The time is ripe to rise up against the corporations. You know those legalized collections of people who
like to make a profit. It seems profit is a bad thing now.
In the midst of all this economic crisis, our country is focused upon “reforming” our nation’s health care system.
Many people, it seems, are fed up with the greedy insurance companies that would rather focus on profits than healing the sick. But just beyond the sound bites and the rhetoric there are some inconvenient truths.
Take, for example, the following nuggets of information that you will not hear from the folks at Change For America or Michael Moore, a man who is making a pretty penny on his latest movie, which did not
use union workers.
According to a study by RAND Health for the California HealthCare Foundation “…medical costs explain nearly 89 percent of [health plan] revenue increases.”
According to Kaiser Health News (not exactly a bastion of conservative thought), “the major causes of health care’s escalating costs are the rising prices and the increased use of medical services, including hospital stays, prescription drugs, new technologies and doctor visits.”
According to CMS data, over 40 years, the real costs of private health insurance have grown at an annual rate of 5.2 percent. Benefits, as measured by the cost of health care services to members, have grown at real rate of 5.3 percent over the same time period. Administrative costs have grown more slowly, at a real rate of about 4.9 percent since 1966.
According to Kaiser Health News, “With the nation’s health care spending estimated at $2.5 trillion this year, even the elimination of insurers’ profits and executive compensation would lower health care spending by just 0.5 percent.”
In 2006, health plan profits of the top 10 for profit health plans accounted for 0.5%of total health care spending; in 2007, 0.6%; and, in 2008, 0.5%.
Well, there you go.
There’s no question that our current system needs reform and that working Americans should have access to adequate and safe health care, but Congress ought to focus on solving the problem.
Don’t hold your breath. It will never happen because it requires leadership, not class warfare rhetoric.