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> You don't get out of paying for it -- otherwise it would be easy to avoid by having the government establish an independent non-profit insurance company.

no one is arguing that we arent paying. The point is, you are equating costs between public and private, and private has to take profit. Government doesnt.

Do we actually know that healthcare is a profitable industry if (like the government would have to) you actually cover EVERYONE?




> no one is arguing that we arent paying. The point is, you are equating costs between public and private, and private has to take profit. Government doesnt.

The point is that it does.

The private insurance company makes a profit because it, for example, owns the building it operates out of. That portion of its profit is attributable to the rent it could have received by renting out the building to the National Health Service in the alternative, which would then have that amount as an ongoing expense. You're still paying the same amount of money to the capitalist who owns the building whether you call it profit or rent. And the government could buy the building, but then it has to pay to buy (and maintain, and forego property tax revenue on) the building -- you're paying for it one way or another.

> Do we actually know that healthcare is a profitable industry if (like the government would have to) you actually cover EVERYONE?

The first thing to note is that the government doesn't cover everyone. There are unavoidably procedures it will deem too expensive and not cover, the same as private insurance. We can't afford to spend a trillion dollars to save one life.

But independent of that, the only way an insurance company doesn't make a long-term profit is if it's mismanaged. If you want more comprehensive coverage then that causes the premiums to be higher, but either way they'll just consult their actuarial tables and set premiums that cover the expected claims.

Where people run into trouble with private insurance is that they don't bother to buy it. If you go in and get a catastrophic coverage quote when you're healthy, it's a reasonable premium, which (because otherwise the insurance is useless) includes the right to keep paying that premium instead of a higher one even if you're diagnosed with something. But in a free market, if you get diagnosed with cancer after not bothering to buy health insurance, the premiums when you go to get it would then reflect the cost of cancer treatment. At that point you're basically buying an installment plan rather than insurance, because the event to be insured against occurred while you weren't insured against it. This is why requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions doesn't really work unless you also somehow induce almost everybody to buy health insurance ahead of time anyway.




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