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Monday, July 13, 2009

Heath Insurance Industry Adopts Big Tobacco Tactics

Not very many people will deny the health care system in this country is broken and in need of a huge fix. The interesting part of all this is the big health insurance companies know they are going to lose this battle but they want to lose it as slow as they can. Their scare tactic ads on TV and other media have the same flavor as the big tobacco ads of the past.

What we have going on right now is called the "CHARM OFFENSIVE". Big health care is using all the scare tactics they can muster against single payer health care as the end of the line for health care in this country. They are painting the picture of the road to health care ruin. Seventy-five percent of people in this country are fed up with the status quo if you belive the polls. Big Insurance wants to turn the tide on this thinking by us little people. They have promised to clean up their collective act if we will simply back off on our demands for affordable health care.

Right now health insurance companies look for ways to deny coverage, limit payments to doctors and hospitals and raise the amounts we all pay for health care. Today "BIG HEALTH CARE" spends about 20-22% on administrative overhead out of every dollar we spend on insurance. Translation is this is profit to wall street stock holders. Health insurance stock is widely held by hedge funds and they want nothing to happen to big fat profits in this segment of the health care delivery system.

Millions of dollars are being spent to weaken the resolve of congress to fix the health care system in this country. We do not have the best health care in the world but we pay more than any other developed country for our health care. BIG HEALTH is looking at the 50 million or so people without insurance as a new flow of cash from the federal government to bolster their coffers. More of our taxes will go directly to "free enterprise" to provide subsidized health care to the poor who can't afford health insurance. They do not want to have a single payer system and scream socialized medicine at every opportunity.

We have more uninsured people in this country than the total population of Canada! The movie SICKO shook the BIG HEALTH insurance guys to their core. Now we have the "charm offensive" coming at us from all directions and at congress. It will be interesting to see how all this goes thorough the rinse cycle known as the Congress and Senate of the United States.

One in every six dollars of our GDP are spent on health care in this country and that simply can't continue or we will be bankrupt. A spokesman from one of the BIG HEALTH companies spoke at a local service club about a year ago complaining about health care costs rising at the rate of 12% a year.

Medical problems caused 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. in 2007, according to a study by Harvard researchers. And in a finding that surprised even the researchers, 78% of those filers had medical insurance at the start of their illnesses, including 60.3% who had private coverage, not Medicare or Medicaid.

The system is broken and BIG HEALTH is part of the problem. Another part of the problem is we are all now living too long. The notion we can make it better no matter what age we are has got to have some kind of review. At some point in life hospice care makes more sense than medical heroics.

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