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Friday, February 22, 2013

Letting private insurance companies run Medicaid and Medicare: Arizona's good experience

I confess that I have had grave doubts about turning our nation's healthcare "system" completely over to private companies. My Medicare works well for me, and seems to be inexpensive to run, compared to the high salaries and bloated bureaucracy of some private insurance companies, and their desire to turn a profit, no matter what, as their primary reason for existence, rather than patient care being primary. (I know -- Medicare expenses have to be brought more under control. But the increasing expenses aren't because it's a government-run program. They are because more and more people are becoming eligible for Medicare, and living longer while on it.)

National Public Radio recently reported on Arizona's experience. Based on this report, it seems that it is possible for private insurance companies, if sensibly regulated by state government, to do a better job of caring for people, and at less expense, than if the state or national government runs them. Great! I repeat -- there has to be sensible and careful regulation by the government, or we'll be back to faceless insurance bureaucrats arbitrarily turning down requests for coverage. Poorer care, at more expense.

I hope the Arizona plan can be implemented more widely, and well.

Thanks for reading. Read (or listen to) the NPR report. I have previously posted some thoughts on healthcare in the US, before the adoption of "Obamacare." A good deal of that post is still relevant, especially the part that indicates that we in the US do not have the best medical care in the world, although politicians of both parties claim that we do.

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