Monday, January 19, 2009

Single Payer System

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For anyone interested, Huffington Post has a very interesting article comparing the US market for health care vs five other capitalist countries who have designed health care systems.
  • True health care reform for all could contribute significantly to U.S. economic recovery and provide immediate relief to ... taxpayers. The ability to access health care would alleviate a huge burden for those reeling under the weight of home foreclosures and job losses.
  • [There are] numerous federal and state studies (now more than 20) that have demonstrated billions of dollars of savings with a single-payer model of health care reform that could provide comprehensive coverage for all.
  • It is [the] insurance industry that has sucked the U.S. health care system dry by placing profits before health care, and gaming the system with tactics of bait-and-switch, denial and abrupt cancellation of coverage, inadequate disclosure, deceptive marketing, promotion of evermore limited benefit policies at increasing cost, restricted choice of providers, while creating the accelerating annual $20 billion industry of "Denial Management."
  • 50% of U.S. personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills.
  • Taiwan has the least administrative costs of all countries (2%), as providers bill the government directly. Information technology plus a smart card with each person's medical history facilitate health care.
Since insurance companies can only make money if they refuse to pay for services, what ever made anyone think they could be part of any rational system to deliver health care?

With any luck at all, the health insurance companies will follow Georgie-Boy into the shadows--the deep, deep shadows.
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