Thursday, June 14, 2012

Supreme Court Health Care Decision

At the end of this month the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States. for those who may have not seen the acronym before) will be deciding on the Affordable Health Care Law's mandate to require every US citizen to buy health insurance.

Is it wrong to say I'm conflicted?

In one sense the mandate must stand because it will help fund all of the positive features of the new law. People have been struggling with insurance for many years now (in my opinion more so since health insurance companies were allowed to become publicly traded businesses). These positive features in the law really should not have been something "new" or a "kindness extended" to those purchasing policies. These are common sense practices that slowly were removed from policy holders over years. The law attempts to partially regulate an industry that has derailed with greed. Having this law remain in tact will send a signal to the insurance companies that they are now being monitored and can not simply deny someone's treatment to improve profits for their investors and pay enormous bonuses to medical directors who deny coverage and save the company the most money. There are at least some checks and balances. Any change is better than no change.

In the other sense, I'm completely disgusted that the law does not have a public option. The mandate to purchase policies from private insurance companies (who no doubt will find ways around following the law as it is intended) gives these publicly traded companies more business than they deserve. Capitalism was founded on the basis of providing the best products at the best prices so as to compete for buyers. When a whole system is set up with good intentions to do the best for clients, capitalism works. Unfortunately, this is not what we are dealing with in this instance. One health insurer is not any better or worse than any other health insurer. Some policies that your employer may set up have fantastic coverage, but that changes from employer to employer, from access to access.  The publicly traded insurance companies, from my vantage point, seem to be in cahoots. Each is offering less and less while charging more and more. There is no real competition. There is no real capitalism. They are not worried about the consumers, they are worried about the investors.

I understand the law would not have passed at all with a public option because the well paid lobbyists for insurance companies and their interests worked over time at convincing voters in congress that a public option equalled government interfering with capitalism. I'm bothered that some of our congressmen and women fell for it. I'm bothered that they didn't have the bravery to speak to all types of their constituents and see the problems before voting. I'm grieved to know these companies have had months to find loop holes so no matter what the outcome of the Supreme Court decision, policy holders will still suffer.

I am conflicted because the point of the law was to provide positive consistency of care for everyone in this country, and financial interests have corrupted that good will.

There is nothing socialistic about wanting capitalism to work without corruption.


1 comment:

  1. I'm conflicted about it because I am 99% certain it doesn't cover trans health needs. Right now I have medicare, which means I don't have to buy it. But honestly, I had already planned to disobey the law. I don't feel like I should have to pay for insurance that doesn't cover things I really need paid for.