Woodland Hills-based Health Net Inc., one of the largest health insurers in California, “set goals and paid bonuses” for employees “based in part on how many individual policyholders were dropped and how much money was saved.” Between 2000 and 2006, the company “avoided paying $35.5 million in medical expenses by rescinding about 1,600 policies” while paying “its senior analyst in charge of cancellations more than $20,000 in bonuses based in part on her meeting or exceeding annual targets for revoking policies.”http://thinkprogress.org/2007/11/09/health-insurer-rewards-dropping-sick-policyholders/US health care will always be (much?) more expensive than in countries with "socialized" medicine as long as insurance companies are part of the system. The profit motive is pernicious for the provision of good health care, too: what doctors are allowed to do is affected, if not controlled, by insurance companies.Greatly simpified bottom line (pun intended):Insurance companies increase our health care costs in a variety of ways, most importantly: *the profit slice, what? 10% at least. *administrative costs, ditto.Insurance companies reduce the quality of health care.I don't think we'll be rid of these parasites any time soon. Until we do, though, US health care will cost more and have worse outcomes.
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