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Ungar writes: 'If you thought that the Obama Administration chickened out on pushing the nation in the direction of universal health care for everyone, today is the day you begin to understand that the reality is quite the contrary."

President Obama signed major healthcare legislation into law, 03/23/10. (photo: Doug Mills/NYT)
President Obama signed major healthcare legislation into law, 03/23/10. (photo: Doug Mills/NYT)



Bomb Buried in Obamacare Explodes - Hallelujah!

By Rick Ungar, Forbes

05 December 11

 

The 'time-bomb' Ungar refers to actually 'exploded' on December 2nd, the day this piece first appeared on Forbes. However, Ungar's point is not only still relevant, but the 'bomb' has been widely ignored by the mainstream media. -- JPS/RSN

 

have long argued that the impact of the Affordable Care Act is not nearly as big of a deal as opponents would have you believe. At the end of the day, the law is - in the main - little more than a successful effort to put an end to some of the more egregious health insurer abuses while creating an environment that should bring more Americans into programs that will give them at least some of the health care coverage they need.

There is, however, one notable exception - and it's one that should have a long lasting and powerful impact on the future of health care in our country.

That would be the provision of the law, called the medical loss ratio, that requires health insurance companies to spend 80% of the consumers' premium dollars they collect - 85% for large group insurers - on actual medical care rather than overhead, marketing expenses and profit. Failure on the part of insurers to meet this requirement will result in the insurers having to send their customers a rebate check representing the amount in which they underspend on actual medical care.

This is the true ‘bomb' contained in Obamacare and the one item that will have more impact on the future of how medical care is paid for in this country than anything we've seen in quite some time. Indeed, it is this aspect of the law that represents the true ‘death panel' found in Obamacare - but not one that is going to lead to the death of American consumers. Rather, the medical loss ratio will, ultimately, lead to the death of large parts of the private, for-profit health insurance industry.

Why? Because there is absolutely no way for-profit health insurers are going to be able to learn how to get by and still make a profit while being forced to spend at least 80 percent of their receipts providing their customers with the coverage for which they paid. If they could, we likely would never have seen the extraordinary efforts made by these companies to avoid paying benefits to their customers at the very moment they need it the most.

Today, that bomb goes off.

Today, the Department of Health & Human Services issues the rules of what insurer expenditures will - and will not - qualify as a medical expense for purposes of meeting the requirement.

As it turns out, HHS isn't screwing around. They actually mean to see to it that the insurance companies spend what they should taking care of their customers.

Here's an example: For months, health insurance brokers and salespeople have been lobbying to have the commissions they earn for selling an insurer's program to consumers be included as a ‘medical expense' for purposes of the rules. HHS has, today, given them the official thumbs down, as well they should have. Selling me a health insurance policy is simply not the same as providing me with the medical care I am entitled to under the policy. Sales is clearly an overhead cost in any business and had HHS included this as a medical cost, it would have signaled that they are not at all serious about enforcing the concept of the medical loss ratio.

So, can private health insurance companies manage to make a profit when they actually have to spend premium receipts taking care of their customers' health needs as promised?

Not a chance - and they know it. Indeed, we are already seeing the parent companies who own these insurance operations fleeing into other types of investments. They know what we should all know - we are now on an inescapable path to a single-payer system for most Americans and thank goodness for it.

Whether you are a believer in the benefits of single-payer health coverage or an opponent, mark this day down on your calendar because this is the day seismic shifts in our health care system finally get under way.

If you thought that the Obama Administration chickened out on pushing the nation in the direction of universal health care for everyone, today is the day you begin to understand that the reality is quite the contrary.

If you believe that the end of private, for-profit health insurance is some type of nefarious step towards a socialist society, then you might want to attend church this Sunday to mourn the loss of health insurers being able to worm out of covering the bills of a cancer patient because she forgot to write down on her application that she had skin acne for three months when she was a teenager.

Of course, those of you who fear the inevitable arrival of universal health care really shouldn't be too fretful. There will always be a for - profit health insurance industry for those who want to pay for it. The only difference will be that those who cannot afford private coverage will also have an opportunity to get their families the medical care that they need.

Everyone wins - except the for-profit health insurers.

I can live with that.

 

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+340 # pernsey 2011-12-05 17:30
I can live with it too!! Part of the Greedy One Percent just hit the bricks.

This is long over due.


NEVER EVER VOTE REPUBLICAN!!
 
 
+102 # NanFan 2011-12-06 01:08
Quoting pernsey:
I can live with it too!! Part of the Greedy One Percent just hit the bricks. This is long over due.


You know, I have been thinking that there was some strong reason Obama might have been "waiting in the weeds" till just the right moment. It was like he was playing chess: he laid out the board, sat patiently, knowing that he had strategically placed just the right knight (HHS) in just the right position to knock-out the black corporate opponents! And wham...they snapped them up!

In a climate where we have young people in the streets, yelling for corporate greed mongers to be taken down, we all wondered, why Obama had not aligned himself with that effort, or why he had not said something strong that would help the people to be heard, to help them take down the corps.

Meanwhile, he had. And the Repubs knew it! They have been screaming out their propaganda and trying to get the Supreme Court to overthrow "Obamacare" because it would require everyone to BUY insurance, when all along, the bill outlines a path to health care for all.

If this leads to the death of the insurance system we have and to the birth of universal, single-payer, health care for all, I say December 2, 2011 will be a day I will NEVER forget!

Wahoo! Fingers crossed!

OUST THE BUMS!
 
 
+3 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-12-07 07:47
Quoting NanFan:
Quoting pernsey:
I can live with it too!! Part of the Greedy One Percent just hit the bricks. This is long over due.


You know, I have been thinking that there was some strong reason Obama might have been "waiting in the weeds" till just the right moment. It was like he was playing chess: he laid out the board, sat patiently, knowing that he had strategically placed just the right knight (HHS) in just the right position to knock-out the black corporate opponents! And wham...they snapped them up!

In a climate where we have young people in the streets, yelling for corporate greed mongers to be taken down, we all wondered, why Obama had not aligned himself with that effort, or why he had not said something strong that would help the people to be heard, to help them take down the corps.

Meanwhile, he had. And the Repubs knew it! They have been screaming out their propaganda and trying to get the Supreme Court to overthrow "Obamacare" because it would require everyone to BUY insurance, when all along, the bill outlines a path to health care for all.

If this leads to the death of the insurance system we have and to the birth of universal, single-payer, health care for all, I say December 2, 2011 will be a day I will NEVER forget!

Wahoo! Fingers crossed!

OUST THE BUMS!


YIPEE-KI-YEA HEALTH-INSURERS !!
 
 
+51 # wsh 2011-12-06 04:43
Yes, Pernsey, "never vote Republican", because if we don't hold our noses and put Obama back in office, the next administration will browbeat HHS into diluting this provision back to what we've always had.

(Besides, maybe Obama will grow a pair big enough to match his campaign rhetoric when he's a lame duck.)
 
 
+12 # X Dane 2011-12-06 22:17
Aaaaaaaand wsh, We DO NOT want ROBERT BORK TO BE THE ONE CHOSING THE NEXT SUPREMS. Mir Romney has already said that Bork will be the one to advise him on judges.
I am sure Obama will be much better in a second term.
 
 
-11 # SoCalStar 2011-12-07 20:32
Of course he will!
He is sure to end all the wars and bring our troops home.
He is sure to stop this war on terror against the American people.
He is sure to end the phony drug war.
He is sure to stop the Federal Reserve from giving our money to foreign banksters and leaving US taxpayers on the hook.
He is sure to stop the rape of homeowners by unscrupulous mortgage companies and banks.
Naaaaahh. Not a chance.
Ron Paul would try to do those things.
Obama has no change I can count on. He takes to many campaign contributions from the 1% for any REAL change to happen
 
 
+1 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-12-07 07:45
Quoting pernsey:
I can live with it too!! Part of the Greedy One Percent just hit the bricks.

This is long over due.


NEVER EVER VOTE REPUBLICAN!!

Quoting Bruce Willis from the movie Diehard: "YIPPIE-KI-YEA, ONE PERCENTERS!!!"
 
 
+236 # MainStreetMentor 2011-12-05 18:41
For once ... something positive is going to happen that is measureable and ... that has "teeth" against the Greed Mongers. This legislation certainly did it right on this issue!
 
