Fallbrook seniors want a change in healthcare


Last updated 12/20/2007 at Noon

At a Fallbrook Christmas party attended by more than 30 seniors, I expected much talk about the recent fires. To my surprise, the subject mentioned most often was healthcare.

The consensus was that the government has created a healthcare system that is too complicated, way too expensive and not really a system at all. It all seems designed to confuse people and reward the insurance companies and beat patients out of paying for their bills.

The morbific flaw of private health insurance is “welfare kings” ripping off the public – big time. Nothing illustrates this better than the December 7 story of the gluttony of the greatest of these welfare kings, William W. McGuire, CEO of United Health Care.

McGuire looted hundreds of millions from the company using a scheme of backdating his stock options, a scheme so egregious he brought the SEC crashing down upon himself.

The SEC, according to the article in the NY Times, forced McGuire to forfeit $618 million in fines and paybacks to United Health Care.

If this sounds like a crushing blow, understand that McGuire was then allowed to walk away with stock options worth more than $800 million. And that doesn’t even count his exorbitant salary over the years.

We used to hear about “welfare queens” ripping off taxpayers, but that pales against private welfare kings in the privatized healthcare industry, riddled with avarice. Avarice is more than morbific; it is one of the “seven deadly sins.”

How many more families could afford healthcare were it not for such avarice in the insurance industry? McGuire made 3,500 times what the US President is paid annually.

There is nobody in the entire government bureaucracy who has ever ripped off the public on this scale. Such enormous excesses exist only in the private sector, from health profiteers to war profiteers.

This is why healthcare is so outrageously expensive in this county. We must switch to universal single-payer healthcare so America can provide the same level of healthcare enjoyed by the advanced nations of the world.

Joe H. Crews


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