I may have gone a little overboard on this as it\’s 3am in the morning and a 1 paragraph email turned into several pages.
Open competition for insurance is part of what the problem in the insurance industry is today! In the mid and late 80s insurance companies were paying out >95% of their income from premiums to claims and by the late 90s, thanks to deregulation, this percentage is down to <85%.
When competition is a factor, companies know not to compete on price, business students are taught this in standard curriculum. By having open competition, companies are now spending that additional 10% of premium income on MARKETING and ADVERTISING – something that government granted monopolies don\’t have to do as much.
At one point, insurers were owned by the policyholders – effectively making insurance a not for profit industry. Not for profit does not mean that staff/administration don\’t make money, but it does mean that shareholder\’s are no longer interested in a bottom line.
Open competition : pretty silly – see comparison of energy deregulation in GA, why is your electricity and cable regulated?
Tort reform: needs to happen, I believe both sides want some. This can not happen with competition, as the current competition has every insurance company suing every other insurance agency or stakeholder to avoid paying out of that insurance that you purchased. (I have a great real world example of this if you want me to tell you the story.)
Pre-existing conditions : I recently met a man who was denied his insurance claim due to pre-existing conditions when he broke his neck biking during a triathlon. I can\’t even begin to think how that works.
Media Influence Note: John Grisham\’s the Rainmaker came out in 1996. In it, Great Benefit Health Insurance denied a claim (and all claims made by policyholders.) While the client won a settlement that was never paid, there have been no major health insurance regulations made since.
Republican Note: If the GOP really hated \”socialized\” health care on principle, then they should suggest getting rid of medicare and medicaid. Beyond that, they could go with the local government measure of having state/county insurance (which they do for state employees anyway) to stress federal conservatism and states rights.
>The bill does not involve a massive, centralized budget busting takeover of our healthcare system
This is a Joe Wilson style, \”You Lie.\” While, the health care bill was written to be budget busting it is written to be in a reducing the budget and costs to Americans. Have you read the news? Americans are #1 in % GDP Spent on Healthcare. (and 17th below numerous \”socialized\” systems in actual care) This means that the U.S. must be either extremely unhealthy or that there are huge inefficiencies in the system that don\’t seem to be prevalent in the other \”socialized\” systems.
—– Forwarded Message —-
Sent: Thu, January 28, 2010 11:06:38 AM
Subject: Setting the record straight
Let\’s set the record straight right now about our President\’s statement last night that the Republicans have been virtually sitting on their hands and saying \”no\” to everything and that is the reason healthcare reform has gone nowhere. That is completely false.In the house the Republicans have worked very hard and crafted a bill called HR-3400. The bill does not involve a massive, centralized budget busting takeover of our healthcare system . . . instead it offers very intelligent improvements to our existing system. The two most notable improvements are tort reform and open competition among insurance companies across state lines. In the Senate the Republicans have crafted a similar bill called the Patients\’ Choice Act. Like the House bill, it features tort reform and open competition among insurance companies across state lines. Those two improvements alone would reduce costs immeasurably and save billions in wasted healthcare dollars. The Democrats want no part of these Republican ideas and have spurned every attempt to include them in the process.What you may or may not think of a President who would go on national television and distort the truth like that is another issue for another day . . but for today please forward this to as many people as you can to at least set the record straight.