National Health Insurance

Many of us have been arguing for a single payer, government operated health insurance program for quite some time. Our arguments have been met with red baiting. You know the trope.

Well, now that GM is facing bankruptcy and other mega-corporations are facing the financial pains wrought by a profit driven health care system, we should soon be seeing a nationalized, government operated health insurance program.

After all, what’s good for GM is good for the nation. Not to mention, of course, that those mega-corporations exercise undue influence on our political system.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “National Health Insurance

  1. Anonymous

    That’s one thing you and I agree about.

    We buy our own insurance. The waste involved in the continuing fight over who is responsible for what charge, and the big, thick letters headed “Explanation of Benefits” (which don’t really explain anything but always find a way to deny payment) is obvious.

    DB

  2. You Know Me

    In favor of nationalized health insurance? What are you some kind of socialist?

  3. Anonymous

    I hate to admit it, but I can’t find a better solution. I’m sure it would turn out to have other evils, but at least it wouldn’t have all the obviously wasted resources as the current private insurance system.

    Medical care seems like a public good. The American system of private insurance is both grossly expensive and grossly unequal. People without health coverage end up being treated anyway, but they wait until the last minute (when their conditions are serious and maybe unttreatable), and they get treated in emergency rooms and public health clinics, which are more expensive than tjhey need to be (because they need to be set for heart attacks and traumas). In the long run, everyone pays for this kind of treatment, because the hospitals and other providers have to get paid for their costs, and they pass it along to other customers like me.

    So some part of my insurance premium goes for these treatments, which are rendered in very inefficient ways, so they’re more costly and less effective than they should be.

    Second, the Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance coverage that I and many others have is quite elaborate and costly, but it doesn’t encourage preventive things as much as it should. It’s very irrational in that way, for everyone but the providers of care.

    Third, the lesson of Hillary Clinton is to just cut the knot cleanly, and not try to build an intricately balanced public/private hybrid system. Washington insterest groups squashed her like a bug back in the early 90s.

    DB

  4. You Know Me

    I was kidddddddddddddding with my socialist comment.

    There is no excuse for a profit driven health care system. Health care professionals should be paid well but insurance company stock holders and executives should not. Profit driven insurance entities have no incentive to restrain health care costs, or to suppress fraud for that matter, they may simply raise the rates. The Medicare administration, on the other hand, has such an incentive. Working for years for municipal governments that operated ambulance services that billed both private insurance companies and Medicare I witnessed Medicare restraining health care costs

    In fact, private insurance are socialist entities, in any event. We, the insured, use them to pool our risks in a socialist fashion.

    You’ll remember that H. Clinton’s efforts scared the crap out of the insurance industry and caused it to compel the creation of HMOs and the rate of increase in health care cost was reduced from its historical rate for quite a number of years.

  5. Anonymous

    Whatever–I like profits though. High profits generally are signals of opportunity for investors. For example, I have some shares of Danaher Corporation stock in my IRA, which I’ve held for 10 years or so. They have more than doubled my money in that time. It’s a diversified manufacturing company, with a consistently high profit margins and return on investment. It makes various products in factories around the world, from leak detection equipment for commercial gasoline tanks to highly efficient motors to medical supplies to Craftsman tools.

    The chairman and ex-CEOs (the Rales Brothers) are DC’s only redident billionaires, I think. They made money by making smart investments, and they have made their contributions to my retirement someday.

    I don’t begrudge them thir high pay or their share of the profits. I would be really surprised if the same federal government that gave us FEMA could manage those operations so efficiently.

    DB

  6. You Know Me

    Here is what I said: “There is no excuse for a profit driven health care system.”

    I think it’s quite a stretch to read that as being anti-profit. It should be read as just what it says.

  7. Anonymous

    I didn’t say you did. I just wanted to publicize the Danaher boys (who have been so kind to me).

    They stand in stark contrast to the Microvision boys, who have pissed investors money away while overpaying themselves.

    DB

  8. mb

    well,, this is one person the bastards at microvision have been kind to…..the bullshit payed for my house…..terrible i know…but is has been a ethical trade off i have knowingly made….damn…

    on the subject of government run health care….unless our constitution is rewritten to radically limit the power of the bastards in DC…I don’t trust them to handle the medical insurance without stealing from us.

  9. You Know Me

    If I’m not mistaking, the Medicare adminitration costs, as a percentage, are less than those of private insurance companies. I don’t feel like researching the question but seem to remember reading that somewhere.

  10. Pingback: Profit Driven Health Care To Continue « Ruminations of an Expatriate

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