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photo by Sheri Dixon

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Insurance Companies Are Not the Bad Guys

Wow. Did I just type that?

Yes. Yes I did.

Aren't I the one who rails about the complete rat bastard insurance companies taking everyone's money with one hand while denying coverage, care and any service they can with the other?

Why, yes. That would be me.

So what's up with the above statement? Brain damage? Brain aneurysm?? Brain WASHING???

Nope. Just stating a fact.

And here's why.

Insurance companies, as much as they'd like you to think they are "With you for the journey" (the word "journey" is one of the most over-used and over-abused words right now- seems like every time someone changes jobs, partners, hell- goes to the bathroom they are undertaking the "next step of a journey") are really not there to take care of us and our families.

They are businesses, and their job is to make money for the owners.

In any business,to be successful, you provide decent products or services while spending the least amount of your own money. The more money you can avoid spending while still maintaining a modicum of quality, the better.

Although I'm sure that just working for an insurance company in the claims/customer service/dispute departments makes people jaded, callous, or truly sociopathic, I'm pretty sure they don't start out that way, and I know the burn-out rate is tremendous.

They are just doing their jobs- and outstandingly well- if they deny more coverage than they approve.

Contrary to what our Supreme Court recently ruled, corporations are NOT individuals- and the "bottom line" rules of running a successful business of this nature- taking peoples' money in with the promise of 'probably' helping them when they need services, then finding any way possible to deny that expenditure- will run counter to the rules of being a compassionate human being, but look absolutely stellar on the spread sheets.

Using that frame of mind, I can honestly say "Bravo insurance companies- you are doing a bang-up job and are truly one of the most successful stories in American Health Care".

So to all those people who scream "Government has no business running health care", I'd like to ask you, really, why not?

Our government, as I understand it- by the people, of the people, for the people- is supposed to loosely bind the states together and offer the security of safety within our borders by a standing military and local/state law officers. There is a national system for transportation systems and upkeep. There are social programs to assist the poor, disabled, young and old. We have a postal service. There is an education system.

For all of these services (and I'm sure I missed a few) we pay taxes. Most of the time happily. Because they help provide us with some very basic human needs- safe food, safe homes and neighborhoods, institutions of learning, communication via the mailman, roads to travel on, help for those in need.

Something's missing...oh yeah. HEALTH CARE.

Being able to receive good, quality health care both in need and preventively for ALL Americans.

"Good Gawd that'll break the bank!" holler the opponents, but see? It won't.

What are we already paying in premiums? Just my household pays $775 per month- $100 for Medicare that comes out of Ward's disability check,$160 in supplemental insurance to cover what Medicare doesn't, $126 for Alec and $389 for me.

We're paying out $9,300 yearly in premiums- wait- if we USE our health care system there are $4,618 in deductibles to be paid, we won't count co-pays for doctor visits, etc...So, if we were all three of us needing hospitalization or testing or something that'd total $13,918 for the year.

Our gross income is about $52,000. So we're already paying out 18% for premiums only.

Therefore, I say "Please- institute Universal Government Health Care and tax me 15% to get it. MY family will be ahead of the game just to be healthy- if we actually need to be hospitalized, we'll make out like bandits".

Because right now, the only ones making out like bandits are the insurance companies- not because they're nefarious minions of Satan (although that's a fun image), but because it's not their business to care for the citizens of this country- it's their business to be profitable, and that means taking in way more premiums than paying out in claims.

That's why the one place health care should NOT be primarily supplied is from the private sector of a capitalistic society, or we'll end up where we are.

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