Flimsy Sanity: The Insurance Racket

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Insurance Racket

Why Does Everyone Bow Down to the Health Insurance Industry
By Barbara Ehrenreich

With the courageous exception of Dennis Kucinich, the Democratic candidates have all rolled out health "reform" plans that represent total, Chamberlain-like, appeasement. Edwards and Obama propose universal health insurance plans that would in no way ease the death grip of Aetna, Unicare, MetLife, and the rest of the evil-doers. Clinton -- why are we not surprised? -- has gone even further, borrowing the Republican idea of actually feeding the private insurers by making it mandatory to buy their product. Will I be arrested if I resist paying $10,000 a year for a private policy laden with killer co-pays and deductibles?

It’s not only the Democratic candidates who are capitulating. The surrender-buzz is everywhere. I heard it from a notable liberal political scientist on a panel in August: We can’t just leap to a single payer system, he said in so many words, because it would be too disruptive, given the size of the private health insurance industry.

The private health insurance industry is not big because it relentlessly seeks out new customers. Unlike any other industry, this one grows by rejecting customers. No matter how shabby you look, Cartier, Lexus, or Nordstrom’s will happily take your money. Not Aetna. If you have a prior conviction -- excuse me, a pre-existing condition -- it doesn’t want your business. Private health insurance is only for people who aren’t likely to ever get sick. In fact, why call it “insurance,” which normally embodies the notion of risk-sharing? This is extortion.


  • At 5:35 PM, Anonymous RJ Adams said…

    The greatest enemy of universal healthcare in America is the American citizen. Any mention of a federally controlled service is immediately met with outrage. How can one dare even suggest allowing "THE GOVERNMENT" to be in charge of such a thing?
    Why not? The Canadian, French, British, and Cuban governments do a reasonable job. Dennis Kucinich, the only true supporter of a nationally administered scheme, is laughed at as a fool. Perhaps he's the only one not a fool?

  • At 1:10 AM, Blogger Graeme said…

    thanks! great piece

  • At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Leanna said…

    People should read this.


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