Archive for August 5th, 2012

Buying Toothpaste Versus Buying Health Care

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

A trip to the local CVS store to buy toothpaste today was instructive of how differently we approach the cost of healthcare.

Since I do not have toothpaste insurance, this shopping trip was on my dime. So with that in mind, I found the aisle marked Dental Care. As I navigated through the confusing and complicated world of toothpaste, I started at the top of the shelf – Wow what a selection! A few of the brands were familiar, probably due to toothpaste commercials  viewed throughout the years. One 6 oz product was $7.45 but it promised sparkling white teeth, winning smile and good breath for hours. Others, same 6 oz size, were lower in price, averaging $2.50 to $4.50 for  6 oz supply.

On the very bottom shelf, towards the end of the toothpaste area, was a 6 oz toothpaste marked at 99 cents. Sensing that at such a low price, this must be an inferior product I compared the active ingredients,. All brands had one in common: sodium fluoride at 0.24%.  Each brand noted that sodium fluoride as “anticavity toothpaste.”

Further scrutiny brought added comfort that the lowest priced product was probably the best buy. “Value Pack, 30% more product on sizes up to 4.6 oz” , and there was a note that the product was “ADA Accepted – American Dental Association”.  But what cinched the deal was the printed representation that the product “cleans, freshens and protects”, all for 99 cents.

With local sales tax, AIM toothpaste cost  $1.08 versus  $4.86 for Colgate, an astounding 77% savings. Taxes were only 8 cents compared to 36 cents for Colgate, an even more astounding savings of 450% in taxes.

If I had toothpaste insurance with a low co-pay, I would probably have choosen Colgate.

ObamaCare Minimum Loss Ratio Requirement To Be Extended To Hospitals

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

In a rare Sunday press conference, President Obama announced that effective January 1, 2013 hospitals must abide by new minimum loss ratio rules. “Hospitals and their insurance partners are getting rich off the backs of poor working Americans. It’s time to take action. Effective January 1, 2013 I have directed that a new policy be implemented to make hospitals accountable to the American people.”

“As you know, my health care bill makes insurance companies accountable. Instead of making enormous profits off the pain and suffering of struggling Americans seeking health care, my bill makes it mandatory for insurance companies to rebate most, if not all of their profits to the masses. Many have already received their rebates so please remember who got those for you in November. There is more to come, trust me. Hospitals should be treated no different. It’s only fair that we ask, no we must demand, that hospitals share in this national effort to lower health care costs. It’s only right. We are all in this together, and together we will achieve universal health care, even for Republicans. ”

Editor’s Note: Obamacare continues to evolve as confusion reigns. Final rules have yet to be promulgated. Plan Sponsors are stressed.