Those clearly frustrated with the whole mess of a system were quick to point out how it's actually a lot worse than the Twitter user believes.
It's no secret that the American healthcare system is incredibly complicated with even American citizens often struggling to understand the intricacies and fine print of insurance plans. However, now that there is an actual pandemic raging across the world, citizens are forced to face the question of how they'll pay for COVID-19 testing and treatment if they get infected. To make matters worse, the Trump administration's infuriatingly murky response to the Coronavirus outbreak has left millions of Americans confused about the state of their healthcare. Add to that the seemingly endless ongoing freefall of the economy and the comfort of job security has pretty much left the building.
1200 workers at LaGuardia airport laid off en masse with no severance, health insurance over on March 31. Only in America @NYTpatrick https://t.co/5cLEDLvaLi— Peter S. Goodman (@petersgoodman) March 21, 2020
Recently, an understandably confused Scottish guy turned to the internet for help understanding the American health insurance system and the responses paint a clear picture of just how broken the system is. Twitter user Stu Cameron asked: So, do I get this right, American friends? You get health insurance through your job But you can lose your job if your employer cuts costs due to Covid19. Which then means you’ve lost your insurance which would help you get treated for the health crisis you lost your job for...
Those already frustrated with the whole mess of a system were quick to point out how it's actually a lot worse.
Then the insurance will only pay each bill up to the unknown "usual and prevailing" amounts, which they make up and keep secret.— Jeff (@jeffaschwarz) March 21, 2020
Is simple.please get it right, k?
Oh sheesh, I forgot to explain how billing for pharmaceuticals works.— Jeff (@jeffaschwarz) March 21, 2020
Or dental. Don't forget you have to stay in network. And that seeing an in network doctor, clinic or hospital they may have services or labs or other people they use that are out of network. Those bills might require full cost. And if your problem is coded wrong you'll pay.— Will Richards, II (@will_richards_2) March 22, 2020
Americans get health insurance from their jobs if they're lucky. Many are working for starvation wages and have no health coverage whatsoever.— Dungfaced (@dungfaced) March 21, 2020
And at triple the cost of what you had been paying.— Tony Sinclair 🍸 (@tsinclair547) March 21, 2020
And your former employer is allowed to charge you a 100% fee for "administration costs" so go ahead double those already outrageous COBRA premiums— Beth McCabe (@OhFancyPants80) March 22, 2020
But there's more. We can't get tested because they aren't available to us (just to the wealthy and famous). If we do happen to get tested, treatment costs over $34,000.— Claire McDaniel 'Despair is not an option.' 🔥🌎♐️ (@cmac324) March 21, 2020
Not convinced yet, there’s more! If you can’t afford to pay those treatment costs, you could go into bankruptcy or foreclosure. So, no job, no money, no insurance, and no home. It’s the American dream!!— Slangin Drugs (@pharmer_phil) March 21, 2020
Usually The American way is to just try to pay it off or you now have bad credit for atleast 7 yrs.— stacy middleton (@stacymiddleton1) March 21, 2020
It’s not so much health-care as making sure Ins, Pharmy Industries stay rich.
ER rooms are many ppl’s only way to see Dr’s
Correct. It will stay this way because there are so many in the United States that will fight like crazy to make sure not a penny of the taxes collected by the US Treasury will pay for a fellow citizen's healthcare. They would rather do without before seeing others benefit.— Vassago (@Vassago84966650) March 21, 2020
Also, our insurance only sort of covers the cost. pic.twitter.com/LjWtNuZN4B— Americans can have little a SOCIAL DISTANCING (@Truxillogical) March 21, 2020
People from other countries were flabbergasted to see the responses and couldn't help but count their blessings for not having been born in the United States.
So basically everyone in USA regardless of employment status pre coronavirus layoffs is NOT able to access health care for rampant viral pneumonia?? So are you all just meant to stay home and suffocate? Are the health department or your equivalent doing anything about it???— Kat-atonic Moore or less (@katx01) March 22, 2020
In Canada, 0% of bankruptcies are due to medical bills. In America, 62% of all bankruptcies are due to medical bills.— Charlie M MASA-Make America Safe Again-Dump Trump (@integrity4most) March 22, 2020
In Canada, 0 people claim bankruptcy due to medical bills. In America, 500,000 claim bankrupcy due to medical bills every year. I'll take Canada's version.
