who stopped that - Republicans and insurance companies like CIGNA.
A public option was also killed by the same entities.
The cost savings never materialized because … well you know who put a knife in our backs, right? And because those same miscreants stirred up trouble, the actual health providers were late to adopt the administrative cost savings proposed in the ACA

I don’t want to rehash the past eight years, the MT rhetoric, the falsehoods repeated by industry groups and Republicans.

The latest I hear is They’re taking away your private insurance when in reality any of the plans would REPLACE existing plans.
The quality of the replacement plans has yet to be defined, but Democrats did a decent job with the ACA plans - Republicans killed much of the Medicare expansion at the state level.
At least Harris’s plan allows you to supplement a plan if you can afford it and the ten years is a fair estimate (given the example of the ACA) of the time it will take to fully implement.

The other MT argument has always been How will it be funded
gosh, I dunno, perhaps the same way everything else is funded in the Federal gov’t

  • Congress appropriates funds.

Oh, I get it … where does the revenue come from. Well, there is discretionary spending and spending obligated by law

  • take some funds from the discretionary account and move them to the obligatory account
    … simple, no new taxes, just moving money from one bucket to the other bucket.
    Does anyone remember the movie Dave?

All things are not always equal.

Yeah, without any monetary incentive to rob, indenture or profit each from the other’s needs, diseases, tragedies and conditioned desires; we’d have to hire enforcers to enable our criminal predition of those weaker, more desperate, clueless vulnerable neighbors. To exonerate us OUR crimes, while criminalizing our powerless victims. Holding them down for us to enslave, rob, rape or murder. We would have to find some way to ensure personal protection from our enforcers? Maybe, give them Dodge Chargers, big scary firearms and uniforms? We could conduct all our crimes from tall, glass skyscrapers to look down upon our victims? Or, impressive fake Greek marble edifaces? We’d probably need the lawyers?

It took them three decades for both parties to fork us to the circling sharks & brag about our slapped together Heritage Foundation DoleCare Frankenstein monster, continuing to kill the weakest among us. While these blathering hyenas have enjoyed FREE single payer HEALTHCARE while dismantling Medicare & Tricare… Harris and Joe are simply there to kill Medicare for All and privatize Medicare, then Social Security.

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I hope Trump would meet a nice person with an assault weapon and the trigger would accidentally go off. What a shame.