Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Bob Cesca: The Health Insurance You Have Now Sucks

The president likes to say, "If you like the health insurance you have now..." The problem is that much like your utter lack of financial security in a system that's been gamed by corporate criminals, the health insurance you have now... sucks.
From the early 1980s, when Reagan began the systematic deregulation of corporate America and declared war on the middle class, and lasting through and including the 2008 economic meltdown, the American economy has always been a ticking time bomb held together mostly by trickery and gambling. We were always meant to pick up the filthy mess when the meltdown occurred. And we did. Not just through the bailouts, but also through the loss of our jobs and the loss of our personal financial security, both of which helped to keep the culprits in business -- bonuses and golden parachutes included.

Likewise, the health care system is in the process of melting down, and for too many Americans it already has. And as for the rest of us who think our health insurance policies are excellent and secure are, in reality, in serious denial. Even now, we're paying more and more of our own money towards keeping this broken system afloat, and when the health care crisis kicks into high gear soon, who do you think will be obligated to pay for the greed and corruption responsible for the crisis?

Meanwhile, your premiums are being systematically jacked up until, one day, they'll extend beyond your financial means. It's only a matter of time before an injury or illness isn't covered due to, perhaps, a mistake on your application or the whim of a corporate bureaucrat. It's only a matter of time before your policy is suddenly rescinded in lieu of your insurance provider's profit margins which, by the way, have increased by upwards of 350 percent in the last decade. Your premiums, meanwhile, have more than doubled over that same ten years while middle class wages have remained flat. Reaganomics illustrated. Health care costs are destined to finish off what remains of the American middle class. Around 60 percent of all bankruptcies are due to health care debt with 78 percent of those bankruptcies filed by people with health insurance. Again, the insurance you have sucks and it's only the beginning of the bailout. We're nowhere near the high water mark.

At the very least, and at this very moment, we're all paying a 30 percent private tax to our insurance companies. This tax isn't being spent on our family's medical care and general wellness, but instead on corporate bureaucracy and profit. For the average family contributing to around half of an annual $13,000 employer-based premium, this private tax amounts to more than a thousand dollars a year (and rising) for nothing. No guarantees against rescinding our policies. No guarantees of coverage in the event of a serious illness. No guarantees that we'll be covered for a pre-existing condition. No guarantees that our rates won't be randomly jacked up for no reason. Nothing.

Even if you work for a health insurance company, your health care sucks. WellPoint is in the process of entirely stripping a "small number" of employees of their health insurance via pink slips, and the remaining employees will have to kick in more of their paycheck towards their monthly premiums (along with the obligatory 30 percent private tax, of course). It's worth mentioning that WellPoint is under investigation for coercing their employees into lobbying Congress against health care reform. Oh, and the CEO of WellPoint earned $10 million last year. Good people.
...Oh, and the Supreme Court is poised to allow corporations unlimited financial access to political campaigns -- a move that will surely exacerbate the health care crisis, among other things.

This is about as serious as it gets. The health insurance you have now sucks. And it's only going to get suckier as time wears on unless serious change happens now.
Read it all at Huffington Post

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