 
-13 # NOMINAE 2011-12-05 23:14
Quoting MainStreetMentor:
For once ... something positive is going to happen that is measureable and ... that has "teeth" against the Greed Mongers. This legislation certainly did it right on this issue!


Hip-hip-hooray they passed a LAW ? You mean like a governmental financial regulation ? One that Big Insurance will *always* obey to the letter and will *NEVER* be able to create a "work around" for, even as said new law eats into Big Insurance PROFIT ?

Silly, silly, countrymen, these clowns and criminals have *always* figured out how to "beat" any regulation long before it becomes law.

They pay very bright accountants, lawyers and lobbyists very large salaries to work on nothing else 24/7.

Even if this law did have "teeth", the tooth decay has already begun in the offices of K Street Lobbyists.

Yes, a new law is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, but it is certainly no harbinger of anything remotely resembling certain change.

Sorry to rain on the popular parade, but please - if we don't work in the "real world" the game is over before it begins.
 
 
+37 # Okieangels 2011-12-06 07:56
Have to agree....and I'm hoping the President has secret plans to deter the militarization of the police .
 
 
+14 # readerz 2011-12-06 11:42
A law is a beginning, but the Executive Branch is the enforcement arm of the law. As long as the White House is in the hands of people who are willing to enforce it, it will be effective. I worry though, because it depends on Senate confirmation of Cabinet positions, which requires 60 votes including from conservative states that have so little population they wouldn't rate more than a town.

I am nervous about the big insurance companies: if all of them drop health care coverage, who will we be able to buy it from, and at what cost? This isn't a rhetorical question, but my ignorance of the law: will the government be able to step in? It is urgent that I know these details, because my husband is being treated for cancer.
 
 
0 # Puck 2011-12-06 19:47
Sad to say,
Supremes WILL overthrow the Affordable Care Act. The vote will be 5 to 4 (The Fab Four Plus One - Kennedy.) Take it to the bank.
 
 
0 # chick 2011-12-06 20:10
I don't think so. First of all the Democrats will win BIG.
They also will realize their could be a law made to impeach the Supreme court if they continue to be so one sided.
 
 
+4 # David Allen 2011-12-06 22:42
No. There will be no "law made to impoeach the Supreme Court." The Supremes would rule it UNCONSTITUTIONA L.
 
 
+2 # Billy Bob 2011-12-09 17:55
Actually, that's one thing they can't do. It's a very clearly worded part of the separation of powers.
 
 
0 # David Allen 2011-12-06 22:40
Quoting Puck:
Sad to say,
Supremes WILL overthrow the Affordable Care Act. The vote will be 5 to 4 (The Fab Four Plus One - Kennedy.) Take it to the bank.

Not if Clarence and his buddy re-cuse themselves. If the Affordable Health Care Act IS dumped, then the insurers will go their merry way, and raise insurance rates to an intolerable level. The whole system will collapse.
 
 
+3 # chick 2011-12-06 20:08
Then you can buy into Medicare untill you become of a retirement age. Then it becomes a one payer syastem.

Never vote Republican, the party of the Greedy/
 
 
+4 # X Dane 2011-12-06 22:28
I am sorry readerz, that is difficult, I am sure something will be worked out. Please do not worry, that only makes it harder for you. You need to be strong for your husband and keep his spirit up. You can't afford to be weekened by fear.

We will hope all the best for you and your husbamd.
 
 
+2 # MainStreetMentor 2011-12-07 08:34
It's been 5 days (as of this entry) since the Dec 2 date. I'm sure that RSN will be doing follow-up stories on this to see just how effective the "teeth" are in assuring that 80 or 85% of that incoming cash is applied where it's supposed to be applied. However, I'm going to wait and give the legislation a chance to prove itsself.
 
 
+141 # midwegian 2011-12-05 19:04
RNS, how could I live without you!! Thanks for once more letting the light shine on what's really happening in the world! When my next disability check comes on 12/21, the first check I am making out will be to RNS in support of your world class coverage of the news that really matters!! OCCUPY coverage and this critical article are just 2 of the 1000's I've forwarded throughout the year! THANKS!
 
 
+206 # RMDC 2011-12-05 19:42
So if the for-profit healthcare corporations can't make it on 20% of their gross income, then let them fold up go away. Turn the insured over to Medicare which has about a 3% overhead. I don't feel sorry at all for the million dollar healthcare executives. Good riddance.
 
 
+43 # X Dane 2011-12-06 01:29
RMDC, Years ago the the health insurers were not for profit. And they never should have been, for it is immoral to the max, to make a profit on others illness and misery. But the gready jerks can find all kinds of ways to make money.

If A has stocks in a company that isures B, it is to A's advantage that B is refused the operation, that will save his life. That is plain disgusting.

I am so glad that we may finally get back to sanity. Of course people working in health care should make a good living, but it should NEVER have been for profit.
 
 
-53 # Virginia 2011-12-05 20:42
Do you know how many unnecessary procedures are done every day to increase doctor and hospital revenues? This will do little more than guarantee more radical surgeries. The only way to level the playing field is on salaries and no profit medical organizations.. .and that's not likely to happen in the near future.
 
 
+43 # warrior woman 2011-12-06 05:17
You are correct, Virginia. Revenues are a big part of the game for doctors and hospitals and adding procedures will have to become a medical revenue production source. I will give an example. I had a CAT scan, was given the copy to go to my referral. The Dr said, NO, I don't want that one, I will order one more up to date. I said NO, I don't want another one. As I left and went down the stairs, I turned to my right and there was an Imaging Ctr owned by the referral practice. CAT scan machines are/were an investment. Double billing in a sense. I decided not to go to that dr any longer.
 
 
+26 # Wildsingingbird 2011-12-06 07:32
Dear warriorwoman ~~ thankyou for being responsible for your own healthcare. I have noticed this pratice of doing the same diagnostic procedures more and more. Yes "we" need to stand up and pay attention to what's going on and act accordingly.
 
 
+11 # readerz 2011-12-06 11:53
You shouldn't have too many CT scans because they use a lot of radiation, but it is up to you to know that. But there are many procedures that doctors NOW don't do because they don't want to get into trouble with insurance. When was the last time that you had your nutrition analyzed to see if you are not missing essential vitamins (such as B-12 or niacin, which if you do not have enough it causes early dementia)? Have you had a routine thyroid test to see if you have low or high amounts of hormones (common in women, and can be deadly or debilitating)? How about a bone scan to see if you have osteoporosis? Or a mamogram? Or colonoscopy? A lot of people don't do these, and they find out they have a problem after it becomes serious. Your anecdotal story is the exception, not the rule. And if you start telling doctors not to screen for problems, then they will catch no problems. Sure, you might only prevent your death for 30 years or so, but that's a big chunk of time. Start taking charge of your own body.
 
 
+4 # chick 2011-12-06 20:26
And here I stand 84 and pretty darn heathy.
I do not get any of those eams cause you know I do not need them.

I take a 75 B Complex which includes all of the B ingredients. Not just B12. Why just take a portion of a good vitamin when it has so much more in it.

I take vitamine E-alpha not the E dl which is a manufactured E and not half as good as the Alpha

I take a C 1000 mg.
A & D Pantothenic Acid (acomponent of the B vitamin for my allergies) so I have no allergies.

I take these with my breakfast and dinner, twice a day.

Also once a day I take selinium, and Zinc

This for 30 years has been my routine.
I take no drugs, I have no pain, I have no arthiritis and I line dance 5 hours a week with 50 and 60 year old who call me their inspiration and hope to be line dancing like me in their 80.

Read, look inquire and you will find a better life and a healthier body.
 
 
+8 # X Dane 2011-12-06 16:51
Good for you Warrior Woman. We need to stand up for ourselves. My doctor wanted me to take statins because my cholesterol is a little elevated.
I saw what it did to my husband, destroyed his muscels, and I refused, also because many doctors say that when you are an older woman, the cholesterol is not a danger.
Another time when I had a minor ailmnent, he wanted to put me on blood preassure medication. My blood preassure is just fine, but when you are under the weather, it can be a little elevated.

