Saturday, February 27, 2010

health care (incomplete)

While this whole health insurance babble keeps getting more and more heated, I don't really understand what the issue is.
I'm going to take the 'insurance' part out of this, because the root of high cost of 'insurance' is the high cost of provision.
Insurance basically just smooths over the differences between people, so instead of one person paying nothing for health care his whole life because he's healthy and another paying $10M because he's not, we combine accounts and divvy things up so the expenditure per person is less 'peaky'.

Either way, insurance cost is generally driven by cost of provisioning. If it's not, then we have something completely different that's screwed up.

So health care costs have been going up. Health care expenses have been taking an increasing portion of people's incomes.
Some are going bankrupt due to having too much money to qualify for poverty care and not enough money to afford the insurance they would prefer. But this is a social problem, not an economic or government problem.

As a society, we are placing a higher and higher value on our health as we become more affluent and are less concerned with the normal trappings of life such as providing food and shelter. How important really is our health when people spend less on health insurance than they do on their car or housing? Whether health insurance is 'affordable' really depends on a) how modern you want your health care to be, b)


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