I am not really concerned with the level of profits that the poor beleaguered health insurance companies make. They should not be making ANY profit off of sick people.
They are parasites. Everyone hates them. We do not need them. They stand between the patient and the medical provider. No other civilized country allows this.
Imagine if, before you could enroll your kids in school, you had to buy "school insurance". You get it through your job-- you pay half the cost and your employer pays half. And then when you went to the school the principal tells you that your child can only attend 75% of the time, because your "school insurance" does not cover the full year. If you want a full year of school you will have to come up with the rest of the money yourself.
You call the "school insurance" company and, after being on hold for 45 minutes, and being shifted from one person to another, you finally get a supervisor who tells you that in the small print on the 27th page of their website it clearly states that the policy your employer provides only permits partial attendance unless you come up with a $250 per month co-pay, and you should have known that. You feel stupid and angry and ripped off. You decide to change companies and this time really read the materials.
Every year you switch companies during the two-month open enrollment, hoping to find one that does not rip you off. And every year it is something different that is not covered. Your kid does not get PE or art on this policy. Or that one does not include field trips or science labs. And another one does not cover lunch.
You have no way to know exactly what is and is not covered because the paperwork is so confusing and there are so many components of the school services that you can't possibly be an expert in all areas. Every month there are 4 or 5 additional bills coming in from different education companies. You are always having to come up with extra money out of pocket.
You have been forking over 500 bucks a month (your own 250 plus your employer's 250, which is actually part of your salary) on "school insurance" and it has been thrown away on a stupid scheme that is all about taking your money but not really giving your kid an education.
--The teachers are overworked and underpaid, because a chunk of the money you pay has to go to the "school insurance" company instead of to the school.
--The school has to employ an entire office of folks just to process the "school insurance" paperwork.
--The principal spends a good portion of each day on the phone begging the various "school insurance" companies for payments owed and asking for services for various kids to be approved.
If you could, you would bypass the whole "school insurance" mess and just pay for schooling, but that would cost 1000-5000 bucks a month. You would have to go into debt, or beg from your relatives, or take a second job, or it's bake sale time.
Meanwhile your kid gets a patchy education, and some other kids get worse and some get better, depending on the policy their parents have. Poor kids get a rock bottom no frills education with public "school insurance" funding provided by the state. They get a different teacher every day, the classroom is dirty, the books are old, and there are no computers, sports teams, music or art classes. But at least their parents know where they stand.
Rich kids get everything, plus the bells and whistles because their parents can afford to bypass the "school insurance" entirely and pay cash. The rich people's bills are padded to help cover the poor kids' expenses because the state money is not really enough. That way everyone
is getting ripped off.
People in the US would riot if we ran education the way we run health care!
Imagine the same scenario with other services that we consider to be so important that everyone should get them: fire department, police protection. If you don't have enough money, your house burns down, or the cops don't come when you call. Or, you only get as much fire service or police protection as your policy provides for, and then when your alloted amount runs out, they go away. Insanity.
Can you stomach watching your neighbor's house burn down while the fire department drives away, because their policy only paid for x amount of fire service? Or watching someone's house get robbed while the police stand around, because the family did not pay their premium on time? But we watch our neighbors suffer from treatable conditions all the time and think it is normal.
Health care is life and death. But we let the house get robbed and we watch it burn down. Because some people have to make a profit off of the sick.