Health Care Reform

 

Why you should support it, and why you should not listen to the right wing media’s misleading and outright false statements about it:

First of all:

The health care reform bill in congress DOES NOT INCLUDE a government takeover of healthcare.

The health care reform bill in congress offers a public OPTION, which is OPTIONAL, to get health insurance through a government program, much like MEDICARE.

The health care reform bill in congress does not take away ANYONE’S insurance. Once again, the public option would be OPTIONAL.

The public option is an attempt to insert some competition into the health insurance industry in an effort to bring down costs. Frankly I would prefer a single payer system, Medicare for al, for example. Even that would not be a government takeover of healthcare; it would be a takeover of health insurance. No one would go without health care and we would end up saving a lot of money in the long run.  It would be overseen by people appointed by our elected officials—it would be responsible to the people, instead of being overseen by profit-hungry corporate bureaucrats who answer to stockholders. Stockholders do not care HOW the company makes their profits, their interest is in the bottom line.

Secondly:

Who are you paying when you pay those insurance premiums? Your doctor? Of course not. You are paying a great big corporation full of numerous levels of management.  Then,  when you go to the doctor, you pay again don’t you, a copay? And the insurance company pays a pittance to the doctor.  Guess who gets a whole lot more than a pittance? Here are the most recent figures I could find regarding the compensation of CEOs of health insurance companies:

 

Ticker 

Company 

CEO Name 

Year 

Compensation ($)

AMSF

AMERISAFE, Inc.

C. Allen Bradley Jr.

2008

923,079

AET

Aetna Inc.

Ronald A. Williams

2008

18,608,778

AFL

Aflac Incorporated

Daniel P. Amos

2008

10,783,232

ACAP

American Physicians Capital, Inc.

R. Kevin Clinton

2008

1,911,179

CI

CIGNA Corporation

H. Edward Hanway

2008

12,236,740

CNC

Centene Corporation

Michael F. Neidorff

2008

4,359,365

CVH

Coventry Health Care, Inc.

Dale B. Wolf

2008

11,018,797

EIG

Employers Holdings, Inc.

Douglas D. Dirks

2008

1,962,810

HNT

Health Net, Inc.

Jay M. Gellert

2008

3,502,889

HS

HealthSpring, Inc.

Herbert A. Fritch

2008

2,408,050

HUM

Humana Inc.

Michael B. McCallister

2008

5,185,414

MOH

Molina Healthcare, Inc.

Dr. J. Mario Molina M.D.

2008

2,217,645

PFG

Principal Financial Group, Inc.

Larry D. Zimpleman

2008

6,347,488

TMK

Torchmark Corporation

Mark S. McAndrew

2008

4,710,916

GTS

Triple-S Management Corporation

Ramon M. Ruiz-Comas

2008

1,204,227

UNH

UnitedHealth Group Incorporated

Stephen J. Hemsley

2008

3,241,042

UNM

Unum Group

Thomas R. Watjen

2008

12,262,978

WCG

WellCare Health Plans, Inc.

Todd S. Farha

2007

5,671,050

WLP

WellPoint, Inc.

Angela F. Braly

2008

8,665,569

EHTH

eHealth, Inc.

Gary L. Lauer

2008

2,143,776

Oh look! One of them earned less than a million dollars in 2008. Poor fellow.  Of course there is a very good reason for these nice big compensation packages:  insurance company profits have risen astronomically over the past decade. Over 400%!

Number Three:

Health care reform is also an attempt to prevent insurance companies from dumping you as a customer if they think they can get away with it (if you start costing them something) and an attempt to prevent insurance companies from cherry picking their customers and leaving the “pre-existing” conditions for someone else to insure.

Isn’t the reason you buy health insurance to help you pay medical bills if you get sick? That would make sense. But the insurance companies spend a huge amount of your money trying to avoid paying out anything. From my experience and that of many others, health insurance DOES NOT EQUAL health care. It is instead a roadblock to health care.

___________________________________________________________________________

 

The Administration believes that comprehensive health reform should:

  • Reduce long-term growth of health care costs for businesses and government
  • Protect families from bankruptcy or debt because of health care costs
  • Guarantee choice of doctors and health plans
  • Invest in prevention and wellness
  • Improve patient safety and quality of care
  • Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
  • Maintain coverage when you change or lose your job
  • End barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions

Please visit www.HealthReform.gov to learn more about the President’s commitment to enacting comprehensive health reform this year.

 


 

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