17 thoughts on “Public Opts For Public Option

    1. Mike Kennedy says:

      Love Heather. She’s quite attractive.

      But back to business — another lie and distortion about how much money health insurance companies make. No one has answered my question on profit margin. Why?

      Maybe because it’s substantially less than than many other industries.

      Love ya, Heather girl, sexiness and all, but you are a tool — another celeb leftie falling prey to the party line. Try thinking for yourself, girl. It does take work, though.

      1. Joe Loveland says:

        Maybe you’re right. Maybe the reality is that this ad has it completely backwards. Maybe Heather is actually fat and slow, and the private plan racers are lean and certain to win the race.

        But if that’s true, why fear the race?

  1. Mrs. Fay says:

    or could it be that most people have finally figured out that after years of double digit premium increases, and 250% profit increases, maybe, just maybe the insurance companies don’t have their best health care interests at heart?

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      You might be right. For me, it’s Heather Graham.

      It is strange that the public option is viewed in DC as being the ultimate political liability that would surely sink health care reform, but in public polling it looks to be the ultimate political asset that could save health care reform. Very curious.

    2. Mike Kennedy says:

      Can anyone cite to me the average profit margin of the insurance companies referenced?

      Then can anyone tell me how that average profit margin ranks compared to other industries?

      Just wondering

      1. PM says:

        Here you go:
        http://www.usnews.com/money/blogs/flowchart/2009/08/25/why-health-insurers-make-lousy-villains.html

        avg profit margin of a little over 3%, ranking it at about #85 approx (some variation from year to year) out of a list of 215 different industries. data apparently from Morningstar originally. I found a number of other sites that all had similar information, all with approx similar results.

        Of course, profit margins are not necessarily the best way to measure the efficiency of health care delivery. Those profit margins are after all of the various expenses are taken out, so if United Health (to take just one example) were to pay exorbitant salaries to its employees, then its profit margins would be low. And its profit margins would be low if it paid more to hospitals or to doctors, etc.

        So really, you can’t assume that the savings would only come from squeezing profit margins.

      2. Mike Kennedy says:

        No, I’m not suggesting it is a measure of efficiency, but I think it is a good indication that health care companies are hardly swimming in massive profits, the postion that many liberals postulate.

        I’m all for having an honest debate, but then let’s debate with honest figures, not wild eyed claims that health insurance companies are raping Americans.

  2. Mrs. Fay says:

    Is it possible that special interest money may play a role in the way those inside the beltway view this issue?

      1. Joe Loveland says:

        The question posed to these poll respondents describes the public option as “the national government offering everyone the choice of buying into a government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get — that would compete with private health insurance plans.”

        How is that misleading or unclear? Medicare has been a prominent and popular element of our society for more than sixty years, so people understand what public coverage would look and feel like.

      2. Mike Kennedy says:

        Joe:

        Didn’t Medicare start in 1965?

        No big deal but it’s been more like 45 years, no?

        Also, I’m not sure I want any health care system modeled after one that has a $35 trillion unfunded liability. The Medicare program is great, except that is so in the hole that no one seems to want to even address it.

      3. Joe Loveland says:

        My mistake on Medicare. Was thinking it was Truman, because he was the first to push for major health reform. I confess I’m a bit of an uneducated hick.

        Look, I’m all for fixing the fact that Medicare is an unfunded liability. I’m willing to do lots of things to fix that problem — pay more myself, stop capping payroll taxes, reduce benefits inefficient states, pay specialists less, etc.

        But if you are going to say that every unfunded liability is inherently bad and should be eliminated, then lots of things fall into that category — Bush tax cuts, middle east wars, home mortgage tax deductions…. None of those things are funded liabilities in that they are all funded with deficit spending. So, apply the standard equally if you are going to apply it.

        Mike was making the point that people didn’t understand what a public option was. I was making the point that people understand Medicare, which was directly referenced in the question, and therefore understood the question. Unfunded liability debate aside, I stand by that assertion.

      4. Mike Kennedy says:

        I agree, Joe. There are plenty of unfunded liabilities, but to the tune of $36 trillion?

        Let’s call this what it is, a national entitlement that has nothing to do with insurance. Insuring everyone no matter their health and paying for their basic premiums is not insurance.

        The purpose of insurance is to provide coverage for major expenses and you must meet certain requirements to get it. I can’t get life insurance if I die, nor can I get home insurance if my house if burned down or is on fire. And I have costs that I must pay.

        Furthermore, I ‘m unlikely to turn in a claim unless it is significant. Otherwise, I’m going to pay out of pocket.

      5. I’m not suggesting the question was unclear or misleading. I’m simply suggesting there’s another possibility aside from tone-def or apathetic politicians. Like maybe the respondents are more inclined to say, “Yeah, that sounds awesome” without giving a thought to what that means in terms of money or growth of government.

        It’s easy to assume the pols are ignoring the polls. I’m just floating alternatives for consideration.

  3. Ellen Mrja says:

    When I leave you guys alone for even two seconds, you start talking about sex – somehow.

    Sorry to disillusion you, fellas, but Heather Graham is supposed to be dumb as a stump. Unless that isn’t necessary in your fantasies of what a woman ought to be.

    Much like your fantasies of what a “good” government program ought to be, Mike. You want it all balanced, neat and clean on a ledger. But at what cost?

    We are talking about people’s lives. People. Human beings. Fellow citizens. They deserve access to health care because they ARE citizens. Much like we rose as a nation because we put our money into universal education, we need to find a way to cover health needs.

    You all are so young and healthy that maybe you can’t see things from a different perspective. But what if your wife needed a $42,000 procedure performed at the Mayo Clinic. Are you really going to say to her, “Sorry, honey. But we don’t have insurance so it’s a no-go.”

    I know this is going to be expensive. I know it is an unfuned liability. But so are the friggin’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and any other place where we decide to shed the blood of young and old alike.

    Why don’t you get upset over that?

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