Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Open Enrollment -- That Most Wonderful Time of the Year

My guess is that when open enrollment for benefits rolls around soon, people will be taking an especially close look at their health insurance premiums. This new 'report' paid for by AHIP ("America's Health Insurance Plans" -- totally impartial, I'm sure) warns that insurance rates will skyrocket if the current health reform bill gains momentum. My first thought was, so what else is new? My premiums go up EVERY year. As for prescriptions, my non-formulary copay will be going from $30 to $50. Does anyone look at their premiums for the next year and find they have gone DOWN? Ever??

Now we have both pundits and high government officials on TV constantly throwing numbers around --- for example, Senator Kyl's "We could save 100 billion to 200 billion dollars a year with malpractice tort reform." The individual interviewing that person should have two questions:

1. Which is it, 100 billion or 200 billion? ( That's a fairly big spread there, cowboy.)
and, 2. Quote me your EXACT SOURCE on those numbers.

ANYONE who goes on TV and throws numbers around should be required to specifically quote their source, or just outright admit they made it up. The Daily Show did a brilliant piece on their Oct 12th show on just this topic, and on the lack of diligence by the news media (and CNN in particular) to make people "show their work." Check it out at their website -- I thought it was great.


Grumpy, M.D. said...

Yeah, it's amazing the way these people pull numbers out of their butt, and it gets reported as accurate figures.

Anonymous said...

It'd be even more amazing if insurance premiums continued to skyrocket if there was no public option to counter their dire blackmailing threats. Taunts in the form of 'unbiased' reports that like just dare the public to consider what a kick in the buttinsky that would be to them! But, do we see it? Just how blind are we?

Anonymous said...

If he means pure tort reform he is actually low balling the figure. "The U.S. tort system cost $252 billion
in 2007" - source http://www.towersperrin.com/tp/getwebcachedoc?webc=USA/2008/200811/2008_tort_costs_trends.pdf

But if it is just pure medical than he is high balling it. medical in 2007 was about 30+billion and change.

But (Dan)Rather the news fact checking their own sources, why didn't CNN do that for other presidents spoofed on SNL?

So lets say it is 300 billion or what ever, what will it do to solve this--->$451,154,049,950.63, that is how much we paid towards this ---> 11,903,588,660,952.03 the national debt, in interest alone every year.- http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/ir/ir_expense.htm

The real question is, how do we pay for this new healthcare idea without destroying our global credit rating and losing our entire economy? source- http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba616

Medicare Part
A Trust Fund will be exhausted in 2019. Revenue dedicated to these entitlement programs under
current law will not be enough to pay for scheduled Social Security and Medicare Part A benefits.
The projected cost of all federal programs will exceed available resources. Unless the government
brings program cost in line with available resources, resulting budget deficits will be so large that
the government will not be able to borrow enough to fund them.
Our children and grandchildren will bear a greater burden of the cost if we delay in implementing
fundamental reforms. -http://www.fms.treas.gov/frsummary/frsummary2007.pdf

We need to focus on fixing our debt before taking on more. Enough partisan politics lets get our house in order.

Im all for everyone being convered but the cost is too much to bear.