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Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:06 PM

In America, general consent is that insurance companies are entitled to profit from your illness

They're betting that you're going to get sick. And since just about everyone gets sick or hurt at anytime in their life... That's a sure bet that's guaranteed to pay off big time.

Most other industrialized countries understand this as well, and put a premium in minimizing the financial risk accrued from individual illness by making access to healthcare a right, not a paid privilege. The burden is shared collectively, because of the universal nature of illness and the capacity of the greater society to handle it. Also, cost is minimized, because it takes away the middleman who's sole purpose is to be a gateway for the expense of healthcare. Middlemen who are motivated, not by providing more efficient and effective care, but by profit alone.

That profit motive incentivizes the insurance company to withhold, delay and diminish care at the very crucial time of need. Such delays can only serve to exacerbate life threatening health issues and can endanger the life of the person seeking care. These delays frequently override the wishes of patients to get care and the ability of medicine to provide it.

Thereby the person paying insurance premiums is liable to find him or herself bearing all the cost and all the risk from their need of care for the sake of propping up an entity that puts the importance of its own coffers above the needs of the individual that they're supposed to be serving.

Insurance companies cherry pick what kind of care that they will pay for. Always eyeing their bottom line, determining the risk to their own profits over the need of care for the patient and the requirements of actual medicine to provide it.

They're looking out for themselves, when they're supposed to be looking out for YOU.

So, I ask:

- How is this freedom?

- Isn't this actually nothing more than vulnerability to the whims of private insurance companies?

- Since all health insurance companies are capable of being simular barriers to care, isn't the freedom of choice of picking any insurance company merely an illusion?

- What is the benefit of depending on a profit driven entity to determine whether care will be provided, or when, above the requirements of the health care providers?

Frankly, we need to change our belief that companies are entitled to profit from illness, without any the beneficial provision of actual care. All they're doing is funneling money.

We pay more per capita for healthcare than any country using a single payer system, whereas all of their citizens are covered and a sizable portion of the people living in the United States is not.

Americans are at risk of losing their ability to access affordable healthcare if they lose their jobs, whereas the people who live in single payer countries have access to care whether they're employed or not.

In America, there's a greater financial burden placed on family units, increasing incrementally in relationship to size and for those who are self-employed, whereas in single payer countries the bursen of cost is shared more evenly.

Lastly, the obscenity of profitting from the illness of others is sacrosanct in America, whereas the needs of the general welfare comes first through the use of a single payer system elsewhere.


It's clear that those use the language of condemnation of single payer, cost cutting and universally provided health care as being a danger to "freedom" and "liberty" are, in fact, defending the freedom of insurance companies to rob premium payers blind when they're in need of care.

Our priorities need to change. In this debate over whether the ACA wil be upheld or struck down by a politically polarized Supreme Court, the bottom line comes down to whether and/or when we evolve our healthcare system that values access to care OVER access of insurance companies to their profit from selectively restricted care.

Will we change for the benefit of everyone, or for just the benefit of the greedy few?

One last thing, this private profit vs. shared public access question really comes down to a matter of morality... What's more important, fealty to greed, or the greater good? Why is the commodification of illness called "freedom"?

Can anyone answer that?

Again, I'm just agonizing over things that I don't understand about this country. You really don't have to pay any attention to me.

So, I leave you to return to your regularly scheduled General Discussion.

21 replies, 2629 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply In America, general consent is that insurance companies are entitled to profit from your illness (Original post)
MrScorpio Mar 2012 OP
mike_c Mar 2012 #1
HockeyMom Mar 2012 #2
Poll_Blind Mar 2012 #20
undergroundpanther Mar 2012 #21
One_Life_To_Give Mar 2012 #3
MrScorpio Mar 2012 #4
mathematic Mar 2012 #5
Comrade Grumpy Mar 2012 #7
MrScorpio Mar 2012 #11
tinrobot Mar 2012 #18
Comrade Grumpy Mar 2012 #6
marlakay Mar 2012 #8
fascisthunter Mar 2012 #9
spanone Mar 2012 #10
Bluenorthwest Mar 2012 #12
MrScorpio Mar 2012 #14
Uncle Joe Mar 2012 #13
Surya Gayatri Mar 2012 #15
got root Mar 2012 #16
libtodeath Mar 2012 #17
Kablooie Mar 2012 #19

Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:08 PM

1. I've been wondering all day why liberals even CARE about health insurance company profits....

I want to see that entire industry wither and die.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:10 PM

2. Same here

I happen to think nobody should make a profit from children, the sick, the disabled, or the elderly.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 10:58 PM

20. Amen. nt

pB

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Response to mike_c (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 29, 2012, 02:25 AM

21. Me too

Insurance companies ARE death panels.They make you wait,travel and do shitloads of paperwork..The Market always profits from human misery weakness,sickness and poverty.Market mentality is sociopathic-evil.Profit is if you think about it a form of theft,insurance companies and hedge managers epitomize it. I think not only insurance needs to wither and die,I think the market,wallstreet and greed behind these corporations need to die.I will rejoice the day every greedy asshole bean counting profit seeking pos dies.I wanna see overpaid executives jumping out office windows,in jail forever,hated,dispised and thier"big ideas"laughed out of the room.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:20 PM

3. They put Capital at Risk

Insurance is shared risk. When any private company undertakes that risk there is a statistical possibility that losses will exceed premiums. It's like allowing a bank to charge interest on a loan.

