Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why I don't care about the Insurance Lobby

Here's just a quick thought.

Over the last decade we have seen a mass exodus of American manufacturing overseas. As of 2007, New Balance, the last holdout of a company producing shoes in the U.S., was manufacturing in China. They have since re-established some of their manufacturing in the U.S. But that is only one shoe company.

Also, check the labels on your shirts, pens, coffee mugs, and anything else you touch on a daily basis. Not much "made in the USA".

We allowed the manufacturing sector to shed tens of millions of jobs and General Motors and Chrysler to file for bankruptcy (after shedding tens of millions of jobs since the 1960s themselves). We watch our IT and customer service work shipped to India. In fact, as we learned last fall, we placed the entire health of our economy on those beacons of altruistic thinking: Wall Street, Bankers, and Real Estate.

Like the decision of the Big Three to focus on high-margin luxury SUVs while abandoning the small car and alternative-energy industries, our entire economy has been turned away from providing for the small needs of the many and toward the big wants of the few. If you don't believe me, call a lobbyist.

So here's my quick thought: why do we care what health insurance companies have to say? They don't provide the care or seek it. They don't provide the new technologies that provide better access to life-saving methods. They aren't working on new drugs that are revolutionizing patient care. They take money from people in hopes that they never have to spend it. Is this an industry that is essential to the livelihood of this nation? Why should we preserve their existence? Why should we ignore the displacement of millions of Americans from their stable jobs, but suddenly care about the insurance industry? Why should we place the future of the medicine on the bottom-line of Blue Cross and Met Life?

Isn't there a place for my right to quality care? Shouldn't we have a medical system that actually puts saving lives before saving the jobs of the insurance lobby? Shouldn't people be encouraged to go to the doctor and not worry about whether or not their crappy insurance will cover the visit, or worse, what is found when they get there? How many have walked into a doctor's office and prayed that nothing is wrong, not because they want to stay healthy, but because they can't afford for something to be wrong? I for one have. Isn't that more important than the insurance industry?

You can scream and rant about free markets till the cows come home but the statistics are staggeringly against the status quo on this one. If we actually crafted a HEALTH-care system, none of us would need to worry about finding new jobs for all of those insurance agents--they could get jobs helping facilitate care.