Insurance is not difficult to understand, but the insurance companies like you to think it is. Everyone needs it, and in the fact the law requires it for everyone.
If you buy a car, you have to have car insurance. If you buy a house, you have to have homeowner’s insurance. If you exist, you have to have health insurance.
Insurance functions as a pool to spread risk. The larger the pool, the more efficient the function. When you are in need, you draw from the pool.
“Privatization” has been a mainstream political mantra for some time. What does it really mean? It means taking public services like the water utility or the power utility and allowing private companies to provide that service in exchange for the chance to make massive profits, which they do.
They promise lower rates, but those rates almost inevitably rise due to the profit taking and lack of competition. The health insurance industry, with the exception of Medicare and Medicaid and some state programs, has long been private. There are some “non-profit” insurance companies, but when you see the million dollar executive packages they offer you can see that there is plenty of profit for them too.
The Affordable Health Care Act, otherwise known as Obama Care, has not increased the number of public health care options. Instead, it set up a private system with a few rules and regulations that ensure the companies participating earn massive profits. It also has rules that help consumers. It is now more difficult for insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, for instance. The government will also subsidize your premium if your income is low enough. This is a good thing. But the policies are low grade, with massive deductibles most people cant afford, so the government is transferring large sums to private companies for poor products. High profit, low service.
Medicare For All is one partial solution. Public insurance, managed with little overhead by government employees, not profit seeking, cost-cutting executives. It’s a partial solution because we still need much more investment in public health over all, and full funding for the VA and the Indian Health Service.