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Democratic investigators target health insurers

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by sacase, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. sacase

    sacase Well-Known Member

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    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26251.html

    House Democrats are probing the nation’s largest insurance companies for lavish spending, demanding reams of compensation data and schedules of retreats and conferences.


    Letters sent to 52 insurance companies by Democratic leaders demand extensive documents for an examination of ‘extensive compensation and other business practices in the health insurance industry.” The letters set a deadline of Sept. 14 for the documents.


    Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, signed the three-page letter dated Monday.


    An industry source replied when asked for comment: “This is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded fishing expedition designed to silence health plans."


    By Sept. 4, the firms are supposed to supply detailed compensation data for board members and top executives, as well as a “table listing all conferences, retreats, or other events held outside company facilities from January 1, 2007, to the present that were paid for, reimbursed, or subsidized in whole or in part by your company.”


    For employees or officers making $500,000 or more, the committee wants information on salary, bonus, options and pension.


    And by Sept. 14, the firms are supposed to provide copies of reports from compensation consultants, plus board drafts of compensation plans, and information about market share.



    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26251.html#ixzz0Odpl91fn

    I am sorry, how is this legal? How can congress get company records about what they are doing. I think I would tell them to kick rocks and not turn anything over to them.
  2. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    I wish they would probe their own wasteful spending.
  3. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    We should be asking the member of congress to furnish the same information.

    As for getting the record from the insurance company I have no issue with that at all. If you’re going to look at things to help reduce cost you need to have the information to see where changes in the system and laws need to be fixed.
  4. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    so when is that microscope going internal? and AGAIN - why should the government control how a business spends it's money and how come THEY can call it "lavish"?

    tell them to go screw themselves.
  5. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    maybe. but i don't wanna cross over the line to "control" their costs like that. the dems, esp obama, wants to control EVERYTHING it would seem and i'm just not into that.

    so when does socialism become socialism vs. something that simply 'can't happen here'?

    it's not and the dems are taking a beating so maybe "we the people" *are* making a bigger difference than we believe. but in my mind obama is doing more to hurt the dems chances of staying in power than helping it.

    can't say i'm not ok with that.
  6. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you are saying and I think the reason the Dems want it is not to get the full picture but pick it apart to find things that fit their own argument.

    I on the other hand want to see what is working and what needs to be changed not just in terms of the insurance companies but in terms of laws and regulations that are placed on the companies and how it affects the bottom line.

    I guess I could use the example of a refinery, I don't want the Government running it but I do want to make sure that what they are doing is safe and does not put the community at risk.

    In terms of the insurances companies I don't want the Government to run it but I have no problem with having Government to insure that policy or regulations and the affect it has and where we can improve
  7. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    well that is a distinction but when you use that back at the other side, they usually just say "well if you're already that far what's the difference?"

    i agree, it's cherry picking to fit your argument but it's not just dems that do that.
  8. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I agree it is not just Dems who do that I'm talking about this particular instance of Waxman and others wanting to get this info.

    As far as getting records again I don't have an issue with Government looking into an industry if the purpose is to help and a willingness to help the companies so they can do a better job helping the people.
  9. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I would love for both Dems and Reps to be able to work with business with the idea of what can we do to help not this is how to do it and we don't care how it may hurt your business in the process.
  10. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    We are all guilty of this and it is unfortunate because it often prevents us from seeing the big picture. We allow our Government to get away with things they should never be allowed to do, things that are in now way good for the people, simply because we fail to see the best way as opposed to the partisan way.

    I'm guilty of this at times. Hard for us to stand up and tell our Government not to do certain things when we are doing them ourselves.
  11. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    well like you say - we can all be guilty of this at times. there are those of us who recognize that and try to work around it and there are those who take advantage of it and keep being the selfish little bastages they are.
  12. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    If you want to fix insurance you are going to have some kind of government involvement because there is no way in hades that the insurance companies are going to police themselves.

    We don't want universal health care so the only other viable method is to try and regulate the insurances companies in some manner...either way it will be government involvement.

    That or we will just keep things the same as it has been over the years and keep hearing how this party or that party is going to fix it every election cycle.
  13. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    yea, not sure i can argue that point. i think it's more a game between what doctors want to charge for services and what insurance thinks it's worth.

    i get bills from my work insurance where it will say something like:

    Dr Charge: $500
    Insurance Paid: $200
    you own: $0

    go figure.
  14. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree with you Brain. Government has to play a role. I think that Government should consider offering Government Employee Healthcare to all citizens who are elligable. I think that a form of Government Healthcare should be available at a price. I don't think it should be paid for as a Taxed bennie and passed on to working Americans. I think that the Government should offer it as a service, just like other insurance companies do. In that way, they could provide a cost and service control eliment into the system. With the proceeds, maybe they could funnel those back into Medicare or Medicade. I don't know, but it should be self supporting.
  15. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    The first thing that would help would be to remove the restrictions on health insurance accross state borders. Allow competition where it is needed most. I don't care if my healthcare insurance is based in Dallas or Des Moines, so long as it is adequate for my needs at a reasonable cost.
  16. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I think this would help. I think that Tort Reform would also go along way to helping the situation. I think that the Government should spend money on putting together a plan that would reduce fraud in the Healthcare System. Estimates suggest that as much as 10% of all medical transactions are fraudulent. If we are spending 2.26 Trillion Dollars in the Healthcare industry annually, that figures out to something in the area of 226 Billion. We start cutting this number and that takes care of a multitude of problems.

    One of the things that we simply must be able to get agreement on is Illegals and how they will be addressed. I simply do not believe that their is any way we can ever provide healthcare for Illegals across the board. You can't account for the number so you can't budget for it. That presents problems that we are not equiped to deal with. I mean, even if you wanted to say, "yeah, lets treat them all", you could not. The dollars and cents of the thing prohibit it. We can't burn down the clinic in order to save the patient, as it were. We have to agree on this piece. I think you offer it to all illegals but only under the condition that they become citizens and pay into the tax system. They can't just run across the boarder and get free health and bennifits. They must contribute or it will not work.
  17. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    the trouble is - is the cost of living the same in des moines as it is in dallas? will they consider their own local conditions, or your local conditions when making the policy? if your local conditions, will you get the same price as des moines?
  18. Rackat

    Rackat Active Member

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    Healthcare insurance is based on the same principal as auto insurance. SO, yes, where you live will make a difference.

    Right now, group health plans are the least expensive for the consumer. Even so, a smaller group pays more because there are less people to cover the cost. That means that if there is a larger pool for the insurers then the cost will be reduced.

    I pay more for my health insurance than someone that works in a corporately owned hospital because the corporation has more hospitals, thus more employees, so the pool is more spread out.

    Two years ago our insurance went up by 5% because we had more people utilizing the insurance than the insurer could cover. iow, we had more ill/injured people in our group than the insurance company had busgeted for in their quote, and thus, the next year our rates increased.

    Allowing interstate insurance will not alleviate that problem, but it will provide competition, which in the end is good for everyone's bottom line.
  19. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    well, i'm struggling to remember why it was this way in the 1st place but i don't discount the value of competition. : )
  20. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Funny thing is Dems do not even want to talk about tort reform. I guess when you have trial lawyer lobbies feeding your party why do anything that would take money out of their pockets.

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