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Kicked In The Groin: Health Insurance Companies Are Dramatically Increasing Premiums Due To The New Health Care Law And There Is Not Much We Can Do About It

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Wasn’t the new health care reform law supposed to make health care more affordable for everyone?  Well, imagine my surprise when I opened up a letter from my health insurance company recently and found out that my health insurance premiums were going up by nearly 50 percent.  I am in perfect health and I have never had a single health insurance claim with this company.  Unfortunately, after doing a little research, I discovered that I am far from alone.  All over the United States, people are being hit with double-digit percentage increases in their health insurance premiums even as the health insurance predators continue to rake in record profits.  At a time when millions of American families are barely making it from month to month, the last thing they need is to be figuratively kicked in the groin by the health insurance companies.  But that is exactly what is happening. 

Not that health insurance companies ever needed an excuse to raise rates, but in 2010 many of them are blaming changes in health care law for the dramatic rise in premiums. 

Of course it is true that there are over a dozen new taxes on the health care industry in the “health care reform” law that Barack Obama and the Democrats rammed down the throats of the American people, and everyone should have realized that those taxes would ultimately be passed on to the consumer.

But what is also true is that the health insurance companies basically wrote large sections of the health care reform law and health insurance company stocks rose when this new law was passed.

So why is this new law so good for health insurance companies?

Well, the new health care law requires all of us to purchase health insurance from them.

We are no longer going to have the choice of opting out of their system.

We are going to be forced to buy health insurance.

And since they are all raising rates, there is no escape from the pillaging.

As the new health care bill was being debated, Obama promised that the average American family would save $2,500 in yearly premiums under the new law.

If any of you still believe that claim I have got a bridge to sell you.

The Congressional Budget office says that yearly health insurance premiums are actually going to increase by about $2,300 each year as a result of the new law, but that estimate is probably far, far too low.

The truth is that rates are already shooting through the roof.  Just consider the following excerpt from a recent article on Fox News….

Here is the terse reason CareFirst/Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Washington gave its subscribers for raising a monthly premium from $333 to $512 on a middle aged man who is healthy, is not a smoker and is not obese: “Your new rate reflects the overall rise in health care costs and we regret having to pass these additional costs on to you.”

Could you afford to pay $512 a month for health insurance just for yourself?

Unfortunately, the truth is that this is nothing new.  Many health insurance companies have been increasing health insurance premiums by double-digit percentages year after year after year even as they continue to reel in record profits.

In particular, health insurance companies seem to love to stick it to small businesses and the self-employed.

According to an article on the Mother Jones website, health insurance premiums for small employers increased 180% between 1999 and 2009.

The greed of the health insurance companies seems to know no bounds.  For example, the 39% hike that Anthem Blue Cross sent some California customers last year made headlines across the nation.  But executives defended the dramatic premium hikes as perfectly justifiable.

The reality is that health insurance is becoming so insanely expensive that millions of Americans can’t even afford it anymore.

But thanks to the new health care law they are being forced to keep shelling out their hard-earned money for it.

It is getting really hard for anyone to deny that the health care system in the United States is deeply, deeply broken.  The new health care law is not going to reduce costs.  It is only going to help the health insurance companies continue to rake in obscene profits.

But wasn’t the new health care law supposed to prevent the health insurance companies from abusing all of us?

Well, as it turns out, the new health care law does not give the federal government much regulatory power at all to prevent premium increases.

But what about the states?

Can’t they do something?

Well, yes they can, but unfortunately most state legislatures have been bought off by the health insurance industry.

Since 2003, health insurance companies have shelled out more than $42 million in state-level campaign contributions.

That is a lot of money, and they wouldn’t be spending that kind of money if they did not expect a return for it.

“The pressure that the industry can bring to bear in state legislatures is unbelievable,” J. Robert Hunter, a former insurance commissioner in the state of Texas recently told the Los Angeles Times. “They pretty much get what they want.”

The cold, hard reality is that health insurance companies are not in business to help people and provide affordable health care.  They are in business to make money and they are very good at it.

But there are a few states that have stood up to the health insurance companies.  States that have “prior approval” laws have been able to successfully fend off some of the over-the-top rate increases that health insurance companies have been trying to ram down the throats of consumers.  For example, the Los Angeles Times recently reported on what has been happening in the state of Oregon….

