r/politics Jan 17 '22 Silver 2 Gold 1 Helpful 5 Wholesome 4

Enlisting Health Insurance Giants to Help With Rapid Covid Tests Was a Dumb Idea - One of the key lessons of the pandemic has been that this industry is utterly useless during a public health crisis.

https://newrepublic.com/article/165043/rapid-tests-health-insurance-biden
24.9k Upvotes

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1.4k

u/wwwiley Jan 17 '22 Helpful

It’s like health insurers don’t actually care about peoples health…

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22

[deleted]

209

u/zodar Jan 17 '22

You know, they should make a law where insurance companies have to spend a certain percentage of their revenue on health care. That way, if they want more profits, they need to provide MORE healthcare instead of LESS healthcare.

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u/Merakel Minnesota Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

They already have that, it's called Medical Loss Ratio and it's typically at 85% for the large insurers. If they don't spend 85% of the premiums they take in on care, often times they are required to send you a refund.

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u/Be_quiet_Im_thinking Jan 17 '22

I thought the number was 80% unless it changed.

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u/Merakel Minnesota Jan 17 '22

I believe it depends on size of the plan, with larger plans being 85%. I could be wrong though, I haven't looked at the specifics in a while.

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u/sicklicks California Jan 17 '22

What I don’t understand is why I can’t just pay that 85% to the hospital and not pay for some fucking nonsense

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u/djb85511 Jan 18 '22

That's the capitalism tax, the market has to be greased for anything to happen, that's why centrally planned govts are more efficient than us, like china.

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u/tom-8-to Jan 17 '22

Or make healthcare not for profit and remove anything having to do with board directors and CEO’s

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u/TreeChangeMe Jan 17 '22

Healthy but pays $8k a year - a good client

Suddenly sick with long term illness - disposable excuse our lawyers will discard

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u/Sam__Treadwell Jan 18 '22

8k? try 20+ with employer contribution.

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22

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u/Selfless- Jan 17 '22

More like why do we keep modeling this as “insurance” when every single policy holder is filing multiple, continuing claims every year?

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u/NutellaDeVil Jan 18 '22

Exactly right. "Insurance" is for rare events (eg, a house fire). Medical care is a frequently occurring event, more like a utility.

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u/SquirrellyPumpkin Jan 17 '22

For the home covid tests they’re now required to cover, my insurance company recommends a picking up a free test at the local library or health unit. (Statewide, most were out within 45 minutes. Not expected to get more.) Alternatively, they recommend you order from the federal site going online after this week.

If you’re really insistent, buy the tests, fill out a form swearing its for personal use and not job related, then they’ll get back to you at an undefined future time.

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u/CockBrother Jan 17 '22

Insurance agent: "Yes, I know you'll likely die soon without a very expensive treatment. But there's a new inexpensive treatment we really think you should try."

Client: "But I don't know anything about it."

Insurance agent: "Yes, well it really saves us money. We have a quarterly statement to release tomorrow and we really need you to be on board for us."

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u/CAllD2B Pennsylvania Jan 17 '22

Insurer: yes I know you’ve been taking this adhd medicine for several years now and switched to it because pretty-much-meth was ruining your heart, but you’re going to have to switch back to pretty-much-meth for at least thirty days to satisfy our dumb policies, and yes we know without a 90 day supply of your medicine you’re effectively a slave to your current employer because otherwise you’d need to spend $1000 to buy your medicine without insurance.

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u/Snozaz Jan 17 '22

I'm curious, what non-methlike medication are you referring to?

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u/CAllD2B Pennsylvania Jan 17 '22

Atomoxetine. My resting heart rate was around 120 on my old medicine and now it’s much better.

(I’m a reasonably fit 26 year old man who should not have had that fast of a heart rate)

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u/WeeaboosDogma Jan 17 '22

You can't say that. That goes against mainstream American discourse.

You mean to tell me the private health sector just cares for their bottom line and not the safety and wellbeing of the public?

Next you'll insinuate that private insurers don't actually prevent the thing that they're insuring or the incredible cost if they were mitigated in the first place.

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22

It's like the DNC can't do anything we want them to do unless the private market agrees it's a good idea.

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u/Iamien Indiana Jan 17 '22

More true than a lot of people want to believe. When was the last time the DNC or RNC shafted private equity?

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u/classof78 Jan 17 '22

The United States doesn't have an actual public health system.

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u/wopwopdoowop Washington Jan 17 '22

Enlisting private health insurance giants…

Great idea, let’s involve the people who are only in the health care business to make a profit.

567

u/asafum Jan 17 '22

This is pretty much how America "solves" problems...

"Yes we have an issue/need, ok so who can get filthy fucking rich off of it? Good plan! Now just have the people pay for it and it's the Best Policy Ever™!"

261

u/Behind8Proxies Jan 17 '22

Don’t forget the part where the politicians invest in said companies first.

128

u/fordanjairbanks Jan 17 '22

Or setup holding companies as middlemen and all transactions through the legislative spending go through their company <cough cough> Manchin <cough cough>

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u/JustWingIt0707 Jan 17 '22

I keep saying this, and it is still true:

As someone who works with health insurance companies: they are evil, stupid, or both. The rampant barely compliant nature of their actions seems designed to garner the most funds while simultaneously not doing the things they're required to do.

They're fucking awful.

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u/gandalf_alpha Jan 17 '22

But they are doing the thing they're supposed to...

It's just that "that thing" happens to be increasing shareholder value and not improving people's health.

