Michael Bird

Michael Bird 1 week ago on Scott Tipton: Committed to fighting opioid abuse

In the rush to fight abuse, legitimate users have been bushwacked. One of too many true experiences is a gentleman I witnessed in a wheelchair who had to make a monthly trip to the Doctor's office to pick us his written prescription. He cannot drive and has no one to give him regular rides and cannot afford taxi fees. The prescription can no longer be transmitted electronically and the pharmacist must have a paper original prescription so the patient must pick it up at a Doctor's office. I understand in limited situations a close relative, such as a spouse, may pick it up but this is not always allowed. This is not an isolated incident. For the elderly or anyone with limited resources, this is not only cruel but to put it bluntly - s t u p i d.

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Michael Bird 1 week, 2 days ago on Richard Boersma: AHCA — know the facts

Yes Nancy just like Obama who said everyone could keep their insurance. Politicians lie or one can say their programs change due to legislative actions and compromises. To me, the bottom line is to have a cost reduced program, such as a single payer program, but all proponents absolutely avoid answering the question - How do we reduce medical ( not administrative) costs to those of other countries that proponents recommend ? Specifically how do you or others suggest incomes of MDs, hospitals, medical providers, be REDUCED to the levels paid in single payer countries because without these reductions a single payer system affordability is out he window. A single payer system can have a possible slight reduction in personnel costs if fewer are needed compared to private industry and the high cost of each federal employee doesn't eat up any savings. Eliminating the small profit of health insurance companies (currently 4.65% for UHealthcare) will add to reduced costs leaving the huge majority of healthcare costs (medical) still needing to be significantly reduced or our healthcare will simply remain unaffordable and unsustainable. To be purposely redundant, so how do we reduce the income of medical providers to those of the single payer countries so admired by single payer proponents ?

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Michael Bird 1 week, 3 days ago on Mayling Simpson: Medicare-for-All

Mayling, I like your ideas but please tell me specifically how we can reduce the medical costs to equal those of all other single payer systems, which means a major reduction in what is paid to MDs, hospitals, and all other medical providers ? Eliminating all insurance cannot reduce our administrative costs by 30% because they amount to 20% now. Because the adm staff will be federal employees whose benefits are immensely more than current private industry such as defined benefit pensions with ability to retire in 20 yrs, paid unused sick days, more vacation days, etc. so the 80% medical expenses of healthcare have to be reduced to equal those of the other countries you mention. Fewer administrative employees may be needed but will that be enough to offset the higher individual federal personnel costs? Maybe ? To me, pharma is obvious-allow bidding but how do you propose paying medical staff less as Canada etc do ? A good letter. Thank you.

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Michael Bird 1 week, 5 days ago on Tom Zehner: National health care plan is solution

Nancy, You don't have to envy me as I haven't sold insurance for 14 years but I do desire to have rational discussions concerning healthcare excluding grossly erroneous statements such as your statement that UHealthcare will make a 400 billion profit. First you must understand that revenue is not profit. Expenses to pay medical care come from revenue received. UHC current profit is 4.46%. Gross ? Gouging ? 55% less that the S&P500 and much less that medical care profits. Facts and not emotional name calling statements contribute to solutions. I applaud your passion but please temper it with factual information and then ideas may come that could aid the problem of affordability and access to healthcare.

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Michael Bird 1 week, 5 days ago on Linda Delaney: AHCA or American Health Cruelty Act

Jeff and Ken, Thank you for bringing factual information into the discussion but I'm concerned it won't matter as the continuously uttered false gouging statements will continue and non-factual information will continue to proliferate. Emotion seems to run rampant. Simply if health insurance were highly profitable or even normally profitable, State Farm, Allstate, Travelers, Hartford, GEICO, etc. would be selling it but they don't.( SFarm does sell only one product-a Medicare supplement). Somehow some think that profits that are 30% to 50% below the S&P500 exorbitant but that medical profits, which far exceed the 4.46% UHG ( or ALL other health insurance companies ) , are OK because almost no one will comment on how to specifically reduce them. Notice the almost total lack of comments about the medical industry, which comprise 80% of healthcare costs. and how to reduce those costs which would contribute to making healthcare more affordable. So maybe my hope of having rational discussions is only a dream. Facts are such a nuisance anyway.

