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Solutions For The Healthcare Crisis

Medical Insurance 20080111s

One of the solutions being bandied about to counter the healthcare crises impacting America is the single payer solution. When I think of a single payer health plan I am reminded of my experience here with the single provider of electricity. Ameren UE denied me service because my last name matched the last name of somebody who stayed in my apartment previously and stiffed the sole electricity provider in the area. Despite the fact that I presented my out of state identification that should have proven beyond a doubt that I was new to the area and that I didn’t know the previous tenant, the representatives I spoke to, the clerk, supervisor, and the manager, were obstinate that I pay the previous tenant’s outstanding balance. They hung up on me in the middle of me pleading my case. It wasn’t until I called the Governor’s office that I got the situation resolved. I honestly believe that if Ameren had competition in the area their customer service would not have been so shitty.

So now some political candidates want to offer a single payer solution for the healthcare crisis. Maybe my understanding of the whole healthcare issue just isn’t deep enough because I’m still trying to figure out how this is going to help those people who don’t have health insurance. Whether it is a plethora of for profit insurance providers or if it is just one what will be the difference other than the fact that now somebody has a government sanctioned monopoly on making money by minimizing expenses and maximizing income. That still spells a recipe for denying medical service as much as possible in order to boost profits. And when there’s just a single provider making the profit, the customer service is bound to follow the Ameren UE model.

Another solution being talked about for combating the healthcare crisis are tax credits designed to help consumers pay their insurance premiums. I guess the theory here is that if you give people a break on their taxes that money will automatically take care of people’s health insurance expenses. A two thousand dollar tax credit for the year isn’t going to cover the fourteen thousand dollar health insurance expense for coverage on a family of four. However, this solution does nothing to change the conditions of the unemployed or the low income earners enough coverage. And even if I did get a fourteen thousand dollar tax credit the American public will continue to work with a for profit healthcare system bent on maximizing income and minimizing expenses.

These two solutions that are nothing but bandages for a problem that requires extensive surgery mirrors the extent of the medical treatment some people get authorization for from their insurance providers for their life threatening conditions. The root of the problem is that somebody wants to maximize their profit by minimizing the level of care offered. Medical treatments can be expensive and can eat away at profits. Why pay for somebody’s chemo therapy when there are investors in the company looking for profit, executives looking for bonuses, and employees looking for raises? It is cheaper to let people die, let their families that are capable take the company to court, throw a gaggle of lawyers into the ring to fight an immoral legal battle, and then settle for an undisclosed sum of cash and no admission of guilt when the crack legal team can’t make the lawsuit problem go away.

It would be reasonable to assume that the best way to handle the distribution of healthcare is to remove the profit associated with denying care from the equation. When the decision to provide healthcare is managed by the company that can make more money by offering the least amount of care possible you have a system with a contradictory agenda. The goal of the company is not to give the highest quality of medical care possible to its clients. Anybody who operates in this environment and with a straight face says that they care about your health and want to give you the best healthcare possible is a liar. What the majority of these people want is to get paid fat checks that are only possible if they provide you with the least medical assistance that they can legally get away with. When your claim goes to your provider it doesn’t just go before someone to assure that you are getting the best care. Your claim goes before a series of investigators to find a glimmer of a discrepancy that will give them cause for rejection.

If we want to end the healthcare crisis we must do away with a system that makes it more profitable for any healthcare insurance company to deny coverage, whether it be the broad number of companies in operation today or the single provider. People shouldn’t be able to make money off of other people who have paid their premiums and are in need of help. We see the people who run these insurance companies make salaries and bonuses that would make an oil company executive’s eyes bulge like Erkel. We see the marketing campaign that has been successfully implemented to make us think that socialized medicine is some form of evil filled with government bureaucracy and inefficient management. But how could it get any worse than the bureaucracy and inefficient healthcare management that we suffer now?

We have been bamboozled to believe that universal healthcare will bankrupt the country. Taking the potential for billions of dollars of profit out of the healthcare industry is supposedly going to cost us more in the long run. And people buy this argument simply because it sounds bad when someone on television says it with a sneer. However, until the day somebody can show me how a system where there is no incentive to deny me medical care for the sake of profit is actually worse than a system designed to make it profitable for others to deny me coverage, I’ll hold out for the former. A single payer plan or a tax credit plan will only provide the insurance industry with more money for their potential profits to get even bigger.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008 Posted by | Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Life, Michael Moore, SCHIP, Universal Healthcare | 15 Comments