Rising Health Care Costs Mean less Pay, Fewer Raises, Lost Jobs

Discussion in 'Politics' started by alatide, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. alatide

    alatide
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    Rising Health Care Costs Mean less Pay, Fewer Raises, Lost Jobs
    These hidden costs have a huge effect on your financial well-being
    By: Michael Zielenziger | Source: AARP Bulletin Today | October 16, 2009

    Bruce Richmond always intended to offer health insurance to his 14 employees who manufacture thermal hearth pads that fit underneath pellet stoves and fireplaces. “My wife and I consider it a moral obligation to try to provide health care to our employees if we can,” he says, even though neither his Chinese nor Canadian competitors are burdened by health care costs.

    Richmond’s Hearth Classics plant in Sandy, Ore., is a classic mom-and-pop manufacturing business that’s now staggering under the rising costs of its employee health care plan. Each year, Richmond’s insurance premiums for employee coverage keep mounting: a 17 percent increase in 2006, another 29 percent in 2007. Over the past eight years premiums have increased 138 percent, which far outpaces his ability to raise prices to his customers.
    As the price of employee insurance goes up, the level of coverage Richmond can afford for his workers goes down. Last year, Richmond reluctantly asked his workers to shoulder a quarter of their own health insurance costs, a bill that effectively reduces the take-home pay for some of his blue-collar workers by as much as 15 percent. Now, like many Americans, his workers are paying more for less coverage.
    Health care costs up, raises down

    The rising costs of the health insurance Richmond buys for his workers substantially restricts his ability to give those workers a raise. “It is a pay cut for my employees,” he says, or a raise they didn’t get.
    The sharp spikes in health care costs also make Richmond less likely to hire new workers since offering health care “raises the cost of hiring someone substantially,” he says.


    As Congress debates reforms designed to expand insurance coverage and slow the rising cost of health care, business executives and economists say the crippling annual increases in insurance premiums are a silent tax on American workers and the companies that hire them. Today the average premium for employer-sponsored health insurance is $13,375 a year for family coverage, with employers paying nearly 75 percent, or $9,860, according to a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

    “We can’t sustain this broken system,” says Richmond. “I sure hope something happens.”

    “All my clients are struggling to deal with this,” says Matt Swinnerton, a broker who sells health care plans to businesses for the Precept Group in San Ramon, Calif. Rising health care costs, he says, are “the silent killer of compensation for employees.”
    Permitting premiums to continue to climb unchecked “is simply unsustainable for families, for businesses, for state budgets and for our national economy,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a September speech to state insurance commissioners in the Washington suburbs.
     
  2. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    There are ways to bring the cost of care, and insurance down, but the only solution the left wants to hear is "let the successful pay for everybody's".
     
  3. targus

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    Does the current health care bill do anything about this?

    If the bill requires employers to provide insurance to employees how many jobs will be lost due to employers having to provide an additional benefit that many are not providing now?

    If companies are given the option to dump their current health insurance plan in favor of paying a cheaper tax or fine how many employees currently with coverage will lose it?

    How is the current proposed plan an improvement over the current system?
     
  4. KenH

    KenH
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    I know that health care was a lot less expensive when I was a kid and that the constant since then has been the increase of government involvement in it as the costs have skyrocketed. But it has funded a lot of bureaucrats and huge houses/mansions for doctors.
     
  5. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    How many doctors do you know that live as large as John Edwards ?
     
  6. KenH

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    You don't think there are a bunch of doctors who have benefitted greatly financially from the current system?

    And, yes, I know there are doctors who don't try to become mega-rich but instead sacrifice financially to help the sick. May God bless them and may their
    tribe increase. :godisgood:
     
  7. Bob Alkire

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    Keep in mind, health care as it is called today was just Hospital insurance 30 years ago or so, so it was cheaper. It didn't pay for you to go to the doctor or anything else.
    Many self employed and other folks do as I do and get insurance with a large deductible to keep cost down. Now it isn't going to pay for one to run to the doctor for every thing but it will pay for the big hospital stay and such.
     
