Health Care — Public Or Private Best?

I would like to comment of this letter to the editor that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News this morning, Let market rule in health care:

…Under a single-payer system, the government has sole control over health care coverage, so it controls how and when money can be allocated to health care expenses. With this system, government bureaucrats will be charged with saving money for the government – not patients’ lives. The current health care system is in need of reform, but a single-payer system is not the cure for universal access to proper coverage. We need to seek alternative solutions, such as free-market competition, and not assume government-run care is in our best interest.

This is an example of the thinking that sets in after years of anti-government propaganda.
So how does this letter read if you think of government as citizens banding together to take care of each other and get things done?

…Under a single-payer system, the people have control over their health care coverage, so they control how and when money can be allocated to health care expenses to best benefit the public. Compare this to the current system, in which corporate accountant bureaucrats are charged with saving money for the company – not patients’ lives. … We need to corporate-run health care, and should not assume publicly-run care is in the public’s best interest.

Huh. Interesting.

3 thoughts on “Health Care — Public Or Private Best?

  1. Damn! When are people finally going to get it that ‘free market competition’ does NOT work for any kind of insurance? Insurance earns money IF AND ONLY IF most of the people who belong to a particular plan never have to use it. The money those people, who are protected if they ever need to have expenses the insurance they buy will pay for, meanwhile are paying for those who DO have to use it. Think about it, and I hope you see what I’m talking about. Most people who have insurance pay for it and don’t take money out of it. That pays the costs the insurance company has when it has to pay out money to those who need it.
    IF a plan is too small, or as a matter of fact too specific, as, for example, Medicare covers only the elderly, the vast majority of whom will have expenses covered by Medicare, can quickly get into big trouble. Its expenses are likely to be higher than the money it takes in — which is why Medicare is really a big government expense. So, for example, if you have lots of insurance companies competing with each other, the groups each can insure are likely to be too small to be efficient and each plan will have to be very expensive to try not to lose money. Again, think about it. That’s why health insurance is incredibly expensive right now, isn’t it? IF people of all ages were all insured in one (or even a few) large insurance pools, the healthy insured would easily cover the costs of those who get sick.
    Back in the good old days before the private companies decided to get into the health insurance business, and many of them seriously regretted doing this, there was the Blue Cross/Blue Shield system, which worked state by state. Employers paid the fees for their employees. The fees were reasonable because a state-wide insurance pool is big. Once the private companies began to compete, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, required by law to cover anyone who applied, had only the high risk members the private companies could refuse to insure. That’s when these plans started to look like they didn’t work well.

  2. Last May 2007, Blue Cross of California settled a law suit that had accused them of ILLEGALLY DENYING CLAIM PAYMENTS to people who already had insurance!
    Blue Cross was also fined One Million Dollars by the state of California for their fraudulent practices.
    In addition to not paying claims, our current health insurance system discriminates against people who have pre-existing conditions.
    Many many years ago, pre-existing conditions were covered by insurance companies and health insurance contracts were simply written.
    Today’s health insurance contracts can be over 60 pages long and you need to hire an attorney to help you figure out exactly what is covered under what circumstances.
    The current push towards Universal Health Care is a direct result of the insurance company’s financial and medical abuses in the marketplace as outlined above.

  3. Last May 2007, Blue Cross of California settled a law suit that had accused them of ILLEGALLY DENYING CLAIM PAYMENTS to people who already had insurance!
    Blue Cross was also fined One Million Dollars by the state of California for their fraudulent practices.
    In addition to not paying claims, our current health insurance system discriminates against people who have pre-existing conditions.
    Many many years ago, pre-existing conditions were covered by insurance companies and health insurance contracts were simply written.
    Today’s health insurance contracts can be over 60 pages long and you need to hire an attorney to help you figure out exactly what is covered under what circumstances.
    The current push towards Universal Health Care is a direct result of the insurance company’s financial and medical abuses in the marketplace as outlined above.

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