Saturday, August 1, 2009

Games Insurance Companies Play (and We Pay)

So, one line of attack against health insurance reform is the claim that small businesses will disproportionately opt to dump insurance coverage if a public option is available.

I think I might be safe in saying "duh" in light of the following information:

1. Premiums for small businesses have risen 129% in the last eight years.

2. 58% are having a hard time keeping up with the cost of health care (see above link).

3. Plans for small businesses cost more for less coverage. One common excuse for the skewed cost is higher "administrative" costs. It costs *more* to manage small groups of people than it does large groups? Huh? Anyone who has ever been a teacher can say they'd rather be in charge of a small group of students rather than large ones. Smaller groups would seem, logically, to generate less work, less paperwork, less oversight, etc.

Ohio is one instance of the effect of the cost of insurance on small businesses. 69% of small businesses in Ohio, for example, already *do not* provide health insurance for their employees.

Notice anything missing from the initial claim and the three (very) basic points listed here?

How about the health insurance companies? You know, those who are responsible for telling your doctors when and how and if to treat you based solely on their own bottom line?

99% of "employer firms" are small businesses
. I think if the insurance companies want to stay in business, they should try to keep providing coverage for those businesses instead of losing that business to the government.

And a public option would kill competition? Ummm, I think it might actually create some instead of the monopoly/craps/Russian roulette games the insurance companies are playing with peoples' lives.

*See this link for a great online tool to compare proposals side-by-side to be informed yourself.

Also, thanks to themom for the nod to my blog. I feel loved. I mean it. Really.

Random acts of kindness are what keep the world from crumbling into utter chaos. Well, at least my wee corner of it.

Happy 1st day of August (holy shyte I cannot believe it is August already...)


Dr. Jay SW August 1, 2009 at 10:28 PM  

Gotta say, I have yet to hear a decent explanation of what the downside of the insurance companies all going out of business would be...except maybe the employees losing their health insurance...

Chris August 2, 2009 at 1:45 AM  

Thanks for keeping the insurance companies in the hot seat, and health care reform on the table......

Sidhe August 2, 2009 at 11:44 AM  

It's funny how the facts really speak for themselves but the commentators on my tv, who will have you believe that they KNOW the TRUTH, rarely speak the facts.

Having a brain is a curse.

Riot Kitty August 2, 2009 at 12:24 PM  

Hey, great points, all of them. Saving them for the Republicans in my life.

Chris August 2, 2009 at 3:23 PM  

I personally feel like NOT having an employee based system, which I support, would make the Repubs happy! Anything to get those businesses going and save those guys money! Right??????? Wrong..........

themom August 2, 2009 at 3:40 PM  

Years ago I had complet health coverage, paid entirely by my employer. The family plan was $360/month. This was in the late 80's early 90's. When I left the company in 1996 - premiums were raised to $1300/family - due to our health claims. As of 2009 - the company cannot afford any employee health coverage. But our local HMO got wealthier by the minute - as their only competitor was Blue Cross/Shield. I won't even start on the annual Caribbean junkets taken by the HMO Board of Directors - and their families!!!

I'd say some oversight, similar to Wall Street will be needed in this area also.

Anonymous,  August 2, 2009 at 4:50 PM  

Great links skyewriter. Off to do some more reading.

Cosa Nostradamus August 4, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

I don't get all this fuss about healthcare. Just stop getting sick. Tell your kids and your parents, too. It's not an economically viable activity. NOW GET BACK TO WORK GODDAMMIT!

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