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It’s The Health Care, You Idiots!

Via Paul Krugman, the breakout of who pays for health care: government – 46%, insurance companies – 35%, and other sources the remaining 19%.

The other sources are the out-of-pocket payments people make, and the money from various private groups to pay for health care, i.e. charities and the change jars, bake sales, etc. to help people cover the costs.

The goal of all of the sound and fury in DC is supposed to be about everyone getting health care, but all they are talking about is health insurance. Unless you have been living in a cave somewhere, you know that having insurance is no guarantee of getting health care. Three-quarters of the people in this country who are filing for bankruptcy because of medical bills have insurance, but it didn’t pay for the health care they needed. Get a clue DC – you don’t pay for health insurance to receive another card for your wallet, you want health care. If the insurance doesn’t provide the health care you need, the money you paid was thrown away.

Stop wasting tax dollars talking about insurance, and start addressing the real issue: HEALTH CARE!


1 Bryan { 07.09.09 at 11:59 am }

Wrong, Mr. Duff. In only 19% of the cases are people paying for health care. People in the rest of the cost paid taxes, or paid for insurance, neither of which is health care.

Professor Krugman is many things, including a Nobel laureate for economics, but he is not silly. He warned people well in advance of the economic meltdown, but was ignored to the detriment of the world.

2 Steve Bates { 07.09.09 at 4:34 pm }

David? You think Krugman is silly? Krugman?

(trying hard but failing to stifle gales of laughter)

I have to say, Mr. Duff, I never suspected that among the things you could provide me… exasperation, frustration, etc. … was unbridled amusement. You want a much better example of “silly”? Stella kindly replaced my hand mirror with a larger one recently; you’d be welcome to my old one…

(OT, Bryan, my interface to our shared web host has been disabled while jdw works on something or other; it’s beginning to look like it will be a rather longer hiatus than he had hoped for. IOW, I cannot put up new posts right now.)
.-= ´s last blog ..Unfavorite Things — DOGGEREL! =-.

3 Badtux { 07.09.09 at 6:34 pm }

Medicare’s overhead costs are less than 3%. Private insurers’ overhead costs are over 18%. PLUS, they impose a huge administrative overhead upon providers which is estimated to be up to 40% of provider costs in some cases. In short, we ban private insurance today, make one big single-payer pool to cover all the health care costs on a per-doctor basis rather than the current administrative mess, and we *immediately* chop as much as 40% off of the outrageous 17% of GDP that our “healthcare industry” consumes here in the United States. That set of assertions is backed by the experience of Taiwan when they transitioned from a US-style system to a single-payer system. Taiwan had 40% uninsured. The year after single-payer, they had 0% uninsured — and *ZERO* increase in overall health costs. Yes, they covered 40% uninsured WITH NOTHING BUT THE SAVINGS FROM GOING TO SINGLE-PAYER!!!

– Badtux the Facts Are Facts Penguin

4 Comrade Kevin { 07.09.09 at 6:48 pm }

Today I called both of my Senators and my Congressman to explain that I was in favor of the Public Option.

What I told them (really, their twenty-three year old staffers) is that I failed understand why Republicans demonized government, when the corruption and incompetence of the private sector is what got us into this recession in the first place. You listen to them spin it out and think that somehow the private sector has a purity to it that government does not. It’s so pure, as a matter of fact, that CEO’s gave themselves bonuses out of the stimulus money and still continue to fly across the country in private jets.

Regarding health care, I told them that government was no less flawed than the private sector, and thus they ought to entrust a public option to it with the same regard they have for their sainted private industry.
.-= ´s last blog ..Extreme Amusement =-.

5 Bryan { 07.09.09 at 7:15 pm }

Mr. Duff, in the United States the “transaction cost” is ten times higher for insurance companies than the government. I’m covering that in a separate post, but the numbers are well known. I realize that it is “holy writ” that the government is less efficient than the private sector, but the reality is that the government does certain things a good deal better than the private sector can, and this is one of them.

6 Bryan { 07.09.09 at 10:31 pm }

Guys, we need to face the fact that Medicare does everything private insurance does at a cheaper cost except in one important, to Congresscritters, area – Medicare doesn’t make campaign contributions.

7 Bryan { 07.10.09 at 10:43 am }

Mr. Duff, I don’t “claim” it, it’s a fact; the numbers exist; the numbers are real. I want to change to the more efficient system. I want to change to the system that provides health care and reduces costs. The people who don’t want to change are defending waste and abuse based, they claim, on ideology, not reality. You lack the ability to compare because you have only the NHS, and don’t have the direct method of comparison that we have in this country.

