Friday, October 16, 2009

Krugman Gets Wierd

In his bi-weekly cheerleading for the Obama Administration, Paul Krugman attacks the insurance industry in the New York Times today. It seems he has joined the legion of people who are ignoring prices charged by doctors, hospitals and drug companies and are blaming the insurance companies for everything other than the Lindbergh kidnapping. In part he says this,

One argument was particularly striking: the claim that attempts to limit Medicare spending would lead to higher insurance premiums. In fact, the report assumes that 100 percent of any reduction in Medicare payments to hospitals will translate into higher costs for patients with private insurance.

The only way to justify this claim is to assume that all hospitals are purely charitable institutions, charging as little as they possibly can.

Only members of the NYT can comment on editorials, so I can't ask him what he's talking about, but his conclusion makes no sense to me at all.

If it costs $1000 to treat a Medicare patient and Medicare lowers the payment for that patient from $1000 to $900, where is the hospital going to get that $100 lost dollars from? It's going to increase its "overhead" by that lost $100 and therefor increase the overhead charged to patients with private insurance. Private insurance is charged more by hospitals, and therefor raises premiums. I took business in high school, for heaven's sake.

How does that process translate to the hospital being a "purely charitable institution, charging as little as it possibly can" pray tell?

Even Paul Krugrman is so rabidly defending the indefensible that he is just making shit up, and accusing the insurance companies of lying even when they are clearly just stating the obvious.

Update: Friday, 8:30am
I don't like insurance companies, either. I just think all of this vitriol is ridiculous, and insurance companies are only part of the problem. If a person has multiple injuries in a car crash, you don't save his life by focusing on one injury and ignoring the rest of them.

I just had a hospital bill me $8,126.63 for a process that took one person twenty minutes to perform.

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