Tuesday, August 11, 2009

From Salon.com: "The Death Panels Are Already Here"

Mike Madden wrote that the so called "Death Panels" that is the threat du jour of socialized medicine is already here for Salon.com. Spot on Mike!

The current American system of for profit health insurance is deeply flawed with conflicts of interest and inefficiencies.

Corporations are ultimately responsible for providing a return on the shareholders' investment. The people who run the corporation are rewarded for producing a better return, and penalized for failing to do so.

The math isn't that complicated. Health insurance companies generate revenue through premiums. Providing health care to their policy holders costs them money. Ideally, if an insurer were to position itself to only collect premiums and pay for no health care they'd maximize their profits and do right to their shareholders.

Amy Goodman reported on TruthDig that former Cigna whistleblower Wendell Potter admits:
if a person makes a major claim for coverage, the insurer will often scrutinize the person’s original application, looking for any error that would allow it to cancel the policy. Likewise, if a small company’s employees make too many claims, the insurer, Potter says, “very likely will jack up the rates so much that your employer has no alternative but to leave you and your co-workers without insurance.

This is exactly the type of thing that makes a private-for profit health insurance provider evil.

It's an unfair deal where all of us pay into a system that will drop us as soon as we become inconvenient. It is trading the life of common people to enrich the already full coffers of a privileged few.

Everybody knows the deal is rotten,
Old Black Joe still picking cotton
for your ribbons and bows.

People buy insurance to protect from catastrophe. For most people, catastrophe comes in the form of a major medical procedure. Not many people can shoulder the burden of paying for a $100,000 procedure. That's why we're putting our money into a health insurance policy, if we need it we think it's there for us.

I have my doubts whether the private for profit insurance industry would be there for us. It seems that they fight tooth and nail to avoid honoring even moderate claims through denied claims, policy cancellation and payment rescission. The health insurance industry may spin their practices in ways that don't sound very bad, but it's tantamount to euthanasia. Except the person is left to suffer without care.

Why are people scared of fictional government death panels that have absolutely no interest in denying care when there are very real health insurance companies that have an absolute incentive in denying you care?

I don't really care how we get from where we are to a better place, I just want out of our current system. There are ample opportunities to improve the American health care system. Removing the private for profit health care element would be a good start.


Brian Vaughn said...

looks like I work for an "evil" company.

Paul Wiedel said...

They're(drug insurers) not as bad as health insurers. I actually like ESI's strategy of making money by providing drugs at a lower cost. I thought that they set up their business model in a way that didn't sacrifice integrity.