June 18, 2008

Reforming Health Insurance

Dean Baker makes a very good point that our health insurance industry has to be the first target for reform. I particularly liked this analogy:

The current law basically gives insurers a free hand to abuse patients. It is equivalent to handing over a $12,000 check to a contractor to repair the plumbing and electric in your house and then leaving it to the contractor to decide which repairs they want to do. A contractor that fixed a few pipes and then skipped out would be prosecuted for fraud. An insurance company that effectively did the same thing, by denying care to policyholders, would be paying big bonuses to the CEO.

The system is dying. If we don't fix this, then the only people that will be able to afford to be sick are those who can escape overseas where healthcare is assumed to be a communal problem or those wealthy enough to pay for it.

Posted by Mary at June 18, 2008 02:24 AM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | Technorati links |

Single payer care now!

Posted by: brian at June 18, 2008 01:20 PM

I agree with Brian. I don't think you can fix a system like this. All the impetus in the current system points toward making health care worse.

Maybe the worst effect of this current system is the continuing shrinkage of the medical sector. It will continue to shrink to make itself efficient at treating those who can afford to be treated. As that number continues to shrink, so too, will our ability to treat everyone.

At some point, that's even going to affect the rich. Or perhaps they don't mind living in a third world country?

Posted by: Cujo359 at June 19, 2008 12:04 PM