So let's not even talk about the 46 million uninsured, some of whom have diabetes, or hypertension, or cancer and will die without treatment. If someone believes they are more entitled to health care than other people, because they have a job or went to college or whatever, my saying that's bullshit isn't going to change their minds.
Instead, let's talk about why people who currently HAVE health insurance should support reform that includes a government option.
I understand your concerns, but, frankly, the health insurance industry has been treating the American consumers the same way the banking industry did: as a goldmine to be plundered and then abandoned once the gold runs out.
In 1993, in order to get Congress to drop Hilary-care, health insurers agreed to self-police and do several things: 1) eliminate underwriting practices like pre-existing condition exclusions and cherry-picking 2) begin to use community rating; and 3) create a standard benefit plan.
They've done none of these.
Instead, they cull their rolls of long-time customers as soon as the customer gets sick. (The Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigation into three insurers found that they canceled the coverage of roughly 20,000 people in a five-year period, allowing the companies to avoid paying $300 million in claims.) And, they purge employers by skyrocketing their rates if an employee gets seriously ill, or has an accident. In one case, Aetna raised the cost of a family policy to $44,000/year -- more than the average employee's gross earnings.
And they've been very successful: in the 10 years from 1998 to 2008, the medical-loss ratio (premiums received vs. claims paid) dropped from 85.3% to 81.6%, translating to several billion dollars in profit.
In fact, the profitability for the top ten health insurance companies rose 425% in this time period.
No wonder they're scared shitless of having a government-run option. Scared enough to plant shills in the audiences of town halls all over the country, so there can be no rational discussion on the topic.
All I can say is, if you've got health insurance, you'd better hang onto it.
Because with the hosing you're getting, you're going to need a proctologist.
(Note: All statistics pulled from the testimony before Congress of Wendell Potter, a former Cigna executive, or the Kaiser Family Foundation website.)