July 22, 2009

The Health Care Conflict of Interest

Over time I will have a lot more to say on Health Care and Health Care reform. Right now I want to focus on the conflict of interest that exists in the current system. The very nature of the For Profit industry conflicts with the needs of the insured. A For Profit organization has the inherent goal of bringing in money and spending as little of it as possible. In this case, the Insurers sell policies to pay for medical costs. When the customer uses the policy, the Insurer pays out, lowering the profitability of that policy. The conflict of interest has been set in motion.

In order to maximize profits, the Insurer will resist paying out benefits and leaving the customer with expenses that they expected their policy insurer to pay. We have seen more and more Insurers decrease coverage while raising rates. They then deny coverage to those most in need of medical care because it hurts their profits.

The primary way in which Americans receive health care insurance is through their employer. When people change jobs, there is often a delay in receipt of new coverage from the new employer. Many times there is no coverage for "pre-existing conditions" that were treated under the old policy but not covered by the new insurer. Many employers don't offer health care to their Part-Time employees at all. There is also a dearth of privately available policies, and these come with higher rates and are harder to get if you have any health issues.

This formula has lead us right into the current health care crisis. We have millions of Americans who can not afford health care or are not offered it through their employer. It is not in the interest of the Insurer to cover those most in need. This conflict of interest can only be stopped when primary health care is no longer under the control of a For Profit provider. These providers are not interested in what benefits the customer, but only in what benefits the company.

This is why a public option is the only real option for serious care. When medical decisions are made solely between the patient and the doctor, with no interference from a third party company who stands to lose money, then care is genuine and beneficial. When all Americans can receive care, we will have a healthier nation more able to function and increase performance in the work place. When we reduce the cost of medical care to the people there is more money for savings and, ultimately, to spend. It also allows people to have greater freedom in pursuing better employment because health care is no longer a consideration.

Whenever a company has a conflict of interest with its customers, the company benefits and the customer loses. Health care is not just a service, but a vital part of our national welfare. We can not afford any conflict of interest in keeping our people healthy and well.

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