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?


  1. Congratulation on being free from BIG HEALTH, there will be lots of baby boomers joining you soon (me included) let anybody mess with Medicare unless they want a bloody political nose.

  2. Congrats on the shift! As a nurse, dealing with Medicare is easier most of the time then private insurance!

  3. check this out.

    The spineless dems should have pushed for Medicare for one and all. That was the only sane answer.
    Now all we have is a HC B.S. The Obama regime is a failure. The wannabe liberal progressives that still support this bought and paid for Prez should be ashamed of themselves.

  4. you are a lucky man Jerry!

    Do ya think the House will put medicare for all in the final bill? There is still time ya know RZ. BELIEVE!

  5. SUE: Do you believe in Magic?

    You guys and gals are all in for a rude awakening.

  6. RZ,
    Thanks for the link. Now we have proof that nationalized health care is a Communist plot to take over the government.

    Rather than "health care now, now, now!, we will hear "health care Mao, Mao, Mao!

  7. LOL. I liked the idea about the money that the people will save and then they will spend that money to enhance their own consumer based economy.
    What a novel idea.LOL
    Sort of sounds like the old capitalist society we USED to have.

  8. Hospital charges 1K$ for 1 toothbrush
    140$for 1 tylenol. etc.etc.
    you gotta watch this.

  9. But.....but.....Medicare can't be more efficient! They don't may Medicare executives seven-figure bonuses to attract "the best"!


    Congratulations on your escape from the clutches of the monster.

  10. Congratulations, Jerry. Does it mean it was your birthday yesterday? If so, happy birthday! (And if so, it is a day after mine. :))

    P.S. WV = daybh...

  11. Elizabeth,
    My birthday is next week. Medicare starts on the first of the month of your birthday.

  12. Well, what do I know...

    Happy birthday next week, Jerry!
    (Mine was on the 2nd, so I'm older than you. ;)

  13. Jerry, Happy 65th Birthday...!!!!!!!


  14. As a physician I can comment with experience regarding medicare, Good Luck finding a competent doctor who will see you on an elective basis. All good doctors are swamped with patients, all medicare patients are a financial drain on running an office as the reimbursement does not cover overhead and staff salaries. It takes ten privately insured patients to offset the loss of a single medicare patient, so why would a good doctor kill himself (we die ten years earlier than other professionals)to work longer (a short day for me starts at 6am and ends whenever). In an emergency everyone gets treated regardless, however good luck again in dealing with collection agencies when the bills mount up.

  15. Ah, you have now successfully joined the largest health insurance program in the world!

    Easier paperwork, less policy issues and better treatment.

    Now live long and prosper....

  16. Yes, I wish it was available to everyone. It should be!