consultants are sandburs

Saturday, December 08, 2012

About 68.7 percent of workers in the state got health care benefits through their employers in 2011, fourth-highest rate in the nation. But that number has fallen by 8.6 percentage points over the past decade, compared with a larger drop nationwide of 10 percentage points. The decline has left nearly 319,000 Minnesota workers without job-based coverage, though the effect likely is much broader because it doesn't account for a growing population. "The big takeaway is there's been a sizable decrease in employer-sponsored insurance across the country, not just in Minnesota," said Julie Sonier, deputy director of the Minnesota State Health Access Data Assistance Center, which tracks similar data. "It's a pretty broad-based problem, affecting all ages and income groups."

The headline is a multi-paragraph mid-article excerpt, from Strib, here.

Meanwhile, atop the totem pole sits the big cash vacuum cleaner in our wonderful State of Minnesota; UnitedHealthcare; see, Strib - the Star Tribune 100 - here. This screen capture from today's online Strib business page.

Strib reporting, here and here.

Yes, that operation sucks cash from the productive economy, exploiting sickness and disease across the nation, for profit. In all its corporate glory.

Why healthcare is inappropriate for the insurance model. Insurance, pooled money, is ideal to cover catastrophic loss, in low probability events. Ships lost at sea, fire loss, industrial accidents, or automobile accidents. Infrequent events, but having a finite probability, and each having variable but likely high cost per incident. Reinsurance is a further risk-sharing innovation, so that storm or other mishap of a local but widespread local character can be covered.

Healthcare? Everyone gets sick, everyone needs medication from time to time, everyone needs to see a doctor, and hospitalization is not infrequent. Everyone ages, and dies, often with a lasting departure of illness, weakness, and dependency.

There is absolutely no infrequency to health needs. It is unsuited for a for-profit insurance model, unless you consider it from the perspective of the bloodsuckers in the play, the UnitedHealthcares of our great nation.

Single payer, a big pool, and a controlled pharmaceutical industry and controlled care taking arrangements to curb exploitation is the only sane way to go. Why we have not gotten there is a tale of lobbying and influence buying and peddling, which makes Washington DC shameful and distrusted. One of many such infested ways of operation in Washington DC that is broken for the 99%, fat city for the 1%, with it being the 1% who buy the politicians and lobbyists.

How it is. Not how it should be.

CLOSING OBSERVATION: I am entirely sick and tired of hearing, "Would you want your healthcare decisions made by government bureaucrats?" The short answer, "Yes." The longer answer, "Yes, if the alternative is having them made by rapacious bureaucrats at UnitedHealthcare and Cigna, and by bureaucratic bean counters at HMO operations who have highjacked decision making from the medical professionals who, while greedy, have something of a human heart unlike the heartless UnitedHealthcare profit-chasing bureaucrats."

Government bureaucrats cannot be worse, and very likely will be better, perhaps even very much better than the for-profit bureaucrats who can be fired if profit-making performance is below management imposed guidelines.

Go figure the rest.

End of story.

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