It seems that the health care insurance industry is doing everything it can to ensure there is a public option in the new federal healthcare bill. A relatively rare insurance plan, common across all insurance carriers, is suddenly becoming more and more popular with employers- and driving more and more employees into medical debt.
An old 2000/4000 deductible plan (aka. catastrophic coverage), originally created with supplementary insurance in mind, is increasingly being used as the primary insurance offering for many Americans. These plans offer partial coverage (usually 80%) above a $2000 deductible ($4000 for family), with copays ranging from $50-$100 per visit. I first had contact with a plan like this in a municipal job that included a health-based supplementary insurance to occasionally take-up the sizable gap in coverage. Now I’m seeing these plans being forced on other companies’ workers with no supplementary offerings. What’s worse, these plan’s cost more than what was ‘normal coverage’ just 6 months ago. Normal coverage is now simply unaffordable.
Now, instead of just going along, many people who would never consider living without insurance are opting-out completely. People who were not interested in political antics before are now actively supporting the democratic public option. I’ve seen some professed republican factory workers, now thrust into this situation by their employers, backing democratic plans. It might not be enough for them to claim DEMOCRATIC on their voter registration cards, but enough for them to stop donating hard-earned cash to the republican party. Medical savings accounts are suddenly becoming an economic necessity. Odd that insurance companies would want to force more people into supporting socialized medicine in the middle of the debate, but that’s exactly what’s happening.
Apparently, recent stratospheric increases in insurance rates are forcing employers to drop plans carried for years, and replace them with these. Insurance companies cite rising costs for the increases. Since medical care and medical insurance profits still make-up the largest portion of the America’s GDP, I for one, don’t buy claims of insurance provider poverty.
However, there isn’t a consistent public outcry against the insurance industry. A large, and vocal, segment of American population are dead-set against public healthcare. Rural, middle-class, and staunchly republican, these people have been enlisted to be the poster-children of this pro-industry, anti-regulation movement. Oddly, industry non-regulation is what created this problem.
Isn’t it ironic that such a large portion of people who buy into the communist description of healthcare are the same people who rely on the most openly communist system in america for their livelihood? Rural America is farming America: We call it “Agri-Business. ” The largest openly communist organization is the US Department of Agriculture. Pooling resources, modifying the market to increase sizes of larger companies to the detriment of the individual, paying farmers NOT to plant- This IS communism. And, it’s how rural America runs it’s business today.
How could a segment of our population made mostly of farmers (communist farmers, or whatever) decry something they’ve been told was communist? It doesn’t matter that H.R. 3962, The Affordable Health Care for America Act, isn’t actually communist. It’s the amazing psychological disconnect created in these peoples’ minds when they take money & services from the government in one form, but scream “EVIL” when its offered in another.
The fact remains, insurance companies are squeezing consumers for profit before new regulations kick in. Sound familiar? It’s just like the credit-card companies outrageous increases in fees and interest just before the December regulations go into effect. Unfortunately, unlike the credit industry, the regulations that will make-up for the evil that insurance companies are foisting on the population aren’t exactly set in stone. Legislators now need to ensure the healthcare with a public option is actually created, or those who can least afford it will be penalized again in a truly untenable situation.