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Thank you for the kind words and thoughts. Although we have sparred and have some very different opinions on certain topics, it's rewarding to see that common ground exists in the fact that we are all in this together.
I absolutely agree that at least some insurance companies (not just health insurance companies, but auto, home, etc.) do have "resources" whose sole function it is to minimize paying claims, some with a sincere intention of weeding out fraudulent claims, but some who intentions are much more sinister. THAT'S where I'd like to see reform. I think that issue should have been focused on entirely on its own merit and not have been mixed in with the more controversial aspects of health care reform. Oh well...
I think we can certainly agree on that kind of reform.
One of the first things private insurance companies need to do is not discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions. The next thing they need to do is pay the bills their subscribers incur...no weaseling out of it after a subscriber has paid his premiums in good faith.
However, if private insurers are forced to abide by those rules, they will raise the rates for everyone. Rates for private insurance policies are already unsustainable. How would you control the increase in insurance premiums?
As I've mentioned before, we have tort reform in California and it hasn't done much to lower rates. Some posters have mentioned allowing people to buy insurance across state lines. This is essentially what the so-called exchanges would allow you to do--choose your insurance policy based on the price and what it covers rather than what is available in your state. Would you be in favor of setting up these insurance exchanges?