Member Rara Avis
While cassinos and insurance companies may share a formula for their greed, you may notice that casinos settle for a 2% return and seem happy enough, for the most part, to keep it there.
The smarter ones do, Bob. Plus, and I don't really know much about it, I suspect the Gaming Commission regulates those games not already regulated by mathematical probabilities.
More importantly, however, casinos are for the most part illegal. Wouldn't it be great if everyone had to drive to Vegas or Atlantic City to buy insurance?
Don't get me wrong, Bob, my intent was not to defend the insurance industry. I just thought some of your earlier comments misrepresented the reality of how they function. I wrote software for the industry for more than a decade and, while all companies are clearly not the same, they don't have to cheat any more than a casino has to cheat. The math is already stacked in their favor. It could just as easily be stacked in your favor if you were willing to take the risks they take.
Maybe you haven’t had trouble getting health insurance companies to pay, but I certainly have ...
I've had a lot more trouble getting the casinos to pay.
More seriously, no, I've never had trouble getting a health insurance company to pay. I don't pay them, they don't pay me, and neither one of us gives the other any trouble.
For the United States and Canada, we calculated the administrative costs of health insurers, employers' health benefit programs, hospitals, practitioners' offices, nursing homes, and home care agencies in 1999. We analyzed published data, surveys of physicians, employment data, and detailed cost reports filed by hospitals, nursing homes, and home care agencies. In calculating the administrative share of health care spending, we excluded retail pharmacy sales and a few other categories for which data on administrative costs were unavailable. We used census surveys to explore trends over time in administrative employment in health care settings. Costs are reported in U.S. dollars.
LOL. Sorry, Reb, but throughout both of your daunting quotations, I couldn't help wondering ... how much did those darn studies cost and did it count as administrative overhead?
Just out of curiosity, do you have any studies of what the administrative overhead would be for cash-and-carry health care? You know; you go to the doctor and you write him a check on the way out the door?
BTW, Reb, please remember I wasn't the one complaining about the high cost of helping people. That was you. I merely pointed out that the high cost is systemic and not constrained to just emergency room treatment.
What about that socialized military we have Ron? If we quit subsidizing that do you suppose battleships will become so cheap that everyone can afford one?
The reality, however, is that if everyone stopped subsidizing the military, we probably wouldn't need any battleships.
Your point, of course, is still valid. There are some things, like battleships, space shuttles, and 2,500 miles of Route 66 that can only be realized through group efforts organized by government. I'm good with that.
Honestly, though, Reb, do you really think that paying your doctor bill falls into that same class of human endeavor?
Yes we should. College should be free to anyone who qualifies. Maybe not Harvard but at least State University.
I agree, and if you really want to give away our money, I think that would be a much better use for it. I do have to wonder, though, why not Harvard? Is it going to work that way with health care, too? Let's send the poor to doctors who just barely had passing grades?
(It's fodder for another thread, but in my experience people place a value on things commensurate with what it costs them. I suspect free college would be like free high school; less than an ideal learning environment. I'd love to be proven wrong.)
Those of us who can afford to buy our food can do so -- usually very cheaply -- due to substantial government assistance to farmers in the way of subsidies and loans -- which has been necessary to our system just like welfare and social security since the great depression.
I think the necessity of welfare and (especially!) social security is highly questionable, Reb. Their sustainability even more so. We should probably save that one for another thread, though.
Oh, and let's not forget that our produce is artificially low priced due to illegal slave labor provided usually by immigrants at harvest time.
Again, that's probably fodder for another thread. Living in California, I knew a few itinerants and, oddly enough, I've met substantially more since moving back to Michigan. I live in farm country now, after all, and Sturgis, less than twenty miles south of my house, is the center of a fairly wide Mexican community. It's the only decent place to get a good chimichanga. Some of the field workers I've known were illegal. None were slaves. They might not have had the choices they would have liked to have, but they still had choices.
Capitalsm didn't work for the family farm either Ron. Of course -- most of those subsidies go to the huge corporate farms now.
That's not entirely true, Reb. I have numerous farmer friends. From my perspective, I don't think it's greatly different than the rest of America. We see the Fords and the Time Warners and the General Foods, but statistically most of the money, most of the employment, and most of the productivity in this country still rests in the hands of small to medium businesses. The mix may be different for farms and ranches, but the mix hasn't yet disappeared.
Still, you're right in that some industries are certainly defined by an economy of scale. If the family farmer disappears, as some fear may be the case, it will be sad. But it won't really be a big deal for anyone except the family farmer. We don't have very many family car manufacturers, either.
Sure thing Ron, all we have to do is subsidize the heck out of Doctors and Hospitals just like we did the farmers, and we can get there!
Sounds like a plan, Reb. I would much rather see our money used that way than to just start paying people's bills for them. Double the number of doctors and hospitals and I can practically guarantee you the price of health care would plummet. Ironically, subsidizing the people who actually DO the health care would be a lot cheaper than letting insurance companies continue to subvert supply and demand.