“Health insurance mafia” — Or is it pirates?

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Pirates.pngBlogger and multimedia guy Bob Cesca doesn’t pull his punches when he talks about how much he hates health insurance companies, especially the one that rhymes with "Screw Costs. If you like his story, you’ll love this goofy Austin Lounge Lizards cartoon and song about health insurers, titled "Go Ahead and Die." It’s a couple of years old, yet totally current.

On his own blog, and in the Huffington Post, Cesca tells the tale of how his small-business health insurance premium tripled not long ago, and he had to drop it. Because of a bad bike accident that broke his back, he’ll probably never be able to buy a private policy again. So in a piece titled "the Health Insurance Mafia Deserves a Good Screwing," he looks at his options: 

[N]eedless to say, I’m anxiously anticipating the public health insurance option — as long as it’s not crapped up with triggers or trap doors.

Actually, "anticipating" doesn’t suffice to define my mood right now. I need it. My family needs it. Because the private health insurance companies have essentially told me that either they want all of my money, or nothing. And if I were to acquiesce to their thievery, I could once again count on premiums randomly being jacked up and, as so many Americans have experienced, coverage being outright denied, all for the sake of profit margins, stock quotes and obscene executive salaries.

A government healthcare plan, on the other hand, would be
specifically tailored for stories like mine, and it’s my only real
chance of having health insurance anytime soon.

In addition to putting the "insurance" back into "health insurance," the public plan would force the private insurers to figure out how to compete — or face bankruptcy. How excellent would that be for a change? The health insurance companies under financial pressure brought on by a competitive entity that we own.

Honestly, I hope they choke on it. I can think of no other American
industry that more closely resembles a criminal shakedown of the public
than the health insurers.

Even calling it "insurance" is a sick joke. Insurance implies a guarantee, and no matter what we pay, there are never any guarantees.
I propose replacing the word "insurance" with the word "maybe?" —
including the question mark — as in "health maybe?" Maybe they’ll pay
when we get sick. Maybe they won’t randomly hike our monthly premium by
30 percent. Maybe they’ll cover our preexisting conditions without
gouging us — that is if they agree to cover us at all. Maybe they
won’t let our family members die after refusing coverage.

Consumer Watchdog
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