Tag Archives: insurance

Fire Departments Charging Victims for Services

Capitalism just gets better and better, don’t it?

Love the American health care system? Think insurance companies who take your money for premiums and then refuse to pay for services are just the bomb?

Well, then, you’re gonna love this.

Some people are now being sent bills by their fire departments for the cost of putting out their house fires.

Thank God there’s not some meddling socialist government coddling the populace by putting out house fires for free. Why, we can’t have all these people laying around all day doing nothing but setting their houses on fire so they can live off of government services!

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So much for lowering insurance costs. Great.

 

So much for insurance costs getting lowered. Great.

 

Didn’t I just write in my last blog entry, a few hours ago, that if health care insurance costs aren’t kept down, that none of that half-hearted “reform” is gonna work?

 

Well, as if the insurance companies weren’t already making enough profits…as if they already weren’t having legislation written on their behalf to force everyone to buy their worthless overpriced product from them, now they even have the balls to say they’re going to need more money?

 

If you’ve read any of my past blog entries on this, you know that I consider the health insurance companies to be the whole problem that health care reform is supposed to fix. And yet we end up with some scheme that basically extorts the American public into buying health insurance or else.

 

I mean, what is it about American health care that sucks that needs to be fixed in the first place? Well, insurance premiums are too high, insurance companies deny people life-saving care, and the insurance bureaucracy is drowning every hospital and doctor’s office in a mountain of paperwork. 

 

Also, drug companies are allowed to charge absolutely insane prices for their drugs, and they seem to have no shame at all in charging hundreds of dollars for a pill that wholesales for four.

 

(here’s a link to the Keith Olbermann article where his pharmacist tells him this.)

 

And yet our government is actually forbidden by law to negotiate drug prices for Medicare with those companies! Forbidden! And you know who wrote those laws–Congressmen with ties to the health insurance companies and the drug companies. 

 

If private enterprise was going to fix this problem, it would have done it already. It’s had plenty of time. But corporations aren’t persons, and they don’t feel guilty about ripping off humans. 

 

A corporation is like a shark–it is programmed to eat. It’s not programmed to care about the feelings of what it’s eating. That doesn’t make the shark (or the corporation) evil per se, but you still want to use reasonable caution when you have to deal with one.

 

I’ll say it again–I want a universal, single-payer system that covers everyone. Any system that caters to the desires of the health insurance industry is bound to fail. 

 

I mean, at what point do we quit calling health insurance a “service” and start calling it a “crime”? If people were paying reasonable premiums and reasonable rates for health care and there weren’t scores of people in America (with healthcare!) going bankrupt and losing homes over medical bills, then maybe health insurance could be called an “industry”. 

 

But they’re systematically ripping off people and killing people! Lots of people! What else do they have to do to cross that line?! When are we going to start calling it what it is? Let’s call it crime. Fraud. Murder. A colossal scam masquerading as a business. 

 

Here I’d like to quote a short passage from a Douglas Adams book, one of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” series, and I can’t remember which one, don’t have copies of them at hand so I can’t quote it verbatim, but the jist of it was this:

 

“I hear they’re giving the death penalty to insurance agents now.”

“For what crime?”

“What do you mean, what crime?”

 

I like that. 

 

 

 

Woman denied liver transplant because she smoked pot

August 9–

This woman died waiting for a liver transplant.

HMSA was going to approve one until they found trace amounts of cannabis in her system–and then they denied her.

 

Here’s the link to the story:

 

#mce_temp_url#

 

 

I’d comment more but all I can think of is cuss words. Fill in your own.

Tools ‹ Lucky’s Blog — WordPress

 

June 22, 2009–

 

Some Pessimistic thots on Capitalist Totalitarianism–

 

Sadly, I fear the American health care system will become a scary bureaucratic mess of capitalist totalitarianism, where Americans are required to buy insurance, and the insurance companies aren’t required to treat patients decently or even keep them alive.

 

Any time I hear of some state plan that requires people to buy insurance, I just cringe. 

 

We Americans used to fear the Soviet system of communist totalitarianism, where the state told you what you could buy and where you could buy it, and where you could work and where you could live.

 

Here in America, the state doesn’t do all that–circumstances just does it for you. If you’re too poor to buy anywhere but Wal-Mart, it becomes your de facto store whether you like it or not. If you are required to live a middle class lifestyle just to keep your kids from being taken away from you (by the state), and you’re required to maintain a job to maintain that lifestyle, and for that you must have a car to get to said job, which you’re required to buy insurance for (by the state), isn’t the state forcing you into slavery by requiring you to buy so much stuff all the time?

 

Of course, you don’t have to have a car. But if you want to get back and forth to a job, you’re a lot likely to land it and keep it if you have a car. A few big American cities have public transportation, but most places in America have poorly run bus systems at best. (Hitchhiking will actually get you to most places faster, if you’re not scared to do it.) 

 

Of course, you don’t have to buy things at Wal-Mart. No one’s making you do it. But how long are you going to righteously buy toilet paper at some other store for more money when you know it’s really the same thing and you’d sure like to buy some dog food today, too?

 

So. Yeah. No one’s making you keep that job. No one’s forcing you to drive a car or make insurance payments, right? Sure…you can just walk everywhere and drive around with no insurance until you get caught and have to pay some gianormous fine…..

 

So, I always wonder…..if you’re required to buy health insurance, what do they do to the people who just can’t or won’t? I suppose the people who can’t will have the same sorta-kinda health care we’ve got now, but what about those who won’t qualify for that? You’re gonna force them to make a payment every month to an insurance company?

 

Why not have single-payer, then? What’s the damn difference between making people pay an insurance company and just straight-out taking their money and providing them with health care?

 

Of course, we all know why single-payer isn’t more attractive. It brings up the spectre of Bureaucracy, mountains of paperwork shoved at you by mouth-breathing office drones who only seem to exist to make any of your dealings with a government agency into a full day of pure unadulterated hell. Just go mess with Welfare or DMV or Social Security or any of those guys for a day and you can see what kind of nightmare an American national health care plan could turn into. So even while I think single-payer would be a good idea, I also worry that it could get really messed up and turn into just another American government agency, which is supposed to help people but actually puts up as many roadblocks as possible in order to discourage all but the most desperate or the most cunning. 

 

Aarrgh….what’s the answer? How are we supposed to come up with a humane intelligent system that actually takes care of people without costing a fortune? Or are we just doomed to watch our whole system lurch forward brokenly like a half-dead car, held together by popsicle sticks and chewing gum until it totally breaks down and we have to admit that we need a new one?