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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”

Health Insurance & Infectious Diseases— AIDS, Hepatitis

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Insurance strategy within the United States

Individual purchasers are put into one of scores or hundreds of groups when they first sign on.  Then, as rates increase for some groups (because they happen to have the sick people in them), the people without claims are encouraged to buy a new, cheaper, policy.  Pretty soon you're in a death spiral, where the only people left in the original groups are the ones with the highest health care costs and voila, they can increase for "the whole group" without affecting 99% of their customers.  Needless to say, they don't weep when the people left in the group decide they can't afford it any more and drop the policy, or lose it for non-payment.

 

Most of the industrialized countries offer a national health insurance to their citizens as a duty to its citizens. However, the USA does not offer any type of national coverage for its citizens except for those people on or below the poverty level and those people who have retired from the work force. The issue of cost of health care is basically that a country (its citizens) can either pay up-front (National health care or at the back-end.

 

This issue of the paying up-front or paying at the back-end is best explained in this fashion. Healthcare is expensive-the costs are spread throughout the entire society. Because when a person is ill, whatever economic resources (s)he has become focused in on his/her medical needs. This cost can be spread out over the entire population or it can rest upon this individual, which in the long run is still shared by the total populace. With National Health Insurance, everyone pays upfront for potential health needs. With the USA system, the individual must bear the cost and society pays at the backend when these people declare bankruptcy, loose productivity because they are unable to work, interest rates and the cost of goods and services go up in price.

 

This churning process has been one of the corner stones of the American Business System where the concept that anyone can succeed in this country. (This concept may be a highpoint of the USA or it may be the Achilles Heel of the system). The bottom line is that everyone pays or shares the costs for Healthcare, either by paying upfront before an illness strikes or afterwards when the costs of goods and service go up.

 

 

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