Monday, May 12, 2008

Myths about Health Insurance

Mark Gimein at Slate claims that private health care insurers are not the primary problem when it comes to high health care costs in the US. He argues that all three of the following commonly-believed myths are untrue.
  • The profits of private insurers are so big that cutting them out would meaningfully lower costs.

  • Private insurance clearly costs more than a government-run system such as Medicare.
When you eliminate co-payments and lower deductibles, people go to the doctor a lot more often. According to the Government Accountability Office, seniors with Medigap coverage may cost the government as much as 25 percent more than those without.
  • Mergers that have created a small number of huge and powerful insurers increase health care costs. In fact, these insurers reduce costs:
    reimbursement rates from major insurers in Pennsylvania for some procedures have fallen to just 85 percent of the already low Medicare rates.

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