We Gave the Insurance Companies All Our Money

And it resulted in everybody being hosed, solet’s require people to give the insurance industry more of our money:

It is important to understand whya “public health insurance plan” created to “stand beside” existing private health insurance plans does not provide a cure.
This proposal is based in part on the experience in Massachusetts. The
current Massachusetts universal coverage health reform plan is being
looked upon as a model for the nation. It has had some success, yet it
cannot and must not be used as a model for national reform with a
“stand along public health plan” option. The Massachusetts model relies
on government subsidy directed through the private health insurance
carriers. There are three important observations here:

  1. A 2007 study sponsored by AHIP reviewed prior
    experience with this type of reform model in 8 states in the 1990s
    (Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts (in 1996), New Hampshire, New Jersey,
    Vermont, and Washington). They found that “in general…, individual
    health insurance markets deteriorated…Often, insurance companies
    chose to stop selling individual insurance in the market…Enrollment
    in individual insurance also tended to decrease, and premium rates
    tended to increase, sometimes dramatically…(And) we did not observe
    any significant decreases in the level of uninsured persons following
    the enactment of these market reforms.” The result was that all these
    reform programs failed and went out of existence.
  1. Even with state government subsidy and leverage on
    premium charges many residents are excused from the “universal” program
    because they cannot afford the premiums.Many others are faced with
    unacceptably high and unaffordable copayments, deductibles, and benefit
    limits built into the approved insurance plans.
  1. The program is totally dependent on the private
    insurance companies and there is no cost and minimal quality control
    mechanisms built in. The state of Massachusetts is thus currently
    facing a huge and perhaps intolerable budgetary deficit.

Emphasis in the second-to-last graf mine, because:

Discussion of making sure everyone is insured drives me wild. Insurance for all is not the goal. Even good insurance for all is not the goal. HEALTH CARE for all is the goal, because even if you have a job, and have health insurance, and you need an operation or other procedure and the insurance covers 90 percent of your costs but the other ten percent is $10,000 and you don’t have $10,000, you’re still screwed. That’s the BEST CASE scenario, that you’re screwed. Insurance is not the solution.

I do not know what is difficult about this for the Bush Dogs and Republicans to get. I mean, I get you’re in Congress and therefore know how awful socialized medicine really is, being that all of you are taking part in it, but one would hope you’d have friends who could tell you stories of how much fun it is to spend half a day on the phone with the hospital trying to explain that a) you paid that bill b) you don’t have the money to pay it twice and c) your insurance was supposed to cover it anyway and for the love of Christ, you’re trying to do a job here and keep your house in order, can’t somebody get on the phone with somebody and figure this shit out?

It requires a Herculean amount of emotional strength and patience for me to sort my way through the vagaries of modern medicine every month. I find it exhausting and frustrating and homcidal-rage-inducing and I’m in relatively good health, without a rare disease or disorder, without the diminished capacity for bullshit that comes with advanced age or extreme poverty. So again, the best case scenario with insurance and at least some time to handle things would be a screwball comedy if there was anything funny about it at all. And our government seems to think the best way to handle this clusterfuck is to add more cluster and more fuck.

A.

6 thoughts on “We Gave the Insurance Companies All Our Money

  1. pansypoo says:

    for profit only means bad medicine.

  2. BlakNo1 says:

    Nope. I’ll never move out of MA. No sir. Can’t make me.
    If I lived anywhere else, I would be THOUSANDS of dollars in debt.

  3. Sandman says:

    If Obama had any real political courage, he’d be pushing for single-payer, not this hybrid public-private “let’s keep the insurance predators running” nonsense. The only thing his plan is going to do is make it worse for the working class. I pay almost $700 a month in premiums to cover my wife and kids, and that’s through a state job. If they tax me on what my schools pays to cover me, the real cost of that premium goes even higher. WTF? If Obama signs legislation that taxes health coverage as income–just what McCain said he would do–there’s no frakking way I will vote for him again.

  4. Aaaargh says:

    Oh, so very well said, A. I love this:
    “Insurance for all is not the goal. Even good insurance for all is not the goal. HEALTH CARE for all is the goal, because even if you have a job, and have health insurance, and you need an operation or other procedure and the insurance covers 90 percent of your costs but the other ten percent is $10,000 and you don’t have $10,000, you’re still screwed. That’s the BEST CASE scenario, that you’re screwed. Insurance is not the solution.”
    If I may, I’m going to quote this in every letter I write to legislators and the Editors on the issue.

  5. pansypoo says:

    make congresscritter go out in the public for their health care make them average americans and see how they like it.
    obama is making america demand single payer. bottom up.

  6. Michael says:

    I lived in the U.S. for long enough to come to hate the health care system setup – and, oh yes, I do mean “setup.” Now that I’m back in Canada, it’s such a load off my mind not to have to think about this anymore.I hope youdo get health care for all this time, and that the insurance companies get driven into a little bitty corner the way they deserve.

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