Thank goodness for our healthcare system in Canada! So many Americans criticize it. Yes, our taxes pay for it, but I just can’t understand why ANYONE would not embrace the opportunity to have the security of free healthcare for all. Maybe this 🦠scare will open their eyes!— looniegrandma🇨🇦 (@looniegrandma) March 21, 2020
Meanwhile, in another Twitter thread, Wendell Potter—the former VP of American worldwide health services organization Cigna–explained how the big winners of this ongoing pandemic are American health insurance companies: As a former health insurance exec, I don’t think any story better illustrates my old industry’s racket than the one I’m about to tell you: Right now, as we enter the worst public health crisis of our lifetimes (#COVID19), health insurers are still raking in record profits, Porter tweeted. With the COVID19 death & illness count growing each day, you might expect health insurance companies to be one of the industries taking a huge hit right now. After all, they must be reeling from all the medical care Americans now need & all the claims being filed. Right?
Danni Askini was treated for #Covid_19— Qasim Rashid for Congress (@QasimRashid) March 20, 2020
She doesn’t have health insurance
Her bill is $35,000.
There are 30-40 million people like her in America
Stop this madness. Healthcare is a human right. We need Medicare for All.
Get ready to be outraged. The country’s big for-profit health insurers may actually be one of the huge winners from the pandemic. Among the few corporations to see big jumps in their stock price this week are Anthem, UnitedHealthcare, Cigna & Humana (where I used to work). Investors clearly believe insurers will make a killing, with one Wall Street analyst boosting Cigna to “strong buy.” As medical claims skyrocket how on earth is this possible? A toxic combination of skimping on coverage for COVID19 treatments & raising next year's premiums, he continued.
America's private health insurance system is peculiarly unsuited to this moment. https://t.co/JT78EUE6dD— Jeffrey Young (@JeffYoung) March 25, 2020
How do I know this? I used to handle financial information for Cigna & learned that industry CEOs reveal stuff to financial analysts they’d never say to the general public. Few reporters bother to listen in to insurers’ calls with analysts, but one who does is @bobjherman. He reports that in a recent call with analysts, health insurance CEOs said they don’t expect their profits to fall due to COVID-19. They even expect to meet their most ambitious 2021 earnings goals (and they've already been seeing record profits in recent years), Porter revealed.
America's working class is already vulnerable, and the coronavirus crisis makes it worse. How many have savings to tide them over? How many have debt? How many don't have health insurance, or are about to lose coverage along with their paychecks?https://t.co/MUyDcJLIQo— Emily Stewart (@EmilyStewartM) March 24, 2020
How do health insurers continue to see huge profits during this crisis? "If medical claims start to rise uncontrollably," @bobjherman reports, "they'll increase everyone’s premiums next year." Humana CEO Brian Kane put it more opaquely: “We would price for this for 2021.” They’re already prepping for big rate increases next year. California officials say they expect insurers to hike premiums up to 40% next year for plans in the state’s Obamacare exchange. Those getting coverage through employers should also brace for big premium hikes, he warned. In addition, Anthem’s CEO said his company expects to realize a “net saving” because hospitals are canceling non-emergency & elective procedures due to COVID-19. And we already know insurers are refusing to waive copays & deductibles for COVID-19 treatments.
This is all music to investors' ears, who are rushing to buy these stocks. When the market closed today, the Dow was up 2.39%. By comparison:— Wendell Potter (@wendellpotter) March 26, 2020
*Cigna: Up 6.5%.
*UnitedHealthcare: Up 6.67%.
*Anthem: Up 9.93%.
*Humana: Up 14.92%.
It’s high times for the insurance racket. (10/11)
So, while many suffer serious illness or death -- and millions lose jobs & health insurance -- the industry sitting pretty in the United States right now is the health insurance industry. That perfectly sums up all you need to know about healthcare in America in 2020, Porter concluded.