Politics, healthcare and an insurance executive that regrets developing the choice talking point.

  • Share:
  • facebook
  • linkedin
  • twitter
Ask anyone about healthcare in the USA and you are likely to get many diverging opinions. Do you like your insurance and do you really have more choices of providers with our current system? As a provider who helps people navigate their insurance plans, nothing is more frustrating for regular folks than the in or out of network question. No other country has high deductibles like we do and many people put off needed care because of it. When you visit a hospital, you may find out that the hospital was in-network but the provider at the ER was not or the anesthesiologist did not participate in your plan but the hospital did.  If you no longer had out of network coverage which is now quite common, the insurer will take no responsibility for the surprise bill A few years ago, Horizon developed Omnia which sounded like a great idea until you went to use it, only to find out certain doctors you rely on were in the more expensive tier.  Many hospital systems got larger as the smaller tier 2 hospitals (not by choice) paid to join larger hospital systems.  We are all paying more because of it and the following year, Omnia prices skyrocketed 25%, while the plan had not out of network coverage whatsoever. Medicare participants overall are happy with their experience since most hospitals and doctors participate and it also has out of network benefits as well. It is a national system that offers coverage throughout the country at affordable rates. From a political standpoint, other than Obamacare which had us paying more for coverage than ever before, while giving us more choices through the exchange, the truth is, most people want to see the doctor they want to see and have their needs covered. Having a choice of more high priced plans is not a choice, because people buy what they can afford and less expensive plans just cover less and have less choices of doctors and facilities. According to a recent NY Times article, health insurance companies invented the choice talking point and have been cashing in on it ever since.  The truth is, private insurers have severely limited choices, while making everything cost more.  Under Obamacare, when your monthly premium rises, so do their profits. Check out the article in the NY Times.   It was written by a former insurance executive who regrets developing the choice talking point which is now being used in democratic talking points. The truth is, we have less choice with the exchanges because we want to be able to choose our doctor and have their services covered without any surprises.  Our current system is full of nasty surprises developed by insurance carriers to limit access and make the healthcare experience more difficult than it should be. Check out the article below

How the Health Insurance Industry (and I) Invented the ‘Choice’ Talking Point

It was always misleading. Now Democrats are repeating it.

By Wendell Potter Mr. Potter is a former insurance executive. There’s a dangerous talking point being repeated in the Democratic primary for president that could affect the survival of millions of people and the finances of even more. This is partly my fault. When the candidates discuss health care, you’re bound to hear some of them talk about consumer “choice.” If the nation adopts systemic health reform, this idea goes, it would restrict the ability of Americans to choose their plans or doctors or have a say in their care. It’s a good little talking point, in that it makes the idea of changing the current system sound scary and limiting. The problem? It’s a P.R. concoction. And right now, somewhere in their plush corporate offices, some health care industry executives are probably beside themselves with glee, drinking a toast to their public relations triumph. Read more