Health Insurance and Unintended Consequences

by , posted on Saturday, July 24th, 2010 at 7:34 am

I helped write a preservation ordinance once and discovered in my research that you really need to write a clause in there forbidding teardowns while the ordinance is being considered, otherwise there’s always some asshole who will invest a ton of money in destroying his building just to prove a point to the city council about what he thinks of the proposal of the measure.

So there may be many who will be surprised to discover insurers doing things like ceasing to write insurance policies on children in order to avoid a provision of the health insurance reform bill that will kick in later this year and force them to cover children who are already sick, and there may even be those, like the author of this AP piece, who call it an “unintended consequence,” but not me.

I call it utterly typical and completely predictable corporate bullshit. A chat with a handful of consumers – maybe a focus group of reasonably intelligent consumers – who have had dealings with the Death by Spreadsheet industry in the past would have clued lawmakers in to the fact that these people are ingenously creative when it comes to thinking up new ways to screw the consumer out of coverage. And although they usually like to take your dollars in the form of premiums first, if they have to exclude you up front, so be it.

Look for a lot of new ways the insurers will “get even” (i.e. place themselves precisely back in the position of raking in lots of dollars while acting as America’s Death Panels merrily deciding who needs to die in order to keep their profit margins healthy.)

This is what we wrought when we chose to continue our for-profit health care system instead of reforming it.


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2 Responses to “Health Insurance and Unintended Consequences”

  1. bored now says:

    if you strip out all the bitterness (or, at least, what i read in as bitterness), i’d have to agree. but i wonder if there isn’t more to it. yes, the insurance industry is likely to employ various tactics to get around the health care reform bill, but i suspect they might be emboldened by the meme that business hates the president and that republicans (if elected) will repeal what obama “has wrought.”

    if you’ve been paying attention to the media’s bloggers, you’ll see a similar question, and that is the prediction that, if democrats lose in november, conventional wisdom will blame it on obama being too liberal, or doing too much too soon, or some other such nonsense.

    iow, i suspect that they could be trying to kill two birds with one stone (that’s what i’d do) with these kinds of tactics…

  2. modestybl says:

    We would have all thought the administration was smart enough to figure out that ANYTHING they would have done would be eliciting the same kind up pinwheel maliciousness from the Right. So they should have gone with something good, rather than something lame. Something substantial rather than something compromised down to almost meaningless.

    Single Payer was the only thing that made any sense, the only humane answer to our national disgrace of a healthcare system. The reason why Max Baucus had the Single payer doctors arrested at his meeting, rather than having a place at the table was the fear that it would be overwhelmingly favored by the public – if the debate had really been open.

    But we have a president who who rather be forcefully pushed than have to pull, so we have to take the ugly, painful path than the reasonable one. THat’s what comes out of a Party that claims progressive goals, but kowtows to corporate interests all too often.

    I have a feeling that Dems will lose more of the Blue dogs than the progressives this November, regardless of how “red” or “blue” the districts. People like strength and they like clarity. At the very least, the whole ugly healthcare system started moving this year, most everyone now has skin in the game, and the insurance companies will continue to reveal themselves as the murderous parasites that they are, but in ways they can’t hide.

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