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    Posted: 11 December 2012 at 10:42am
Here's one where FE gets to say I told you so.

Of course, I'm going to beat him to it by saying it first so . . .

. . . consider it said.

Link to below article:

Originally posted by article article wrote:


Surprise: New insurance fee in health overhaul law

By By RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR | Associated Press – 19 hrs ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Your medical plan is facing an unexpected expense, so you probably are, too. It's a new, $63-per-head fee to cushion the cost of covering people with pre-existing conditions under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The charge, buried in a recent regulation, works out to tens of millions of dollars for the largest companies, employers say. Most of that is likely to be passed on to workers.

Employee benefits lawyer Chantel Sheaks calls it a "sleeper issue" with significant financial consequences, particularly for large employers.

"Especially at a time when we are facing economic uncertainty, (companies will) be hit with a multi-million dollar assessment without getting anything back for it," said Sheaks, a principal at Buck Consultants, a Xerox subsidiary.

Based on figures provided in the regulation, employer and individual health plans covering an estimated 190 million Americans could owe the per-person fee.

The Obama administration says it is a temporary assessment levied for three years starting in 2014, designed to raise $25 billion. It starts at $63 and then declines.

Most of the money will go into a fund administered by the Health and Human Services Department. It will be used to cushion health insurance companies from the initial hard-to-predict costs of covering uninsured people with medical problems. Under the law, insurers will be forbidden from turning away the sick as of Jan. 1, 2014.

The program "is intended to help millions of Americans purchase affordable health insurance, reduce unreimbursed usage of hospital and other medical facilities by the uninsured and thereby lower medical expenses and premiums for all," the Obama administration says in the regulation. An accompanying media fact sheet issued Nov. 30 referred to "contributions" without detailing the total cost and scope of the program.

Of the total pot, $5 billion will go directly to the U.S. Treasury, apparently to offset the cost of shoring up employer-sponsored coverage for early retirees.

The $25 billion fee is part of a bigger package of taxes and fees to finance Obama's expansion of coverage to the uninsured. It all comes to about $700 billion over 10 years, and includes higher Medicare taxes effective this Jan. 1 on individuals making more than $200,000 per year or couples making more than $250,000. People above those threshold amounts also face an additional 3.8 percent tax on their investment income.

But the insurance fee had been overlooked as employers focused on other costs in the law, including fines for medium and large firms that don't provide coverage.

"This kind of came out of the blue and was a surprisingly large amount," said Gretchen Young, senior vice president for health policy at the ERISA Industry Committee, a group that represents large employers on benefits issues.

Word started getting out in the spring, said Young, but hard cost estimates surfaced only recently with the new regulation. It set the per capita rate at $5.25 per month, which works out to $63 a year.

America's Health Insurance Plans, the major industry trade group for health insurers, says the fund is an important program that will help stabilize the market and mitigate cost increases for consumers as the changes in Obama's law take effect.

But employers already offering coverage to their workers don't see why they have to pony up for the stabilization fund, which mainly helps the individual insurance market. The redistribution puts the biggest companies on the hook for tens of millions of dollars.

"It just adds on to everything else that is expected to increase health care costs," said economist Paul Fronstin of the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute.

The fee will be assessed on all "major medical" insurance plans, including those provided by employers and those purchased individually by consumers. Large employers will owe the fee directly. That's because major companies usually pay upfront for most of the health care costs of their employees. It may not be apparent to workers, but the insurance company they deal with is basically an agent administering the plan for their employer.

The fee will total $12 billion in 2014, $8 billion in 2015 and $5 billion in 2016. That means the per-head assessment would be smaller each year, around $40 in 2015 instead of $63.

It will phase out completely in 2017 — unless Congress, with lawmakers searching everywhere for revenue to reduce federal deficits — decides to extend it.




Let me reiterate what I said during the health care discussions we had on here approximately 3-4 years ago;  You don't do more stuff, for more people, and have it cost less.  That's just not the way the real world works . . . it is an equation that only works out in the imaginary world of hope and change math.  But at least now the bill has been passed so we can see what is in it  . . . and what the actual real-world results are.