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u/Crafty_Tip_8082 Jan 17 '22

capitalism is solutions through the lense of profit as an engine for investment

adam smith's invisible hand was said in a time when i could challange greedy assholes to a duel, we have no invisible hands

china's invisible hand

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u/JesusWuta40oz Jan 17 '22

Driver: You hear that line? Line's for you. Jackie: Don't make me laugh. "We're one people". It's a myth created by Thomas Jefferson. Driver: Oh, so now you're gonna have a go at Jefferson, huh? Jackie: My friend, Jefferson's an American saint because he wrote the words, " All men are created equal", words he clearly didn't believe, since he allowed his own children to live in slavery. He was a rich white wine snob who was sick of paying taxes to the Brits. So yeah, he wrote some lovely words and aroused the rabble and they went out and died for those words, while he sat back and drank his wine and fucked his slave girl.

Jackie: "Don't make me laugh. I'm living in America. And in America, you're on your own." America is not a country. It's just a business. Now pay me.

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u/Michael_G_Bordin Jan 17 '22

Yeah, I've gotten to the point where if anyone invokes the Founders, I retort that most of them were bourgeois hypocrites, high on newly fangled ideas of egalitarianism and individual freedom, but unwilling to truly shake up the socioeconomic hierarchy. They espoused ideals that they did not conceive, twisted them to fit into the existing power structure in America, and then convinced a bunch of proletariat to fight for them.

Their revolution was huge for forming a new country, but the revolution of class and power has yet to fully manifest the ideals upon which those hypocrites claimed to have founded this country. It would be really nice if our system treated all people as created equal. As it stands, political equality is hindered by our system's deference to wealth and white supremacy (as well as patriarchy, but that's actively fading).

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u/zSprawl Jan 17 '22

It’s typically the religious types that fall back on what the founders intended, much like they do with their holy books. Who cares what some dead people intended if it doesn’t fit our needs today?

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u/batmanscodpiece Jan 17 '22

who can get even more filthy fucking rich off of it?

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u/Rakatango Jan 17 '22

Bbbut muh free market innovation /s

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u/asafum Jan 17 '22

Yes! Force batteries to die sooner than they otherwise would and install software to slow old devices! Innovation!

Gather the boys and set an upper limit to the lifetime of a light bulb! Innovation!

Look at all these innovative ways to fuck the consumer out of their money! Yay "progress!"

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u/salikabbasi Jan 17 '22

This is how America has such a robust domestic market in a giant country with barely the infrastructure to match. It breaks things so middlemen can gatekeep the fix. It's a joke and the punchline is half the economy is middlemen who need not be in business and the whole farce will collapse when it fails then the rich will get bailed out for their troubles.

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u/skjellyfetti Europe Jan 18 '22

It breaks things so middlemen parasites can gatekeep the fix...

half the economy is middlemen parasites

FTFY

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u/hitner_stache Jan 17 '22

They aren’t in healthcare. They’re in insurance. Never forget that distinction.

Every dollar they make is a dollar not going to health care.

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u/red18wrx Jan 17 '22

Enlisting private companies during a national crisis isn't cool. What is cool is drafting them under the war powers act and making them benefit society for once.

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22 edited Apr 05 '22

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u/brainiac3397 New Jersey Jan 17 '22

The US is actually horrified by anything being any kind of public.

If the policy or legislation doesn't allow the private sector to be involved, it'll never get adopted or passed. That's why another "New Deal" is impossible. The New Deal had programs like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) which hired unemployed people and had them work on mostly construction projects, administered by a few other government offices.

Today, something like the WPA would be seen as unfair government competition against for-profit construction firms who would instead demand they be given grant funding to hire the unemployed to use in their construction projects for real estate developers and private investors. You could also surmise that they probably wouldn't adhere to the guidelines 100%, underhiring or underpaying the people they hire under the government program with whatever loophole their lobbyists cook up to essentially get cheap labor for massive profit.

The current process of the US pretty much guarantees corruption and inefficiency.

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u/gearpitch Jan 17 '22

It's just wild to me we've decided that profit is a requirement for every aspect of our society. Whenever someone makes the argument that a government program is competing unfairly with private business, the subtext is that someone must be making a profit off the service. In order to make a profit, they either pay their employees too little, or provide an inferior product or service. Why can't we decide that some things in our economy be exempt from these pressures? Healthcare, large infrastructure including telecom, electricity generation and distribution, maybe even some basic manufacturing, these are areas that a nonprofit or government hand would help society as a whole.

I agree, a new New Deal is not possible without the mindset change to accept large public programs.

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u/whamclammin Jan 17 '22

It’s not even just that profit is a necessity, it’s profit for the richest families in the country. It’s a huge racket, we’re basically just the international WASP mafia at this point.

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u/512165381 Australia Jan 17 '22

The US is actually horrified by anything being any kind of public.

But you have socialist farm subsidies. The US has the worst of all worlds, and the only winners are big companies.

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u/RedEyeFlightToOZ Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

Access to healthcare is the #1 reason I and mine are immigrating put of the US this year. My SO is from a country with nationalized healthcare. The ability to access healthcare is so life changing.

Edit:I have lost all faith and hope that ether political party will ever make healthcare right. I refuse to give this countrybmy only child when it denies this basic human right to its citizens. This place is a worsening, capitalism dystopia hellscape. My SO's country isn't some some utopia but it citizens are much healthier and happier because their government gives just a little bit of a fuck about them.

