Obamacare

How Will States Keep Health Insurance Premiums Down If They Can't Order Insurers to Operate at a Loss?

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Since Massachusetts overhauled its health insurance regulations in 2006, average premium prices have skyrocketed. And the governor's office seems to be at a loss as to how to stop further increases: Its response has not been to look for ways to make the system more efficient or less resource intensive, but to simply tell insurers that they aren't allowed to price their premiums as requested. Problem is, insurers can't operate that way for long, especially with all the new operating regulations and coverage mandates they're facing. And so it wasn't surprising to see that, following the state government's rejection of most proposed rate increases, the Bay State's four biggest insurers all announced hefty first-quarter operating losses.

Together, we will undermine the health insurance industry.

Gov. Patrick's rate caps may not have been sustainable (insurers can only operate at a loss for so long), but they did provide an easy short-term method for blocking premium growth. And, more importantly, they gave the governor a political boost by making him look tough on insurers. But now it appears that his system of de facto insurance price controls may not be an option for much longer: Last week, the state's insurance appeals board sided with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, one of Massachusetts' biggest insurers, and decided that the rate hikes the company had requested were, in fact, reasonable.

Naturally, the governor's office isn't too happy:

Consumer Affairs Undersecretary Barbara Anthony said the administration is reviewing the decision and weighing whether to ask Attorney General Martha Coakley to appeal the decision to the Superior Court.

"We strongly disagree with the hearing officers' decision," said Anthony. "They've substituted their judgment for the judgment of the commissioner."

Well, yes. But isn't that the whole point of an appeals board—to review the facts of a case and the ruling made and, if necessary, substitute the judgment of the appeals board for the judgment of the original authority? If the job of an appeals board was to defer to the judgment of the commissioner, then it wouldn't really be offering much of an opportunity for appeal, would it?

Regardless, it seems clear that the Patrick administration will continue in its fight for the right to demand that insurers operate at a loss. And I suspect that the Patrick administration will soon be joined by efforts at the federal level. Already we're seeing calls for national regulation and review of insurance premiums. As Gov. Patrick has discovered, these proposals are likely to score political points. But they aren't likely to address the core problems of rising medical costs and spending—problems which ObamaCare, like its model in Massachusetts, has only exacerbated.

NEXT: Don't Nationalize BP

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  1. Oh, you’ll do something!

  2. Oh, man, if only there were some, I don’t know, economic theory or something that explained that if things are priced at less than they cost, more people will use it, and shortages will result.

    1. They never mentioned that in college. Sounds fishy to me anyway.

      1. Oh, man, if only there were some, I don’t know, economic theory or something that explained that insurance companies are raping the consumer with their overpriced monopolies, and that if they were forced into competition, more people will be able to use it, and shortages will be prevented by essential primary care.

        1. Like opening the health insurance market to interstate sales? Sweet idea.

          1. Don’t be an idiot, they don’t want competition. The insurance lobby has paid both parties to shovel the bullshit meme: we will go broke! Libertarians deliver their message for free.

            1. 1) Do you believe that they’re faking the profit losses?

              2) How is it that multiple insurance companies have a monopoly on health insurance in Massachusetts?

              3) What sort of “competition” do you envision?

              4) If by competition, you mean a government option, what prevents the government option from using tax-payer subsidies to undercut all competitors and eradicating the market?

              1. Now you’ve gone and done it.

              2. Oh, oh, wait. I know the answer to this one.

              3. 1) Yes. Business does not make the same predictable profit every year. Even in the traditional slim profit market of food stores, it varies by location, and timing.
                2) They share the pie ‘shell game’ style
                3) Insurance companies out of the picture, and local hospital policies replacing emergency/surgical/treatment care. Insurance originated from these policies, and they should have continued with this model. Private doctors would be forced to compete by posting rates.
                4)The government would only be involved with catastrophic policies, and others could compete against them.
                Communities would set standards for charitable care; It would include a jury system review for end of life and terminal care.

            2. Who cares what they want? Open the markets up.

            3. That’s right, everyone who says they want more competition and is against govt. and business getting into bed together is “really” favoring the companies. If you are against govt. you are for the companies because in your world there are only two sides: the little guy and the big-bad companies. And if you are for the huge federal govt. and want to give them more and more power then you are for the “little guy” Makes sense to me. Pinhead!!

