Skip to main content

View Diary: I feel sorry for health insurance companies. Yes, I said that. Why? This Time report must be read. (228 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Comment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    james321

    Had the health insurers not been ideologically committed to the free market health care system, they could have come out of a single payer system with little harm to their bottom lines, and a much better regulatory environment to operate in.

    This could have been done with either Medicare for all (easier to write the legislation) or a mandatory single-payer reinsurance market (which could also be grafted on top of the existing Medicare system).  And none of this crap about how Medicare can't negotiate prices.

    This way, the insurance industry keeps its retail market (and even grows a bit since this eliminates the motivation for most employers self insure) and makes private insurance pretty much affordable to everyone.  And it makes Medicaid cheaper and easier to administer as well, since it can now ride on the combined Medicare/private insurance infrastructure.

    They chose to go the corporatist route instead.  Now they're facing a dicey business environment.  A large provider typically has a paid sales force to sell to insurance plans, and they are as dirty about this as big pharma pushing pills to doctors.  Most insurance company procurement is oriented toward stuff like IT, external business services, real estate, et.al.; it's their plan designers, not their purchasing group, that does the negotiation, and they are undermatched.  (For one thing, pharma salespeople are paid more than insurance underwriters, so there is a revolving door.)

    •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      james321
      Had the health insurers not been ideologically committed to the free market health care system, they could have come out of a single payer system with little harm to their bottom lines, and a much better regulatory environment to operate in.
      single payer would have made a hufe dent in bottom lines and the last thing they want is a functioning regulatory environment - their brand of ongoing disaster capitalism requires a Wild West approach.
      •  Agreed. And.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        james321

        the Wild West approach is ideologic.  It's not sustainable because there is only so much wealth they can extract from the economy.  The CEOs take a nice chunk for themselves, but most of it is pissed away.  Disaster capitalism is not sustainable.

        So I stand by my argument that "they made the wrong decision" but it's not some lapse in judgment on their part.  It's a fundamentally reactionary view of the world combined with one of the most effective political patronage machines ever conceived.  Don't think of it as some kind of textbook profit maximizing engine, but as a machine that consumes all the resources it can get at.

      •  Wait a second, asdf, I think he has something -- (0+ / 0-)

        there's no reason that Aetna, Cigna, WellPoint et al. couldn't have been contracted to deal with regional variations of America's new Medicare For All system. Yes, they would have lost big commercial insurance accounts, but they still could have made a ton of money coordinating care and all that bullshit...whatever that means.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site