So I said NO. ....It is just fine. Had I started the medication, I bet I would be on it the rest of my life.
I am 78 in general good health, and I take .......absolute ly NO medications.
 
 
+4 # chick 2011-12-06 20:28
X Dane good for you, That is what people have to do. Think. Some Drs. are good but still they are not Gods and you are the Captain of your soul and body.
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2011-12-06 22:54
Thank you chick I take vitamins and eat lots of fruits and vegtables. I have an orange and lemon tree, Every day I go out in my gardenand pick wonderful vitamins right off the trees. For a person coming from the cold north, that id a wild luxury.

There is one vitamin I don't know if you take, vitamin D. It is VERY important as you age, you should take 3-5000 IU
(international units) daily. They are tiny 1000 iu capsules.

I am never sick, do not get colds and flues, and I haver never had a flue-shot.I read in medical journals, that there are too many things, that are bad for you.
You are certainly an inspiration, I am looking forward to the eighties.
 
 
+11 # Karlus58 2011-12-06 06:45
Madam, what does that have to do with the MLR? On the contrary, it should provide increased funds to physicians for their services, as more money goes towards treatment of patients. The problem you speak of is a separate issue and indeed, I agree must be dealt with. It's been a problem since inception of Physician Payment Reform in the early 90's. Providers will continue to attempt to increase their reimbursements regardless, particularly if fee for service remains the norm.
 
 
+4 # readerz 2011-12-06 11:48
My husband has cancer. You are attempting murder. He had a colonoscopy in 2009 that was clean, but in late 2010 he had another that showed stage 3 colon cancer. I'm sure that you would have denied him that test because it was just a little over a year from the previous test. The "bottom line" is diarrhea. Without the radical surgery, he would already be dead. Just wait till you need surgery yourself.
 
 
+1 # chick 2011-12-06 20:14
That I blame on the people themselves. You should never just give your body to a Dr. and let him do whatever he wants.
He is not God. There is a lot of information a person can find out on their illness to know what is what, also read the Warrior Woman. She was smart and that is how all people should be.
 
 
+86 # buysolittle 2011-12-05 20:44
How did this ever get by the Republicans? All of us can see that for corporations which (not "who") need to "grow" their profits continuously this will crimp the revenue hose and choke off growth, as in stock price. Which, yes, conceivably could lead to the first glimmers of a single-payer system. But only if this is enforced. Can we believe in that aspect of it?
 
 
+6 # larrypayne 2011-12-06 11:00
About as much as we can believe the mortgage fraud banksters will be indicted.
 
 
0 # chick 2011-12-06 20:32
Yes we can, and it was passed when the Dems had the small advantage in the house and senate.
However it just squeeked through so as the Lady above sais and I totally agree

Never vote Rep. Vote Democarat so we can get more good stuff in and get rid of some of the lousy laws they have put through.
 
 
+113 # baldyc76 2011-12-05 20:47
Well, it is smart to get rid of the crooked insurance companies. Then we can finally have a single payer.
 
 
+122 # BLBreck 2011-12-05 21:01
I never could make myself read the legalese gobbledegook of the bill...I didn't know! Oh, this is good news! And I thought the bill was basically toothless! Nicely done! and thank you to all the legislators that worked so hard on trying to help the 99% with this bill!
 
 
+75 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-05 22:02
I knew about that clause, but didn't realize, until I read this article, what the real impact is going to be on these thieves.
 
 
+20 # Dion Giles 2011-12-05 23:58
Looks as if the insurance industry lawyers didn't realise either. Betcha THEY'LL get a rollocking as the penny drops! This'll breathe new life into the effort to get Obama re-elected.
 
 
+66 # Billy Bob 2011-12-05 21:29
I just don't feel like partying yet.

Is it possible that Obama was secretly a DEMOCRAT all along? I hope so. He seemed smart, but I didn't think he was that honest to us (enough to be dishonest to the right and actually have a trick up his sleeve).

My little brain's befuddled. Oh well, I've often fantasized about how I'll use my lottery winnings before the actual numbers came back as well. It's fun!

Let's hope this isn't just a fantasy.
 
 
+22 # William Bjornson 2011-12-05 23:10
Yeah, Billy Bob, I'm kind of with you on this one. How the army of corporate lawyers, lobbyists, analysts, who knows what missed an IED in their profit locker seems hard to believe. But then, I nicked myself with a tool the other day and no blood came out, just congealed anger and cynicism, so my befuddlement matches yours. Maybe BHO really IS a Democrat but, does even that mean anything anymore? I might relax a bit more if he starts to dismantle some of the tentacles of power that have accrued to the Executive these last couple of decades. And if he declared war on the elite, I'd be saddling up with a BIG smile on my face, but... (sigh) we'll see. In the meantime, I think I'll send some money to Elizabeth Warren. Maybe there is a reasonable future...
 
 
+16 # X Dane 2011-12-06 00:58
Is e a democrat Billy Bob?? HELL YES,
and a lot smarter than most realized.
yeeeppeeeeeeee
 
 
+1 # chick 2011-12-06 20:35
And your little brain could not see all the roadblocks the Republicans gave him?
 
 
-2 # Billy Bob 2011-12-07 13:04
Even MY little brain was big enough to anticipate that before he entered office. Do you think his was so small that he "couldn't see it coming"?
 
 
+81 # giraffee2012 2011-12-05 21:51
The widespread use of 'speak softly and carry a big stick' began with American president Theodore Roosevelt. In a letter to Henry L. Sprague, on January 26th 1900, he wrote:

"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."

Someone asked "how did this get past the GOP" -- They have their heads....

President Obama makes mistakes but the 99% should give him a "hip-hip-horrah"

Register early + mail-in ballots and please take time to get the 18-21 year olds, old, minorities (the DEMS who need to vote) registered/Mail -in ballots.

Go OWS, GO WI, GO OH -- GO USA!

The dog/pony show (ala Trump/Newt) is better than a reality show - except I cannot watch without getting sick to my stomache. But I enjoy SNL, Cobert, Stewart, Leno, etc. making fun of these "debates"

I think we will make it - -but we have work to do. Get the $$ out of our elections/ governmant (Las Angeles has begun a move to make Congress Act on this) --- Scalia/Thomas MUST resign (and go to jail)
 
 
+17 # X Dane 2011-12-06 01:09
What a lovely thought,giraffe e. Those two crooks do not belong on the highest court in the land.

I like all your advice to voters, and your optimism. I too love the late night guys take on the stupid republican circus. It is a long time since we saw that many fools together in one arena.
Gives you hope for 2012.
Thank you for yor goof comments
 
 
0 # X Dane 2011-12-06 16:56
OOOPS, Shouda been GOOD comments
 
 
+10 # readerz 2011-12-06 12:06
Register... that is a very good point. If you are moving soon, be sure to register immediately. If you do not currently have photo ID, work to get it. Some states did not list the mother's maiden name on copies the family got back in the day, so now if you don't have a photo ID, you have to get a copy of the complete registration from your state (famous test case, Pres. Obama in Hawaii). If you wait till last minute: it can take a couple of months to get this official certified document. Some states charge a lot of money (New Jersey charges over $50). Yes, it is a poll tax. Sometimes the state will do it for less if you are willing to wait longer. Then your name is on the Lexus-Nexus system for a year (they say). It's all too weird. I hate these photo ID for voting, but it's better to get the ID if you possibly can, well before you need it.

When you get to the polls, if the address on your photo ID does not match where you live, you might only be able to get a provisional ballot, which disenfranchises you (your vote isn't counted). It isn't hard to change addresses if you have a previous driver's license (for example). Also, some states do not take other ID such as military, etc. It would be a good idea to overturn these new voting laws, but at present, the best we can do is to try to make sure people have their IDs.
 
 
+84 # Progressive Patriot 2011-12-05 22:00
And _that_, my friends, is why the TeaTHUGliKKKlan s are so bent upon getting rid of the health INSURANCE "reform" law they call "Obamacare".
 
 
+20 # Karlus58 2011-12-06 06:47
Yes sir, the "jobs killer" they refer to, which of course, means their own jobs.
 
 
+70 # Paul Scott 2011-12-05 22:01
Bush/Cheney could legislate, by executive Order; therefore, Obama should issue an Executive Order making this provision tamper proof.
 
