Monday, October 26, 2009

The Status They’re Trying To Keep Quo

It looks like the magic of the unfettered Invisible Hand isn’t doing such a great job of keeping prices down:

The U.S. healthcare system wastes between $505
billion and $850 billion every year, the report
from Robert Kelley, vice president of healthcare
analytics at Thomson Reuters, found.

"America's healthcare system is indeed
hemorrhaging billions of dollars, and the
opportunities to slow the fiscal bleeding are
substantial," the report reads.

"The bad news is that an estimated $700 billion
is wasted annually. That's one-third of the
nation's healthcare bill," Kelley said in a
$700 billion, not bad! There’s a whole lot of additional healthcare you could provide with that much, or we could go with vastly lowered premiums, or maybe we could split the difference. ThinkProgress has more about how much money simply disappears into the insurance companies:

Within the context of companies’ revenues,
insurers skim off 15-20 percent of premium dollars
for administrative costs and profits… Moreover, a
report by Families USA found that “insurers in the
individual market sometimes maintain medical loss
ratios of only 60%, retaining 40% of premium dollars
for administration, marketing and profit.”

The top five earning insurance companies averaged
profits of $1.56 billion in 2008 and reported
spending an average of “more than 18 percent of
their revenues on marketing, administration, and
profits.” That year, CEO compensation for these
companies ranged from $3 million to $24 million.”
While their companies are rescinding coverage and denying care for preexisting conditions, some CEOs are walking away with as much as $24 million?! Gee, I hope healthcare reform doesn’t hit them too hard- won’t someone please think about the plight of the health insurance millionaire?

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