Saturday, December 08, 2007

Health Insurance is not the same as health care


Think about it.

Say it out loud.

Argue with it.

Discrimination because of race, gender, place of origin or previous condition of servitude may be against the law.

But discrimination for medical reasons is perfectly legal.

That's it. I can't think of anything else to add.
Just this: If you think universal health care will lead to rationing, then what do you think is already happening?


Siladium said...

The ultimate solution space must include an answer for those with pre-existing conditions. However, what incentive exists within a universal health care model to increase efficiency, expand technology, encourage innovation, etc? These aren't attributes I usually associate with "big government" programs.

Hoots said...

Excellent points. Exactly the same ones that I pose regarding "big business" as well as "big government."

Size is the enemy of service and innovation. It is rare for any large organization, public or private, to "increase efficiency, expand technology, or encourage innovation." I have seen it all my life...schools, the Army, retail business, local and state governments, the private name it and the bigger it gets, the less efficient or innovative it becomes.

My reading tells me that even with all the fraud, waste and bureaucracy Medicare's admistrative overlay is about 30%. I'm sure that reflects tons of waste and abuse, but it pales compared with the millions...BIllions...that the insurance industry harvests in profitable premioums from "managed" groups.

Even in the case of so-called "self-insured" private companies it is normal for insurance to be outsourced for management. That means that no matter how inflated the actual medical bills are (thanks to providers who have to make up with insured patients losses incurred by a large and growing population of uninsured) the managing company simply tacks on a percentage over and above those costs for their "management" services.

I say let the insurance companies keep on selling their other ponzi scheme, LIFE insurance, and let health insurance be managed by entities not-for-profit, be they local, state or national. Who ever heard of a nonprofit insurance company?

I'm still looking for the incentives. Profit-driven companies increrase efficiency, expand technology and encourage innovation alright. But those efforts are aimed at improving the bottom line, not delivering medical care to those who need it most. Their mission is to find and care for populations of people who need it least.