Whistleblower: 6 Ways Romney's Healthcare Proposals Enrich Insurance Companies and Sicken Americans
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And because they comprise such a big part of the uninsured population, insurance companies have sort of said dismissively that young people consider themselves "young invincibles." That's the name that insurance companies call that category of people who are uninsured. But it's an arrogant term to get people to believe something that really is not true. Young people would like to have coverage, they just don't have the means to get it. But it is a term that enables insurers and their allies to try to get people to think that the problem with being uninsured is not much of a big deal after all because a lot of people who are uninsured are young people who are just being irresponsible, as young people often are. But it's not their being irresponsible, it's their being unable to afford to buy decent coverage.
Insurance companies do offer skimpy policies that are geared toward young people and they market these products in specific ways to try to appeal to young people. They price the premiums competitively low, but the benefits are also low. They're often completely inadequate. So some people who do buy coverage are buying coverage that would leave them very uninsured if they got sick or injured.
But it's all a big myth that anyone doesn't want to be insured. It's a scary thing to be uninsured. Most people realize that they can't control their destinies. They can't wake up every morning with a guarantee that they're not going to get bad news from the doctor after a medical test or that they're not going to be in an accident. There is no such thing as that kind of a guarantee. So we know that we really need to have some protection against illness and accidents.
But many people can't buy coverage for a variety of reasons, including those people who presumably have high incomes. The median household income in this country is not even $50,000. And it's quite true that there are some households with incomes of $75,000 and over in which the family members aren't insured. But it's often not because they are being irresponsible [i.e. they would prefer to just buy something else], it's because more than likely one or more people in that family has a preexisting condition. And if you're trying to insure your entire family, if one person has a preexisting condition, you're not going to be able to buy a policy for your family. It's just the way it is.
It's part of the propaganda of the insurance industry and its allies that we shouldn't worry about those people. Those people have money, they're just not using it to buy coverage. They don't deserve our sympathy. But what they're doing when they say that, or when politicians try to get us to believe that, is purposely obscuring what the reality is -- a lot of those people are that way not by choice but because they can't afford the high premiums or they can't buy it at any price.
6. Permit Heath Insurers to Spend Our Premium Dollars As They See Fit
Wendell Potter: If Romney follows through with getting rid of the Affordable Care Act, another way health insurers would profit under his presidency is that they would no longer have to abide by the requirement to spend at least 80 percent of what we pay in premiums on our medical care. This is the provisional law that pertains to the medical loss ratio of insurance companies.
Over the past several years, insurance companies have been spending less and less of their premium dollars on our medical care and a lot more on their overhead. That includes paying exorbitant CEO and other executive salaries and also rewarding shareholders if they're for-profit plans or for-profit insurers. And Wall Street has been very happy with this because the less the insurance companies pay out in claims as a percentage of revenue, the more is left over to reward shareholders.