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Response to One_Life_To_Give (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:29 PM

4. Smaller pools incur a greater risk to capital

And companies have been known to minimize risk by refusing to pay for care.

But it's a greater crapshoot for the premium holder, their life could be at risk.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:31 PM

5. You don't understand insurance

Health insurance companies profit from your HEALTH. If you're not using medical services you're all profit. Sure if you get sick they do their best at trying to deny paying but they'd prefer you to not get sick at all and just keep paying those premiums.

Similarly, auto insurance companies profit from your safe driving, not your accidents, flood insurance companies profit from you living on the top of a hill, and fire insurance companies profit from the suspicious lack of burning candles in your house.

The groups that profit from your ILLNESS are hospitals, drug companies, medical equipment manufacturers, doctors, and other health care workers. Those are the groups providing health care. Insurance companies just help pay for it (or not, if they can get away with it).

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Response to mathematic (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:42 PM

7. Health care providers deserve to make decent wages.

The rest can all be nationalized as far as I'm concerned.

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Response to mathematic (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:49 PM

11. Illness is an inevitability

Everyone knows this and insurance companies are betting on the long term health of people before that inevitability actually occurs.

For the sake of their profits, before the ACA, they minimized risk to capital by reducing its vulnerability to those with pre-existing conditions. They use political clout to foment fear of public health insurance and they restrict access to care. They're in it for the money and only the money.

As opposed to home, auto and flood insurance, getting sick is a certainty... Unless you end up dead first.

Hospitals, medicine and healthcare are necessities, because of the inevitability of illness. They exist to make you well, regardless of how they get paid.

And how we pay for access to healthcare in this country is a CHOICE. A pretty bad and expensive one, to say the least.

Will we continue to choose to allow the middlemen to screen our access to care, by continuing to classify is as a privilege, or will we make it a right, as it is in the rest of Western Civilization?

Still, I'm wonder why paying private health insurance companies is "freedom". Care to answer that?

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Response to mathematic (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 09:27 PM

18. They also profit from not paying claims.

If you're healthy and don't make claims, the insurance companies are very happy.

When you do get sick and make a claim, however, then it's in the insurance company's best interest to find reasons not to pay the claim. They'll not approve a procedure, claim pre-existing conditions, whatever it takes.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:41 PM

6. Health insurance companies are parasites. We need national health care.

I guess I'm not part of the consensus.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:46 PM

8. They changed the laws to allow profit in the 70's I think

who did it, I don't remember. That is what needs to be changed but the problem is the cat is out of the bag, how do you put large corporations that make multimillions of dollars out of business?

The only way would be single payer but that won't happen because too many in the house and senate on both sides have taken money from the corps and big pharma.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:49 PM

9. yes... we live in a country that doesn't give a shit about 75% of it's citizens

and would rather wrap their arms around the ball sack of the 1%.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 06:49 PM

10. the trolls are thick as thieves

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 07:04 PM

12. When making this 'reform' the President said the Insurance Companies 'deserve to profit'

from this. He did not say why he thinks they are so entitled. If the mandate stands, we will be the first nation to mandate the purchase of for profit products without any option at all. Sure, other countries mandate the purchase of insurance, in each of those nations it is a crime to profit from those policies. A crime. And cost controls are strong.
So I agree with you that it is a question of morality and decency. The President says we are wrong.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #12)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 07:31 PM

14. He said it, because it's true.

As long as they're engaged in legal commerce, they deserve a return on their investment.

It's a small "c" capitalism observation. The question of entitlement needs to be answered by society as a whole. We must decide whether we want to continue with the current system, or should we fundamentally revise it.

I take the President's words as merely reminding us all that, while we're using this present system, we should question the extent to which we allow private insurers to remain a legitimate enterprise.

You're not going to get many presidents declaring that legit businesses don't deserve to make money... This is America after all, God-damnit.

Unfortunately, what is legit and what is moral in this country is not always mutually inclusive.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 07:05 PM

13. An excellent OP and you ask many good thought provoking questions.

Having said that I do believe "general consent of the people" is actually more in tune with wanting universal single payer coverage or Medicare for everyone, it's too many of the politicians and the corporate media misinformation propaganda machine which would have us believe otherwise.

Thanks for the thread, MrScorpio.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 08:54 PM

15. And this profit motive is the obscene fallacy at the core

of America's tragically flawed health care delivery system.

I thank the stars that I benefit from one of the best health care systems in the world (France).

The French believe firmly in social "solidaritÚ" as they call it, or in Biblical terms, the Golden Rule. They came to this wise understanding through centuries of communal, internicine blood letting.

SolidaritÚ is the philosophy underpinning their health system--far from perfect, but leagues ahead of the present US system.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 08:56 PM

16. and that's a pretty 'safe' bet, if i ever heard of one

 

it's truly disgusting the system they have set up in the home of the brave :'(

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 09:22 PM

17. We need to break the association of healthcare (insurance) and employment

it is a trap to stifle creativity and competition by forcing us to be slaves to a corporation.

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Response to MrScorpio (Original post)

Wed Mar 28, 2012, 10:41 PM

19. In America today corporate health and wealth is much more important that human life.

Corporate personhood is the important value.
Just today the conservative SCOTUS was focussed on how the health act would affect insurance corporations. That was of much higher importance to them than how it would affect American citizens.

If Americans become sick and die it's simply an unfortunate side effect of keeping our corporations strong. Too bad but not really that important.

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