Republicans make final effort before Iowa vote

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  • 0

    Serrano

    "the requirement that everyone buy medical insurance"

    Well, of course, everyone should have medical insurance, just like all drivers should have auto insurance.
    The problem is the ridiculously high cost of medical services and insurance, and keeping the government out of it.

  • 1

    Laguna

    The problem is the ridiculously high cost of medical services and insurance, and keeping the government out of it.

    Not sure you've noticed the disjointed logic in your statement. Medicare, for example, provides much more bang for the buck than does in HMO. The federal government should expand such programs to welcome all Americans and then use its clout to rein in costs. (People who chose not to participate, of course, are welcome to stay with the HMOs.)

  • 0

    unreconstructed

    The seventh Republican, former Utah Gov Jon Huntsman, is not contesting Iowa and has focused almost solely on New Hampshire.

    Huntsman supports the dreaded, much-hyperventilated-about Ryan Plan. He should have tried his luck in iowa.

  • 0

    sailwind

    Medicare, for example, provides much more bang for the buck than does in HMO. The federal government should expand such programs to welcome all Americans and then use its clout to rein in costs.

    I'd rather have the Government prove that it can actually manage the program and get organized crime and fraud out of Medicare first. Crooks are getting a good healthy 10% "bang for the buck " cut at all our expense before I'd even think about expanding it or foisting this on anyone else.

    MSNBC Reuters Investigative article 12/21/2011

    Last year, "improper payments" resulted in $48 billion in losses to the Medicare program, nearly 10 percent of the $526 billion in payments the program made, according to a Government Accountability Office report last March. Exactly how much of those payments moved through shell companies remains unclear. That's because neither Medicare nor law enforcement agencies systematically track how often such companies are used in the frauds.

    Good Taxpayer pickings also if you were with part of an Armenian crime racket.

    In one of the largest cases of Medicare fraud ever charged, the operation was enabled by shell companies. In October 2010, federal prosecutors indicted 44 members of an Armenian organized crime ring. Their network, which stretched from Los Angeles to Savannah, Ga., used 118 shell companies in 25 states to pose as Medicare providers, billing more than $100 million, according to federal indictments in three states.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45754719/ns/usnews-crimeand_courts/

  • 0

    AiserX

    Well, of course, everyone should have medical insurance, just like all drivers should have auto insurance. The problem is the ridiculously high cost of medical services and insurance, and keeping the government out of it.

    Ummm the Govt is completely all over the Health Care industry. Medicare, Medicaid, subsidized prescription drugs are all Govt programs. When ever the Govt is involved in a industry, it's price inevitably rises. In a free market, the market forces forces the price of goods and services to come down over time. But this is impossible when the Govt is heavily involved. Education is another prime example with student loans. http://mises.org/daily/2293 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effect_of_taxes_and_subsidies_on_price

  • 0

    Laguna

    Certainly, such nefarious behavior would never be directed towards private companies! Google "HMO scandal" and you'll find - well, quite a lot worse - and much of it emanating not from bogus claims but from the management itself.

    When ever the Govt is involved in a industry, it's price inevitably rises.

    Glad you've remembered your indoctrination 101! Ah, if only reality inevitably reflected theory. Funny how Republicans so often criticize Democrats for elevating theory over what is readily apparent until their own sacred cows are at stake.

  • -1

    Ranger_Miffy2

    Witnessing the implosion of the Republican party, which has sold out totally. Democrats, not so much. It'll be Obama for his second term and we'll all breath a sigh of relief and have to settle down to getting something done.

  • 0

    unreconstructed

    Witnessing the implosion of the Republican party, which has sold out totally. Democrats, not so much.

    Rasmussen pollsters ( Jan. 2, 2012 ) report affiliation with the Democrat Party is at an all-time low. Repub numbers up.

    "The number of Republicans in the country increased by a percentage point in December, while the number of Democrats fell back two points to the lowest level ever recorded by Rasmussen Reports."

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/publiccontent/politics/moodofamerica/partisantrends

  • 0

    FruitsBasketFan

    Yet in another poll....Democrates get higher remarks:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/151805/Obama-Democrats-Edge-Payroll-Tax-Unemployment.aspx

  • 0

    sailwind

    Certainly, such nefarious behavior would never be directed towards private companies! Google "HMO scandal" and you'll find - well, quite a lot worse - and much of it emanating not from bogus claims but from the management itself.

    I did exactly that and found..... well, not really that much except maybe the Kaiser Kidney Transplant Scandal dated 21 May 2008 that looked pretty bad. Nothing at all about 48 billion being flushed down the toilet by the Government in improper Medicare payments last year. Which is actually sugar coating it. That's 48 billion in just one year. Good grief, if that has been the average the past three years that is darn near a 150 billion dollars!!! Heck, that kind of loot might even make a spendaholic Democrat think that maybe the Medicare program could use a "little work" on how good the Govt is running the program and on how the Govt runs health care and why the public wasn't so keen on Obama's health care reform plan in the first place.

