In response to:

Train Wreck Ahead

James92 Wrote: May 01, 2013 3:39 PM
Does anyone believe insurance companies exist to make medical services more available for a lower price or do they primarily exist to make a profit for their stockholders. I have nothing against any business being profitable. In fact they won't stay in business if they aren't profitable. So the answer in the business of providing medical care is to eliminate that cost of the middle man; in this case the insurance companies. The cost of medical care would drop enormously!
jlucas Wrote: May 02, 2013 9:18 AM
So what if we put the government in charge of food? Think of all those evil supermarket CEOs making a profit. The government could just eliminate profit and provide food cheaper for us, yes?
M.K. Wrote: May 01, 2013 4:28 PM
The cost of medical care will increase with government control. And as Obama advised we will all be "eating our peas" while he and Michelle are enjoying lobster thermador.
mistermilo Wrote: May 01, 2013 4:20 PM
How would you handle paying for health issues?? If it is not the insurance companies , it has to be the patient ==or== the government. Please advise.

James92 Wrote: May 01, 2013 4:51 PM
I would ask, what did we do before the 1940's and the introduction of the employer provided health insurance? I sure don't know all the answers obviously. Who does? See my previous comments for some suggestions. What we have now is a mess and ObamaCare will only be worse I fear! Perhaps a free market growing economy with more folks working and able to pay their doctors directly for the more mundane illnesses and carry catastrophic coverage. Let's try something in that direction. Keep the Government out of it as much as possible.
Roy323 Wrote: May 02, 2013 12:39 AM
James92-I can't speak to "what did we do before the 1940s" but I was very aware of the 1950s. What we "DID" (at least in the Rural areas like WV) was a Barter system, believe it or not! It was not unusual for my Family, well-known for generations, to pay 'monthly installments' for Dr/Dentist Bills OR I can remember instances of the Family Doctor stopping by and receiving payment in Home-Cured Hams, Shoulders or bacon. I feel certain WV wasn't the only place this barter system was used; it's just that MANY of the participants are DEAD!
FranksNBeans Wrote: May 01, 2013 4:13 PM
If I am not mistaken, insurance companies have a small profit margin (between 2% and 6%.
James92 Wrote: May 01, 2013 4:26 PM
Gentlemen, I'm not completely opposed to having insurance companies involved in the medical industry. I belive the emphisis could be more toward catastophic coverage, competative insurance across state lines and the ability to select the coverage one needs. My comment about the cost of insurance in the medical field was referring to the total cost of insurance company involvement, not their profit margins. Of course, having politicians, bureaucrats and governments at any level will only increase cost and reduce choices by individuals people. I really enjoy this discussion and your thoughts.
faoman Wrote: May 01, 2013 4:09 PM
James92,

Medical insurance allows people to spread out the costs of their healthcare. I know that if I or my wife were to incur a large medical bill, we would have trouble paying for it. I believe the problem is the gov't mandating what the insurance has to cover. How about letting the insurance companies and the market determine that? We don't need coverage for pregnancy, childcare, etc. Why should we have to pay for it? Let insurance companies customize coverage for those who want coverage.
Delta Wrote: May 01, 2013 4:25 PM
Agree, sir. Many years ago while managing a small non-profit organization, my agent was able to find heal insurance policies that did not cover maternity (we didn't need it). Later, when we hired additional staff, this was explained up front, as was our policy of not participating in workers' comp. Prospective employees could take it or leave it. None EVER left on these accounts. Too damned many regulations today; glad I'm retired.
Lancelot1954 Wrote: May 01, 2013 3:57 PM
That sounds like it would work but with one major problem. Yes, insurance companies are like any company, they are there to make a profit. However, competition keeps their prices in check and makes them be more competitive in driving down costs. If the government did the entire job there would be no need to keep down costs since they don't need to be competitive. As costs rise just tax more.
jasonQ42 Wrote: May 01, 2013 6:28 PM
One important thing to realize here is how the prices for health care are determined. Insurance companies negotiate with services providers (doctors and hospitals) and then sell the plans to employers or individuals. The leverage in this relationship is with the service providers. Increasing the competition between insurers actually increases the leverage of doctors thus increasing what they can charge, which ultimately gets passed on the employer or individual.
jlucas Wrote: May 02, 2013 9:28 AM
I think the problem isn't so much with Insurance Companies making a profit as much as it is with a third party paying for something, which insulates the consumer from the process.