The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas on September 15, 1971 · Page 15
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The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas · Page 15

Hutchinson, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 15, 1971
Page 15
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Health, Auto Insurance Under Fire by Consumers Editor's note: Customer dissatisfaction is fueling a bipartisan drive in congress to force ciianges on tlie insurance industry. In tlie following article, the first of two, a member of the AP Special Assignment Team reports on the key areas of consumer concern. Related Story Page 16. By DONALD M. ROTHBERG Associated Press Writer, WASHINGTON (AP) - When disaster strilces their homes, businesses, automobiles and bodies, Americans loolc to the multibillion-doUar insurance industry for help. But a growing number of people are complaining that when they need it most, the industry isn't there. Health and auto insurance turned! up in a poll commissioned by the White House as the top two concerns among American consumers. Two Conclusions The findings supported the conclusion of two government studies: A Department of Transportation analysis of auto insurance that reported "the existing system ill serves the accident vic- tun, the insuring public and society." And, an administration white paper that criticized private health insurance, saying not enough people have It and those who do pay too much for too Uttie. Congress is considering a series of bills to alter if not reform parts of the mammoth industry, which now operates vu"- tually free of federal regulation. Two major plans for chang- iag the health and auto insurance systems origmated with the Nixon administration. Congressional Democrats have put forth alternate plans, most of them calling for more drastic changes. Ease The Bite The change most wanted by consumers is one that will ease the bite insurance now talies out of their incomes. Average premiums for life, health, and auto insurance, plus Social Security and worlmen's compensation payments, often run at least $1,000 a year. For low-income residents of inner-city neighborhoods, auto insurance alone can cost that much. For. Americans on any income level who have health insiu-ance, premiums have been rising steadily m a losing effort to Iteep pace with soaring medical costs. Health Secretary Elliot L. Richardson, testifying in support of the administration's health-care plan, told a Senate subcommittee: "This administration is proposing that the insurance industry l>e regulated. We shall see to it that citizens have better and cheaper coverage through competition amotng j carriers." Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D- Mass., sponsor of a bill to create a government-operated and financed national health-insurance system, called health care "the fastest growing fail- hig business in the nation, a $70- billion industry that fails to meet the needs of our people." Tlius there is bipartisan agreement that the health-insurance industry is ailing. What are the symptoms? —Government statistics show nearly 19 per cent of the population under age 65, or about 35 million Americans, has no hospitalization insurance; 21 per cent isn't covered for surgery; 30 per cent for doctor visits while in a hospital; 57 per cent DENNIS THE MENACE for doctor bills from office visits or house calls. —Hospital costs have more than doubled during the last 1 years, pulling insurance premiums into their inflationary spiral. For example, since 1967 the cost of typical family coverage under Blue Cross - Blue Shield in Maryland has gone up 60 per cent. —Americans paid $14.7 billion for health insurance in 1969, and got back more than $13 billion in benefits, a better return than on any other type of insurance. But to get that good a return, a person had to be part of a group. Individual policies paid only 51 cents on every pre- miujii dollar. —Conditions covering benefit payments serve to encourage poople to check into a hospital for treatment they could get in a doctor's office. The biggest health insurer is not one company but the 74 autonomous plans known as Blue Cross-Blue Shield. More than 70 million Americans are insured by Blue Cross, which negotiates with hospitals to set its benefit ratC'S, and Blue Shield which covers doctors bills. Critics say the negotiations are a sham: that the individual plans are dominated by hospital administrators and doctors who are, in effect, negotiating with themselves. The American Hospital Association owns rights to the name Blue Cross and can revoke the permission of any plan to use it. Blue Cross is under attack also from the insurance industry which says the plans have an unfair competitive advantage. Still, some of Blue Cross' most vocal critics concede it does a better job than private insurance companies in Page 17 The Hutchinson News Wednesday, September 15, 1971 trying to keep down hospital costs. "Blue Cross may not be doing enough, but the private companies are doing nothing," said Insurance Commissioner Herbert Denenberg of Pennsylvania. Blue Cross is changing in response to both criticism and competition. -UNLESS YA WANNA SIT IN m comR, DON'T CAtL HER'ALICE'.'* STAINLESS STEEL STEAK KNIFE START your set today. Durable, forever sharp stainless steel steak knife. ^ — 1M SPECIAL OFFER AT LOCAL APCO DEALERS 2021 E. 4th 2301 N. Main 512 N. Monroe 829 E. 30th 200 N. Main (S. Hutch) Only Value. It still means something at Penneys. THE CLOTHING CORNER ... • r-- r- - , ^ " ' • ., . . • ' They're more than shoes. They're Hush Puppies; Today, shoes can make a guy's wardrot»e really sing. Just look at these new Hush Puppies®. Great styling. Great color. Even If you're just wearing a pair of jeans and a grub shirt anyone of these shoes can add a lot of life to the outfit. Try a pair. No telling where they'll lead you. From j ^ HusK Ripples'^ -"-BRANO SHOES 9:30 to 8:30 Mon. and Tburs. 9:30 to 5:30 Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat nJiniTCHiNsr Sale 1 ^7 Reg. 1.69. Gaymode® Agilon® stretch nylon panty hose in nude or_. reinforced heel Styles.' Fashion colors; proportioned in short, regular, long, and extra-long lengths. Sale 3*5 . Long sleeve cotton knit turfleneck polos with snap shoulder. Solid and stripe combinations. Sizes 1 to 3, Reg. 1.89 and 2.00 i5 "yo off. Made-to-measure drapes. Penn-Prest® polyester/cotton corduroy crawl- about and playsuit for Infants. Zip- front, snap-crotch. Solids and prints. • Sizes Vz to 4. Reg. 3.50 and 3 .69 Draperies made to any size. Over 70 patterns, 700 colors to choose from. Weighted corners, 4" hems and headers, many other quality features. Follow these instructions, bring us the measurements and we'll do the rest. nm •i-i- i. Width: Measure from (G) lo (H), or simply the width you want to cover. Length: For celling to floor length, measure (A) lo (B). For regular floor length measure (C) to (D). For sill length measure from (E) to (F). Add 3 Inches if you want below-slll length. Sale prices effective through Saturday. 3W V. Polyester double-knit machine washable Perfect for what ever you're sewing. Thet* an full bolls not short lengths Special 3'°^ ^1 Ladies' nylon tricot elastic leg briefs. White and pastels. Sizes 8, M, L. Extra sizes, 3 for 1.25 Special 7?^ Men's polyester/ combed cotton knit sport shirts. Crew neck and berry collar styles with short sleeves. Fashion solids, jacquards ... and more! Special 2«5 Tqddler girls' pants sets of stretch nylon knit. Patterned tops, flare- log pants. Sizes 2 to 4. Men's Luggage Men's 2 Suiter Companion 1988 1488 3" attache case Women's Pullman 17.88 Weekender 12.88 Cosmetic Case 10.88 Special 23 88 Pillows priced so lov/ you can buy extrasi Resilient polyester filling, cotton ticking. Full size. Boy's Short Sleeve Shirts As.sorted stripe .3 and •solid.'? orig. 2.44 to 2.08. Thermal blanket of ^wlycslcr/rayon for light weight warmth, long wear Supcniap finish prevents pilling. IVTachinc washable. Popular colors. 72 x 90." . One size fits full and twin 3' CITY CENTER use our free layaway JCPenney The values are here every day. open Monday and Thursday Night 'Til 8:30

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