Why “health insurance” should be outlawed.

Steal billions from shareholders, lie to regulators, overcharge customers and force doctors to work for pennies on the dollar. Yet, there is one person who benefits from this scheme that is helping bring our powerful employers to their knees- yep, the CEO of the insurance company.

Taking home $100 million dollar plus a year salaries, these modern-day pirates steal, cheat and lie their way to riches, while the rest of us are held powerless and at their mercy.

And even when getting caught red-handed, a few fines, no jail time and no shake up of a system that is killing our country and its economy faster than $4-a-gallon gas. Read the entire article to be totally outraged- but here is an excerpt:

In its suit, the SEC accused UnitedHealth of providing senior executives and other employees with in-the-money options while secretly backdating the grants to avoid reporting the expenses to investors.

“UnitedHealth engaged in a long-running scheme to hide over a billion dollars in executive compensation,” Linda Chatman Thomsen, director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, said in a statement. “By materially misstating these expenses for over a decade, UnitedHealth breached its duty to shareholders to accurately report its financial results.”

UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH) said in a statement it has “substantially improved its governance, administrative processes and internal controls.”

A federal judge in Minneapolis last week gave preliminary approval for UnitedHealth to pay $895 million to settle a class-action shareholder lawsuit related to the scandal. Former CEO William McGuire is paying $30 million and Lubben is paying $500,000 to settle with shareholders.

The SEC last December reached a settlement with McGuire in which he agreed to pay a $7 million fine and repay about $448 million to UnitedHealth.

via UnitedHealth settles with SEC in stock scandal – Dayton Business Journal:.

Health insurance isn’t the same as health care- and the difference in price that you have to pay if you are uninsured vs insured is one of the greatest crimes against mankind. If this slap on the wrist approach by the SEC doesn’t outrage you- you must be dead already. It’s time to demand accountability from Congress- or to vote them out.

It’s time to pay for health care- not CEO salaries or bailing out stock swindelers. One price, one plan, one payer for all.

It’s also time to lock these criminals up and throw away the key. Health care should be a basic right.

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12 Responses

  1. Jim Crotty December 23, 2008 / 10:03 pm
    It has always amazed me at the amount of cash flow generated amongst the major health insurers just from taking the simple function of processing medical bills and building it into a major industry. You are absolutely correct in indicating the difference between health insurance and health care.

    The most elaborate corporate boardroom I have ever seen (and I’ve seen my fair share) was in the headquarters building for Regence BC/BS of Utah in Salt Lake City, and literally hundreds of people on the payroll making busy work out of who to go to lunch with, how to decorate the office for the holidays and who gets the red Swingline Stapler.

    Employer sponsored group health plans do nothing more than add more financial burdens on a company’s ability to compete in the global marketplace, exclude the growing number of people who go uninsured in a rapidly changing economy where self-employment is becoming more common and ultimately decrease the quality of care by building-in the “everyone gets their cut” mentality, especially amongst all the brokers on top of brokers who are out there.

    Managed care is an absolute joke. A bunch of people making work out of nothing with the lame excuse of “you need us to administer your plan.”

    And this coming from someone who believes strongly in the free market and who worked as an HR Manager for three years (God, what a nightmare).

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  2. David Esrati December 23, 2008 / 11:22 pm

    @Jim-
    Just imagine if all the people “administrating” health care- were actually “providing” health care instead. The VA has 2% overhead- the “free market” system has 35% overhead.
    Cut 33% off the bill real quick.
    I’ve never once had a paper pusher make me better- but a doctor or nurse- that’s health care.

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  3. John Ise December 24, 2008 / 7:39 am
    Canada’s single payer system covers everyone (US uninsured about 16% of population), costs considerably less (Canada spends about 10% of GDP on health. We spend 15%, heading to 20%), and Canada has much better health outcomes. What am I missing?

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  4. Gene December 24, 2008 / 12:00 pm
    There are draw backs to universal health care. It is not perfect.

    But one of the liberal views i have is in regards to this subject – and the math is much simple than you would think.

    Correct me if I am wrong but the last time I checked the insurance companies are making a lot of money and hospitals and all of the staff is making money. Correct? for the most part this is true.

    So, basically, the insurance company is a middle man. If I pay (for arguments sake) $250 per month for health care, and only am 80% covered, meaning I still pay 20 % of bill when needed, and EVERYONE is making money, well then we need to eliminate the middle man. All we have to do is 86 insurance, set up the most business like govt agency that is completely separate of all other govt agencies, pay a flat, one person tax – what that is I don’t know, and you have universal health care. You are paying for it so it is not free health care and anyone, whether they pay in or don’t pay in will be covered. Theoretically a govt agency could be way way way smaller than all the health care companies combined, therefore not making it really anymore than we pay now. I think the govt agency could work on 25% of what the size of the health insurance companies combined. Actually health care workers do not lose any salaries, care is the same, you pay in the same amount you pay now (more or less), current workers without insurance would pay the same tax in, growing the money base, and that is it. Simple.

