Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Firing your insurance company

Does Romney like to fire people? Maybe, I don't know. It's not really what he said.

What he said was worse. (Krugman and Aaron Carroll agree with me - or I with them - but I'm not linking because I don't want to exhaust your reads, and because I thought of it before I read them, and because it's really pretty obvious if you give it a moment's thought.)

What he said was that the health care system in this country ought to work to allow you to shop around for the best insurance company, "firing" yours and "hiring" a better. Only, who can do that?

Most people don't really have the money to get just any health insurance they want. Most people's insurance depends on who their employer offers them. And even those with full, free choice don't usually know that they have a "bad employee" until they get sick. At which point it is far too late to go shopping around for another one. Pre-existing conditions and all that. In fact, the best thing about his Massachusetts plan was that it made it hard for you to get dropped by your company.

Moreover, he really seems to think (he can't really. Can he?) that insurance companies are in it to spend money on their customers, instead of to make money for their stockholders. Insurance companies love it when sick people leave.

Romney has no clue about how health insurance works for the vast majority of Americans

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At 9:50 AM, January 11, 2012 Anonymous Mark had this to say...

What they won't admit is that it's regulations that keep it no worse than this deplorable level. My insurance company once tried to force me to exclude a "pre-existing" condition, on pain of canceling my policy. I, with absolutely no recourse to do otherwise (fire my insurance company? yeah, right), agreed under protest, and at the same time appealed to my state insurance commissioner. A short time after the commissioner's office contacted the insurance company, the insurance company folded on that demand.

At 10:12 AM, January 11, 2012 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Bravo, Mark! Unfortunately not everyone has the moxie and articulateness necessary to achieve such a victory -- while the insurance companies sure as heck aren't going to give it to them without a fight. (Doubtless the companies even wish there were no state insurance commissioner).

At 11:15 AM, January 11, 2012 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Insurance companies are in it to make money. I don't understand why that is so hard for people to grasp. Or perhaps what they don't grasp is HOW insurance companies make money.

I have never understood why people have a horror of some "government bureaucrat" who has no vested interest in anything but moving money from A to B handling their insurance, but would instead prefer some insurance guy whose job depends on how little money he moves doing it instead.


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