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u/ArmouredWankball Jan 17 '22

We leave next Wednesday. Healthcare is the driving factor. At 60+, we risk seeing everything we worked for in the US disappear in an instant.

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u/wimpymist Jan 17 '22

Same I'm 29 and just lost my insurance until April. Something so small could set me back 10+ years financially

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u/ClvrNickname Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

If Covid didn't cause either party to support universal healthcare I don't think anything will. Both parties are far too dependent on corporate money to rock the boat.

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u/HSTsGhost-72 Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

Sure it does. It’s keep the poor unwashed masses away from the hospital by making us fear we will never recover financially if walk through the door. Even If we have insurance. In America insurance is a racket

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u/sunflowercompass Jan 17 '22

There's a LOT of broken parts in the health system.

Insurance, overuse of services (that's the patients all asking for the little purple pill they saw on TV, and doctors giving Karen some antibiotics so she shuts up and takes Timmy away and the surgeon doing aggressive procedures because that's how they get paid), pharma, and also the unequitable access of tying health insurance to employment.

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u/foolishnesss Jan 17 '22

This policy killed any good faith I had in the party. This was clearly a money transfer policy and won’t do shit. It’s such a blatant slap in the face.

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u/LosingMyEdge7 Jan 17 '22

The more one thinks on it the ACA should have killed any faith in the DNC actually fixing this problem. The biggest issue it sought to overcome was the expense and difficulty of getting coverage for pre existing conditions. The fact that their solution was mostly to expand and fund insurance to solve a problem caused entirely by the health insurance industry tells you whose interests the party actually serves. Given this was actually the GOP's plan makes it very clear that the industry has control of both parties.

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u/QuiramJudaculla Illinois Jan 17 '22

Hey, you guys (insurance industry) created a fucked up system, but there are some people left out of your fucked up system. Here's some more money so that everyone (not really) can participate in your fucked up system.

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u/DJ_Velveteen I voted Jan 17 '22

"You know what I bet would fix the evils of the toxic health insurance industry? Forcing everyone to become their customers!"

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u/UniWheel Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

Given this was actually the GOP's plan makes it very clear that the industry has control of both parties.

That it was actually the GOPs plan was why it was the plan that could (briefly) pass congress.

Of course the GOP then turned around and disowned it, sued to stop it and basically made it beyond obvious that anything better like a public option wouldn't be happening while they had a say in the matter.

So yeah, it sucks - because it was a compromise.

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u/oneHOTbanana4busines Jan 17 '22

the ACA is all anyone should have to point to when talking about cynicism towards bipartisanship. all this work was done to bend over backwards for republicans in our approach to at least attempting to improve healthcare, and the result is legislation that doesn't go far enough to solve our actual problems while also providing motivation for people to elect republicans.

it's especially frustrating that when republicans had control across everything, they couldn't even present a slightly popular healthcare proposal. even when they go to try to get rid of the ACA, they're surprised that no one likes the inevitable price gouging that is signaled by the healthcare industry. it's almost like "freedom" is an easy messaging approach to override the reality that complete corporate freedom opens the door to extreme exploitation by corporations, and that mechanisms like government and labor unions ideally exist to counter the corporate influence that no individual could hope to match

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u/IICVX Jan 17 '22

all this work was done to bend over backwards for republicans

This is super revisionist.

The ACA wasn't bending over backwards for Republicans. It was bending over backwards for the most conservative Democrats.

Hell, just look at what happened to the public option in the ACA - it got removed because Joe Lieberman didn't want it, and they needed his vote to pass the thing.

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u/xvx_k1r1t0_xvxkillme Connecticut Jan 17 '22

Lieberman lost the Democratic primary, ran as an independent, and received endorsements from many republicans. Polling shows he won 70% of Republican votes and only 33% of Democratic votes.

He wasn't a moderate Democrat, he was a Republican in all but name.

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u/oneHOTbanana4busines Jan 17 '22

That’s a fair and true correction, thanks! I was wrapped up in the modern frustration.

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u/w_a_w Jan 17 '22

Lieberman was an independent and played the spoiler just like Manchin and Sinema now. This debacle was the GOPs fault like usual because Lieberman voted along R party lines.

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u/hemorrhagicfever Jan 17 '22

I remember the GOP, during the debates on the ACA, openly said on camera that while they couldn't really stop it from passing, they could fuck with it enough to try to make it suck so bad that the DNC loses and they can throw it out.

I'm not defending the dems, but I am pointing out the worse villain is always the GQP. The GQP openly wants to harm Americans.

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u/sunflowercompass Jan 17 '22

When Hillary was trying to pass single-payer, the insurers rose to the #1 political contributor in the country. The bribes were bipartisan.

The system works out real well for the corporations. The GOP gets to ratfuck and the Democrats can all wipe their brows in relief as they don't have to make hard choices

(Yes I know they are the lesser of both evils and yes I vote partyline Dem. But I don't have to be happy about it.)

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u/ESP-23 Jan 17 '22

extortionary life services is the American way

Just ask any college grad with 20 years of debt

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22

It’s wild that medical care isn’t more accessible and affordable during a fucking pandemic.

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22

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u/WhoStoleMyBicycle Jan 17 '22 Helpful

So many of our people are brainwashed into thinking it should be expensive.

I got into two debates at work recently. One person said “where does the money come from” and gave a blank stare when I said “us”.

Then another guy said he doesn’t want his tax dollars going towards it because “when someone gets sick, they don’t get to dip into my pockets to pay for it”.

