“Treason” is a strong word. To be indicted for treason it would have to proven, beyond a shadow of doubt, that insurance executives set out to destroy the U.S. government. I don’t think that was the intention of any health insurance executive. It seems that their goal was simply to make as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time with total disregard as to the consequences to the insured.
It’s possible that health insurance executives could be indicted for murder or manslaughter. They could also be indicted for fraud inasmuch as they continually deny legitimate claims for bogus reasons. When one individual challenged her insurance company for denying her claim, the person she was talking to said, “Oh, we automatically deny all claims and then deal with those who complain.”
Health Care: The Leading Cause of Death in America
It can be argued that our health care system is the leading cause of death in America. The health insurance industry plays a large part in this statistic.
1. The number of deaths in this country from lack of insurance.
2. The number of deaths from prescription drugs, properly taken. It should be noted that more people die from prescription drugs than from illegal drugs.
3. Iatrogenic deaths: deaths that are either doctor or hospital caused. I think this alone is around 90,000.
4. Deaths of the insured due to denial of coverage.
Adding all of these deaths together creates a number far higher than the second leading cause of death.
Health Care Deaths
Insurance companies hire medical doctors to do an important job for them. These doctors, who take an oath to “First do no harm,” are hired for the express purpose of finding ways to deny coverage. The more claims they are able to deny, the more money they make. These are the real death panels and they are happening right now and have been happening for many years. These denials lead to suffering, bankruptcy, and death. The insurance executives know that their large incomes are due largely to these deaths. Some 60% of bankruptcies in the United States are due to an illness. In no other civilized country can people go bankrupt because of an illness.
Essentially, insurance company executives are paid to cause suffering, bankruptcy, and death to their customers. The irony is that this blood money is totally unnecessary. If health insurance companies did three things, their executives could bring home very high salaries and every policy holder would be fully covered for all of their needs.
1. Drastically reduce the salaries and benefits of executives. They are obscenely overpaid. Narrow the gap between the highest and lowest paid in the company. Every corporation should do this.
2. Stop lobbying congress in order to prevent real health care reform. Insurance and pharmaceutical companies spent a million dollars a day to bribe congress to scuttle health care reform. What we got was an extremely watered down bill and the single payer option was never on the table.
3. Stop spending so much money on advertising. Very few people actually choose their insurance company. They go with whatever insurer their company chooses. Do these companies choose their insurer because of some ad they saw on TV? Highly unlikely.
The money saved by reducing executive salaries, ceasing to bribe congress, and limiting or eliminating advertising would leave enough money for health insurance companies to do what they should have been doing all along, give the policy holders the insurance they have paid for.
Traitors? No. Torturers and murderers? Yes. Those who fought against health care reform supported the suffering, bankruptcy, and death that is the ongoing legacy of our health care system. The new health care bill is a feeble effort to cure this ill. The Republicans just said “No.” The Democrats didn’t have the backbone to offer us real health care reform. The dying will continue.