POLICY: This weekend we celebrate Freedom!

This weekend we celebrate our nation’s birthday and its proud heritage of freedom and justice. It seems that the most important freedom left in America is the freedom to push the limits of laws, especially those designed to protect the interests of investors and taxpayers. In addition in the last couple of decades and, especially the last five years, corporations and other powerful interest groups have re-written countless laws and influenced several government agencies to ignore or change their application of regulations.

Now the health care industry provides the best example of the ultimate freedom. A corporation can break the law, defraud taxpayers and investors, and still stay in business. And best of all if you run such a corporation you can now use the ultimate excuse that has failed schoolboys the world over — "It wasn’t me sir!". And you can get away with it. Not a strategy I’d recommend, but it seems to work if your name is Scrushy. Perhaps Thomas Jefferson needs to revisit those lines about "all men being created equal".

Happy Independence Day.  See you here next Tuesday

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9 replies »

  1. Yes Harvey,
    You sound exactly like a Blue Cross group health insurance salesman. Todays workers don’t want to be restricted to the insurance choosen by some employer who only cares about the bottom line and could go broke.
    Today’s citizens need more choices, options and freedoms. Your desire to restrict health insurance choices only to an employer is losing market share rapidly, I’m sorry. Let’s face it, employers are selling insurance to employees without even being licensed to do so. So, we have non licensed fruitcakes selling insurance to uninformed employees without full and proper disclosure. Thank goodness President Bush want’s individual insurance to get the same tax breaks that group health employee plans currently enjoy. Of course that is why the President was elected and others were not. We call it a mandate.
    Stop the discrimination of individual insurance just so some politically connected insurance companies can mantain their monopoly. These group health insurance salespeople who say people must lose their insurance when they get fired, because some others are so strapped they couldn’t afford to continue, is pure propaganda. It works on gadfly Harvey, but I know people should have the option to keep their insurance if they get cancer. Sure the group health insurance salespeople will have to lower their commissions, but that’s the price of freedom Harvey.

  2. Wow, Harvey – thanks for putting the whole debate in an easily understandable nutshell. 🙂

  3. Ron:
    Individual insurance is wonderful – for those who aren’t refused for perexisting conditions, and who can afford it, and can afford the continuing premiums after they get sick and lose their jobs.
    As such, it’s a great solution for a relatively small subset of the population.

  4. Ron, is it possible you could take a break from being a jerk for the holiday?

  5. gadfly,
    Don’t you think it’s odd that Matthew won’t discuss group health plans putting cancer patients to COBRA for insurance termination?
    Maybe he doesn’t understand how that works.
    He sure is negative about individual insurance.

  6. You’re my hero, Matt! 🙂
    After reading the articles you provided on whistleblowing and how people have to consider how they will be perceived first, I was thinking that the new Nuremberg Defense will be “I can only follow orders because society bans people like me from being a whistleblower.”

  7. His doc went on:
    “If you do want to look up information on-line, the site I recommend is http://www.cancer.org. This is the official site of the National Cancer Institute, and it is designed to provide information to both patients and providers. You can follow the links to “Head and Neck” cancers. You may find the most appropriate information in the pages discussing cancers of the oropharynx, as this would include both the base-of-tongue and tonsils as primary sites of origin.
    I will have my office start to make arrangements to schedule a PET CT as soon as possible.”
    I am amazed that the cancer non-profits don’t warn American’s about group health employee plans cancelling sick people. Let’s get real, they deal with cancer patients losing insurance everyday.

  8. You are right Matthew.
    Our courts have gone insane. Saddam would be found not guilty, on all counts, of 1.2 million murdered if he was tried in California.
    I just got off the phone with my best friend. Lucky I have him insured because this is his diagnoses:
    “The diagnosis is poorly-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma, metastatic to the lymph nodes in the neck. Without a known primary site, the staging is a TxN2bM0 – this is important for treatment planning and may be helpful for you to know if you decide to do any research or discussion with other docs.”
    I’m the only one that knows yet besides our other friend who was diagnosed with bone cancer in December. I have him insured too. They are both 50 years old. Both of them were on a group health employee plan before I switched them to individual coverage that they can not be singled out for cancellation.
    We could use a little more freedom in America. It is illegal for employers to purchase the security of individual insurance on employees. By law, employers must purchase a group health employee plan that employees lose if they are too sick to work or get fired. My friend figured out the difference just today. Finally, he understands a very simple concept. I think his motivating factor at the time of switching was we were soooo much cheaper.
    Make sure you put your flag out this 4th of July.