>Well, gosh! Account if you will for the current health insurance and
>health care situation in the US. What is this if not capitalism
>making economic hay precisely on the dead, dying, or injured? And
>those who have power within the system resisting less-capitalist
>alternatives, like single-payer? (Less-capitalist in the sense that
>they would focus on providing services, including preventive care,
>rather than generating profits for HMOs through "competition.")
Under capitalism, there is the temptation to commit fraud. There exists
the opportunity to do so and to cheat the "customer" out of as much of
his/her money as possible. Under pure capitalism where there is no
government interference, those who produce and sell an inferior product
don't usually last very long. But the government feels it is necessary to
intervene and "fine tune" the economy and to pass laws that assist certain
industries to flourish and force others out. trade restrictions and
incentives exist for all sorts of industries.
I think we all pretty much agree the HMO business is not serving the
needs of the insured. But it does serve quite well the needs of those who
devised it and who are using it to their advantage today. The HMO business
was started (as I understand it) as a cheaper way for large corporations to
provide health insurance for their employees. It worked great at doing
that. The problem is it didn't work very well for the employees. At the
same time it became very profitable for the insurance companies running the
HMO's. And of course, the government got involved, partly as a result of
lobbying on the part of those making all that money. Many members of
Congress are just now beginning to wake up and listen to their individual
constituents and take a long, hard, look at HMO's. maybe the will fix the
problem. But I am not holding my breath.
I might note that the individual employees (and their unions) had a great
deal to do with the early success of the HMO's because they demanded
cheaper and cheaper health insurance with wider and wider coverage.
HMO's is an example of what can go wrong when it is allowed to and even
encouraged by those in positions of power.
HMO's are not selling to the sick and injured. they are selling to the
employers and to healthy employees who want to gamble that they WILL get
sick. The entire insurance industry is legalized gambling. The buyer bets
he WILL get sick or die and the insurance company bets the client will not.
The insurance company loses when the client eventually does get sick or dies.
>Or account for the funeral industry...or for the elder "care"
These two "industries" are a direct result of a younger generation who
wanted to shirk their duties and responsibilities. Why keep Grandma at
home and care for her, like she did her parents when we can ship her off to
a "Nursing Home" and take over the house/farm/business/bank account Grandpa
left? And why hold a wake at home when we can hire a mortician to keep the
body in his air conditioned "Funeral Home" and let the mourners go there.
Then they won't be dropping in at all hours of the day and night and
disrupting our schedule. After all, we have to go to work or finish our
vacation and can't be bothered with taking time off to go bury papa.
BTW, the Funeral business is not selling to the dead; but to the living.
>Or account for the farm crisis here in the Midwest, for that matter.
>If you think corporations aren't pillaging injured and dying people
>and communities in the name of ever-expanding profits and the wealth
>of anonymous shareholders in Jane's part of the world, Dan, come
>take a walk around Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois.
I think you are probably better qualified to talk about that than I. But
it all comes down to a break down in basic moral code and a lack of concern
on the part of those in a position to make changes.
All of the above represents commercial interests entering the picture to
fill a void, or to take unfair advantage over others who are often willing
The basic concept of Capitalism has flaws. I think I said that at the
start of this discussion. But no one has advanced a better way; yet.
--Dan in Sunny Puerto Rico--
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