        2. The idea that you can just pass laws requiring companies to give away more stuff and charge less money is kind of cute.

          I like cars with heated and cooled leather seats, bose surround stereo, built-in GPS and nav. Let’s pass a law that says that car manufacturers have to include all of those things, and that they can’t raise the price of their cars.

          1. Cars are not HC, take the fucking bus.

            1. What about health care makes it immune to the laws of economics?

              1. retardation?

              2. Good intentions on the part of fuzzy-minded “progressives”??

            2. Health care can be gathered from unicorn farts?

            3. I also demand that the bus have bucket leather seats, in-trip snacks, that it arrive every 10 minutes, and that it include the routes most convenient to me.

              Oh, and they can’t raise the price. The bus is even more of a monopoly than the health insurance companies, so that should work out, right?

              1. Declaring something a “public service,” “right” or “social justice” automatically and irreversibly exempts it from the laws of economics and immediately creates an infinite supply thereof.

                Is this new to you?

          2. They already did this with cars. All those neat emissions reducing things you get to buy have jacked up the cost of your car exponentially (however much it might be offset by other savings).

  3. Driving the private insurance companies out of business would have to be a prerequisite to a total government takeover of medicine. ObamaCare advocates will use the inevitable “failure” of private enterprise as sufficient proof that only the federal government can provide “fair” and “compassionate” health care for America’s “families.”

    1. Bingo. That may not be what Mass had in mind, but it’s certainly the ultimate goal for Obamacare.

      1. Mind? in MA? ain’t no such thing

    2. A government takeover wouldn’t solve the cost problem and would probably push more doctors out of MA or force doctors to take cash.

      1. You’re thinking too small! Nationalizing industry may be the best (and only) way for this country to obtain social justice in health care. The doctors will work for the salaries we set, and if they won’t, we’ll find people who will.

        1. And if we can’t find enough people to work for less, well, we can just make those 1st set of doctors, who are in prison at that point (not being patriots, or some shit, who cares, they’ll be in jail), see patients in their prison cells.

          Naturally, it would be much easier to care for the patients if they also resided in prison….JAIL FOR EVERYONE, Wooooooo!

          1. Well that sounds a bit extreme… but maybe you’re right, and we need to keep an open mind to what will be required for enforcement.

            The important thing is to focus on results and equality of outcomes, and not how we get there. That’s what China has been doing for years, and they’re eating our lunch (btw did you catch Thomas Friedman’s article on this the other day?) so maybe emulating them a bit, just for a while, is the way to go.

            1. Have we really gotten to the point where we need to emulate China? Really?

              1. I think maybe we have. I’m not the only one leaning this way, though. If you’re interested, Thomas Friedman explains the advantages here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09…..dman.html. I find his argument to be quite persuasive, though in fairness I’m kind of a big fan of his. He’s very smart and knows a lot about all kinds of important stuff, and like me he’s a big supporter of Green Power and Global Warming.

          2. You would just see American doctors migrating abroad to the new luxury hospitals for “medical tourists” in 3rd World countries. Conversely, you would see less and less foreign doctors applying for American certification in order to immigrate (that would probably be popular with the anti-immigrant crowd). They would just stay at home, or in other countries.

      2. The Government doesn’t care about the cost. They only care about the price.

  4. For a magazine called Reason you sure are a bunch of racist ratfuckers.

    1. Please.

      It’s still only 9:30 AM here, too early for a stiff drink.

      1. It’s never too early for a stiff drink.

    2. mice. I only fuck mice.

      1. I’m a stoat-groper, myself.

        1. hear them stoats are mighty frisky…

  5. But isn’t that the whole point of an appeals board?to review the facts of a case and the ruling made and, if necessary, substitute the judgment of the appeals board for the judgment of the original authority?

    An appeals court doesn’t re-consider the facts of a case, it only looks at how the original trial was handled.

    1. Appeals board, Tulpa, not court. Different critter, does different things.

    2. Depends on the standard of review, usually de novo, clearly erroneous/plain error, or arbitrary and capricious.

  6. Umm, to put it simple, they WONT! The sheeple will never see any benefit frojm the Obamacare nonsense.

    Lou
    http://www.real-anonymity.se.tc

  7. What is it with cops and dogs?

    A former Santa Ana police officer who worked as an unlicensed private investigator was charged Friday with 63 counts, ranging from defrauding clients to intimidating witnesses to posting ads on Craigslist seeking women to engage in sex acts with his Labrador retriever.

