There is one obvious advantage to our system of employer-provided health care. Working people are our healthiest people. They have the strongest immune systems, for one thing. It isn’t until people reach near-retirement age that any significant percentage of working people are in need of expensive health care. And, obviously, this means that tens of millions of working people would probably gamble on their continued good health throughout their twenties, thirties, and even forties before deciding that insurance was a good investment if they didn’t receive health insurance as part of their basic compensation package.
By pulling tens of millions of healthy people into the pool of the insured, it makes it possible to offer somewhat reasonable rates to people who are entering the high-risk categories in older age. Millions of people benefit when they get sick because they have insurance they would not have bought on the free market with their own disposable income.
That’s the good part. The bad part is that you are probably insured by a corporation whose first reaction to you making a claim is to seek any and all rationales to deny you coverage. Maybe you made an error when you filled out your paperwork. If you did, your premium payments may turn out to have been completely in vain. Wouldn’t be nice to have a law that says that any insurance company that has accepted your monthly premium payments must refund that money if they ultimately rule that you were never eligible for insurance in the first place?
The truth is that you pay money for health insurance but your insurer doesn’t want to pay for your health care if you actually require it. They want your premium payment, but they don’t want to give you anything in return for it. They have armies of bureaucrats whose entire reason for being is to deny you coverage. They stand between you and your doctor, seeking to kill you rather than prolong your life at their expense.
Is that something you want to pay for? Why would you want to pay for that? I have no health insurance because I cannot afford it. And I sure as hell don’t want to take what little money I have and give it to someone who would rather see my die quickly than present a drain on their coffers. I think everyone feels similarly.
I do not see any reason for health care to be something that is insured. I should pay for my health care while I am working so that I don’t have to worry about it when I retire. I should have health care coverage, not insurance. Other than those few that die suddenly, all of us get ill and decline and require expensive care. Why insure against a near certainty? It doesn’t even make sense. I might as well buy insurance against the Sun rising in the East tomorrow. I know it will happen eventually, why would anyone bet against it?
It simply doesn’t make any sense to have a system of for-profit employer-based heath insurance. Employers shouldn’t be responsible for the health care of their employees, and we shouldn’t be forced to buy insurance against the inevitable from people that want us to die much more than they want to pay our claims.
Yeah, give me a public option. If you try to force me to buy insurance from people that want me dead, I’m not going to do it even if you subsidize it. But why are we forced to even discuss this? No other industrialized nation fetishizes corporatism to the degree we do. It’s ludicrously expensive and it’s plainly immoral. A single-payer plan is so obvious that Congress is forced to disallow all debate about single-payer to even have a chance of passing a stupid health care plan that will cover 97% of the people. If they pass it, which I hope they do, it will be needlessly expensive and it will still deny coverage to millions. And it will still involve corporations insuring people who they wish would just die.