Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Response to a friend on insurance companies

    As far as insurance companies go, I don’t believe they are evil. Their behavior is obviously in their own interest, not that of the patient. I don’t go without auto, life or homeowners insurance. I don’t know if any laws changed or when, but the way insurance companies have become able to collect and distill claims data to determine where the profit and loss is in detail, they have been doing whatever they can to drop high risk policyholders and attract low-risk policy holders. If people have an opinion that insurance companies are evil, they brought it on themselves.
    Health insurance, in today’s market is clearly taking more and costing taxpayers and business much more than we can afford or should have to pay. There are just too many sources of fact to support that opinion to ignore. The number of clerical personnel required my providers to deal with insurance companies has become way out of hand. The only way to cut that cost is to eliminate the dozens of companies that providers need to deal with. Single Payer would be more far more efficient.
    I’m sure companies try to do the ‘right’ thing in most cases. The problem is that under the current system, the right thing is out of date! We cannot compete with other countries with our skyrocketing health care costs because we are the only industrialized nation that doesn’t have some sort of national health care plan. We actually have each kind of plan imaginable. The VA is like England’s plan. Medicare is like Canada. We have ‘medigap’ policies for what Medicare won’t cover. We have employer provided insurance with growing contributions required of employees that make it unaffordable. We have high deductible plans that can still leave a person broke if they have a major accident or illness. Overall, the U.S. spends more than twice than any other nation and our results are not as good.
    Your philosophy of people needing to be responsible for their own decisions is based on the false premise that everyone has the same level intelligence with which to digest the myriad choices available in an increasingly complex world. People, in fact, have a broad range of abilities and are unable to make the correct decisions for their best welfare. I’m not saying we should make decisions for everyone, but as Christians, Jesus counts on us to help and protect those who are vulnerable in today’s society. There are clever swindlers that even you could possibly fall prey to under the right circumstances. Just ask the former clients of Bernie Madoff.

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