Friday, May 02, 2008

Let's see, there's revenue, there's profit...

I saw an interesting argument - interesting in this case means "totally bogus" - about how health insurance companies don't have much to do with health care costs. Their profits are relatively low on health insurance, so how could they have a lot to do with health care costs?

I reckon that a member of the health insurance industry pushed the idea, hoping someone would pick it up. It'd certainly be likely to get the Republicans defending it, because this kind of logic appeals to Republicans.

"Sure! You pay premiums, subtract out the profit, and the remainder is the benefits paid!"

As if insurance companies don't have expenses other than the payment of benefits.

They have their crowds of paper handlers and people handlers, their buildings and maintenance; they have their lawyers and occasional doctor, and bureaucrats. They have their accountants and their clerks and their support staff, their actuaries and their PR divisions, who need to spread idiotic stories about how they don't add any real expense to the health care system with all of these things.

There are going to be a lot of stupid arguments going around about health care in the near future. Assume that any statement intended to benefit a business either contains a lie or is misleading. A round of "spot the lie" is good for the brain.

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