By Chris Elliott
November 21, 2009
Last December I woke up after surgery in a room at Virginia Mason
with a homeless female heroin addict in the other bed. I know
this because a nurse patiently gathered the woman's medical history
and current circumstances before the poor woman slumped across
her food tray fast sleep. I'm pretty sure she didn't have health
insurance. I'm pretty sure those of us with insurance are covering
her in our premiums. (The Uninsured)
Every morning before I go to work, I watch a little news. There
is always at least one advertisement from attorneys soliciting
clients who have suffered (fill in the blank). The purpose is
to sue a big drug company or corporation or hospital for personal
injury. The payoff is a big settlement for pain and suffering
and lost wages and, the BIG ONE, punitive damages. The attorneys
get at least a third, so it is in their interest to take it to
the limit. When a jury awards a gazillion in punitive damages,
malpractice insurance is going up, up, up. (Tort Reform)
There are about 8 companies authorized by the State of Alaska
to sell insurance here. Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska
has about a 75% share. Some states authorize many more and some
authorize fewer. Why the difference? Why can't all the insurance
companies sell insurance in all the states? And why don't insurance
companies offer a la carte benefits? I don't need pre-natal
insurance. I don't want marriage counseling insurance. Why
can't I have it my way?
These are the things I ponder when I get my co-pay statement
from Blue Cross.
About: "Healthcare consumer"
Received November 17, 2009
- Published November 21, 2009
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