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Nov 15, 2008

Health Insurance is Not Health Care

Health Insurance is Not Health Care
11/15/2008 - InsureBlog by Mike Feehan

[edited] High health insurance premiums result from high health care costs. If health care were not expensive, health insurance would not be expensive. If the cost of health care were not rising, the cost of health insurance would not be rising. The cost of health care is the deeper problem.

High health care costs are not lowered by clever ways to shift costs to somebody else via insurance premiums. Insurance is inherently a cost-shifting device, whether private or public, sometimes decreed by politics. It is fine to seek the best and fairest way to allocate health care costs via insurance premiums. But even the optimal manner of setting premiums won't reduce health care costs by a nickel.

Lack of Competition in Health Care Insurance
06/11/09 - Easy Opinions -> St. Louis Post-Dispatch by David C. Rose

[edited] Medicare is a good deal partly because the government drives a hard bargain with health care providers. Medicare offers artificially low payments. No one insurer could do this in a competitive market of many insurers.

Providers shift the unpaid Medicare costs onto everyone else. In other words, the lack of competition in today's market leads to higher insurance costs for people who aren't old enough to qualify for Medicare. Extending Medicare-like insurance to everyone won't work, because no one will remain to pay the shifted costs.

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