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Miller says insurance providers ‘don’t give a damn’ if everyone dies

BEC Chairman Leslie Miller

BEC Chairman Leslie Miller

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

HEALTH insurance providers “don’t give a damn” if everyone in the country dies, Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller claimed yesterday, adding that the government must move full speed ahead with its National Health Insurance scheme without giving much consideration to the concerns of the insurance industry.

After some in the health insurance industry, including Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) Chairman Emmanuel Komolafe, expressed concern that NHI will not be implemented properly, Mr Miller said the industry should have little say in the matter, adding that its members should “go to hell.”

The Christie administration announced last week that rather than imposing more taxes on Bahamians, it will allocate about $60m in the upcoming fiscal year to fund the first phase of its healthcare scheme, one that will focus on strengthening the healthcare system through various physical upgrades and resource investments.

“The industry ain’t gonna ever be on board with National Health Insurance,” Mr Miller said. “They don’t give a damn even if everybody died. (In 2007) they were totally against us on day one when we tried to implement it. This country needs (NHI) and I will explain why through examples when I make my budget communication.”

“The insurance industry is never going to go along with it unless they can dictate the terms. They are a cartel, they would dictate or they would eliminate the possibility for it. NHI is a major plank in our Charter for Governance. We’ve been admonished to implement this plan as soon as possible. Bishop Neil Ellis told us that a salient responsibility for us this term is to implement it but the insurance companies, all of them, could go to hell. I’ll take them all there, either one at a time or collectively. They cannot impede progress in this country anymore.”

State Finance Minister Michael Halkitis confirmed last week that the additional $60m allocated to the Public Hospitals Authority’s 2015/2016 budget would fund phase one of NHI.

The scheme is to be phased in over a five-year period and is still on schedule for a January 2016 roll out, the minister said. In March, a report prepared by Sanigest Internactional, government hired consultants, estimated that NHI would cost taxpayers as $633 million if implemented as a comprehensive package.

Comments

lkalikl 8 years, 12 months ago

How can this man be an MP in the Bahamas? Bahamians need to stop falling for these clowns. His reckless and irresponsible statements and pathetic track record with BEC's management would mean - in any other country - that he would be ousted from office, publicly shamed and never voted back in, but, in the Bahamas, we worship and celebrate the kleptocrats of stupidity. We need to wake up as a nation.

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Tommy77 8 years, 12 months ago

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Economist 8 years, 12 months ago

Those of us, the 50+% of the entire county, who have Health Insurance can say that by and large the industry works quite well.

They certainly pay faster than any government agency. God knows what NHI will be like.

But then if MR. BEC pays his bills, like he pays his electricity bills, he is probably having trouble with his Health Insurance, if he has any.

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ohdrap4 8 years, 12 months ago

50% of the population , give or take, IS NOT covered by insurance.

in the projections, 48% would be contributors and the 52% non-contributors.

there were recent newspaper articles were the it was stated that 30% of the workforce is covered by health insurance. that is way less than half of the population. and most paid for health insurance because their employer made it mandatory.

at my workplace, those who retire may continue their coverage, but , for those 60 and over the premium is over $600 per month so they drop coverage all together. Some of those people never claimed.

also thorugh my group insurance, they do not accept employees who are diabetic ( a fair number in the bahamian population) or have history of cancer and other things.

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DillyTree 8 years, 12 months ago

Dear Mr. Miller,

I happen to like my insurance company -- they have been very good to me over the years and I plan to continue with them. My biggest fear is that this government of idiots, of which you, Mr. Miller, are part of and responsible for, will not allow me to keep my insurance policy.

Yes, I pay good money for my policy and that is my choice. I have the flexibility to see the doctors I want and am happy with my health insurance company. What I am not willing to do is to pay for someone else's insurance at a detriment to my own health and pocketbook. Let people pay for their own insurance -- and if they can't afford it, then deal with it as a uninsured person case. Why should I give up my hard earned money to pay for someone else's inability to make good choices for themselves. Socialism has never worked, so why try to implement it in the Bahamas?

