07 August 2009

This One Is Important

Ok, the jig is up. It's time to acknowledge that private health insurers are:

1. Making a fortune by betting they'll be able to deny us care. Simply put, they are for-profit companies, which means they exist to make money. How do they make the most money? By denying care. How is this a good way to ensure people get the care they need?

2. Spending our money to lobby the government in an effort to systematically destroy the Health Care debate. Nearly $100 million, actually. Do you want your health care provider to spend your money on lobbying, or on giving you health care?

3. NOT the best in the World. In fact, we're about 17th in the world and have the highest percentage of uninsured people of any developed country. That's embarrassing.

4. NOT efficient. 47 percent - YES FORTY SEVEN PERCENT - of their budget is spent on non-health-related budget items like computers, first-class airfare and, oh, lobbying the government. Compare that to the "dreaded" medicare and medicaid, which spends just 3% of their budget - YES THREE PERCENT - on non-health-related expenditures.

5. Unable to control costs. They've risen 70% in 8 years to an average of $9,000 for a family of 4. That is projected to increase to $25,000 for a family of four by 2020 while benefits decrease over the same period. Now, who's got $25,000 to shell out?

Quite honestly, I don't know why this is such a heated debate. Why not a government plan? If it's so bad then the private insurers will be fine. If it's so good then it will regulate the market and force companies to be more efficient and actually compete. My favorite argument against, however, is that a government plan will "kill private insurers." Mind you, this comes from the same people that go on and on about how the government can't run anything correctly and now here they are rambling on about how a government option will "destroy the private sector?" Get your story straight.

All I know is that the first question I have to ask when walking into a doctor's office is "how much is this going to cost?" Is that really the best approach to the health of a nation? Shouldn't I be asking, "how can I get better?"

These companies are NOT out for your best interests. Don't kid yourself into thinking they are. At the end of the day, the only one who gets hurt (or is unable to get better after being hurt) is you. Not those CEOS at the health insurance companies. They're doing just fine with their $100 million-a-year salaries.

So pay attention to the health care debate and put yourself first - not a health insurance company who makes a living out of denying you care.

Here's a story that highlights the incredible lobbying power of the Health Insurance Industry. Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Kyle Taylor

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