Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ready, Fire, Aim

Well, forget the “ready” part, because the Democrats were nowhere near ready to fight for any kind of health care or health insurance reform.

And, in their targeting of the insurance industry with their talk of, “being held hostage by insurance companies” and ranting on insurance company practices and profits, they didn't pick the best target anyway. Consider a bill I got this month for an MRI:
invoiceWhile there is every appearance of a scam being perpetrated here, it doesn’t look like the culprit is the insurance company. It looks like my insurance company told the imaging service, “We’ll put you on our preferred list and send our subscribers to you if you’ll agree not to rip us off.”

Is that same $987.85 charged to everyone, including patients with no insurance who will be paying out of pocket? Evidence suggests that it is, so if the $352 they are charging my insurance company is profitable, then the medical provider is making a great deal of profit.

If you study the income statements of the companies concerned, that turns out to be the case. Income percentages for insurance companies run between 3% and 5%, while percentages for hospitals and corporate clinics are more in the 17-24% range.

And we haven’t even talked about drug companies; their profits are in the range of 30% even after they pay billions in fines for false advertising. And yet Obama has already made a deal with them not to use purchasing power to negotiate lower pricing for Medicare Part D, extending the deal that the Bush Administration made.

So insurance companies make a 3% profit margin, medical providers make 20% profit and drug companies make 30% profit; and it’s the insurance companies that Democrats choose as the enemy of the people. Drug price reform is officially rejected by Obama himself, and reforming the pricing of medical providers is a subject that has not even come up.

It’s the insurance companies who need to change the way they do things, who need to pay out more in benefits and charge less in premiums and reduce their “outrageous” (3%) profits, while medical providers and drug companies are praised as being partners and advocates for reform.

Apparently the insurance companies had the wrong lobbyists.

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