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January 11, 2006

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» Unintended Consequences from InsureBlog
UPDATE 2: And Elisa at Healthy Concerns also weighs in with another perspective. Good stuff. [Read More]

» MedBlogs Grand Rounds 2:17 from GruntDoc
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Comments

Mandated employer provided health insurance is a non-starter. First of all, it falls disproportionately on small employers, without doing a darn thing for the self/un-employed. Second, it reinforces the disconnect between health care users and health care providers with two mandated middlemen (boss and insurance company). Employers will still have a vested interest in getting the cheapest, lowest quality coverage possible, and employees will still be left with high out-of-pocket expenses. Insurance companies will still be out to take in as much money as possible while paying out as little money as possible.

If we aren't going to go for full-on socialized medicine, we at the very least need for insurance companies to re-mutualize, and for that line on the front of the 1040 to allow *everybody* to deduct insurance premiums.

Hey, I'm sure you're right Bridget, but my point was not to support or oppose employer-based coverage. My point was that I saw a flaw in their arguments...and it's the most common line of reasoning I see.

Frankly your point about the disconnect between provider and patient is one we've discussed on HealthyConcerns before, and is one I find very convincing.

Elisa,

Thank you for interjecting some reality into the word quibbling! Fantastic post.

Thanks, and thanks for stopping by, Kate!

Thanks, Kate, and thanks for stopping by.

To quote: "we regulate how much profit ends up being made in many different ways. Companies are free to make fair profit, not unfettered profit. That's how we have environmental protections and minimum wages and the Family and Medical Leave Act and patents, for goodness sake, even though companies could rightly argue they diminish their ability to make as much profit as they could."

Well that's about as far off base as one can be.

Except in a monopoly, the free market determines price, and in turn profit margins. Only in regulated industries, such as financial services and (sometimes) utilities, are profits controlled by outside forces.

Gov't imposition in things like minimum wage, FMLA, COBRA, HIPAA (just to name a few) all add to the cost of operation of a business. The business reacts by increasing prices (if they can without losing a competitive edge) or reducing costs in other areas (such as payroll) to offset these gov't mandates.

Bob: we are making EXACTLY the same point, actually. Let me, therefore, re-phrase for you, although I think most people got what I meant:

"we regulate how much profit ends up being made in many different ways."

should have been:

"we regulate THINGS THAT CAN IMPACT how much profit ends up being made in many different ways.

Thanks for the clarification.

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