 
+70 # Susan W 2011-12-05 22:01
Good riddance! I hope the greedy creeps all go belly up.
 
 
+31 # truthbug 2011-12-05 22:06
Coming from Forbes, I can only say, "I'll believe it when I see it."
 
 
+97 # whalegurl 2011-12-05 22:16
I grew up an Air Force brat. For 23 years, I got great health care from the Government. The same kind we give our military. JOhn Stewart trapped some republican who was saying the government can't deliver anything good, by asking him if we give our military good health care. The answer was yes, we give our military the best health care.
 
 
+23 # William Bjornson 2011-12-05 23:21
I agree. The VA here in Portland Oregon is as good as I have experienced. But with the all of the guys coming back from the slaughter with serious issues, I have opted to pay KaizerPermanent e and free up the resources for those guys who really need it. But with more than two times as many people dying due to medical error in America as die on our highways, I do my best to stay as far away from there as I can. Who'd have thought that corporate American healthcare itself would become a major cause of death for Americans? I hope this 'bomb' somehow has some effect on that also.
 
 
+19 # NOMINAE 2011-12-05 23:27
Quoting whalegurl:
I grew up an Air Force brat. For 23 years, I got great health care from the Government. The same kind we give our military. JOhn Stewart trapped some republican who was saying the government can't deliver anything good, by asking him if we give our military good health care. The answer was yes, we give our military the best health care.


WoW ! It is obvious that you haven't spoken to many Veterans dealing with the VA System, the funding for which was cut in half TWICE under Bush/Chaney.

VA care has always been "bare-minimum" care, using the oldest procedures they can possibly get away with.

The care I received while serving in the U.S. Navy was likewise nothing to write home to Mom about either.

If Military health care seemed to you to be "the best", I wonder if that might mean that you never had an experience with truly good private medical care to use as a comparison during your 23 years of USAF care.

I love Jon Stewart, and his question was one that a Republican would obviously have to "choke on", but in truth, Republicans only "Rah-Rah" the troops when they don't have dig deep into their pockets to truly support the troops. It's bumper-sticker support, not legislative or financial support.
 
 
+29 # Ken Hall 2011-12-06 07:17
I know some old veterans who've gotten very good care from the VA, including open heart surgery. And yes, I'm sure Bushco did their best to ruin the VA health system and stiff the veterans who deserve and are entitled to good healthcare. As far as our conservative leaders are concerned, soldiers are expendable and they certainly don't want the news to get around that the US has an effective socialized medical program. (As an aside, many more Democratic leaders have served in the military than Repubs) The fact remains that, underfunded as it may be now, a socialized medical system and bureaucracy is in place to administer healthcare to veterans (and members of Congress, too). If more funding would make it better and more effective, the funds should be restored, Lord knows the veterans deserve it. This same system, along with Medicare, could be expanded to include all US citizens, and with savings of scale and reduced administrative costs, could mean big savings to the US economy and improved healthcare for all.
 
 
+17 # Charles3000 2011-12-06 04:51
Yes! I always advocate VA Health for all!
 
 
+1 # NOMINAE 2011-12-06 14:42
Quoting Charles3000:
Yes! I always advocate VA Health for all!


@ Charles3000

As a veteran who has wrestled with the VA System for many years, all I can say is to be careful what you wish for !
 
 
-12 # bugbuster 2011-12-06 06:33
According to some people, the one and only thing the govt can do right is conspiracies.
 
 
+42 # Karlus58 2011-12-06 07:04
I practiced medicine for 20 years. I got out and retired 5 years ago because I became a slave to private insurance. They would deny and delay care for my patients. They would pay me when they wanted, if they wanted, and how much they wanted. Gods truth. My best payor was Medicare and I made a very good living taking care of so many elderly patients with Medicare. The Medicare Advantage program diverts needed care funds to the private insurers as well as other HMO programs and should be abandoned.
 
 
+36 # Karlus58 2011-12-06 07:05
Contd....It was clear to me then, and is crystal clear today, Single Payor, Medicare for All is the most logical choice and yet, was completely thrown out the window with no debate allowed. That alone should wake you to whom they represent. They talk about "government healthcare". Folks, the government doesn't provide you healthcare, they only administrate it just as the Private Insurance Cartel. Your doctors and hospitals provide you the care and seek payment from an administrative body. The debate should only be about who best would "administer" payment. If single payor were to be instituted, would you believe it would affect the care provided by physicians? If so, then why is the Medicare program so successful and participated by the majority of physicians? Let me remind you Ronald Reagan deemed Medicare to be socialism and the end of our country as we know it. Does that sound familiar?
 
 
+17 # Ken Hall 2011-12-06 07:47
Thank you for your informed comments, Karlus, and many "thumbs up" to you!
 
 
+12 # readerz 2011-12-06 12:16
People say "thank you for your service" to vets. I say that to doctors and nurses. My husband has cancer, so far over a year at stage 3C, and I know who has kept him alive. So, thank you so much.

We can't get Medicare because we are in our 50s, but I went to a Medicare seminar... part A,B,C,D,... I couldn't figure it out myself. They said to look at the drugs you take to see which plan would be best, but they keep changing the drugs... how would we know? It is cruel and unusual punishment of innocent American civilians. Yes, replace all this alphabet soup Medicare for real Medicare. And replace the soup of evil insurance companies with Medicare for all.
 
 
+8 # X Dane 2011-12-06 17:20
Yes Karlus, coming from a Medical Doctor this is VERY IMPORTANT. People are hysterical about "sosialized medicin"
Thay have no idea what they are talking about. Denmark, the country I came from has excellent madical care. I should know. When my parents were young, in 1940 they both had TB and were in a sanatorium, my mom a year, my dad two years. Later when I was 15, I also got TB, and was in the sanatorium a year.

All this was paid for in our taxes. So we here should be so lucky to have socialized medicine.
If some want more gold plated treatment they can take out additional insurance.

I have never had a recurrance, and I am now 78 and in good health. No medications.
 
 
+26 # bugbuster 2011-12-05 22:23
This could explain the single-minded determination of Republicans and their patrons to repeal what they like to call "Obamacare."
 
 
+23 # SenorN 2011-12-05 22:47
"buysolittle 2011-12-05 20:44
How did this ever get by the Republicans? "
---------
I didn't "get by" the Republicans. They just couldn't stop it, even though they fought tooth-and-nail to try to prevent government from helping everyday Americans.
 
 
+13 # Okieangels 2011-12-06 08:06
I don't know...look how stupid their presidential candidates are.
 
 
-23 # disgusted American 2011-12-05 23:23
All who think this is a great plan just b/c of Ungar's article will be aghast when you find out what was done to you in the guise of health care reform.

Don't think for one minute that insurers are on the losing end. Congress will look the other way when insurers do what is in their best interest, and Congress always leaves loopholes b/c those lobbyist $$$ - you know how that works.

Could be that Ungar doesn't have a clue how Obamacare works if he thinks it's going to take us to single payer. This scheme goes in the opposite direction and will not provide access to affordable care for all.

It will cause many much harm. You will be told how much you can afford to pay based on prior year income including tax exempt interest accrued or rec'd in the taxable year. The gov't doesn't care how much you pay for lodging, food, property taxes, heat, school loan, etc. You must pony up or pay an IRS-enformed tax penalty.

If you are found eligible for expanded Medicaid, that's what you get. No other choice unless you can afford to buy on the open market. Medicaid has an estate recovery program for those who use benefits at age 55 and up. Congrats! You just got a mandated collateral loan.

This is just the tippy top of the iceberg. Fasten your seatbelts.
 
 
+37 # Wildsingingbird 2011-12-06 07:21
Dear disgusted American~ I don't know where you are getting your information from, you don't say. I don't see that this is going to make insurers suffer nor us subscribers. I do that I have medicare and I love it. I never have problems with Medicare only endless problems with my UHC supplement (which costs me almost 4x as much as my Medicare premium and they only pay 20% of the total bill!). You're right about government not caring and I ask you to consider who the government is. Government run for and by the people is a good thing. What we have now is private interests running the show and expanding government. We expect President Obama to help us against these monsters but we need to fight to help him help us. We are the responsible ones here.
 