There is waste and fraud in our Medicare system, and more needs to be done to address it, but it is no where nearly as inefficient or ineffective as the private health insurance system in this country.

8 Steve Bates { 07.11.09 at 12:02 am }

Mr. Duff is not interested in the numbers as they exist. Like all self-described conservatives, he is interested in smoke and mirrors. I am offering to give him one of those two. My “even bigger mirror” does indeed enable me to see a horror better, specifically, the wound on my foot. Mr. Duff is welcome to that, too, if he wants it, though I don’t wish it on anyone. As to witnessing silliness face to face, what can I say… for at least nine years, I’ve been silly by profession, though GeeDubya Bush eventually all but drove it out of me.

The facts are plain for anyone who is willing to face them: Medicare beats nothing by infinity, and beats private insurance by an efficiency the private insurers don’t even want to think about. Give me the choice, in real life, face on, and watch how quickly I choose Medicare-for-all… and how quickly my financial situation benefits from the choice.

9 hipparchia { 07.11.09 at 12:06 am }

private insurance inefficient and effective?!

bite your tongue! it’s an extremely effective and efficient industry — at robbing the rest of us to insure the health of the fatcats’ swiss bank accounts.

10 Bryan { 07.11.09 at 12:22 am }

The worst part of it is that it didn’t have to be this way.

When I lived in upstate New York I had BC/BS, but so did everyone else. I had it through college, because it was so cheap that it was included in your college fees. At the time it was a mutual insurance company, which is why it was so cheap. You could afford it on unemployment insurance.

Because it was so wide spread all of your other insurance was cheaper, because the chance of someone being without insurance was so minimal. There were no non-profit hospitals in the city, but costs were low, because they weren’t struggling to collect money, or filling out multiple different forms.

When I moved to California I was floored at the prices for everything.

Since I left, BC/BS has converted to “for profit” status in that county, and the costs went through the ceiling.

No one would have been interested in a public plan in the old system, but the mood is definitely different now.

11 Bryan { 07.11.09 at 12:53 am }

They do everything except what they claim to do – pay for health care.

No one has come up with a believable reason for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama advertising. They have around 80% of their market, so who are the ads for? That’s the kind of waste that drives me up the wall.

12 hipparchia { 07.11.09 at 1:04 pm }

the co-ops idea that everybody has recently become so enamored of would be terrific, they’d be a lot like your ny bc/bs was. it’s basically how bc/bs got started in the first place.

the problem of course, is that for that to work we’d have regulate, regulate, regulate. at a minimum we’d have to bring out all our anti-trust big guns and break up the huge insurance conglomerates, then we’d have to make them all into non-profits, and we’d have to outlaw for-profit insurance [at least for all the care that’s considered medically necessary], and last, we’d have to disincentivize the co-ops from engaging in competition.

which is all backwards from what the stupid congress critters believe and the evil congress critters want: which is for the competition provided by small non-profit co-ops to force the big for-profit insurance companies to lower their prices and raise their quality.


i’d explain predator-prey relationships to these people, since i have a degree in it, but first i’d have to pick myself up off the floor, which hardly seems worth the trouble.

and obama would have us believe that expanding medicare would be a disruption! he’s either dumber than a box of rocks [which i don’t believe] or else he’s hoping that we’re box of rocks stoopid [which i do believe].
.-= ´s last blog ..fizzickz lab =-.

13 Bryan { 07.11.09 at 2:29 pm }

The reason it worked in Monroe County is that Kodak, Xerox, GM, Bausch&Lomb, and the other major corporations in the area, made it work and everyone else signed up. There were three hospitals with their own specialties and specialized equipment. Of course, the most important reason it worked is that everyone was covered – it was a monopoly, it was single-payer. The college student’s were paying like everyone else.

If you changed jobs you got a different employer’s code, but your member number stayed the same. My individual policy was actually cheaper than my group policy, because I dropped the coverage for “grrrl stuff” like “birthing babies”, and saved $10/quarter.

Obama belongs to the Chicago school of idiots, and we are all paying the price of their failed policies. Fewer and fewer people can afford to pay the premiums and the “health care industry” had better start coming to grips with that reality. They have priced themselves out of the market, just like American manufacturers.