Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sold Out

We have been duped. That’s all there is to it. There’s no other way to describe the actions perpetrated on the citizenry by the corrupt and fouled human garbage that passes as governmental leadership in this country. Yesterday, our elected officials voted against creating a government funded health insurance option. Not a “takeover” of the health care system (which by the way, the government already heavily regulates thanks to its Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements), but simply the creation of publicly funded insurance policies that would offer some relief to those of us who pay increasingly handsomely to our insurance companies for ever diminishing coverage.

We were told by our bloviating talking heads and too many congressional members that a government run health insurance option would lead to socialism. We were told that the government would deny care to those who are too young or too old or too sick. We were told that capitalism and free markets are the only true American way to fix anything. Quite simply, we were lied to.

First, there’s that socialism thing. There are many democracies and capitalistic nations that offer a public health insurance option – in fact, the list includes all of them except the U.S. We are the lone wealthy, developed nation that does not provide its citizens this basic service. And why? Well, the insurance companies would be forced to compete with a more efficient, non-profit entity that would put them and their staggering profits to shame. They would be forced to become more efficient (reducing obscene pay and bonuses for the executives), cover more claims (they currently work to pay out as little as possible on all claims – profits are the goal, remember?) and offer more reasonably priced policies. Yeah, that’s a bad idea.

Socialism, as defined by the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, is “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods”. It is not a situation where the government provides a service to its citizens. No one cries socialism when they talk about the public school system or the police or Emergency Medical Services or the military. There are private companies that compete with the government on all of these fronts (private schools, private security services, etc.), and they don’t complain about their businesses being unfairly harmed by publicly funded services. The socialism argument is a red herring.

How about the argument that the government would deny care? The last time I checked, the private insurers were the ones who refused to pay claims. It’s the private insurance companies that pre-screen and deny applicants and pre-approve claims. They are the ones who refuse payment for anything that’s new or expensive. They are the deniers of care, not the government funded programs Medicare or Medicaid.

To be clear, Medicare and Medicaid often don’t reimburse (pay) for all the costs, but no one dies while waiting for pre-approval and they don’t work diligently to deny care so they can make money.

How about that whole free market thing? Well, if the government began a publicly funded insurance option, it would compete in a free market. How much more capitalistic can you get? If one company can offer the same thing as another for a lower price, the other company has to become more efficient, find another niche, or get out of the business, right? What could be more American?

But insurers don’t want competition. They all work together to set prices and extort payments from us to make them wealthy. They tell us we need them. They tell us they will take care of us. The only ones they are interested in are themselves. They want huge profits so they can get large bonuses and make even more money. Competition will reduce their ability to make those staggering profits, so they have spent billions on convincing us and our representatives that somehow competition is not capitalism.

Now, from what I have seen, the insurers are winning. We have no public option that seems imminent and thus, the insurers have no competition. Prices for health care won’t be coming down anytime soon. But rest assured - our noble and fearless leaders are considering MANDATING that every citizen have health insurance. That is, if our employer does not provide it, we will be forced by law to purchase insurance from one of the major insurers. So instead of promoting efficiency by competition, the government has forced us (and our money) into the waiting arms of……you guessed it, the insurance industry. What a country!

Apparently, our government is more interested in representing the insurance industry than those who actually voted them into office. We have been sold off like so much garage sale merchandise – on the cheap and without a care. Until the populace wakes up and becomes outraged, nothing will get better. It will only become worse.

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

1 comment:

  1. I wish the whole country could read this latest blog. Even diehard republican supporters might finally take their blinders off and see reality. Well done John!