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon was forced to cut back a proposed 26.4% increase in one of its individual plans to 17.3%. Other carriers were ordered to scrap altogether hikes as high as 20%.

Unfortunately, a number of these states that have these “prior approval” laws are now being sued by insurance companies.

That is how these folks work – they will either try to buy off politicians or they will keep filing lawsuits until they get what they want.

Meanwhile, the top executives at the five largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States received nearly $200 million in total compensation in 2009.

Are you upset yet?

You should be.

And you know what?

When it finally comes time to actually use your health insurance, these predators will do anything they can to get out of paying up.

In fact, it has been documented that some of the largest health insurance companies actually pay their employees large bonuses for denying claims.  The employees who deny the most claims are the ones that get the largest bonuses.

The health care system in the United States is messed up beyond all recognition, and the new health care law has made things worse than ever.  Americans pay more than anyone else in the world for health care, and all that we get in return is a system that is deeply, deeply broken.

If you have a health insurance horror story of your own, please feel free to share it in the comments section below….

  • Progressive Ed

    Have patience. This is just a phase leading in the direction of the USA’s National Health Service. We can’t get there immediately, but need to demonize, then bankrupt the private health insurance companies. We are still at stage one. Keep the faith.

  • It’s time for Medicare for everyone and health care rationing by need, not by ability to pay. Medicare is the only health care insurer that has even a passing interest in controlling costs. It’s time for people to reign in the FIRE (Financd, Insurance, Real Estate) industries.

  • Gary

    single payer single payer single payer-we are the only developed country that has parasitic insurance industry. There goal is to make profit and pay their CEO’S obscene salaries. They give a rip about you or me.

    It is not conceivable that all other first world countries are wrong and we are correct in our current health care system.

    Thank you capitalism for screwing this up to.

  • Self-Employed

    I am self-employed father of 4. My Carefirst BC/BS policy is currently $1,400/mo. In 2000, this policy was $350/mo. Since 2000, I estimate coverage/benefits have declined about 30%. In the next few years, this policy will likely be $2,000/mo. My mortgage is $3,000/mo. My house has declined 30% since 2007. Since I had a 50% LTV mortgage, I have to eat the decline while my leveraged neighbor walked away from a 100% mortgage. Oh, he gets free health care.

  • MrCommonSens

    Funny, eh : in our horrible socialist countries, we do not have issues such as these. Oh, yes, sorry, we have : because, thanks to deliberate underfunding (our leaders being fascinated by the “American way”), health care in Europe is not what it used to be.
    Good night, and good luck.

  • …if EVERYONE would call up their insurance company and CANCEL their insurance….then what would they do?

  • DFC

    The health care is one of the biggest business in USA, you have only to take a look of the average expenses of a middle class family in USA

    Using the numbers of Elizabeth Warren, 50% of the bankruptcy files of american families (more than a million per year in total) are related to health care problems (expenses), and of this 50%, an astonishing 75% of families had medical insurance that do not cover the treatment costs, so, this is a huge problem

    One of the main indicators of a good live standard in modern societies is the health care coverage this society give to their people, and in this aspect USA has a lot to learn from other countries

  • EdB

    And that is why we need a public option component to health care.

  • Stan

    This article gives an excellent summary of why excluding a single payer or state funded insurance option was such a huge mistake.

  • Ray

    Health Insurance premiums have always gone up with no good reason long before there was even “Candidate Obama”. And you’re quoting fox “news”, the media wing of the republican party, proven by News Corps $1,000,000 “contribution” to the republican govenors association. Before you start, MSNBC’s parent company GE also gave $105,000 to the democrats, but matched that with 105,000 to the republicans.

    I always had great respect for this blog, shared it with many friends and customers, but if you start going down the Obama-bashing road, your credibility will sink to that of glenn beck, hannity, and the entire fox “news” circus.

    Please keep this blog intelligent.

  • RayRay,
    this liberal bashing of fox “news” is getting old and its not gonna get anyone anywhere. MSNBC is just as bad if not worse with their hippy shit and blaming corporations for everything.

