FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Private Insurance is Bad for Your Health

Private health insurance is “oil” in the “water” of Public Health. They do not belong together. We have heard much about the redundancy, and excess, unnecessary costs of private insurance, and a lot about the horrors faced by those with and without coverage. But there are other basic, root issues that so far have not been widely addressed. The presidential campaign traveling show now offers opportunities to raise some of these questions.

* Private insurers are invariably investors, with what was our health care money, in all sorts of industries, many of them being notorious for causing health problems.

We know, from SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) material, that top insurers have been or still are multi million dollar investors in cigarette manufacturing! They may also invest in tobacco pesticides and even the firms that supply carcinogenic radioactive (!) fertilizers to tobacco growers…not to mention chlorine interests that are responsible for presence of dioxin in the smoke from adulterated products, agricultural firms that supply pesticide-contaminated crop ingredients, paper/pulp, sugar, burn accelerants, and flavorings/sweeteners/aromas etc from pharmaceutical firms.

This glaring Conflict-of-Interest goes far to explain why we have a war on undefined, unanalyzed, unpatentable tobacco plants, and on smokers…on the unwitting victims of these fraudulently-marketed concoctions…instead of on the manufacturers and adulterant suppliers and their compliant agents in regulatory positions.

No insurer with cigarette production holdings ought be anywhere near our health care system, and they certainly ought not be among those participating in compulsory programs.

* If an insurer is invested in, or does business insurance with, pharmaceutical firms, such an insurer has motive, opportunity and fiduciary duty to promote its investment property’s drugs over others that may be cheaper, more effective, and safer. Apparently, no laws prohibit this. Such an insurer has same motives to ignore, or not even look for, problems with drugs made by its investment properties. Such an insurer might also work to discredit, prohibit, or not authorize traditional natural unpatented drugs, herbs, vitamins, minerals and supplements.

* An insurer invested in pesticides or bio-tech firms has a huge motive to ignore the harms and risks of pesticides (in typical cigarettes or elsewhere) and Genetically Engineered foods, and to fail to advise proper prevention such as avoidance of toxics and synthetics, and the use of organics.

* With whatever control private insurers have over HMOs, hospitals, doctors, etc., one has to worry that patients may not receive proper medical diagnoses if medical staff avoids even looking for body burdens of industrial chemicals or radiation. It is hard to imagine how proper care can be administered if certain causes of illnesses are not sought or found.

What we have with private, investor insurers is a “Company Doctor” situation like in the old Coal Mine Towns where a doctor finds that a miner has “a cold”, not black lung disease caused by unsafe work conditions.

Not a day goes by without reports that some natural thing, or peoples’ “behavior”, or natural plants (like tobacco), or “faulty” genes, or bad diet, or something ,causes such-and-such problems. We only hear about Industrial Causes when a problem becomes too big to cover-up.

* Insurer investments create problems all over the board…as many, most, or all customers would not care to have this second-handed economic investment relationship with firms they may oppose for religious, moral, political, environmental or even business reasons. But who is told where an insurer invests? Who thinks to even ask? One would have to go to the significant trouble of navigating the SEC EDGAR Database, if they even knew such a thing existed.

* No matter how the issue is sliced, one who patronizes a private insurer, either willingly or under gov’t compulsion, therefore contributes funds to things that have nothing whatever to do with health OR the Public Interest. Besides the investment funds, these include advertising, campaign gifts to politicians, CEO bonuses, corporate conventions, corporate jets, lobbying, and even lawn care and brass polish at corporate headquarters. With no Public Interest relating to those matters, it is hard to see how compulsory insurance patronage can even be legal.

* Speaking of legality, compelling the purchase of private health insurance services is importantly different from states’ police-enforced compulsion on drivers to buy auto insurance. In that case, in order to comply with First Amendment prohibition on Compulsory Speech, officials point out that no one is forced to drive. However, with health insurance, the only ways to opt out legally, without penalty, would be to leave the country, or commit suicide. This Constitutional question needs to be addressed. Some presidential contenders seem resolved to commit perjury even as they take the oath of office, swearing to preserve, protect, and defend The Constitution.

