Dear Health Insurance Industry,
We get it. You are private companies, with boards and stockholders… you have to turn a profit. I understand.
I also understand that governmental rules like ‘you have to cover everyone, no exceptions’ and ‘healthcare coverage for men and women should cost the same’ complicated your ability to turn a profit after decades of doing things however you saw fit, usually to the detriment of everyone, especially your own paying customers. I mean, those morons actually thought that just because they paid their premiums for years that when they needed a surgery you’d be there to foot the bill for it. Those silly schmucks! How naive of them!
I’m actually writing to let you in on a secret. The ACA might go away soon, and it may or may not get replaced by something that is less thought out, and less restrictive to you, allowing you to revert to your old ways. But, it won’t be gone forever, assuming it goes anywhere at all. Do you see all the civil unrest in America these days? If this keeps up for another 3 1/2 years, what do think will happen in the next election? What do you think will happen in the midterms, even? The Republicans got all the power, and they are sympathetic to your plight, but they are fumbling and bumbling all their goodwill away.
We’ve seen in the past that when voter turnout is high, things tend to go Democrat. Think all these protesters marching in the streets and shouting down Congresspeople at town halls are going to stay home on election days after all of this?
So, what does this all mean? It means, my dear health care industry, that if you can’t figure out a way to ethically cover people, and reliably provide the service you purport to sell without invoking an army of lawyers to weasel out of paying out on your customers’ behalf while still turning a profit, then the future seems pretty bleak for you.
Because if you lose profits as a result of your lack of innovation and adaptability, then you’ll have less money to lobby Congress with. Hell, some of you may even go out of business all together. And when the remnants of your industry still can’t turn a profit while providing adequate and affordable coverage, there’s only one solution left.
A single payer solution.
And that, health insurance industry, would make you redundant, and spell your ultimate doom. You would be either wiped from existence entirely, or reduced to a niche role selling supplemental coverage to those with the disposable income to buy it. (You may not have noticed, but disposable income isn’t something a lot of people have anymore.)
So, consider yourselves on the clock. You have a year and a half to provide damn good and fair coverage to all Americans at reasonable costs whilst also bolstering your profitability before the first wave of the Democratic takeover of government begins, and immediately sets about reinstating the harsh restrictions ACA set on you, potentially even strengthening them, regardless of whether Pres. Trump/Pence/Ryan signs them into law or not. It will be a clear sign of things to come.