Sunday, July 12, 2009

Health Insurance Industry - Putting Quarterly Profits before Patients' Health

If you care about health care, you owe it to yourself to check out what a recently retired health care executive, turned whistle blower, says about the industry and why it opposes our having the choice of a public health insurance option. Here's a place to start - a post on the Washington Monthly blog with some video clips an interview conducted by Bill Moyers.

Long story short: For-profit health care is focused on making quarterly profits that satisfy their investors. The more money spent on patient care, the less available for profit. In the trade, this is known as the Medical Loss Ratio - and it has decreased from 95% during the early 1990's to ~80% today. That means LESS of the money taken in by for-profit health insurance companies is being used to pay for health care for those they insure.

In contrast, the overhead cost of government-administered health plans is about 3%. No wonder for-profit health care with its 20% overhead (administration and profits) doesn't want to be in competition with a public option!

Please make sure our 7th District Representative and Michigan Senators listen you instead of the health care lobbyists. Call or write them while there's still time and tell them you want to be able to choose from among insurance options that include a public one.

Rep. Mark Schauer at 202-225-6276

Senior Senator Carl Levin at 202-224-6221

Junior Senator Debbie Stabenow at 202-224-4822