I talked to a lady after Obamacare was first instituted who claimed her premiums had doubled. Actually before Obamacare was enacted I had written about insurance companies who had quadrupled their profits by doubling premiums and cutting coverage in half. This price gouging was not uncommon at all before Obamacare.
To be perfectly clear I am talking about insurance companies' decisions before Obamacare was put into effect - not decisions mandated by Obama or federal government regulations of any kind.
After Obamacare I could not write about insurance companies gouging because price gouging was not allowed because, under Obamacare, insurance companies were required to limit themselves to twenty percent " overhead " profits and perks to executives and return any excess back to policyholders in the form of reduced premiums. The proposed Trumpcare plan would defeat that by taking away limits on how much insurance companies could pay their top executives and how much they could take from policyholders' to spend on things that had nothing to do with their policyholders' healthcare.
Anyhow getting back to that lady I found out she had some kind of plan that she paid into but had never able to collect on because the deductible and what was covered were so high. If you combined what she paid in premiums and what she paid out of pocket for decades it is my opinion that she would have been better off with a real insurance policy with higher premiums. As it was she had paid in for decades but never had her healthcare insurance policy cover a single cent of her healthcare expenses. Can you spell " sucker."?
Go ahead. Tell me the lady had a "right" to buy a catastrophic plan and was lucky somehow she never had to use it.
Here's the thing. People without insurance stroke out all the time from conditions like high blood pressure that could be easily and more cheaply be taken care of IF they had healthcare and a doctor BEFORE they stroked out and went to the hospital ( more expensive than a doctor's visit) AFTER their catastrophic event and wound up a vegetable in a nursing home their care for the rest of their lives paid for by taxpayers - and disproportionately more by the middle class than the rich who can take advantage of more loopholes ( ironically some of these loopholes are regulations they claim they want to eliminate but haven't simply because the relations favor them - it helps keep this good ole boy system in place by spreading the falsehood that government regulations harm regulations).
Under ACA "catastrophic" policies were not allowed to be sold to people under 30 years of age. Right wing republicans would say that takes away " choice" but democratic designers would answer that for people under 30 the chances of ever collecting on a " catastrophic" policy was near zero - a very bad deal for the individual to pay and pay on a policy that their odds of ever using was less than winning the lottery. Worse, republicans " selling" young people the idea they don't really need insurance if they do n't want to buy it because if something catastrophic happens they can just go to the hospital and be treated even if they can't pay - sounds good but someone pays for those hospital visits and it is all the American taxpayers through higher taxes - and as I said before disproportionately by the middle class more than the rich Trumpcare plans will further advantage.
Private insurance companies in my experience have been too much about " selling" and making profit and not enough about serving the best interests of their policyholders. Perhaps the worse examples are how insurance companies try to " sell" insurance as an "investment" instead of protection. Investments work, or fail, on risk. Insurance only works to the extent it eliminates risks.
Republicans now want to make financial advisors able to NOT make the interest of the people who give them money the most important factor in how they invest that money. That's obscene, especially since it's done in the name of getting more people into investing who, and this seems clear to me if not to republicans, despite the fact that high fees and risk involved kept poor out of risky investments for their own protection before.
Nearly half a century ago I bought a whole life insurance policy when I first got married. Republicans might say a term life policy might be a better investment and money saved would PROBABLY make more money as an investment over the long term. But I was buying guaranteed protection for a wife I am still married to - not risk in the stock market that might, or might not make more money in the long term.
Years later after that whole life policy had built up cash value two salesmen came to offer a " deal." Their deal was use the cash value to buy additional insurance and they had pages of charts showing how much I would under their convoluted scheme at retirement. I told them their figures were wrong and I was absolutely sure their scheme would not work. For one thing they based their chart on past performance of the stock market - not future performance. This is simple gambling - not insurance. Millions of Americans found this out in the recent recession when they lost most, or all, of their 401k investments in the recent recession. The republican idiots who said " they" ( most of them) would have recovered all their money if they had just left their money in their 401ks till after the recession was little consolation to those who lost everything and, more to the point of what I'm writing about here, to those who lost their jobs and insurance and had to use that 401k money for healthcare expenses and just to live on. They tell me without SS ( guaranteed insurance not an investment) they would be left with nothing in old age.
Social security is an insurance program - not an investment program - and none, least of all republican lawmakers and/or large American insurance companies with their track records, should be allowed to change it. Just lifting the cap on the income ceiling would sustain it well into the future. It is an easy fix in our lifetimes.
Anyhow those insurance salesmen were arrogant but solemnly promised me their scheme, which they knew wouldn't work because I told them even if they had not prepared or reviewed their own presentation materials, was guaranteed.
Decades later I joined a class action suit when it turned out I was right and their scheme didn't work. They evidently sold policies to poor people who when the stock market disn't perform couldn't make up the difference on the payments on the increased insurance they had been encouraged to take on and lost that insurance and, because they had used the cash value of their risk free whole life policy to gamble on what I assured the insurance agents was not a sure thing in spite of the fact they insisted it was, lost everything.
Evidently the court agreed with me because everybody who had been sold these policies in America by what was probably America's largest insurance company was given their money back.
Too bad some of those people who had been sold a gamble as a sure thing by insurance salesman had died in the decades in between and their families had nothing to show for all the money they had paid in. Probably some of the families of those who died without the insurance they paid in but couldn't collect on couldn't be found - so many families insured wound up getting nothing while the insurance company prospered.
" high risk" insurance pools republicans purpose giving to states ( and taking risk away from insurance companies) under Trumpcare have never worked and it is magical thinking to think they ever will - but, trust me, what you need to be looking at is republicans who are selling high risk insurance pools as a way for insurance companies to NOT have to deal with the risk of actually having to deal with sick people and compete better in a less risky environment and giving lower premiums to selected policy holders ( insert higher profits for insurance companies here). Insurance companies, legitimate insurance companies, use actuarial tables to manage risk. Taking risk away from insurance companies and giving it to states doesn't elimate risk or the cost of healthcare - just who pays most for coverings that risk, and not coincidently, who bears the cost - insurance companies or states. This is the kind of thinking that enables republicans to transfer Medicaid costs to individual STATES and say that reduces the FEDERAL deficit. It is a shell game. Someone always pays - and it is the American people whether it is through federal or state taxes.
Think. Why would America want to protect insurance company profit more than people?
Lower the premiums for healthcare for some under Trumpcare by taking healthcare away from tens of millions who already have healthcare away to make that happen?