Universal coverage – Part Three

The second in the list of top ten reasons universal coverage is bad is…
People don’t have insurance because they choose to not buy it.
Admittedly there are several closely related arguments, but we’ll stick with the letter of the argument in this post, and address the relations later.
I will stipulate to some people choosing to not buy insurance, with the caveat that ‘some’ is a really small number. In fact, that ‘really small number’ is 2%. Yes, only 2% of those without insurance say they have no need for insurance.
So, at a simplistic level, the ‘choice’ argument goes down in flames. Alas, my more demanding readers will want more.

Continue reading Universal coverage – Part Three


Health policy — a question of philosophy or finance?

Here’s the health care consumerism dilemma in one neat, small, understandable package.
Advocates of consumerism in health care argue that forcing folks to pay for their care will make them better consumers, and thus reduce costs. Theoretically, that makes sense – if you have to pay for something you won’t get more than you need, and you’ll keep yourself healthier to keep your costs down.

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The top ten reasons universal coverage is bad

There’s been much to do here and thereabouts on the subject of mandated universal coverage, with a good bit of the “do” pretty negative. Universal coverage has raised the ire of several pundits, one of whom has gone so far as to set up his own club of anti-universal care people (secret handshakes, coded messages, and masks supplied at induction).
Why is universal coverage so bad? Here, culled from the speeches, monographs, and policy papers are the consensus top ten reasons.
I’ll explore each of them in turn this week.

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Will insurers fight universal coverage?

But I think not. At least the smarter ones won’t.
Health plans/insurers/managed care companies are all suffering from mature market malaise. This dread affliction affects companies toiling in an industry with very low growth, dominated by a few large competitors, wherein these competitors can only grow by taking market share from each other (by slashing price) or by acquiring whatever companies are left to buy.
Unless, the market gets bigger.

Continue reading Will insurers fight universal coverage?