Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Health care reform for the individual, not insurance corporations

health insurance

In Iowa, the insurance industry provides many jobs. Health care insurance is a big part of this particular area of the economy. I believe I have heard one-sixth of jobs in our U.S. economy are based on insurance. This is a powerful disincentive to make modifications, even for the good of consumers and people who are unable to afford the health insurance that they need.

As a matter of fact, this is an issue that presents clear choices for our political representatives. Should a representative stand up for the middle class that sees health insurance premiums rise with no limits on the industry? Should a representative stand up for people who need insurance, but are rejected on the basis of pre-existing conditions? Should a representative stand for small business owners who find health insurance taking an ever greater percent of their income, even up to preventing them from being profitable and continuing their business? Remember, the majority of business growth comes from small business.

Or should an elected representative or senator stand up for the health insurance companies and insure that they make profits without any limitations on the premiums that they charge or the amount of percent premiums rise on a yearly basis? Should a senator or representative stand up for health insurance companies even though in states like Iowa there is only a small measure of competition?

Both as a teacher and as a member of a church, I have seen health insurance premiums eat up the opportunities for increases in wages for workers. The individual and business or nonprofit have no control at all over the increase in premiums, nor the amount of competition between companies so that premiums can be controlled.

I think that my elected representative, Steve King, and my senators, Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin, should be standing up for the individual, the chronically ill, the small business owner and employees and NOT the health insurance corporations. The last four decades have seen plenty of consideration being given to health insurance corporations. NOW it’s time for the people I elect to stand up for me, the voter, the U.S. citizen, the individual.