    Insurance companies make a 3% profit, that is nothing. Compare that to every business i worked in… if 3% was the profit margin they would all have to close their doors. If you understood on how insurance works then maybe you wouldnt be so pissy.
    Insurance relies on a collective group of individuals to pay in a premium for their care and those funds are largly collected to pay off health insurance costs for those who are insured under said insurance and need medical coverage. So the reason why premiums have been going up is not because the insurance companys profit margin jumped from 3% to 30% its because the care of health has risen drastically. I nolonger pay $250 to take an ambulance to the hospital as it was in 2000 but $1000 as of 2010 and that depends on your area. So if you focused your energy more on why the ambulance cost has increased for example by 400% then i think you will come to the true root of the problem.

  • gw

    Sorry Ray, Obama bashing is fine with me. I was against Obama during the campaign because of what he said he would do, and now I’m against him because he’s doing all of that plus a lot worse. I hated Bush and now Obama is expanding on the abuses of that administration. “Bashing” Obama IS intelligent under the circumstances.

    Btw, the only Fox show I watch is Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano. I highly recommend it.

  • J

    It may be a valid point, but you must realize that as soon as you cite Fox News you have lost all credibly.

  • DPJ

    At the Time Obama took office, I was already struggling to pay Aetna $487.00 per month. By the time this new law had passed, I had experienced three increases totaling over 50 %, and decreased coverage – eye exams cut to name one.

    My new rate is now $ 748.00 per month, and I can’t afford to pay it – I defaulted on July 30th because I didn’t have the money and I was already on my grace period.

    There are now some with pre-existing conditions who will be able to get insurance (if they can afford it), while others who used to have health insurance are now in the camp of the have-nots.(And I’d be willing to bet that there will be many more who will be out coverage in the near future due to inability to pay).
    Mr. president, Congress critters – nice work, this Bud’s for you!

  • jc

    My, you sound a little touchy, Ray. A little bummed by your guy’s lack of ‘change’?

    Fact of the matter is, Obama and his democorps party pushed this anti-Constitutional piece of crap through. And it didn’t matter that the majority of this country didn’t want it.

    More change we can believe in…

  • Ken Johnson

    Not to be the master of the obvious, but the healthcare bill was never intended to “reduce healthcare costs” it was intended to redistribute funding for the 40 million uninsured.

    For all the “single payer” yahoos out there – who will pay for single payer? The middle class and rich? once that pool of cash runs out then who? No one – do you want the government handling claims and care? Do you want to have no choice and let them restrict care as they see fit?

    You may want all that – I don’t think you will like what you are wishing for though.

  • freddybobs68k

    We needed single payer. The democrats messed up big time.

    The Republicans argued against what we now have. And they argued most strongly against single payer. Complete idiots.

    And that leaves us in the current complete mess.

    Personally speaking I have Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in VA. Last year my insurance went up over 40%. So we changed policy, removed dental, raised deductable to bring it down. This year so far its gone up over 30% – so we’re stuck with it.

  • DPJ

    And another thing-
    I believed that the proposal during the health care debate to allow people in their 50’s to be able to buy in to Medicare was a good one – a twofer actually.

    This age group approaching retirement is the hardest to afford coverage for, and could be greatly helped by having access to not-for-profit health coverage. At the same time, since their health care overall would presumably cost less than older retiree’s over the age of 65 (and, remember – they would be BUYING in), it would seem this should STRENGTHEN Medicare, not harm it.
    But noo, Joe Lieberman didn’t like this.
    Joe doesn’t care about helping to fix problems like this – he cares about protecting the corporate insurance industry of Hartford Connecticut.

    The public option should have been about allowing younger persons of all ages to be able to buy in to Medicare – no new agency required, just build on what is already there, make it deficit neutral.

    And if someone believes their for-profit health insurance is all that great, then let them keep it.
    Let neither a public or private option be mandatory – the incentive to have insurance (as long as it’s reasonably affordable), will be the choice of either being denied treatment if it becomes needed, or the prospect of having the cost of the uninsured treatment be attached to the persons financial record for the remainder of their life until paid, cannot be discharged by bankruptcy – like a tax lien.

