Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Insurance vs. medicine

Here in the upstate of South Carolina we have just seen another victory for the insurance industry over the "demogogues" of "big medicine." Yeah, right.

A local news anchor, Pamela Graham, was out on medical leave for a nasty case of whooping cough (adults can get that?) but the insurance company had decided to tell her employer that she was well enough to go back to work. The trouble is, her doctor would not release her just yet.

Well, I guess insuring the voice of a household fixture of over 20 years in the business is an expence WSPA of Spartanburg couldn't pay. They fired the veteran news lady even though she only asked for another month of leave. So much for "tenure."

I have had some experience in the insurance industry, and my wife is a nurse. It seems to me that most insurance is stacked against the consumer. The rates are based on statistical analysis, and it is not comforting to be a statistic. And then, after years of faithfully paying premiums, you need coverage. Fine, you're covered. But then your rates go up! What have you been paying for, anyway? You are betting good money against yourself -- you pay, hoping that you will not have to collect. They collect, betting on your staying healthy until you reach another bracket in which their statistics justify a hike in the premiums.

And so it goes. A vicious circle that devours billions of dollars a year!

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