“We’re going to open up the power of the free markets, you’re going to love your insurance, prices will go down and insurance will be better,” well, so said President Trump on Monday 13 March.
How? Under the ACA health insurers are raking in obtuse profits, buying back stock options and doubling down on dividends. If that wasn’t enough, the average salary for health care insurance CEOs is somewhere north of $14 million annually, not including perks like private jets, cars and get-outta-town junkets. Like the ACA, the so-called RyanCare model does nothing to remove the profit incentives that have been driving the cost of health care out of sight for several decades.
In fact, the GOP version pays insurers to manage those who can’t afford insurance then really slaps the face of small business, part-timers and the self-employed. Should it pass, costs will continue to climb, fewer Americans will be insured and more families will find themselves choosing between bankrupting the family or seeking lifesaving medical care.
It’s a very sad state of medical purgatory we live indeed. America, the wealthiest country in the history of man, is the only First-World nation without national health care. Not premium or elective services, that’s what insurance is for, but basic medical coverage necessary to guarantee the good health of all Americans. A single-payer system would save middle-class families and small business billions annually. Americans would not have to choose between health and family economics and we would have a healthier more productive population.
It can happen, the mechanism is already in place, but the powers that own our Congress, the health insurers who have their ear, will do everything they can to stop it, that is unless people get educated, get angry and demand real change.
Consider this, when was the last time you received anything more than a form letter from your congressman? I guarantee you that Mark T. Bertolini, CEO of Aetna can pick up the phone and get him on the line within five minutes. Think about it.
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Reid Harlocker is a resident of Hayden.