Wednesday, November 24, 2010


We were told over and over again that the horrors of Obamacare would leave people dying in the streets as bureaucrats would decide who lives and who dies.  The reality of states taking over Medicaid plans and outsourcing them to private insurers is that the insurers do the same thing now, only with the goal of maximizing a profit from it.  Case in point:

One of the most destructive practices of private health insurance companies is the practice of denying care to customers for frivolous reasons. Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services started including denial rates on its information section about health insurance companies on, in an effort to inform the public about this practice by the industry.

It was this practice of frivolous denials that ended up costing Jacksonville, Florida woman Alisa Wilson her life. For months, Wilson, her family, and the surrounding community had been pleading with her HMO to approve coverage for a liver transplant. Although Wilson was enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program, she was not guaranteed care because she was “forced to join a private plan as part of a Gov. Jeb Bush-era experimental overhaul of the program,” meaning she had to deal with a private, for-profit insurance company to get her care, not a government agency accountable to the public. 

Bush’s overhaul made “Florida the first state to allow private companies, not the state, to decide the scope and extent of services to the elderly, the disabled and the poor, half of them children,” the New York Times reported in 2005, as the move was being considered. “[N]o one is proposing changes as far-reaching and fundamental as” Bush, the Times noted.

After “scores of e-mails and…the help of a Florida state legislator,” the HMO, Sunshine State Health, finally gave in and approved coverage for Wilson two weeks ago. Yet her health was too severe for surgery by then. On Friday evening, Wilson passed away.

And the fact of the matter is in nearly all states, some or most Medicaid plans are administered by for-profit private insurers as managed care plans.  The bureaucrats getting between you and your doctor on Medicaid aren't government, they're unaccountable private insurance companies.  A large part of health care reform is to hold these companies accountable when they administer Medicare and Medicaid, but of course they've talked millions of Americans into "repeal tyrannical Obamacare!" and whatnot.

Unless you have the money to pay for health care when insurance companies deny it, you already have faceless drones deciding who lives and who dies for money.  They're called "claims approvers".

There's a reason why some states want out of Medicaid:  so they can funnel patients to insurance companies, and not have any federal accountability to go along with those federal dollars.

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