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DillyTree 8 years, 12 months ago

Retarded General Crazy, your intelligence (or lack thereof) never ceases to amaze me. So, just to confirm, you are happy to donate your hard-earned money to the government so they can use your money to pay for other people's medical expenses? I certainly don't want to share my hard-earned money with those who can't make good choices.

I pay my own private medical insurance, and though I know they are not warm and fuzzy, they have always covered things I've needed -- in some cases, above and beyond what I expected, so I have no beef with them.

Providing medical services to those who cannot afford insurance is one thing, but taking away my ability (and right) to choose my own medical insurance by forcing me to participate in socialised medicine as NHI promises, is another thing entirely.

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FNM_Retards 8 years, 12 months ago

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FNM_Retards 8 years, 12 months ago

You are obviously happy to donate your hard earned (is it really) money to pay for people to fly around the world (millions spent on airport), to drive in over nassau (millions spent on a couple roads), to run around a field in circles (millions spent on stadium), millions spent on Junkanoo, millions per year advertising the Bahamas to tourists (Bahamas.com, magazines, TV etc), etc. But because this does not affect you, you will not support it. Newsflash, nobody cares.

I don't care if you pay your own private medical insurance, join the line, but fact is most private insurance companies do NOT PAY for everything, and one day you may find that out the hard way. That said I doubt they are saying to do away with private insurance and private doctors.

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ohdrap4 8 years, 12 months ago

I hope he will not retract his statement this time.

So, you think insurers really care about you? No, in the US under Obama care and after accepting people with no pre-existing conditions, they want a 30% rise in medical premiums. Subsidies have not stopped them one bit from raising premiums.

Insurance is the second oldest profession.

However, i also shake my head when people say that Bahamians spend 900 million dollars in health care abroad and that could fund NHI.

the point is, suppose you need $20,000 for an operation and you find it through friends, family and cookouts. You will be operated on by a top experience surgeon away.

Now suppose these same people gather the 20,000 and, rather than put it on a cookout, pay into NHI through taxes. This will happen: this money will fund health care for prisoners, civil servants and illegal immigrants. by the time you reach the hospital, ain't none left for you and there is no specialist who can do the operation and, on top of that , they lose the appointment page because they still write down in books instead of using a computer, in place of your appointment, they will then schedule the surgery of some politician's cousin.

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TheMadHatter 8 years, 12 months ago

Absolutely correct. I all this whole thing NHI = New Haitian Insurance. They see how many NEW Haitians are arriving every week in this country and they know that the PMH (already full of them) cannot provide enough care to the Haitians that are already here, so they need MORE money for the NEW Haitians. That is why they want NHI. New Haitian Insurance. Simple.

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TheMadHatter 8 years, 12 months ago

I would rather die of cancer than to see my country taken over by illegal immigrants coming here to get free health care on our backs and overpopulating us and turning us into a minority.

Better to die on my feet fighting back, than cowering like a dog.

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Boydie 8 years, 12 months ago

Why don't the Tribune moderate the comment section on these articles? This "FNM_Retards" clown is obviously a hired hand and his/her petty comments are childish, and often peppered with profanity.

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UserOne 8 years, 12 months ago

Click the "Suggest removal" under the comments you find offensive; they should see that.

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realfreethinker 8 years, 12 months ago

I agree with you. FNM_ Retards / generalcrazy really need to be blocked He/she adds no value to the conversation.

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asiseeit 8 years, 12 months ago

NHI is a great idea. The problem is our civil service and our politicians will hijack it, steal from it, corrupt it, and make it a nightmare. Just look at ANYTHING government does, it turns into a shit box hanging over the heads of Bahamians. What a country this could be if we had REAL leaders!

