Monday, May 01, 2006

Health Care Costs

According to Paul Krugman, in today's New York Times, Medicare spends 98 cents of each dollar of funds on health care. The insurance company Aetna spends 79.4 cents of each dollar on health care - the rest is profit, marketing, administrative expenses, including screening out bad risk.

Krugman also quotes a doctor, Benjamin Brewer, who writes for the Wall Street Journal, that he has to hire four staff members to handle the paperwork associated with 301 different private insurance plans; he could probably reduce to one staff member with a single payer plan.

The Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, estimates that lack of health insurance leads to 18,000 unnecessary American deaths... each year