    Kevin Michael Sianez, 53, of Fountain Valley is also charged with illegally operating a private investigation service without a license, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.co…..ality.html

    1. Cop’s dog shoots?

      1. …and scores!

    2. The local (Houston) news was talking about a case last night.

      A woman called 911 for a medical problem. A cop was apparently the first on scene. The woman’s 14 year-old Jack Russel Terrier barked at the cop, so of course the cop was obligated to shoot the dog (can’t have dogs disrespecting the cops).

      The dog lived–the bullet only grazed him–but now the family is upset because the PD is refusing to pay the $250 vet bill for stitches for the dog. The police chief was on saying that, since the officer “felt threatened” and therefore was justified in the shooting, they won’t pay the vet bill.

      1. Russels are scrappy dogs, but they aren’t dangerous to anything larger than a rabbit.

        Maybe the cop has delusions of rabbitude.

        1. I can welate to this feaw of wabbits! That wascally Wussel tewwier!

      2. “I’m 90 years old, I’m having a stroke and need medical help! And for fuck’s sake, PLEASE DON’T SEND A COP!”

    3. “Every once in a while, you just want to get your dog laid.”

      1. or shot…

    4. If I were a dog I’d rather real with this guy than most other cops…

  8. Command economy == broken economy

  9. “How Will States Keep Health Insurance Premiums Down If They Can’t Order Insurers to Operate at a Loss?”

    Lots more blotched police raids???

  10. “Regardless, it seems clear that the Patrick administration will continue in its fight for the right to demand that insurers operate at a loss.”

    Followed by:
    Regardless, it seems clear that the Patrick administration will continue in its fight for the right to demand that doctors operate at a loss.

    Followed by:
    Regardless, it seems clear that the Patrick administration will continue in its fight for the right to demand that patients are not operated on and suffer loss of life.

    Life (and death) are a big circle.

  11. You’re right, this is not sustainable if nothing else changes. But it won’t be long before medical professionals accept that the gold-plated old days are not coming back. They’re going to have to work for less money, just like everyone else, and when this happens, insurers will be able to cover costs better.

    1. Don’t be his porn.

    2. Right on, Hobie!

    3. Explain again how I’m in the wrong for wanting to take a cheese grater to these morons’ faces?

      1. first, you should be considering an electric cheese grater, second it should be applied to more than just the face, and third…fuck third

    4. I know I already responded to this comment, but I just have to say… I read a lot of crap on this board, day after day, and it’s so nice to finally see somebody who really understands economics. You get it.

      1. If, by that, you mean all the good doctors who can go to, say, Florida, and get gold plate, will go there and leave MA with the less successful, cheaper doctors, then yeah I guess so.

        1. No, no, no. Hobie is right, the doctors will just learn to work for less money, once they realize that the extravagant salaries of the past are, well, past. It won’t effect the number of doctors or medical care at all.

          1. “”No, no, no. Hobie is right, the doctors will just learn to work for less money, once they realize that the extravagant salaries of the past are, well, past.””

            Like the GM plant worker.

            Hey if we can decide $75 and hour is too much to pay someone who assembles cars, why is it wrong to to say $300 and hour is too much for a family doctor? 😉

    5. Dude, I make more sense than this guy! LOL

      Lou
      http://www.real-anonymity.se.tc

      1. p’wned by the Anon Bot

        1. Being smarter than a liberal does not make the Anon Bot intelligent.

          1. No. But it sure does put some shit in perspective.

      2. Yeah, baby!

    6. Or they’ll just decide that going through 8 years of hell and putting themselves in hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt isn’t worth it when they could just start working and earning a very comfortable living with that engineering degree they got prior to med school.

      1. Especially when they won’t even be able to cover malpractice insurance costs.

      2. Hey. There are lots of docs who can’t do enough calculus to get through E-school. Oh, did you mean civil engineers? Yeah, they could do that.

    7. Dan, your stupidity is astonishing. Do you have trouble putting your pants on in the morning?

      1. don’t think they’re part of the standard issue in the “home”, so doesn’t actually wear any…

  12. I don’t understand why the general populace finds universal health care to be so distasteful but they continue to tolerate this cockamamie horseshit of quasi-state controlled health care. ENOUGH ALREADY! There are two options:

    1) Nationalize in some form (maybe the German or Swiss model?)
    2) Freedom (with the consequential lack of treatment for some).

