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Give People What They Want

CBS just commissioned a new health insurance Poll: Most Back Public Health Care Option

(CBS) A clear majority of Americans — 72 percent — support a government-sponsored health care plan to compete with private insurers, a new CBS News/New York Times poll finds. Most also think the government would do a better job than private industry at keeping down costs and believe that the government should guarantee health care for all Americans.

The DC elite, if they want to stay in DC had better start listening to the people who pay their salaries, and stop acting like the only groups that matter are those that are paying them bribes campaign contributions.

If the DC elite think there is any way they can force me to give money to a health insurance company, they have another think coming, and might want to look at what is going on in the streets of Tehran. The health insurance executives have already testified that they have no intention of altering their rescission policy, and they backed away from the $2 trillion of reduction in growth of costs. They don’t intend to do anything that will affect their short-term profits.

The only way of stopping the unmanageable increases in health care costs is with a single-payer system, like the other developed nations.

While I’m on health care, I might as well cover the cost of malpractice in this county. Despite what people have been lead to believe, tort reform does not reduce the price of malpractice insurance. A number of states have done it, and it had no effect. If you want to reduce the cost of malpractice insurance, the state medical broads need to start dumping incompetent doctors, and the insurance companies need to stop gambling with the premiums. The Dow is a better predictor of the cost of malpractice insurance than any court docket.


1 Badtux { 06.21.09 at 11:20 am }

Total health care spending in 2008 was approximately $2.3 *TRILLION* dollars. Of that, $6.7 billion went to medical malpractice insurance. Of that, $2.8 billion went as payouts for malpractice claims.

In short, even if tort reform reduced malpractice insurance costs to ZERO (which can’t happen), it would reduce health care costs by less than 0.3%. You could probably get bigger savings by switching to cheaper stethoscopes or something else trivial like that. The “medicine is expensive because of lawsuits” argument is Massive Fail. The math just don’t support it.

But wait, I forgot the US national slogan: “Math is hard!” We have become the nation of Teen Talk Barbie. Pathetic.

– Badtux the Numbers Penguin
.-= ´s last blog ..Saturday Musical Social Commentary =-.

2 Bryan { 06.21.09 at 3:50 pm }

The malpractice insurance companies include all of their retainer costs when calculating the payout, not just attorney costs related to actual cases, and they generally refuse to settle in cases where the fault is obvious. They use stall tactics to wear people down.

They still make a profit, and still pay their executives obscene salaries. The doctors should be policing their own ranks, and calling for regulation on the insurance companies, not siding with the people who are screwing them and attacking patients.

3 Badtux { 06.22.09 at 10:53 am }

If you’re correct that the $2.3B payout number includes their litigation costs too, then their profit is obscene. They are making over 50% profit! Of course after they pay their CEO’s handsomely and probably have gold-gilted HQ buildings their “on paper” profit is lower, but …

4 Bryan { 06.22.09 at 12:15 pm }

We had the tort reform scam before the Florida legislature, and it was shown that the numbers that the industry was using reflected all legal costs, including the retainers for lawyers and “experts”, not just payouts.

If the Florida medical establishment would dump about a dozen doctors most of the medical litigation in the state would disappear. It is a tiny percentage of bad doctors that are generating most of the court cases. I think that a half dozen malpractice cases should be sufficient to take someone’s license. Given the way that hospitals and doctors reflexively cover up evidence of errors and incompetence, the cases that make it court are, almost always, really obvious screw-ups.