No One Likes Private Health Insurance.

De-bunking one of the favorite corporate talking points.

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Photo via Olga Kononenko on Unsplash

There’s no denying that the healthcare system in the United States has been at the forefront of national discourse in the midst of the democratic presidential primaries. Of course, largely due to the fact that Bernie Sanders has made it his mission to draw attention to and change the fundamental brokenness of the current system. Now it should come as no surprise that calls for an overhaul of the way health insurance is provided — such as Bernie’s Medicare For All plan — have been met with staunch resistance not just from the left, but the more moderate, corporate friendly wing of the Democratic Party as well.

There have been a wide array of talking points in favor of the status quo hurled at bold proposals like Medicare for All, naturally with a few particularly common ones standing out from the bunch. One of the most disgusting is the notion that those in favor of Medicare for All want to take away insurance coverage from the American people. The other even more popular would be the idea that people actually like their health insurance companies.

In reality, I’m not aware of a single individual who has had to deal with an insurance company that actually likes them. At eleven years old, when I had to write a letter begging them to cover a medication I needed because all else my parents tried failed, I saw the ugly flaws in our profit-driven system firsthand. No one likes insurance companies, least of all anyone who has actually had to deal with them and their levels of bureaucracy. What people actually like — and admittedly may associate with their insurance companies — is their doctors and hospitals.

The relationships between patients and doctors they trust is obviously something of value, and it’s understandable why some might be concerned about Medicare for All if the only narrative they’ve been fed is that it will take the tool that allows them to see their doctors away.

In reality, all Medicare for All does is take out the middle man.

Medicare for All would make healthcare free at the point of service, allowing people to go to any doctor of their choice without worrying about if that doctor is in their insurance network or not. While centrist candidates and corporate media fear-monger about taking away private insurance, in reality the system that would replace it does away with any for profit enterprise that stands in the way of a person and a doctor.

Frankly, the notion that people like their private healthcare insurance has taken hold in the mainstream media circles would be funny if it wasn’t such a ridiculous and harmful narrative to spread. That lie is spread to make people forget that their private insurance is what can prevent them from getting the care that they need, and is the reason for unnecessary financial hardships and even deaths all throughout the country. Private health insurance is the reason people are forced to set up gofundme pages in the face of a health crisis. They are the corporate force that determines whether we live or die purely based on whether or not we can pay them, or whether or not they want to cover a medication or procedure that we need.

As I said before, no one likes their private health insurance, and anyone who tries to convince the American people that everything is fine with what we’ve got is either ignorant, a liar, or both.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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