Re: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Jul 17 2001 - 10:29:16 MDT

Miriam English wrote:
> At 12:19 AM 17/07/2001 -0700, James Rogers wrote:
> >There are two problems with your general comments. First, how do you define
> >"more expensive"?
> Excellent point. Sorry, I should have used better words. What I meant was
> more accessible.

Health care is imminently accessible here in the US. What studies find
is that many people who do not receive health care who are also poor do
so out of choice, they are too proud to accept 'charity'.

> >I think the biggest difference between the socialized health care system and
> >the US health care system is that people in the US see a bill that is closer
> >to the real cost
> True, and that is cool if you can afford it. If not then just die. :-)

That is hardly the case. The majority of health care is paid for by
people who do not use it, and received by those who do not pay for it.
Non-profit hospitals write off 5% of their services, and for-profits
write off 2.5%. This does not include services paid for by Medicare,
Medicaid, or state provided insurance plans or private insurance.
Vermont, for example, covers every child up to age 18 whose parents make
less than $50,000 or so in it's "Dr. Dinosaur" program, paid for by tax

In private insurance, the majority of policy holders pay significantly
more in premiums than they receive in services, as most health care
dollars go to patients with chronic problems, far in excess of any
premiums they pay.

I've determined from family history and life expectancy that I do not
need to expect any chronic health problems for many years. Accidents and
catastrophes seem to be my primary risks. I do not engage in many risky
behaviors outside of skiing and driving (shooting risks run down around
the level of civil aviation and are not significant). I don't smoke, do
drugs, and am not significantly promiscuous. I have also been without
health insurance for about ten years outside of my veterans benefits. If
I had obtained health insurance in that time, I would have paid
somewhere between $25k-30k dollars, at a minimum, if not much more due
to the fact I have been self employed. Projecting over my life
expectancy, I expect at worst to have to have my gall bladder removed at
some point (at a cost of $8k-10k), and a skin melanoma at some time in
my 70's or 80's, and I fully expect to elect to have one or more
vertebrae replaced at some point in time (which would not likely be
covered anyways by insurance). If I pay $250 a month in health insurance
premiums, I would expect to pay in $150,000 in current year dollars for
such coverage, with at worst receiving about $50,000 in health care

And while some who met me at Extro5 might take me to task for the weight
I've gained due to my back difficulties, I have an entirely normal blood
pressure and below average cholesterol, and being overweight is a normal
characteristic of my family, along with longevity.

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