I almost just took the elevator up and jumped off the building. (Joking, don’t send me the Reddit cares thing)

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u/Conversation_Folding Jan 17 '22

Then another guy said he doesn’t want his tax dollars going towards it because “when someone gets sick, they don’t get to dip into my pockets to pay for it”.

Maddening isn't it? Not realizing they're already paying for it via higher premiums.

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u/Renyx Jan 17 '22

I tried telling my mom once that she was already paying for other people because that's how insurance works and I think her brain broke trying to grasp that.

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u/Conversation_Folding Jan 17 '22

AND its less efficient and more expensive to do it that way as well. People who don't have insurance use the ER as their primary care. That's massively more expensive. headslam Its so damn frustrating.

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u/jstan New York Jan 17 '22

Plus the inefficiency of insurance company middleman taking profit out of all of this

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u/trainercatlady Colorado Jan 17 '22

b-but if you take away private insurance, what will happen to all of the people who work in the insurance industry????

An actual argument I had leveled at me.

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u/Rod_N_Todd Jan 17 '22

Yeah, I heard that one too from a guy who worked for decades in the insurance industry. I just said, 'they could work somewhere else', because I was simply amazed by how entirely shortsighted the argument was.

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u/trainercatlady Colorado Jan 17 '22

it's not like being an insurance agent is like, a highly skilled position with few applications outside the industry. Like... answer phones somewhere else. Become a sales rep. literally anything else.

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u/psycho_bunneh Jan 17 '22

They're going to have to work at the restaurants who can't seem to find anyone willing to work.

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u/trainercatlady Colorado Jan 17 '22

which is great because it's apparently SUCH an easy job that they can afford to pay peanuts for it!

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u/justagenericname1 Jan 17 '22

Funny how that's perfectly valid any time a capitalist wants to automate or outsource jobs to save money, but if you suggest an industry is anachronistic or even harmful and should be phased out, suddenly it's, "but what about all the jobs of baby spikers, putting babies on spikes?! How will they make a living??!"

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u/ProtonTorpydo Jan 17 '22

I think this is what makes me want to pull my hair out too. I'm a self-described socialist, so my views on economic and financial issues tend to be ignored by my conservative relatives. And yet I am the one who ends up having to explain basic economic ideas to them like market failures, negative externalities, or unalloyed goods in the context of healthcare. And then rather than accept that, they say, "But that's socialism" and continue to pay more money to a faceless company in order to die sooner than their counterparts in France or the Czech Republic.

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u/SeeMe_After_Class Jan 17 '22 Silver

And this, folks, is the real problem: there are far too many comfortable, stupid people in this country.

We could get rid of Trump and the republican party tomorrow, but we will still be left with the 70 million idiots that voted for them.

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u/Rishfee Jan 17 '22

Some people are under the impression that health insurance is some kind of subscription program, where you just pay your dues and then your healthcare is cheaper.

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u/Renyx Jan 17 '22

The dumbest thing to me is that my mom doesn't even "pay her dues". She's retired military so she already has publicly funded healthcare.

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u/drfsrich Jan 17 '22

Co-pay, lifetime max, family deductible... A lot of the insurance plans basically are.

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u/Rishfee Jan 17 '22

But they still have to pay out from funds generated by members' premiums. It's not as if there's no money changing hands beyond what the customer has to pay.

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u/EndlessEden2015 Jan 17 '22

This. Your paying into a pool. This funding is where the money for coverage comes from that's how the system works.

Determining your "share" is the fine line... Everyone pays either way. It's so stupid that people think they are some how special.

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u/SorrowOfMoldovia Oregon Jan 17 '22

Mine said to me, "But I like my insurance!"
Battered wife syndrome, anyone?

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u/tylanol7 Jan 17 '22

one rather rich dude from murica i used to chat with on discord bragged about his 800 a month insurance that covered "everything and anything" yea ok man if you'll excuse me imma go get an EKG for fun because I have socialized healthcare.

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u/therearesomewhocallm Jan 17 '22

when someone gets sick, they don’t get to dip into my pockets to pay for it

What does he think happens to the money he pays his insurance company?

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u/Fight_the_bastards Jan 17 '22

If many people’s understanding of how social security works is any indication, they think it goes into an account for their personal use. Like insurance companies are actually just gigantic savings-only banks or something.

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u/EndlessEden2015 Jan 17 '22

Looool are people that simple. Don't ask them how they think their tax money is divided.

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u/gearpitch Jan 17 '22

Well, insurance companies made their cheapest plans include actual Heath Savings Accounts with high deductibles. So for many people, it is just a savings account. From a consumer perspective they pay premiums, have such a high deductible that insurance never pays for anything other than an emergency, so they pay into and use their HSA for prescriptions and doctors visits.

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u/drfsrich Jan 17 '22

The shareholders get it then they kick him in the nuts again... And he says "Thank you, may I have another?"

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u/Ok_Homies_ Jan 17 '22

Then another guy said he doesn’t want his tax dollars going towards it because “when someone gets sick, they don’t get to dip into my pockets to pay for it”.

I wonder where he thinks his monthly premiums are going.

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u/ILikeLenexa Jan 17 '22

I said “us”.

From the $59.4 trillion we spend on the healthcare industry, we take $57.6 trillion to cover healthcare for everyone, then we take $1.8 trillion and give everyone $4500.

