Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If Only They Were In A Position To Do Something About That Pre-Existing Condition Stuff

This ad from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has always pissed me off. Especially the part where they say:
...and the words “pre-existing condition” become a thing of the past.

Psssst!!! Hey, AHIP! You know, you guys don’t need a freaking act of Congress to stop using “pre-existing conditions” as an excuse to deny coverage to your customers. You could just .... stop. All on your own! Y'all ever think about that?

The fact that you haven’t stopped abusive policies like denying coverage based on “pre-existing conditions” is one reason why we’re faced with Congressional action in the first place. And it is yet more proof that the glorious “free hand of the market” is not sufficient motivation for corporations to do the right thing.

Of course, the healthcare/insurance game is rigged from the get-go. Anyone who has a “pre-existing condition” is intimately familiar with that. If you are denied coverage because of your “pre-existing condition,” it’s not like there is a cornucopia of other insurance options from which you can choose. Nine times out of 10 your options are to go without, or go to an emergency room. Depending on how severe your “pre-existing condition” is, you can go untreated for the five-, seven- or however many years required before your policy will cover it as something “new.” But if you are in the full throes of breast cancer or MS or anything else, sorry.

So thank you America’s Health Insurance Plans for reminding us why you are the problem, not the solution. Thank you for proving our point: that reform requires a public option, because you could stop this “pre-exisiting condition” BS right now, and yet you state in your ads that you want Congress to fix it for you. How’s that for irony?

I suffer no allusions that AHIP wants Congress to reform our healthcare system. I think it’s all theater. This is all part of the Frank Luntz-advised message machine which warned Republicans to appear to be on the side of reform, because reform is a popular idea. So while groups like AHIP run feel-good ads claiming they support “bipartisan reform” (even though they could change many of the very policies which have caused this crisis to begin with), on the other hand they are working behind the scenes to make sure nothing changes at all.

Amazing that they not only think they can get away with this, but that they actually are getting away with this.

For now.