Here are our comments on the latest Bill Moyers show. You can watch the video their too. Comments below. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2010/03/is_the_presidents_health_bill.html
Bill Moyers Journal:
I am a 50 year veteran of the field life and health insurance delivery system and receive a retirement check from Cigna – the same Cigna as your guest author Wendell Potter. The industry has lost focus on their premium paying customers and in the process is corrupt. We are our brother’s keeper when push comes to shove. Our Congress has lost their way. Check out Wellpoint’s website and other related sites.
A Mr. Wydick has written about this and would be a good potential guest: http://www.usfca.edu/artsci/fac_staff/W/wydick_bruce.html.
The 39% premium increase by Anthem Blue Cross (Wellpoint) on 800,000 of the California insured is a wake-up call that healthcare and the free market don’t work and a major sign of weakness. They are fighting a major meltdown. Both of your guests were right in that change must take place. The crisis in the healthcare delivery system is simple. Wall Street greed along with CEO’s of the big five and their close associates borderlines on fraud. They are in the same position as tobacco company executive denying a link between their product and cancer. It took close to 25 years to reign in the industry. Will it take 25 years to get regulations back in place to keep the unregulated banks and the health industry to act in the interest of their customers? It can’t wait. The insured and bank depositors should come first in any business paradigm.
There is little doubt health industry took their business plan forward from deregulation of banks and insurance companies back in 1997. Wellpoint was organized to buy up the non-profit Blue Cross operations all across the country to eliminate competition and turn it into a Wall Street honey; and in the process increasing their margins up to 30% from as low as 10%. They are operating as a monopoly. Their business plan is not working. Their business plan slowly took over 35 million premium payers at 30% margins and 24 million Medicare policy holders administratively for 4% margins. Medicare for all would eliminate their Wall Street connection. They are fighting hard. Wall Street is the problem, not the medical delivery system.
If the public was tuned into how we got to this emergency that started 20 years ago and took a giant leap forward when Wellpoint eliminated competition with buyouts over several years of Blue Shield/Cross nationwide; a real current solution today might be possible.
Eventually, the public option and/or Medicare for all is the solution. The next step is how to deal with huge public companies like Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) that own several hundred for-profit hospitals. Ex-Senator Frist is a major shareholder.
James Hall, CLU
Monte Sereno, CA