We already knew it was a morass of regulation, but Goodman here makes the excellent point that the private insurers implement much of the government health care “system” today … here is one excerpt:
In both cases, the underlying premise is that there is some fundamental difference between public and private health insurance. This is a belief widely held both on the left and the right of the political spectrum. It is a belief that is wrong.
One source of the error is the mistaken idea that Medicare and Medicaid are actually run by the government. They aren’t. Medicare in the United States is managed almost everywhere by BlueCross, Humana, WellPoint and other private contractors. These, of course, are the same entities that manage private health insurance. Much of Medicaid is privately managed as well. Furthermore, one out of every four Medicare enrollees and two of every three Medicaid enrollees are enrolled in private health plans, even though government is paying the bill. Moreover, in the rest of the health care system, private insurers pay providers the same way that the government pays. They use the same billing codes and pay for the same services the same way.
In general, private insurance in the United States is so heavily regulated that it bears no relationship to what we would find in a free marketplace. Indeed, what we call private insurance in this country is little more than private-sector socialism.
That leads us to the other mistake that is made at both ends of the political spectrum: the belief that other health care systems are radically different from our own. They aren’t.
I thought that was obvious, but it’s not. But that’s because the entire “debate” is a food-fight, not really a debate.