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What value do health insurance companies bring to the transaction?

The insurance companies must bring some value, right? Otherwise, why would career "progressives" be working so hard to make failure to buy their (defective) product a Federal crime? Well, er...

They treat no one.
They care for no one.
They develop nothing.
They cure nothing.
They rehabilitate no one
They worry about no one.
They comfort no one.
They pray for no one
They give life to no one.
But they do donate billions to political campaigns

Oh, that transaction.

Sorry, I was unclear. I didn't mean the transaction where service providers in the legacy parties sell their votes to the health insurance companies; I meant the transactions where the insurance companies take 30 cents on every dollar.

Sorry.

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MoveThatBus's picture
Submitted by MoveThatBus on

pre-approval requests with the goal of forcing doctors to try cheaper treatments first, and/or review claims on services already provided so they can deny coverage by claiming the doctor didn't try other cheaper treatments first. They play a number of different denial games until the patients finally just give up, or the doctor sends their bill to collections and they feel forced to pay.

It's so much worse than them just not caring for anyone....they actively and aggressively work to make lousy situations worse. Many young people have died waiting to win the battle for coverage from their insurance company (and left their grieving family with a mountain of medical bills).

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

or supports the PO pony. Guess what? I've NEVER had a cogent response (of course, there's none to be made), except for the lame "well, they coordinate care and payments" (this from a doc, of course). And my answer stumped him..if Medicare can do it cheaper, why do we need insurance companies again? Made for some interesting conversation later at work, I can tell you...just doing my little bit everywhere I go.

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

"Coordination of care" in my neck of the woods means the role that case managers used to generally play...albeit now with insurance companies calling for more profits and calling the shots, the case managers are reduced to "communicating" to the insurer their assessment of the patients needs, and then they're told what will be covered. So, essentially, the insurer is just inserted between the patient and the care she/he needs.

Submitted by hipparchia on

essentially, the insurer is just inserted between the patient and the care she/he needs.

yep. i know all about this. i find it distressing that a dr thinks it's legitimate that case management, coordinating care, whatever its new moniker is this decade, be done by insurance companies.

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

conservative Rethugs...they can't wrap their immature brains around the fact that single payer is absolutely going to be better for THEM and their patients..all they say is "governement-run..hmpph..gotta be bad" and give me cr*p about Canada sending patients to us for care. (What they don't get is, they are sent here because of economies of scale, so smaller hospitals across the pond don't have to invest in large, shiny cardiac units, they send them here, and STILL save money). I am constantly correcting the fallacies they spout (all FAUX schnooze talking points), not so much for their edification, but just to let them, and my co-workers, know that BS will get called when I'm around. OTOH, at large, teaching hospitals located in the city, the docs are much more in tune with SP, even the older ones. I'm not sure why, but perhaps it's a function of being a learning environment, therefore they attract more open-minded people.

marcopolo's picture
Submitted by marcopolo on

on the subject of Obamacare.

In it, he notes:The contemporary form of moderation, however, simply assumes government growth (i.e., intervention), which occurs under both parties, and instead concerns itself with balancing the regulatory interests of various campaign contributors.

And:Insurance companies aren’t quite buggy-whip manufacturers. But they are close. In the past, one could have made an argument that in their bureaucratic capacities—particularly, assessing risk and apportioning payments—insurance companies did offer some expertise that was worth paying for. But all of the trends in politics and in information technology are against insurance companies’ offering even that level of value. Insurance is an information business, and as technology makes information-management cheaper, technological barriers to entry will fall, and competition will increase. (People who relied on the cost of printing presses to maintain a monopoly should be able to relate.)

At the same time, the very idea of assessing health risk is beginning to be understood as undemocratic, as was revealed by the overwhelming support for the 2008 Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, which bars insurers from assessing risk based on genetic information. Over time, more and more information will be off-limits to underwriters, so that insurance ultimately will be commoditized—every unit of insurance will cost about the same as every other unit of insurance. Managers know that one must never allow one’s product to become a mere commodity. When every product is like every other product, brand loyalty disappears and prices plummet.

Which perhaps is one reason why the insurers themselves have always favored the central elements of the Democratic plan.