In one of the many newsletters I diligently peruse so that you don’t have to be contaminated directly I read this. Astonishing, even considering the source.
I had a terrific opportunity to speak to 700 health insurance agents and brokers on Tuesday morning, here for the Capitol Conference of the National Association of Health Underwriters, most ably led by CEO Janet Trautwein. These people are entrepreneurs who are on the front lines of saving the private market for health insurance in this country, and they are my heroes.
So who is it who thinks that this country’s health care heroes are the insurance brokers and underwriters who are in fact just waste motion making money off our dysfunctional insurance system? Answers/guesses in the comments please…..
CODA: I was actually speaking at a PRI event last year and met an insurance broker who explained to me that he was giving wonderful service to his clients. I with a hint of cynicism asked him what he meant and he said that he was helping them navigate the health care system, finding them the right doctors and negotiating with hospitals for them. I pointed out that those were the functions of a health advocate not a traditional insurance broker. He agreed. Hmmm…I said so you want to move your business from commission based insurance sales to fee-based consumer advocacy, and he told me that he had even been discussing this with Sheila Kheul (the main proponent of single payer in California) as a potential role for brokers in a single payer world. How many health advocates like you do you think we need in California, I said. About 2-3,00 he said. How many health insurance brokers and underwriters are there in California I asked. About 50,000 he said.
That leads to me thinking that this bunch isn’t going quietly into the night….but then again they’re "heroes"