  8. billwald

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    >“My wife and I consider it a moral obligation to try to provide health care to our employees if we can,”

    Doesn't compute. Does he consider a moral obligations to provide company transportation to work and lunches? Maybe a company shrink? Why not pay a higher wage and let his employees solve their own personal problems?
     
  9. targus

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    Also does not compute.

    Why not pay what the market demands for the particular skill set that is needed for the job?

    If we had stayed with that model we would have a lot less economic problems today.
     
  10. KenH

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    Yep. I'm even thinking farther back - like 45 years ago - before Medicare.
     
    #10 KenH, Oct 17, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2009
  11. Winman

    Winman
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    Alatide

    What are you trying to say here? What? Do you believe that a national health care system will reduce the costs? How does that work I would like to know.

    No, health care costs can be brought down now without resorting to a national health care system. You can allow insurance companies to operate across state lines, you can put a limit on how much people can sue the medical profession, you can allow drugs that have been approved in other modern nations to compete here.

    Texas passed tort reform with great success. Here is an article.

    Want to cut health care costs? Reduce the amount greedy lawyers cost the system.
     
  12. alatide

    alatide
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    Let the poor suffer and die, right?
     
  13. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    There is no way an honest person would respond like that.
     
  14. Winman

    Winman
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    Socialist's are known for their honesty. :rolleyes:

    I showed an article that showed how much money tort reform saved Texas, he didn't even respond to that. For him there is only one solution, a socialist health care system.
     
  15. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    Trolls don't respond to logic. They just troll.
     
  16. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    Today, 03:48 PM The time Winman posted the "Texas reform" article

    Today, 08:17 PM
    The time "whoever" posted his brilliant (not!) reply

    What conclusions do YOU (open to anybody) draw from that??????? ( I have my own ideas :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh: )

    (Course these are the times in my zone, so you libs don't get bent outta shape if your time is different)
     
  17. alatide

    alatide
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    I know doctors who have retired at age 60 because the squeeze put on them by malpractice insurance on the one hand and the health insurance companies reducing their payments for services reduced their income to the extent that it wasn't worth it anymore. One of these was my roommate in collage and the other was his wife. They practiced in a rural community because that's what they always wanted to do.

    I know another doctor who's thinking about doing the same thing in a rather well-to-do suburban community. We've talked about this several times. Throw in Med school costing $50/year in the insane way residents are treated and I believe we've going to have a shortage of doctors soon. Not so much specialists but GPs which is what we really need.

    It isn't the doctors who are profiting from the current system. It's the lawyers and the insurance companies.
     
  18. Winman

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    No, I showed before in a report that the average insurance company makes less than 4% profit. That is very modest and reasonable.

    On the other hand, trial lawyers make anywhere from 40% or more on these huge lawsuits. In a million dollar case a lawyer would make 400 grand or more. Pretty good pay for maybe 100 hours of work tops.

    And you are the one who was injured or crippled and may need that money to survive on. Why should they get so much??

    But guess who the single biggest donors to the Democratic Party have been for decades? You got it, trial lawyers.

    This is why the original bill introduced by the Dems did not have one word on tort reform. They are looking out for these ambulance chasers who stash money in their pockets.

    You really do not understand what is going on.
     
  19. targus

    targus
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    Prepare to see more of the same.

    Obama is cutting the payments to doctors for Medicare services.

    Apparently Obama doesn't care about poor sick people.
     
  20. alatide

    alatide
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    Existing legislation will set as a national goal improved health care for everyone. It will allow for people with pre-existing conditions to obtain insurance at a reasonable price. But it won't do everything. Frankly, it's hard to do ANYTHING with all Republicans opposing any move in that direction.

    I agree with many here that we also need to have tort reform to reduce the misuse of malpractice cases that have no merit and to reduce the amount of money doctors have to pay for malpractice insurance.

    I also believe that we need to once again reach out to our allies to shoulder more of the load for keeping the world safe. We can not and should not do it alone. I think we can take a hard look at the military and make it much more efficient and still maintain its primary objective which is to keep America safe. After all, the pentagon's auditors admitted that they couldn't account for $2.3T in funding. Looking at that figure, I think we can cut our military spending in half.
     

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