Wed 17 Feb, 2010 10:17 pm
I posted a question a while ago asking why we need insurance companies. I ask people this question all the time and I'm still waiting for an answer.
I asked my dad what would happen if suddenly there were no insurance companies. He looked at me and said, "Well for one, I wouldn't have any insurance." I told him that he would, he would still have his medicare. Honestly outside of just being another group with their hand out, what do they contribute?
Anthem Blue cross in California just sent notices to its customers that they were raising their rates 39%. When asked why they claimed it was because of the rising cost of health care. Anthem Blue Cross's parent company, WellPoint Inc. earned a record 2.7 billion in profits for the last quarter of 2009. Where are these profits coming from? Five of the nations largest insurance carriers had a combined 12.2 billion in profits in 2009.
Currently, the U.S. pays almost twice what most other industrialized countries pay for healthcare.
National health insurance would drastically cut administrative costs by eliminating the role of competing private health insurance companies. Instead, insurance would be provided from one source only: the federal government. Private insurance company bureaucracy and related administrative waste eats up 31% of the total cost of healthcare in the U.S., according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
We have a national program for seniors, medicare, and it works. That program can be extended to all under single payer health care bill HR676. Existing public sources already cover 60% of the cost of healthcare in the U.S. (Medicare, Medicaid, VA, state programs,etc.)
People would be able to consistently receive basic care that we know leads to better health results"prevention, regular treatment for common conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, etc. When people end up in the emergency room with illnesses that should have been caught at a much earlier stage, it costs all of us MORE money.
Insurance companies distribute risk in a way that is hard to do without them. The alternative to some kind of distribution of risk (it can certainly be structured differently to address your concerns) would be for each person to save as much as the greatest risk they could face.
Thing is, some risks are so rare and so large that saving for them would take up all our money. Through pooling these savings we all get to lower the amount we each individually need to save in order to cover such catastrophic losses.
Our economic can not function in instability. It must have the assurance that when calamity strikes those who owe will pay up. also, it is much more stable for families and businesses to pay a little as they go to someone who will pay their bills if calamity strikes, better that then to pay nothing for a long time but to get hit with a huge one time bill.
Sorry, I guess I should have asked why do we need "private " insurance companies. What can we get from private insurance companies that we cannot get from a national single payer healthcare plan? I would think most everyone would want to be insured against unforseen health problems.
you dont, it is a preference having to do with who do you trust more to do it right at a low overhead cost. Right I assume means to pay for the care that you need, without going nuts and costing the system with a lot of care that you dont need.