I’ve noticed lately that people are coming out and demonizing insurance companies. Oh, I’m sorry “Big Insurance”. Because today, the best way to make something sound bad is to call it big, except big government, because we all know what a good job they do for us. But I digress…
Insurance companies are called horrible because they try to make a profit at the expense of their customers. The idea, I’m quite certain, is for us to all starting hating our insurance companies so that we’ll support the public option, which everyone knows is a step to a single payer system (if you argue with that, you aren’t paying attention. Obama and several ranking democrats have all said that their goal is single payer, and this is a stepping stone to it. I have respect for those who at least believe in that option and don’t hide it, but Obama has gone against his own words and refuses to admit what he said just a few years ago.) There I go digressing again…
Yes, we’ve all heard the horror stories about people who can’t get insurance. I have a brother who called me a few weeks ago saying he and his doctor thinks he has lung cancer, but can’t afford to get a biopsy and find out. My heart breaks, and I immediately scan my thoughts about heath insurance, health care reform and public options.
I’m against most of the health care “reform” that has been proposed. I don’t think it would save my brother. I am most definitely in favor of reform though. There are a lot of ways to do this. Demonizing the companies that provide 90% of the covered with care, however, is not the way to do it. Is there corruption? Probably. Is it wide-spread… probably not. What makes sense is to root out the problems, find ways to allow insurance companies to be able to cover more people and still make a profit (profit is *NOT* bad). In short, get the government out of the way where we can, and get them involved in the areas where they must.
That, of course, won’t close *all* the gaps in health insurance coverage. People like my brother, who haven’t held much of a regular job, let alone one that would provide health care, are still going to be left out in the cold. For these people we do need some sort of “public” option. Extending Medicare would be one possibility, and I’ve heard several others proposed. Co-ops and exchanges are valid choices for some of the leftovers. In the end I do believe government will have to provide for a small amount of citizens, but they do *not* have to take it over to do so.
Back to the demonization. I had my own run in with the system. My insurance company sent me a rejected claim for an MRI I had recently, and then a bill came from the MRI office for a bill of $1080. Naturally I was pissed off. So I called the doctors office and got the run around from them for weeks. Eventually I went back to the insurance company. Now here’s the rub… They were the most gracious, friendly, and accommodating people I had talked to. They did all the leg-work for me… they called all the necessary physicians, got the necessary documentation, and got the ball rolling. The whole mess was the fault of a lazy doctors office with whom the insurance company had made multiple requests for appropriate information. (To be fair, I’m willing to accept that the process is far too complicated, and the doctors office just made an honest mistake — except that when I tried to deal with them, they started giving me the “it’s not our fault, you take care of it” line). The insurance company had no desire to deny my claim, they just needed the appropriate records. Fair enough.
I have good insurance… my company and I pay dearly for it. I work hard, and I don’t feel guilty at all for having a plan that’s better than many Americans. That’s not to say I don’t think others deserve care. Not at all. We, as generous Americans, should do what we can to help those who *truly* need help. I’d be proud if my tax dollars went to that in the form of health care vouchers or something that still worked within a non-government run system. I can’t think of one thing the government gets involved with that doesn’t get worse. We shouldn’t strive to bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator, we should strive to bring everyone up!
I’m not a kook, and I don’t believe our government is run by Nazis. I do, however, understand the true definition of fascism. Fascism is a political philosophy that stands for a strong centralized government, with severe economic and social controls and forcible suppression of opposition (paraphrased from the dictionary). It’s a valid theory of government, just not one that I happen to believe in. I do believe those who are making the laws want to take over health care, and they probably have the best intentions in their hearts… it’s hard to think otherwise. What they want falls in the definition of Fascism however, whether they believe in it or not (I doubt they do). I just cannot believe based on all my years on this earth, and what I have seen, that a government run health care system is right for this country and will benefit the most people.
I know my liberal friends truly do think that this health care reform is best for us, and many of them believe in a single payer system. I challenge them, however, to truly step back away from their ideals for a moment, and try to see things from the side of the people who have seen government ruin lives every day. Those of us who see government corruption, greed of money and greed of power destroy individuals, groups, and businesses. Where we see the successes come outside of the government. We see true generosity come from individuals, not the government. Bring us back into the debate, and don’t shut us out. As we also truly want what’s best for everyone and this country. I believe we can provide everyone health care who needs it without the government taking it over. We can empower insurance companies with better competition (open the business borders for example!), we can correct problems in the system (put some regulations on denying preexisting conditions), encourage different type of health care plans like catastrophic care plans versus preventative care plans. Stop with the demonization of those who already do more than the government can. Stop with the snarky comments about “Teabaggers” (that one just makes me livid). We don’t oppose your ideas just because they are your ideas. We’re better than that, and so are you…
To be fair, there are many on “my” side of things that need to step away from the partisan stance they are taking. While I believe our politicians actually do *not* have our best interests in hearts, I believe most of those outside of the beltway do.
I don’t have all of the answers, and the system will never be perfect, but let’s stop playing partisan politics and bring people together for a legitimate discussion on the best way to provide the best care in the world to all of our citizens who need it.