The insurance industry and politicians are dangerous to your health

Per Vox: The Freedom Caucus laid their cards on the table in a meeting Thursday with the Washington Examiner’s editorial board. The group of conservative House members has narrowed their demands to two items:

  1. Ending Obamacare’s essential health benefit requirement, which requires health insurers to cover 10 specific categories of medical care. This includes things like mental health services and maternity coverage.
  2. Ending the Obamacare requirement that insurers charge sick and healthy people the same prices. This is called “community coverage,” and the Freedom Caucus would like to get rid of it, instead letting insurers charge higher premiums to sicker patients who they expect to cost more. 

This is  dangerous time folks and the media and consumers had better wake up to the reality of the dangers of the insurance industry and far right politicians.

The requirement that insurers offer coverage to all patients would still exist, but it would be meaningless, as insurers would be allowed to charge sick patients unaffordable prices. In other words: The availability of insurance doesn’t matter much when the premium is $5,000.

Conservative Republicans’ main target isn’t Medicaid. It’s insurance regulation.

Nearly Half of Physicians Now Say They’d Prefer Single-Payer

According to Beth Kutschernthe News Editor of Healthcare at LinkedIn:

There are many reasons people put off going to the doctor. One of the big reasons is cost — a huge arc in the current debate about whether and how to repeal and replace Obamacare, which sought to increase the number of Americans with quality health insurance. Another is access, or finding a doctor who takes your insurance and has appointment openings. But whatever the reasons, the disconnect means that many people choose to become patients only in extreme circumstances and are then at the mercy of the system.

Nearly half of the 500 doctors who responded to a February LinkedIn survey said they would support a single-payer healthcare system, or Medicare-like coverage for everyone, not just the elderly, instead of the current patchwork model of insurance coverage.

The reasons that patients delay care until they can’t wait any longer are complex. But a barrier doctors said they consistently see is a fragmented system: People either don’t have health insurance or can’t find a doctor who accepts their coverage.

For many physicians, the issue comes down to efficiency. In their responses, they cited the administrative hassle of working with multiple insurance companies, each with its own rules and billing procedures. And they pointed to some of the less visible costs, like patients who bounce from one healthcare provider to another as their health plans change.

Even though doctors acknowledged that they might take a financial hit under a single-payer system, many respondents said it would be more than mitigated by getting out of the collection business. In other words, even if they earned less, there would be more patient care and less of the aggravation that comes with negotiating with and tracking down payment from multiple insurance companies.

Billing and insurance related costs totaled $70 billion for physician practices in 2012, according to a study in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Health Services Research.

Then there’s the time spent dealing with insurance companies. More than half of the physicians in LinkedIn’s survey, or 54%, said their job includes negotiating with them, at an average of four hours per week: They have to call to get prior authorization to do a procedure. They have to call when their treatments are denied coverage. They have to change their prescribing plans when certain drugs aren’t covered.

I continue to hear horror stories from friends and colleagues when it comes to their insurance coverage.

Can anyone rightfully defend the profit motives and pay of the insurance industry any longer?