Analytic Project – Health Insurance



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It is difficult to get affordable and effective health insurance inAmerica. The insurance industry is largely operated by for-profitcompanies that progress to charge higher premiums on a yearly basis.Reforms in health insurance have been unsuccessful owing to influencein policymaking by the very companies that exploit Americans. In thebook Deadly Spin, Porter reveals how the insurance industrydeceives the public through public relations. The paper, using claimsmade by Porter (2010), intends to explain the flaws in America’shealth insurance.

The claims:

  1. Claim 1: “About forty-five thousand people die in America every year because they have no health insurance” (Porter, 2010, p. 1).

  2. Claim 2: “The health insurance industry today is dominated by a cartel of large, for-profit corporations” (Porter, 2010, p. 3).

  3. Claim 3: “Universal health care is available today in every industrialized nation except one-ours” (Porter, 2009, p.79).

  4. Claim 4: “The bill the president signed will indeed protect and enhance the health insurance industry’s profits for many years to come” (Porter, 2010, p.7).

Using research from peer reviewed journals and personal argumentsthe conclusion is that all the claims are valid. America progressesto lag behind different industrialized nations in guaranteeing allcivilians access medical care. Civilians are compelled to purchaseexpensive insurance from companies whose main objective is makingmoney. Hence, many customers have become victims of denied coveragewhen they need the money most. Since insurance is expensive morecivilians are uninsured, and the figures are projected to riseyearly. A universal health care could be an effective solution tosolving the years of a troubled US health care.

Reforms in US healthcare are projected but rarely accomplished. As aresult, many Americans are unable to access quality medical care. Thecountry lacks a universal health insurance policy, which makes itpossible for the insurance industry to profit on people’s health.The book Deadly Spin by Wendell Porter sheds light on howAmerica’s health insurance sector is after profit, paying littleattention to the healthcare needs of those it insures. Porter notesthat insurance companies like CIGNA use to public relations toconvince the public that they act in the best interest of healthreform. Contrary, insurers often increase premiums at exorbitantrates, and deny coverage. The paper selects some of the claims madeby Porter in the book, and endeavors to authenticate or invalidatethem.

Discussion of Claims

Claim 1: “About forty-five thousand people die in America everyyear because they have no health insurance” (Porter, 2010, p. 1).

In Deadly Spin, the author claims that many Americans areincapable of paying for the expensive contributions required inmaintaining health insurance. Due to the drive to make money,insurers charge higher premiums, which limit customers from healthinsurance.

The claim is true. According to a peer review journal by Wilper et al(2009), 46 million US civilians have no health coverage. Regardlessof endeavors at expanding health insurance, the uninsured progressesto become common amid Americans. Health insurance eases accessinghealth care needs, in addition to assisting in the protection fromthe high expenses linked to catastrophic diseases. There is a linkamid lacking insurance and passing away from health relatedcomplications. Insured Americans are more probable to accesssuggested test for chronic illnesses, which means they are lessprobable to experience undetected chronic diseases (Wilper et al,2009).

Lacking health care insurance is linked with close to 44,789 deathsevery year in America. Most affected are Americans aged from 25 to 64years (Wilper et al, 2009). The figure seems to be higher than thatof persons passing away due to kidney illness. The high death ratedemonstrates that unconventional measures in accessing medical care,fail in providing the similar protection as in insurance from privatesectors. Persons able to pay for expensive insurance are more secureabout their wellbeing. The journal proposes that universal coverageis the best move towards ensuring more lives are saved. However, sucha policy remains politically problematic. Key players in the industryinfluence the decisions, which would ensure that all Americans gethealth care coverage. The claim rates at 100.

Wilper, A. P., Woolhandler, S., Lasser, K. E., McCormick, D., Bor, D.H &amp Himmelstein, D. U. (2009). Health Insurance and Mortality inUS Adults. American Journal of Public Health, 99(12),2289-2295.

Claim 2: “The health insurance industry today is dominated by acartel of large, for-profit corporations” (Porter, 2010, p. 3).

Porter claims that the main objective of the owners of healthinsurance companies is to increase shareholder value. Hence, thiscompels the industry to meeting Wall Street’s persistent profitprospects, instead of focusing on meeting the medical demands ofthose they insure. This means that the companies are only aftermaking profit and less concerned about the wellbeing of theircustomers. It further explains why these companies refuse to committo paying for medical needs, when patients need the money most.

