A short interview with the folks from Private Health Insurance Must Go.
The Private Health Insurance Must Go! Coalition (PHIMGC) is a growing and diverse New York City-based non-partisan organization focused on education, legislative advocacy and direct action in the fight for single-payer healthcare reform and HR 676.
Our core mission is education–laying out the basic facts about the American health care system. These are damning facts that the private insurers are trying so hard to keep out of the healthcare debate.
THE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE SWINDLE
The private health insurance industry is responsible for up to 30% of our insurance premiums being wasted on basic administration. Our money is misspent on false advertising, along with the salaries of employees whose job it is to challenge claims, and armies of D.C. lobbyists who bribe and bully elected officials to represent the industry above the will of the people. This waste, estimated to be anywhere from $180-350 billion per year, is diverted from making sick people healthy, and from enabling healthy people to stay that way.
Americans are tired of being abused and harassed by their private health insurers. Claims for life-saving procedures are denied, resulting in avoidable deaths. In addition, thousands of people with health insurance end up in bankruptcy every year due to uncovered healthcare expenses, and this is quickly becoming the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States.
In an oftentimes futile attempt to receive fair compensation for their services, physicians are spending more and more of their time dealing with the billing departments of insurance companies rather than seeing patients. This frustration is causing some to leave the profession, exacerbating the shortage of medical professionals in our country.
Health insurance companies have approval ratings just slightly higher than those of tobacco companies because of one very simple reason: they are not in the business of providing healthcare at all. The private insurers are in the business of maximizing profit by denying care, thereby putting their customers at risk of serious health injury and death.
THE CHOICE BEFORE US: GENUINE REFORM OR BOGUS REFORM
Several of the candidates running for President have proposed so-called “Universal Coverage” plans, but which are better described as “mandate” and “subsidize” plans. The mandate part means that the government forces you to buy the insurers’ defective product. And the subsidize part means your tax dollars will be handed over to the insurers, boosting their bottom line. The “centrist” candidates shilling for these plans have all taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the insurance industry. This is a drop in the bucket compared to the millions the health insurance industry spends manipulating public opinion and spreading fear to ensure that their gouging of America will continue forever.
There can be no national system of guaranteed quality health care for all in the United States as long as it includes the private health insurers. To cover the entire country, without bankrupting it in the process, we must realize massive cost savings. The easiest way to accomplish this is to cut out the middleman and move to a national publicly financed and privately delivered system for providing comprehensive non-profit health INSURANCE to everyone.
WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST AND HOW WE FIGHT IT
The private health insurance industry has billions of dollars and thousands of lobbyists in Washington, D.C. to fight us by stoking the political fires with anti-government bigotry and propaganda. They will dishonestly call this socialism and repeat the same tired lies about how publicly funded health care systems don’t work for other countries. However, they do work. They save money, improve health outcomes, and save lives.
The people of the United States are increasingly aware that insurance-company greed is the reason our health care system is being allowed to rot. More and more of our neighbors are turning away from anti-government zealotry and are supporting genuine health care reform: a publicly funded, privately delivered national healthcare program.
Groups like ours are fighting to create a large grassroots movement to ensure that we get real reform, not another bandage. The well-organized voice of the majority of Americans will not be silenced by insurance-industry greed.