Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Howard Dean: The Real Debate about Health Care

The real health care debate we should be having, says former Governor of Vermont and former Chair of the DNC Howard Dean, isn’t about how much or how little government should be involved in your health care. In this country, insurers routinely deny health insurance to anyone with a pre-existing condition, and immediately dump the customer when he gets sick, for the sake of the bottom line. The real debate, therefore, is: should we continue with this broken, barbaric system—or should we give Americans the choice of a public health insurance option: the same choice people over 65 have.

While employers are guaranteed the right to purchase health insurance, the great majority of states — which govern the individual insurance marketplace — do not extend the same protection to Americans who buy individual insurance politics. In most states, “insurers can refuse to sell individuals policies based on their health, recreational activities, occupations, credit histories, and a variety of other factors” — and state governments do little to stop them. As a recent Families USA report observed, “[States] are doing very little to provide basic protections for health care consumers and many are turned down from coverage or are charged unaffordable premiums or have their health claims wrongfully denied.”

Insurance companies earn enormous returns for their chairmen and shareholders, becoming successful by insuring only healthy people while rescinding coverage once a person becomes ill.

More than 14 million Americans receive their health coverage on the individual market, but although these patients pay hefty premiums, only a fraction of the dollars are spent on providing actual care. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 29 percent of premium dollars in the individual insurance market go toward administrative costs; the average policyholder spends roughly $300 more on administrative costs each year than if he or she purchased coverage through a group policy.

Meanwhile, medical loss ratios, an indicator of how much revenue insurance companies spend on care versus how much they keep as profits, have dropped precipitously in the last decade. That is, as more and more people have become uninsured or discovered that they don’t have enough insurance to cover their medical expenses, insurers have grown richer.

Read the whole article here.

 

Related Articles:


Chelsea Green Weekly for May 5, 2017

Ever wonder what your favorite Chelsea Green authors do between writing groundbreaking–both literally and figuratively–books? Here are the best links and resources for your weekend reading pleasure. Let’s start with The Alzheimer’s Antidote. The Alzheimer’s Antidote Amy Berger has been making the rounds on the health, wellness, and fitness circuit, explaining the theories behind her revolutionary […] Read More

Q&A with Kate Raworth about her radical new book, DOUGHNUT ECONOMICS

Q: First things first: Why did you want to write this book? A: I studied economics at university 25 years ago because I wanted to make a difference in the world and believed that economics – the mother tongue of public policy – would best equip me to do that. Instead, its theories left me […] Read More

Revisiting Naomi Wolf’s Call to Patriots–10 Years Later

Reading Naomi Wolf’s book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot today is an eerie experience. Written in 2007, it detailed the ways in which the Bush administration was beginning to chip away at the freedoms of American citizens. It outlined the ten steps dictators or would-be dictators take when their […] Read More

Chelsea Green: In the Media 2016

Oh, 2016. Where did the time go? Each year, Chelsea Green receives hundreds of mentions (well over 1000 in 2016) in the media both big and small. From interviews, to excerpts, to opinion pieces by authors we’re always working to make sure that the mission and message of each book is spread far and wide. […] Read More

Yes, America We Can Make It … Really

Uncertainty got you down? The political world may seem like it’s crumbling around us, but this we know: We can make it, America. Literally, we can make things. Houses. Gardens. Food. Below we’ve selected some of our classic how-to and DIY books (and some new favorites) to help you sustain your self, family, and community. […] Read More
+1
Tweet
Share
Share
Pin