Thursday, June 04, 2009

Private health insurance is a scam

Medical bills cause over 60% of U.S. personal bankruptcies, researchers found. And more than 75% of these people had health insurance.

What this means is that the promise of health insurance -- that if you get sick, the health insurance company will pay for your medical expenses -- is a scam. A fraud. A lie. The insurance companies will pay your medical expenses only if they see future profit from doing so. If the expenses are high enough that they see no way to recoup the expenses from your future insurance payments, they'll defraud you as surely as a cat chases a string. It's just the nature of a for-profit entity, it lacks any morality -- BY LAW -- other than maximizing the amount of money it can make. If they can make more money by depriving you of the insurance that you paid for than they could make the other way around, they will do so. Of course, you can sue them. Your survivors might win the lawsuit -- years after you're dead. But that isn't likely to help you any since when you're dead you're well, dead, and your survivors will likely have to declare bankruptcy when the doctors and hospitals come after your family for the care you did receive (but that the insurance company refused to pay for).

This, in the end, is why Obama's "Public Option" is ridiculous and unsustainable. His public health insurance company will actually provide the care you pay for, which means its rates will have to be higher than the scam insurance companies that don't actually provide the care you pay for. And the notion that the "Public Option" will somehow provide a "choice" to the general public is ridiculous. The general public doesn't buy health insurance. Businesses do. And the health insurance that businesses buy is the cheapest they can find. Which is why every single for-profit health insurance company in America today is a scam -- businesses simply won't pay higher rates to purchase non-scam health insurance for their employees. So this "Public Option" will turn into a dumping ground for businesses and individuals that the insurance companies don't want to insure, and will slowly fade away and then be used to forever discredit the notion of government-run insurance -- even though its sole problem was providing the contracted-for health insurance, unlike the scammers and liars who run private health insurers.

My point: There cannot be a "public option" as long as there are for-profit insurance companies. Profiting by killing (too expensive) people is simply too lucrative a business for an honest public option to compete. At the very least for the "public option" to work, all insurance companies must be required to be non-profit so that they do not have an incentive to arbitrarily deny service and kill people. This was once the case in most states -- for-profit health insurance was actually illegal in most states before the 1970's when That Bastard Nixon overrode state laws with federal law. But anyhow, given that the for-profits are NOT going to voluntarily go back to being non-profit mutual companies without being forcibly regulated out of business, we might as well just go straight to singlepayer -- Medicare For All -- and be done with it. At least Medicare isn't a scam...

-- Badtux the Healthcare Penguin

Update June 6: Paul Krugman's healthcare rules: 1) Don't trust the insurance companies. 2) Don't trust the insurance companies. Indeed. Though I don't agree with his notion that the "public option" will work, see above.


  1. of course it is.... all private insurance is. remember its roots? Mafioso "protection"


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