Yes, I noted that the article describes this as a "stabilization" fee that will decrease and go away over 3 years.  However, the math isn't going to change; you still can't do more, for more people, and have it cost less.  So while this may temporarily "stabilize" the health care situation, eventually deficit spending will mean it will need to be stabilized again.  I fully expect to be back here in 3 years pointing out how this fee hasn't gone away.  I would also like to point out that the need for this fee tends to discredit a lot of what was said by the proponents for changing the health care system about how it would be more efficient and less expensive.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stratoaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 10:50am
I've had a couple of business executives tell me they were pretty nervous about the owner side cost of this plan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 10:52am
Originally posted by Mack Mack wrote:

Yes, I noted that the article describes this as a "stabilization" fee that will decrease and go away over 3 years. However, the math isn't going to change; you still can't do more, for more people, and have it cost less.


So, can you explain to me how the GOP's current arguments on the budget and debt ceiling make sense to the same people who will use what you just said against the healthcare bill?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mack Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 10:56am
Originally posted by tallen702 tallen702 wrote:

Originally posted by Mack Mack wrote:

Yes, I noted that the article describes this as a "stabilization" fee that will decrease and go away over 3 years. However, the math isn't going to change; you still can't do more, for more people, and have it cost less.


So, can you explain to me how the GOP's current arguments on the budget and debt ceiling make sense to the same people who will use what you just said against the healthcare bill?




Assuming that I am thinking about the same specific arguments you are, and I think I am, if they aren't including cuts in spending, they fall into the same incapable of understanding the correlation between math and the real-world category as many of the liberals who thought this was going to do more and cost less.  (They're just at the other end of the category so they don't mix with each other.)

Also, since I forgot to put it in the original article, I would like to note that I wasn't surprised at all about unexpected/hidden costs coming out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tallen702 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 10:57am
Originally posted by stratoaxe stratoaxe wrote:

I've had a couple of business executives tell me they were pretty nervous about the owner side cost of this plan.


The reality of the whole situation is this. Does it cost more money? Yes. Does it also ensure that everyone is given equal protection under the law which they were formerly denied due to "pre-existing conditions"? You bet your ass it does.

If it weren't for the lack of ethics and the rise of unbridled corporate and shareholder greed thanks to a generation that did jack all to earn what they've got (they rode in on the coat tails of their working parents and sent the poor off to fight their wars for them) then we wouldn't be facing a government mandate to treat everyone equally.

We live in a economic system that is broken right now. It's broken because those in charge have done nothing to innovate and make more money but are cannibalizing their own workers' compensation instead to generate more profits for absentee shareholders who are invested only in money, not in faith or morals.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 12:54pm
I have not heard one argument that makes sense to me how you should be able to force insurance companies to insure those with pre-existing conditions.

They are private companies who take bet against you getting sick/dying. The minute you start forcing them to take people who are mathematically a risk vs a money maker, you have destroyed the industry.

If you have a problem with the affordability of health care, let's look at what forces malpractice insurance and med school rates to rise, while good drugs are forced into recall because of statistical outliers.

EDIT: Not aimed at you Tallen, just venting about the idea of forced coverage in general.

Edited by usafpilot07 - 11 December 2012 at 12:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stratoaxe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 12:57pm
 
Originally posted by tallen702 tallen702 wrote:

Originally posted by stratoaxe stratoaxe wrote:

I've had a couple of business executives tell me they were pretty nervous about the owner side cost of this plan.


The reality of the whole situation is this. Does it cost more money? Yes. Does it also ensure that everyone is given equal protection under the law which they were formerly denied due to "pre-existing conditions"? You bet your ass it does.

The trouble is that the word "more" doesn't adequately give us a picture of how this will impact business.

More could be anything from 1 dollar to 1 billion dolars.

I think I've posted this before, but I spoke to the head of a major accounting firm who said that the costs that she would individually incur would mean her individual rates as an owner would move from $2,500 a month to around $6,000 a month.
 
