Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Health Insurance Demagoguery

It's the bureaucracy, stupid

People hate insurance companies, but they don't really know why. The health insurance industry barely squeaks by on a 2.2% profit margin, yet they are accused of being stingy or greedy, whichever buzz word fits the moment. The Democrats demagogues are trying to get you to believe Obamacare will fix those rascally ole insurance companies. Good for them, they will say. Having worked in medical collections and being an insurance consumer myself, I've seen what they do. I'm not a big fan of them. But, I looked deeper and found out why. Ronald Reagan said any level of financial discomfort you feel in your life is proportial to the amount of government involvement. This rings true for insurance companies. It's the bureaucracy, stupid.

Insurance companies spend millions of dollars lobbying the government to pass "regulation" that benefits them or waters it down whenever it looks like the regulatory climate is becoming hostile. Even when they are able to game the system somewhat in their favor, most of these "regulations" always end up requiring insurance companies to spend exorbitant amounts of money on their legal and compliance departments. And, because the insurance industry is so deeply in bed with the government, they have become just as bureaucratic. Hence, the two hour phone call up the chain of command arguing a denial for $250.00.

If the insurance industry was actually forced to compete in the free market across state lines and without anti-trust exemptions, you could be guaranteed two things: premiums would go down and you could put the scumbags who nickle and dime you on your claims out of business by going to their competitors who would be forced by the market to provide better customer service. Why have a public option to destroy evil insurance companies when you can use something much more powerful: the free market.

You are not really totally paying for health care coverage right now. You are paying for your insurance company's lobbying costs, compliance costs and bureaucratic costs as well as your doctor's medical malpractice insurance. If there's anything left after that, they pay claims. Once they run out of money, they nickel and dime the rest of the poor suckers who think just because it says it in the policy it's actually covered.

Should the government actually empower the people to buy better insurance coverage, government would lose its control over you. You might smoke. You might become fat. Or, you might work harder at getting that rate reduction for lowering your weight or quitting smoking. Either way, the individual makes the decision and lives by the decision. You own your own death panel if you so choose and no one can vote a candidate out of office or even worse yet, vote one in because of a promise to "take care of you."

Today, when you go to the hospital, you can push the doctor or the administrator to guide you toward a treatment that will help you. Under Obamacare, if you push anyone they are going to tell you to get back in bed, we know best. Today, if your health insurance plan doesn't cover something, you can reach in your pocket and pay for it (that's why we work hard in America). Tomorrow, if the federal guidelines based on the complete life system say a treatment is not covered, it's not covered. When you try to pull the money out of your own pocket, they will either tell you the treatment's not available or make you go on the waiting list.

If the automobile industry in the 1950's was like our health care system and the price of cars was getting too high, would the government create their own "Edsel" to replace the one that was created in the free market? Chances are, if the government had taken over the automobile industry because they built crappy cars, we'd all be driving government issued Edsels today instead of understanding how that Edsel ended up in the ash heep because the free market encouraged car manufacturers to produce better cars.

Your insurance company is an average girlfriend that has flaws. Obama is telling you that if you break up with her, he'll hook you up with a hot chick. It will only be after you dump your average insurance company that you will find out that the girl Obama wants to hook you up with is actually a dog. By then it will be too late.

Read more here.

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