 
-3 # disgusted American 2011-12-06 22:27
Wildsinginbbird

Read the law. Then find the many changes that have been and are being made since it became law. It is regressive, oppressive and WILL NOT provide affordable access to care for all with decent benefits. It is the failed MA plan on steroids. btw: Ted Kennedy, whose HELP committee wrote one of the senate bills, was deeply involved with the MA plan with Romney, but people don't realize that. The 'ole bipartisan spin. The MA plan was used as the marketing tool for Obamacare. It didn't become the nat'l plan b/c it works.

btw, my comment talks about Medicaid, not Medicare. I must inform you that Medicare is not good for many seniors. It is expensive for people on a fixed income and not affordable to use plus it doesn't cover many necessary items. I unenrolled in October. Glad you can afford it and like it.

As for Obamacare, I've mentioned a few items b/c no space here for all the ugly details. Re the MA plan, there are facts and figures available on its failure which MA state and national politicians don't want you to know.

Sadly, there is not a single commenter who absorbed what I wrote. One would think that they would be concerned and want to find out more so they can figure out how to save their butts from what's coming at them.

Personally, I could care less. It's not my problem, but it will be theirs.
 
 
+15 # readerz 2011-12-06 12:21
Medicaid and Medicare are two different things.
Medicaid is for people who have NO income and NO savings, like my elderly parents, who used up every cent on nursing homes, and had to go on Medicaid so that they could have a safe environment for their dementia. I cry when I think how this program has been cut by Republicans; my parents' nursing home has had to cut staff this year. You are listening to people who have no pity on their fellow human beings.
 
 
-13 # NOMINAE 2011-12-06 14:21
@ disgusted American

Do not be disheartened by all of the "thumbs down" attached to your comment. It is simply and indicator of the number of people who have no interest in any truth that has not been thru the blender of sugar-coated pablum.

Many of them style themselves as "activists". However, true activists, like good generals, deal with the battlefield as it truly exists, not the way they wish it existed.

As to the nay-sayers - their minds are already made up - they hate becoming confused by the actual facts !
 
 
+6 # chick 2011-12-06 20:51
Oh Oh, I smell two Republicans in the BUSH
 
 
0 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-12-07 08:00
Quoting chick:
Oh Oh, I smell two Republicans in the BUSH

I agree with you, chick; THE STENCH IS NAUSEATING!
 
 
0 # disgusted American 2011-12-07 23:26
chick and patriot,

someone tries to give you important info and the best you can do is make childish remarks about what you smell.

do you ever stop blabbing nonsense long enough to realize what's happening to we the people perpetrated by both Repukes and Democrats?

reading the comments on this site has become a waste of time b/c most have nothing intelligent to offer. you all just dis Republicans and complain.

for your info, i'm not a Repuke.
 
 
-2 # disgusted American 2011-12-06 22:47
Nominae,

Glad you get it, and I don't feel bad at all. People love to rant and rave but what else to they do about all that is happening to us?

I just replied above to Wildsingingbird who said I didn't give my source in case you want to read this.

I've noticed during the 4 years that I was heavily involved with so-called health care reform that people slide past anything that scares them and are quick to criticize or make silly remarks.

Ignorance is bliss. Knowledge is power.

I must add that the commenters who write DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN everywhere on this site ad nauseum are asleep at the wheel. Democrats dine at the same trough and will not save us. The two parties play good cop, bad cop. It's all smoke and mirrors.
 
 
+5 # chick 2011-12-06 20:49
I smell a Republcan in the Bush.
 
 
+8 # Warren 2011-12-05 23:39
A few things to keep in mind ---
1) This article was published by Forbes. They are not a friend to the 99%. They are the 1%.
2) A real (GOOD) agent or broker is on the clients side - explaining what the policy REALLY says and covers. True, there are some that are crooks, fortunately there are some that are good, caring, hard working folks - members of the 99%. The clients really need to know what they are getting, and therefore unless they want to go through the licensing process and work a few years studying the products offered by the Insurance Companies - they need their agents.
3) Agents and most brokers did NOT lobby to have their commissions included as part of the medical cost! It is the Insurance Companies that have cut the commission rates for agents and brokers.
4) Insurance Companies would prefer to NOT have agents and brokers. If you don't understand the product they can sell you anything, then later come back and tell you what you thought was covered isn't.
 
 
-4 # feloneouscat 2011-12-06 07:34
Quoting Warren:
A real (GOOD) agent or broker is on the clients side


I smiled when I saw that. Sure, it's nice PR, but that isn't reality.

To understand the difference, to actually have the agent or broker on the client side, ALL MONIES earned by the agent would have to be strictly from the client. Period. No commissions from insurance companies (because then agents are influenced by the rates).

People need to understand that under capitalism, no matter how nice the person may be (including myself - and I'm a very nice person), business people are out to make a profit. Sure, they may be nice, but at the end of the day, what puts bread on our table is profit.

If everyone keeps in mind the simple rules of capitalism, it makes it better for all of us. We are trying to sell you product and make a profit. End of story.
 
 
+4 # feloneouscat 2011-12-07 09:48
Wow. To get downrated for speaking the truth.

This is the problem people have when they don't want to admit the truth - that under capitalism the guiding principle is to make a profit. Everything else is just PR.

This is why I personally prefer a single-payer system. It gets rid of the desire/need for profit.
 
 
+4 # Rick Levy 2011-12-05 23:57
Too good to be true I fear, and yet...
 
 
-13 # Gary Austin 2011-12-06 00:02
While I have learned valuable information from this article, I take issue with Mr. Ungar's grammatical error in his first sentence. This is an example of the dumming of America, even infecting those who are educated and whose job it is to express themselves to many. It is Mr. Ungar's responsibility to be aware.

The sentence in question: "I have long argued that the impact of the Affordable Care Act is not nearly as big of a deal as opponents would have you believe."

The word "of" in the phrase, "as big of a deal" is not necessary and in fact changes the meaning of what Mr. Ungar intends to convey. This error is made by broadcast journalists, television and radio professionals, reporters, politicians, pundits, experts from any given field, etc.

I am fortunate to have learned grammar in Texas elementary school in the 1940's.
 
 
+29 # mayordoug 2011-12-06 07:59
I believe you mean dumbing?
 
 
+3 # X Dane 2011-12-06 17:25
BRAVO
 
 
+12 # pernsey 2011-12-06 11:16
Fox news is the dumbing down of America, its amazing how you nit pick grammatical errors...

QUOTE: "I am fortunate to have learned grammar in Texas elementary school in the 1940's."

You might have learned grammar but your spelling leaves a little to be desired if you want to nit pick? dumbing not dumming
 
 
+2 # readerz 2011-12-06 12:25
First sentence of Charles Dicken's Christmas Carol: "Marley was dead to begin with." One word "of" sends you off on a tirade, and it is not incorrect.
 
 
+13 # pdquick 2011-12-06 00:24
A "limit" of 20% on insurance overhead is 67% higher than insurance company overhead in 1999. The insurance companies are crying about this "bomb" all the way to the bank.

Maintaining a private, corporate-profi t-based insurance system creates costs to businesses, doctors, and hospitals that far exceed the costs of insurance overhead. Here's how it breaks down: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa022033#t=articleResults
 
 
+10 # moby doug 2011-12-06 00:26
And VA care has also become quite good and efficient. I hope Ungar is right, but won't the Repiggies defeat Obamacare by getting the Roberts Crt to declare it unconstitional? It's hard to believe those huge medical insurance companies, who own so many legislators, would let a "bomb" like this slip past them unless they knew they had a way to suppress it further down the line.....too many hundreds of billions, even trillions, in profit are riding on ridding themselves of this measure.
 
 
+6 # rosejma 2011-12-06 00:29
This is the BEST NEWS of the the last two years. Mr. President I LOVE YOU!!!! rosejma
 
 
+4 # artmensor 2011-12-06 00:29
And all this time I thought 'obamacare' (well that's what the non-believers have called it) really wasn't all that much. Turns out it IS and it is going to change the health coverage for ALL Americans, even the 1%, who thought they had the ultimate coverage. Not anymore you 1%ers.
 
 
+12 # PaineRad 2011-12-06 01:19
A 20% overhead is something to celebrate? Many non-profit insurance companies operated with a lower overhead than that 20 years ago. 8% to 12% was fairly common for the old non-profit Blues.