    FFS, pick one. Either is far superior than the current clusterfuck.

    1. #2 works for me.

      1. You show that turd who’s boss.

        1. I refuse to use “LOL” out of principle, but that comment actually made me laugh out loud.

        2. I love that line…what movie is that from???

          1. Austin Powers.

          2. 1st Austin Powers flick.

    2. Both options 1 and 2 will result in lack of treatment for some. Some people prefer the lack of treatment for those without middle class incomes instead of lack of treatment due to lack of political connections.

      1. I prefer lack of treatment only for those who steal from me or use someone else to steal from me.

      2. True, but one option will stifle further improvements in medical treatment and one will further encourage it. It sucks that poor people don’t get as good of medical care as the rich, but it’s pretty cool that the poor pretty much have access to the health care enjoyed by last generation’s rich.

        1. “stifle further improvements in medical treatment” Ya, because only the US makes improvements!

        2. It would be better for everybody to have the same access to healthcare, even if it has to be limited and improvements slow down a bit. Not that I think that these worry warts are right about that happening. Even if it does, the government can regulate investment into R&D to fix it.

          It’s like when the President was asked if he would still raise captial gains taxes if it meant less revenue was collected, and he said he would, in the interest of fairness. There’s a lot of validity in that kind of thinking, and I think it also applies here.

  13. So wait, help me out here. You’re saying that Massachusetts health insurance companies are LOSING money hand over fist because they are covering more people and paying out more than they take in?

    And the “no pre-existing clause” is allowing people to sign up when they are sick and avoid paying the premiums until then?

    So when insurance companies TOLD Patrick and the rest of the geniuses on Beacon Hill that they would end up losing money and leaving the state if the bills were enacted, they were telling the truth?

    This certainly couldn’t happen with Obamacare though. And if it does, it’s probably Bush’s fault already.

  14. A government agency telling private companies that they should operate at a loss for the common good? Sounds like a novel idea…

    1. -1 on the pun.

      Besides, I already read the book.

  15. Patrick is forcing fractional-reserve businesses to operate at an even smaller reserve. In banking, that’s called “not regulating.” In insurance, it’s called “getting tough?”

  16. What is ACORN up to now? Watch the video at http://www.ACUACORNAction.org to find out what ACORN has become. Track former leaders to ensure that we know when ACORN attempts to create new groups using fake names to continue their work.

    1. I will not.

  17. “”We strongly disagree with the hearing officers’ decision,” said Anthony. “They’ve substituted their judgment for the judgment of the commissioner.”

    On some level you do have to admire the balls it takes for this woman to complain about substituting judgement.

  18. So, what’s to prevent the companies from cutting their losses and either not sell policies in the state any longer or just bag it up and pull out completely?

    1. You’re catching on JW! Single-payer for all!

      1. That would be MassholeCare.

  19. The mess in Massachusetts shows why the free market system will never work. It is leading to higher prices, longer waiting times and inferior care. We need a government run system, because with a few people at the top making the choices, there will be less waste since they can decide intelligently how the money should be spent and resources used. You libertad cry-babies need to let go of your discredited free-market obsessions.

    1. because with a few people at the top making the choices, there will be less waste since they can decide intelligently how the money should be spent and resources used.

      One Doc to rule them all, One Doc to find them, One Doc to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

      1. That sort of fascism was only likely to happen under a Republican administration. As Obama is president, he is more apt to make intelligent decisions that result in a better health care sysytem than the free market one we have now.

    2. Where to begin:

      —The mess in Massachusetts shows why the free market system will never work—

      There is no “free” market in Massachusetts.

      —We need a government run system, because with a few people at the top making the choices, there will be less waste—

      This “less waste” Government you speak of, where is it?

      —they can decide intelligently how the money should be spent and resources used—

      Ignoring “intelligently”, I would rather the decisions be made by me and my Doctor. That’s what I pay him for.

      Other than these small points, I agree with you completely.

      1. Sarcasm meter… Please check.

  20. “There is no “free” market in Massachusetts.”

    Yes, there is. Insurance companies are competing with each other to provide better services, which should, according to libertarians, should lead to better services and lower prices. But, it’s led to an even bigger market failure.