Also-another problem that's being brought up is that there's little cost control in this bill. Just so we're all on the same page, insurance is a gamble correct? It's a game of odds where the company bets against your health in order to make a profit. The reason pre-existing conditions are generally frowned upon with insurance companies is that there is no gamble, only a direct cost. When you apply for insurance and you have a pre-existing condition, you're essentially saying "Hey insurance company, pay for my bills." So the insurance company only makes money if they charge on top of a guaranteed expense, hence the raised rates.
 
With Obamacare insurance companies will simply pass that cost on to their other customers via raised premiums.
 
So I'm all for a health insurance solution-but that solution, in my opinion, does not lie in the free market. Morals and values are quite expensive and the market is never going to bear the brunt of them-if you're in charge of a business that has the choice of either operating under cost or finding a new market with the millions you already have, guess what? Bye bye business.
 
If the people want socialized medicine they need a federal policy that comes out of the tax money and nothing more. But this bill simply moves money around and, in the end, I think you're going to see the insurance companies make a killing at the hands of business owners and doctors.

Originally posted by Tallen Tallen wrote:


We live in a economic system that is broken right now. 

 
Wholeheartedly disagree with you there.
 
Originally posted by Tallen Tallen wrote:

 
It's broken because those in charge have done nothing to innovate and make more money but are cannibalizing their own workers' compensation instead to generate more profits for absentee shareholders who are invested only in money, not in faith or morals.
 
That's not broken, that's the point of the matter. The market is solely concerned with money and nothing else. Criticizing executives and shareholders for not taking a moral interest in the welfare of society is like spanking your dog for not putting out a housefire.
The government exists to watch over the welfare of the people. If there are human rights failures it's wholly the fault of the government for not creating and enforcing human rights laws on businesses and the fault of the people for supporting the company.

This current trend of attacking corporations for being greedy is great for politicians because it allows them to sit back and point the finger at the market for doing what it was designed to do whilst they profit off of it. Businesses seek profits and the government makes sure they do so in the best interest of the worker.

*edit* Damn you USAF, you beat me to the point Wink



Edited by stratoaxe - 11 December 2012 at 12:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 8:12pm
Originally posted by usafpilot07 usafpilot07 wrote:

The minute you start forcing them to take people who are mathematically a risk vs a money maker, you have destroyed the industry.

Unless you force everyone to buy a plan, then you're getting tons of money paid into your system from people who are not and probably won't get sick. 


"So when Romney wins in a landslide, what will the liberal media do?"
This Ma**edited**hine Kills **edited**as**edited**ists.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 8:14pm
I'd like to point out that everything strato has said so far is something I agree with. 


"So when Romney wins in a landslide, what will the liberal media do?"
This Ma**edited**hine Kills **edited**as**edited**ists.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 8:29pm
Originally posted by agentwhale007 agentwhale007 wrote:


Originally posted by usafpilot07 usafpilot07 wrote:

The minute you start forcing them to take people who are mathematically a risk vs a money maker, you have destroyed the industry.

Unless you force everyone to buy a plan, then you're getting tons of money paid into your system from people who are not and probably won't get sick. 




If someone isn't likely to get sick, and takes care of themselves, why would they want to spend extra money on expanded insurance?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 8:34pm
Originally posted by usafpilot07 usafpilot07 wrote:

Originally posted by agentwhale007 agentwhale007 wrote:


Originally posted by usafpilot07 usafpilot07 wrote:

The minute you start forcing them to take people who are mathematically a risk vs a money maker, you have destroyed the industry.

Unless you force everyone to buy a plan, then you're getting tons of money paid into your system from people who are not and probably won't get sick. 




If someone isn't likely to get sick, and takes care of themselves, why would they want to spend extra money on expanded insurance?
 

According to current law, to avoid extra fees associated with not having health insurance. 