    The huge draw back would be losing a lot of jobs (those middle man jobs, ie the insurance folks) but you have to pay a price.

    NO, we do not need a COMPLICATED, HUGE GOVENMENT SYATEM. We need simple and practical, we need most people to stay out of it and let a few people run it like a business. Actual healthcare then would be there for all, it is your choice to go or not.

    In this scenario we unfortunately would have liberals who would want to grow the govt system and screw it all up, making it more complicated and more bureaucracy than there needs to be.

    Health care is not a right. Health care is a privilege. And being a wealthy nation, a caring nation, we ALL should pay in to a system that would allow our privilege to benefit all. Yes, there will be a few people who do not pay in, but our generosity should extend to all in regards to this one subject: Health care.

    Now for those who think a flat, one person tax would be too much for every individual then you need to understand what the word fair means. I actually think by reducing the middle man and their profits and adding 30 million non paying insurance worker now that it would be a very small tax per person, a manageable number, and we ALL SHOULD PAY, AND WE ALL SHOULD PAY THE SAME. Stop this progressive tax stuff, bc there would not be progress health care.

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  5. Dad December 24, 2008 / 2:37 pm
    First of all, let me put the argument about how great things are in Canada to rest. While there is universal coverage, there is also universal delay.
    Let me give some examples:
    David had a concussion when he rode a bike down a down ramp and crashed into a wall. I ended up taking him to Toronto’s superb Hospital for Sick Children. He never did see any physician except a resident from Nigeria with whom we could not communicate.
    I noticed that I could no longer see well and wanted to go to an ophthalmologist. My internist referred me to a doctor Macdonald, who was most upset that he did not know my internist and wondered why he had sent me. Eventually, Macdonald examined me, but said “I can make you see a wee bit better, but it wouldn’t be worth it.”
    So I drove to my old ophthalmologist in Cleveland, who saw me without an appointment and said, “I’m surprised you can see at all.”
    Ontario paid for my Cleveland doctor’s charges and for the mileage to and from Cleveland.

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  6. Gene December 24, 2008 / 2:55 pm
    True about Canada. But their problems lie in preventive health and lack of staff/hospitals bc doctors and RNs are paid peanuts compared to American doctors. My proposal does not change current facilities, pay, or staffing concerns.

    I think if they would actually teach Health in high school, not the BS they pass on as Health class, preventive measures would become common and alleviate the back log of “consumers” bc they would be healthier.

    The biggest advantage in my proposed system in how many people would quite the BS job and start their own businesses, allowing creativity and hard work rule over the old establishment – people will not feel compelled to stay if they know one for their biggest concerns, health care for their family, is being taken care of by all taxpayers.

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  7. Jane December 26, 2008 / 12:02 am
    The advantages are obvious, everyone is covered.
    The disadvantages are: The Canadians pay heavy taxes (15% or greater on every dollar spent); there are fewer physicians; and there are sometimes long waiting times for major surgeries and some procedures.
    Gene, I’m not sure what you mean “their problems lie in preventive health”?
    Health is taught throughout the 12 years of school (there’s lots of repetition), people have to practice what they’re taught.

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  8. Gene December 26, 2008 / 8:59 am
    It may now be taught, which is great. I was not covered to any real degree during the 70’s and 80’s – that was mostly about not getting pregnant, and then later on not getting AIDS. I think we should teach kids the importance of good health, and if they do great. The problem is a lot of people think it is intrusive and a waste of time and money – and think it really does not help/work. I think it is important, other do not. The fact is that 30% of people have never flossed – NEVER – the health of your teeth and mouth is muy importante, yet 30% have NEVER FLOSSED! That stat was a national health stat on month or two ago on NPR or something like that. So obviously something is not working.

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  9. Jane December 26, 2008 / 12:15 pm
    Yes, and greater than 80% choose not to floss daily, even though they know it will prevent disease.

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  10. John Ise December 26, 2008 / 1:53 pm
    While Canada does have health care headaches (waiting times, lacking high tech medical care) from a consumers perspective, the point is Canada’s system incentivizes good health as opposed to treatment. Thus, Canadians are healthier on almost every count compared to their American neighbors. Shouldn’t a health care system be about health as opposed to treatment and what’s most lucrative for the American Medical Association & insurers? And as for cost each uninsured person that visits the emergency room is picked up on the taxpayers tab. Ask any small businessman (maybe even David) if the escalating cost of health coverage for employees makes “business sense”, and there’s probably not a single advocate of the status quo.

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