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July 2nd, 2009
12:51 PM ET

Insurance companies dumping sick people?

Democrats on Capitol Hill are passing around new details on a revised plan for health care reform. The president took his version of the plan to an online town hall meeting Wednesday, taking aim at so-called "scare tactics" from his opponents.

Critics say it's the first step towards government-run health care. CNN's Jim Acosta sat down with one insider from the health insurance industry.

Filed under: Controversy • Health
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Mike Braun

    Medicare and Medicaid are also have higher adminstration burden than private plans. It is almost twice as much than private insurers. If the Medicare and Medicaid system are run so well, why are they going bankrupt. Why is California is so much trouble?
    Even if there is a Medicare for all system, who is to say that there would be no cst burden for people. Look at Mass, people with subsidies are paying more for the healthcare plan than they did before the public option. The evidence is there, you just have to look at not listen to the man who speaks with forked tongue.
    Wake up people.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  2. Mike Braun

    Why is it than in Canada, cancer patients have a shorters life span than in the US? The role of clinics in Canada is a good approach to see the doctor to get routine care. If you get sick, that is where the problems start. Just ask the celebrity that died on a ski slope in Canada. No payment for medical Ambulance and the limited use of MRI machines have plagued the canadian health system.

    Medicare lower rates on a yearly basis for budget problems and puts a further burden on the private health market. We have seen and have documented facts that it is about 18% to 25% cost shifting. Private Insurance does not pay $32 per tylenol. Most healthcare facilities are billed from the carrier on a per diem in order to manage the cost. They do not billed per servicce.
    What makes anyone think the goverment will cut costs. Remember the words from Obama, we will squeeze the efficiency out fo the system to save money. This means RATIONING.

    July 3, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  3. Dave M

    As a proud Canadian, I am getting a bit sick of hearing your politicians continually refer to that "Canadian style" health care system, as if it is something to be distained. We pick our own doctors, we go to whichever hospital is convenient, we seniors only paid $2.00 for perscriptions and best of all we live longer than Americans with our lousey system. Why don't some political types come up here , actually talk to regular people and find out what we really think. Just because your system costs more doesn't mean it's better ,in fact that is why it is broken. Everything in the USA is all about the money and nothing else. Bigger isn't always better... Thank God you've finally elected a President who gets it , your last chance was with Clinton and you tried to destroy him; lets hope that some of your political elite have learned something and they won't repeat the same mistakes again.

    July 3, 2009 at 7:51 am |
  4. M.Tucker

    Why does everyone in the U.S. think that we don't have government run health care. We do-- medicare and medicaid. I work in the health care field, medicare my seem like it doesn't work but it really does. The government has a set price for all goods and services, they will not pay a penny over what the set price is. Instead of paying $32.00 for 2 tylenol at the hospital er they pay maybe 50 cents. I'm not joking I was in the er for a hurt foot and didn't want lortab or any narcotic so I asked for tylenol, on my er bill was a section for medications and a charge for 32 dollars. We the people need to make a stand to stop price jumping of drugs. Bill clinton checked into this a few years back and found that the write up on medications was about 150% more than the price to make. How does our government let this happen!!!
    When are they going to say enough is enough around here.

    July 3, 2009 at 2:57 am |
  5. Hillary

    Wendell Potter is only speaking about PUBLICLY traded insurance companies. There are a number of health insurers that are not-for-profit and are not beholden to Wall Street. I suggest that someone look at how these companies are run. I happen to work for a fabulous not-for-profit health insurer that last year budgeted for a 1% underwriting gain. Can you imagine publicly traded insurance company settling for that? It would never happen.

    July 2, 2009 at 7:06 pm |
  6. Joseph, MD

    At the end of the day, with a government run healthcare system there are a few facts that will remain. 1. hospitals will kick you out if you are sick and the bill cant be paid. 2. Americans will still think of being a doctor as a way to get a BMW or a Lexus. 3. The cost of practicing could skyrocket as doctors see more clients and open up the gates for malpractice suits.

    July 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  7. Rose Gay

    COBRA sounds great. Yes you can buy the insurance for 18 months after you lose your job. However, if you have no job, your income is drastically reduced and you have to pay the entire cost (including the part the employer used to pay). COBRA costs like the devil at a time when you have no money. Don't expect COBRA to help most people in times like these. It is only good for people with a huge savings account to draw from.

    July 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  8. Doug Gilbert

    Re: CNN's interview with Mr. Potter, the Health Insurance insider, who now thinks Obama Healthcare is a great deal. I suppose he will be an Obama Cabinet Member or an Ambassador soon?
    How is it some folks think the Federal Healthcare offered by Obama, Kennedy,Pelosi, Reid and Franks would improve our healthcare? We have the FAA a Federal bureaucracy, a failure for decades, Social Secruity System which is in default, our Veteran's Administration (I'm a Vet) a failed system and the list goes on. If Congress really wanted to help their constituents they would provide legislation which would establish a "Cooperative (Co-op) Healthcare System" independent of Government. I've been to England and seen their Heathcare failure. I have many Canadian friends who come to the States for serious health problems. NO Obama healthcare!

    July 2, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  9. Sally Drumm

    MILSPEAK: WARRIORS, VETERANS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS (PRESS 53) IS DUE FOR RELEASE 4 JULY. Available through Barnes & Noble and, but Amazon reports two week wait, while B&N ships in 24 hours, for now. MIlspeak website receiving 5000+ hits per day. Here's a link to YouTube video about MILSPEAK:

    The video isn't to good, did it myself. I'm Sally Drumm, editor of the anthology and founder of Milspeak Creative Writing Seminars. I created the program after receiving my education via the VA's disabled vet rehab program Retired from USMC in 98. I never imagined the program would grow like this! We want to put a copy of the anthology in the hands of every deployed military person, at no cost to them. Up to now, the program has had no funding and no overhead – for four years and nine workshops. We're hoping the book will make Milspeak self-supporting and will allow us to form an official nonprofit. Also, a portion of royalties is assigned to the Chaplains Helping Hands Fund, which ministers to the spiritual and financial needs of wounded warriors. If you could help get the word out about our book, the Milspeak writers and I would really appreciate it! Anything Helps!

    Sally Drumm

    July 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  10. Mike Braun

    If the employer is the person who decides who is employed and has coverage, then how is a healthcare company dumping sick people?
    If the person is terminated, they would also have access to COBRA as well as conversion in most states. These are all guarantee issue. They are just paying the premium.

    July 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  11. Mike Braun

    If the employer is the person who decides who is employed and has coverage, then how is a healthcare company dumping sick people?
    If the person is terminated, they would also have access to COBRA as well as conversion in most states. These are all guarantee issue. They are just paying the premium.

    July 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm |