The Battle Over Health Insurance Reform

08/06/09 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Thursday) | Listen to this entire show:

Welcome to Radioactivity on WMNF. I'm Rob Lorei. Coming up we'll discuss health care insurance reform, town hall meetings and protests. We'll hear from a former health insurance company executive who is now blowing the whistle on the industry. But first some listener comments about yesterday's program. Yesterday we discussed the diplomatic rescue mission by former President Clinton to return two American journalists from imprisonment in North Korea. Here's what some listeners had to say.

Tonight at 6pm at the Children's Board office in Ybor City, State Rep. Betty Reed and Congresswoman Kathy Castor will hold a town hall meeting on health care. In recent weeks such meetings across the country have been disrupted by angry people who have concerns about health care reform; concerns that sometimes don't match reality. Hillsborough County Republicans are being urged to attend tonight's meeting. Earlier today I spoke with Wes Maddox who is a member of the Hillsborough County Republican Executive Committee.

We also hear from Wendell Potter who spent two decades in the private insurance industry. He's a former spokesperson for health insurance giant Cigna, and has become a critic of the health insurance industry.

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I tried to get through on today’s show. The phone was busy for far too long, which I think is an indicator of how important Health Care Reform is for this country. My points: 1. We are the only industrialized nation which does not provide basic health care for its citizens. As we compete on an international market this hurts us as a country in many ways. 2. The related impact of this is the discrepancy in costs for a small independent business in the US that tries to provide Health Care options for its employees. The difference in what is costs in a competitive market for one company that provides benefits vs. another company that does not provide benefits needs to be equalized for these companies to be able to compete on a fair playing field. 3. I keep hearing from folks that they do not want a government bureaucrat to make their health care decisions. Right now if they are fortunate to have private health insurance - a for-profit company has non-medical folks making the decisions about their health care. I would prefer government trained personal make these decisions vs. what happens now, which is someone who mostly is concerned about their company’s profit making health care decisions. Currently, all private or for-profit health care insurance companies have directives on what they will cover and how much treatment you will get. Your health care is already rationed and decisions are already being made on your medical care but now it is by a for profit organization. Which is better?? 4. I am currently on Medicare. My observation is doctors and hospitals often prefer Medicare over for profit health insurance as no one but my doctor and myself is going make my health care decisions. Nothing has to be pre-certified or approved. There are Medicare rules that have to be followed but they are less burdensome and more patient-care based vs. the directives and policies that govern medical care under for-profit or private health care policies. In Peace, Vicki Pollyea