Everybody knows the fight was fixed,
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich.
That's how it goes.
For the record, I am in favor of eliminating for profit health care. I believe that it is impossible to both provide care to people and maximize profits for shareholders. At the end of the day, the shareholders are going to win, and the patients will suffer.
Ironically, I don't think that any of the horrors that the anti-public health prognosticators are espousing are any worse than our current system.
I have personally experienced the 'efficiency of the private insurers' and it's surprisingly similar to a bass ackward bureaucracy.
When I was a few years into my career as a software engineer, my dentist and a group of highly qualified specialists made a diagnosis that I had a Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) issue that could be treated through a surgical procedure. My condition, when they diagnosed it contributed to severe headaches and issues chewing food. I could not close my mouth completely. Three independent qualified doctors agreed that my condition required treatment which included 2 years of orthodontics and a surgical procedure to be performed after a year of orthodontics.
I contacted my health insurer to verify that the surgical procedure would be covered. My health insurer at the time, Cigna, demonstrated some of the poorest customer service and responsiveness than any business I've ever dealt with while pre-certifying the operation. The first representative I spoke with said that no, they would not cover the operation without hearing any details. I tried to contact them again and improved the prognosis from a no to a maybe. For over 9 months Cigna did not give an answer. They contacted the oral surgeon's office and sat on the surgeon's reply for months. They promised me an answer at least three times and failed to deliver it. Finally, shortly before the surgery was to take place, they sent me a letter stating that they would not pay for the operation.
The cost of the surgery was estimated at just under $30,000. I had nowhere near that much money available and I had no idea how I would cover the cost if I had to pay for it myself. The stress, worry, and depression from waiting put me in a bad condition. My attitude towards my employer and my work became horrible. I felt betrayed by my insurer and my employer. I did my part as an employee and they ditched their responsibilities when I became inconvenient.
Why did they ditch me and deny me coverage? Was it outside of my policy? Nope. Was it unnecessary? I couldn't completely close my mouth. Was it efficient? In a way it was, but not for me. It is efficient in the sense that I didn't cost Cigna any money because they were able to avoid paying for the operation.
What was the total cost? As an employee I was not nearly as productive as I could have been. The lack of sleep, depression, and worry made it very difficult to focus on my work. The loyalty I felt towards my company was gone. Before the ordeal I thought nothing of working unpaid overtime and doing whatever it took to get the job down. I was punching a clock after the ordeal.
My insurer and my company also lost me as soon as I could find a company with a better policy that would hire me. I'm sure that whoever was hired to replace me cost much more than I did. Actually I was being paid about $30,000 a year under the market price for someone in my position. To save a one time cost of $30,000, my former employer traded up by paying it every year.
There's a huge difference between trying to cover costs and maximizing profits. It's ironic to me that I've heard health insurance companies describe the people they insure as having a sense of entitlement. The insurers lament that the people feel entitled to care that would improve their lifestyle like they are trying to cheat the system.
I think there's a different sense of entitlement and it comes from the private health insurance companies. They feel entitled to take our money and our quality of life. Under our current health care system, we're playing a rigged game. These companies have no concern for the quality or value of our lives. They only want us if they are going to make money off of not providing treatment to us.
If given a choice of a public system where I need to wait for my treatment, but instantly knowing that my treatment will be covered and the current American system of being able to wait less time for treatment but waiting much longer to eventually learn whether my treatment will be covered, I choose the former.
Health insurance companies are fighting hard to maintain the status quo and to slant the system more in their favor. They are trying to scare us into fearing a government health care system.
They use words like socialism and allude to waiting for health care. I'm sorry, has anyone ever not had to wait for health care under our system? Last time I went to see my doctor I waited well over an hour to see him after I waited three weeks to see him. That was for my annual physical.
There is a conflict of interests between providing life, i.e. health care, and maximizing profits. In our current system, the profits are winning out. Are we willing to trade life for profits?