Profit Is Still A Good Thing

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Posted on : 3/19/2010 08:15:00 AM | By : Dann | In : , , ,

A continual source of personal frustration in the health care debate is the repeated suggestion that health insurance companies are making bucket-loads of money.  That is the suggestion in this Ann Telnaes animation.  It was the suggestion on a recent edition of Fresh Air with Terry Gross when Ms. Gross questioned whether mandated mental health screenings for post partum depression would do nothing more than give health insurance companies another way to make more money. Yes, I screamed. [loudly, like a little girl -ed.]

The fact is that the health insurance industry profit margin is currently 4.4 percent.  They come in at number 86 in a list of industries ranked by profit margin.

A truly single payer or nationalized health care system will not realize much, if any, savings in comparison with health insurance companies.  The history of single payer systems has not been reduced costs but instead reduced access to care.

Health insurance companies....their many faults being duly acknowledged by your dashing and insightful interlocutor....are not the source of waste.  They are not siphoning off riches that will cover the 30 million or so uninsured that the current government proposals claim to cover [eventually].

Profit drives innovation.  Profit identifies and eliminates waste.  And 4.4% profit is small potatoes. 

The money to "extend coverage" is going to have to come from taxpayers.  And we are covering quite a bit at the moment.  If the proposed reforms are so important, then perhaps there are a few government agencies that we might close [or shrink] to cover the bill?  DEA? NEA? Ag? Education? ??

Hell, even DoD could stand to lose a few pounds!

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