Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The health of the nation

Do these following statistics surprise, upset or please you?

“The nation’s top five insurers made $12.2 billion in profits in 2009, a 56 percent increase over 2008, while covering 2.7 million fewer Americans.”

“Anthem Blue Cross decided to raise rates by up to 39 percent in California.”

“Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield filed for a 25.3 percent rate increase on 70,000 Oregonians.”

For about 30 people gathered at Strictly Organic Coffee, at Bond and Arizona, this morning to stage a peaceful protest in support of passing health care reform, these insurance robberies are the central issue.

Best overheard line by a woman commenting on her bumper sticker that reads: “My car has better insurance than I do.”

The assembled were almost all middle-aged or senior women in the protest organized by the grass-roots group Health Care for America Now, which staged the protest nationwide.

It’s good that these people care enough to want to see real health insurance reform, but it definitely looks like it won’t happen.

The reason: that $12.2 billion in profits for the health insurance racketeers. They can buy off anyone with that kind of dough. They have already.

As most Americans know, we have a health INSURANCE crisis in this country and it’s not going to go away anytime soon. To have real reform, we need a single-payer, non-profit system. Until we do, health insurers will just take our money and laugh at us.

Medicare operates with a 3 percent overhead cost. The big insurance companies’ overhead: 30 percent.

Check out Michael Moore’s documentary “Sicko.” It says it all about the greed consuming the for-profit insurance giants.

Until America suffers a cataclysmic event similar to what Europe did during World War II, we won’t have the understanding to realize that health care is a right and not a privilege as some placards read today. We don’t get it, yet.

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