Monday, October 5, 2009

Let's Set The Facts Straight About Healh Care

It's frustrating listening to all the misinformation and rhetoric about health care coming from our politicians.

Just recently, Rep. Alan Grayson, D-FLA., warned Americans that "Republicans want you to die quickly" during an after-hours House floor speech Tuesday September 29th. This kind of rhetoric and name-calling serves no purpose and only fuels the frenzy on both sides.

In his prime-time address to Congress President Obama said. "it will be against the law for insurance companies to drop your coverage when you get sick."

Folks, It's already against the law for your health insurance company to drop you just because you filed a claim. It's also against the law for a health insurance company to single you out for a rate increase.

The state insurance commissioners regulate insurance companies on the state level and enforce good-faith execution of insurance contracts and hold insurance companies accountable. They generally do a very food job of this. Our current Health Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius did this as an insurance commissioner for Kansas State for eight years.. She knows how this works.

Let's set the facts straight. Health insurance companies do have the authority to rescind your policy if they find that you lied on the application. This is a tool the insurance companies use to eliminate fraud and abuse. If they didn't do this the only time we would buy insurance is when we become sick.

The insurance company relies on information that is provided by you on the application to access risk and to protect their current policyholders. If insurance companies only insured the sick premiums to policyholders would be that much higher. Insurance companies need premium dollars from healthy people to help offset claims paid on the sick people.

Because insurance companies pay the bills and not policyholders, most Americans have no idea just how much medical procedures cost. A family member of mine was recently released from the hospital. His stay was almost 3 months and just the hospital portion of his medical bills were $200,000.00.

To be fair to the other side, I have occasionally seen health insurance companies over step their bounds and play the game of delay an/or deny benefits. In their quest to weed out fraud and abuse they sometimes go too far.

We need to stop creating villains and start addressing long-term health care costs and how to best guarantee access to medical insurance for all. We need health care reform and the insurance companies need to be a part of the solution. Government should be responsible for regulating and enforcing the rules. Insurance companies should be in the business of underwriting insurance policies and paying the bills.

Let's stop the name calling on both sides and get to work on health care reform that is fair and equitable for all.