I'll celebrate when we really get single-payer. As it stands, the higher the insurance companies run up premiums, the bigger that 20% turns out to be. Is it any wonder that they've been jacking up premiums in the last year?
 
 
+4 # GravityWave 2011-12-06 02:31
Wonder if President Obama has any other chess moves up his sleeves.
 
 
+1 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-12-07 08:04
Quoting GravityWave:
Wonder if President Obama has any other chess moves up his sleeves.

You can rest assured THAT HE DOES!!
 
 
+7 # tinkertoodle 2011-12-06 02:31
About damn time something works out for the little guy!!!!! Just hope the Greedecans don't take over congress and repeal the whole kit and kaboddle.You know that is their ultimate goal
 
 
+3 # mwd870 2011-12-06 03:41
This is great news, if the insurance companies don't find ways to get around the rules like their friends on Wall Street. I hope HHS is diligent.

A main criticism of the Affordable Care Act was that it didn't actually address health care costs. Is there something to stop the insurers from raising their premiums (as if they were not high enough already)? From what I understand, this is the biggest reason a single-payer system is necessary.
 
 
+2 # jennifer 2011-12-06 04:27
if only it were so easy
I heard that HHS has been issuing waivers, allowing some companies up to retain MLRs of up to 40%!!!!
 
 
+6 # RLF 2011-12-06 04:33
Problem is...who is issuing the rules...remembe r ketchup is a vegtable!
 
 
+4 # Charles3000 2011-12-06 04:50
Interesting. As I recall almost all private health insurance companies showed an under 20% "take" after expenses but they were playing/account ing by their own rules. If they are held to a real 80% for medical care and 20% for overhead and profit then it is a resounding win. Medicare comes in I believe with a lower overhead but not much less. The 20% is an OK charge for doing all of the administrative things. Just one thought, that still leaves the insurance companies motivated to increase medical costs as they always have been. Higher medical costs bring higher sales bring more bucks in that 20%.
 
 
+3 # Andrew Hansen 2011-12-06 05:28
While Ungar may truly believe what he is saying, much as Obama may truly believe this is a safeguard, possession is 9/10ths. Who's going to police this and ensure that you get your check back? The answer is noone. And there should be no reason to give a corporation your check in the first place. Now it's law, and a grotesque one to begin with.

Obama put it in as his own safeguard. A facade he can point at when the easy questions come. With noone digging or following up, he gets away with it. Forbes is just doing its part to help (and laugh) all the way to the bank.

Whalegurl has it right. Universal health care is the correct answer and is already demonstrated. Twice at that, military/VA and Medicare (prior to the Part D pharma giveaway, of course).
 
 
+5 # heraldmage 2011-12-06 05:53
Now everyone knows why the GOP has been fighting this legislation in every court it thought it had a chance to get it overturned.The only reason they would go through that expense & effort is to protect profit. The GOP doesn't care about the people. They just spend millions in propaganda to make us think they do.
I knew about this provision and have been waiting for the definition of health cost before I got excited.
The Obama admin did what they promised, they just had to go through the back door to do it. Now that insurance profits will be significantly reduced and pre-exiting conditions are gone they will stop fighting the Medicare for all and go into supplemental & Part D policies for their profits.
 
 
+1 # RichardK 2011-12-06 06:07
Regulations that are issued by the government can be un-issued or modified. There will be overwhelming pressure from the insurance industry to do that, and I don't have much confidence in the administration' s ability to hold their ground. My guess is that these regs are just a starting point for negotiations with the insurance lobby.
 
 
+7 # DRPJJ 2011-12-06 06:12
Quote from previous comment: "They actually need to remove the payroll tax cap, if they do anything to it."
As long as we insure that all income, including those "secret bonuses" the high rollers get, this would fly because no one even realized when the cap was raised to $106,000. And as Pelosi said, "lets pass 'Obamacare' so we can read what it says" seems to be as good as it gets for people understanding proposed legislation. Getting unemployed back to work will quickly refurbish any Social Security/Medica re fund shortfall by cutting payroll taxes. Getting money into the pockets of the 99% is what is needed to bring this country off its knees and back into being the great country it really is before the greedy 1% took over. Just remember the GOP is NOT the grand old party your Daddy remembers.
 
 
+4 # photojack53 2011-12-06 06:16
THIS is the story that needs HUGE coverage in the press.
The provision that protects consumers is the requirement that health insurers HAVE to use 80%, (85% for large group insurers) of premiums collected on actual medical care, RATHER THAN overhead, marketing expenses and profits. It is this aspect of the law that represents the true ‘death panel' found in Obamacare - but NOT one that is going to lead to the death of American consumers. The medical loss ratio will, ultimately, lead to the death of unconscionable levels of profiteering by the health insurance industry!
"Obamacare" is not only good, it is a GREAT triumph for American citizens and is what makes Democrats the party to protect working-class Americans from unscrupulous corporate greed and corruption!
LET THE 99% MOVEMENT GROW!
 
 
-12 # hhcajr 2011-12-06 06:17
This is pathetic. Only a liberal would celebrate a government policy of guaranteeing this parasitic, price-fixing industry that provides no direct service or product, an operating margin of 15-20%.

How can anyone actually believe that the industry and its politician-stoo ges overlooked this "bomb?" The industry largely wrote the bill.

Everyone, including the insurers, knows that for-profit health care is artificially sustained on political life support, until the costs finally drive us, like the Swiss, to an NFP system.

In the meantime, obama and the insurers are laughing all the way to their next million.
 
 
0 # mwd870 2011-12-06 08:23
For some reason I don't find any of this hard to believe.
 
 
-3 # annagolinska 2011-12-06 06:32
Medical Services has became a FRAUD. Somehow this FRAUD culture has proven to be resistant to intervention and will be resistant to to this "BOMB" as well. Distributors and providers of fraudulent drugs and medical services make sure that drugs users have no voice. Psychiatrists and other Doctors are drugging them until their loose their inside and credibility. After they drugged and disable patients they give them consent paperwork to sign. them. Problem is medical science. Medicine for profit will always find the way to profit away from REAL SCIENCE! They will make more people sick and change the structure of employment.
The whole concept of medicine needs to be reversed to focusing on causes of sickness ( not symptoms)and what promotes health?
If you review carefully services of today's medicine: It is promotion of ILLNESS!Another problem is that Doctors make people falsely believe they have a illness to justify the use of totally wrong medication/ treatment. Transferring profit to treatment invoices is an Evil in a Sheep disguise. This is not solution at all!
 
 
+1 # mjc 2011-12-06 08:29
This provision could change my whole outlook on Barack Obama. It is quite true that if the Republicans take the presidency with whichever "medicine man", these provisions, the entire what Republican/cons ervatives call "Obamacare" could come crashing down, but this provision to keep the profit margin to 20% or less will certainly be the first target.
 
 
+6 # mjc 2011-12-06 08:32
Think a great deal of what we actually receive for our health care depends on the doctor WE select. I have a doctor who is very free with samples and a practice which has nurses you can run your symptoms by for free. A doctor should be aware of your ability to know your body's problems and respect them.
 
 
+1 # chick 2011-12-06 21:04
And that is why people should take care of their heath. When they are young they think they will forever be healthy.

The medical profesion has pooh poohed vitamins that keep you healthy.
Just eat a good meal and it will contain all the vitamins your body needs.

I say baloney. No matter how good you eat you can never get enough nutrition in your body that it needs.

Learn, inform yourself. and you just might become a healthy senior.
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2011-12-07 00:38
You are right chick, for the soil is depleated and our food does not have enough of the vitamins and other nutritions we need, so vitamins and supplements are necessary. And as you said informing oneself is essential.
 
 
-20 # Dennis 2011-12-06 06:54
So, the loss of multiple companies that EACH hire over 50,000 employees is a GOOD thing? The loss of just ONE of those companies could be catastrophic for the economy.

When you speak of greed, you should also pause to think that their "greed" is also keeping many folks gainfully employed.
 
