Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Syndicate




Most discussions about the rising cost of health care emphasize the need to get more people insured. The assumption seems to be that insurance – rather than the service delivered by doctor to patient – is the important commodity.

But perhaps the solution to much of what currently plagues us in health care – rising costs and bureaucracy, diminishing levels of service – rests on a radically different approach: fewer people insured.

You don't need to be an economist to understand that any middleman interposed between seller and buyer raises the price of a given service or product. Some intermediaries justify this by providing benefits, such as salesmanship, advertising or transport. Others offer physical facilities, such as warehouses. A third group, organized crime, utilizes fear and intimidation to muscle its way into the provider-consumer chain, raking in hefty profits and bloating cost, without providing any benefit at all.

The health insurance model is closest to the parasitic relationship imposed by the Mafia and the like. Insurance companies provide nothing other than an ambiguous, shifty notion of "protection." But even the Mafia doesn't stick its nose into the process; once the monthly skim is set, Don Whoever stays out of the picture, but for occasional "cost of doing business" increases. When insurance companies insinuate themselves into the system, their first step is figuring out how to increase the skim by harming the people they are allegedly protecting through reduced service.

If you find merit in this perspective, imagine if you will if that (or and additional) "middleman" became the federal government...with it's history of mismanagement and cost overruns...can anyone possibly imagine our healthcare system actually getting better?

6 comments:

jkruse said...

...with it's history of mismanagement and cost overruns...

How come our government is so much worse than all the others?

Why do you hate America?

jroosh said...

I love ya Krusey and I know you are being a little toungue-in-cheek but as a conservative I seperate America from our government whereas a lot of liberals think they are one and the same.

jkruse said...

The second line was sarcastic. The first one was not.

Why can't our government accomplish something that so many around the world can do?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/21/AR2008042102406.html?hpid=topnews

Quoting:

For the first time since the Spanish influenza of 1918, life expectancy is falling for a significant number of American women.

The phenomenon appears to be not only new but distinctly American.

Bike Bubba said...

And linked not to our health care system, but rather to smoking and obesity--which are directly linked to historic subsidies for tobacco and maize.

You were talking about what our government could do right? Hello?

Reality here is that other nations are increasing life expectancy by implementing things like sanitary sewers and water purification--things we did decades ago. They've also had the good sense not to subsidize sloth, maize, and tobacco, the chief killers of Americans.

jkruse said...

Reality here is that other nations are increasing life expectancy by implementing things like sanitary sewers and water purification--things we did decades ago.

-Bubba

"If you look in Western Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, we don't see this,"

-WP

OK, dude.

jkruse said...

They've also had the good sense not to subsidize sloth,

p.s. I find this to be a particularly distasteful comment.