  • Paul

    Premiums for our small business were due to increase by more than 45% which equated to more than $100k. What makes me laugh is the nonsense that taxes would have to increase to give us real reform ( single payer). I could only wish our taxes would increase because no way would we be pillaged like the insurance companies do. A $100k is a full time employee. This was clearly unaffordable so we cut benefits, increased employee contributions and still had a 20% increase. Of course this is not an isolated year. Meanwhile, competition decreases as United Healthcare has bought out two competitors here in NJ.

    The politicians are all bought and paid for to do whatever is needed to increase profits for the health insurance industry. Meanwhile far too many people are brainwashed into thinking that we are actually the envy of the world. It isna very sad, and maddening, state of affairs.

  • Tom

    We have a cost problem in health care. When hospitals are required to treat people who cannot pay, they pass those costs on to customers who can pay–through insurance. The insurance companies pass those costs on in the form of premium hikes. Single payer will remove the current middle-man with a government middle-man funded through taxes and inflation.

    The problem is not the insurance, it’s the mandate that people can enter a hospital and expect million dollar life-saving surgery without having ever paid into the system and without any ability to pay for their care.

  • It is far too easy to blame the health care reforms as the source of these increases, but certainly the reforms do not protect individuals from unmanaged increases. This is a level of regulation that the law makers did not follow through on. In order that the reform efforts do achieve their objectives, they will need to ensure some level of cost escalation control in exchange for bringing the healthier clients to the insurance companies.

  • John

    @ Ray

    You’re right in that the blame doesn’t fall on Obama, entirely. However, hes of the same breed that ruined this country. Bought and paid for via corporate sponsors before the election was even won.

    A revolt is in order.

  • Something Wicked This Way Comes

    Sorry Ray, but I have to disagree. Obama is a big part of the problem. And I suppose, if it offends your sensibilities, in a free country…you are always able to go somewhere else. But I don’t want you to, your opinions have value.

    Don’t ever let your ego and loyalties color your judgment. Evaluate what is happening and do so with facts.

    Minority rule. See it here.

  • Baby Boomer

    Hello third world where billions of people live on three dollars a day or less.

    We are all headed for the globalist meat grinder.

    A personal story: I am 58 years old, hence the name “Baby Boomer,” and my wife, two months younger, lost her job last week. It had health insurance, for what it was worth, that is to say better than nothing.

    I work for a small company that cannot afford to provide health insurance for its employees.

    Now we are suddenly without health care, a precarious situation for a couple pushing 60.

    We shopped around for a plan, no matter the cost. But guess what? We were turned down because my wife has a couple “pre-existing conditions.” No matter we are willing (er, forced) to pay an outrageous and life savings busting premium, the bastards will not even insure us.

    Guess we will be lining up with all the poor folks in the emergency room if something happens. Ironic because I make decent money, or rather it was decent until the “recession” hit, thanks to the international bankers.

    Look, they want us dead. The elite who rule us frown upon us as cockroaches. It is their mission to turn America into a third world country.

    This is not a Democrat vs. Republican thing. Don’t let that get in the way of the truth. Obama, just like his Republican counterparts, is owned by the bankers and transnational corporations.

    My generation, the Baby Boomers, are going to be allowed to die, they will not collect a penny from the Ponzi scheme known as Social Security. As we speak, the bankers are plotting to raid the pensions. Obamacare will become Deathcare. The death panels are real. If you have a life threatening “pre-existing condition,” you are going to die, albeit with a few numbing pills to help you shuffle off this mortal coil.

    Simply put, the ruling elite have about as much use for you as they have for a campesino in Mexico, that is to say not much. Now that you, your parents and grand parents have built this great machine known as the United States, the elite no longer have any use for you. It’s called eugenics and your number has been punched.

    Did you ever see that old SF movie Soylent Green? Remember the scene where Edward G. Robinson’s character checks into a euthanasia clinic? Two lovely young matrons in white escort him to the other side. That’s the future for the Boomers. A nice and short HD panorama of soothing pastures and mighty mountain peaks and then they give you the Dr. Jack pill to ease you off the planet.

    Sorry to be so depressing. But we should have done something years ago. Most of us are not up to the task, however.

