Monday, February 7, 2011

Aetna™ Wants to Kill Me

It looks like the greedy bureaucrats at Aetna™ have decided that my life is worth less than their bottom line. My doctor has informed me that Aetna™ has denied my claim for a potentially deadly health condition. The reason: pre-existing condition. That's right. They acknowledge my condition to be valid, but since I've had it before I got coverage from Aetna™ they don't want to deal with it.

It wouldn't be fair to just put the blame on Aetna™. After all they simply do what predatory capitalists are supposed to do. That's why I also want to personally thank president Obama and the Democratic party. The reason being that the Health Insurance Reform provision that currently forbids shark insurance companies from denying coverage because of pre-existing condition only applies to people under the age of 19. For everyone else, this provision will not kick in until 2014. You could ask yourself: if Obama could create a provision for everyone under the age of 19 with the stroke of a pen, why couldn't he do it for everyone else? The only cogent answer I can come up with is: cynical political calculation. Basically, most of the goods of the Health Insurance Reform – more apt a description than Health Care Reform – will not come into effect until 2014. It seems that the Democrats and Obama had the bright idea to stake the interest of those whose life hangs in the balance of the pre-existing condition gap against their own re-election hopes. Now that the American people can see the seriousness of the Republican repeal of Health Insurance Reform effort, they will dutifully vote Democratic in 2012 in order to preserve it.

This is a perfect example of what Alain Badiou defines as the essence of modern electoral politics in his 2008 book The Meaning of Sarkozy: fear, and the fear of fear – which in the US would translate as the fear of the Other as fomented by the Republicans, and the fear of the Republican fear as fomented by the liberal Democrats. (More on this topic at some future time).

Small caveat: this cynical political game is going to cost over 100,000 lives. That's because, according to a 2009 Harvard medical study, lack of insurance is responsible for the death of 45,000 Americans every single year. But here comes the rub which exposes the idiocy of the Democratic political calculation: there will be 100,000 less potential Democratic voters who will not be able to vote from their grave in 2012.

Finally, the icing on the cake. To supposedly alleviate this problem of insurance coverage denial because of pre-existing conditions, Obama and the Democrats have come up with the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. Unfortunately the eligibility requirements state that "if you currently have insurance coverage that doesn’t cover your medical condition ... you are not eligible for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan." Basically, one is eligible the PCIP government plan only if the insurance company denies coverage altogether. But if the shark insurance company takes your money – i.e. gives you coverage or, more appropriately, the illusion of coverage – and then simply denies the specific claim related to the pre-existing condition, then you get nothing. That's because even if I were to cancel my illusory health insurance policy, I still would not qualify for PCIP since, technically, I was not "denied" insurance coverage. So, while the insurance companies are free to pocket people's premiums in exchange for crumbs, Obama and the Democrats can look like they are doing all they can for those with pre-existing conditions. Simply brilliant.

Long live the Corporate State.

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