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(51,907 posts)
Sat Dec 17, 2011, 05:15 AM Dec 2011

Do we need health insurance?


Do Americans need health insurance? The short answer is no — at least not in the form it currently exists in America.

It is true that in many wealthy countries private insurance companies are used in the financing of universal health care systems. But they are nothing like American companies. They are regulated public utilities and are told by their governments who to insure, what to cover and how much and when to pay. Most are prohibited from making a profit and are required to pay any willing provider. Not exactly the American model.

The purpose of health care financing systems should be — and is in all other wealthy countries — to facilitate the delivery of health care services, to protect individuals and families against huge medical care expenses and to avoid breaking the national bank while they do so. But in America, our private insurance system actually interferes with the delivery of health care and is rapidly becoming too expensive.

Last month I argued for adopting a universal health care system on moral, ethical and economic grounds. It is not only more humane but cheaper to cover everybody. We have moved in fits and starts toward that goal since the enactment of Medicare in 1965.
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Do we need health insurance? (Original Post) eridani Dec 2011 OP
Thanks for posting. This is a good, short read..... Scuba Dec 2011 #1
Thank you for posting this. City Lights Dec 2011 #2
Simple answer. NO, we need HEALTH CARE, or even HEALTH ASSURANCE, not health insurance. Lionessa Dec 2011 #3


(53,475 posts)
1. Thanks for posting. This is a good, short read.....
Sat Dec 17, 2011, 07:00 AM
Dec 2011

"The business model of for-profit insurance companies is pretty simple. The creation of wealth for shareholders, including many of their executives, depends upon profitability. To maximize profitability they must charge premiums as high as the market will bear, offer skimpy policies that limit coverage, impose high deductibles and minimize what they must pay out for the services they do cover."


"Third, they bargain down the prices health care providers charge as much as possible, shifting costs to other payers. This has created the curious and uniquely American situation where uninsured people pay the highest prices for health care products and services."

Good on Dr. Caper for his work on AllCare.

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