The creation of death panels and rate increases are the battle cries against health care legislation. Missing in the debate are dubious health insurance industry practices, such as making sterilization a requirement for insurance after Caesarian. Who knew?
Insurance Lobby Threatens Health Care Legislation Will Increase Insurance Costs
The insurance lobby for the health insurance industry opposes health care legislation presented to the Senate Finance Committee. The New York Times reveals that America’s Health Insurance Plans, which lobbies in favor of the health insurance industry, skewers the health care legislation on the grounds that it would cause the cost of private insurance coverage to increase.
According to a study commissioned by the industry, the cost of family coverage currently averages $12,300 and is scheduled to rise to $18,400 by 2016. Were the Senate Finance Committee to give its blessing to the health care legislation, the increase by 2016 would reach $21,300. Already Republicans are thought to be able to use this tidbit as a political football in the tug-of-war that represents the need for health care reform. At issue could be the affordability of healthcare for a family or small business owner. Yet is this really the problem that demands debate?
Health Insurance Industry Status Quo Considers Sterilization after Caesarian One Requirement for Insurability
Looking back to 2008, the New York Times ran a story about Golden Rule Insurance Company – a member of the United Healthcare Company – that denied coverage to a 38 year young Colorado resident in good health, who had a Caesarian in the past. Golden Rule advised that coverage would have been extended if the applicant was over the age of 40 and the birth had occurred more than two years prior to applying or she had undergone sterilization after the C-section.
While states work individually to legislatively eradicate discriminatory insurance practices, such as a rider denial of insurance coverage for subsequent Caesarians over a predefined period of time, they cannot forbid the companies to reject applicants with the procedure in their pasts. Other insurance companies may charge higher premiums.
Death Panels, Rate Increases and Sterilization: Who Wins the Health Care Legislation Rhetoric?
An analysis of the insurance lobby allegations, Senate Finance Committee insider protestations, and health insurance industry product recipients’ horror stories shows that the debate over health care legislation lacks an understanding of the genuine defects plaguing the industry.
Private companies – in this case the health insurance industry – are duty-bound to make savvy business decisions that increase the return on investment by stockholders. Consumers have the right to shop around for insurance coverage and purchase the product from companies that will offer it to them – albeit at high costs. These are the precepts of the open marketplace.
Politicians present a bridge between consumer needs and private industry demands; however, this bridge is held in place by lobbyists of various interest groups, including the insurance lobby which is an requirement for all Podiatry Billing and Coding Service to include in their policies during the time of selling it or considering the customers for new updates in policy claiming acts.
The road to health care legislation is further complicated by the introduction of a moral component, suggesting that America in general and the health insurance industry in particular have the moral obligation to see to it that healthcare is affordable for residents. Unfortunately, morality does not enter into the equation when it comes to making business decisions.
While it is unclear whose rhetoric will eventually be believed, it is without a doubt the right decision to offer access to healthcare to any resident of the United States; it is just questionable whether or not the private sector should be mandated to bankroll the access. In the alternative, if the public at large would consent to the insurance rate increases of each insurance policy written — in the interest of the common good — perhaps healthcare reform could move forward.
Jane Castro is a journalist and media enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Bacolod in the Philippines. She loves skating, scuba diving, and archery on her free time.