One of their contentions I keep hearing is that we could save 25% by getting rid of private medical health insurance programs and creating one big government-run plan. They indicate Medicare’s expense factor of 2.9% as proof. The private health insurance plans have higher expenditure factors. But, like so a lot of things in healthcare, it isn’t so simple–or simplistic as I keep saying concerning this movie. Medicare’s capital costs – Medicare benefits are paid from payroll taxes and general revenues.
Medicare has done its talk about to run-up the federal government personal debt in its 40 years. In 2004, Medicare costs comprised about 12% of federal non-interest spending. Medicare will pay health-care promises for seniors, which tend to cost a lot more than the common claim cost for a young person therefore distorting any comparison between under-age-65 costs and those over age group-65. For instance, Humana reported its first one-fourth 2007 medical cost ratio to be 89.3% for its senior business. That is clearly a lot nearer to the Medicare expense ratio than I would expect most favoring a single-payer system would think.
Medicare generally uses payment ways of control costs (it just cuts payments). Although it is beginning to do things like disease management, that is clearly a really small part of what it can to control costs. If Medicare acquired the complete system, it wouldn’t benefit from the spill-over impact of private-sector programs to control waste and would have to build and operate its on the much broader range. That could run its cost ratio up substantially.
United Health reported a medical cost percentage of 82.7%–which means 17.3% was spent on expenses, fees, and income for all of its businesses including commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid. Wellpoint’s medical cost proportion was 83.1% in the first quarter of 2007 for all of its healthcare businesses–commercial and government. That leaves 16.9% for expenses, taxes, and profit.
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Wellpoint and United each paid taxes equal to about 3% of their revenue in the first quarter of 2007 (that’s 3% of revenue not income). But what about that poor doctor’s office today having to administer so many plans adding plenty of expenses. True, one authorities plan will be a lot easier. But how easier?
You might have only one plan if the federal government took over nevertheless, you would still have the same number of patients all with their unique needs and problems. And, would Medicare just be in a position to write investigations if it were the only payer? Not likely. Medicare would be in the managed-treatment business with all its bureaucracy before too long.
Maybe the private sector does cost more but could we please knock off this, “It costs 25% more” junk research. The single-payer folks would prosper to read more than the headline in an HMO earnings statement. An open public/private system like ours will definitely cost greater than a single government-run system. But the difference in expenses is not so great that it will preclude our consideration for the benefits of private options.
In fact, it is that the combined group pressure and course structure that retain us focused on task deadlines and exam dates, with regular classes. With classes on the web, that discipline has to result from within, and it should be therefore no surprised that a lot of people who start online classes never complete them. It is perhaps easiest to see the challenges and limitations of online teaching by looking at what it is that makes for a good course, in person or online. In my view, the way of measuring good teaching is that students don’t get just content (tools, techniques, models) but that they understand how to create their own content, i.e., the capacity to devise their own tools to meet their needs.
With this platform, the problems of teaching online become clear. You must find ways to keep students involved, disciplined and interactive, and you should do it online. My search for a better way of delivering what I show online began about five years back, with a straightforward first step. I made a decision to make an effort to take each of my regular lectures, which go for 80 minutes, and find out easily could compress it into a 10-12 minute slot machine and the results were both revealing and humbling.