Health Insurers Monopolize Markets
With the Obama administration pushing idiots to try and pressure their congressmen to pass the Obama health plan, they have taken the focus off of why we have skyrocketing health costs and outrageous health insurance premiums.
The national media contributes to the farce, due to the fact they never even ask why we are in this predicament. They get their news from the government to begin with and don’t dare seek their own sources, or do their own legwork.
Enter into the equation the health insurers themselves. Are they really upset over the Obama health plan talks? No, not at all. As the scenario runs, they stand to do nothing but gain more customers. I mean, isn’t that what they paid Obama to do in the first place? They expect a hefty return on their investment. And, I don’t blame them. If I donated millions to someone’s campaign, you bet your bottom dollar I’d expect him to get the ball rolling on healthcare “reform” asap.
That aside, several studies show that in most places in America, one or two companies dominate that market. With these wholesale monopolies, the insurer drives up the premium without even thinking twice about it. Employers pay these premiums just as willingly, since they have no alternative.
The national media would have you believe the Obama plan would compete with these insurers. However, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, just completely put the Obama plan out of your mind. I see no reason to give it credence. It’s like saying “these black dress-shoe shoelaces are a much richer hue for your tennis shoes, but the decision is yours.”
Again the national media proposes to look to the government for a solution the the health insurance monopolies. Of course lawmakers have their hand tied. But, the did look into the matter and this is what they found.
- Big insurers are getting bigger.
- Small businesses have fewer and fewer options for getting coverage.
- The Government Accountability Office found that the median market share fo the largest carrier increased by 47% in 2008, up from 33% in 2002.
- A healthcare overhaul should include fostering competition among insurers.
On the last point, some real lawmakers acknowledge that a government plan ought not be the answer, but if they wanted to successfully overhaul the system, they would encourage true competition amongst the insurance industry.
Of course, as true blue lawmakers their answer would be to offer subsidies to offset insurance premiums to make them affordable. [ If I have to explain why this is a bad idea, I just really might go into a murderous rage. ]
The obvious answer though, from a big government standpoint is to setup an insurance purchasing pool called an “exchange.” However, while this isn’t a bad initial idea, the next statement I’m about to make should clue you in how the system would be raped: It would be open, INITIALLY, to individuals and small businesses. That sounds innocent doesn’t it? But notice my emphasis, INITIALLY.
Gaming the System: The Insurance Exchange
Initially, I’m sure that an exchange would be a great idea on paper. However, two things immediately pop into mind: who’s going to be footing the bill to pay for setup and upkeep of the exchange [ US ]; and, when do you start offering this exchange to big business?
Let me just clue you in on the second point, because I think the first point is readily apparent to any fool that we taxpayers are going to not only pay for the insurance, but also to keep up the exchange itself [ more tax dollars out our pockets ]. When do you start offering this exchange to big business? If this exchange were setup January 1st, I think by the 2nd or 3rd of January they’d be offering it to big businesses.
Well what’s the problem with that? Imagine I’m a big business. Let’s say I want insurance for my company. I go to the exchange and see the top 10 largest companies listed. What’s to stop me from calling up the other 200 companies and buying them out? Nothing. I am now larger than the other 10 companies put together. I can now offer insurance at a loss and run the other 10 companies out of business. And, all of this is over and done with by June. Or better yet, buy the 200 companies first. Call up the other 10 companies and buy controlling interest in their firms. I now own the exchange, lock, stock, and smoking barrel and no one knows it, or cares to inform anyone.
Health Insurance Is a Business
What everyone fails to acknowledge is that health insurance is a business. Everyone wants to be all socialistic in their thinking when it comes to health care. Is it really justifiable to think that a kid on skid row DESERVES a heart transplant on par with a Hollywood movie producer? That’s not reality. Is it realistic to think that a world class supermodel shouldn’t expect better healthcare than single mom in a trailer in Arkansas’ back woods? Absolutely not.
Yet we delude ourselves in thinking that healthcare and health insurance should somehow be universal. Medical school is not free. Wharton Business school is not free. Malpractice insurance is definitely not free. Everyone hates the system, but the challenge isn’t fixing the ending of the system, but coming to terms with the reality of it: people paid big money to get into the industry, they expect a return on their investment.
Someone, somewhere doesn’t want to pay tax dollars for a kid on skid row to get a heart transplant. Just as they don’t want to pay for a single mom in the backwoods to receive grade A medical care.
The current system is messed up not because of a lack of competition [ ok here’s the smoking gun ] it’s from government intrusion into the industry. The government has strangled start up insurance companies for nearly a century now. It’s intrusion into medicare and other socialistic programs has edged out companies that would cover that. If the government got out of healthcare altogether, you’d have start ups everywhere competing for insurance dollars and beating down prices to an affordable level.
Health insurance is a business, so let them do their business.