Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Voice of Experience


An Open Challenge to Liberals


Regardless of whether His Majesty, King Hussein Obama the First's healthcare destruction bill passes, you can be sure that liberals everywhere will continue to attack our nation's health insurance companies.  In fact, if this bill passes, those attacks will probably increase in intensity since the King's bill will probably be beneficial to the insurance companies.  As many friends and foes of this bill have already noted, including myself in a previous post, ,since this bill provides subsidies to purchase insurance for those people who couldn't previously afford it and mandates coverage of those people who have pre-existing conditions which prevent them from purchasing insurance today, our nation's health insurance companies will probably gain millions of new customers.


If you're not a wacked-out liberal, you might wonder, what's wrong with our nation's health insurers?  Sure, they can be bureaucratic and filing out their forms can be a pain but are they really that bad.  Most people in this country don't think so.  According to a survey released in 2006 by ABC News, USA Today, and the Kaiser Family Foundation, hardly right-leaning organizations, 89 percent of Americans are satisfied with their own personal medical care.  Besides the obvious good news contained in that statistic, we can also infer that the 11% of unsatisfied Americans represents the upper limit of the hard left in this country.  (For you mathematically challenged liberals out there, 100 percent designates the whole of the population so 100 minus 89 equals 11).


So what's the liberals' big problem with our health insurance companies?  Their main arguments are as follows:


1.  Health Insurance Companies Refuse to Cover People with Pre-Existing Conditions.


Liberals love to use this one.  What could be worse than refusing to help somebody with cancer, or a heart condition, or an incurable disease try to get medical care?  This argument pulls the insurance companies down to the level of Dickens's Scrooge who, when told the poor people were starving, coldly replied:


Good.  It will help reduce the excess population.


Of course, liberals never offer a reasonable explanation of why the health insurance companies have uniformly adopted this policy.  The usual argument is that these companies are afraid of incurring medical losses or more precisely "medical losses" with the quotation marks added to emphasize the cruelty of this refusal to provide insurance.  Liberals, who can see the good in murders, rapists, and child molesters, only see evil in the actions of the insurers.


2.  Health Insurance Companies Try to Deny Coverage To Their Customers.


Liberals are notoriously cheap so they really hate this one.  After all, what could be worse?  You pay an outrageous premium for coverage and then when you actually need to use it, the big, mean insurance company drops a huge, unreadable contract in your lap and says, "See, right here in section 156351(e).  You're not entitled to coverage for this procedure."  And unlike the previous argument, liberals have, for them, a perfectly reasonable explanation for this practice.  the health insurers are motivated by profit.


To liberals it makes perfect sense that the health insurers would try to deny coverage whenever possible because this practice would increase their profits.  These profits flow through to that other group of evildoers, the company's stockholders.  And to square the liberal circle, this argument only makes sense because everybody knows that the stockholders are only interested in the bottom line.


Left unsaid by the liberals is how the health insurance companies could get away with this practice, which runs counter to business practices used in every other industry, and still retain their customers.  Imagine if Ford or Chrysler sold cars that broke after two weeks.  Would anybody buy their cars again?  I guess liberals would.  Treating customers like garbage is usually a characteristic of a monopolistic business, like say, government. 


3.  Health Insurance Company Executives Make Too Much Money


Most liberals are barely qualified to run a paper route and they certainly couldn't run a Fortune 500 company.  When they see an executive from one of these companies, including the health insurance companies, making tens of millions of dollars, their blood boils.  To liberals, these outrageous salaries are just one more reason that health insurance is so expensive and one more indication of the harsh business practices of these companies.  How could a health insurer on the one hand deny somebody coverage for a medically necessary procedure and then turn around and give some MBA, who is probably a son of privilege, educated in our nation's elite institutions, millions of dollars that they probably don't even need?


Once again, left unsaid by liberals is that these high salaries are the norm for the executives of these types of large businesses.  We could argue another day about whether these salaries should be higher or lower, but that argument would not change the current reality of these salaries being at this level.


