Is health insurance an extended warranty on the human body? Apparently this insurance CEO thinks so which illustrates the problem.
The USA spends more on healthcare than any other country, and places it on the backs of the working public unless of course you cannot afford it any longer. If you make too little or are in the middle, the government supplements the ever-growing cost. If the government increases uncertainty with funding for Obamacare being threatened, we all pay more due to uncertainty, not healthcare costs.
After mismanaging healthcare for years, insurance companies are still in charge of our overpriced healthcare system, which is eating to our incomes. Rather than offering a better path forward, with care, providers, and advice that offers to improve our health and our quality of life, we instead have a system that offers little valuable advice and has created a system of expensive interventions and drugs that have mediocre coordination and is immensely inefficient, but the price to perfection. Providers that offer holistic care such as chiropractors are often underutilized, while primary care has been mainstreamed into a gateway to tests, procedures, and drugs that years later may extend life at all costs without regard to the quality of life. Even the government has had broad experiments with their poorly devised foot pyramids which had us avoiding important fats and taking in more sugar resulting in more diabetics than ever before. The drug companies have taken advantage of this and constantly raised the price of insulin, and metformin, while doctors remain clueless on how to effectively reverse the disease in most patients, relying on drugs to manage it instead. This is just one example of the problem in our system which profits from extending and then managing disease processes because most mainstream doctors do not understand they can do this, except it is not possible to do this with 10-minute office visits. Ultimately, when you manage rather than fix problems, the problems and their other secondary disease processes are costing our society dearly.
Insurance CEO of Aetna, Mark Bertolini, who two years ago made $30 million off of us hard-working folks while mis-administrating healthcare and passing the increased costs to us. You can listen to the interview here under the heading
Aetna CEO: Here’s why health care in the U.S. is so expensive.
In this recent interview where he was laid back and dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, and most likely working off his carefully scripted talking points, he takes on Opioids and healthcare costs. He offers us the idea that we are under warranty and that they sell extended warranties to cover us because we cannot take care of ourselves and inadvertently shows they are indeed part of the problem as to why we pay so much for healthcare. He says that when we break, he will fix us or will he? Is the promise of insurance broken?
While I would agree that personal responsibility is important, insurance companies have warped insurance into a corporate money-making machine, bleeding the system of money, as costs escalate. The more we pay for insurance, the more they make and they are beholden to their shareholders, not us who are the subscribers.
Neither political party has an answer for how to use insurance companies to reduce the cost of care, partly because they are partly responsible for the cost of care, after 40 years of predatory practices which led to large corporate hospital systems, huge impersonal physician practices, and high drug prices. These systems will not want to sacrifice profits by helping us be healthier unless they are forced to do so. Their one-size-fits-all approach to care doesn’t fit all.
The CEO does correctly point out that healthcare procedures that are not geared to a better quality of life are wasteful and often unnecessary. He offers no ideas on how to healthcare work better, help us stay healthier, and avoid many avoidable procedures later in life such as knee or hip replacements and systemic metabolic diseases that holistic providers can resolve.
Do you know someone taking a long list of drugs who has a poor quality of life? Are they a statistic or a prime example of what is wrong when several healthcare providers in a fragmented system each see us as a disjointed mechanism, with diseases instead of a holistic mechanism whose system may need a slight adjustment? Do we treat each symptom, only to have another, called a disease or do we treat the mechanism and improve the way our bodies function, preventing future problems, and eliminating the need for medications?
Perhaps, we need to simplify the system and rethink healthcare. Who does it best, who improves the quality of life for many of us, and what is health? The warranty system has its limits when you apply it to human beings and other living things. What it does well makes us dependent on risky medications, and procedures and makes us more dependent on the system that is inefficient and is torturing us at the end of our lives, without regard to the quality of life.
Perhaps, we can simplify things by eliminating insurance companies first, and then reinvent who does healthcare, and how they practice and rethink the profit-at-all-costs mentality that has consumed the American healthcare system. Then we can spend our healthcare resources on healthcare providers that improve health, and the quality of life, and help Americans eat better which will improve their health. Should we eat poorly and pay for it with healthcare costs later or improve the health of Americans with better diets, better fitness, and improved advice and treatment of the human frame?