Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
President Obama is utilizing the well earned anger consumers have for the healthcare industry in order to promote his healthcare reform plan. Eighty percent of consumers are not sick. Those 80% think their healthcare insurance policy is great. The 20% of the population that is sick is very unhappy with the healthcare insurance industry.
The internet and the blogosphere have enabled those 20% to express their anger. In less than 5 hours there were 177 negative comments to the article describing how the healthcare insurance industry double crossed President Obama. This anger has been ignored in the past. The new media has created an environment in which the anger cannot be ignored. The healthcare insurance industry has killed the goose that laid its golden eggs.
President Obama has made the internet his town hall to permit consumers to express their discontent for the healthcare system. I suspect President Obama will receive more than 5 million complaints in his campaign to expose the abuse of patients by the healthcare insurance industry.
It will not bring us closer to having an affordable healthcare system. If the complications of chronic diseases were prevented, defensive medicine eliminated by effective malpractice reform, and healthcare insurance companies’ administrative waste stopped, America would have an affordable healthcare system.
Consumers need to control their healthcare dollars, receive incentives and be responsible for their own health and healthcare. ( ideal medical savings accounts).
The following are a few consumer comments
“Not surprised at all by this. The health insurance companies have had an unbelievable advantage, they can do anything they want. The only thing they need to do is keep Congress happy with lobbyists because Congress is not their customer, they have their own insurance paid by you and I. It’s gloves off time on health reform. These guys will pull no punches, they are fighting for their yachts. While we lose insurance if we file a claim.”
A consumer terminated from his job.
“I am a 56 year old professional with master degrees and many years of experience in my industry & for 19 years plus I worked for the same large corporation that just terminated me from employment because I was diagnosed with a blood cancer.
My family and I have lost medical coverage because of this and at a time when I need it the most. I would like to continue buying the same insurance even with the termination but I can not do so because I am excluded from group employment. I have lost all my rights to buy insurance like everyone else and with pre-existing medical problems nobody will insure me (or my family which depended on me).
At the very least, because I worked all my life and have never been unemployed, I should have been allowed to keep my insurance that I had while I was healthy. When I tell my friends overseas what my employer, Sun Chemical Corporation has done with me, they all say it is illegal in their country and it is a total horror that our society has chosen to discriminate so savagely against the sick and those unfortunate to lose their employment.
It is a travesty that corporations and health insurance companies collude to cleanse their ranks of those that are sick and those that are getting old as it has happened at Sun Chemical Corporation a multinational division of Dainippon Ink & Chemicals a Japanese conglomerate. “
An abused person”
This man’s corporation dropped him. He should be able to get COBRA insurance but the COBRA premium is at least 150% more than the employer paid premium. The premiums must be paid with after tax dollars. This increases the real cost of the COBRA premiums by an additional 35%.Corporate self insured plan’s can avoid the COBRA coverage requirement.
This consumer is 9 years away from being eligible for Medicare coverage. He cannot qualify for private insurance because of his age and his preexisting illness. The rest of his family might not qualify for more expensive individual healthcare insurance policies.
A byproduct of the new media is others can be made aware of the healthcare systems inequities.
“I am so sorry and hope there is some sort of alternative for you found very soon – for you and your family’s sake. This is why we have to hang solidly behind healthcare reform. Personally, I would prefer single payer because these guys do not want to reform, they want to continue holding everyone’s health hostage. What you’re going through is awful. Please take care…so sorry.”
“It’s exactly stories like you that need to get out in front of this thing and bury Blue Cross in their hypocritical "we provide better service" grave.
Just like so many scare-tactic politicking, these ads are nothing more than a mirror aimed outward. The private insurance industry is broken because there are really no better options.
If they want to survive, they’re just going to have to do better…
As far as I’m concerned, no one will be upset if they don’t survive.”
There are even comments containing color words.
Blue Cross Blue Shield s@#%&–they have raised my rates every year for the past three years, even though they have not had to pay ANY medical charges for me. What do you expect these insurance guys to do? They don’t want to lower costs. No doubt, if there were a cure found for cancer, there would be some idiots, like insurance companies and republicans, rushing to undermine the cure and bury it because it hurt the chemotherapy industry. That’s the way they think. They have NO interest in making health care more affordable, more efficient, and less necessary. Don’t threaten the system that helps the fat cats.
The negative comments are endless. President Obama will receive lots of documentation. Documentation he will use against the healthcare insurance industry. He will win. Unfortunately, he will not solve any of the problems in the healthcare system.