Who Will Protect Our Nation’s Most Vulnerable Pain-Profiting Billionaires? [VIDEO]

By Channing Kennedy Sep 25, 2009

Thank you, celebrities, for fighting for what’s right:

And for those of you who are textual learners, here’s some historical and metaphorical perspective from the always-on-point never-not-blunt Milt Shook at Please… Cut The Crap!:

Imagine your brother-in-law came to you and said, "Send me $18,000 per year, and I’ll keep it for you. Whenever you need money to spend, just come to me, and I’ll pay the bill for you, as long as I approve of the item you plan to buy. Then, at the end of the year, whatever you haven’t spent, I get to keep." Would you take that deal, or would you laugh at him and suggest to your wife that he be committed? …

By 1981, only 12% of the health insurance market was controlled by for-profit insurance companies. But then the neocons hit the fan, and deregulation fever swept the nation. With neocons in charge, and progressives left to sit on the sidelines and whine about how terrible Ronald Reagan was, all of the restraints on for-profit insurance were lifted and the entire system was transformed into the price-gouging, immoral system you see today. And why not? The HMO concept is the only profit model that can work when it comes to health insurance. You pay them money, and whatever you don’t use, they get to keep. It’s simple, yet corrupt. That model used to be called a "protection racket," but neocons see this as a good "free market" business model. But there’s nothing "free market," or even "capitalistic" about the current health care financing model. Do you realize health insurance companies don’t even have to increase revenues to keep profits increasing and keep their stockholders happy under the current structure? They only have to figure out ways to keep more of what they collect. The problem is, their business model actually works against the needs of the system itself. The actual players in the health care system — the doctors and patients only — can only function if everyone is covered and all of the bills are paid. In the health care system we’ve created, we’ve been stuck with a "middleman" of sorts, who must necessarily work AGAINST the needs of the system in order to increase profits every year.

The whole piece, and the rest of the blog, are excellent reads for anyone looking for real talk about health care industry politics with a healthy helping of snark.