Health care reform solution: eliminate insurance

“Insurance? My whole point is I want to kill it.”

Gil Ahrens knows health insurance. One terrible accident. Years of life turned upside down. Denials of payment. Claims argued. Liens placed on property. Throughout a long and arduous struggle to get life back on track, obstacles created by insurance issues stood in the way of what should have been everyone’s focus: care. It is a story familiar, in one variation or another, to millions of Americans.

Author of the recently released Shattered, Shaken and Stirred, Ahrens began his eye-opening journey through the catacombs of our health insurance system almost simultaneously with a devastating automobile accident. He escaped with a badly mangled foot and other injuries, his wife was left paralyzed. Their three-week-old daughter survived intact — but that was about the only good news the Ahrens family would have for a very long time. For the successful California businessman/entrepreneur and his family, life was forever changed; the book tells the years-long challenge of that change.

In recent appearances and radio talks, Ahrens has spoken out against what he describes as a health system “in shambles. In its current state, health care is a bigger threat than terrorism. And needless to say, we are paying through the nose.”

Shattered, Shaken and Stirred, written in the form of a letter to his now-school-age daughter, is part description of unbearable tragedy and misfortune, and part how-to guide for rebuilding one’s spirit. But underlying it all is an unvarnished message to America from one person who has been entrapped in the system: insurance is the #1 evil of American health care.

Elsewhere around the globe are examples of how to do health care right. The world’s top ten livable cities, Ahrens points out, share one characteristic: their citizens have health care. Not health insurance, health care.

“Americans do not want coverage,” Ahrens says; “they want care.

Does that not make sense?


  1. I empathize with your frustration, Nepomucena, & especially the anger over feeling that after years & years of responsible (& expensive) behavior you’re having fingers pointed at you as the villain. I think it’s worse than useless to point fingers. The fact is we ALL need care, young or old, sick or well, rich or poor, fit or disabled. It seems to me morally wrong to deny such care. But as long as billions go into insurance company profits, & the insurance industry stands between patient and provider, millions will continue to suffer and die. Gil Ahrens and other courageous souls deserve our thanks for trying to keep that message clear; maybe somebody will hear it.

  2. thank you! I used to be a registered nurse and for 30 years having been saying that insurance companies are agents of the devil. I have had health insurance for my entire working life, even paying over $1000 for Cobra for myself and my daughter when between jobs. Yet, because now I am among those “older Americans” that might need more expensive care soon, I am a leech, not worth it, ruining the great health care ride for all, the reason for everyone’s premiums going up. Don’t I get credit for contributing to the medical industrial complex for many years — the majority of which were disease/risk free, being responsible for some of the insurance companies prior profits?

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