My former business partner died about 4 weeks ago. She had been fighting cancer for over 15 years.
Due to a third rate doctor and an HMO, she was misdiagnosed and nickel and dimed to death for years by them.
But HMO’s are very proven experts in the “Nickel and Dime” game.
I use to be in the insurance business back in the mid 1990’s.
It was the “Seniors” market. Medicare and Long Term Care.
Many people switch to the HMO’s for the “free” insurance.
Most of them had never ever paid for full health care in their entire lives. Their employer provided it for them. They paid a co-payment. Some paid a relative small monthly fee.
But they never ever paid for the full coverage.
In fact, one of the first lessons you learned in the business is that someone would be tired of their employer’s coverage and call up to get a quote. They’d be all hot and bothered and were ready to pay for their own.
Well, you get their information, do all the leg work, and get the quote.
This is when they got “Sticker Shock” at the price of a personal health care plan.
They almost always responded, “Umm ok, let me think about this and I’ll call you back…”
They never ever called back.
When they found out just how much it cost, well, then their employer’s plan just wasn’t that bad then.
So you’d have these people who were now going on Medicare. Medicare is a wonderful thing.
Medicare was created back in the early 1960’s. It was attempted once before back in the 1950’s under Harry Truman. But it got shot down. But under LBJ it passed.
The reason Medicare was created was that senior citizens retirement and savings were being wiped out by medical costs.
You may have never ever had a sick day in your entire life, but when you get older you body starts to break down and is therefore weakened and susceptible to various illnesses and conditions.
And these people were too old to go back to work.
But since most of these people had always been covered by their employer, they never ever had to pay for full coverage.
So they get on Social Security and register for Medicare. Well, they see that the government was taking X amount of money out of their Social Security checks to apply to Part A of their Medicare payment. Actually, it was just a paper work shuffle by the government. Had they just taken the amount out before they got their monthly check, they’d have never noticed and would not have complained. Back then it was $45 a month.
Well, many saw that and screamed holly hell for that.
Then they had to pay for a Medicare Part B supplement. Back then these ranged in price from $45 a month to just over a $100 a month.
Not bad actually. So if you got the whole shebang, you were looking at around $140 or so a month for a wonderful all encompassing health care plan.
And the wonderful thing is, IF YOU PAID FOR THE EXACT SAME THING FROM AN INSURANCE COMPANY IT WOULD HAVE COST THEM HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS OR CLOSE TO A THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH.
But they didn’t’ see that.
So what the government did, in order to actually get people off Medicare was allow Senior HMO’s to come into being.
What actually happened was that the Senior when they signed up for the HMO, was actually dis-enrolling from Medicare. And that whopping $45 a month? It was now sent to the HMO and not back to the Government.
So these people thought they were getting “free” health insurance. They weren’t.
They were getting the shaft.
It was common for a former client to call up about every three or four months crying that their spouse was dead. The HMO wouldn’t treat them and they died. They wanted to know what we, the insurance agent could do for them.
We could do nothing.
That was between them and the “Free Insurance” HMO.
So when I see these clowns like Palin out there screaming about “Death Panels” I just laugh like a drain.
Insurance companies have had their own “Death Panel” for years.
Oh, and the line of “there will be a bureaucrat between you and your doctor” line?
You mean like the bureaucrat that works for the insurance company?
The one that tells you they won’t cover the medical help you need?
Even though it says in your plan it IS covered?
The ones who deny your claims?
They don’t work for the government, they work for the Insurance Corporations.
So this is how I feel.
I’m am TIRED of seeing the citizens of the US get stuck for trillions of dollars for frivolous wars against Third World Countries who are of no threat to the US at ALL.
I’m tired of seeing companies cry that there is too much government regulation and when it’s reduced they run amuck.
THEN they run to the US Government crying that the government needs to bail them out.
I think it’s time for the US to have a national single payer health care plan.
All we have to do is make Medicare available to EVERYONE.
To pay for it?
How about a National Sales Tax THAT IS ONLY USED AND CAN ONLY BE USED FOR THE NATIONAL HEALTH CARE PLAN.
ANY MONEY LEFT OVER IS SAVED OR ROLLED OVER INTO THE NEXT YEARS BUDGET.
The excess won’t go into the General Fund like Social Security is.
The time has come.
It’s time to put the fear mongering away, the hysteria away, and put the American People on top.