The Huffington Post article titled “Obamacare Health Insurance Rules Saved Customers $1.5 Billion Last Year: Study” should leave everyone scratching their heads. Obamacare ensures that at least 80% of premiums for individual policies and 85% of premiums for group policies are used for medical care. As stated, the bill has so far saved $1.5 billion simply by commanding a behavior by insurance companies. They wasted (stole) less of citizen’s premiums. They became more efficient.
What is the purpose of medical insurance? To be more specific, what should be the purpose of medical insurance? The answer is simple. It is for citizens to pool a few dollars together to build a large amount, so that the unknown few who will get sick at any given time can get medical care they can afford without being bankrupted.
America is a capitalist country. Capitalism as tool can be used to efficiently allocate resources throughout a real free market. All resources, however, are not equal. The efficient allocation of resources in healthcare can have very inhumane consequences. In fact humaneness demands that as a society there must be exceptions. Does society invest in researching diseases that affect a very few, or build parks for the pleasure of thousands?
For profit insurance companies are one of the largest inefficiencies and evils within the healthcare system. Having a multitude of insurance companies require several CEOs, several Presidents, several different advertising campaigns, several computer systems, several accounting systems, etc. Doctors are bogged down with several different forms from a myriad health insurance companies. Each company must make a profit to ensure dividends for its shareholders. In order to do so health insurance companies must deny coverage, rescind coverage, or minimize coverage. What is evil within this scheme is that health insurance companies must bastardize the health insurance pool by insuring only healthy people to maximize profits by minimizing the potentially sick.
Profit has its place. Innovation sometimes comes sometimes from those who love innovating, but mostly from humans’ innate greed. It is for this reason that there must be a balance between profit in the development of drugs, hospital operations & design, medical procedures, etc., as well as public investments where the market fails or would fail. Collecting premiums and dispersing payments require no innovation that is not already used in the market. As such, private health insurance is nothing more than a skimming wealth transfer engine, a transfer from the masses to the wealthy few.
Single Payer Healthcare was never really placed on the table. The voting population was not yet educated its realities & efficiencies. In fact, much was spent to successfully misinform the citizenry on the simplicity and successes of single payer implementations in many countries around the world. The left did a very poor job in presenting the counter argument.
For those disillusioned with Obamacare because it did not go far enough, do not despair. The reason the Right is fighting it as hard as they are is because the writing is on the wall. While a public option would have lowered costs much more, the writing of universal healthcare into law as well as regulations that force insurance companies to do more for their customers will eventually price private insurance companies out of the healthcare markets, which will morph America’s healthcare system into a Single Payer System.