Monday, March 1, 2010
First Day Of The Rest Of My Medical Life
Today I start Medicare.
I am very happy. I was able to tell Anthem Blue Cross where to put their 37% premium increase. And that got me to thinking. (I know, trouble ahead.)
I don't have the figures in front of me, but Medicare is the primary insurer of almost everyone over 65. That probably makes them the largest provider of health insurance in the country. If not the largest, its got to be one of the top 5 or 6.
Now, people keep complaining that the government should not get involved in health care insurance via a public plan because they don't want another big inefficient government program. They say that private corporations can do it better. They say that a public plan, particularly a single payer plan will be expensive, inefficient, full of fraud, and provide poor service. They say just look at any big government program. Things go to hell when the government gets involved.
Well, let's look at Medicare. Medicare is a good example because it is an existing GOVERNMENT HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM. And a big one at that.
Medicare overhead is around 5%. Private, for-profit, health insurance overhead is around 30%. The overhead is the cost of providing service. The remainder is the money goes to pay for your medical expenses. Medicare spends 95% of their money on medical expenses and corporate health care spends 70% on medical expenses.
It looks like to me that Medicare is much more efficient than corporate insurance companies, not less. I mean WAY more efficient. Medicare spends 1/6 the amount on overhead. Or, another way to look at it is that private for-profit insurance companies spend 600% more to provide the same service.
You realize that all they do is pay the medical bills. They, both corporate and Medicare, do not provide medical services. They just pay the bills. The big corporate for-profit insurance companies charge you 6 times more for the same service.
Let me say that again.
The big corporate for-profit insurance companies charge you 6 times more for the same service.
Please tell me again why they are better?