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Do you want the insurance companies making your decisions?

Today on C-Span’s Washington Journal, a caller told a story of how he was forced to see numerous doctors at different hospitals in the area in where he lives, some as far as 100 miles away, to get a diagnosis. The caller then faulted health insurance companies for preventing the practice of having “diagnostic tests done under one roof.” “So in essence,” the caller noted, “the insurance companies are the ones controlling what tests you can get, when you get them, how you get them and if they’re accepted or not.”

In a remarkable moment of candor, C-Span’s guest — Republican Congressman Tim Murphy (PA) — agreed:

MURPHY: Yeah and that brings up the point here that with regard to one of our big frustrations with insurance companies is they control the market place, they control what’s done, a lot of times doctors not making the decisions here. And you recognize the frustration.

Answer Question

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 6:31 PM on Aug. 19, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (51)
  • Murphy is right: Insurance companies control markets and are the ones making medical decisions. Insurance companies have consolidated in local markets which has resulted in limited choice and higher profits. In fact, “1 in 6 metropolitan areas in a 2008 study of more than 300 U.S. markets is dominated by a single health insurer that controls at least 70% of consumers.” And as The Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky has noted, insurance companies try to cover only the healthy because offering care to sicker Americans puts them at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace.

    In order to preserve the status quo of keeping health insurance in the private sector,
    the GOP’s strategy has been to repeat the dubious claim that a public option “rations” care. But by making that argument, as Murphy pointed out, rationing care is just what these very same conservatives are supporting.

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 6:32 PM on Aug. 19, 2009


    Indeed, during her confirmation hearing in March, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, “as insurance commissioner where I served for eight years saw it on a regular basis by private insures, who often made decisions overruling suggestions that doctors would make for their patients that they weren’t going to be covered.”

    Answer by sweet-a-kins at 6:33 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • Now we are getting somewhere. Lets talk about the powerful monopolies. They actually put out false myths through media and advertising regarding health care so that they can keep the $$$$$$$$$ in their pockets. Obama is changing with the people.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:37 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • This is the reality that exists in our health care system today. The Insurance companies are calling the shots in terms of what WILL or WILL NOT be covered treatment options. It's part of what cracks me up about the claims from the anti-reform/change group- the fact that medical care will be determined by non-medical ppl. Wake up, that is happening now!

    Sure, you have the free will to make other choices-at your own expense, which imo defeats the whole purpose of actually having insurance. Plus the cost of most medical care is beyond the reach of most average citizens in our country.

    Answer by Sisteract at 6:37 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • This is the issues that need to be addressed and fixed. We don't need our entire system scrapped, and that is exactly what will happen "down the road", just to fix proceedures and regulations. Tweeking how coverage is managed is an enormous leap to having all covered and paid by the government. This is the typical "cut off your nose despite your face".

    Answer by jesse123456 at 6:37 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • Very much agree jesse we could make improvements without government mess and the bill does not have to be no where near as loooooooooooong.

    Answer by tnmomofive at 6:40 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • THANK YOU! YES! Why is it so much better to have a corporation, with a direct interest in whether your health/illness will make them a profit or not, make your health care decisions than the government? I have never understood that at all. I have a chronic illness...Lupus. Fortunately, I have healthcare through DH's employer. Unfortunately, that healthcare continues to cost us more and co-pays for the 7-10 pills I take EVERYDAY cost us almost $150 a month out of our son's meds are another $60, my DH's meds are another $60...combine that with the almost $300 we pay for insurance premiums every month and you can see how it starts to add up. And, insurance won't pay for certain things for me...they refuse to pay for any physical therapy, which could help my joint pain...but they will gladly shell out the money for a narcotic prescription that may kill me or make me addicted...makes no sense.

    Answer by mizkaye at 6:43 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • The system we have now sucks, PERIOD! Why work to fix the CLUNKER when we can create a better alternative?

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:43 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • They are already controlling what test you can get who can get it and what theya ren't going to cover. a newborn can be denied coverage for a pre-exsisting illness as it stands now we need HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM that is really what this bill is about

    Answer by mamak57 at 6:43 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • I think that the bill will have to be as long. On Mon, after Sebelius floated the idea that the public option might not be a must have, most of the big ins cos stock prices went up 4-5%. That, to me, is very telling. With the idea of a public option, the ins cos might have to use something other than the bottom line to determine "smart health" decisions.

    As well, this whole co op BS - sure, WA state has one, with 600k members, and it works GREAT. IT has taken 60 yrs to get that way. I cannot believe co ops are being pushed as a fair and viable alt - it's "throw money at something and not piss off my health care contributers" song and dance.

    ANYONE who bitches that the govt will be taking away choice - if you have ins, you already have that problem. It's just disguised as "capitalism" and the "workings of free market business".

    Answer by LiliM at 6:45 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

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