What insurance companies have done since “Obamacare” registration went live, using loopholes in the law to cancel or raise prices on insurance policies people liked, has most likely been done deliberately to cause chaos and hopefully make the ACA look like a bad law. I am guessing lots of strategy meetings happened in health insurance circles to discuss how the industry could continue to maximize profits under the ACA and how they could make sure that the President’s promises (which admittedly he probably never should have made in the first place) were broken. I’m also surmising that this could have been devised as a campaign to undermine the law and put private insurers back in the driver’s seat. In fact, given the collusion among health care insurance providers in the old insurance market, colluding to deal with this new threat to profits seems more than likely.
We must steel our hearts and minds to resist these attempts to put health care back in the private sector. I know we are sort of fickle these days, with rather short attention spans, but surely we remember the way benefits under private insurers had been getting narrower and narrower with risk management winning out over good coverage. If insurance companies truly cannot cover patients with pre-existing conditions because they cannot make a profit, then we will get a chance to see this more clearly under the ACA. We may have to come up with a fund for catastrophic health care which we all pay into in the same way we pay into Social Security or Medicare. We just cannot go back to totally private health insurance again.
The bottom line in any privately owned company always has to be the profit margin, not the people the company serves. We know this by now and we know it well. How many companies have left our communities because they had to please stockholders and pay attention to profits? We aren’t happy about it but we are good little Capitalists and we understand it. We even believe that Capitalism presents the best environment for entrepreneurs and for competition and for overall economic health.
However, in the case of private health insurance the spiral of coverage went consistently downward and the prices spiraled consistently upward. Health care should not be a for-profit business in the same way that other businesses which sell products or services are. We need to hang in there for a while with the ACA because the advantages, if we can get this thing to fly, outweigh the disadvantages under the health care insurance marketplace that existed previously. As for the newest demands to delay the ACA for six months, we just cannot take that chance. Given the extreme opposition from the GOP and knowing that they will somehow turn a delay into the demise of the ACA, we have to try to fix the website while it is live.
I’m not absolutely sure who is to blame for the fact that people who did not want new insurance and who wanted to keep their doctors are finding that they must get a new policy or pay more for their old policy and that they may not be able to keep their doctor, but if I had to choose among the blameworthy, however, I would cast my suspicious eye on the private health insurers. I find it hard to believe that Obama wants to derail his own plan, and I find it hard to believe that he would lie quite so loudly and often to the American people when it is clear that such public lying always rebounds against the liar. I am guessing that Obama believed he was saying something that was true. Actually now, although no one ever likes to be told lies, it doesn’t really matter whether he lied or not; it is beside the point and the only person who really knows the answer is Obama. But, because the ACA looks like a step forward in terms of affordable and comprehensive health insurance that will provide almost all Americans with the medical care that allows us to stay healthy and solvent as medical costs rise and rise we have to stay with it and hope that it either works or that we get Universal Health Care if it doesn’t. It would seem to be in the interests of the private health insurers to help the President with the roll-out of the ACA because most of us are convinced that going back to all private coverage is not the answer.