    “This “less waste” Government you speak of, where is it?”

    It hasn’t happened yet since we have a wasteful free-market system.

    “Ignoring “intelligently”, I would rather the decisions be made by me and my Doctor. That’s what I pay him for.”

    Your doctor is one person, and you are not in a position to know if your doctor isn’t screwing you, as you presumably don’t have a medical degree. Also, if you and your doctor decide you need an expensive, but unnecessary procedure, that is money that might go to the truly sick. Government-appointed panels can account for such fraud and waste a lot better than the free-market can.

    1. A free market is not one with a Government playbook of 2,000 rules. Methinks you don’t know what a free market is.

      1. There aren’t any truly “free” markets in the world. There are always regulations that protect people from being royally screwed. There is still competition in our system, and it isn’t working. People are still going without treatment, and prices are skyrocketing. This, you libertarians claim, shouldn’t be happening. But, it is.

        1. “There aren’t any truly “free” markets in the world”

          Illegal drugs.

    2. By your theory, we also need the government to assist us in dealing with auto mechanics, plumbers, computer repair technicians, and any ofthe other myriad of areas in which there is assymetrical information in favor of a seller of consumer goods.

      1. Well, there are regulations in place to help us deal with those people. I don’t hear libertarians saying all those should be removed.

        More importantly, whether or not the government gets involved in plumbing is different. With our free-market health system, people go without medical care because they can’t afford it or don’t have insurance due to pre-existing conditions.

        I am not against using the free-market in all situations. Here, however, it isn’t working. Being overcharged by a plumber isn’t exactly the same as dying due to access to health care.

        1. Being overcharged by a plumber isn’t exactly the same as dying due to LACK OF access to health care.

          1. “”I am not against using the free-market in all situations. Here, however, it isn’t working.”””

            It’s working as good as most things. The problem is some people have an unreasonable expectation of what can be delivered. People who think the current medical system is failing are those who have the unreasonable expectation that everyone, regardless of money, should receive service. Nothing in the free market has that expectation attached. That’s like saying our free market approach to auto sales is failing because not everyone can afford a car.

            The world is full of haves and have nots. The existence of have nots is not a failure of the free market.

            It comes down to choices, if health care is that important to an individual, they should have health insurance first, Iphone second.

            Our health care system isn’t perfect, but it’s not broken. People’s concept of life is what’s broken.

            1. “It comes down to choices, if health care is that important to an individual, they should have health insurance first, Iphone second.”

              Exactly, why do you think I am targeting Apple? Without iPads, iPods and the like, people won’t be in a position to make the wrong choice.

              1. “The O” use to mean something cool.

                1. The “O” face?

        2. Regulations to help us deal with those people are unnecessary. A dishonest plumber, mechanic, or computer tech will have a really hard time finding work, because negative word of mouth will inform other people that he is dishonest. Word of mouth is the most powerful force in marketing, which is why marketing theory indicates that happier consumers are more profitable consumers.

          Your second argument, that health care is a matter of life and death, and therefore requires extraordinary measures, is in my opinion a tired standby. If the reaction of consumers punishes bad sellers in a marketplace for trivial goods, why would it not for critical goods? The more critical a good is (life insurance, health care, financial advice) the greater the trust relationship between buyer and seller must be, and the more care buyers will exercise. Furthermore, you are assuming that government somehow has miraculous foresight, and can prevent unnecessary deaths from ever occurring, while the market relies on trial and error. The truth is that government officials have just as little information about what problems the future will bring as we do, and react to newly arising problems in the same way we do. The critical difference, is when they realize there is a new problem they must react to they must motivate, mobilize, and change a massive bureaucracy to respond. Better to leave the decisions at the lowest level possible to allow flexibility, efficiency, and most important of all the greatest liberty!

          1. “””A dishonest plumber, mechanic, or computer tech will have a really hard time finding work, because negative word of mouth will inform other people that he is dishonest. “””

            Bullshit. Even a cop that shoots a grandmother can give himself a promotion by moving to another state. Call it stupid if you will, I’ll agree, but incompentence can always find a new home.

            1. Plumbers can be fired by their customers, cops can’t be so easily fired by those they are there to protect.

            2. I’m not familiar with the grandma shooting cop you mention, but you can find exceptions to any rule. I definitely agree that an incompetent person with strong sales skills can rip off consumers in the short run, but eventually people figure him/her out. As long as someone has the skill and inclination there will always be con men. I don’t see how that relates to large industries though, in my mind it is clear that the market will always discover and correct incompetence over time.

