Let me be up front - I hate health insurance companies. They are the reason I quit practicing psychology. They are also the reason I work at the Library. I was self employed my whole life and always had health insurance. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, and my insurance did pay for my initial treatment. But when it came time to renew my policy, they increased the premium by so much that it was more than my income. My only hope was to find an employer that provided insurance. When you're recovering from cancer is not the best time to look for a job, and it took several months - during which I am paying the insurance premium using my savings. Finally, I found the job with the Library. The salary was significantly less than I was earning, but I had no choice. I love my job, but I think it was horrible that I was forced to make such a decision so late in my career.
I'm one of thousands, maybe millions, of Americans whose lives were damaged or destroyed by the practices of insurance companies. There are many that I know of right here in Natchez. You may be thinking there's probably another side to these stories. The only other side is greed. Let me give you just one example.
A few months ago, the U S Congress held a hearing on the practice of rescissions in the health insurance industry. I had never even heard of this before, and it is absolutely unbelievable.
This is practiced by all insurance companies in the individual market, which covers all those people who are not covered by their employers - including the economic engine of our country - the entrepreneurs who go into business for themselves. These individuals fill out an application, have it approved, pay their premiums, and assume they have health insurance. NOT!
Apparently, the companies do not even look at those applications - it would cost too much money to evaluate them. They wait until the policy holder makes a significant claim - and then they evaluate them - pouring over them looking for a reason to "rescind" the coverage. In other words, they take back the policy - as if you never had it. They even pay bonuses to employees who save the company the most money through rescissions.
Here's a little video clip of the Chairman of the Committee questioning the insurance executives of the largest companies in the country. Although it's all appalling, the most outrageous was when the Chairman asked them if they would agreed to discontinue with rescissions except in the case of fraud - and they all said no.
And here is another video clip from the same hearing - this one of a victim testifying before the Committee. If you're not crying and outraged after watching this, you are one cold hearted SOB.
By the way, this was not a partisan hearing. Both Democrats and Republicans were outraged after this hearing.