Thursday, March 11, 2010

Will Government Healthcare Cover Everything?

When I started college, my step-father left work with a disability. He applied to his insurance provider and was rejected. He had lost his job, and this disability would mean a source of income for him. In the end, the insurance company caved when my step-father got a lawyer. Who was this evil insurance company? United Healthcare? Cigna? Kaiser? Nope, it was the U.S. government. My step-father was fighting to get Social Security disability.

Pop-quiz: Who denies more insurance claims than any other insurance provider? The U. S. government. A 2008 study by the American Medical Association found that Medicare denied more claims both in number and percentage than any private insurance company. The study found that Medicare actually denies almost double the percentage of claims as most other insurance companies including such giants as Cigna, United Healthcare and Humana.

Sarah Palin made headlines by claiming there would be "death panels" in the Democrat health care bill. These panels would decide who receives treatment and who doesn't. Truthfully, these panels are already in place at Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These groups already decide whose claim they will reject and whose they will pay for. I challenge my readers to ask any Medicare / Medicaid customer they know this question: Does Medicare or Medicaid pay for every doctor's visit, every treatment, and every prescription you want it to? I will bet the vast majority of them will give you a resounding "No!".

I bring this up only to illustrate a point that is lost in the current health care debate: under a government run plan, you will not be able to get every service, treatment, and prescription you want. Ask the current government insurance customers if you think I'm lying.

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