              1. All I’m saying dishonest people do find work. What local TV news doesn’t have a guy who helps those getting screwed? There is a real reason for some basic consumer protection laws. Basic is a key word.

                1. Yes Vic, but when it comes to those laws and the multitude of rules and regulations they spawn, often the cure is worse than the disease.

        3. “Well, there are regulations in place to help us deal with those people. I don’t hear libertarians saying all those should be removed.”

          All those should be removed.

          1. I didn’t hear that.

    3. Your post was so ludicrous I thought you were joking (making fun of the progressive argument). I don’t really believe that you think what they have in MA is a free-market. No one is that dense. MA is the closest thing to Obama-care and was supposed to be a model for it. I think you are just yanking people’s chains.

      1. I won’t respond to someone who hates poor people like you do.

        Those for socializing medicine include among their ranks highly educated and intelligent people, such as the POTUS.

        Those against have obnoxious bleaters as Sarah Palin and O’Reilly. I though I might be able to enlighten the Reason crowd, but I appear to be wasting my time.

        1. I thought you were interested in a discussion of ideas. My apologies to everyone for feeding trolls 🙁

          1. I am one part Chad, one part Tony, and we have combined as a super-troll in order to expose the free-market for its failures and build a bigger, better Obama-led utopia.

            Don’t doubt our power.

            At the very least, you libertarians have been kept on your toes.

            1. I love you Chony.

        2. “”” I though I might be able to enlighten the Reason crowd, but I appear to be wasting my time.”””

          Mostly a bunch non-freeloaders here. You didn’t really think you could “enlighten” them to schemes that hook the taxpayer with another bill did you?

          Most here believe in freedom, and the consequences thereof. You should be free to not pay, or plan, for your own health care, and you are entitled to the consequences of not doing so.

          1. Ant: “Mister Grasshopper, your not saving for winter.”

            Grasshopper: “As long as you are, I’ll be fine.”

            1. Mostly a bunch non-freeloaders here…Most here believe in freedom, and the consequences thereof. You should be free to not pay, or plan, for your own health care, and you are entitled to the consequences of not doing so.

              That has got to be the # 1 idiotic statement I have ever read on HC

    4. —Insurance companies are competing with each other to provide better services, which should, according to libertarians, should lead to better services and lower prices—

      If the Government tells you you cannot charge enough to cover costs (or as much as you want to charge), then there is not a free market. Government actions, thought not it’s JOB, are directed toward being re-elected and maintaining power, not serving the People.

      —It hasn’t happened yet since we have a wasteful free-market system.–

      So business, with it’s eye on the bottom line is wasteful (I disagree), so the answer is even more wasteful Government

      —Your doctor is one person, and you are not in a position to know if your doctor isn’t screwing you—

      For anything other that routine services, get a second opinion. If my Doctor tells me I need to have a kidney removed, it behooves me to check that out before consenting. It’s called personal responsibility. I like that system more than a Government panel deciding what I can and cannot do medically

      The day I start counting on the Government to eliminate fraud and waste is a long way off. No thanks.

  21. How is standard super-troll mockery “Chony” being mistaken for a real commenter here??

    1. Because it’s too early in the day for unemployed libertarians, so it’s easy to pull one over on them.

      1. Work is slow today and I’m lonely.

        1. It’s easier to disguise as a progressive than I thought. I see how they do it now. I think the trick is to not really believe what you’re saying.

          1. The problem is I know too many who are sincere.

            I have trouble accepting the idea that they might just have different value systems than I do. Lately it seems like they are straight up incapable of rational thinking.

            1. “Lately it seems like they are straight up incapable of rational thinking.”

              I wonder, or just aren’t interested in it.

            2. “Lately it seems like they are straight up incapable of rational thinking.”

              I wonder, or just aren’t interested in it.

  22. In your responses to what I’ve been saying, the majority of you missed out on one thing. There are people out there who genuinely want insurance but can’t get it due to (relatively minor) pre-existing conditions. This has happened to me. Without insurance, visits to the doctor are prohibitively expensive. How does the free market handle this?

