Before reading this piece, chew on this: Stephen Hemsley is the president and CEO of United Health, the second largest health insurer in the country. It is projected that, if he were an hourly employee, he will be paid this year at the hourly rate of $102,000. (Just in case you think I’ve omitted a decimal point, let me repeat that number: $102,000.00—per hour!!) If this is not sufficient argument for an alternative to a system of private healthcare, I do not know what better argument to make on behalf of insured and uninsured Americans.
Keep in mind that for most of us—those that enjoy healthcare insurance via of our jobs or pensions—WE DO NOT HAVE HEALTHCARE COVERAGE. OUR EMPLOYERS DO. UPON LOSING A JOB OR LEARNING THAT AN EMPLOYER HAS REDUCED OR ELIMINATED HEALTHCARE COVERAGE, THERE ARE NO MEANINGFUL OPTIONS AVAILABLE. OF COURSE THERE IS COBRA. BUT WHAT UNEMPLOYED PERSON/FAMILY CAN AFFORD COBRA COVERAGE–EVEN WITH THE 65% TAX CREDIT PASSED BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION?!! –Mavin
In a cover story for Business Week earlier this month, reporters Chad Terhune and Keith Epstein argue United Health and other insurers maneuvered to shape healthcare reform for their own benefit. The story is titled “The Health Insurers Have Already Won,” and the authors argue that the insurers have “succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable.” We speak with Chad Terhune, senior writer at BusinessWeek, where he’s covered healthcare for several years.
Read on: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/8/17/business_week_the_health_insurers_have