IOZ explains the relationship between US health insurance and the free market

So listen. (I’ve added a few links.)

We Ain’t Got the Money for the Mortgage on the Cow

One reason I’m a conservative is the British National Health Service. Until you have lived under socialism, it sounds like a great idea. It isn’t misery – although watching my parents go through the system lately has been nerve-wracking – but there is a basic assumption. The government collective decides everything. You, the individual patient, and you, the individual doctor, are the least of their concerns. I prefer freedom and the market to rationalism and the collective. That’s why I live here.

Andrew Sullivan

Oh-ho, rationalism and the collective. This is the sort of eruction that only exits a moron with no idea how health coverage works in the United States of America, and no interest in learning. “The government collective.” Jesus Christ, dude, I read We The Living before I got my pubes. Health plans don’t compete. There’s no free fucking market. Shit, BCBS licensees run Medicare for a lot of states. They run half the FEHBP. For all intents and purposes, the BCBSA is an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services. “You, the individual patient, and you, the individual doctor.” Hardeehar. Ken Melani eats a cardiopulmonary specialist for breakfast every day and washes it down with a pint of blood from a nearby ENT. Individual patients. It’s insurance, man. It’s actuarial. It’s lies, damned lies, and statistics.

I mean, do people seriously entertain the idea that health insurers do not ration coverage, that PPOs and HMOs operate with less bureaucratic opacity than government agencies, that administrative decisions aren’t made without the consent (or knowledge) of patients all the time? Does Andrew Sullivan really see a vibrant and competitive market driving down the cost of health coverage while increasing the availability and diversity of product? Or is he just spouting doctrinaire fag-Tory cant of which veracity he has no idea because, after all, don’t bite the hand that feeds ya.

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