Pragmatically, in case of emergencies or unpredicted illness. 
"So when Romney wins in a landslide, what will the liberal media do?"
This Ma**edited**hine Kills **edited**as**edited**ists.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 8:41pm
Originally posted by agentwhale007 agentwhale007 wrote:

Originally posted by usafpilot07 usafpilot07 wrote:

Originally posted by agentwhale007 agentwhale007 wrote:


Originally posted by usafpilot07 usafpilot07 wrote:

The minute you start forcing them to take people who are mathematically a risk vs a money maker, you have destroyed the industry.

Unless you force everyone to buy a plan, then you're getting tons of money paid into your system from people who are not and probably won't get sick. 




If someone isn't likely to get sick, and takes care of themselves, why would they want to spend extra money on expanded insurance?
 

According to current law, to avoid extra fees associated with not having health insurance. 

Pragmatically, in case of emergencies or unpredicted illness. 


That's justifying the law with the law.

My point is, this is simply trying to bandaid a larger problem by punishing those healthy enough or wealthy enough to be forced into paying more than they need to.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 8:52pm
Originally posted by usafpilot07 usafpilot07 wrote:

 

That's justifying the law with the law. 
 

That's how things work.

Quote My point is, this is simply trying to bandaid a larger problem by punishing those healthy enough or wealthy enough to be forced into paying more than they need to.

I don't -like- the current system, mostly because it's just paying a bunch of money back to private insurance firms to act as middle-men. But, you asked how it was possible to pay for accepting all people regardless of PEC, and that's how. You make everyone pay for something. 

To a larger point, it's depressing that your opinion there is so popular with so many ignorant people. It really makes getting a decent universal healthcare system in the U.S. off the ground. 
"So when Romney wins in a landslide, what will the liberal media do?"
This Ma**edited**hine Kills **edited**as**edited**ists.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote *Stealth* Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 9:00pm
Originally posted by agentwhale007 agentwhale007 wrote:

Originally posted by usafpilot07 usafpilot07 wrote:

 

That's justifying the law with the law. 
 

That's how things work.

Quote My point is, this is simply trying to bandaid a larger problem by punishing those healthy enough or wealthy enough to be forced into paying more than they need to.

I don't -like- the current system, mostly because it's just paying a bunch of money back to private insurance firms to act as middle-men. But, you asked how it was possible to pay for accepting all people regardless of PEC, and that's how. You make everyone pay for something. 

To a larger point, it's depressing that your opinion there is so popular with so many ignorant people. It really makes getting a decent universal healthcare system in the U.S. off the ground. 

Blunt much Whale? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brihard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 9:07pm
I still shake my head and sigh sadly at how you guys do it. Just go direct on this like most of the rest of the developed world and have most (and, critically, preventative) healthcare paid for directly from tax revenues, with *everyone* having equal access.

Nothing precludes a blended system where everyone gets a certain degree of healthcare, and where additional insurance coverage can offer higher quality in some things, coverage of medications, etc etc. I'd personally be in favour of a system where a public system and private system coexist, with regulation in place to ensure the public system was adequately staffed.

But this joke of a system America has *still* allows more people to live without basic health coverage than there are people in my whole country. In a first world nation that's unconscionable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 9:41pm
Originally posted by brihard brihard wrote:

I still shake my head and sigh sadly at how you guys do it. Just go direct on this like most of the rest of the developed world and have most (and, critically, preventative) healthcare paid for directly from tax revenues, with *everyone* having equal access.

Nothing precludes a blended system where everyone gets a certain degree of healthcare, and where additional insurance coverage can offer higher quality in some things, coverage of medications, etc etc. I'd personally be in favour of a system where a public system and private system coexist, with regulation in place to ensure the public system was adequately staffed.

But this joke of a system America has *still* allows more people to live without basic health coverage than there are people in my whole country. In a first world nation that's unconscionable.


With costs to care for that population equally massive.

How about instead of providing people smart phones with unlimited packages that cost 1/3rd what mine does, or EBT cards that are exchanged for 50 cents on the dollar for drug and booze money, cable television for convicts or in free housing; we take that money and put it into covering some of those costs of expanding healthcare and crack down on bull**edited** malpractice suits. While we're at it, spend some of that money on better lunches for kids, and educating poorer people that frozen chicken and veggies are just as cheap as hot pockets and Doritos.


