Originally Posted by scagnt83
Yes, we will have to agree to disagree.
The national average for group increases is above 10% and has been for at least the past few years if I remember correctly.
An incentive to work? Only because there is no good alternative. That in itself is a major issue for our economy. Getting paid should be the main economic incentive to work. "Not dying of disease" should not be the economic incentive to work... that is a MAJOR economic issue.
I dont care about silicon valley. Ive worked with small business owners here in the real world (all over the US) for over a decade. (I even have one or two with locations in Silicon Valley since that seems to mean something to you... LOL)
Many of those small business owners have made more than most who work in silicon valley and have created many more jobs as well. I advise them on not only group insurance, but key-employee benefits and retirement plans too.
Group Health takes up more time and cost vs. any other benefit. The loss of productivity due to it is enormous.
Take away group health and companies would have to compete solely on the merits of their mission, culture, and SALARY.
Take away group health and employees have less to worry about when they are considering changing jobs. "Fear of new Benefits" is one of the top reasons people stay at jobs they hate.
And the #1 reason for people not starting new businesses is the need for group benefits because of medical reasons.
Take away group health and our economy would explode. Many economists are starting to wake up to that realization (those of the Austrian mindset too, not the Keynesian libs). Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger recently made statements very similar to what I just expressed above.
Oh, then there are the actuarial reasons related to providing health insurance in this country.
You may not care about Silicon Valley but it has been the center of innovation and job growth in the U.S. for many years so is a valid data point.
I just checked Aetna rates for small group in Florida for start dates of Q4 2016 and Q4 2017-there is a rate increase of about 4%. South Carolina rates (one data point, in Greenville) are up about 11% so there is some regional bias.
What Buffett said was that healthcare costs are a 'tapeworm' on the U.S. economy-what I see is that reimbursement rates for non-Medicare plans are typically in the 140-170% of Medicare reimbursement rates and I fail to understand why there can't be a single reimbursement rate for all networks and plans, that alone could lower rates significantly.
In terms of cost the admin costs under Medicare are about 2% while commercial plans are in the 17% range, certainly there are cost savings available there.
I would not have a problem with a single payer system like Medicare but just don't see it happening with the lack of cooperation in Congress (and of course the White House). If Republicans are supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility why haven't they grasped the concept that there are substantial cost reductions achievable under single payer and cooperate with the other side, who see single payer as something that just needs to happen?
Two sides, two goals, one solution, why are they playing politics with this? As long as they do play politics, though, you can't eliminate group plans as all it will do is have more people uninsured.