Health insurance: Consolidation of insurers a concern for medic...

Talk of potential mergers in the medical insurance industry has doctors and hospitals worried about health plans having too much clout over consumer choices and prices. Full Story
Welcome Comrades

Carol Stream, IL

#2 Apr 8, 2009
Just put the government in control, that's the best way to improve efficiency.
this and that

Barrington, IL

#3 Apr 8, 2009
single payer system
Just observing

Bethpage, NY

#4 Apr 8, 2009
Government cannot be trusted to run healthcare. There's very little I have faith in our government to accomplish, healthcare is definitely not on the list.
Fibbitygibbit

AOL

#5 Apr 8, 2009
It all worked pretty well back in the 1980's - when over 87% of Americans had private {non-government} health insurance coverage. But - then, the government started to 'fix' it. Whadya expect when you've got 50 states and the federal government mandating this, that and other? We've already gone from a consumer driven competitive market for health insurance to a supplier's market as a result of the forced oligopolization of the private health insurance industry due to government... interference with consumer choice. More government mandates isn't better health care, it's more regulation on top of cumbersum regulation, on top of non-productive costs.
Free the market from the government, well, most of it, and let the market provide solutions that actually help people. The government is NOT value added, it's cost - just cost!
Survey Says

AOL

#6 Apr 8, 2009
Show me ONE thing the government does either efficiently or well, just ONE thing!
Less government is ALWAYS better government.
webguy

Saint Louis, MO

#7 Apr 8, 2009
Wait, wait... let me get this straight. The "concern" we're discussing here is the consolidation of health insurers and the risks of having one group with so much control over physician payments, network development, and billing requirements. And yet the best response from 'this and that' and all the other Apostles of Obama is "single payer system"? Here's a hint for you... a single payer system HAS THE SAME RISK! Of course, instead of a series of independent professionals who's career is dependent on ensuring enough providers stay in the health plan to serve the members while maintaining corporate viability we'd have THE GOVERNMENT with the latest administration's best political guy (that hopefully remembered to pay their taxes this time)and yet another massive infrastructure that has no reason to do any more than what is minimally necessary to maintain their virtually guaranteed government job with no real oversight, no real accountability, and no real incentive to improve the health of the populace!

Yep, great idea!

The brilliant model for this single payer health system, Medicare and Medicaid, is doing so well, right? Here's some truth for you. Medicare and Medicaid physicians get paid for one thing- pumping bodies through their office. Whether they are healthier or not when they leave is irrelevant. At least in private industry we're getting around to performance based payments where outcomes matter, and we've been pushing wellness programs for the better part of a decade.
Komi

Jackson, MI

#9 Apr 8, 2009
To "Survey Says", to experience one thing our federal government does very well -- go to www.nih.gov

The research on health conditions and health care delivery and the information available to the public is a very good use of tax payer dollars.

Regarding government intervention to improve our health care system - it has to happen. We got here because individual providers (docs, hospitals, etc.) have failed to evolve to an efficient, effective, and quality driven system on their own. They have proven that they need external motivation to do this and, as the largest payor of healthcare, the government is in the best position to do so.

We as individuals have to become more involved as well by taking responsibility for our health status. That means no smoking, eating right, losing weight, and exercising regularly.

Lower demand, lower costs ...
CCC

United States

#10 Apr 8, 2009
Survey Says wrote:
Show me ONE thing the government does either efficiently or well, just ONE thing!
Less government is ALWAYS better government.
United States Postal Service
Andy

United States

#11 Apr 8, 2009
How interesting that while the article mentions only for-profit insurers (Coventry Health Care, Humana, UnitedHealth Group, Insurance, Aetna) in the context of consolidation, the five most consolidated markets mentioned in the actual study are all served by a single, non-profit insurer (BCBS of Alabama). The story would have been much more powerful if the reporter had either included non-profit/Blues plans in the article, dug deeper in the actual study, or noted the possible advocacy point of view of the organization conducting the study. Classic example of either lazy or biase journalism...
webguy

Saint Louis, MO

#12 Apr 8, 2009
CCC-

Sorry, doesn't count. The USPS isn't actually run by the government, it's an independent agency of the government ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_agen... ), meaning they are able to set their own rules & policies, and execute enforcement outside of Congress.

And, for the record, they also don't count because you're wrong. They are marginally efficient, but they are insolvent and not self sufficient. They postmaster general even claims the situation is so dire he wants to cut delivery to 5 days a week: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworl... .

