Monday, July 27, 2009

More for Insurance Ain't Rx for Health

July 27, 2009, 9:45 a.m.; July 28, 2009, 8:00 a.m.

Forget the "Details," the Devil is in the Basic Concept
(brought to you by*)

Update July 28: This morning brings more evidence that "insurance" is continuing to win out over "health care," thanks to the six senators who are, in fact, the folks writing America's 21st Century guarantee of their campaign contributors' profits. David M. Herszenhorn and Robert Pear, "Health Policy Now Carved Out at a More Centrist Table," New York Times, July 28, 2009, p. A1 ("Already, the group of six has tossed aside the idea of a government-run insurance plan that would compete with private insurers, which the president supports but Republicans said was a deal-breaker.").

[July 27 blog entry:] Have you, like I, been more focused on the politics of health care, and the "universal, single-payer" systems of civilized countries that is off the table than what's in the plans that are on the table?

This thing is doomed to disaster from the starting gate.

"The Devil is in the details?" Not this time. The Devil is in these approaches from "Be it enacted" through the bottom of the last page.

As Congressman Dennis Kucinich has long and famously said, "I don't want everybody in America to have health insurance. I want everybody to have health care."

What the sickness industry's special interests, and the Democrats and Republicans they fund, are proposing is more sickness insurance. And it's far from clear that everybody is even going to have that.

The sickness insurance companies are the problem, not the solution. You want to cut the costs of medical services? Well, how about starting with the 25-30% of those costs that represent insurance companies' administration (compared to 3% for Medicare)?

The insurance companies, in case you hadn't noticed, are a for-profit operation. How do they increase profits to the levels Wall Street demands? Two ways: (1) continually increase premiums, while (2) reducing coverage, by refusing to insure at all those who might actually file claims, and then refusing to pay the claims of those they do insure.

And how are we going to solve this problem? By requiring everyone to have health insurance?! It would be a hilarious segment of a comedy club stand-up routine if it weren't so outrageously corrupt.

We've used taxpayers' money to bail out the banks and the auto companies. Now we're gong to pour more consumers' and taxpayers' money into the deep dark hole that is the for profit sickness industry.


Think I'm exagerating? Take a look at this sampling of three pieces from yesterday's and today's New York Times:

Editorial, "Health Care Reform and You," New York Times, July 26, 2009, p. WK9 ("The health care reform bills moving through Congress look as though they would do a good job of providing coverage for millions of uninsured Americans. But what would they do for the far greater number of people who already have insurance?"); Robert Pear, "Reach of Subsidies is Critical Issue for Health Plan," New York Times, July 27, 2009, p. A1 ("The major health care bills moving through Congress would require nearly all Americans to have health insurance. But as lawmakers struggle to achieve the goal of universal coverage, a critical question is whether the plans will be affordable to those who are currently uninsured."); Paul Krugman, "An Incoherent Truth," New York Times, July 27, 2009, p. A21 ("Reform, if it happens, will rest on four main pillars: regulation, mandates, subsidies and competition. . . . [E]ven as they complain about the plan’s cost, the Blue Dogs are making demands that would greatly increase that cost.").

* Why do I put this blog ID at the top of the entry, when you know full well what blog you're reading? Because there are a number of Internet sites that, for whatever reason, simply take the blog entries of others and reproduce them as their own without crediting the source. I don't mind the flattering attention, but would appreciate acknowledgment as the source, even if I have to embed it myself. -- Nicholas Johnson

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Anonymous said...

Thought you might enjoy Levy's post today (BIDMC CEO):

Anonymous said...

Someone of the local press should have the cajones to expose the local UIHC fraud and role in this sickness. Remember that the control of the UIHC led to the resignation of the president of the U of Iowa (David Skorton), the corruption of the educational process (search one on Gartner's failed BOR operation, and the incredible reign of terror of the current Vice President for the Health Sciences. One the main protagonists -- Tom Vilsack, whose run at the POTUS was to be financed by Wellmark -- now sits in Obama's cabinet.

Corruption is always rewarded.