The insurance industry’s idea of universal healthcare…

(via the NY Times):

Insurers Seek Bigger Reach in Coverage

Published: December 19, 2007

Acknowledging that too many people simply cannot obtain health insurance on their own, the insurance industry plans on Wednesday to propose a series of steps the companies say would let more individuals, even those who have health problems, obtain coverage.

The proposals, approved by a board of the industry’s main trade group, would make it harder for insurers to cancel policies or deny coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions. The steps would also limit the premiums that could be charged for such people.

The effort is meant to help address the problem of 47 million Americans without health coverage. And it signals a willingness by insurers to abandon practices that have seemed aimed at excluding all but the healthiest individuals.

“We are taking responsibility for ensuring that no one falls through the cracks,” said Karen Ignagni, the chief executive of the trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, which is based in Washington.

Good news!

But then, somewhere deep in the article, we find how insurers define “taking responsibility”..

“While the group is proposing that the states cover the most costly individuals, private insurers would offer policies to everyone else.”

In other words, private insurers would cover healthy people; the government would cover sick people. Sweet. And they call the plan “taking responsibility”. If nothing else, you gotta admire the chutzpah.

I assume property and casualty companies will now write fire insurance policies that cover everyone except those who “experience property loss due to fire”. Those are the “most expensive individuals”, don’t you know.

Isn’t the whole idea of insurance to pool risk? Not in the world of health insurance companies. Their plan is to divide the pool. They’ve already carved out the elderly (bad risk) and the poor (no money); now they want to divide the rest of the pool by separating them into “likely to get sick” and “not likely to get sick”. How they get away with this crap, I have no idea.

Meanwhile, of course, they are donating major bucks to the political party that makes it impossible for states to cover those “expensive individuals”—that would require taxes.

And the NY Times reports this as “Insurers Seek Bigger Reach in Coverage”.  Frickin’ A.  It’s like the NY Times was to lazy to even change the title of their press release.


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Filed under brain dead media, healthcare finance

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