But let's take this question a bit further.
What do insurance companies do?
One definition is "pooling the resources of a large group to pay for the losses of a small group." In health care terms, this would involve taking money (premiums) from a large group of people, and paying the medical bills (losses) of a small group of people - that is, people who are ill, which are a smaller sub-group within any given group of people - with that money. The insurance company makes determinations about how much money they will need to cover these medical expenses by calculating the odds that a certain percentage of people are going to have medical expenses at any given time, and that furthermore, they estimate which of those people will be more likely to need medical care by calculating age range, medical histories and other criteria, and charge premiums according to who is most likely to need care. The larger and more diverse the pool of customers, the lower the overall cost of covering these losses.
Every business has income and expenses, and hopefully, profit.
For insurance companies, the expenses are:
- the medical bills they pay on behalf of their customers
- employees' salaries
- building and infrastructure overhead
- administrative costs
And their income?
- customer premiums
So - what you and I pay to the insurance company is the only income they have. Everything else is outgo.
Oh, gosh - it seems I've left out an expense!
I forgot about - lobbying!
Yes - your insanely high health insurance premium is what the insurance company lobbyists use to donate to your congressperson's campaign fund, to get their ear and convince them to vote against a public option and to not even consider single-payer!
That is where all that lobbying money comes from! You and me.
While they're taking our money to deny us care, they use our money to insure that nothing changes! All those billions of lobby dollars did not come from anywhere else but our pockets - and they're being used against us to literally destroy our lives if we should be so unlucky as to fall ill - while paying an enormous percentage of our income to these same insurance companies. The money that could be used to pay our medical bills so we don't lose our homes and go bankrupt instead goes to persuade Congress to allow them to keep stealing from us to give their CEOs multi-million-dollar salaries and a fat return for their shareholders.
It's the same way with the credit card companies - they get the money they use to influence Congress into screwing us over directly out of our pockets.
And an insurance bill without a public option is merely forcing all Americans to buy insurance, whether they can afford it or not - what a gift for the insurance companies! Millions of new customers to fleece! And bought and paid for, as usual, by you and me.
We're not rocket scientists here at Hooterville, but we can put 2 and 2 together.
Just something to think about.