4.  Health Insurance Companies Make Too Much Money.


Profit is a dirty word to liberals.  The modern liberal looks at profit as unnecessary, a needless addition to the cost of a product or service.  And in the case of healthcare, profit is akin to extortion.  To liberals, the health insurance companies are cruelly extracting a profit from a public that desperately needs medical care.


As you might expect, liberals never offer a suggestion as to what a reasonable profit might be.  Furthermore, liberals never explain why other people with capital haven't been attracted to that high profit and formed a competitor to try to make a similar profit.  Isn't this practice common is our capitalist society?  Why would you invest in industry X when the profits in industry Y are twice as great?


In short, for liberals, health insurance is a major problem.  And I say to them:  where some people see problems, others see opportunity.


Years ago, the only way to communicate with somebody without talking to them was to send a letter.  Then Samuel Morse perfected the telegraph.  This invention allowed people to communicate over great distances but required the use of Morse's Code, a cryptic system for converting the letters of the alphabet into dots and dashes.  For many people the telegraph was good enough but Alexander Graham Bell thought we could do better.  While still a young man, Bell quit his job and worked solely on inventing a new device for long distance communications:  the telephone.  Generations of Americans, especially teenage girls, could not imagine life without this simple device.


From the beginning of time, human affairs were governed by daylight and the absence of daylight.  Men used candles and oil lights to provide some light at night but the light from both were poor.  Most people didn't complain about this lack of light and planed their affairs accordingly.  Thomas Edison thought we could do better.  Using the theories of others, Edison worked tirelessly, trying a thousand different methods, to perfect an incandescent light bulb.  In 1879, Edison successfully tested his invention, which provided light for 40 hours.  Generations of Americans, especially the residents of Las Vegas, could not imagine life without this simple device.


I could go on and on but I think you get the point.  Where liberals see a problem, I see a lucrative business opportunity.  Accepting the liberals' arguments, you have an entire industry that:


1.      Refuses to sell its service to some customers

2.      Provides bad service

3.      Pays its executives too much

4..      And charges too much in order to generate outrageous profits.


If the liberals formed their own health insurance company that didn't deny coverage to people with pre-existing coverage, didn't deny care to people who needed it, paid its executives less money, and charged less for its insurance because they could accept a lower level of profit, that company would attract millions of customers and its liberal backers might get rich to boot.  How could it fail?


Of course, the liberals would offer up a million excuses for why they couldn't start such a company.  It would be too hard to start an insurance company they'd say.  But how do they think we got the insurance companies we have today?  Did they fall from the sky?  Of course not.  Somewhere, at some time, somebody had to form these companies.  The evil health insurer CIGNA, for example, traces its roots back to a group of prominent citizens of Philadelphia who formed the Insurance Company of North America in 1792.  If a bunch of racist, white guys can start an insurance company, why can't a group of enlightened liberals do the same thing?


Oh, it would cost too much money.  True, nobody claimed it would be cheap, but didn't the late election of the King prove the ability of liberals to raise large sums of money?  Back in 2008, the liberals told us that the King was able to raise so much money because millions of people donated to his campaign.  Supposedly, over two million people gave money to the King's campaign.  If each one of these people would buy, on average, $250 worth of stock, the liberal insurance company could start with a capitalization of half a billion dollars.  Granted, that amount would pale in comparison to the equity of a giant like CIGNA but who knows, maybe a few rich liberals might through in a few extra dollars.  Does the name George Soros ring a bell?


So I challenge the liberals to put their money where their mouth is.  I'm not asking for much.  Just start a health insurance company in any state and I'll be satisfied that you actually believe what you say.  After all, health insurance is regulated at the state level so it would only make sense to start the liberal company at that level.  And this conservative approach fits in well with the liberals' well-known policy of prudence and restraint.  I couldn't imagine liberals just jumping into something, spending money like crazy without regard to the consequences.  That would NEVER happen.



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