 
+6 # PGreen 2011-12-06 09:43
The need for healthcare isn't going away, so some of these people will have jobs in a public system We may see jobs lost due to the establishment of a centralized administration to supersede the hugely inefficient multitude of uncoordinated private systems (a collective mess that makes Medicare/Medica id look as simple as "Dick and Jane"), but that is inevitable to cost containment. If we want to provide jobs through private inefficiency, there are better ways to do it-- and cheaper-- that don't include a substantial percentage of profits being funneled to the 1% - comprised of investors and executives.
Such a change to a public system will also help most small businesses stay competitive with international competition-- not have to lay off employees due to the increased cost of healthcare plans.
 
 
+2 # X Dane 2011-12-07 00:45
Exactly, PGreen you nailed it.
 
 
+12 # Texas Aggie 2011-12-06 10:58
Nothing stopping them from getting a job that has actual social benefit, that actually produces something worthwhile for the amount that they get paid.

It's like a card I saw yesterday. "I would boycott Wall St., but they don't make anything."

Same thing with these insurance people whose job it is to find some loophole that allows them to deny payment for claims. Their "function" is a detriment to society, something like a scam artist. It would be much better to force them to take some sort of productive job.
 
 
+7 # pernsey 2011-12-06 11:18
So people should die from lack of health care, for these peoples jobs?
 
 
+5 # readerz 2011-12-06 12:35
The insurance industry in Germany said the same thing, but found out that they could make enough money to stay in business, and thrive. Some will drop out; those who really don't want to be in business.
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2011-12-07 00:43
There will be many jobs created in the health care industry, because the population is aging. The difference will be that, the advantage will shift to the people needing care, from the people taking advantage of us.
 
 
+11 # Wildsingingbird 2011-12-06 07:01
Is this for real? Can it be that us 99%, us real people, got a break and someone did something to protect us? This is my country and I'd like to be proud to be an American again. Please wake up everyone and help us in the fight for our rights. I was back home in Hanksville, UT last week and it sadened me to hear the harmful views these people adhere to and how hateful the religious right are to the people who are standing up for their rights. Maybe this bit of information will wake them up to stop supporting those (Republicans) who breed greed, hatred and total disregard for most citizens. Thankyou RSN!!
 
 
+5 # rose 2011-12-06 07:28
Well played, Mr. President!
 
 
+11 # billgbsn 2011-12-06 07:40
I KNOW health insurers can operate on 10 to 15% profit. When Blue Cross of CA was a non-profit back in the 60's-70's, the school districts could obtain coverage WITHOUT BROKERS, and the California Teachers Association held Blue Cross to about an 11% cost margin. The CTA had a contract with Blue Cross, monitored and checked all rates, benefits, and serious claims. The system worked well until the brokers realized that they were missing some $$$, and had the legislature pass the Gregoria bill that put CTA "out" of the insurance business, stopped the system, and allowed brokers back into the $$$ game. The losers? Teachers and school employees. The winners? Insurance brokers.
 
 
+9 # Fraenkel.1 2011-12-06 08:13
All very nice but how will they monitor compliance? Accountants are very good at hiding swindles.

The way to get rid of over payments to doctors is to return to high marginal income tax rates because the excess income would be taxed away. Then also there would be sufficient tax revenues to for government facilities and services which are required to stabilize and develop the economy. Business would benefit enormously. The extra taxes the rich would have to pay would be more than made up by the increase in the value of their assets.

I blame the religious right for all the stupidity going on. They have persuaded people that you can believe in anything if you have faith - junk geology, faith based biology - just make sure evidence has nothing to do with it.
 
 
+3 # readerz 2011-12-06 12:39
The religious right are preaching the end of the world right now. Their health care plan: stocking supplies for an upcoming financial crisis that they predict. Nice to know that they won't share food with others, should there really be a disaster.
 
 
+12 # IndigoE 2011-12-06 08:33
What is insurance but shared risk?
Shared risk IS socialism.
Insurance is socialism with a profit.
Insurance without profit is single payer.
I call it "Capital Democracy".
 
 
+3 # Vardoz 2011-12-06 13:16
Americans should have medicare for all like all other developed nations. People pay but pay much less for healthcare. We are now 49th in the world for longevity. The nations that have the best health care have populations that live the longest. We pay for all of our reps to have the best free health care in the nation. So socialism is OK for them? Unfettered capitalism destroys nations by eating its host. Democracy is supposed to be of the people, For the people and by the people which is a form of SOCIALISM!!!!
 
 
+3 # Vardoz 2011-12-06 08:48
It is outrageous that we have a law that makes us pay 20% as profit to health insurance companies!!!! WE HAVE TO PAY 20% AS PURE PROFIT TO HEALTH CARE COMPANIES? AND THEY WILL GET AROUND IT. MARK MY WORDS! I would like to feel optimistic but there is a dark side to this silver lining. Health care is a right and should not be a profit making industry! This is a very small step that the health care companies will or have already figured out how to get around. While Wall St eviscerated our economy and as we are getting poorer we still have to pay 20% for pure profit to health care companies while all of congress and inmates and poor people get free health care! What are we Somalia?
 
 
+3 # PGreen 2011-12-06 08:50
Even if successful in applying a financial squeeze-- there may well be ways around this-- the problem with this plan is that it's dependent on administration regulations, and how they are interpreted/enf orced by HHS.  This sort of change can easily be killed later, so for anything lasting to be institutionaliz ed, we need to see substantial improvement-- such as the transformation of For Profit Institutions to a public system-- in as many places as possible.

Assuming Obama's reelection, can we expect to see this happen in the next five years?  Will Obama be resistant to industry (and sympathetic congressional) attempts to delay and prevent these adaptations as long as possible?  

In the shorter term, if he signals that he is on the public's side in this matter, expect a massive outpouring of private healthcare dollars against his reelection.  Will Obama risk this fight?

Some of his true sympathy may be revealed by the nature of administration responses to the request by Vermont to introduce a comprehensive single-payer system.

Stay tuned.
 
 
+4 # reiverpacific 2011-12-06 08:52
"If you believe that the end of private, for-profit health insurance is some type of nefarious step towards a socialist society",
So what would be so wrong for that?
"Of course, those of you who fear the inevitable arrival of universal health care really shouldn't be too fretful. There will always be a for - profit health insurance industry for those who want to pay for it."
One thing that the owner media, in their wild panic and condemnation NEVER lets out, is the fact that in all countries which have a sane and universal health-care system, also allow anybody who desires such, to have either wholly private health coverage or to pay a small premium for everything from a private room or other peripheral "luxuries" and extra treatment.
So it is much more free and wider in scope of choice than the constrictive and criminally over-stuffed non-system which everybody is stuck with here (and the main reason I've never become a citizen).
And to "Dennis"; The employee loss you speculate upon would be more than compensated for, if the small business community didn't have to worry about the cost of providing some (usually inadequate if anything) measure of medical coverage, they could hire more people and pay them decently, and provide them with closer to a living wage.
Look on the bright side bro'.
 
 
+4 # Buddha 2011-12-06 09:44
This presumes a lot. First, that Obamacare won't get shot down in our Supreme Court, which isn't exactly liberal, is it? Second, for-profit health insurers can follow the model of Kaiser Permanente, where they are both the insurer and PROVIDER. All it would take is them buying up struggling health providers and building up that part of the business. Then they can control the books on both the "insurer" and "provider" side and squeeze profits all they want, mostly by geeking the expense and "unnecessary" tests as is done now in defrauding Medicare.

Unfortunately Congress took the weak way out. A simple Medicare-for-Al l option available for all Americans as a base plan would have been simple and easily defensible politically. Then for-profit insurers role would be as Medicare supplements for things Medicare does not cover.
 
 
+5 # DoHickey 2011-12-06 10:02
Too bad the author didn't read the fine print containing a gigantic loophole, namely that this law will not apply to healthcare providers...so Illinois Blue Cross Blue Shield has been busily buying up doctors' practices.
Exactly how AIG got out from under the scrutiny of bank regulators...by buying some Savings&Loans.
 