  • Not so Mad Max

    Gary there you go again, name one country where a single payer plan has worked. Haven’t you learned the only thing Government does well is War, burning though money and screwing things up and blaming somebody who had nothing to do with it.

    You have Canadians coming here for care, and you have Brits going to Turkey for elective surgery. Have you read the UK papers? Everyday there is another NHS horror story. Barry O screwed the pooch with this one health care could have been an easy fix.

    You want to know the really silver lining in this cloud with a 13 Trillion-Dollar debt and hundreds of Trillions in unfounded liabilities this country cannot afford a single payer plan, even if you stripped every person making over $250,000.00 a year of every dime they owned. Have a happy nightmare, change is coming and it’s bring hell with it.

  • Joe in JT

    Health Care premiums have gone up 50%? I couldn’t afford the premiums before the raise.

  • sharonsj

    All the crazy conservatives calling Obama a socialist–too bad he isn’t. If he was, we might have single payer health care. Instead we have so-called health insurance reform. It might have some good things, like covering adult children or stopping the insurance company from tossing you overboard, but how are most people going to pay the premiums? Why can’t the government do anything right?

  • A talk radio host from California once told his audience he had an emergency apendectamy. The proceedure cost him an amazing 120,000 dollars. Think of how rediculous that medical bill. A vetnarian could remove your appendix if he played that kids board game “Operation” once or twice as a child.

    The main problem with medical care today is nobody complains about the outragous prices doctors charge patients. As soon as a doctor cuts you with a scalpel it’s automatically 100K. The hospital itemizes everything you use right down to the bedpan.

  • Beau

    The prices are going up in super double digits in part because insurance companies have no earthly idea what this administration is going to do next.

    You can blame capitalism all you want but if this so called health insurance “reform” did not FORCE people to buy insurance they could drop these companies like a rock. Unfortunately now we have no where to go.

    All the so called “savings” we were going to get with the Obamacare will now be eaten up in premiums.

    There is still a chance things could change if the multiple law suits filed by the states find traction. The last time I check the U.S. Constitution doesn’t give the Fed’s the power to force someone to buy anything. They know this which is why the administration is called this health care plan a “tax” which the federal government has nearly limitless power to do.

    This was not the “Hope and Change” we were promised. And if you think that Europe has such a great health care system, ask them why they keep flying over here to have their operations done.

    Just food for thought…

  • Kalio

    There are a lot of things that get more expensive over time. I don’t think our main complaint should be that insurance companies are charging too much, because frankly anyone could claim that about anything that is going up. How much value do insurance companies actually create? The biggest thing they do is negotiate prices. I would be interested in hearing if you see your insurance company doing anything else for you. Comments?

  • JG

    You can opt out, sort of. You just pay a penalty which is cheaper than paying the premium. Or you can opt out like I have through relocation becoming a ex-pat and imminent future emigration from the USA.

  • Frank

    I know it may seem unthinkable, but we should have only catastrophic coverage for serious injuries and disease and pay cash for everything else. Doctors and hospitals will be forced to charge what people can actually afford to pay, and those who make poor lifestyle choices will be forced to bear the costs of their choices. Prior to the 1950’s, most people did not have health insurance. Of course, medicine was not so technologically driven, which is good for traumatic injuries but not so useful for the majority of problems people suffer, which are brought on mainly by what they eat. How many billions are spent on treating diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity which are almost always caused by diet?

  • donna

    Yeah, healthcare is a commodity like shoes. Think I will go buy me a healthy heart. Please, healthcare should NOT be for profit. Yes, our government could handle healthcare, just like medicare, for the masses. It is doing a dang fine job of it, or why would people be protesting the meddling with Medicare? Other industrialized nations can handle it, why can’t we? Could it have something to do with the HUGH profit margins of Insurance and Pharmacy, not to mention for profit hospitals. (sigh) We Americans are not so smart.

  • Gary

    tax the rich and pass single payer-problem solved.

    If I sound like a broken record that is because if we tax the rich and spread the wealth most of our issues will be fixed.

