The word on the Street is that you as a Nation are feeling the pain of an anemic economy. Based on the your input, it is becoming evidently clear that the future is not quite as sunny as some soothsayers like to predict. Whether you are the Big Kahuna, eating that Big Kahuna Burger, or a little fish, you are being battered by your companies (lack of innovation), the surgeons (not all, but you have key detractors), the hospitals (what ever happened to free markets), its administrators and staff (let's face it they view us as the enemy), the BS companies like Vendor Rape, Status Blow, and Rep Craps, that make you jump through hoops and fire in order to earn a living. As for eating the Big Kahuna Burger, TSB's only caveat is, be wary of what happens to those that opt to eat the BKB, you are susceptible to getting a visit from Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield. Oh yes, spine nation, we feel your angst, and things are not about to get easier.
As yesterday's news unfolded in the NY Times, that bastion of socialist and radical news reported that health insurance companies are charging "sharply" higher premiums this year, outstripping any growth in your wages and creating more uncertainty, as the government and corporations struggle to drive down the unrelenting increase in the cost to delivering quality, yet affordable care. As the economy struggles, needing a desperate InFuseon of Geritol ( a dietary supplement from yesteryear before HGH become a cocktail of choice), as the real unemployment rate hovers around 15-16%, an increase in insurance premiums is as welcomed as a case of herpes, or a visit by the DOJ to Mississippi (was that Gene Hackman and Willem DaFoe). Interestingly, both political parties are mum when it comes to attacking or criticizing their benefactors, because contrary to what some of readers believe, both Houses of Congress are bought and paid for by Big Insurance. The BS that Aetna, United Healthcare and Oxford espouse is despicable, claiming that their rate increases are simply keeping pace with increases from physicians, hospitals, and pharmacies. What increases? What they fail to tell you is that what is billed and what is reimbursed paint a highly different scenario. Of course, everyone will blame Obamacare, aka Romney Care, (you know the same guy that calls Obama an elitist, while he himself graduated from Harvard Law School), because as TSB has said in the past, Obama is the boogeyman in the room, but those of you that understand how the game is played know that the insurance industry has never decreased your premium regardless of whomever was in office? As my good friend Alex Lukianov would say, nyet, nada, nein.
What is striking about this news, is that many of you have communicated that due to the poor economy, surgeries are down. Now whether this is affecting some locally, or nationally for the long term is still playing itself out. But one thing we do know is that people are putting off surgery and visiting their doctor in order to avoid co-payments and high deductibles, or until they meet their deductibles. The fact remains that the longer one puts off an office visit, or a surgery, the higher the cost in taking care of that patient. Despite a decrease in numbers, insurance companies are defending their record profits, increase in premiums, payouts to shareholders and bonuses paid to these Greedy Bastards (yes Dylan Ratigan you are not alone in your observations). As Benjamin M. Lawsky is quoted as saying, "these increases are often hitting people who just can't afford it. But, on the other hand, we have to ensure in keeping these insurance companies healthy." How much healthy can they get? Spoken like the Superintendent whom oversees NY State's Insurance Department, and probably was once associated in some form or fashion with a Big Insurance company.
Let's face it, this is a game, whereby the only people that are benefitting from the rules are the people making the rules, or find new and creative ways to circumvent the rules. So this is your opportunity to stand up and be heard, its time to take all the money out of politics, whether you believe it or not, special interest are killing each and everyone of you, its killing your ability to earn an honest living, its BRUTALLY divided a country that calls itself the "United" States. We are no longer tolerant of one another, nor our we a compassionate society, especially when it comes to our own citizens. We have been deluged with more scams, and business models that do nothing more than tear down the moral fiber of a society and industry that once was respected. Just because Wall Street does it, doesn't mean its legal, nor is it right. The irony is that for all the people that espouse free-market principles, the only free markets that exist are the ones that specific people benefit from individually. Take the example of the commentary on our previous post that dresses down sales people, calling you spoiled, overpaid, and sucking ass, TSB would bet that was a surgeon. Here's a typical scenario, whereby someone is critiquing what market forces allow you to earn. But what is Dr. Famous' position when his earning power is threatened? How does he know whether or not his earning has been over inflated, and what outcry do we hear every time the topic of decreasing Medicare reimbursements are tabled, or Big Insurance does not increase their reimbursements? Rather than coalescing and attempting to stand up and fight, but then again, it is always easier picking on, and beating up the weakest link in any chain of events. So when you get an opportunity our good friends Dylan Ratigan and Jimmy Williams are proposing legislation to get all the money out of politics, here's your chance. TSB wants to know what you think?