THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Health Insurance For Dummies!

My employer, a charity, just received a 10% increase in our Blue Shield group health plan -- a standard Preferred Provider Plan with a $500 deductible for outpatient care and for prescription drugs. Care is expensive in Los Angeles and many physicians have dropped health insurance billing altogether -- which means we pay whatever their fee is and submit the bills to Blue Shield -- which regularly rejects them to delay payment of refuses payment or pays a fraction of our actual out of pocket bill.

 

Our family of 3 costs my employer $2900 per month or $34,800 per year with the new increase and we are regularly out of pocket over $10,000/yr for what Blue Shield won't pay for or which they only pay a fraction of.

 

The Republicans and scared Democrats in Congress are whining about the new health care bill potentially raising our taxes and forcing health insurers to raise premiums to cover all those uninsured masses who would now be able to obtain some modest level of health coverage.

 

I would RATHER PAY thousands more in taxes for an outright government health insurance plan (NOT government doctors, just a simple plastic govt issued insurance i.d. card with negotiated, reasonable rates) like they have in France, the UK, Canada and most other industrial nations than to get SCREWED like Americans are now by private for-profit health insurance companies.

 

The fact that half the American public does NOT UNDERSTAND how screwed they have been means they are either totally unsophisticated or easily led like lambs by venal private profiteers and politicians.  The estimated cost of the very inadequate Senate and House blls which just passed is equivalent to just 13% of our annual defense budget. A full-on national health plan might cost as much as our national defense but SAVE us the massive insurance premiums we are now paying. One health insurer off-sets the many others and vastly simplifies the system -- think Medicare For All with negotiated rates for health providers. The cry-babies in insurance will still be able to sell policies filling the inevitable gaps in coverage like they now do to seniors.

If the current legislation fails to curb costs or vastly increase access to care, it should be scrapped and a full on national, or even state by state, health care plan substituted in its place. Give them 3-5 years and do a serious analysis of whether the current bills have worked. They won't.