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Is protecting health insurance companies truly healthcare reform?

By       Message Mary MacElveen       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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We have all seen commercial ads for prescription drugs one can take for any number of ailments: such as taking Lipitor for one's cholesterol and if I were an uninsured citizen of this country who suffers from high cholesterol, I would quite frankly see that ad as a tease. Oh sure, you can take this drug, but it is going to cost you. But before being prescribed this drug, one must see a doctor. Wait, without being covered and being able to see a doctor, one cannot get this drug.

Here is the latest Lipitor ad that is currently running on most stations? Is he simply an actor or someone that does suffer from high cholesterol? Regardless of who he is, still to produce that ad and air it costs money and more likely than not the cost of producing it trickles down to the price of the drug.

How many of us have gone to the doctor if we can afford it and say, "I want to be placed on this drug" instead of letting the doctor diagnose your ailment and prescribe the best course of treatment. Drug companies bank on you doing just that.

Just recently, Brookhaven Memorial Hospital began running ads on cable networks hoping that YOU will choose it should you need healthcare. It begs the question: If you do not have health insurance, just how are you going to afford to become their patient? If I were an uninsured person, it would be akin to a child looking through the window of a toy store knowing his or her parents could not afford said toy.

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Ad-buys for drugs or hospitals cost money, so it should not be a total surprise to any of us why healthcare for all Americans is out of reach for the 47 million who presently are uninsured.

Here is an ad for Anthem-Blue Cross and I would love to know how much they spent in the making of that commercial which likely uses actors. How much did it cost them to buy ad-space on the television networks that carried it? Let us not forget the actors, since they are paid to appear in commercials. Do these ad-buys contribute to high premiums one must pay? You actually think the executives of these companies would eat the cost of making these commercials? Like any business, the cost is born by the customer.

Those politicos who are presently railing against the 'public option' or dare I say single-payer health care foresee competition between these health insurance companies as our best bet. Wait a gosh darn minute. In order to compete: Wouldn't these companies need to advertise their rates and services by using commercial ad-buys?

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In reading this article published today: How Much Do Television Ads Cost?, please take note of this passage: "It has been estimated that the average cost of producing a 30-second national TV commercial is nearly $350,000. But before you panic, understand that like any other form of advertising, a television commercial can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Not surprisingly, the cost to produce the commercial goes up as the quality and complexity of the commercial increases."

We have all heard of how much ads cost to run during the Super Bowl and will these health insurance companies run ads during them all in the name of competition? Instead of $350,000 going towards patient care and coverage, competition between health insurance companies will bring about an explosion in ad-buys.

I can almost hear the salivating of advertising agencies just ready to exploit this fraud perpetrated upon the people called, "Health insurance company based health reform"

One does have to wonder if cable and broadcast networks are almost banking on the competition between insurance companies as being their best bet to make money. Should this be the reform that will be shoved down our throats: How much will cable networks such as Fox, CNN, MSNBC and others like it make? How much will broadcast networks like ABC, CBS and NBC make as well? I can almost hear the CFOs of all just waiting for the big-bucks to roll on in.

The AFL-CIO just recently reported of claims being denied out in California and where they opined that these companies are the truth 'death panels'. These health insurance companies are first and foremost businesses who rely on people buying their product. Your dollars are their life's blood. Instead of paying a claim: How many of them have been advertising and please keep that $350,000 ad-buy rate in mind.

Named in their report was PacifiCare which: "denied 40 percent of all California claims." Interestingly enough, I found this PacifiCare ad on YouTube.com. How many will purchase their healthcare product not knowing they have denied claims to Californians? More importantly: What chunk of the claims benefits denied went into the making of this ad?

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I cannot understand how protecting insurance companies is our best bet when this news report on PacifiCare told how they dropped a man's coverage, which cost him $60,000. He had to have a kidney removed which had a cancerous tumor on it.

I know free-market thinkers and believers just hate the term regulation, but we saw the damage done by banks who went for years unregulated. If this is the health reform package shoved down America's throat that solely supports health insurance companies, then they need to be regulated.

As we watch the President's speech on healthcare reform tonight, look out amongst the sea of faces who would rather protect insurance companies than providing healthcare for all Americans. There are 47 million Americans who are in dire need of healthcare who have been shut out of our present system.

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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog http://www.mary-macelveen.blogspot.com I have been published by Buzzflash.com, TheLiberalPatriot.org and MikeHersh.com. I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)

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