The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

What Insurance Can You Buy?

Nov 9, 2009

The government is supposed to establish a “national insurance exchange,” where people supposedly can go to buy “affordable insurance.”

BUT no insurance company MUST provide “affordable” insurance or list its policies on that exchange.

Insurance companies are supposedly barred from cutting someone off when they get sick or from refusing to sell insurance to people with pre-existing conditions.

BUT many states already have that prohibition–and it hasn’t prevented insurance companies from delaying payments, even denying claims for a sick person or refusing advance authorization. In other words, you can buy the insurance, but it won’t pay out for you.

Insurance companies are supposedly prevented from charging higher premiums based on your health status. For example, they cannot charge you more if you have a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure or heart problems.

BUT, they will be allowed to charge older people four times as much as younger people. And older people are the ones who have most of the chronic conditions.

Bryan Liang, director of the Institute of Health Law Studies at California Western Law School, commented: “Right now, the deck is stacked against patients. Healthcare reform is not going to change the ball game.”