Posts Tagged ‘health care TV ad’
I thought I understood why insurance companies were the main threats to a “public option.” It’s easy. Their overhead—exec salaries, advertising, political lobbying, etc.—averages 31%. Medicare’s overhead is 1%. No duh they don’t want to compete.
Today, I found out there’s another reason: they mostly don’t even compete against each other. Consumers in 94% of America’s insurance markets buy their health insurance from near-monopolies that dominate their region. The Bigs don’t want to avoid public competition, they want to avoid any competition.
And what happens when profit-makers don’t have to compete? You know what.
Premiums have risen 87% over the last six years, while profits at the ten Bigs rose 428%. Wait a minute: If your insurer’s profit is up 400%, why are your premiums rising so fast?
So, on with the debate: Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), speaking on Fox News, defended the insurance company position, saying a public option would “destroy the marketplace for health care.”
But TPM today covered a report by Health Care for America Now, saying:
And maybe that’s why millions of your excess insurance premium dollars are being spent on defeating a public option, rather than on reducing your premium.
Related articles by Zemanta
- What’s a public health plan anyway? (money.cnn.com)
- NY Times/CBS News Poll: Wide Support For Government-Run Option Competing With Private Insurers (huffingtonpost.com)
- Why the Critics of a Public Option for Health Care Are Wrong (tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com)
- No Country for Old Men (thehealthcareblog.com)
- Antitrust Laws a Hurdle to Health Care Overhaul (nytimes.com)
- Study: Americans Struggle To Pay For Health Care, With 40 Percent Delaying Treatments Or Services (huffingtonpost.com)
It appears that a group called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights has begun running healthcare ads designed to knock down changes in healthcare insurance before they can stand.
Lots more good details may be found at the link.
The health insurance industry is a marvel of cynical ingenuity: it keeps itself profitable by insuring people who are healthy (whose claims, on average, will not exceed their payments), and terminating people when they become too sick to be profitable (i.e., when those people most need health insurance).
The industry – having become fabulously wealthy by offering insurance to selected clients, while posing as a helper to Americans generally – has a great deal to lose from an honest public discussion. Expect more alarmist hokum.