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Monday, March 29, 2010

Welcome to Wydenworld

An alert reader points out that the odd-smelling hash known as health care reform -- particularly its highly controversial insurance mandate -- bears more than a passing resemblance to the insurance company program touted by Sen. Ron Wyden (R-N.Y.) more than three years ago.

Comments (12)

The Long Island vacation house is looking a lot better now. Can't wait for summer. Good thing Oregon is a Blue state!

I smoked some odd-smelling hash once. Not good.

From what Ive heard and read about The Lewin Group, they're deeply in bed with the republican party and the health care industry... Mr Wyden, what side of the fence are you on?

"Generally left unsaid amid all the citations is that the Lewin Group is wholly owned by UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation's largest insurers.

More specifically, the Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a UnitedHealth subsidiary that was accused by the New York attorney general and the American Medical Association, a physician's group, of helping insurers shift medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data. Ingenix supplied its parent company and other insurers with data that allegedly understated the "usual and customary" doctor fees that insurers use to determine how much they will reimburse consumers for out-of-network care."


I see the following happening since Obamacare has passed.

1) When the feds govern both who the insurance companies have to cover AND the price that the insurance companies can charge (i.e. less than what it really costs), the insurance companies close up. You can't provide a service if you are losing money ... unless your the government.
2) As the insurance companies fade away, the government makes it's case that since the co-ops aren't working like they envisioned them - we will need to set up a government 'insurance' for those states where the co-op (due to lack of competing insurance companies) isn't working. Eventually, this will be the case in all states.
3) Even though service is dismal compared to what we have now, still hospitals and doctors can't run on the pittance that the government wants to pay. Hence the government establishes a VAT to add enough money to the (now) government run healthcare system to try to keep it afloat.
4) We end up in lines like in Britain. We end up with poorer quality healthcare and longer wait times. Picture the DMV with white lab coats.

And there you have it Obamacare at it's finest.

I always laugh when someone tries to scare me by saying health care reform will result in a DMV-like bureaucratic nightmare. Dude, have you been to the Oregon DMV? This is one of the most efficient, service-oriented organizations I've ever encountered. I've bought plenty of vehicles over the past several years and always have had quick and excellent service at the DMV offices around town. I called them up to ask a question once and a human being answered the phone, not a computerized voice telling me to punch buttons. How many times has a real person answered the phone at our health insurance company?

Meant to write "at YOUR health insurance company."

Must hit the preview button before posting.

Don't overlook the fact that United Health Group is essentially locked into AARP which contracts with it for supplemental insurance and Medicare D coverage, both of which are the largest in the business.

Gil 'Dude' Johnson,

Dude, how long have you worked for DMV? Go back an re-read item 4 in 4 years and then talk to us (without the DMV informercial).

JCL, I have no complaints about the DMV... and have always had a pleasant experience transacting business..

I had a horrible experience the last time I went to DMV: it took 3 trips to renew my ODL (held since 1990)at the Lake Oswego office because they rejected my Califonia birth certificate as "fake". Never mind that it was a certified true copy, with a barcode, holographic seal, and a serial number. The DMV office manager said it appeared fraudulent, and told me there was no appeals process, "Request another Copy!"

Had I not threatened to sue them, and spent 30 minutes on the phone with Salem and the county Registrar, I would have had to renew my U.S. Passport in order to renew my ODL. I will never support giving Bureaucrats more authority over my healthcare or my personal well being.

Mister Tee,

Can I assume you won't be appyling for Social Security and Medicare benefits when that time comes? Medicare being over your healthcare and Social Security for your personal well being...

Robert, your smarmy reply makes no sense.
Both of the programs you cite are already under water. Try and keep up. Native Oregonian has the right idea.

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