I’ve already picked on the left-wing Keystone Progress this week for absurd statements, but I got another missive from them on health care. Basically, their effort was to demonize health insurers – arguing that health insurance companies were the ones opposing health care reform; insurers are greedy and pursuit of profit is why they will kick you off insurance if you get sick; that a lack of competition and local monopolies foster “excessive profits”; and that national reform will save Americans from this reckless greed.
Of course, this argument is based on many un-true statements. Some facts they choose to ignore:
- Health insurance companies have modest profit margins.
- The largest players in most states are already non profit – typically Blue Cross Blue Shield charters – whose market share is support by government favoritism.
- It has been illegal for insurers to drop coverage based on medical conditions since 1997.
More important in the fact that insurance companies are largely on board with Obama’s health care reform. Why would they support this?
- Current Congressional proposals would offer hundreds of billions in subsidies to health insurance companies.
- Current proposals would mandate individuals buy insurance or face a tax penalty.
- Current proposals would mandate employers provide coverage, or face a payroll tax or fair share fee.
Demonizing insurance companies makes for fine political rhetoric, but it isn’t supported by the fact, nor does it justify a policy which benefits insurance companies.