Health care insurance is the new heroin…without the high! It destroys our lives but we can’t live without it. We would do anything to get it—even abase ourselves—work long hours in low paying jobs, put up with sadistic bosses, lousy work conditions and limited opportunities. Kiss whomever’s ass we have to kiss to keep our jobs. All because we’re scared to death of losing our health insurance. And forget about mandated health insurance making a difference! That’s become another way to funnel more of America’s dwindling take home pay and taxpayer dollars into the coffers of an industry that benefits immensely from our inflamed fears and addicted behavior.
When I see one of those convenience store robberies caught on closed-circuit TV, I often wonder if the thief went out that day to steal money or fund his monthly insurance premium?
Face it folks, we have to kill health insurance before it kills us. Before it becomes the only criteria for choosing a job, the only reason for staying with a job you hate, and the one thing that keeps poor and middle class families from getting decent affordable health care.
If we can’t afford health care, that’s because health insurance has made medical care too damn expensive. For decades it has stood between us and the medical care we need, shielding the actual cost of medical services and care: the cost of machines purchased or hospital beds utilized or CEO’s over-compensated. Would any of us choose a medical provider that spent like a drunken sailor on everything—executive salaries, equipment, buildings, personnel? In a free market economy we’d seek out the smarter, more efficient, better-run provider. But with the insurance company giving cover to even the most poorly run providers, we’re all forced to pay high set-fees for our care, no matter who provides it or how bad a business they run. Could hospitals afford excessively expensive equipment, bloated executive salaries, inefficient staff or poorly run facilities if it weren’t for the willingness of insurance companies to pass the cost on to its customers?
Ask yourself this:
Aside from their facility for managing paperwork, what skill or service offered by insurance companies would we miss if they were to magically disappear from the health care landscape?
Consider that my mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s was recently sent home from the hospital in an ambulance. The cost of her ambulance ride was $800. Think about that: $800 to take her from Wellesley to Needham, a distance no further than 15 miles—14.6 miles to be exact! For $800 they should have at least included an in-flight meal, cocktails and a massage.
How could an ambulance service stay in business charging individuals $800 a whack to go 15 miles? Truth is, they couldn’t. But when they charge $800 to the insurance company, consumers delude themselves into believing they’re riding “for free”, never realizing “we”, all of us, every fool in the bleaches, will pay for every $800 trip that ambulance makes. We’re all complicit in the system. Hey, we’d have to be. It’s the only system we’ve ever known. We’re so close to it we never noticed how it slowly, incrementally transformed itself from helpful, friendly service provider to an angry tiger whose tail we are all tenaciously clinging to—afraid to let go, terrified of holding on.
Well, it’s time to let go!
The insurance company is like a vestigal organ that has grown corrupt and dangerous as the body aged. The only sound medical solution is to cut it out!
Once upon a time, the insurance industry was a benevolent partner in its mission to make health care accessible and affordable.Today, unfortunately it has become an obstacle, blocking us off from that very same accessible and affordable health care. As employee benefits shrink, and unemployment rises, we—the masses—will get increasingly shut off or priced out from the medical care we need. Unless we direct the government to do its job and ensure quality health care as the right of every citizen. Just the way it does with elders through Medicare, or Congressional politicians through their special VIP health care program.
Think what we could do if we freed up all the money that now goes to insurance companies. How many more jobs we could create! How many lives we would improve! How many unhappy employees we would empower to leave their crummy jobs!
If we want to reform health care, we must first reform or kill off health care insurance. Till we do we’ll be trapped in the vicelike grip of the insurance companies, continuing to pay $800 for a very short ride to the poor house.