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Postby Big Pimpin » Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:35 pm

In fact, one reason that prices may be rising so fast is because of the market power that the new healthcare entities are gaining. As you see hospital mergers, and physician practice mergers, and providers getting more and more powerful, they have the market power to raise prices to everyone. If we could get back to having more competetion in the marketplace, I'd imagine that you'd see healthcare cost growth slow down.
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Postby AcidRock23 » Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:47 pm

Big Pimpin wrote: But the other thing you have to realize is that premiums don't simply get passed through to the providers. Blue Cross (for instance) collects a bunch of money from everyone who they've got under their umbrella, and then pays claims on those who receive services. Then they have deals in place with providers as to how much they pay. So, when a hospital takes a big hit from the government programs, they may up their prices, and maybe Blue Cross has less of a sweet deal, but they still have a deal nonetheless. The people who go in for service and can pay but don't have insurance really get screwed. But there are less of them than there are insured, so those insured would certainly take on a portion of it.


All I can say about that is that the difference between what the gov't funded agencies pay and what a non-profit company like BCBS pays is pretty significant in many markets. I can kind of see the BCBS deals on my own statements from them and they aren't bad but, when I look at my inlaws bills that are cranked through their medicare benefits, it is pretty significant what the difference is. If there wasn't a large difference there would not be a gigantic market for 'supplemental' insurance to cover the difference between medicare and provider's bills. I am not old enough to know what that costs and my inlaws conversations on the topic w/ MrsAcidRock are largely in Korean so I can't say what that coverage may cost them. I know it's there though.

W/ about 1/4 of the population hitting retirement age soon, it should be interesting to see how this plays out. Perhaps I'm being pessimistic but I would rather be pessimistic and be pleasantly suprised than be optimistic and be disappointed.
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Postby Big Pimpin » Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:36 pm

AcidRock23 wrote:
Big Pimpin wrote: But the other thing you have to realize is that premiums don't simply get passed through to the providers. Blue Cross (for instance) collects a bunch of money from everyone who they've got under their umbrella, and then pays claims on those who receive services. Then they have deals in place with providers as to how much they pay. So, when a hospital takes a big hit from the government programs, they may up their prices, and maybe Blue Cross has less of a sweet deal, but they still have a deal nonetheless. The people who go in for service and can pay but don't have insurance really get screwed. But there are less of them than there are insured, so those insured would certainly take on a portion of it.


All I can say about that is that the difference between what the gov't funded agencies pay and what a non-profit company like BCBS pays is pretty significant in many markets. I can kind of see the BCBS deals on my own statements from them and they aren't bad but, when I look at my inlaws bills that are cranked through their medicare benefits, it is pretty significant what the difference is. If there wasn't a large difference there would not be a gigantic market for 'supplemental' insurance to cover the difference between medicare and provider's bills. I am not old enough to know what that costs and my inlaws conversations on the topic w/ MrsAcidRock are largely in Korean so I can't say what that coverage may cost them. I know it's there though.

W/ about 1/4 of the population hitting retirement age soon, it should be interesting to see how this plays out. Perhaps I'm being pessimistic but I would rather be pessimistic and be pleasantly suprised than be optimistic and be disappointed.


Oh I completely agree that it's still significant. However, there are some researchers who doubt the very existence of cost shifting. They basically say that if government payments to providers were to go up, then private sector payments would rise as well, not go down or stay flat as one could reasonably think.

I think we'd be better off if we could get the market (both the insurance market and the provider market) more competetive. But I think that's out of our hands.
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