Health Insurance Companies?

Discussion in 'Stocks' started by piezoe, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. piezoe


    Has it occurred to anyone besides me that the pending health care bill might turn out to be a giant handout to health insurers?

    This is my estimate of what's coming -- and it is not what you think. If the public option is not part of the bill, then the health bill will be, contrary to media and general public expectations, a goldmine for health insurers.

    In the Bill right now, without the public option, there are only ineffective means of controlling premiums. What the Bill says so far is that essentially everyone will have to be covered by insurance -- this will expand the insurance market significantly. In addition the Bill calls for insurance companies not being able to charge more for pre-existing conditions. However it cleverly does not say that insurers can not raise rates for all policy holders! This Bill, without the public option, is a license to print money. Another diabolically concealed handout to the Health Insurance industry. (So what's new?)

    It all depends on whether the public option is included. Without that there will be no meaningful check on insurance premiums, and we should all experience higher premiums in excess to what we would have seen otherwise. Couple that with a much expanded market and you have a recipe for windfall profits!

    Note: I made the same comment in an unrelated thread and afterward realized it belonged here. I also made some comments regarding how, if i'm correct, health insurance stocks could be traded. If you care to read it, it's
  2. Exactly, PIEZOE. If insurance companies can't deny coverage or charge higher premiums for those with existing pre-conditions then all of us that have insurance will see higher premiums. The best solution for health care reform is:

    1. Stop relying on employers to provide health insurance.

    2. Raise the federal income tax by 5% and use the money to fund Medicare-like coverage for EVERYBODY. Yes, a single-payer nationalized health care system.

    At this point we (thoses advocating universal, single-payer health system), are facing two major problems: old people who have medicare and the employed that have employee-sponsered health insurance. Very few of the people in those two groups are going see & act in the best interest of EVERYBODY. They have theirs and don't care about anybody else.

    Sometimes I wish that Obama would have just let this issue lie until the system literally crashed in on itself. But, once again, Democratics come in and make enough minor changes to resolve the tensions of a system instead of letting it fully explode and then make way for real change.

    At 55 and 53, my wife and I spend about $6,000 for health insurance premiums per year. Increase my taxes by 5% and I would pay about the same amount. However, under a gov't program I can be assured that my coverage won't get cancelled when I really need it.

    In 2007 more than 60% of personal bankrupties were due to medical bills. Of that 60%, 3/4 had health insurance when they got sick.
  3. One point I haven't seen discussed or seen any numbers on is the savings the county hospitals will Have. Supposedly with national health care there will be a drastic reduction in emergency room visits for illness that should be doctor visits. These emergency room visits are paid for be the county now and also reduce the hosipitals profit margin.
  4. In a Nationalized Health Care system I don't think the hospitals would be for-profit. I would think, but not sure, that they would be nationalized and run by the people, for the people.

    When you remove the 'profit margin' and the very high administrative costs of health insurance companies you add a whole lot more dollars available for actual 'health care'. Health insurance companies make about 4% net profit but their expenses include a lot of excessivly high Manangement salaries and sales salaries. Their CEO's are making many millions per year and then you have a whole layer of middle managers & VP's whose sole job is to find ways to AVOID paying out for medical care. These, plus the salaries of the sales reps and the advertising costs all represent money spent on 'health care' that does nothing to prevent or treat illnesses.