Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Thu, July 18

What Health Care Reform?

The so-called "Health Care Reform Act" has nothing to do with medical care - it's a payment plan, and not a very good one at that. An insurance program could not care less about your health, or the quality of care you receive, it just wants your money. And now it has government backing to ensure they get it.

Insurance is a business, or at least it has been since the early '30s, prior to that we called it "racketeering" and "protection money." It exists for the same purpose as any other business - to make a profit. In order to make a profit it is necessary to charge for their services and products in such a way as to take in more money than they pay out, and insurance companies have become quite creative with reasons to avoid paying either the full amount, or even a partial payment - and it's always the "other guy's" fault. Maybe the paperwork wasn't filed properly, or there are premium lapses at some point in the past, or maybe you're just a thief at heart and you're trying to cheat the company out of "its" money. But if a claim is accepted and paid - either in full or partial, it's pretty much a guarantee that your premiums are going up to cover your new status as a "high-risk" client.

Insurance is the only genuine business that is legally permitted to not provide the services for which they have already been paid - that is insane! If my premiums have been paid on-time, following the rules and procedures established by my insurance company - I have a legitimate claim, and should never be denied a payment. If fraud is suspected, the insurance company has the same resources for reclaiming their funds as any other business in the United States.

Insurance is a high-stakes business. It is full of risk and should not be entered into lightly; or at least it was, now that the federal government has mandated that EVERYONE will pay for health insurance, either directly or through the IRS tax, insurance has become a low-risk, high-profit business, secure in its government backing and steady income - not to mention the access to everyone's financial and medical records to ensure that we are all paying our "fair" share.

My advice to the next wave of students entering the work force - become an insurance investigator, insurance accountant, and - at the very top, and soon to be highly coveted position - an insurance broker. The insurance field has just opened up a new area of guaranteed, well-paid positions and you should get in now.

After all, look at what Elizabeth Fowler has accomplished. Moving from her position as vice president of Public Policy for one of the country's largest health insurance companies, she began working with the Senate Finance Committee in Washington, D.C., and is credited with being the driving force and architect behind the reform act.

Now she is leaving the White House for a senior-level position with Johnson & Johnson's government affairs and policy group - so I guess she'll be helping to develop the guidelines on which medical drugs and procedures will be available for the general public, based, no doubt, on the financial standing of the recipients.

With the passage of health care reform, which has nothing to do with the quality of medical care, the American people will be forced to purchase a service from a for-profit institution. These new premium taxes will not be used for quality medical care, or research, and in the interest of cost containment, the insurer will determine who gets paid what and for which services.

Medical professionals spend a great deal of their time and their money to receive the training required to work in their chosen field. They never stop learning, always staying abreast of changes and improvements in the field of medicine, and they deserve to be paid for the services they provide. They deserve to be allowed to operate their business, and to work out payment plans with their clients to ensure that treatment is available and the medical clinic can remain open.

Insurance companies don't care about that. Insurance companies prefer to set the prices to be charged for each service, and to determine what services are to be provided, regardless of the medical professionals' opinion, all with the bottom line being, well, improving their bottom line and "insuring" a healthy profit for themselves.

I'm just sayin'.


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