They could have done this ANYTIME, but as we saw with child labor laws, et al, business must be FORCED to do the RIGHT THING!!
And this isn't even the right system!
"The companies left themselves several outs, however. The letter said they would still charge different premiums based on such factors as age, place of residence, family size, and benefits package."
What's with the deceptive headline then, MSM?
"Health insurers offer to drop 'risk rating'" by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press | March 25, 2009
WASHINGTON - Trying to head off a proposed government insurance plan that would compete with them, health insurers yesterday offered for the first time to curb the controversial practice of charging higher premiums to people with a history of medical problems.
The offer from America's Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a potentially significant shift in the debate about overhauling the nation's healthcare system to rein in costs and cover an estimated 48 million uninsured people.
In a letter to key senators, the two insurance industry groups said their members are willing to "phase out the practice of varying premiums based on health status in the individual market" if all Americans are required to get coverage. "The offer here is to transition away from risk rating, which is one of the things that makes life hell for real people," said health economist Len Nichols of the New America Foundation, a public policy center. "They have never in their history offered to give up risk rating."
Insurers are trying to stop the government insurance plan, proposed by many Democrats and advocacy groups, to offer consumers another choice for affordable care and to increase competition. "This letter demonstrates that insurance companies are open to major insurance reform, and are even willing to accept broad consumer protections," said Senator Jeff Bingaman, a moderate Democrat from New Mexico. "It represents a major shift from where the industry was in the 1990s during the last major healthcare debate."
I'm not buying the fooley; get 'em and profit out of it entirely!
To try to win political support, the industry has already made a number of concessions, including offering to end the practice of denying coverage to sick people and pledging support for a national goal of restraining cost increases. The latest offer goes beyond that.
Oh, HOW NICE of them SO LATE in the 'game."
Insurance companies now charge very high premiums to people who are trying to purchase coverage as individuals and have a history of medical problems, such as diabetes or skin cancer. Even if such a person is offered coverage, that individual is often unable to afford the high premiums....
But THEY CARE about YOU and YOUR HEALTH!!!!
The companies left themselves several outs, however. The letter said they would still charge different premiums based on such factors as age, place of residence, family size, and benefits package....
Also, the industry did not extend to small businesses their offer to stop charging the sick higher premiums. Small employers who offer coverage can see their premiums zoom up from one year to the next, even if just one worker or family member gets seriously ill.
So there really ARE NO CONCESSIONS at all, huh??
Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, the leading trade group, said the industry is working on separate proposals for that problem....
You know my feelings on the issue, readers.
Related: The Health of the AmeriKan Worker
And remember the electronic records that were supposed to stop the looting?
"Few hospitals have computerized data; Researchers find cost a barrier to updating in US" by Julie Steenhuysen, Reuters | March 26, 2009
Never mind that it's not the answer; trillions for wars and banks.... ?
CHICAGO - Less than 2 percent of US hospitals have adopted fully functional electronic medical records, with most citing cost as the biggest barrier, US researchers said yesterday....
Harvard's Dr. David Blumenthal... was tapped to lead President Obama's $19 billion push to increase the use of information technology in healthcare. Obama has made electronic medical records a central piece of his plan to cut costs in a US healthcare system that consistently ranks lower in quality than other rich countries....
Have you watched Sicko?
Blumenthal said the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, clearly shows the United States has room to improve. He said financial incentives in the economic stimulus bill should help, given that most hospitals report that cost as their biggest stumbling block....