I have a modest proposal for the health care debate. Only those of us who have actually shopped for an Individual Health Insurance Policy would be allowed to get up on their soapbox and let fly with their opinions.
This leaves out all current member of Congress; any retired members of Congress who served more than 6 years, which includes all retired Senators; and any retired member of the House who served 3 terms. And keep in mind, ‘retired‘ just means they have quit or been voted out.
That’s because these folks enjoy their excellent Federal Employee Health Benefits, even after they leave the Congress. Unlike the rest of the Federal workforce, or those of us from the private sector who will go a lot longer than 1 to 3 terms for ‘full vesting’.
It really is a shame that we can’t all vote for our own self-interest so directly. We have to vote for those members of Congress and then wait to see what they deliver. Which, if you vote for Republicans, is not going to provide you the same safety net they give themselves.
Actually there was a glimmer of hope for a while, because when Congress drafted the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare) they did model the insurance exchanges after their own Health Insurance Plan which utilizes an exchange.
An exchange provides actual visibility into the policies offered by private insurers by ‘forcing’ all companies to lay out, in a simple, common format, the details of their policy. Then customers can actually compare the policies and prices.
As it is now, Big Insurance consider the details of the policy you purchase their proprietary information, and have successfully lobbied Republicans to back their current practices.
So Republicans support Big Insurance who obfuscate the cost of care, while opposing Obamacare’s exchanges that would provide transparency. Then these same Republicans go on in the next breath to blame consumers for the escalating cost of health care because we don’t make ‘more intelligent’ choices in the marketplace.
It’s comforting to know that there’s always someone smarter than the consumer.
This time it’s the Republican Party and Big Insurance.
So where’s my reach-around?