September 10, 2009

Two Speeches

The President gave two speeches this week. The one I didn’t watch (at least when it was originally broadcast) was his address to school age kids that was broadcast around the country into elementary, middle and high schools. For some reason, it was not shown at our local High School. However, I found the objections to the speech to be somewhat petty and disengenuous. How can we be offended by the President of the United States telling kids to stay in school and try harder? Honestly, I have no problems with that speech whatsoever. It was very Presidential and I think he had good intentions. I saw no hidden motives or attempts at liberal “indoctrination” at all.

Howsofuckingever, last night’s Health Insurance (let’s be honest and stop calling it “health care” because that is NOT what this is about) speech to an ad hoc joint session of Congress really pissed me off. I am very surprised at the demonizing of the insurance industry as a whole. Insurance Companies do good things when bad things happen, don’t they?

The speech was somewhat rhetorical, with a strange tone and offered NOTHING in the way of a road map to solving the problem.

Now, I work for an insurance company. My father worked for the insurance company and lots of my friends work for insurance companies. We don’t work for health insurance companies (mostly we do specialty lines of coverage and my dad was in the life insurance business), and have to buy health insurance like the rest of you. I am a consumer of health insurance and don’t like the hefty price, but have enjoyed many benefits from having it over the years. I think the bills for my daughter’s birth over 14 years ago were over $35k and we paid a $10 co-pay.

Some of what the President said bothers me a lot:

“we cannot have large businesses and individuals who can afford coverage game the system by avoiding responsibility”…

Who is he talking about? Who exactly is “gaming the system”? Me and my employer can afford it and pay a lot for health insurance. I wanna know how are we gonna pay for this “plan”?? Apparently, we will use the money saved from taking out fraud and abuse of Medicare and other insurance. Give me a break. If we can do that, let’s do it now. It may be needed to save Medicare. Insurance Companies work on combatting fraud and abuse every day. Part of the claims that get denied, are, guess what,…fraudulent. They try not to pay claims that are abusive of the rules of the system. That enures to their benefit as profit and is an attempt at trying to hold down costs.

“The only thing this plan would eliminate is the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste and fraud, as well as unwarranted subsidies in Medicare that go to insurance companies”.

Again, if that is the case, let ‘s pull the trigger on elimination of fraud and waste NOW. The thing about it is that you just can’t legislate that away. Good luck trying. Just waive your magic hand and make it so Mr. President. The subsidies that go to the insurance carriers are reimbursements for what they paid out that Medicare owed. I don’t understand the math here.

“I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need.”

Who will administer this plan? Some other kind of bureaucrat I suspect.

“But by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits and excessive administrative costs and executive salaries, it could provide a good deal for consumers, and would also keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable and treat their customers better, the same way public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students without in any way inhibiting a vibrant system of private colleges and universities.”

Say what? So we will run this new health insurance like a university? Ever know anyone that got rejected from a college or university? Maybe it will be college and educational bureaucrats who will administer this so called “plan”? Those people are so much better at treating their customers well. Once again, give us a break.

“Now, much of the rest would be paid for with revenues from the very same drug and insurance companies that stand to benefit from tens of millions of new customers. And this reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money”

Huh? Boy if that isn’t political bureaucratic double-speak, I don’t know what is. How does taxing the fee for the most expensive policy encourage the insurance company to provide greater value? I am nearly certain it would encourage just the opposite.

And then we go and say “the ones who suffer silently” are the ones who have been writing e-mails and need to be heard. Wow. Sounds like something our last President might have been mercilessly chastized for saying.

BTW: Joe Wilson is a Fucktard for heckling the President. That is just bad form. Show a little respect dude. The world is watching.

4 responses to “Two Speeches”

  1. Yarbz says:

    I just got home and looked at the Jugg… Nice post. I will go over what you said and post a reasonably thought out comment. I can’t do that now cuzza I am gonna go get a beer and eat and then a quality comment is unlikely.

    I will say that I work for an insurance company, not health, and today dealt with a problem with my prescription coverage… It was several hours of phone calls and 6 pages of 12pt notes on Microsoft Word. The issue is not resolved nor do I think it will be before several more conversations… I can just imagine how smooth things will work once the government takes control. It’ll be perfect and hassle free healthcare with no headaches for anyone. Plus, I figure it’ll be run within very efficient budgets with very thorough oversight by honest government employees that are not unionized and work hard and smart all day long. It’s gonna by heaven on Earth because that’s the way the government does things; the correct, efficient, fair and equitable way. Just think of all the grand examples of great government agencies and how they run efficient and are understanding and flexible and full of joyous people smiling all the time ready to help you in any way you need. I can’t wait… Oh well, maybe I won’t post more than this… What else can be said?

  2. FloridaBill says:

    Well, since the Blog has not had much commentary lately, I am glad that you took the time to put in yours.

    It scares me even more to think that I will have to get prescription drug coverage from the federal government when ExpressScripts makes my life a living hell when trying to get maintenance meds on time and without error. They recently hit me up for money for a drug they sent me without a renewal request and that my doctor had taken me off of three months earlier. I am still waiting for them to tell me what to do with this 3 month supply of a drug that I no longer take.

    I just refuse to put up with my industry being demonized when MY problems with the health care system really have little to do with insurance and a lot more to do with competence and caring and attention to detail. Heck, I’ve been seeing the same doctor now for two plus years for the same ailment and he barely recognizes me when I have an appointment (which takes months to get) and always aks sme why I am there to see him. He referred me (again to another Specialist) to an Endocrinologist, who can’t see me until November. I made the appointment early last month. Now, WTF does that have to do with anything the President said or alluded to last night?

    In the meantime, I suffer from pain that is debilitating at times and uncomfortable at best. The meds they give me not only don’t work to control it, but have side effects (like making me very sleepy during the day) that are undesirable to say the least. We all have our crosses to bear so to speak, but if I could just get a little empathy and a little more attention, I would feel a lot better about the future of health care in America.

    I need Feste as my personal, on-call 24/7 Doc. Maybe he could get me some propofol to help me sleep.

  3. Trench says:

    Awesome post FB.

    I have worked for healkth insurance companies. (Pru, Aetna, UHC) and part of the problem is things that aren’t being discussed. Things like doctors and hospitals over charging their patients trying to get the best reimbursement from the insurance companies not to mention all the fraud that goes on. The fraud is a lot more common than you think. So as you guys know when these things happen rates go up. I’m not saying the insurance companies are blameless but there’s a lot of blame to go around. I could go on for hours about that.

    Also I’ve worked on the other side of the coin as a medical biller for hospitals and medical practices. Dealing with government run healthcare like Medicare and Medicaid is a nightmare and their reimbursement rates are pitiful.

    My point is that no one is innocent in this equation and it’s not going to be fixed overnight.

  4. FloridaBill says:

    From my e-mail:

    Let me get this straight —

    Obama’s health care plan was be written by a committee whose head says he doesn’t understand it, asks a Congress to pass it that hasn’t read it (or at least understands it) and whose members will be exempt from it, signed by a president who smokes, funded by a treasury chief who did not pay his taxes, overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that is trillions in debt.

    What could possibly go wrong?