The claim is true. Based on personal opinion, the health insurancecompanies are merely after making money and depict little concern forthe health care of their customers. An illustration of the moneymaking business endeavors of these companies derives from theirhiking of premiums on a yearly basis. Raising premiums makes itpossible for the companies to benefit more from providing insurance.It does not matter if the insured are in capacity to pay as thepremiums hike, while those that are unable to pay risk termination oftheir medical cover. By conducting a Google search of any health careinsurance organization, stock prices information, as well asinvestment returns, it is possible to get stories on corporate fraud,linked to most companies. The companies generate profits from clientsthrough layering of business bureaucrats on those providing medicalcare. More health care employees work in offices doing administrativework, while more US healthcare spending is on paperwork. This makesit probable for insurance firms to raise their profits throughdenying of claims or low-balling compensations. The claim rates at100.

Claim 3: “Universal health care is available today in everyindustrialized nation except one-ours” (Porter, 2009, p.79).

Porter claims that although universal health care is a testedinsurance approach in different industrialized nations, the US is yetto apply such a strategy to solving its health care issues. Thereason is because America views health care as an economic good inplace of social or public good. Whereas different nations declarehealth care as a basic right, to America it becomes a benefit,available to those wealthy enough to afford.

The statement is authentic. Light (2003) notes the US is the soleremaining industrialized nation lacking some kind of universal accessin medical services. The peer review article attributes this topolicy arguments, which are guided by incorrect self-defeatingviewpoints. One of the viewpoints is the inability of America toafford cover for those that are not insured. Contrary, a properlyorganized financial structure is a major tool for reducing expenses,making it possible to use affordable insurance policies. Second, themedical profession supposed that with a universal insurance plan,they are likely to lose more authority than is the case, followingcorporate administered care. When compared to industrialized nationswith the universal system of health care, the viewpoint is wrongbecause the profession acquired more institutional authorities.Third, most people suppose the mere substitute to voluntary healthinsurance is via single-payer structure paid through tax proceedswhile there are numerous alternatives. Four, it is assumed thatAmerica is too big and diverse. Hence, effective lessons from othersmaller industrialized countries are inapplicable in US. Last,conservative policymakers envision that employing a universal healthcare resonated to reduced earnings, badly maintained facilities, longwaits, and poor health quality. The claim rates at 100.

Light, D. W. (2003). Universal Health Care: Lessons from the BritishExperience. American Journal of Public Health, 93(1), 25-30.

Claim 4: “The bill the president signed will indeed protect andenhance the health insurance industry’s profits for many years tocome” (Porter, 2010, p.7).

Porter is referring to “Affordable Care Act”. The bill aimed atimproving the wellbeing of American health care comprised of numerousso-called alternatives by insurers. It also lacked a public insurancealternative for competing with those in the private sector. This hasmade it possible for for-profit insurers to progress in benefitingfrom their high premiums and exploiting US civilians.

The claim is valid. Based on personal opinion, ACA will improvehealth care to some extreme. The bill will expand Medicaid to ensureit covers more low-earning families, it will make it unlawful forinsurers to reject coverage because of preexisting conditions, itwill offer tax credits to small enterprises to endorse them inoffering health benefits to their workers, in addition to bridgingthe gap in Medicare drug gain. However, the insurance industry’s“spin” worked as they anticipated. By influencing the bill,for-profit insurance organizations were able to ensure the new rulelacked a public alternative, which would be indispensable in ensuringinsurers are honest.

The influence of the insurance companies in policymaking made itpossible for for-profits to amend a law, which would have been amilestone to improving health care in US. An illustration is theforcing of individuals to purchase insurance they are incapable ofaffording. This ensures that insurers progress to get more money fromindividuals compelled by law to have insurance. The industry alsogets money from government as subsidy for individuals unable toafford their premiums. The claim rates at 90. Although the ACA doesnot fully benefit civilians, it has provisions, which will greatlyimprove health care access in some extremes to low-income earningAmericans.


Deadly Spin has made a significant contribution to help indealing with health care issues in US. The book acts as a revelation,which government may use in ensuring that the insurance industrybecomes more honest and considerate towards their customers. Portermakes authenticate claims, which help in explaining why health careinsurance in US progresses to become more expensive. It also enhancesunderstanding on operations of for-profit insurers and theirinfluence in policymaking. This makes it difficult for government topass laws that enhance the public’s access to reasonable medicalcare.


Light, D. W. (2003). Universal Health Care: Lessons from the BritishExperience. American Journal of Public Health, 93(1), 25-30.

Potter, W. (2010).&nbspDeadlyspin: An insurance company insider speaks out on how corporate PR iskilling health care and deceiving Americans.New York: Bloomsbury Press.

Wilper, A. P., Woolhandler, S., Lasser, K. E., McCormick, D., Bor, D.H &amp Himmelstein, D. U. (2009). Health Insurance and Mortality inUS Adults. American Journal of Public Health, 99(12),2289-2295.

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