    1. See, I knew you were pulling our leg, mistah!

      I guess I would answer that in a free-market without all of the state regulations saying x, y, and z (or a thru z) have to be covered (there is a word they use for this that escapes me right now. I am engaged in research on antibiotics with 3 u-grads and am running in and out of the lab every so often so sorry …..) there would be many more insurance options out there including ones where everything was covered except things related to your pre-existing conditions and there can be cooperatives established for high-risk groups etc. You “should” be able to get some coverage but it may be more expensive. I believe (and yes it is a belief since I have not studied this in depth) that in the existing regulated market place, the number of viable options is drastically reduced by various government carrots and sticks that they have in place. My healthy 24 year old daughter was denied coverage from one company due to an episode of irregular bleeding six years earlier (standard woman’s issue not anything bizarre) that they said was a pre-existing condition but luckily the next company we tried had no problem with it. Then there is always charity and pro-bono for extreme cases (or Medicare, yikes!).

      1. I was also hoping more people would point our our heavily distorted, third party payer system was a big part of the problem.

        I was desperately trying to get insurance when I was between jobs, but was denied because of plantaar fasciitis. Then, I would hear libertarian types say those without insurance were free-loading. I didn’t even want plantaar fasciitis to be paid for, I just wanted high deductable catastrophy insurance.

        This is a good article about how to bring up a truly free-market system.
        https://reason.com/archives/200…..-mandates/

  23. “””How does the free market handle this?”””

    That’s easy, you just don’t like the answer.

    If you can’t afford it, you don’t get it. That’s how free markets work.

    You issue isn’t about free markets. It’s about how to help those who can not, or choose not, to help themselves. That’s not a function of a free market. That’s a function of charity.

    If you’re as poor as dirt, I hope someone will help you with your medical care. But you don’t have a right to demand others to pick up the tab.

    1. You issue isn’t about free markets. It’s about how to help those who can not, or choose not, to help themselves. That’s not a function of a free market. That’s a function of charity.

      If you’re as poor as dirt, I hope someone will help you with your medical care. But you don’t have a right to demand others to pick up the tab.

      Shorter TrickyVic — only the haves deserve to be healthy.

      Hey at least your honest that you believe those without the means don’t deserve health care or life unless someone else with means decides to grace you with charity.

      So can the rest of you inhuman pricks stop getting offended when we point out that “libertarian don’t care about those without means and believe they deserve to die” ?

      1. He doesn’t speak for all Libertarians. Many, while still supporting free-markets, believe it is possible and desirable to ensure everyone is covered.

      2. Sure, when the rest of you fascist fucks stop getting offended when we point out that you want to enslave doctors.

  24. The downside of the government imposing price controls that cause insurers to lose money is that, to regain profitability, those insurers will not only have to impose whopping rate increases to reflect reality, but add even bigger increases on top of that to regain financial solvency lost during the price controls.

    Hard to CYA when the consequences of price controls become so evident.

  25. Obviously, the negative effects of price controls prove that unrestrained free market capitalism just doesn’t work.

  26. People die a lot.

    Preventing them from dying is an expensive use of resources.

    So long as the birth rate is higher than the death rate, we can not justify the huge expenditure of resources that go towards death prevention for the purposes of maintaining a population that can meet the objectives of the State.

    Healthcare is not a right, and certainly not a matter of social justice, except to the extent Capitalism can be rhetorically undermined by evoking it as such, but we do not recognize the existence of rights; positive, negative or property carry no meaning beyond the subjective. It is an individualist delusion propagated by infantile capitalist brain rot.

    In the transition to a mature socialist society we need to nationalize this industry for the purpose of acclimatizing the populace by weening them from this barbaric practice of attempting to prolong mere individuals at the great expense of the State.

    1. I did it better.

      1. Did what better, Chony?

      2. Scrolling up, I’m curious. Do you mean popularizing our objectives? You not only took heat for it, but you obscure our greater purpose by making those objectives warm and fuzzy for the docile and spoiled American public. Why not just come out and be frank like I did? These are just a bunch of libertarians, what are they going to do? Tell on us?

        1. Look at any revolution, they don’t admit it was only about perpetuating state power until AFTER they have seized control. Before that, they gradually amassed power by pretending to care about the poor. Once in charge, we can admit our true objectives, and show our utter disdain and contempt for the poor, unenlightened masses we had claimed to care about.

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