Friday, August 21, 2009

How's Business? Pretty Good if You're in Insurance!

The big problem with the attempts to reform the health care industry is cost. There are estimates as high as $ 1 trillion dollars (roughly the combined costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars), for a reform that has the government playing a more significant role in making sure that all Americans have health care.

But currently the number of Americans without health care (whether the number is 47 million, 30 million or 20 million), in some way cost us all. Not only does their lack of coverage cost the insured, our for profit system of providing coverage has as its primaCheck Spellingry concern investors - not the insured.

Anecdotal, pro-public option gibberish. Could be, unless you take into account the words of Aetna CEO Ron Williams who said, "We would gladly forgo membership growth if necessary. We have a clear bias toward profitability over growth", as he provided perspective regarding the rise in workers who drop their health care coverage because of unemployment or unaffordability.

A great statement if you are making widgets. But widgets are not moral commodities. Health coverage is not a commodity period. And the problem is getting worse - and as it get worse insurance companies are finding a way to profit, even as growing numbers of Americans find themselves unable to pay for health insurance.

The Economic Policy Institute's report shows that insurers plan to keep it that way.

After all, it's a business!

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