Heck, if nothing else, even the USPS relies on private industry in heavy demand situations- see their partnership with Fedex! And, all of the trucks moving that mail between hubs? Private Industry truckers!

Survey Says is absolutely right. Regardless of any of the other good reasons NOT to let the gov't run healthcare, the most obvious one is that they can't do anything well. I'm not saying it has to be all private industry, but I am saying doing it without private industry is not just unprecedented anywhere on this scale, it's impossible.
BuzzFlash

United States

#13 Apr 8, 2009
Bigger isn't better, as AIG et al. have shown, and health insurance companies, not government, made things worse in the Seventies/Eighties by creating "managed care." Aren't healthcare providers, our family doctors and the hospitals on Main Street, the more natural allies to consumers than consolidated, for-profit, middle-man insurance companies? See BuzzFlash article responding to Bruce Japsen's, at: http://buzzflash.com/articles/analysis/701
Clark Kent

Skokie, IL

#14 Apr 8, 2009
Survey Says wrote:
Show me ONE thing the government does either efficiently or well, just ONE thing!
Less government is ALWAYS better government.
The FCC, nope, wait I forgot about Madoff.

The FAA, oops no, they can't even figure out when plane de-icers should be turned on or off.

The FDA, Oh I forgot salmonella in peanut butter is bad...

Um, The IRS, Darin, Obama's cabinet proves thay can track taxes.

The U.S. Postal Service, No, I like getting my letters on time and the Post Master General makes like 800K a year and they are broke and need to close offices.

How about education... Ok, I was only kidding on that one.

Social Security, I'd likely get better return planting my money and waiting for it to grow.

Medicare, no that's in debt too!(this is hard!)

Ah, the FDIC... Wait the whole banking problem kind screws that up.

Ok I got it... The Military, Our Military is the best in the world, of course it is really only the best because it is run by people who volinteer and are truley heros. Come to think of it most of our security kinda rocks in this country as long as we keep congress away from them.

well "survey says" I guess I'm with ya, I'll let the government keep control of security (as long as they do it and stop cutting spending there) And I'll pay for my own healthcare, but only because I like to be healthy.

Cheers.
Clark Kent

Skokie, IL

#15 Apr 8, 2009
BuzzFlash wrote:
Bigger isn't better, as AIG et al. have shown, and health insurance companies, not government, made things worse in the Seventies/Eighties by creating "managed care." Aren't healthcare providers, our family doctors and the hospitals on Main Street, the more natural allies to consumers than consolidated, for-profit, middle-man insurance companies? See BuzzFlash article responding to Bruce Japsen's, at: http://buzzflash.com/articles/analysis/701
Your right, bigger isn't better, that's why we need to shrink government as it is already getting out of hand.

Now do we need changes made to our healthcare system, yes! Without question.

But you and your source miss a few things, when things are done for a profit and compete, new things, like cures for sickness come about.

There is a doctor in New York, he noticed as people lost there jobs they lost their insurance too, so he started charging a flat rate of $73.00 a month as a retainer for his services. He cut the insurance company out and the government steped in and said he wasn't charging enough.

We have to face facts, Lawyers are good at the law but bad at business. The government is made up of lawyers. Thus the government is bad at business, just look at Fannie and Freddie.

Change in the healthcare system, Yes! More government control over it and us... No thanks!
this and that

Barrington, IL

#16 Apr 9, 2009
It's funny how Medicare provides services for over 44 million Americans. Try and cut out that goverment program and see what happens. Are they perfect? No far from it. As far as too much goverment regulation goes the reality is people do not behave properly unless there is some sort of regulation.Look at the banking and financial industry.
dandyfop

Florence, KY

#17 Apr 16, 2009
LOL. Keep it up you guys. Keep the evil government out of healthcare. Take it from me, insurance companies LOVE YOU. They live in absolute fear of competition from the government because quite simply, they line their pockets soaking us. Bigtime. Keep repeating it. Health insurance companies run healthcare in this country and they employ thousands to make sure you get the least service they can get by with giving you and that if there is any way possible, your claims will be denied. They exist to take your money and offer as little as possible in return. Bring Big Brother into the picture- with contracts for example- and they straighten up real quick. They provide the service they SHOULD have been providing all along because it is laid out for them to do so IN THE CONTRACT. If you want to keep big money you have to deliver. It is as simple as that.

Free Market. LOL. Have you seen the burning pile of rubble that is the banking industry in this country? Seriously, the rock you were under misses you.

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