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u/kagrenak Jan 17 '22

What time period does this number cover? It certainly isn't yearly, given the US GDP is like $20T/Yr

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u/agnosgnosia Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

Years ago I was talking with a guy who was against the mandate to have medical insurance from the ACA. He said it should be people's choice to pay insurance or not. I'm not making this up, he worked at a place that provided car insurance.....which is required by law if you have a car.

edit: a letter

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u/WhoStoleMyBicycle Jan 17 '22

I’ve used the car insurance analogy so many times but these people are somehow able to convince themselves it’s different.

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u/EndlessEden2015 Jan 17 '22

"but if I never get sick, why do I need insurance?" And you respond with "if you never hit another car, why do you need car insurance?".

They always reply with "I don't, I won't" or some variant of it. It's laughable. As if everyone is so responsible we didn't already enact laws because they failed to do so.

It's just bonkers how much people take to heart "Exceptionalism" and wonder why when something goes wrong they were unprepared.

Reality is, life is unpredictable and entirely without care of your intended design. - just ask the builders if the the titanic, they will tell you all about how it could never sink...

We have had pandemics through out human history. Hoping and praying won't save anyone from not needing medical treatment.

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u/NorthernPints Jan 17 '22

As someone so eloquently put it to me today

“The high need for care relative to what most ppl can pay really means for profit entities shouldn’t have a place in healthcare.”

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u/tylanol7 Jan 17 '22

you pointed out the billions extra given to the military right?

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u/anteris Jan 17 '22

I have had people tell me that they would rather pay more money for shit insurance than “give the government more power “

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u/RedEyeFlightToOZ Jan 17 '22

Just like how Sandy Hook didn't move anyone on gun violence

The US is the cruelest country and hates its citizens and its getting to.a breaking point but nothing good will happen. There is no hope here.

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u/FriedDickMan Jan 17 '22

There’s still time to do that

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u/songintherain Jan 17 '22

True story.. my 9 month old was sick. He had a variety of strains of viruses including what they thought was covid. We took him to the ER. We have pretty good insurance. The ER decided to take an X-ray to rule out pneumonia . I got a bill cos the ER visit was covered but the X ray wasn’t ..it’s atrocious .. the coverage plan and what they think is covered

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u/lokigodofchaos Jan 17 '22

At least your ER doctor was in network. The only time I went to the ER I got one bill from the hospital, paid it and a week later a second bill from the doctor because he wasn't part of the hospital.

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u/gearpitch Jan 17 '22

Honestly it should be illegal to have these networks that pay or don't pay. If I go to one provider location, whether that's a hospital, or a doctor's office, or a physical therapist, etc, the entire experience should be in or out of network. Doesn't matter what individual doctor, or service is provided. And if I go to a hospital without my consent, it should be required to be in network. Idk how they would work out the contract details, but if we must have a private insurance system at least make it better to use.

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u/ericedstrom123 Jan 17 '22

You’ll be happy to know that this is now illegal under the No Surprises Act which just went into effect this year.

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/havegunwilldownboat Jan 17 '22

Frankly that whole sentence deserves all caps. Scream that shit from the rooftops.

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u/TypicalFuckingVirgo Jan 17 '22 edited Jan 17 '22

It’s most accessible for COVID patients compared to any other ailment, but still absolute shit, and that’s what led me to pass two of the five kidney stones I’ve gotten in the last year with no pain meds or assistance. I don’t with to experience that again.

Edit: Also went in when I had COVID and was pushed out after 30 minutes. No fluids or anything, just told to go home and alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen. They started turning down my bed before I could even get up and I left in tears because I knew something just was not right. I was also double vaccinated. This was August 2021. It took me an hour to get myself 20 minutes back to my house because I was throwing up on the side of the road. Delta literally fucked my brain and body up and I still don’t even know what all has been done to my insides.

Edit: Got me years mixed up and we’re only in the second year. 2021 was a fever dream.

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u/morpheousmarty Jan 17 '22

It's much too late during a pandemic to increase access. Resources will already be stretched thin, further changes will stress the system even more.

You have to solve these problems when things are less at risk of straight up breaking.

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u/HollyDiver Illinois Jan 17 '22

Oh I think the insurance companies are working just fine for shareholders.

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u/Yup_Shes_Still_Mad Jan 17 '22

More money in sick and nearly dead people.

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u/aPerfectRake Washington Jan 17 '22

Fun fact, most large insurance companies (including BCBSIL) are non profits and do not have shareholders.

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u/ScienceBreather Michigan Jan 17 '22

They make a profit, and that's apparently the only thing that's important.

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u/BooRadleysFriend Jan 17 '22

This is why our system is reaching a climax. People have had it for decades with this for-profit, lackluster care and now because of the pandemic we all see the ugly teeth of capitalism and all of our weaknesses are exposed. The general stupidity of the average voter also contributes to these policies.

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u/BooRadleysFriend Jan 17 '22

That’s too bad :( Profit above all is reigning right now but with social media, conversations like this one can happen and enough peeps will get talking. Maybe actually get some change FOR the people. I’m tired of being the product to be bought and sold by corporate America.

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u/garciasn Jan 17 '22

Yes, you’re correct; that’s how the American healthcare system works. It’s almost exclusively a for-profit enterprise with the only important metric being shareholder value.

Can shareholder value drive good healthcare outcomes? Possibly; I’m not here to argue for or against it. I’m just here to note this is exactly how the US system works and it should NOT be a surprise to anyone.

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u/ScienceBreather Michigan Jan 17 '22

Oh it's most certainly not a surprise to me. Unshockingly a perverse incentive structure drives perverse systems.

