September 21, 2007

Stossel on Health Insurance.


This is a nice entry-level essay.

I can't seem to read a lot of the books written by TV and radio people, and Stossel is no exception: he is not a major-league prose stylist. However, when you want an issue broken down into easily digested chunks, he's your man. And the things he's able to accomplish on his television specials are extraordinary. He knows how to make use of a visual medium to show things that can't be expressed in words to the same effect.

Posted by Attila Girl at September 21, 2007 06:40 PM | TrackBack

The analogy breaks down with car insurance. There are companies which sell maintenance packages that cover oil changes, and there are also companies which sell gasoline for certain prices and amounts if you want to make a long term commitment. Attila you are easily sucked in, I invite you, to please use your critical thinking skills. Universal health care is on its way and it is the morally right thing to do.

Posted by: azmat hussain at September 22, 2007 11:49 PM

Stossel assumes health care is expensive, and so it must be rationed. His preferred rationing system is pricing people out of the market. If poor people die, they die.

Not acceptable. Economically, he's up in the night. Quick health care, often, is much less expensive. Our current system wastes about 25% of every health care dollar trying to keep 50 million uninsured people from getting health care. How stupid is that? For the billions we spend in administrators to say "no," we could provide each of those people with a $10,000/person insurance policy, they'd get cheap health care that would keep them healthier, and the entire system would cost less.

The cheapest system is when people are healthy. The best way to achieve that is to get people to a physician for health care three or four times a year, provide preventive treatments, and catch problems early.

This isn't rocket science, and so Stossel goes off the rails, looking for a rocket science solution. There ain't one.

Posted by: Ed Darrell at September 23, 2007 10:11 AM

Stossel assumes that competition leads to lower prices and better service. Period. In medical specialties like laser eye surgery(that few insurance providers cover) there is competition--advertising, doctors giving out their cell numbers, luxurious waiting rooms with refreshments and extremely short waiting times, continuous upgrades of equipment, and DECLINING prices.

And poor people in the US get health coverage, by the way. No hospital emergency room turns them away.There are Federal and State Programs, county hospitals and clinics. The people that get screwed are homeowners with other assets without health insurance who don't qualify for any gov't programs. It's easy to rack up a quarter-million dollar bill nowadays. Especially when hospitals charge them higher rates than insurance-or Medicare- negotiated rates, with add-ons to cover those who don't pay.Their choice is to keep their home or get care.

Posted by: Darrell at September 23, 2007 02:27 PM

Gas insurance? You fell for THAT, Azmat? C'mon!

You mean universal healthcare like in the UK wher they don't want to treat you if you are overweight or smoke? Where they wanted to send people to "crystal-healers" and other charlatans without choice?(That was narrowly defeated for now when a couple of top doctors got wind of the scheme.) Where when we had the Terri Scaivo controversy they had a well-educated, well-spoken man who was denied a feeding tube by a panel of doctors because they judged that his life wasn't worth living. He flew to some country and got the tube and was feeding himself while he appealed his case before a panel that UPHELD the original's opinion. No thanks!

Critical thinking skills? Is that where the Left is critical of anyone who thinks rather than recite the party line?

You can put all your money, Azmat, in postage stamps that never increase in price. The are called "Forever Stamps." Try that. And use them to send your reply, and all your future comments. Please.

Posted by: Darrell at September 23, 2007 02:49 PM

I want the "car maintenance" system that will buy all my gasoline, pay for tuneups, get me a new battery every few years, and pay for any "fender benders" might get into.

Furthermore, I consider that a fundamental human right, so I shouldn't have to pay for it at all.

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 23, 2007 08:20 PM

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