Other Voices: Man who touts U.S. health care system sells medical insurance
I read Anthony Halby’s Feb. 20 Other Voices “Where U.S. health care tops all other systems” in The Union a few times, and while I may agree with some of the points in it, there was something about it that bothered me.
After thinking about it, I realized it is the fact that nowhere in the opinion column does Mr. Halby mention that he owns an insurance company in Nevada City and sells medical insurance.
This means he directly profits from the premiums paid by the purchasers of insurance, and has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. As I understand it, sellers of insurance receive a percentage of the premium paid, which would mean … the higher the premium, the better. This fact makes me wonder about the many other opinions and comments written in the media, and who is behind them and what is their real agenda.
It would seem that one of the main functions of our government is to help protect its citizens (from enemies foreign and domestic). I consider corporate greed and, in some cases, collusion and bribery (in the form of campaign contributions) to be a very real domestic threat. To the average citizen anyway, but maybe not to those who benefit from the money.
It is my understanding that one of the responsibilities of the SEC is to watch out for and prevent monopolies in the market place. Seeing as I am self-employed and my wife and I purchase our own insurance, and the fact that a family member became sick a few years ago, needing ongoing follow-up testing, which now constitutes a pre-existing condition and prevents us from being able to purchase insurance anywhere else (we would be rejected), what is that but a form of monopoly?
We will need to keep the insurance we have for another 10 years when we reach Medicare age, and basically pay whatever premium the insurance company charges.
While we are glad to have insurance, we pay a very high premium and annual out-of-pocket expenses, and are left with few, if any, options in the form of competition.
I think if a public option is not deemed to be a good idea, in the very least competition in the form of being able to buy insurance across state lines, and insurance reform, including not rejecting people with pre-existing conditions, would be a step in the right direction in protecting the citizens of our country.
Or, unfortunately, maybe the cynical saying I have heard holds some truth, that “in the U.S. we have the best government money can buy.”
Richard Hayes lives in Nevada City.
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