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Original Article HERE.

The fiduciary responsibility of a corporation is to maximize profits for its shareholders. Irrespective of the product, corporations will accomplish this by selling more products, increasing the efficiency of its production, and minimizing the labor cost to produce said product. It is for these specific reasons that the model for the delivery of healthcare should not be treated as any other product. The market simply does not work for the delivery of healthcare.

Given that the major tenet of the market is the efficient allocation and utilization of resources, it makes it impossible to provide humane healthcare. In a pure market, diseases like Lupus and other diseases that do not affect as many as cancer or diabetes would receive no research. Older unproductive people would receive less care.

Government dollars have made research on diseases that would have otherwise been ignored possible. Government dollars have made the care of the elderly, the unproductive, and the poor possible.

The healthcare system is a classic case of the privatization of profits and the socialization of expenses and losses. Private insurance is used to skim profits from premiums. Private insurance has even infected Medicare, the most efficient single payer system in America so far, with Medicare Advantage which is no more effective than regular Medicare, but costs 20% more (the profit skim). The immorality of this system was touched on in the op-ed “Immorality of Health Insurance”.

The 60 Minute piece aired on December 2nd, 2012 titled “Hospitals: The Cost of Admission” included below, presents the clearest case why the healthcare delivery system does no work. Steve Kroft investigates allegations from doctors that the hospital chain they worked for pressured them to admit patients regardless of their medical needs.

The healthcare system can only be efficient with robust and effective government regulations that provide standards of care for particular illnesses, whether it be requisite tests, admissions, or other facets of care. Absent this, corporate profit maximization for the benefit of the shareholder and not the interest of the patient or tax payer will be the sole outcome.

The reality is that fixing the healthcare system is not difficult at all. The complexity is in creating a rational for keeping portions that should not be for profit in the hands of private skimmers. Private insurance makes no sense. Private insurance has two purposes; firstly to pay a claim, and secondly to minimize the risk of having to pay a claim. It minimizes risks by attempting to insure only healthy people, thus leaving a pool of the unhealthy virtually uninsured but ultimately government covered (privatizing profits socializing losses). Moreover because there are several insurance companies, they all have their own presidents, executives, advertising, headquarters, shareholders’ dividends, and other fixed costs that have nothing to do with healthcare or paying a bill. A single payer system eliminates all these costs.

Robust regulations that uses crowd sourcing techniques for most effective care brings down cost and eliminates much opportunity for fraud. The problem is that in the chaos that is the healthcare system today, corporate pilferers are more able to profit. They used that power to make Obamacare less than it could be and made single payer but a long term dream.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Why do we pay twice per capita,,, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Bunbun, Losty, SuWho

    the amount other civilized nations pay for Healthcare? Watch 60 Minutes for at least part of the answer.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 05:53:59 AM PST

  •  Powerful segment on need for PO (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Losty, john07801, DRo, eOz, SuWho, thomask

    This powerful segment of 60 Minutes last night will seal the deal on the need for a public government-run healthcare option.  Anyone watching over the age of 65 was shuddering to imagine that they would be exposed to unnecessary risk (accumulated radiation) of tests dictated by quota-managing CEO's who have the physician's balls in a bind in hospital settings today.  

    This is clearly "profit before people" at it's absolute worst!

    Hopefully, this will help make people awaken to the nightmare called healthcare in this country and the critical need for government to intervene.

  •  Makes you wonder about your doctor?? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, eOz, SuWho

    It certainly makes me have legitimate concerns about my own physician(s) now.  With even the probability of Obamacare being upheld, I've noticed local family docs interpreting bloodwork so as to mandate another one or two visits for elders per year, as opposed to just the 6 month ordeal.  It's a major "cha ching" for hospital labs and another Medicare visit to cha-ching the doc's personal wealth.  It's getting pretty disgusting and unethical for doctors who participate in this charade.

  •  Did your doc spew politics in the office? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, SuWho

    My mother told me that her doctor was actively spewing politics instead of discussing her medical condition at her last office visit.

    This should be considered unethical.  Her political ideology was contrary to the lies her doc was spewing so now she feels that he is a "hater" instead of a humanitarian and will promptly find another.

  •  Flames? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm convinced that we do spend too much time, energy, and money on "older, unproductive people" - at least when it comes to keeping death at bay for another day or week anyway.

    People die. Their bodies and their brains and their minds fail. Filling hospital beds and filling their bodies with expensive drugs and sending them through a revolving door in and out of surgery suites at anyone's expense is a waste of finite resources.

    The dire straits facing America are not due poor people having too much money

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:30:32 AM PST

  •  Just a point. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eOz

    There is no fiduciary duty to maximize shareholder value.

  •  Thanks for the link, the Op/Ed, and your diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LWelsch

    Like you, I've found the issue essentially reducible to this:  "free enterprise" in the form of corporate for-profit insurance is antithetical to the provision of appropriate health care.  

    For-profit insurance companies are an unnecessary intervention in the provision of health care.  All dividends issued by such companies are resources explicitly denied to patients and their caregivers.  

    It's long past time for a loud and stubborn information campaign showing Americans that their "best health care system in the world" is profoundly anything but!  And for-profit mega-corporate delivery systems and insurance companies are the major reasons why.

     

    (-7.62,-7.33) l'Enfer, c'est les autres.

    by argomd on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 02:18:04 PM PST

  •  Great video (0+ / 0-)

    As Dorothy might say: Medicare fraud, oh my.

    Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

    by LWelsch on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:28:08 AM PST

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