Thursday, August 09, 2007

Not just docked but dumped

As a follow-up to my earlier post about being docked for being overweight, now it turns out you can be turned down for health insurance altogether, as reported in this article from the weekly alternative newspaper in my town. And wouldn't ya know it--my new employer's health insurer is Humana. (And so far they, um, are living up to their reputation.)

9 comments:

RioIriri said...

Imagine that, for-profit health insurance companies are more interested in profit than health.

I really wish we could break free of this insane "stockholders' rights above all others" garbage that is destroying our health, our jobs, our economy, and our humanity.

mary said...

The violation of privacy is huge for me. I recall seeing one co. move a worker into a house across the street to spy on someone I know of many years back. This woman's job was to take pictures and hopefully catch a person who had a back injury and then surgery doing something that showed he was able. She was caught and eventually it stopped.
It seems we are losing more and more freedoms with all the watchdogs we have today. They might want to watch one another.I noticed they included sports in the high risk group so they really can't make up their minds....exercise or not. It appears we are doomed unless we sit and watch tv, in our padded suits, while munching on carrot sticks while life passes on by.
I agree with Harriet that we need to just say "NO" to foolish questions. Spread the word.

Thorn said...

Hey, it's The Isthmus! We're in the same burg, Harriet. I had no idea.

Anyway, geographic coincidences aside, that's a really scary article. I knew the insurance industry was bad, I've been bitching about them for over a decade now, but I still manage to wind up surprised by the depths they can still find to sink to. Just horrible.

carrie said...

Sad to say, I'm not surprised.

And even for those of us lucky to have insurance, they won't pay out even when we *do* have it.

Grrrr....

Harriet Brown said...

We need single-payer! And I know, I know, it's not a perfect system. But it looks pretty good from here.

Thorn, we should have coffee or something this fall! I'd love to meet you. I thought your posts over on Kate's site were incredible.

I wish we could all have coffee together. And then go start a revolution.

Anonymous said...

It would be great to have a single payer system! And Cancer treatment for $800 (see "Sicko" article quoted above). All we need to do is increase our income tax rate to 50 or 60%, and pay our top quality doctors less than what we pay our Longshoremen. Ask those who have universal health care what they think of their taxes, and their country's economy. When's the last time France and Canada were listed as Global economic powers?

We are appalled by the fact that 47 million Americans don't have health insurance. And under Barack Obama, we are promised "that every American will have Basic Health Insurance."

Sadly for me, I am one of the 254 million Americans who has great health insurance, and would rather not sacrifice that to have "Basic" care promised by politicians who either have no idea of the scope of this problem, or they have to speak in easily chewable soundbites to excite simple people who demand simple solutions.

This is a much bigger problem than just passing a law demanding healthcare. Massachusetts has "Coverage for all" laws where the poor can now get affordable coverage. However, doctors under the plan are paid less than standard medicare fees and, according to the Wall Street Journal and Boston Globe, 95% of all primary care physicians (PCPs)in the state are not accepting new patients. So they have coverage, but no care.
And for that same reason, there is a dramatic shortage of PCPs in the US because specialists are much better paid (Cardiologists get up to 3X the average income of PCPs).
Also to blame is obesity and other unhealthy activities. We are appalled that smokers and the obese are denied insurance, or charged more, but think it's my own damn fault if my Auto insurance doubles because I have a handful of speeding tickets and accidents.
Maybe we could pay for our national healthcare with an additional 50% tax on Cigarettes, Big Macs and Doritos.

This is just the hint at the complexity of this problem. And until we are willing to face this complexity, and accept that we will all feel pain (yes, I could stand to lose some weight as well) in order to correct it, NOTHING will change.

And by the way, no one will listen to reason as long as we're listening to nutcases on the fringes. We can start by erasing Michael Moore on one end and Pat Robertson on the other, then keep working our way toward the middle. The world would be a better place....

Nick

Thorn said...

Harriet, I would love to meet up with you sometime! We could totally save the world over coffee!! :D

alphabitch said...

I think they're the same outfit that just turned down a friend of mine for having a BMI that is too low. You can't win.

Harriet Brown said...

Hi Thorn,

Email me offlist and we can set something up!

Hi alpha,
That's amazing. I didn't know that could happen in this fatphobic day and age. Unbelievable.