Insurers Urge Government Solution to Problem They Created
Since its inception, the health insurance industry has fought doctors over payments, dropped patients when they’ve gotten sick and denied coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. The tactics make perfect sense: Insurance companies aren’t designed to make people well, they’re designed to reap profits for shareholders.
Which, as Washington Post columnist Michael Kinsley points out today, makes the new ad campaign from America’s Health Insurance Plans (the industry’s mouthpiece in Washington) just that much more cynical.
“Illness doesn’t care where you live,” the ad says, “Or if you’re already sick. Or if you lose your job. Your health insurance shouldn’t either.”
The ad sets a scolding tone, Kinsley writes, “as if describing some dreadful situation on the moon that they [insurance companies] have nothing to do with.”
If the health insurer industry shouldn’t discriminate against the disadvantaged, as the ad says, then “why does it?” Kinsley asks.
The industry lobby says, as part of health-care reform, that it will stop caring whether you’re already sick. But why wait, now that the scales have fallen from their eyes?
Good questions, all. And the answers can be found in the companies’ quarterly reports.