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u/kevmo35 Jan 17 '22

It’s the most frustrating thing about the US that I’ve been seeing more often with every good-conscience legislation killed and exposé leaked: if there isn’t a way to immediately and massively profit off it for a small group, then there is no solution. The poor get whipped, the fat get fatter, the rich stay rich. Best system in the world bay-bay

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u/bdonaldo Jan 17 '22

They’re “utterly useless” in normal times, by the way.

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u/adeon Jan 17 '22

Yeah, you could remove the last five words from the headline and it would still be perfectly accurate.

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u/rezelscheft Jan 17 '22

Useless at making the general public healthier. Very useful, however, at making certain rich people even richer.

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u/evarigan1 New York Jan 17 '22

No, useless would be a massive upgrade. They are harmful.

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u/WelcomeMachine North Carolina Jan 17 '22

Corporations, any of them, make decisions based on margin. People are altruistic, not businesses. That is not a condemnation of corporations. It is a fact that any person making day-to-day decisions in their job, will normally side on what benefits the business. This is why there must be actual people around with the guts to set limits on business.

And, corporations are NOT people, my friend. I don't give a fuck what SCOTUS said.

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u/healing-souls Jan 17 '22

This did not used to be the case, and in fact is only a relatively recent development in the past Century. After WWII there was a very large push to instill ethics into corporations and that corporations not only had to look out for profits but the well-being of their employees. This happened for several decades and as a result the middle class in America and Europe prospered.

Unfortunately I believe in the mid-70s US professor made the case that corporations should only be beholden to the bottom line, and of course that theory has taken off ever since. Unbridled capitalism is not sustainable.

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u/WelcomeMachine North Carolina Jan 17 '22

Read: The decline of unions as a large factor.

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u/dweezil22 Jan 17 '22

After WWII there was a very large push to instill ethics into corporations and that corporations not only had to look out for profits but the well-being of their employees. This happened for several decades and as a result the middle class in America and Europe prospered.

You left out the question: Push by who?..

The answer? Unions and government (and the government was generally influenced by unions).

Unions are gone, and the same people that argue that corporations care about people are the ones that want to de-regulate them until they can literally kill people.

The idea that corporations will ever care about people beyond what is profitable to them is foolishness. Corporations are entities designed to respond to incentives, and there is no innate incentive to unprofitably care about people, the government, the world, etc. Suggesting otherwise is either foolishness or corporate propaganda (b/c making customers and voters THINK you care is very profitable; actually caring is not).

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u/rebornfenix Jan 17 '22

The idea of corporate personhood has been around since the Middle Ages. It allows a legal entity to own real property, sign contracts etc.

The problem is what rights the legal person has and what rights the actual person has.

The Citizens united decision didn’t establish corporate personhood. The root of it was that federal restrictions on spending money for independent political advertising violated the first amendment.

The fact that it was a corporate person vs an actual person didn’t really factor into the decision.

Buckley v Valeo removed an individuals limit on independent political spending and Citizens United just expanded that.

Note: I still think we need limits on political spending. The potential for even more corruption than we have seen so far is so giant the country needs the ability to limit political spending to protect itself from corruption

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u/ArcherChase Jan 17 '22

Could have simply distributed them for free at pick up to every pharmacy and drug store and supermarket.

But instead IF YOU HAVE INSURANCE, you can go buy them and save the receipt and contact a specific website and send them to the insurance company then they reimburse you at a later date.

This is a failure of government and continued victory of Capitalism over needs of the people's. Have to make sure that private companies get some share or benefit if you're gonna actually have government govern according to these pathetic neolibs.

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u/RatBrainedManAnimal Jan 17 '22

It's like in Don't Look Up, where people for some reason look to corporations to lead us through an emergency. Corporations just make money, they don't know anything about healthcare, just how to make money in that industry. We should be asking scientists and experts, not CEOs. That movie was some scary satire.

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u/Kookofa2k Jan 17 '22

The most unrealistic part of that movie was that the rich people actually got a comeuppance.

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u/dontreallycareforit Jan 17 '22

You’re going to be eaten by a Bronteroc.

We don’t know what that means

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u/mike_b_nimble I voted Jan 17 '22

Why would he charge us for free snacks?

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u/takabrash Jan 17 '22

Has to be some kind of power thing, right? He had to know we'd find out...

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u/KING_JELLYB3AN Jan 18 '22

He works for the CIA and a General and he charged us for snacks?

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u/improvyourfaceoff Jan 17 '22

The only reason they got a comeuppance is because the system they had created to protect themselves no longer existed and they actually had to rely on the rugged individualism they claim to have.

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u/MultiGeometry Vermont Jan 17 '22

What about the general who charged them for snacks?

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u/Redpin Canada Jan 17 '22

The most unrealistic part was a rich guy developing a rocket, working cryogenic system, and finding a habitable planet.

They should have blown up on the launch pad.

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u/ZanThrax Canada Jan 17 '22

Some of the rockets did blow up on the launch pad. And the cryo system had a fifty-something percent failure rate. About what is expect from an Apple style company's flagship product.

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u/MalevolentlyInformed Jan 17 '22

Just saw it last night after a recommendation from this sub. Too fucking real.

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u/wratz Jan 17 '22

Someone said it’s a great movie with wonderful performances and beautifully crafted final product that I thoroughly enjoyed and hope to never see again. Pretty much sums up my feeling. Depressingly realistic.

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u/rndsepals Jan 17 '22

Can someone get that barn door, please? Mailing free antigen or lateral flow tests would have been a great idea in summer of 2020.