  • 0

    FruitsBasketFan

    Every poll is different and this one shows that both parties are just as equally viewed negatively (though, Democrates have only a 2% advantage compared to Republicans....not much)

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/151628/Congress-Ends-2011-Record-Low-Approval.aspx

  • 0

    Laguna

    Sailwind, how much is lost to HMO fraud? And, considering that the majority of HMO profitability is due to management of government programs, particularly Medicaid, how much of Medicare fraud due to HMO management? Why is the taxpayer liable for investigating and prosecuting HMO fraud? Why do HMOs maintain multi-million dollar lobbying organizations to support the status quo? Fraud in Medicare is made public, unlike that in private companies, and yet Medicare still manages to provide medical care to a greater number of people than almost any HMO. How could that be?

    Agreed wholeheartedly that the medical system in the US needs a complete makeover, but facts simply disprove that private insurance suppliers are superior to a public option simply because they are private.

  • 0

    Madverts

    Ah.

    Lemming season.

    May the best man leap last.

  • 0

    lostrune2

    Those Iowans are crazy! There's already been 7 lead-changes since the survey polls started last year! That's a lot of flip-flops! Look how fast and how far down many hath fallen after reaching the peaks. It's like a game of last man standing!

    Yet in the end, despite all that posturing, it seems they'll settle with the same establishment candidates, instead of outsiders who'll rock the boat.

    And it's not about # of Republicans vs # of Democrats anymore. The new kingmakers are the Independents - their # is the highest it's ever been. Nowadays, 1/3 of Americans consider themselves Independents, while 1/3 Republicans, and 1/3 Democrats. So they're as big as either Party now.

  • 1

    Sheriff Yilmaz

    About republican candidates: After Obama, just when I think the US political cesspool cannot produce other vermin, more disgusting ones crawl out.

    Just check out some campaign pledges of these homo sapiens:

    Herman Cain (discontinued): "There's one other thing that we could do. We could deploy our ballistic missile defense capable war ships."

    Newt Gingrich: "First of all, as maximum covert operations-- to block and disrupt the Iranian program including taking out their scientists... All of it covertly, all of it deniable."

    Rick Perry: "One of the options is to have a no-fly zone over Syria at the same time you're putting those types of sanctions against Iran."

    Mitt Romney: "Finally, the president should have built [a] credible threat of military action, and made it very clear that the United States of America is willing, in the final analysis, if necessary, to take military action."

    Santorum: "I proposed exactly the things that Herman and Mitt Romney suggested, which was to give money to the rebel forces."

    More recently, though, Bachman, Santorum, and Romney ratchet up their rhetoric on Iran and suggested military intervention through crippling missile attack on Iranian key interest. Obama recently said all options were on the table.

    Do you still believe such a country whose president and presidential candidates are simple war mongers would bring peace to the world? Whatever peace they bring, it would be peace-after-nuclear-bomb type peace just like what Japan suffered and has been suffering in the hands of the US occupiers. They make a client state, take away your sovereignty, and have their soldiers rape and kill your people in peace time with no consequences. When Iran becomes another Japan, believe me, first thing, US going to sign a treaty and a SOFA with them.

    This is what the US candidates could offer best to the people of the world.

  • -3

    AiserX

    Glad you've remembered your indoctrination 101! Ah, if only reality inevitably reflected theory. Funny how Republicans so often criticize Democrats for elevating theory over what is readily apparent until their own sacred cows are at stake.

    Yikes, it's no wonder the world is in such a mess with people with mentalities such as yours running around =x. Liberals and or Keynesian's like yourself continue the same failed policies and line of thinking even in the face of absolute failure. I suppose you believe food stamps are a "stimulus to the economy" as Nancy Pelosi stated? Keep listening to those University Econ professors that have no real world experience.

    Democrats, not so much. It'll be Obama for his second term and we'll all breath a sigh of relief and have to settle down to getting something done.

    Yeah Obama sure can get thins done, such as operating fast and furious <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OperationFastand_Furious, or how about the recent power grab during the holidays such as NDAA? Don't forget the man DID say he would veto this bill if it came to his desk. Openly dying to the public in the most noxious way. The man is extremely dangerous, much more so then bush. >

  • 0

    sailwind

    Laguna,

    In answer to your questions....... how much is lost to HMO fraud? I've been doing due diligence trying to find some credible figure or answer and could not find much of anything at all for HMO's. As a matter of fact most of what I have found are HMO's have strict State and Federal oversight and are pretty tightly regulated by State and Federal authorities. I also found most HMO's that accept Medicare and Medicaid have their own fraud investigative units (whether this is a requirement by the Fed's or not before they would submit payments to an HMO I'm not sure but I would hazard a guess that it a stipulation somewhere in the federal code or state codes) My answer would be I have to say not unheard of but very uncommon at all and a pittance as far a dollar amounts go.

    And, considering that the majority of HMO profitability is due to management of government programs, particularly Medicaid, how much of Medicare fraud due to HMO management?

    I believe I've answered that above already but again HMO's management is under strict federal ans sate regulator oversight.

    Why is the taxpayer liable for investigating and prosecuting HMO fraud?