  • JL

    It’s pure greed of how the health insurance companies are raking in the dough…A poor man saved my life has heart of gold and is homeless. Never asked for anything in return. Lives in a home with no running water and saves my life from a kid who was going to kin-nap me on a gravel road. The man has no health insurance yet..goes out of his way to save my life. I state the man is next to homeless and poor he has no health insurance. Who is the real winner know? He saves my life..Recently was diagnosed with a illness. My work is going to lay me off. I then have to pay over $600.00 a month. Who can afford this type of health insurance. A poor man has hearth the rich does not help. GREEDY HEALTH CARE!

    Our system is a mess!

  • Paul B

    For all of the “progressives”. The more you try to control pricing the more you screw up the system. It is the free exchange of goods and services that gives the consumer power. Removing interstate regulations and allowing more choices gives us power. Centralizing everything to the government will do one of two things and most likely both. Reduce the quality and increase the cost.

  • SomeNortherner

    I pay $0 in health insurance

    I have full coverage and am self employed

    I have a few medical issues but have never spent anything more than a few hundred dollars on prescriptions

    my doctor will make house visits when I’m ill.

    I paid about $30,000 in taxes on $130,000 in income last year

    I live in Canada and think your system is crazy and think that its unbelievable that your insurance companies charge you more than I pay in taxes for similar coverage

  • Grumpy

    Paul B gets the day’s bonus points for the only coherent, sensible solution. All of you touting a single-payer plan are ignorant of the reality of how the quality of service is reduced under such a system – probably failed Econ 101 to boot.

    And for the other ignorant posters, the U.S. hasn’t been a capitalist country for almost a hundred years. Make an attempt to educate yourselves before parroting the party line over and over again – you people are tiresome, predictable, and boring.

  • DFC

    I live in Spain, and the public health care system have been working well from 50 years, nad now there are a stream of old people from UK to have surgery in Spain, because a lot of people are dying in their houses in UK without tratment

    Using the numbers of Elizabeth Warren, 50% of the bankruptcy files of american families (more than a million per year in total) are related to health care problems (expenses), and of this 50%, an astonishing 75% of families had medical insurance that do not cover the treatment costs, so, this is a huge problem

    I think USA needs less DoD budget and a public health care system

  • steve feid

    Can anyone tell me where to buy catastrphic HC insurance only- in the state of NY? Thx

  • Russell

    Yeah, this health care bill is so good for them that over a dozen have already announced they are either getting out of health care insurance or no longer taking new patients. The rest are waiting until the Nov elections to decide!

  • D

    Japan – We have national healthcare. Can pay in through various ways –
    through your company with them paying part of the premiums – as a self-payer based on your income year to year – or as part of some group or union. We pay 30 % co-pay I think it is – but very low as costs much lower here. We can go to any doctor we want. I can go on any given day and get seen for your average complaint – might wait a bit but in general no appointments- first come first serve. I had a stomach camera done – my cost was 35 dollars. A friend did the same in the States and it was more than a thousand. Relatives have had surgery without major waits. Not perfect by any means but much better than the states – just NEVER hear about it in the news. I believe Singapore has national health too. Just hear people going on about the UK and Canada in the American press. I have never heard of a Japanese going abroad for medical care. People do purchase additional private policies to cover the extra 30 % if hospitalized. Always an option.

  • My husband and I are considering dumping our health insurance and going with a medical sharing plan instead at the end of the year. That will cut our expenses at least in half.

  • Lurker

    The Democrats passed a large bill they did not read. We are only beginning to find out the consequences: Medicare payments to the gov will double next year. That is on top of any medi-gap plan or Medicare Advantage program you have. In 2012 we will all need to fill out 1099 forms and ID ourselves to gov for any purchase $600 or more. What does that have to do with health care? It seems to be some kind of test in advance of imposing a federal Value Added Tax. There is a whole lot more.

    We need to get rid (repeal) this legislation and start over.

  • Corinar

    ANSWER: Private Health Savings Accounts.
    – no one is forced to pay for the decisions of others.
    – instills personal and fiscal responsibility through monthly contributions to an individually maintained savings account.
    – Cuts out the predatory Health Insurance Industry/Demagogic class-warfare spewing politicians completely
    * Before FDR and the New Deal, compulsory entitlement programs did not exist in the United States. People were NOT dying in the streets.
    * The notion that individuals and families cannot take care of themselves and each other is an insult to the human spirit and is a self-perpetuating movement ending with the collapse of an economy and a society, resulting in a dictatorship.

