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Do health insurance companies actually serve any useful purpose?

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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:47 PM
Original message
Do health insurance companies actually serve any useful purpose?
Seems to me that all they do is rake in premiums and deny care, and that's it. Other civilized countries think this is ridiculous and don't allow it, and their systems actually work. Thats right, they work. So why are so many in this country still so bamboozled by the right on this issue? :banghead:
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
1. No. nt
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. No. In economic terms they are engaged in 'rent extraction'.
They do not add value, they create bottlenecks and extract money for access that they control.
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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Isn't that it better called extortion?
While I worked for a health insurance company, I don't know how many people I had tell me that their premiums were higher than their mortgage payments.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Yes it is a form of extortion.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. The non profit ones handled the bureaucracy it took to pay claims
that were submitted by hospitals and doctors. They did that reasonably well, although even they were leery of insuring the old and sick.

The for profit insurance companies work about as well unless a subscriber gets very sick. They're fine for coughs and colds and immunizations, but they've been reneging on their original purpose, that of protecting subscribers from catastrophic loss.

They've failed in their mission, in other words, and that's why government has to step in now.

Too many people are being hurt.
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Brigid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Actually, they are succeeding in their mission.
If they are for-profit, their business is making money, not providing access to health care. And therein lies the problem. :(
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:23 PM
Response to Original message
7. NONE! n/t
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grilled onions Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. Yes, As A Bad Example
They show what happens when money,charts and promotions are geared to ignore those who pay like clockwork and just when they need that lifeline someone looking at charts decides it's time to cut their loses and off the roles you go. It shows when greed is more powerful then common decency everyone loses.
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Joe the Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
9. Yes they do....
They serve the purpose of killing meaningful health care reform in this country that is loooooong overdue. They serve the purpose of enriching the few at the expense of the many. They serve the purpose of denying care to those who need it ect.

Basically they serve the same purpose most republicans serve which is to screw over your average American to further enrich those at the top.
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WeCanWorkItOut Donating Member (182 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
10. We have many abusive insurance companies now, but ---
In the seventies, the non-profit insurers were too weak.
Dominated by doctors, they gave the doctors and hospitals
most of what they wanted. The result was major inflation,
bad for other social services, wages, etc.

And then there's the problem that doctors
can get overly enthusiastic, biasing the patient
in the direction of high cost surgery, for instance.

There's also the problem of waste, fraud, and abuse.
Medicare tolerates far more of that than private insurers do.

So it's good to have some oversight of doctors and hospitals.
Group practice doesn't guarantee this.

That said, the current insurance situation is intolerable.
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