Sunday, April 6, 2008

Health Insurance Companies Victims of Their Own Unfettered Success

Wisconsin’s Democratic legislators have improved and fine tuned their bill Healthy Wisconsin, and may someday bring universal care to everyone, if they stay on message fighting fantasy with facts. Colorado Democrats are also doing the work of the electorate. The House there will push legislation, the Fair & Accountable Insurance (or FAIR) Act, to hold down the rising cost of health care insurance.

The insurance industry immediately had a tantrum, whining that they were made “an unfair scapegoat.”

According to the Denver Business Journal, “FAIR would allow the Colorado Division of Insurance to deny rate hikes based on myriad factors, including excess administrative costs, high reserves, profitability and denied claims.”

Is it any wonder; “Small employer premiums for a family of four increased 140 percent in metro Denver from 2000 to 2005. Despite one of the healthiest populations in the country, Colorado has the seventh-highest health insurance rates in the country. As a result of rising premiums, more employers are dropping coverage and leaving workers uninsured.”

These supposed “scapegoats” overestimate losses and then fail to adjust the rates later, resulting in inflated bottom lines. With higher costumer premiums, insurers act as though their huge profits are somehow not related.

Even though these sad middlemen in the health care formula are there to help you pay your bills, they chose to limit even that customer benefit by spending “$20 billion in software designed to help actuaries deny claims to those customers.”

A spokeswoman for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado and Nevada was quick to blame physician and hospital costs, drugs, new technologies, an aging population, and consumer demand."

It would be crazy to blame the insurer’s high premiums and grotesque profits.

Oh yea, Anthem also said it “sets a bad precedent for government's increasing interference in business.”

What, interfere with business? When one third to one half of a family’s income goes to pay for health insurance, how could anyone complain?

We’re only talking about a business that threatens the economic well being of the nation and bankrupting people out of their homes.

Colorado’s FAIR legislation, like Healthy Wisconsin and other state proposals, is the only humane answer to a brutal, unsympathetic ideology of go it alone conservative elites who don’t walk the walk.

Here’s a list of Republicans who took control of their health care costs and decisions by dropping their taxpayer funded government plan for health savings accounts:

Are you kidding?

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