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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Jun 1, 2005.
So, if I'm reading this correctly, insurance companies really *are* evil. Since they're not making enough profit off the declining investment market, they're driving up fees, putting docors out of business and contributing to high medical fees and underwhelming care with overwhelmed survivors of their policies.
Capping non-economic awards at $250,000 when the payments are up to $100,000 is stupid. They might as well start printing their own cash.
Have payments in the states with caps dropped? Have medical costs in those states dropped?
I don't know about the explanation - profit-making companies will always raise prices whenever they can, but competition should keep overall prices low. Maybe the competition in the industry is "half-hearted", which amounts to tacit collusion - I'll raise my rates a little, so you raise your rates a little, so I raise my rates a little, etc.
But yeah, health insurance companies are evil. I mean, they don't have to be - they could make money by keeping you healthy through preventitive care. But they can also make money by raising premiums and denying you care, which I guess warms their evil little hearts.
Insurance companies aren't as numerous and competitive as you might think because many of them use the same underwriters, and it's the underwriters who call the real shots. You will often find the big underwriters moving out of certain speciality insurance markets en masse, leaving people with these policies without the opportunity for coverage or dealing with only one or two underwriters. The cost of that coverage skyrockets. Then the underwriters jump back into the previously abandoned market -- "crisis" over, rates much higher. This happened recently in homeowner's insurance. It's not a truly competitive industry.
But George says rising doctors premiums ARE due to Law Suites. Could George be wrong yet again? still amazed he captured 51% of the vote with so much spin.
This all began in late 2000. Insurance premiums in general began a rise in 2001 after the collapse of the dot-com bubble. Prior to that, profits from equities reduced the need to raise premiums.
I noticed first insofar as applying to my own insurance in 2002, with a rise in auto liability insurance, and a slight rise in my homeowner's insurance.
There's no single cause, of course. If there is a spate of lawsuits and court judgements against doctors and/or hospitals, that's contributory. Just like the falloff in profits from investments.
It didn't begin in late 2000 by any means. We've been through several of these "insurance crisis" snow jobs. I remember in the mid-'80s, simple liability policies that were cheap -- written for basically the cost of the paperwork -- suddenly became unavailable at any price. You could call and call and call, and nobody would sell you one. I know, I was the one doing the calling. Then, just as suddenly, they were available again -- at four times the former price. This was not a reflection of risk, it was a reflection of pure greed, and the ability of a few underwriters to manipulate the market. They do it because they can.
This is what happens when you allow for-proffit companies to run essential services. Exactly the same thing happened with Energy companies. Any service you MUST have, particularly medical, being that you could quite literally die without appropriate care becomes a de-facto protection racket the moment it's moved out of the public or not-for-proffit sphere.
Perhaps, but it's also a function of an only marginally competitive market. The kind of insurance I was having trouble finding back in the mid-'80s was one day event liability coverage. It had always been available for about $100.00 -- the exposure was so low, the insurers only charged enough to make a few bucks on the paperwork. Then, boom -- overnight, practically, nobody writes those policies at all. Not for $200, not for $300, not for $400. You might find somebody willing for a grand or two, which of course is unaffordable. A few months go by, then just a quickly, you can get them again from every insurer, but they now cost $400.00 a pop.
IJ, the Sports Car Club of America ran into the same problem around 1980: Three-day coverage for a race event. Ever-fewer companies would write coverage. IIRC, it finally got down to only one company.
SCCA is one of those organizations which includes people from all sorts of work backgrounds, including insurance. The word filtering through the organization was that in part some changes in the various laws as to how liability suits could be decided that added to the insuror's risk. Admissible evidence, testimony, etc.
And that's why playground equipment that was common when I was a kid just isn't around any more. I've not been able to figure out why an unsupervised swing is more dangerous than a skateboard, but that's just me, I guess...
Have you seen what some of those unsupervised swingers get up to? It's not surprising nobody will insure them...
...baloney, horsepoop... that kind of thing.
What is anyone gaining through defending an industry that has put profit in front of performing the essential functions that they argued would benefit from allowing them to privatise the system?
Obviously, results are not meeting what was promised.
I am not understanding this, stand by your abusive (group of) corporation(s), mindset that seems so prevalent lately. No matter how badly they treat their customers, even to the point of limiting lawsuits that were in place to protect consumers. Lawsuits that were not in fact causing premiums to be raised.
This must be what it is like to deal with an abused spouse, trying to explain to them that they don't need to be takingthe abuse, and all they do is go back for more.
Stop the self abuse, look at the situation for what it is.
On the bright side, it's nice to know that premiums are going up due to greed, rather than doctor incompetence.
I'm not particularly interested in defending the insurance industry. I don't have a lot of use for those folks. I just get tired of this mantra of "Greed! Raw greed!" as an apparent explanation for every bad thing that happens in the world.
There's just too much price competition among the various companies for greed to be the ONLY reason for increases in premium rates. And that doesn't mean I'm on the "lawsuit!" bandwagon, either...
Just as I tire of raw greed being the reason for much of the bad things that happen in the world.
Eventually I think such a bill will pass.
And no relief will come.
In short, it will be identical in function to every other piece of Bush legislation signed.
Huh. Since there was a lot more to my point, I think I should feel at least a little insulted by this response.
Even if it's true.
Does the word "cartel" mean anything to you?