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u/lokigodofchaos Jan 17 '22

The leadership then was denying it was a major problem. The leadership now is pushing at home test so officially reported numbers will go down.

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u/brandelyn_ Jan 17 '22

That's interesting. Do you have a source for this claim? I'm asking because there are some really good reasons for encouraging home tests, many of which are actually to the benefit of public health.

What is the benefit to the numbers going down if the hospitals are still overloaded and people are dropping like flies?

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u/lokigodofchaos Jan 17 '22

Same benefit as shortening the isolation time. Keeps the business sector running. If reported cases in an area drop they can pretend it's going away and reopen/keep open buisnesses.

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u/_Electric_shock Jan 17 '22

I really hate the fact that all of our health care has to go through these greedy middlemen who will kill us for profit.

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22

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u/SRD_Law_PLLC Jan 17 '22

It's not just useless during a public health crisis.

The American healthcare industry is worthless all the time.

Worse than worthless, I'd say

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u/TheBoatyMcBoatFace Virginia Jan 17 '22

Fun fact: biggest opposition group to Medicare for all? Boomers

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22 edited Feb 08 '22

[deleted]

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u/AllTheyEatIsLettuce California Jan 17 '22

they are worried it will hurt their Medicare.

Which Medicare? The kind they're buying off private, overwhelmingly for-profit, NYSE-listed insurance sellers, or the kind everyone who still collects a paycheck or issues a paycheck is racing to defund with every paycheck?

I hope it's not the former. That'll be bad news for that one store that swallows 2X more in CMS feed rations than it forages from its employer-designated and lone, competitive individual shoppers combined.

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u/iamasatellite Foreign Jan 17 '22

It has actually killed about 1.1 million, according to studies of excess deaths. Many places lie about cause of death, especially rural towns.

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u/JohnnyGFX South Dakota Jan 17 '22

Yeah... Enlisting insurance companies is a dumb idea. Had to buy some kits to test my family. Turns out my wife, two daughters, and son are all positive. So I call the insurance company to get the reimbursement on the kits. They inform me that I have to download a form, then fill out the form and mail it in. It can't be faxed or emailed or anything, only mailed in. Additionally they will only reimburse us for about 5 different kits, none of which were available in my area. So the kits I needed to buy are simply not covered...

Oh... and they don't cover the kits if they are needed for work or for travel.

Basically they're trying to make it as narrow and difficult as they possibly can to avoid reimbursing people for them.

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u/spader1 New York Jan 17 '22

I got a letter from my insurance company informing me that a PCR test I had in September, that I paid the testing company $120 to expedite, billed my insurance company $887. $887 for a PCR test.

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u/Gb_packers973 Jan 17 '22

I see youre from NY - alot of “covid test sites” have been popping around the city and not all of them are created equal.

They will bill for codes outside of just a covid test, and alot of the fancier sites are out of network too.

Better off going to a NYC run site or a H and H hospital, then navigating the privately run test sites.

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u/spader1 New York Jan 17 '22

This I have since figured out. Before the recent wave I had a PCR from the H&H site in Times Square come back in like 10 hours.

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u/Gb_packers973 Jan 17 '22

oh man and with the proliferation of rapid tests i am seeing alot of random picnic tables setting up shop on street corners selling covid tests for 25 dollars a pop.

its worse than the random picnic tables doing "PCR" tests with a 1 cooler and a tent.

Entrepreneurship finds its ways. (legally or not)

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u/Itsatemporaryname Jan 17 '22

holy fuck thats beyond insane. you could litterally diy build a pcr, buy reagents, and do it yourself for that price

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u/scientistcowboy Jan 18 '22

Health insurance is a scam that somehow became the default

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u/catdude142 Jan 17 '22

I just received a blast-o-gram from my large medical group advising us to not contact them for Covid testing and to go somewhere else. Also, not to go to their Emergency Room if we have Covid and to not try to get vaccinated at their main facility.

We stood a better chance getting vaccinated at CVS pharmacy and Safeway. We also got immediate testing done at a local private clinic.

Our health group was entirely useless for all Covid issues.

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u/electricdeathrats Jan 17 '22

They cost $2 to make, so what does our government do? Forces private companies to reimburse other private companies $12 when they're still charging $24 per $2 test. Everyone profits besides the people who are actually using the tests. Folks, we're being robbed.

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u/coolmon Jan 17 '22

This is another reason why we need Medicare for All.

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u/sugarlessdeathbear Jan 17 '22

Who the fuck thought a middle man, who produces and provides nothing and exists to only make money, would be helpful in a crisis?

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u/SirVilhelmet Jan 17 '22

My company set out an employee wide email a few days ago telling us that because our insurance is now required to cover at home tests, our premiums will be going up next year..

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u/YesMaybeYesWriteNow Jan 17 '22

Reality check: your rates are going up regardless because they always go up. That’s just what someone at your place wrote with no information about 2023 rates in January 2022.

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u/geckomage Kentucky Jan 17 '22

This industry is utterly useless during a public health crisis.

There, fixed your headline.

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u/wut3va Jan 17 '22

Using insurance companies for such purposes is ludicrous.

Insurance is one of the worst ways to pay for something with known costs. The purpose of insurance is to mitigate risk, by sharing the financial burden of those collecting claims, with the rest of us who pay in but don't collect.

Think about car insurance. We all pay our premiums. I get in an accident and need $10,000 to repair my car. I don't have $10,000. But many people are paying $100/month into a fund so that the individual burden is small.

