Re: An injection of common sense on pre-existing conditions

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Posted by TheOldHokie on May 07, 2017 at 12:50:45 [URL] [DELETE] :

In Reply to: Re: An injection of common sense on pre-existing conditions posted by Bruce Dorsi on May 06, 2017 at 15:52:58:

The home insurance analogy is terrible. In the US health insurance is much more than a way to cover unplanned and unexpected catastrophic losses. In fact it's primary purpose has become one of managing planned everyday health expenses. It also serves as a contracting vehicle which allows your insurance provider to negotiate "bulk" discounts from providers. Without it you are one man with no buying power. The more you divide the risk up into little pools the more you penalize the people who need the day to day services the most.

Depending on which accounting you believe United health Care lost somewhere between 100M to 300M quarterly on the exchanges last year. Here is what their CEO had to say about the year's overall peformance:

Fourth quarter 2016 results included:
$47.5 billion in revenues;
More than $3.5 billion in earnings from operations;
Net earnings of $1.9 billion; and
Adjusted earnings per share of $2.11.

UnitedHealthcare also enters 2017 with strong momentum. Fourth quarter and full year 2016 revenues were well-balanced, growing by double-digit percentages in every product category. Medical costs remained well managed, with the commercial medical cost trend ending the year in line with expectations at approximately 6 percent. 2016 was one of the strongest organic growth years in our history, with more than 2 million medical members joining. UnitedHealthcare continues to build well-diversified growth momentum, as customer and consumer retention rates continue to improve broadly, with notable strength in small and mid-sized commercial groups and in Medicare.

But that 2B quarterly profit is not good enough - so they do what any good business looking to maximize profit would do - they dump the old and sick people that were costing them the most so they can make even more. Plus to keep those growth figures going you need to squeeze even more from the healthy customers so the rates have to go up for everybody.This model is terribly broken and needs fixing badly. Expecting "free market" competitive forces to do it is pure fantasy. This is not and never has been a competitive or free market. The idea that rates will somehow magically come down if we simply allow companies to "compete" and pool risk is fantasy. Rates will continue to go up as they historically have and sick people will be priced out of the market as they historically have been.

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