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Michael Bird 1 week, 6 days ago on Linda Delaney: AHCA or American Health Cruelty Act

Medical, not insurance, creates affordability. Insurance is a medium to pay for medical costs. If medical costs were 40% lower, for example, insurance costs would also be 40% lower. Of all healthcare costs, 80% is medical. If insurance were deleted and replaced by a federal employee staff , who receive benefits that private industry cannot afford, the administrative costs might be lowered by up to 10% but any increase in medical costs would swamp the administrative savings. Julie, the insurance companies receive medical bills from medical providers and then pay those bills and are overseen by each State's insurance department. regulated. Insurance companies cannot magically lower medical bills they receive -they are a pass through mechanism - just as Medicare's staff is. Insurance cannot make insurance affordable because they do not create the expenses but only pay them from premiums received. Delete insurance and healthcare is still not affordable. Subsidies can reduce a person's premium but the medical costs are not reduced.

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Michael Bird 1 week, 6 days ago on Brodie Farquhar: Open letter to Rep. Tipton

Brodie, Yes, the insurance companies again. Like State Farm ( sells only a Medicare Supplement), Hartford, Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Travelers, etc. who do not sell, repeat do not sell, any health insurance. Wait ! They're in the business of making a profit, right ? Wouldn't you think they'd jump right into this arena if the profits were so high ? Since their profits are 30% below the S&P 500, that's right below, they gotta be gouging. But wait again. Unlike almost all other industries, their rates, hence premiums, are highly regulated by your State Insurance department. You mean they can't charge whatever they want like almost every other industry ? That's right and that's why their profits are lower than other industries and why almost all insurance companies do not, that's right do not, sell health insurance. Personally, I'm for change but I want the change based on facts and not emotion. 80% of healthcare costs arise from high medical, not administrative costs. If healthcare costs are to be lowered, these costs must be lowered but all I hear are emotional comments like gouging with no specific suggestions about the huge majority of healthcare costs - medical. I'd like to see a single payer system. I'd like to see pharma bidding allowed but Obamacare prohibited it when pharma lobbyists wrote every single word of the pharma section. Source 20/20 TV. In cities, I'd like to see hospitals specialize so every hospital does not have to have duplicate equipment.I'd appreciate specific ideas such as if we adopt a system similar to those in Canada, France, and other single payer systems, how do we significantly reduce what we pay our medical personnel as those systems have done.

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Michael Bird 2 weeks, 4 days ago on Michael Turner: City needs to set realistic parking requirements

Michael, You are so correct. There has long been a complete abandonment of any sensible parking standards. Give the developers what they want and screw the public need. A minimum of two parking spaces for each residential must be a minimum plus parking for guests and employees. This can also be viewed as a civic safety issue.

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Michael Bird 2 weeks, 5 days ago on Tom Zehner: National health care plan is solution

Yes Nancy, we need to take out those greedy insurance companies, who are highly regulated and whose profits are 30% less, that's right less ( greedy ? ) than the S&P500, and ignore the 80% of healthcare expenses which are medical. And whose profit margins far exceed insurance companies in almost every case.And then we have to replace the insurance companies' employees with government employees whose costs far exceed those of private industry with their extensive benefits, such as defined pensions allowing one to retire in 20 yrs, which private companies cannot afford but which increase the administrative costs. But most importantly are the cost reductions needed in a national plan, on which no on comments, but which entail medical costs - the huge majority of healthcare costs. A national plan cannot cost less unless medical costs are reduced. Isn't it tlme to be realistic and be constructive ? Provide specific details about the national plan you'd desire including whose incomes you will reduce and how.. May I suggest eliminating the emotional rhetoric and instead offer specific suggestions which can contribute to solutions. Under a national plan, what pay scale do you recommend for MDs, hospitals, pharma and all other medical providers ? Without a significant reduction in these costs, a national plan cannot reduce our healthcare costs because they constitute 80% of healthcare costs. If all insurance companies are removed and replaced by a government staff running a national plan, the administrative savings possibly could be as much as 10% which is insignificant compared to the dollar amount of the 80%. So please -specific recommendations. I believe getting off the bad ol' insurance companies and onto the problem of the massive majority of healthcare costs, which are medical, is the only way whether it's a national plan or not. This is what all other national plans did.

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