    It's taxpayer money being used for medical care payment and in the few cases that I could find where an HMO was prosecuted for fraud and the fraud was stopped and those that abused the system were fined and went to jail, I'd say that is tax dollars well spent along with healthy fines that replenished the taxpayer money after the fact.

    > Why do HMOs maintain multi-million dollar lobbying organizations to support the status quo?

    Obama's Health care reform mandates that everyone will have medical insurance or face penalties if they don't purchase it. HMO's not only take Medicare but also private insurance plans, the status quo is about to get a heck of lot bigger without having to go through that annoying hassle of actually having to compete for a patients business because he or she already has insurance, what's not to love if your in the health care insurance business and people have to and are forced to buy your product.....sweet deal if you ask me from an insurers point of view.

    Fraud in Medicare is made public, unlike that in private companies, and yet Medicare still manages to provide medical care to a greater number of people than almost any HMO. How could that be?

    Again found very few instances of Fraud it at all. Of the few cases that I did find they were all quite public......Best example I could find was in 1998.......Mutual of Omaha to illustrate the oversight legitimate companies are under.

    In 1998, a Mutual of Omaha subsidiary, Exclusive Healthcare Inc. signed an agreement with the OIG to settle allegations that one of EHI's sales managers instructed his sales staff to screen potential Medicare enrollees in EHI's Medical managed care plan. The manager is alleged to have stated:

    If a person is ill and is seeing more [than] one specialist, maybe this is not the plan they should be in.4
    

    As part of the settlement allowing it to resume marketing to prospective Medicare HMO members, EHI paid a $50,000 civil monetary penalty, and agreed to enhance its corporate integrity program to include a formal training program, for every officer and employee, of at least two hours per year reviewing federal and state requirements with respect to contracting, marketing, enrollment, disenrollment, provider contracting, provider relations, grievances, appeals and claims payments.

    Again HMO's are tightly regulated.

    Lastly, Medicare fraud last year of 48 billion and is equivalent to the entire GDP of Vietnam to get your mind around how large the sum is.

  • 1

    Laguna

    Well done, Sailwind. If either of us had all of the answers, we'd at least have lobbyists from both sides paying us to shut up. As a final point, I'd like to remind you of the tendency of free-market insurers to exclude or excessively (meaning beyond the ability of an average individual to afford) the population even marginally considered high-risk. I am privately employed; my daughter has asthma. Without the Japanese National Health Insurance, I would either need employee-sponsored insurance or go uninsured.

    Requiring employers to insure the population both inhibits free movement of labor and places an undue burden on employers. Much can be done to prevent fraud and improve efficiencies on both sides; let us hope progress is made. A public option, I believe, would be a major step in the right direction.

  • -1

    The Truth Matters

    Things are heating up. Gingrich just called Romney a liar. When questioned on it, he was asked, "Are you calling Mitt Romney a liar?" he replied, "Yes."

    This is what I was waiting for. The kid gloves are coming off. Let's see some serious cat fights among the republicans.

  • 1

    oberst

    Barney Frank said " we are not perfect but they are nuts " ................... that's about said it all.

    Cheers

  • 0

    The Truth Matters

    sailwind,

    Surely you are not suggesting we just go to HMOs.

    Google HMO nightmares About 3,160,000 results (0.51 seconds)

    Google HMO success stories About 433,000 results (0.33 seconds)

    The internet has spoken in a rather one-sided fashion on the subject. Why do you think that is?

    You knock yourself out with an HMO. Me, I want decent healthcare.

  • 0

    sailwind

    The internet has spoken in a rather one-sided fashion on the subject.

    It certaintly has..........Google Medicare Nightmares.........11,000,000 results .24 seconds

  • -1

    unreconstructed

    Sherif Yelnaz

    About republican candidates: After Obama, just when I think the US political cesspool cannot produce other vermin, more disgusting ones crawl out.

    Note that like every non-American who hates and envies the US Yelnaz, if forced to choose, will always go with a Democrat.

  • -1

    The Truth Matters

    sailwind,

    Indeed, the internet HAS spoken. Google Medicare success About 27,500,000 results (0.17 seconds)

    Funny, that you didn't include that number. Medicare HAS been successful whether you want to believe it or not. 100%...no but a hell of a lot better than HMOs.

    But if you want to switch your family to an HMO, go right ahead, it's your health.

  • 0

    sailwind

    sailwind,

    Indeed, the internet HAS spoken. Google Medicare success About 27,500,000 results (0.17 seconds)

    Your are being less than truthful.

    Google Medicare success stories as you did for HMO success stories........ 3,380,000 results (.08 seconds)

  • 0

    The Truth Matters

    sailwind,

    What you accuse me of being untruthful about was actually an oversight. I was not trying to deceive you. But to be fair, I googled, HMO success :About 2,950,000 results (0.42 seconds),

    You still get more failure than you do success. Sorry, now that all the numbers are fair, HMOs come out looking like the lesser of the two options.

    Why do you like them so much? Do you have an HMO? What about it appeals to you?

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