Readers React: Insurance companies are supposed to be heartless. That’s why we need single-payer
To the editor: Michael Kinsley is arguably correct when he writes regarding the denial of coverage for people with preexisting conditions: “The insurance companies are not behaving like heartless monsters. They are behaving like insurance companies.”
Well, they may or may not be monsters, but insurance companies are indeed “heartless.” They are inanimate creations. Their primary goal is to maximize profits, even if they have to be “heartless” and hurt people in doing so.
Do we really want a healthcare system financed and controlled by the heartless motive of corporate profits? Or, do we want one driven by the maxim “people before profits” and the heartening values of the Hippocratic Oath?
As a physician, I’ve made my choice: I support a single-payer, “Medicare for all” system.
Robert Vinetz, MD, Los Angeles
To the editor: I never see anyone mentioning the dirty little secret about preexisting conditions. Mind you, I am no admirer of insurance companies, but I understand fairness.
If someone told you he had a car accident and needed to obtain insurance to cover it, you would call it absurd. In my experience as an employer, that is exactly what happened on numerous occasions. An employee who had declined coverage would announce that something had happened and they needed to see a doctor, so it was time to sign up for insurance.
Same idea. Absurd.
While I am not a big fan of the insurance mandate either, any reasonable person can see why it must go hand-in-hand with the preexisting condition rule. The whole concept of insurance is shared cost and shared risk. One can’t ignore the cost until the risk appears.
Michael Gorman, Shadow Hills
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