Insurance is a casino-style system where more money goes in than comes out; their long-term profit is guaranteed by their business model. What "service" do we recieve for our money? Why, we get "administration" of our health care, which generally consists of accountants deciding whether or not we will be allowed to get medical treatment.
I dont know about you, but I personally think that the Insurance industry is a parasitic beast in the body of America. It is simply an insane system. No, no, that’s not quite right; it makes perfect sense from a money-making perspective. But it sucks from the standpoint of healthcare because it ensures not only that care will be denied to increase profit, but also that fraud will be committed in order to collect disbursed money. If you think that this last point is not true, then why do you think that insurance companies have so many functionaries? They arent all there to deny claims, some are there to watch for those who seek money for services not actually rendered (this kind of fraud is much easier when the money is controlled by parties not actually recieving the services).
The real solution is something along the lines of the VA, but for all the nation. No, it wont be perfect, but then the current system hardly qualifies for that description either. And right off the bat, let's adress the national shortage of qualified health care professionals by staffing it with doctors, nurses and technicians who have been trained at government expense (and are obligated for a term of government service after). This will ensure that we can get qualified people who are not denied the opportunity to work in health care simply because they cannot afford to go to school. Next, minimal outside contracting will be allowed, with all work being done in-house that can be, which will reduce graft to mostly the usual, old-fashioned lazyness and incompetence (which you can find just as easily in for-pay health care). Oh, did I mention that such care would be cost-free. We can start small, maybe in inner city neighborhoods or underserved rural communities (the types of places that for-profit medicine has abandonned).
Of course, when I say "cost free", I mean cost-free to the user, but it would certainly cost tax-payer dollars. But if that eliminates insurance premiums (for which the Family Plan eats up 15-20% of my meager paycheck), and reduces the effects of the healthcare by Public Hospital Emergency Rooms syndrome, wont that pay off in the end? Why have a layer of (private, profit-making) bureaucracy in the middle of the system? Do we like throwing away money?
Here, let me present an analogy (you know I love analogies) on just why the current health-care system is crazy:
Imagine if we ran the police the same way we run health-care. Instead of taxes, everyone (who could afford it) would pay for the coverage of private "security firms". When you called with a problem, you'd have to dial the number on the back of your "security insurance" card (rather than 911), where you would talk to person who would then have the power to decide whether or not your "emergency" had merit.
"I'm sorry, m'am, but it appears that the restraining order against your ex-boyfriend was obtained before you contracted with us, which makes any problem you have with him pre-existing. If you want to have him arrested I'm afraid we're not going to be able to cover that problem. Yes, m'am, we can arrest him, but I'm afraid you'll be required to cover the full cost of that service."
There would be multiple "police" companies, all "competing" for your business, but also contracting with multiple Security Insurance companies. Naturally, those companies which paid the best would get the priority in service. Imagine a world where the police interest in responding to calls was based on who payed the most (oops! it's already pretty much that way, isnt it?). Oh sure, some form of local government-run police would still exist, but it would be small, and only show up when things (in the under-insured parts of town) had gotten way out of control, and damage which could have been limited or even eliminated if attended to early, has now spread throughout the neighborhood.
Does this sound like a system you'd like to live under? Now imagine the Fire Department run this way. Is not medical care just as important?
Assuming that anyone is still paying attention to those things, during the next debate, let's see if we can get someone to ask (especially Republicans) this question:
"Do you have a plan to get Medicine out from under the thumb of parasitic, for-profit, health-care bureaucrats? And if not, why not?"