The Whores and Pimps of Healthcare

by Warren Stark

Warren Philip Stark is an artist and retired entrepreneur living in La Costa, California. He BS/BCE degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute BS/BCE; MBA from Harvard Business School. As US Naval officer, he served in the Pacific and Europe during WWII and the Korean War. He spent five years in mid-1960s with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency where he originated and managed a $100 million multinational research and development program aimed at defeating counterinsurgency and terrorism in Thailand, Vietnam, and Lebanon. He went on to build houses; own an electrical wholesale company; work for GRC International in charge of corporate acquisition. He also founded, organized and managed a software division specializing in occupational health information systems, His art is in public and private collections around the USA. Visit his work at www.WarrenStark.com

No one it seems is willing to tell you the truth about health care. I think the media is sleeping. I am going to tell you like it is.  I am going to tell you who are the whores and pimps of health care.  I am going to tell you why we will never get a cost-effective universal health care system in the USA.  It is really quite simple.

The USA is the only advanced industrialized country in the world without universal health care.  We provide very good health care to those who can afford it.  We spend two and a half times more per capita to do this than do other countries.  We have millions of citizens who have no coverage for health care.  Why is this?  The reason is that we over pay for services from for-profit health insurance companies instead of getting these same services from a cost-effective single payer system, otherwise known as Medicare.  The health care insurance companies are in business to make money.  They are not in business to provide you with the best health care.  There is nothing wrong with making money.  The problem is that there is a conflict of interest between their primary desire to make money and our primary desire to get good cost-effective health care.

For-profit insurance companies spend money on advertising.  They spend money on lobbying.  They spend money on political campaigns.  They spend money on legal and accounting organizations needed to maintain their status as public corporations.  They spend money on hiring people whose job it is to deny claims.  They spend money on people whose job it is to ferret out the unhealthy or poorer risks.  They spend money on very high executive salaries, bonuses and perks.  They make large profits.  All this money adds up to billions of dollars a year that do not contribute one cent to health care.  But we pay them for these services through our premiums.  We pay them to screw us.  People we pay for screwing us are called whores.  The insurance companies are the whores of the health care business.

Who are their pimps?  Pimps are people who get a percentage of the money taken in by whores.  The pimps are the congressmen who bend to the wishes of the for-profit health insurance companies in exchange for contributions to their reelection campaigns.  Citizens once served in Congress temporarily as part of their civic duty.  Being a congressman is now a full-time career.  To stay employed, they have to keep getting elected frequently.  It costs a lot of money to get elected.  They get much of this money for their reelection campaigns from the health insurance companies.  They owe their jobs to the health insurance companies just like any pimp owes his livelihood to his whores.

I am covered by Medicare.  I don’t file any claims. I don’t pay any medical bills.  (I have supplemental health insurance that I should also be able to buy from Medicare.)  Medicare sets the rules of the game by trying to fairly and equitably balance the needs of health care against the availability of funds.  The system isn’t perfect but it works and improvements are made periodically.  The for-profit medical insurers tilt the system to maximize profits.  That is what they are in business for.  Medicare is a system that efficiently processes and pays bills.  The health insurance companies call this socialized medicine.  It is not socialized medicine.  It’s an efficient away of processing and paying bills.  The health insurance companies tell you that government bureaucrats will make your medical decisions under a government run system.  That is a lie.  Under Medicare, I can choose any doctor or hospital I want.  I get good service.    My doctors and I make my medical decisions.  The private insurance company bureaucrats often step between you and your doctor to deny claims.  Calling a single payer system socialized medicine and claiming you will lose control over your medical decisions under a government program are misinformation and are what we called propaganda in the days of Hitler and Goebbels.

The for-profit health insurance companies are in favor of some provisions of the universal health care plan currently being considered by congress.  It will feed them millions of new customers along with the money to pay for their services.  We will be feeding the same high cost system we now have to the detriment of our economy.  The for-profit health insurers don’t want a competing government plan because that will provide effective competition and may lead to a single payer system.  They will use their influence over Congress to do everything possible to kill the government plan or hobble it in some way to make it ineffective.  The for-profit health insurers will make sure that if any government plan exists, it will end serving only the sickest and poorest people while the for-profit health insurers will continue to keep the least risky most profitable customers.  We must get rid of the for-profit health insurers entirely and rely on Medicare to handle the administration of the nation’s health care system.  This can be done over time by gradually lowering the eligibility age for acceptance into Medicare thereby giving the for-profit health care insurance industry time to change their business model.  In order to afford universal health care coverage, the private health care insurers must go.

Let us unburden our corporations with the responsibility and cost of providing health care for their employees.  For every dollar corporations spend on private health care insurance, they will only have to pay forty cents to cover Medicare costs.  This will improve the competitiveness of corporate America and will provide an additional source of funding for Medicare.

How do we break the current cycle we are in?  There is only one way.  Each of us must tell our representative and senators in Washington that we will not reelect them unless they create a universal single payer health care system.  Wake up America.  Take control of your government.  Throw the tea into Boston Harbor.  Write your congressmen.  Forward this to everyone on your mailing list.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on September 11, 2009

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