Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Basic Principles

Hi, everyone.

My name is Nick, and I've been reading about health care reform pretty intensely over the last couple of months. I care about it because many of my friends have been uninsured for periods ranging from weeks to years. For reasons that will hopefully become very clear, I believe America and Americans need a public option for health care, and I don't intend to be particularly considerate of opposing views. In situations concerning abortion, drug arrests, euthanasia, welfare, or HUD, liberals and conservatives have real and reasonable differences. Where national health care is concerned, though, the United States is the ONLY developed nation that doesn't guarantee its citizens access to basic health care. At the same time, though, there are estimates (like this from Bloomberg) that the US will spend 20% of its GDP on health care by the year 2018.

Why? From my reading -- and I'm no expert -- I think there is one reason we are in this crisis.

The reason is that insurance companies have complete control over who gets care and who is paid for receiving care. Insurance companies have monetized and profitized our very lives -- if you need a kidney transplant, you have to call a bureaucrat at the home office and convince him that it's going to save the corporation some money. If you have leukemia -- and I'm sorry for using strong language -- go fuck yourself. No private insurance company will cover you -- you have to apply for Medicaid.

Insurance companies, some of the most profitable companies in America, make money when they insure the healthy, and lose money when they insure people who need significant amounts of health care. In this situation, they have chosen to ensure mainly the young and healthy, and have put great energy into denying the insurance claims of the sick. It's good business -- why would you insure a person you knew would get ill, and cost you money? Why wouldn't you try to reject them from your corporate program?

But we all get ill. We all need health care. Healthy twenty-year olds turn into very sick eighty-year olds. The most profitable attitude for an insurance company is to insure the twenty year old and reject the eighty-year old. Insurance companies have a lot of methods and justifications for doing this -- they are all unfair, and many are illegal. My blog hopes to shed some light on regular people's stories, and show why insurance companies are bad managers of our nation's health and well-being.

Anyway, I've talked too long. I hope you learn something from my blog, and I hope it makes you willing to talk to your senator and your representative. We can pass significant health care reform -- we have a President who wants it, and a Congress that generally prefers a public option. All we need is the strength of American citizens, demanding that ALL OF US deserve medical care.

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