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FNM_Retards 8 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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banker 8 years, 11 months ago

You would think Rory, that your intemperate, potty-mouth remarks would be bad for your CCTV Security business. After all who would give business to an irrational hothead with anger-management issues who finds posting anti-social partisan rants to be somehow fulfilling? Is name-calling all you have in your bag of social skills?

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FNM_Retards 8 years, 11 months ago

LOL its funny watching these dumb negros get all hot and bothered trying to figure out who FNM_Retards is. But thats the best they can come up with? HA HA HA HA. Banker you should stick to cleaning the toilets, we all know thats what you do now since the FNM was kicked out of office and you were caught with your hand in the cookie jar you piece of crap criminal scumbag. Boy yall love the FNM so much you gonna make up all kind of story on anyone that talks bad about them, well the more sht you talk the more FNM_Retards are created. Keep it up cause we dont give a crap. Your idle FNM threats dont mean nothing to people with nothing to lose. I like how you use words you found in the dictionary, meanwhile in person you still just speak like the dirty fcking animal you really are. Fk the FNM and Fk you btch.

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banker 8 years, 11 months ago

Get any more Jeeps repossessed lately? LOL !!!! I love going into a battle of wits with an unarmed man.

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asiseeit 8 years, 12 months ago

Hey Mr. Miller, you pay off your debt to BEC YET? Slime!

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Alltoomuch 8 years, 12 months ago

I just feel very sad about the fate of this lovely little country.. I know so many Bahamians who could have done so much to improve the situation but because of silly politics were never given the chance. What really matters in this world today but peace and financial stability and all we are getting is very suspect "accountability". Certainly no respect. Specially from people who post on these pages!!

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FNM_Retards 8 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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FNM_Retards 8 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Chucky 8 years, 12 months ago

Lets not forget people, those of us who have healthcare, and can get an appointment, or treatment fairly quickly; well we can only get this because the majority doesn't have health insurance and can't afford a trip to the doctor. Once everyone has coverage, then everyone will use the system, and then we will see how little we have in the way of health care resources. A country that has been serving only half the population (as an example) can not jump to serving the whole population without years and years of growing pains.
A good guess is we will need twice as many of everything, doctors, clinics etc etc etc How they gonna fund that, and how long will that take.

Likely, service for those who have had good insurance, will go way downhill, due to an overloaded system.

For those who have not had insurance, well anything is going to appear as an improvement...

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avidreader 8 years, 12 months ago

Many of the above comments are very counterproductive and some are irrational. The concept of a national health insurance scheme is popular in many countries where the population base is large enough and the economy vibrant enough to afford such a scheme. A small country will have a hard time funding such a scheme especially where many people are unemployed and unable to contribute their fair share to the overall operation of the plan. NHI will result in an overcrowding of health facilities and a stressing of resources overall if all the illegal immigrants as well as indigents are covered even for basic procedures. A country such as Sweden, as one example, obtained the consensus of the population in the late 1940s to raise income tax levels to provide uniform health services (among other services) to a population in agreement as to the benefits thereof. They have the concept of "lagom" which means "enough" and they accept the idea that no one should be too rich or too poor. On this side of the Atlantic that concept is truly foreign.

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duppyVAT 8 years, 12 months ago

The FNM had it right ................... create a NHI programme that can assist the MOST NEEDY with prescription services and catastrophic health problems ............ improve the public health care infrastructure by completing an upgraded Rand, PMH and Exuma hospitals as regional hospitals and monitor the private insurance industry that allows the average Bahamian can afford basic insurance coverage for non-catastrophic health services.

That can be done for far less than the projected $600 million to $1 billion

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TheMadHatter 8 years, 11 months ago

Duppy - the MOST NEEDY as you say - need to be put back on the damn boats they floated in on - and sent back.

Why don't you just go ahead and donate 50% of your salary every week to help them. Go to the wholesaler - fill your car - and go to the shanty towns and hand it out for free. Enjoy yourself.

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banker 8 years, 11 months ago

LOL !! LMAO !!! Nice Try Rory Knowles.

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