As I was driving into work today, I was listening to my all time favorite radio station, KBOO 90.7 fm. On the Health Watch show at 10am, I listened to a pair of people talk about the largest insurance corporation in the Pacific Northwest -- Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield -- has just raised its premiums for individual consumers to as much as 36% a month! Can you believe this?
Last year they raised the rates by 19%. And this year by as much as 36%!!!
What happens when our premiums go up by as much as 36%? If I'm paying a $100 per month out of my paycheck, then starting today, I'll be paying $136 per month. What does that money go to? Regence says it goes to administrative costs. But what kind? Are the secretaries, claims adjusters, janitors getting a pay raise? Am I getting a 36% pay raise to pay for this new cost to me?
When I go to Regence website, I see this image of two youngish, hip, healthy looking adults with the caption: "A company doesn't cover health care bills. A community does. That's how health insurance really works."
What Regence fails to acknowledge is that if my health care bills are skyrocketing because the insurance company sees me or my mother or my neighbor or you as too expensive to cover, then we are screwed. We stop seeing our doctors, we cut our pills in half, we stop taking trips to see our mothers and brothers and friends. We stop accessing the community that is right outside our doors because we are stuck in a corporate healthcare system that ties the hands of the doctors and denies treatment to those that need it.
True Community Health Care provides all the medications and services for all people, all the time, not just for the rich, not just some of the time.
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