  • Reply to JL

    That’s a touching story, we hear you. Imagine a older man working hard all his life and now has to live in a shed with no running water like Slingblade. He probably doesn’t get mustard and biscuits from time to time from his mother either.

    He saved your life on the gravel road did he? He sounds like a good person. Now that your sick your money hungry employer fired you because you were using the companies health insurance. Typical corporate jerks, with no heart. You might even have a case in court if they fired you for getting sick, see a lawyer, you might get the last laugh. Good luck

  • El Pollo de Oro

    There are many reasons why The Banana Republic of America (formerly the USA) has become a decaying Third World hellhole–globalism, NAFTA, outsourcing, a dying middle class, the merging of state and corporate power (which Mussolini himself defined as fascism), a collapsing infrastructure. But the cruelest, most inhumane and downright barbaric thing about the BRA is by far its wretched health insurance system. In 2009, Dr. Steffie Woolhandler of the Harvard Medical School gave us the unsettling results of a study on health care and bankruptcy in the BRA: 62% of all personal bankruptcies occurred because of medical expenses, and three-fourths of those bankruptcies were folks who HAD health insurance.

  • Tim

    Health insurance used to be a safety net in case of an unaffordable affliction, now its become an entitlement that people use for $10 prescriptions. Since its used for all medical care, all prices have gone way up, and why not “insurance is paying not me? who cares what it costs, what’s my co-pay?” Now add Big Gov Medicare/caid and its inefficiencies and its more reasons to raise the prices. Because there is NO downward market pressure on prices, they rise. The new Health-care monstrosity law will magnify this effect, and prices will rise much further, its inevitable.

  • Owen

    Death and taxes… sometimes they just seem to merge…

  • Middleaged dad

    That’s only the surface problems.
    Senators, reps and white house, that voted for the health reform should resign immediately so that we don’t have them screwing up the election in Nov too. Horrible legislators, everyone of them.
    Insurance plans are increasing in cost and decreasing benefits at the same time. This masks the real increase. A 20% rate increase and a 20% higher deductible equal a 40% increase. It’s much worst than just the in ceases caused by the reform law.
    Also, doctors are jumping off the sinking ship too. For example, try to get an appointment with a dematologist, that is now doing botox and tattoos, to increase income, instead of practicing real medicine full-time. During the last year, everyone in the health business is grabbing any non-regulated income they can, putting strews on everyone. Thanks Obama, you have destroyed our health system (oh, and ruined housing, autoworkers, construction, exports, and you name it).

  • maguro_01

    It’s interesting that medical insurance/for profit care and the financial sector are rapidly raising their take well over any sustainable yield. These two areas, of course, have bought their business environment in pay to play Washington and the state capitols.

    Their corporate persons have no sense of self preservation and are a powerful influence heading towards a general economic collapse. AFAIK, medical care, finance, and the spiraling US trade deficit are heading towards 30% US GDP and growing. That burden alone can prevent any recovery and leave the US uncompetitive.

    But we see that the individuals behind the corporate facades are doing very well indeed. They are not governed by Boards of Directors effectively – after all, with most trading volume in high speed computer/computer trading and with hedge funds making money whichever way a stock goes, who’s minding the store? Finance, and medical “insurance”, is about itself now; the tail is wagging the dog.

    The reason for these problems is one hanging around since the beginning. There is no Jefferson’s Wall or attempt at one in our otherwise admirable Constitution. 200 years ago the idea of the Corporate Person didn’t exist but that’s still a puzzling defect. The founding document of the US democracy contains the seed of its end.

    This paragraph describes Republican political principles:
    “His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.”

    Today’s assignment is where did that come from and who did it describe?

  • Gary

    single payer is the only way to go. Trying to fix this issue by keeping private insurance companies (who only care about profit) in the mix is like trying to polish a turd…

  • Lisa

    You people who love socalized medicine are NUTS. Certain European countries are trying to privatize more and more of the medical industry. Our prices are high because so many people DON’T pay. Suckers like us pay for them. That’s your socialized medicine idiots, and all I hear from you guys are complaints.

    If you think its expensive now, wait until it’s free.

