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 against development of alternative health insurance systems.
A subversive I may be, but I've never been of militant variety. When SDS was blowing up banks in early '70s, I was expressing my displeasure with 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. But 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, even ugliest manifestations of a broader system that promises every American a piece of serious action—and this despite how false that promise is for all but a relatively few, or how destructive may be indignities our belief in it obliges us to suffer. Most of us remain willfully stupid in this regard (which in another context is one of reasons Enron dirt bags who truncated their employees' futures are still alive).