 
+1 # tmgibs34 2011-12-06 10:17
To assert that the problem with our health care system is the way in which it is financed is to assert one's ignorance. Our economy will remain like an automobile with four flat tires until we fix the huge leak in our economy caused by the cost of losing 17% of GDP, three times that paid by any other industrialized country. Germany and Japan only pay about 5% of GDP for their health care systems and they are the leading manufacturing centers of the world, maybe not in terms of quantity, but certainly in terms of quality. Losing this much money sucks the air out of investment in every part of our economy including infrastructure, research & development, education and other investments that we aren’t making to do what amounts to nothing more than maintaining an unaffordable lifestyle. The Republican bill now called Obamacare was little more than insurance reform that catches some of the more backward states with Oregon and Washington that are still far ahead of the Federal mandates in many way. What we really need is health care reform, though, not insurance reform. The costs are still going up by double digits in states that already have most of this legislation in place and the people that scream the loudest about insurance reform are just as clueless about why as people that listen to Rush Limbaugh are about why the US is turning into a third world country.
 
 
+1 # Texas Aggie 2011-12-06 10:50
I'm not sure that the insurance companies will be put out of business because long ago, they used to meet the 80% medical payout with ease. But then they didn't have massively overpaid executives and they weren't making such exorbitant profits.

So they can survive quite nicely, but not in the manner to which they have now become accustomed.
 
 
0 # stjohnrn 2011-12-06 11:10
agree with DRPJJ - have wondered forever why payroll cap on earnings not removed - and that would have impacted us a few years back but it's the right thing to do
 
 
+2 # Eastmain 2011-12-06 11:16
In order to believe this article you have to forget all about three professions, accountants, lawyers and lobbyists; as well as the deep pockets of the insurance industry that employ these professions.

I remain extremely skeptical of this Act. I hope my skepticism is misplaced; however, I believe the only bomb that will go off is an explosion of litigation and lobbying, followed by ever increasing premiums and co-pays.

Medicare works wonderfully and medicare for all is, I believe, the ony way out of this morass.
 
 
0 # futhark 2011-12-06 11:41
I would love to be the first one in line to light the fuse on this bomb!
 
 
0 # markhalfmoon 2011-12-06 12:38
This is good news. Unfortunately, there are those who are unwilling to believe anything good about this president. He's much more intelligent than many give him credit for being.

The impatient ones want to see immediate results. When things do pan out down the road they say, "Those grapes were sour anyway." They should stop playing Eeyore and believe that good things can happen. Even if they love to hate the man who makes them happen.
 
 
0 # tedrey 2011-12-06 14:29
I wonder if any of these "very bright" lawyers, accountants, and lobbyists might realize that they'd get further in this case playing the other side of the net.
 
 
0 # Promoting Peace 2011-12-06 14:30
This just sounds way too good to be true. I hope it's real and that we can get back to being a more compassionate nation.

And, sorry for the redundancy of posting this on numerous sites, but being that it's such an insightful, well-written, article I really want as many people as possible to experience it. The article sheds much light on where the political parties of our country are coming from, and just how bad it is. So, if you truly care about the US and the world, please check out the link and read this article. Thank you in advance.

The author, with many, many, years of inside experience, feels BOTH THE DEMOCRATIC AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTIES ARE ROTTEN, and presents his case in a very: clear, factual, thorough, manner.

http://www.alternet.org/story/152305/confessions_of_a_gop_operative_who_left_%22the_cult%22%3A_3_things_everyone_must_know_about_the_lunatic-filled_republican_party?page=entire
 
 
+1 # Promoting Peace 2011-12-06 14:35
Sorry for the redundancy of posting this on numerous sites, but being that it's such an insightful, well-written, article I really want as many people as possible to experience it. The article sheds much light on where the political parties of our country are coming from, and just how bad it is. So, if you truly care about the US and the world, please check out the link and read this article. Thank you in advance.

The author, with many, many, years of inside experience, feels BOTH THE DEMOCRATIC AND THE REPUBLICAN PARTIES ARE ROTTEN, and presents his case in a very: clear, factual, thorough, manner.

http://www.alternet.org/story/152305/confessions_of_a_gop_operative_who_left_%22the_cult%22%3A_3_things_everyone_must_know_about_the_lunatic-filled_republican_party?page=entire
 
 
0 # Rixar13 2011-12-06 17:52
"Indeed, it is this aspect of the law that represents the true 'death panel' found in Obamacare - but not one that is going to lead to the death of American consumers. Rather, the medical loss ratio will, ultimately, lead to the death of large parts of the private, for-profit health insurance industry."

Good news for the American working poor...
 
 
0 # TJGeezer 2011-12-06 19:56
Quoting Rixar13:

Good news for the American working poor...


Good news for the remaining American middle class, too. Good news for anyone who depends on health insurance for their essential care, in fact. The insurance industry care deniers must truly hate it.
 
 
0 # lcarrier 2011-12-07 07:15
In no other advanced, industrialized country does the health-insuranc e industry have a stranglehold on health care. With the Affordable Health Care Act we are finally on the path to a universal health-care system--perhaps as good as the one that Germany has maintained (through two world wars) since the 1870s.

For those who knock the VA, you should remember that it provides adequate care at an affordable price, especially since the Veterans Affairs Administration can negotiate drug prices. Those who want something better can also pay more for it, but don't ask the rest of us to subsidize medical procedures that most doctors would consider unwarranted.
 
 
+2 # Pipester 2011-12-07 11:37
Mr. Ungar has not done his research. Currently, WEAIT provides insurance to teachers while returning 93% of premium in health care claims. This means that private health care insurers would have 13% of premium above WEAIT's costs to eke out some profit.
Incidentally, the fact that WEAIT was able to return 93 cents on the dollar to subscribers in paid claims was the chief reason that the Republicans have continuously tried to put them out of business. It's SOCIALISM, don't you know, and what's the point of having health insurance if you can't soak the subscribers and make a huge profit.
 
 
+2 # Springckn 2011-12-07 11:43
Let the Insurance Companies eat cake !!!
 
 
+1 # Activista 2011-12-07 14:10
" the provision of the law, called the medical loss ratio, that requires health insurance companies to spend 80% of the consumers' premium dollars they collect - 85% for large group insurers - on actual medical care rather than overhead, marketing expenses and profit. Failure on the part of insurers to meet this requirement will result in the insurers having to send their customers a rebate check representing the amount in which they underspend on actual medical care."
THIS is NOT enforceable - couple lawyers make 6 figure income - and hundreds will get $1 check.
I am getting these $2 checks from class actions - most likely scam to get personal info.
Obama did NOT:
1 - get public option
2 - did not STOP Bush "tax cuts" - money for the rich
3 - he DID start couple more wars and increased $1.3 trillion / year military waste
 
 
+2 # tgarvey@thepolicycenter.org 2011-12-08 07:20
With all due respect to Mr. Rick Ungar of Forbes, do you really think that the Health Insurer's would let this one (limiting their medical loss ration - 80/85%) get buy them? I don't think so.

I have over 30 years in the health care financing and delivery systems and know the health insurers better then they know themselves. There has got to be an insurer loophole in this legislation for them.

Mark my words "the health insurers will NEVER voluntarily exit the health insurance market" because there is huge profits in the industry for them.

Again, the health insurers would have never let legislation get passed if it really threatened their bottom liner.
 
 
-2 # Martintfre 2011-12-08 15:22
//Bomb Buried in Obamacare Explodes - Hallelujah!//

So This was supposed to be the most transparent administration - open and honest - and your celebrating their deception. And it is a purely fascist notion of controlling the minutia of what percentages a company is allowed to spend on what.



I am almost surprised.
 
 
0 # dokholliday 2011-12-10 05:11
What is the government doing making the people pay into insurance companies so as to be the TAX COLLECTORS for the
'for profit" Hospital Medical Industrial Complex? Do "THEY" think that
'we the people" are incapable of rendering the facts that this is unconstitutiona l as in taxation to support the too big to fail and is it that since the banksters who have sucked the life out of our national got theirs by robbing the working class blind that we have yet another such "Madeoff" type ponzi scheme for a privately owned and wall street stock-holdings monolith "for profit" that is schemed to do the same?

It is bad enough that "we the people" for all our lives have been pretty much left in the dark about our IRS who is the TAX COLLECTOR that was drummed up by the central bankers to suck up taxes to pay the interest accrued by said federal reserve and that has it now become the private sectors business for one as in insurance companies to be the TAX COLLECTORS for their partners in crime the privately owned "for profit" Hospital Medical Complex. BTW Bill Frist is the only Republican pushing this agenda; IMAGINE THAT?.
 

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