  • Ailie

    I used to be an American. Not any more. I live in England now.

    I’ve never heard of anyone flying to the US for surgery. The NHS is just fine. I’m about to get a knee replacement and because there are likely to be complications the GP is senting my to the Royal National Orthopaedic Centre.

    The regional lung specialists diagnosed a lung condition in my husband that he caught on a visit to the US and the genius American doctors missed entirely in over 6 weeks of treatment. First visit to the UK chest clinic and they had the correct diagnosis.

    Get over yourselves. The US has become a Third-World country. That’s why I emigrated.

    Waiting times are no worse than in the US, except for services like podiatry. Then you can go private, if you choose.

  • Bad News: The Telegraph has been running articles about Britain privatizing their health care because it is bankrupting the Country. Massachusetts, the model for Obamacare, is also going broke. We found we couldn’t afford insurance either. With 3 young children, it wasn’t a good idea to drop it and I refuse to go on the State’s dole, though I was eligible.
    Good News: We discovered health sharing plans. Ours is Samaritan Ministries — where you pay a “premium” each month to a family who incurred health care bills. It’s consistent with our morality and the principle of subsidiarity. I’ve written more about it and our family’s struggles with the economy on my blog:

  • DPJ

    The post that cited a 3% profit margin for insurance companies does not include that those profits come after the bloated 20% – 25 % administrative costs, which are far higher than the approx 5% administrative costs associated with Medicare.
    For profit corporate health insurance was in a death spiral, each increase causes more people to drop out, creating the need to raise prices, causing more people to drop out…
    Now they are effectively bailed out by the mandate that goes into effect requiring everyone to purchase healt insurance… They should have been allowed to wither and die.

  • Bobber

    Allie, I’m glad you are in England and not a voter in the U.S. I wish Gary (8/21 2:48AM) would move over there, too.

  • James

    Add my name to the list of Americans who left, Bobber. If your forte is economic rape and pillage, you are certainly in the right place. The only consistency in the USA today is the growth of big brother and his chosen cohorts in private industry. The rights of the individual are a distant memory.

  • Noo doubt that Obama and Congress knew that this was going to happen – there were enough epople screaming it.

    It’s only just beginning…


  • Jason

    “Well, the new health care law requires all of us to purchase health insurance from them.
    We are no longer going to have the choice of opting out of their system. We are going to be forced to buy health insurance.”

    This is really a false dilemma that you have created for yourself.

    Sure you can opt out. You just don’t participate. You absolutely refuse to buy.

    Either freedom and liberty are really worth something and dying for or they are not. That is what you have to decide.

    If you choose to sell yourself into the slavery of a government run system, don’t moan and complain about it.

    If you choose liberty and freedom, there are consequences for that too, many of them uncomfortable. The government may seize your bank accounts, your goods, and even throw you into prison.

    Liberty and freedom begin when you learn not to be afraid of what man can do to you. When you can stop being afraid of the state, government agents will cease to be a terror to you.

  • Tim

    For Profit healthcare will bankcrupt us. We are the ONLY country that is doing this. This is a failed experiment. Eventually corps will stop paying for healthcare for employees and we will be better off. GOP wants free health care via employment. That wont work. Expenses rise every year.

  • CH

    Guys, a big reason insurance is so expensive is that government keeps requiring insurance companies to cover so many more things. If the govt passed a law requiring your car insurance company to cover oil changes, tire rotations, and new air filters every 3000 miles, do you think your premiums might go up? Secondly, what is insurance for? It’s for CATASTROPHIC occurrences, yet it’s been turned into a fund to cover routine medical care. Routine stuff should be out of pocket and insurance should cover stuff that could create a serious financial hardship. Single payer is NOT the solution, privatization and less government meddling IS. Secondly, people should be able to buy insurance across state lines – which is adding the competitive component back into the market. Single payer creates a govt monopoly with bureaucrats in control of health care. Secondly, since government resources are limited, health care will HAVE to be rationed because demand will exceed supply. This is happening in countries all around the world that have single payer.

  • Gary

    ch-private insurance industry already rations health-care. every other developed country has a variation on single payer. Is it possible we are right and everyone else is wrong? I do not think so. Single payer is the ONLY way to go.o

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