Online Journal
Front Page 
 Special Reports
 News Media
 Elections & Voting
 Social Security
 Editors' Blog
 Reclaiming America
 The Splendid Failure of Occupation
 The Lighter Side
 The Mailbag
 Online Journal Stores
 Official Merchandise
 Join Mailing List

Health Last Updated: Jan 8th, 2010 - 00:50:18

Health care brouhaha
By Keith Taylor
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jan 8, 2010, 00:26

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

�IT�S SOCIALISM!� cried the teabagger. He was so upset at the idea of having a national health care system in the land of the free he wanted to go back to the way America was in the beginning. I wondered if he also wanted to explain to his wife why she couldn�t vote or own property. Or maybe he just wanted to buy a slave.

The current brouhaha over health care is filled with lies, exaggerations, half truths, urban legends, misunderstandings and, a now and then, a little truth.

So, now it�s my turn. Having been a career sailor, a health insurance salesman, and a freelance writer of things political during my adult years. I�ve seen most sides from about every angle.

Socialism doesn�t cause me to tremble as it does for those who claim it will be the end of all that�s good about the greatest nation on earth. Government help isn�t always bad. It has given women many, but not all, of the freedoms men have always had. They can now both own property and vote. It also abolished slavery after a terrible war.

But health care? It is the most pernicious form of socialism isn�t it? Well, it would ration care that�s for sure, but not as much as the insurance industry does today.

But could it work? Sure, and it does. Practically every developed nation has it. In every one the cost is far less per person than in the U.S.A. By most measurable standards, the results are better too. Citizens of those countries live longer. Their babies have a much greater chance of surviving one year.

Here, 46.3 million of us are one illness away from bankruptcy. Our �health program,� is nothing more than a hodgepodge of Medicare, individual policies, group policies, and one sparkling program -- the program available for U.S. government workers, including military retirees, and their families. It does wonders for my wife and me.

The cost of our hodgepodge system alone is reason to abolish the present system. When one huge segment of our economy outstrips the rest of the economy, we are headed towards disaster. Problems often can be solved by eliminating them, but that is not an option with health care -- not in a civilized society.

I got a good look at what many call the �greatest health care system� starting in 1970. For the next 22 years I sold lots of individual health policies. This gave me a good look at the problems an American entrepreneur faces, especially an ambitious and talented guy who gives up a job with benefits, and goes for the brass ring.

He needs to be insurable to keep a medical setback from wiping him out. �Insurable� describes one who must prove he doesn�t need the policy in order to get it. Or, a person can be partially insurable, but preexisting conditions would be excluded from coverage. A guy who once strained his back playing touch football might end up with an exclusion for �any disease, disorder or condition� of his lower back. If he needed expensive sacroiliac surgery to avoid being paralyzed, his insurance company would say, �Sorry.�

But, once issued, the person could keep the policy forever. Right? Well many (but not all) of the contracts stated that. But even they could be rendered ineffective. Back around 1984, I sold a lot of Blue Cross policies which were guaranteed renewable. Rates were set according to age and reflected the cost of medical care where the insured lived.

But when claims started to rise Blue Cross slapped an enormous rate increase on that version of their policy. Then those who could again show insurability could buy the new, lower cost, policy. Obviously the healthy folks scrambled to the new policy, and those whose health had deteriorated were left in a smaller pool accompanied by other uninsurables. Guess where the premiums went on the old policy?

And so it goes. We�ve had this much-vaunted competition for decades now and it works -- for the companies. They are not evil. They are simply doing what they have to do to make a profit and attract stockholders. They cut costs.

It is simply time to recognize that the status quo does not work. Nothing less than the economy and the health of our citizens is at stake. We have to stop shouting bromides and cringing at bugaboos. Let�s finally put the country�s needs first.

Keith Taylor is a retired Naval officer living in Chula Vista, Ca. He is also retired as an insurance broker. He can be reached at

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
The truth about tort reform
Bill Gates� $10 billion vaccine scam
Health care and broken government
Pfizer's ghostwritten journal articles are still standing, still bogus
If you liked bovine growth hormone, you�ll love beta agonists
The sellout on health care is now complete
Health care brouhaha
Before you take that antidepressant, visit this web site
With health care, don�t let the perfect be the enemy
WHO �Swine Flu Pope� under investigation for gross conflict of interest
A real revolution in the making in the U.S. health care industry
Open letter to the House Progressive Caucus (except Kucinich and Massa)
Why I voted no on H.R. 3962
No to single-payer, yes to prayer?
Is your doctor's continuing ed funded by pharma?
What physicians know
Health care: Ignoring the huge red elephant in the room
United Health Care profits soar 155 percent on Medicare plans
In praise of Senator Max Baucus
Health care is an inalienable right