24 April 2007

One size does fit all

We now know part of the health insurance industry's talking points regarding what's the matter with U.S. healthcare: It's that one size doesn't fit all when it comes to health insurance.

What a crock.

How does one size not fit all? Which one of us doesn't want care when we're sick or injured? This was the answer that the journalist bought in the New York Magazine article on "the young invincibles" and here's a reporter for the Indy Star giving a platform to Wellpoint to make the same point.
Jude Thompson, president of individual markets for WellPoint, the nation's largest health insurer, said the traditional one-size-fits-all approach to marketing insurance no longer works.
"That's one of the big reasons why we're where we are today with the uninsured," he said. "Companies need to change the way they are talking about insurance and offer different products with different price points. We need products that resonate with the different age and income groups and hit the mark with people who can and want to purchase insurance."
What Jude is talking about, of course, is actually "the choice" to pay less for a higher deductible and catastrophic coverage only — which hardly makes insurance more cost effective. It's still "playing the odds," just as people without insurance do. It still essentially takes people out of the risk pool, meaning that someone with a chronic condition who needs care will certainly be left in a market where that care is unaffordable — unless the government picks it up.

And that is OF COURSE the end game for the health insurance industry. They'll insure all the healthy people, and the government can take care of all the sick people. What a deal.

Don McCanne, former president of Physicians for a National Health Program, had a good post on this today. Sign up for those posts through this link from the PNHP website.

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