Health and Insurance

Anthem Loves Me

The last 7 months of my life, from Anthem’s viewpoint, and I’m still not out of the woods. At least I’ve hit the out-of-pocket cap for the year. Bring it on, I guess.

A few of years ago, I had taken a job that was basically a bait-and-switch. It only lasted 4 months, and I got diverticulitis, most likely due to the stress. We both knew it wasn’t working. I called a friend. He got me a job within 2 days. I gave 2-weeks notice.

SGS fired me on the spot, in the middle of tests and procedures. I wound up with $3,000 of uncovered medical expenses. I could have retroactively paid for COBRA insurance, but the premiums to cover those months were… about $3,000, so I just dropped it. Luckily, I could afford it.

Thank goodness for health insurance. However, it’s a fundamentally broken part of our system that it’s tied to employment, and a good job at that. An awful lot of people aren’t so lucky.

In a free market, we could buy health insurance like car insurance, but we don’t have a free market in health insurance. Anything but. We need to be able to buy plans nationwide, and un-couple it from our employment. If Congress won’t fix that, then we will eventually wind up with socialized health care.

Big Pharma

But how will new medicines and treatments get approved if we force American health insurance companies to sell at reasonable prices? </SpongeBob mocking> I don’t know, but maybe the hundreds of millions the insurance companies pay their executives would be a good place to find a little funding.

The only reason I can think of that this is not being sold in the US is to preserve cash flows for the testing being done at clinics, doctors offices, and CVS.

PhRMA sues to stop state’s new insulin affordability program – StarTribune.com

“A state cannot simply commandeer private property to achieve its public policy goals,” said PhRMA’s complaint, filed Tuesday in district court. “The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits states from attempting to solve societal problems in this draconian manner.”

Source: PhRMA sues to stop state’s new insulin affordability program – StarTribune.com

If their “alternatives” were working, people wouldn’t be dying from rationing insulin. The only thing “draconian” about this situation is the feudalistic caste system we seem to have recreated in modern America.

This country was started so that we wouldn’t have to live under the regime of a bunch of wealthy landowners who controlled the lives of those who worked their land. The large corporations — who don’t just control the means of production — but use the courts to prevent competition — get to unilaterally dictate their will to us serfs. This move is a complete abrogation of the implied social contract of a corporation. We wouldn’t even be in this position if they hadn’t been so greedy, and extracted so much from society for the past 5 decades.

Go ahead, I dare you to read up on how much money pharmaceutical companies have taken from the US government to develop all those medicines they advertise constantly on television, how much it costs to make them, and then how much they charge for them. The insurance companies have allowed this situation to develop, and get so bad that society cannot bear the weight of it any longer.

When the US finally adopts socialized medicine, the capitalism-lovers who wring their hands and call it communism will have nothing to blame except the corporatocracy that made it inevitable, and no one to blame except themselves for continuing to support a system that is leaving more and more people to fall through the cracks, and fend for themselves when they are the most vulnerable, until they become the majority, and vote with their pocketbooks to rebalance the equation.

Don’t tell me horror stories about health care systems in Canada or England. I hear horror stories from our own stupid system every single week, from rich and poor alike, and you do too, even if you ignore them.