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Saturday, November 07, 2009


Pre-existing conditions and health insurance

Is there anything that demonstrates how bankrupt the very concept of health "insurance" is more than the debate over insurance companies denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions? It's true that insurance companies carry their determination of pre-existing conditions to ridiculous extremes, and those are always the stories you read about - the person who had acne, or the baby who was too fat. But there are very real pre-existing conditions. How about someone with AIDS who is using $10,000 worth of drugs every year who loses their job and needs to purchase insurance? As long as health care is run on a profit basis using the insurance model, why on earth would a company want to sell coverage to such a person for $3000, knowing it's going to cost them $10,000? It makes no sense whatsoever for them to do that.

There are cases where companies do sell products at a loss - loss leaders, for example, where a company sells you one product at a low price hoping you'll buy more products for them to profit from. "Branding" is another case. But those cases have nothing in common with health insurance, and a company selling health insurance has absolutely nothing to gain from selling its product to even a single person at a loss, or even a likely loss (and of course that's why they demand that the government deliver presumably healthy "customers" to them in return, to make up for their anticipated losses with even greater profit).

Health care is what Americans (and everyone else) needs, and health care reform is what Americans need. Not health insurance reform. Not only don't we need health insurance reform, we don't need health insurance. Period.

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