Name one government program which is a model of efficiency

Published 1:39 am Friday, November 13, 2009

The following response to the story of Reginald Lees insurance problems was submitted, at the editors request, by Glenn Hanford, owner of Hanford Insurance Agency.

Hanford has lived in Tryon since 1996. A graduate of the University of Florida with a B.S. in business management, Hanford studied at Florida International University for a master’s degree in finance. He has been in the insurance industry since 1989 and has owned and operated Hanford Insurance Agency since 1999.

I have reviewed the article of Jeff Byrd concerning the plight of Mr. Reginald Skip Lee and his problems with health insurance.

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While I sincerely appreciate the difficulties he has faced and agree that health reform is needed, I just cannot believe that a government take-over of health insurance is going to solve the problems.

Let me address some topics contained in the article.

The article stated that from 1996 to 2007 Mr. Lee underwent a series of tests and referrals. Who paid for those 11 years of medical expenses?&bsp; I would assume it was Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Evidently there was no problem getting the bills paid.

The article states that Mr. Lee became disabled in 2007 and continued his group health coverage under the federal program known as COBRA. Empire Blue Cross approved him for a liver transplant in 2007, but then cancelled his COBRA coverage when his former employer filed for bankruptcy and subsequently dropped their group health insurance.

The COBRA law, a federal government law, states that a person may continue coverage under their former employer’s group plan unless the employer ceases to maintain a health plan.

That is exactly what happened. The employer filed for bankruptcy and dropped their group health plan. Empire Blue Cross, following the federal COBRA law, had to cancel his health coverage.

There was no longer a group health plan in force. How is that the insurance company’s fault? They had to follow the COBRA law that the federal government mandated.

The article states that congress needs to require plain language in insurance policies. I couldn’t agree more. However, most of the legal language that appears in insurance policies is precisely because of federal requirements.

I came across a life insurance policy last year that was written in 1940. It consisted of two pages, and the death benefit was paid by the insurance company with no problems.

Today, because of federal and state rules, regulations and mandates that same type of life insurance policy would consist of 30 to 40 pages. Our federal government is a barrier to plain language.

If you doubt that statement take a look at the health care reform just passed by the House of Representatives…2,000 pages of the most obtuse legal language that you will ever see. Even the members of Congress admit they haven’t read it because they don’t understand it.

The article states that insurance companies try to lobby and influence Congress regarding health insurance matters. How would that change if the government ran the nation’s health care system? The insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and doctor’s groups would all still lobby congress in order to get the most favorable treatment under the government health plan.

Look at the large government run programs that exist today and their current financial position. Social Security going broke, Medicare -&bsp; going broke, Medicaid -&bsp; going broke (and taking the individual states with them because the states have to pick up a significant portion of Medicaid costs).

The politicians say they can save money by reducing the approximately $60 billion in fraud in the Medicare system. If they can do it, why haven’t they done it already/ What are they waiting for?

I have asked the following question to many people and have never gotten a response, so I will ask it again. Can you name one government program that an objective person would consider to be a model of efficiency and cost effectiveness?

If you have trouble coming up with an answer right away, then why would you even consider placing everyone’s health care in the hands of the federal government?

The parties that should be involved in health care reform are the consumers, doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and the insurance companies. These are the parties that are necessary to deliver health care not the government.