* Beside all that, private insurers must grow or face shareholder suits. This guarantees rate hikes forever. They have that motive and duty to charge as much as possible for services, and to provide the least possible in return. This is an unacceptable Adversarial situation.

The United States public is capable of taking care of its own health system, as citizens of other countries manage quite well, without the questionable “help”…thanks anyway…from unnecessary, parasitic private insurers.

The biggest hurdles the people face are corporatized mainstream media (including “public” broadcasting) and “public” (endless quotes, I know) officials who have gone AWOL from their duties to serve the public but who serve, instead, and above all, those insurers and any or all of their investment properties.

JOHN JONIK lives in Philadelphia. He can be reached at: j_jonik@yahoo.com

 

 

 

More articles by:

Weekend Edition
March 22, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
The Ghost of Fascism in the Post-Truth Era
Gabriel Rockhill
Spectacular Violence as a Weapon of War Against the Yellow Vests
H. Bruce Franklin
Trump vs. McCain: an American Horror Story
Paul Street
A Pox on the Houses of Trump and McCain, Huxleyan Media, and the Myth of “The Vietnam War”
Andrew Levine
Why Not Impeach?
Bruce E. Levine
Right-Wing Psychiatry, Love-Me Liberals and the Anti-Authoritarian Left
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Darn That (American) Dream
Charles Pierson
Rick Perry, the Saudis and a Dangerous Nuclear Deal
Moshe Adler
American Workers Should Want to Transfer Technology to China
David Rosen
Trafficking or Commercial Sex? What Recent Exposés Reveal
Nick Pemberton
The Real Parallels Between Donald Trump and George Orwell
Binoy Kampmark
Reading Manifestos: Restricting Brenton Tarrant’s The Great Replacement
Brian Cloughley
NATO’s Expensive Anniversaries
Ron Jacobs
Donald Cox: Tale of a Panther
Joseph Grosso
New York’s Hudson Yards: The Revanchist City Lives On
REZA FIYOUZAT
Is It Really So Shocking?
Bob Lord
There’s Plenty of Wealth to Go Around, But It Doesn’t
John W. Whitehead
The Growing Epidemic of Cops Shooting Family Dogs
Jeff Cohen
Let’s Not Restore or Mythologize Obama 
Christy Rodgers
Achieving Escape Velocity
Monika Zgustova
The Masculinity of the Future
Jessicah Pierre
The Real College Admissions Scandal
Peter Mayo
US Higher Education Influence Takes a Different Turn
Martha Rosenberg
New Study Confirms That Eggs are a Stroke in a Shell
Ted Rall
The Greatest Projects I Never Mad
George Wuerthner
Saving the Big Wild: Why Aren’t More Conservationists Supporting NREPA?
Norman Solomon
Reinventing Beto: How a GOP Accessory Became a Top Democratic Contender for President
Ralph Nader
Greedy Boeing’s Avoidable Design and Software Time Bombs
Tracey L. Rogers
White Supremacy is a Global Threat
Nyla Ali Khan
Intersectionalities of Gender and Politics in Indian-Administered Kashmir
Karen J. Greenberg
Citizenship in the Age of Trump: Death by a Thousand Cuts
Jill Richardson
Getting It Right on What Stuff Costs
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Puddle Jumping in New Britain
Matt Johnson
The Rich Are No Smarter Than You
Julian Vigo
College Scams and the Ills of Capitalist-Driven Education
Brian Wakamo
It’s March Madness, Unionize the NCAA!
Beth Porter
Paper Receipts Could be the Next Plastic Straws
Christopher Brauchli
Eric the Heartbroken
Louis Proyect
Rebuilding a Revolutionary Left in the USA
Sarah Piepenburg
Small Businesses Like Mine Need Paid Family and Medical Leave
Robert Koehler
Putting Our Better Angels to Work
Peter A. Coclanis
The Gray Lady is Increasingly Tone-Deaf
David Yearsley
Bach-A-Doodle-Doo
Elliot Sperber
Aunt Anna’s Antenna
March 21, 2019
Daniel Warner
And Now Algeria
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail