Las Vegas Sun

September 1, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Health insurers harming America

Competition in the health care industry does not exist. If you want to see competition in the insurance line of business, look at automobile, life or home. Better yet, turn on the TV and watch commercials. That’s what competition looks like.

Think of restaurants, grocery stores, casinos and big box stores that try to capture the majority of their demographics. That’s competition.

Health insurance companies do not compete with one another. They capture their share of the demographic by working together to establish and keep monopolies thriving, similar to gerrymandering.

Read Consumer Reports when it rates the health care companies — just like it does for other industries and products, by surveying their customers.

The only health care companies that receive favorable reviews are all nonprofit, led by Kaiser Permanente, which is the largest.

Within the state exchanges, you are witnessing a lack of competition in the state pools’ offerings — from a low of one in Vermont to a high of 16 in New York.

The industry’s publicity campaign leading up to the passage of the Affordable Care Act resulted in a watered-down version of what we needed.

Insurers agreed to make some changes in their behavior in exchange for access to many millions of new customers.

Other than that, the status quo is still in place, with Americans having suffered through yearly average premium increases of 9 percent, when our average yearly wage increase was 3 percent.

Obamacare greatly improved things, especially for the needy, but the health insurance industry is still working against all of us.

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