Well, America’s chickens are coming home to roost (to quote Jeremiah Wright). The collapse of the Exchanges and the trembling of the teetering group health insurance market following the liberal plan. The feds and the Democratic Party have come close to completly destabilizing and undermining the private system for health insurance and the most superior health care financing mechanism the world has ever seen. This is a system that has resulted in the citizens of this country enjoying the highest quality of care and the most innovative and modern mechanism for research and scientific advancement the world has ever wittnesed.
But Democrats saw another way. An avenue to further control not only the people, but also the opportunity to eliminate the private and personal delivery of health services from provider to patient without a government overseer in the room to interfere. Yes, there were some shortfalls in the system, and you could say insurance companies sometimes intervened and asked for cost accommodations from doctors and patients to try to rein in some spending patterns, but clients were free to change carriers if they felt they were not being served properly. They could CHOOSE (imagine) other options and different policies if they wished. Now the straightjacket tailoring of the federal government has nearly extinguished all those options.
Dictating policy provisions, mandating benefits that were neither requested nor necessary, removing any underwriting capabilities, forcing guarantee issue and community rating, they forced all insurance carriers down a cattle chute of requirements to the slaughterhouse for private coverage by a Judas goat, leading to the ultimate leftist goal….single payer. We now stand on the precipice of this Marxist tenet …. ‘control their healthcare, and you control the people’. All these companies (Blue Cross, UHC, Humana, Aetna, Scott & White), have lost hundreds of millions of dollars each attempting to satisfy the ‘central planners’ vision of what healthcare should be. Knowledgeable and experienced government overlords (like Jonathan Gruber and the brilliant Nancy Pelosi) have now brought us to the doorstep of a nationalized system, never to return. Yes, it most likely will be ‘VA coverage for all’ soon now. Remember it when you ‘que-up’ for English style NHS coverage and wait for months or years for life-saving treatments that must wait for next year’s funding budget to consider a specialist appointment or complicated cancer surgery that’s is so readily available and delivered daily in Houston and all around this country. Too bad if you perish while waiting line, it’s the system ….comrade.
You mention that Aetna’s exit might be related to their request to merge with Humana and not just the hundreds of millions of dollars in losses they were incurring in the Exchanges. Yes, I’m sure that had an element in the decision, as they were trying to find an avenue to survive by economizing operations with another partner. But the losses they were sustaining (along with BC, UHC, etc., etc.) were real and growing. Can you blame them for trying to survive by consolidation? Isn’t that what newspapers do? They’re reacting to the strict government regulations, the same way the banks did when the Federal government pushed them into making bad loans to people who couldn’t and wouldn’t be able to pay the loans back (thanks to The Community Reinvestment Act). It didn’t matter, the feds forced the loans anyway, it was ..….. ‘make the loan or risk audits, fines, and loss of your charter’…… subtle. Then the banks were blamed for the mortgage and financial collapse, just exactly where this is all headed for the insurance companies, they’ll be made the scapegoat, not the Democrats who passed this law without a single Republican vote.
I’m sure the democrat excuse will be …..’Well, we tried to do this through the private sector, but they just couldn’t handle it. Nothing left but single payer’…. Despite stacking the deck against the industry for a predetermined outcome. Are you proud of The Chronicle’s role in cheerleading for the demise of healthcare in America? Do you and your colleagues believe you will be happy with the medical services in your ‘Brave New World’? I don’t think so.
Just like Cuba and Venezuela, Socialism always over promises and under delivers. I think you will lament your role in this.
T. Ross Brown & Associates
26002 Budde Road
The Woodlands, TX 77380