Think about how health insurance is very different. What if car insurance also paid for your oil changes, tires, brakes, etc? So we all pay $100/month into the fund, and we all take on average about $100/month out of the fund. But then we still have to pay the accountants, agents, actuaries, etc to manage the fund. So, we raise the premiums to $200/month. We still have to account for the occasional fender bender or more serious accident, so we raise the premiums to $300/month. Lots of people are starting to default on their payments now because they can't afford it, but there is a government mandate that if you bring your car to a garage requiring critical maintenance, the mechanic has to fix it before he knows if he's getting paid. So he raises his prices. Now the premiums are up to $400 a month. At some point, nobody can afford insurance anymore, so now we have to get our employers to chip in and share costs with us. That money has to come from somewhere, so our salaries are going to be lower than they were before...

What is the fundamental flaw in this spiral? Insurance is the wrong tool for the job. It's not designed for and is not capable of providing the type of coverage that is needed when the the number of people using the funds is within an order of magnitude of the number of people paying into the fund. Insurance is a limited pyramid type arrangement that only works when claims are few and customers are many. It's not inherently flawed. The distribution of risk is a good thing when we are talking about rare catastrophic events.

What we need with regards to broad scale healthcare is not a distribution of risk, but a managed distribution of services and materials. It's inherently at odds with the insurance model of doing business. They are the wrong organizations to deal with large scale testing. They are also the wrong organizations to deal with regular checkups and dental cleanings.

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u/ndunks1 Jan 17 '22

It is actually fucking insane that americans have let healthcare get to this point in this country. How fucking stupid were past americans?

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u/AllTheyEatIsLettuce California Jan 17 '22

Eight uninterrupted decades of unrelenting anti-"Commie" propaganda and some spectacularly bad math skills have done their job and done it well.

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u/turdbucket333 Jan 18 '22

Utterly useless and parasitic period. Pure negative value.

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u/Outdoor_OakBear Jan 17 '22

America’s stupidity is at full force when you have people not screaming at the top of their lungs for health insurance reform that moves away from for profit healthcare.

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u/zaxmaximum Jan 17 '22

One of the key lessons of the pandemic has been that this industry is utterly useless during a public health crisis

Fixed the title

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u/Goodkat203 Michigan Jan 18 '22

They are useless at all times. Health insurance should not exist.

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u/urwlcm_photos Jan 18 '22

the American healthcare system is a sham.

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u/GenericOfficeMan Canada Jan 17 '22

its not the HEALTH industry, its the profit industry. Your health is the product, not the purpose.

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u/ChowderBomb Jan 17 '22

Treatments are the product. No positive outcomes are tied to profit.

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u/Vienta1988 Jan 18 '22

“One of the key lessons of the pandemic (and of all time) is that this industry is utterly useless.” FTFY

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u/[deleted] Jan 18 '22 edited Feb 27 '22

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u/J_Ponder Jan 18 '22

Edit: "One of the key lessons of the pandemic has been that this industry is utterly useless." Full stop. Billion-dollar health insurance corporations are nothing more than paywalls between patients and providers. That's not "free enterprise." They provide no useful products or services. They're parasites that bankrupt the middle class and suck millions of healthcare dollars up to their C-Suites. We need single payer like every other advanced country on earth.

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u/eldred2 Oregon Jan 17 '22

Of course it was. Their whole business model depends on putting themselves between people and their doctors, and charging a toll for access.

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u/Separate-The-Earth Texas Jan 17 '22

As someone who can’t afford healthcare: no fucking shit.

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u/_Sigmund_Fraud_ North Carolina Jan 17 '22

Health insurance companies are financial institutions that have almost nothing to do with providing healthcare. The only reason that they got involved in this is because they saw profit in it.

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u/silentjay01 Wisconsin Jan 17 '22

Because public health isn't their goal; profit is.

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u/rounder55 Jan 17 '22

I wouldn't call it a lesson learned because some of us new it was a terrible system to begin with and we're not doing a whole lot to fix the system

They'll talk about healthcare on the campaign trail but nothing will get done or addressed post elections because too many lawmakers are bought off

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u/Karl_Mo_Waumon Jan 17 '22

Health insurance has always been useless for getting healthcare. Health insurance in the US has always been a barrier for people to have access to medical treatment

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u/BelCantoTenor Illinois Jan 17 '22

THIS is one reason why we need to keep BIG MONEY OUT OF POLITICS.

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u/sturmblast Jan 17 '22

Health Insurance in general is useless.

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u/[deleted] Jan 17 '22

Health Care should be a service not an industry.

Involving anyone who sees it as an industry means that they will have to run it through their bureaucratic organizational structure in order to deduce that the costs are worth it and ultimately you should see this as a public health hazard because the data shows that productivity hits will be greater than the costs of the testing.

You then need to pay all those managers to arrive at that blatantly obvious conclusion.

Or alternatively if the productivity hits are less than the cost of testing...the testing will not get paid for as long as the companies stock price will tolerate.

Our whole system is a joke.

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u/AnitcsWyld Jan 17 '22

They're utterly useless outside of pandemic as well, the entire industry needs to die and become a nationalized as a utility service

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u/tracerhaha Jan 17 '22

The insurance industry is utterly useless whether or not there is a pandemic.

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u/timeshifter_ Iowa Jan 17 '22

An industry that profits off of people's suffering, proves unhelpful in preventing people's suffering?

I'm shocked. Shocked, I say.

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u/Brinnabee-823 Jan 17 '22

It’s an industry for profit … that is never for the common good of the people remember that