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March 23, 2011 / Political Fluency

Mo’ Silly Kathy

We continue now with our illumination of Kathleen Sebelius’s obfuscation.

And for the first time, insurers are being held accountable for the way they spend consumer premiums. New rules require insurers to pay out 80 percent to 85 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvement efforts — rather than marketing and executive bonuses. Those who don’t meet this standard will have two choices: reduce rates or send customers rebates.

By holding insurance companies accountable, we are making sure families and small-business owners get the best value for their premium dollars.

One more related quote from Democrat House Representative Anthony Weiner from Brooklyn, NY on Bill Maher’s show in 2009 before the health care law was passed and there was debate about the government taking over the health care system by being the Single Payer of all providers and facilities:

[Insurance companies] take about $300 billion dollars each and every year out of health care and give it to profits. And not because they’re evil but because that’s that their job is. Take in as much as they can and give out as little as they can. The problem is that when you’re trying to figure out how you’re gonna save money in the system the first place you gotta look is that $300 billion that really isn’t doing anything.

Now Sebelius doesn’t seem to have a problem with a government price control over a product as she couches it in the straw man argument that premium dollars not spent on health care and quality are of course spent on marketing and executive bonuses. Here we can tie in Anthony Weiner’s idea of health insurers’ $300 billion of profit “doing nothing.”

What these two economic illiterates don’t seem to understand is that $300 billion of profit is a lot of money. And money attracts people – more specifically a lot of money attracts the best and the brightest people. Probably the type of people we want running things like our health care system.

Politicians are driven by prestige, power, and a sense that they are helping people by serving the country (in that order).  These two in particular don’t realize that taking away profits from any part of the health care system (health insurance companies included), they are taking away the incentive that the vast majority of competent people want from a career – money.

The administrative-intensive health care industry that facilitates the delivery of care by medical professionals and facilities doesn’t exactly offer a lot of the intangible benefits and fulfillment that many other careers are able to offer. The hundreds of thousands of people employed by the insurance companies want a piece of that $300 billion in profit. When that profit disappears, so do the competent people.

If you thought dealing with insurance companies was a pain before, imagine if they had only half as many capable people. That’s what happens when the salaries get reduced.

One more post to complete the decimation.

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