Health Care Reform??? More like Health Insurance Reform!

And actually not even that; it’s just mandating health insurance.

So…let me get this straight…according to this bill I now HAVE to buy health insurance, whether I want to or not (and I do, I’m too old to think I’ll live forever)…and there are no limits on what insurance companies can charge for that mandated health insurance…and I will now be TAXED on the portion of my health insurance that my company purchases for me as INCOME…and the ban on denying pre-existing conditions is apparently being quietly changed to only apply to people UNDER 19 YEARS OLD…and I can be fined or go to jail if I don’t comply.

How is that anything but a handout to insurance companies???

Three things need to be done. Just three:

1. Set limits on what health insurance companies can charge. Period.

If they’re non profit companies, then they shouldn’t be making a profit at all. Therefore, no bonuses for executives; no marketing to drum up new clients, and no ridiculous salaries. That should save LOTS of money for insurance bills.

2.  Require health insurance companies to cover anyone who applies, without filling out a questionnaire, and without charging more for those who do have any type of pre-existing condition.

The whole idea for health insurance to begin with, as with all insurance, was to create a wider and deeper pool thereby people would share risk.  If this cuts into profits, so be it.  One should not be making a PROFIT on pain, illness, and suffering anyway.  I thought that was the purpose of non profits — to provide the best coverage possible for the least price, because there IS no profit motive!

3.  Require a flat tax based on income that goes SPECIFICALLY AND ONLY toward a public option.  Or allow all citizens to opt into Medicare.

Either one.  I don’t really care which.  I personally would opt into either if I had the opportunity; it bugs me to no end that I get grief up the wazoo for my pre-existing conditions from my insurance company while people on Medicaid/state insurance for the poor get everything covered without question.  It makes me think being poor and out of work is maybe a better option than being gainfully employed if I want insurance that will actually cover my illnesses.

Am I being pollyanna-ish?  Naturally; politicians being beholden to corporations rather than to the people who elected them, they will of course do what is best for the corporations.  Which being people in the eyes of the law have lots more money, time, resources, etc than I will ever have no matter how many of my fellow constituents I band together with to change things.  I simply will never be able to buy John McCain a $20,000 dinner like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona can and probably does.  Multiply that by how many hundreds of elected officials at the state level, and how many thousands of elected officials at the national level, and who can compete?  Why do they need voters at all?  Iran seems to do quite well without bothering to count their votes.

I wonder how it will go if/when people simply refuse to pay?  I’ll think seriously about jail time versus being forced to pay for something I am then taxed on.  Maybe THAT’S what all these FEMA camps I keep hearing about are for; to hold all of us dissidents…?

This is the article that talks about getting rid of the universal ban on denial of pre-existing conditions.  You have to read it carefully; the article says it will ban denials for children under 19…which means the rest of us are screwed.  Thanks to all of you up there in Congressland.  So glad you have better insurance than I’ll ever dream of, courtesy of ME, the TAXPAYER.

3 responses

  1. One thing I don’t understand is why you think insurance companies are non profit, they are a business and are run as one. As a whole they had a profit margin of less than 3% the few years. With stock holders it is not a non profit organization. Not sure what you are talking about when you mentioned that in point one. I do agree that the bonuses need to be dramatically decreased, but as in a lot of companies it is a reward for a job well done. Just make it a more realistic amount.
    Point two, you mention pre-exsisting conditions. Some I have a hard time accepting while others I totally agree need to have some coverage. I think about the people who have a family member that is totally brain dead or a vegetable and think of all the money spent keeping that person alive could be spent helping other babies and young children health-wise and I wonder if there shouldn’t be some sort of cut off for pre-exsisting conditions. I know that the money for the care and all needs to come ffrom someone and I feel that it would raise the cost of health insurance for all higher if the pre-exsisting condition people don’t pay a higher premium. I know they didn’t ask for the condition but I also feel that everyone should not be charged more because of it.
    I also don’t think we need a public option other than Medicare/Medicaide because it cuts competition down between the profit making insurance companies and losses would have to be covered by us tax payers.
    However I totally agree with you that we should not be forced to have health insurance or be penalized. Most of the people they want covered by this plan either don’t want insurance, qualify for one of the programs already in place or don’t belong in this country legally to begin with. I do agree all children should be covered under some type of medical plan by the states not the federal government. Mine were when I had no insurance available. Preventive care is still the best policy.

    • Well, Blue Cross Blue Shield is a non profit company for instance. The great majority of health insurance companies are. Yet they pay very hefty bonuses to their executives. Non profits are supposed to be run differently than for profit businesses, and the purpose of giving them nonprofit status was so that they could invest ALL of their profits into further care. Not ridiculous salaries, not advertising (when most people aren’t the customer anyway, their employers are), and most certainly not bonuses. They were supposed to be non-governmental organizations, providing care the way the government provides other services that are done at a loss or at least breaking even — postal service, police and fire service, infrastructure, etc.

      Being brain dead is not a pre-existing condition. And those people aren’t on private insurance, I can assure you. I’m talking about asthma, diabetes, etc. And insurance companies do a search on your social security number against a national medical database to see if you’ve ever been treated for anything you haven’t admitted to on your health history you filled out for them. If they find anything at all, they WILL cancel your policy and leave you to foot the bill. What you are speaking of here is rationing, which no one wants to confront, but is vitally necessary if we are to be able to afford any kind of care at all in the future. Even through private insurance.

      We pay more now by the costs associated with private insurance than we would in taxes; insurance companies spend over 30% of their income on advertising alone. That includes cushy dinners and stupid souveniers for their current and potential customers (and remember, those aren’t you and me, they’re the employer). 30% savings versus paying 16 – 24% more EACH year to get less coverage than the year before seems like a good deal to me. AND, we pay taxes to cover medicare and medicaid recipients NOW. They used what they paid in within the first 2 years, everything else is coming directly from us.

      I think people do not realize how very much our country is committed to socialism — not COMMUNISM nor whatever you want to call Lenin’s version of it — by our very set up. Roads, police, fire, postal service, social security, medicare, all are socialist programs. They cover everybody who qualifies equally, without any discrimination based on income, racial makeup, social status, or sex. They’re all socialist in nature. If you disagree with me, then you should really research what the origins of socialism are, which countries are successful socialist nations, how much higher their lifespan and healthcare quality is, and how much less they’ve suffered during this recession because of it.

      Germany has mandatory insurance, and if we were to do it the way they do, with strict controls on the insurance companies, strict oversight and regulation, and requirements to cover everyone equally, I would have no issue with mandatory insurance. It’s the way it’s been worked here that is the issue. Germans put the health and welfare of their citizens first. Here we don’t even get the courtesy of being called citizens, we’re called consumers, and our elected officials put the welfare of the corporations first.

      • As Asoka pointed out today via JHK’s blog:

        “Ultimately, it is not important whether government is big or small. It is not important whether it is efficient. It is important whether it works.

        Efficiency is important in the private sector where profit provides a single outcome measure of agreed upon importance.

        Efficiency should not be used to measure government performance.

        Government is constitutionally mandated, in order to form a more perfect union, to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare” of all the people, not just those you can sell to… to make a profit, and ignore the rest.

        Equity is inefficient. Due process is inefficient. Administration of justice and courts of appeals is inefficient. Federalism is inefficient. The existence of over 88,000 local government entities in the United States is inefficient. Government inefficiency preserves our liberty and rights.

        Government is about something much more important than being efficient or making a profit. Re-read the Constitution.”

        THIS is what I have been trying to say, not very well. THIS is what we owe our citizens. To promote the common welfare. That includes basic health rights.

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