Thursday, August 22, 2013

Moda Center a ripoff of taxpayers, health-care policyholders

$40 million in Moda Health insurance premiums now pay
for renaming the Rose Garden, not health care
During all the recent chatter about Phil Knight's $68 million football operations palace at the University of Oregon, something far more sinister occurred.

Moda Health, formerly ODS, agreed to pay for naming rights to the Rose Garden arena in Portland for 10 years. It'll have that new "iconic" name of Moda Center.

Here's a link to The Oregonian story that includes some choice comments from readers.

Moda Health's main policyholders are public employees.

The Rose Garden is owned by Paul Allen, a billionaire who helped create Microsoft.

Public employees' health benefits are largely paid for by taxpayers.

Well, taxpayers are now giving the billionaire Allen $40 million over 10 years.

Yes, we always hear from the media how "entitlements" like Social Security and Medicare are bankrupting our country.

What's really bankrupting our country is giving millions to billionaires each and every year.

The ultra-rich know how to shoot up with government money better than any junkie does heroin.

Getting it from a largely taxpayer-funded health insurance company is what really rankles.

Many public employees get about $1,000 a month in health insurance from their agency, fire department or school district. That doesn't even cover dental or vision, which the public employee, at least a teacher, has to pay out of pocket.

For that $1,000 per month, a public employee gets about the same coverage as an individual paying $500 a month.

As in the private sector, the price that a public employee has to pay for health insurance escalates each year while the coverage plummets.

Since most Oregon school districts can no longer bargain for cheaper health insurance policies, the rich see a steady source of money to tap into each year.

Moda Health obviously has too much money on its hands from gouging public workers, while, at the same time, denying coverage.

It's classic health insurance in this country.

With millions going to executives of health insurance companies and to billionaires like Paul Allen, there is far less money to lower premiums, pay for coverage or pay doctors.

This is what's really wrong with health care in this country.

We pay about five times more than other developed countries. For that largesse, we get worse outcomes.

Until this country adopts Medicare for all, and not the private Medicare Advantage, we will be a poorer nation and a more unhealthy one.

The new Moda Center is a now a monument to what's wrong with health care coverage in this country.

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