Wednesday, May 05, 2004

From a former chief of Anesthesiology

My cousin writes "as one who has spent my life looking at the healthcare system from "inside" my views may be biased - but I truly blieve they are fairly clear on what the MAIN problem with our healthcare is. I have had the opportunity to sit on the board of a Liability Insurance Company and I have dealth with many "Third Party" companies who's stated goal is to provide "insurance" for the general public (ie, to spread the risk equally among a large number of people.)

I know that without a doubt the true goal of medical insurance companies is not to provide coverage for the health care costs of the general public (their policy holders.) It is rather to generate as large a profit for their share holders as possible - which means to pay out as little as possible for health care. I have first hand knowledge directly from the "horses mouth" that if their payouts exceed 15% annually they feel they have miscalculated and they adjust their premiums up and their payment schedule down. How else do the insurance companies live in tall steel and glass buildings on high dollar real estate and pay outrageous salaries and bonuses to their executives?
And of course - they are in bed with the government so that the rules and regulations which "control" their behavior work in their favor. The man on the street has little if any control over the operation of a health insurance companies policies and procedures. Certainly the medical community - widely viewed by the public as making a fortune from their sick patients - has no control over the insurance companies; in fact they are cut annually to the point that many medical services are now delivered by paramedical personell rather than by physicians as in the past - all in the name of cost cutting.

When money talks people listen. What money? Your money which is in the accounts of the insurance companies. Who does it talk to? The government. Who listens? The government - and they respond by protecting the insurance companies - not the individual who has an illness and generates the expenditure of health care dollars. That person is "the enemy." You and me !"

[rant ends] ... and beyond that, about all you can say is "we have the best government money can buy !"

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