Thursday, July 16, 2009

Medical (Insurance) Malpractice

I have gotten pretty tired of watching that Republican numb-skull Senator John Boehner yammer the party Mind-Speak in opposition to any type of medical insurance reform in this country. I was pretty much ambivalent regarding the increasing cost of health care until a recent incident with Regents Blue Cross Blue Shield pushed me over the edge.

To back up a bit – My wife and I are responsible for paying for our own group coverage through our retirement. Clearly, the health insurance industry as a whole needs to get an an eye exam; they seem to be rather blind regarding recognizing the parallels between what happened to the Housing Bubble and the ever expanding Medical Insurance Bubble.

Let me bring it more in focus with a very personal example -- Our own personal medical insurance premium costs:
  • 2009 1,122.11 13.7% increase
  • 2008 987.98 10.4% increase
  • 2007 894.65
The annual percentage increase rate for medial insurance premiums is roughly what it was for the housing market. We all KNOW what happened when the housing bubble burst. As it stands now, just our medical insurance monthly premiums (not the additional co-pay and uncovered expenses), consumes 36% of our GROSS joint retirement income. And this is for coverage that covers less and less every year – I am paying a higher share of my co-pay for office visits as well as paying more for the insurance itself.
I pay more each year to get less coverage.
Do the CEO’s of Regents and other medical insurance companies really think this trend is sustainable? They’re not stupid –
they are only looking out for their self-interest. They will unfurl their Golden Parachutes and bail when this bubble pops.

Recently Regents notified me that I can no longer take Lipitor to lower my cholesterol. I switched to the generic alternative which caused me to experience… uh, well symptoms akin to having eaten a Tijuana Taco. My request to go back to Lipitor (which had worked well for me for a decade) was refused. The ONLY reason Regents wants me to switch to the generic is to save THEM money! In turn they will charge me MORE in premiums and cover LESS of my visits and procedures.

In the mean time I watch Republican Senator John Boehner (yes, I will pronounce it “boner”) asking at a press conference “do Americans really want Washington-Run Medical?” YES, John – we do! We want the same Washington Run medical care that YOU get.

I am now personally motivated to do whatever I can to completely disassemble the current private medical care system in this country.


Rachel said...



I personally think that the first step this country needs to take towards health care reform is to require that all health care providers and insurance companies become non-profit entities. That would allow them to maintain private autonomy and a low tax burden, but they would not be allowed to profit from the illnesses or health of consumers. This would also control wages and costs.

BUT! SOSHALIZM IS EVUL! Not likely to happen in THIS country.

Robert the Skeptic said...

Great idea; except how does some rich fat balding white-guy CEO make his multi-million dollar bonus. Answer me that??

rachel said...

LOL--thats the thing, he CANT! He wont be allowed to. Which is why all them fatcats on Capitol Hill, with their ties to corporate health services/care, wont let such a COMMIE idea become policy.

True health reform will never pass in this country so long as fear of socialism continues to flourish.

Mary Witzl said...

Here in the U.K., people are always knocking the National Health Service. They have no idea what Americans suffer, lacking the equivalent. The NHS has its problems, but any American resident here will tell you it is a HUGE improvement on the American system. You can get decent health care here no matter who you are or what you earn, and we would do well to come up with something similar. If we can do Medicare, why can't we extend it to cover everyone?

Robert the Skeptic said...

While vacationing in Cancun' I met a Brit who was complaining about their health care system. Had to wait to see a specialist, etc.

I called yesterday to get an appointment with my primary Dr. to change my statin (at my insurance company's demand). My appointment is a month out; another two months if I want to see a gastroenterologists.

BTW, I asked the Brit back then how many of his countryman had to declare bankruptcy due to huge medical bills. He just stared blankly at me.