|It all began with a good thought – everybody pays a little bit and when disaster strikes our expenses are covered, a socially responsible idea which has prevented families from getting ruined by medical expenses, and it has worked in many places. |
But is that still the case or has something changed?
I think somewhere along the way something went terribly wrong. Insurance companies started to be powerful and were looking to increase their business.
In their efforts, they found a lot of help from the legal profession.
When lawyers discovered that they could make a good living by persuading people to sue their doctors and hospitals thus offering an enticing possibility to strike it rich, everybody who thought their doctor had treated him/her wrongly jumped on the bandwagon. Of course the lawyers couldn’t have pulled it off without a lot of help from their brothers – the judges. First the judges made it possible to successfully sue a doctor out of his job by awarding 2 million Dollars for a broken self-esteem of a patient.
All of a sudden every doctor and every hospital was looking frantically for – INSURANCE. Soon the verdicts were reaching millions. Millions of cases and millions of dollars. Wow – now we can increase our premiums, said the insurance industry. With sky-high premiums doctors and medical facilities had to increase their charges to their patients and their health insurance companies. The endless spiral of ever increasing health costs was on.
The fact that the insurance companies were serving both the patients and the doctors turned out to be very lucrative for them.
The downside, of course, is that health insurance premiums got completely out of control. In fact many people (about 30% in the U.S.) cannot afford to pay these premiums and had to choose to live without such insurance.
Back to the pre-insurance times?
A couple of days ago I met a couple from New Hampshire. He had retired from the State but his wife was working. Why was she working? Well, their monthly health insurance premiums were 1,200.00 Dollars and was eating up his monthly pension check he got from the State.
His entire work life was rewarded by taking his monthly pension to pay for his health insurance. So, in order to live a decent life his wife had to work.
It is kind of hard to find any sympathy for a system which has so completely gotten out of hand.
Over here in Canada we know that our health system might not be the best in the world, but at least we are not getting ruined by an insurance system whose first and main purpose should be to PROTECT its customers from getting ruined.
My Dad always said that insurance companies were legalized criminals. Trouble is, we seem not to be able to live without them either.
Have a great 2. half of the week!