Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Healthcare Reform: There’s already someone coming between you and your doctor, Private Health Insurance

I posted this in response to a comment on the Lynchburg News Advance story about the Healthcare Reform event held this past Sunday at the Unitarian Church in downtown Lynchburg. There are some edits and revisions:

Job well done by Don Manning and the Social Justice Committee at the Lynchburg Unitarian Church this past Sunday. This is exactly the type of grassroots effort that needs to happen with Healthcare Reform. There are a lot of opinions about what real healthcare reform looks like and who should be paying for it. Whether it’s single-payer or the status quo, better than 60% of the public wants wholesale change and a better healthcare product.

I’ve heard lots of reasons for not doing anything. Tops among them are that most people CHOOSE not to have health insurance even if it’s affordable. So, why should we change a system that most people choose not to use even if they can afford to pay for health insurance? That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard and a statement that is used over and over again that has zero basis in any fact. The fact is that the people that fall into this category of “choosing not to have health insurance” fall into the “crack” of making too much money for Medicaid and not enough to pay for a basic health insurance plan that is out of reach for millions.

And then there’s the ones that can afford health insurance but the health insurance companies won’t cover because of a “pre-existing condition. “ These two groupings of uninsured Americans that I just described make up nearly all of the 47 million that are uninsured. A respondent on the comment section of the story expresses one of the last of the major reasons for doing nothing to change our healthcare system. Not wanting a government bureaucrat coming between patients and doctors.

For those that keep beating this dead horse here’s a News Flash… It is already happening and has been since the last time we tried to get healthcare reform back in 1992-93. That bureaucrat that you fear so much is the Health Insurance Industry, and they don’t work for the big, bad Federal Government. The mis-places faith in their benevolence that they will take care of us because they have a “profit motive” to do a good job has been proven time and time again that they serve their shareholders and not the people they insure. Their goal is to provide the least amount of healthcare coverage for the maximum amount of profit. If they actually worked the way as described, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion and need for wholesale healthcare reform.

The Healthcare Reform that millions want and are working for right now can be a totally innovative American solution. Why do the Privatized Insurance Lobby and supportive Congressional members keep on referring to the Healthcare Systems of Canada and Great Britain and not looking at nations that have figured it out like France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Japan, Italy, China, and Korea? It’s because if the general public actually saw that there was a better system out there, they would have to start providing better coverage. By trying to scare people it helps them ensure they continue making huge profits by only insuring the least likely to use their insurance. Why do you want to offer health insurance to someone who actually needs it and will use it regularly? You can’t make money like that.

The countries that I have just listed have different forms of national healthcare that range from true socialized healthcare to a mix of privatized and public options. And, they all work. Canada and Great Britain know they have to fix their systems, but they can’t be the reason why we continue to do nothing. Stop talking about why we can’t and start talking about solutions that lower costs and don’t exclude people based on pre-existing conditions.

Good job on the forum Don Manning. Keep up the good work!

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