Hey, I've got herpes and cirrhosis of the liver, but clearly I take great care of myself. Everyone should have to chip in extra money each year to force insurance companies or government healthcare to take care of me. Why should I take care of myself when others will take care of me?

/disjointed rant
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 9:45pm
Let me prefice this by saying that I highly support a universal system, and dislike what we have now, both in current and soon-to-be states. 

Originally posted by brihard brihard wrote:

 Just go direct on this like most of the rest of the developed world and have most (and, critically, preventative) healthcare paid for directly from tax revenues, with *everyone* having equal access.
 

This will be extraordinarily difficult. More difficult that anybody on the Internet wants to address. The U.S. is a big country with a lot of people and a lot of institutions. We have an economy on the scale of the entirety of Europe. We have a medical infrastructure bigger than most all other places on Earth. We have a fundamental economic structure unlike most on Earth. We have a bigger, more diverse population of working poor than most other places. 

A lot has to change, culturally and economically, for us to get to a universal system. 

It's why it's silly for people to sit back and point to France and Canada and go "Well they're doing it right, just do like them," as those countries have frankly insignificant population numbers compared to the scale of the U.S. 

I have no doubt the U.S. could, and eventually will, form a universal system. But it's not going to look like the Canadian or French or British system. 


"So when Romney wins in a landslide, what will the liberal media do?"
This Ma**edited**hine Kills **edited**as**edited**ists.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote agentwhale007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 9:55pm
Originally posted by usafpilot07 usafpilot07 wrote:


How about instead of providing people smart phones with unlimited packages that cost 1/3rd what mine does, or EBT cards that are exchanged for 50 cents on the dollar for drug and booze money, cable television for convicts or in free housing;

"I don't know how social programs work." 

Quote we take that money
 

So we're taking all the money, to be clear here, from programs that allow the working poor to get discounted phone connections, food assistance programs, and prison TV, and that's going to pay for the health costs of the nations impoverished? 

Quote bull**edited** malpractice suits.

Statistically insignificant in the grand scheme of healthcare costs. 

Quote While we're at it, spend some of that money on better lunches for kids, and educating poorer people that frozen chicken and veggies are just as cheap as hot pockets and Doritos. 
 

I concur. 

Quote Hey, I've got herpes and cirrhosis of the liver, but clearly I take great care of myself. Everyone should have to chip in extra money each year to force insurance companies or government healthcare to take care of me. Why should I take care of myself when others will take care of me?


"I don't know how society works." 

Quote /disjointed rant

No argument there. 


Edited by agentwhale007 - 11 December 2012 at 9:56pm
"So when Romney wins in a landslide, what will the liberal media do?"
This Ma**edited**hine Kills **edited**as**edited**ists.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote usafpilot07 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 10:08pm
I understand how social programs are abused. At the beginning of the month, I could go and get 750 dollars worth of EBT funds for $300 and it wouldn't take me more than a couple hours. Ive met people who've done this and ate like kings because of it. I don't condone it, but until the system is fixed, it will still happen.

We disagree on what a person is entitled to. Housing/Air-conditioning/land-line/food? Absolutely.

Cell-phones with unlimited data, cable, and easily-abused sources of drug money? Nope.

You want a food program? Redesign it so that set types of food(like with WIC) can be chosen and picked up.

I'm not saying this would fund the entire expansion of medical coverage(which we already obviously disagree on), just that if it's going to be forced down our throats, why not start by reforming broken systems that only force more burdens onto a system that is already doomed to be a money pit, societal value or not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brihard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 December 2012 at 11:21pm
Oh, I realize it couldn't simply be imposed in one fell swoop Whale. There's the whole awkward question of that massive insurance industry for one.

But it's just as clear that the current structure of your healthcare system is ethically indefensible for a developed nation. Something's gotta give.
"Abortion is not "choice" in America. It is forced and the democrats are behind it, with the goal of eugenics at its foundation."

-FreeEnterprise, 21 April 2011.

Yup, he actually said that.
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