Redefining Insurance Fraud: On Managed Care

Written by Robert Levin

Want to hear MY definitions of "insurance fraud”? I'll tell you anyway.

Insurance fraud is when an HMO sells you a policy at an exorbitant rate and then finds all manner of ways to frustrate your pursuit of benefits. Insurance fraud is when an HMO impedes access to procedures and specialists by requiring further "review" or "investigation.”

Insurance fraud is when an HMO denies coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Insurance fraud is when, to demolish any chance one might have of effectively communicating requests or complaints, an HMO deliberately hires morons to staff its customer service department.

Finally, insurance fraud is when an HMO not only plays these games but also joins with other HMOs to mount lobbying and advertising campaigns againstrepparttar development of alternative health insurance systems.

A subversive I may be, but I've never been ofrepparttar 126015 militant variety. Whenrepparttar 126016 SDS was blowing up banks inrepparttar 126017 early '70s, I was expressing my displeasure withrepparttar 126018 establishment by intentionally omitting zip codes—THAT'LL jam their gears!

And, however grudgingly, I‘ve come over time to accept capitalism as a permanent reality. A given.

But this managed care business, which is to say, capitalism of a blatantly predatory stripe, is making me ponder actions way off my normal spectrum.

I’m finding it increasingly difficult, that is, to sit still for a category of capitalism in which people demonstrably unqualified to participate in a free market system—who get much too giddy when they use it— routinely commit what amount to acts of violence against their customers. (Jesus. Messing as they do with other people's very lives, you have to wonder how these HMO creeps were brought up, what kind of parents they had.)

Of course, much as I'd like to respond with actual violence I could never dispatch each and every HMO administrator to his local ICU all by myself. I'd need help, and on a broad scale. Butrepparttar 126019 prospect of getting such help is dim. The vast majority of us, after all, are reluctant to so much as question, let alone rise against, evenrepparttar 126020 ugliest manifestations of a broader system that promises every American a piece ofrepparttar 126021 serious action—and this despite how false that promise is for all but a relatively few, or how destructive may berepparttar 126022 indignities our belief in it obliges us to suffer. Most of us remain willfully stupid in this regard (which in another context is one ofrepparttar 126023 reasonsrepparttar 126024 Enron dirt bags who truncated their employees' futures are still alive).

M.A.D. About Nukes

Written by Ed Howes

Every living person and every one to come hasrepparttar right to have and use any weapon that may be used against them. The only way to prevent pre emptive strikes is for opponents to agree to a simultaneous strike, which seldom happens. Who doubts thatrepparttar 126014 defense policy of Mutually Assured Destruction prevented war betweenrepparttar 126015 Soviet Union/Russia andrepparttar 126016 U.S. for 50 years? Who would argue that it has not prevented a recent war between India and Pakistan?

These nuclear powers have made it so obvious that nukes make friends of adversaries; Iraq, Iran and North Korea had/have every intention of acquiring them. I'm all for it. The U.S. needs allrepparttar 126017 friends it can get, forrepparttar 126018 foreseeable future. Pakistan and Russia can definitely userepparttar 126019 income from nuclear trade. In fact, Russia and Pakistan should dominate this market unlessrepparttar 126020 U.S. decides to compete forrepparttar 126021 business. Recent talk about mini nukes tells merepparttar 126022 U.S. Government intends to compete inrepparttar 126023 new rush to proliferate nukes. These nuclear powers all haverepparttar 126024 technology to make relatively cheap and portable nuclear devices, which are so much more practical and democratic forrepparttar 126025 people, than guided missiles. Three of these powers possess these portable nukes and all three are probably already selling them to customers who cannot make their own, or refuse to go torepparttar 126026 trouble and expense.

Sure, nuclear contaminated conventional weapons, called dirty bombs, will have a powerful psychological effect on their victims and possible victims. Yet, a small thermonuclear device that can destroy from one quarter to all of a city would be so much better. Wouldn't you agree? I'm not talking absurdity. I'm talking reality. It is political leadership that is absurd in trying to regulate who inrepparttar 126027 world may own what weapons. "We getrepparttar 126028 good ones; you can haverepparttar 126029 rest, like Israel and Palestine."

Does it matter if I am destroyed by a nuclear weapon planted by a terrorist or a missile from some nation state? In fact, I do prefer that it be a small nuke affecting fewer of my neighbors. Where can I buy that insurance, from Homeland Security? I don't think so. How long would Saddam have held power in Iraq if an ex patriot or other enemy could have planted a small nuclear device near a Baghdad palace he frequented? How long would Castro, Stalin, Mao or Idi Amin have lasted?

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use