The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas on September 15, 1971 · Page 44
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The Hutchinson News from Hutchinson, Kansas · Page 44

Hutchinson, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 15, 1971
Page 44
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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 changes on the insurance industry. In the following article, the first of two, a member of the AP Special Assignment Team reports on the key areas of consymer concern. Related Story Page 16. By DONALD M. ROTHBERG Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) - When disaster striltes their homes, businesses, automobiles and bodies, Americans look to the muItibmion-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 corrtmis- sioned by the White House as the top two concerns among American consiuners. Two CJonclusions The findings supported the OHiclusion of two government studies: A Department of Transportation analysis of auto insurance that reported "the existing system ill serves the accident victim, the insuring public and society." And, an admuiistration white paper that criticized private health insurance, saying not enough people have it and those who do pay too much for too little. Congress is consideruig a series of bills to alter if not reform parts of the mammoth industry, which now operates virtually free of federal regulation. Two major plans for changing the health and auto insurance systems originated with the Nixon administration. Congressional Democrats have put forth alternate plans, most of them calluig for more drastic changes. Ease Hie Bite The change most wanted by consumers is one that will ease the bite insurance now taltes out of their incomes. Average premiums for life, health, and auto insurance, plus Social Security and workmen's compensation payments, often run at least $1,000 a year. For low-income residents of inner-city neighl>orhoods, auto insurance alone can cost that much. For Americans on any income level who have health insurance, premiums have been rising steadily in a losuig effort to.keep pace with soaring medical costs. Health Secretary EUiot L. Richardson, testifying in support of the admiivistration's healthJcare plan, told a Senate subcommittee: "This administration is proposing that the insurance industry be regulated. We shall see to it that citizens have better and cheaper coverage through competition among carriers." Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D- Mass., sponsor of a bill to create a government-operated and financed national health-m- surance system, called health care "the fastest growing fail­ ing business in the nation, a $70- billion industry that fails to meet the needs of our people." Thus 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 m mi 3 Slr /4- for doctor bills from office visits or house calls. —Hospital costs have more than doubled during the last 1 years, puIUng 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 premium dollar. —Conditions covering benefit payments serve to people to check into for treatment they could get in a doctor's office. The biggest health insurer is not one company but tlie 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 encourage! rates, and Blue Shield which hospital j covers doctors bills. Critics say the negotiations are a sham: that the individual plans are dommated by hospital admiwstrators 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 notMng," said Insurance Commissioner Herbert Denenberg of PeniKyl- vania. Blue Cross is changing in response to both criticism and competition. Value. It still means something at Penneys. 'UNLKS YA WANNA SIT IN THE cm&9., OOHtCALLHeR'AUCe 'i* STAINLESS STEEL STEAK KNIFE START your set today. Durable, forever sharp stainless steel steak^ knife. SPECIAL OFFER AT LOCAL APCO DEALERS 2021 E. 4th 2301 N. Main 512 N. Monroe 829 E. 30th 200 N. Main (S. Hutch) Only ; THE CLOTHING CORNER ... They're more than shoes. They're Hush Pupi • Today, shoes can make a guy's wardrobe 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 ^ ^ -^-MANOIHOU 9:30 to 8:30 Mon. and Thurs. 0:30 to 5:30 Tuea., Wed., FrL, Sat ISECCND TMAINI iKUTCHINSONf '•itsmii Sale Reg. 1.69. Gaymofie®' Agilon® stretch nylon parity 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 turtleneck polos with snap shoulder. Solid and combinations. Penn-Prest® polyester/cotton corduroy crawl- about and playsult for Infants. Zip- front, snap-crotch. Solids and prints. Sizes Vz to 4. Reg. 3.50 and 3.69 ISiyo off. Made-to-measure drapes. 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. •i-t-. Wldtti: Measure from (G) to H), or simply the width you want to cover. Lenglh; For celling to floor length, measure (A) to (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. Special 3"" *1 Ladies' nylon tricot ' elastic leg briefs. White and pastels. Sizes S,M,L. Extra si?es, 3 for 1.25 Special 3.99 and 4.99 N/IIsses* acrylic knit slacks bonded with acetate tricot. Black, brown, navy, or beet root30lid8._ and Patterns. Special 2^^ Men's polyester/ combed cotton knit sport shirts. Crew neck and berry collar styles with short sleeves. Fashion solid.s, jacquards . . . and more! Special 2«5 Toddler girls' pants sets of stretch nylon knit. Patterned tops, flare- leg pants. Sizes2to4. Men's Luggage Men's 2 Suiter Companion 1988 Special 1488 3" attache case 988 Women's Pullman 17.88 Weekender 12.88 Cosmetic Case 10.88 for 88 Pillows priced so low you can buy extrasl Resilient polyester lining, cotton ticking. Full size. Boy's Short Sleeve Shirts Assorted stripes and solids orig. 2.44 to 2.98. Thermal blanket of jwlycsler/rayon for light weigiit warmth, long wear Siipeniap finish prevents pill- inf,'. Machine wa,shablo. Popular colors. 72 x 90." — CITY CENTER use our free layaway JCPfenney The values are here every day. Open Monday ana Thursday Nlgbt *TU 8;30

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