Let’s Talk About Health, baby

by Kaiser Edamame

Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be. Recently, everytime I’m at Blockbuster video (NYSE: BBI) or waiting in line for a payphone or getting my chest hair lasered (ask your depillitator for “the Kaiser”, your lady will be grateful) I’ve been getting dragged into the healthcare debate. Usually I just pretend I’m on Total Request Live:

Carson! I think Obamacare {QUICK DEEP BREATH} by Barrack Obama {QUICK DEEP BREATH}) should be the number 1 video because Barrack is soooooo hotttt and everyone should have should have rad healthcare and it should cost way less and Obama rocks my world!!!! WOOOOO!!!!!

If however you actually want to waste your time arguing about healthcare we thought we’d take a few things we commonly hear and give you some IN YOUR FACE FACTS to drop on your friends and make them hate you more than if you just make outrageous claims that you can’t back-up. Mostly what’s below is true, mostly, and if that standard is good enough for science and math, it’s good enough for us.

People say: For-profit health insurance companies are the devil and the reason we spend so much more on healthcare than other countries (Note: this is a recurring theme of the hot selling book “Healing of Amercia” by T.R. Reid, now available at your local grocery store).

IN YOUR FACE FACT: Healthcare insurance companies make between 5 and 10% profit margins (p.5). So even if you usurped all these profits (assuming you could run the companies just as efficiently) the most you could save is 5-10% of the cost. And by the way many states already have not-for-profit Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. If not making profits made insurance companies give you the same care at lower costs then these BCBS plans would be blowing up like a totally sweet Jenna Haze automatic blow-up doll. But they’re not, they’re slowly deflating like blow-up dolls tend to when you make them wear a spiked choker against their will. Mostly.

Related Reseach:

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  1. Bill
    October 19th, 2009 | 10:52 am

    Yep. 10% for shareholder profits, 10% for claims-down-adjuster and preexisting-condition-denier salaries, 10% for advertising/marketing, and it starts to add up… (Numbers are pulled out of my backside, of course.)

    Though, to be honest, the 15% of medical spending on malpractice insurance and payouts is unrelated, just as wasteful, and won’t be reformed by either party.

  2. The Paleofish
    October 19th, 2009 | 10:58 am

    My feed reader’s version of this post had a blowup doll of Jenna Jameson, but the website mentions Jenna Haze. I’m shorting RSS feeds.

  3. Pale Nimbus
    October 19th, 2009 | 11:29 am

    Check out the New Yorker article on doctor incentives and healthcare costs. It’s the doctors making the money, not the shareholders of healthcare companies.

    We all remember the guys from high school who turned out to be doctors. Drones with IQs of 100.0 who are content to make $300k a year.

    Pathetic microballers.

  4. October 19th, 2009 | 1:03 pm

    The Jenna edit was to bring that post into the aughts from the nineties.

  5. rcyran
    October 19th, 2009 | 4:31 pm

    When you talk cost, don’t forget to mention all those chicks with 3″ nails handling insurance claims at the docs office. Insurance reforms would devastate, and I mean destroy the fake nail industrial complex.

  6. Dead_Cat
    October 20th, 2009 | 10:28 am

    Yeah but –

    a) the system incentivises everyone to sell/consume as much healthcare as possible. Hence, for example, anyone in the US who feels a bit offish one day is welcome to start a lifetime of prescription drug dependency.

    b) the concept of punitive damages puts professional indemnity costs (or whatever you call it) through the roof. So the system has to subsidize every idiot who experiences mild discomfort / loses the wrong limb etc and sues for $Xm a pop. Doesn’t help that juries are inevitably comprised of yahoos with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement and a sudden burning sense of social justice to back the fat guy vs the Man.

    Need to sort those two things out to make any inroads on total cost.

  7. To The Hilt
    October 20th, 2009 | 1:57 pm

    You know, if we eliminated healthcare, then people would die, and then healthcare would cost less.

  8. Dead_Cat
    October 20th, 2009 | 2:11 pm

    Yeah, it’s terrible in Europe. What with the life expectancy being 2 years higher than the US. (To be fair that is skewed by the second amendment.)

  9. October 21st, 2009 | 11:42 am

    Pretty sure we could reduce healthcare costs if we made doctors (and insurers) work together to disclose net cost to the patient of every procedure/test/etc BEFORE they’re preformed, and like RIA’s, disclose cheaper alternatives that have same/similar performance.

    Methinks many people would think twice (or just man up) if they found out just going to the DR for some usually unnecessary test was going to set them back $100 or more.

  10. Bitchtern
    October 22nd, 2009 | 2:05 pm


    Do you think that they have lower rates of morbid obesity in those countries, or do you think it is because they have better health care systems.

    I am going out on a limb here and go with Fat People are the problem in this country. More precisely, fat chicks.

    Give up the Michael Moore bull shit people.

  11. October 22nd, 2009 | 3:47 pm

    Europe is skewed by lots of things. I heard this piece on NPR about RX drugs, specifically a pharma scam where they offer consumers rebates at the pharmacy level to offset the copay so they can buy namebrand drugs that are 5x more expensive than the generic. Insurance co’s eat the higher cost and the consumer never knows the difference. Anyway, a doctor came on and said it wasn’t fair to expect them to know how much various treatments cost and that she had no idea how much various drugs cost. The lack of intellectual curiousity she demonstrated floored me — I try and understand the whole ecosystem in which I operate, I feel like it makes me better at my job, but apparently, that’s too much to ask of a doctor.

  12. October 22nd, 2009 | 5:32 pm


    I don’t expect any reasonable change in the medical field any time soon (or ever), but it really seems the easiest fix, best bang for our buck, would be to change the way services are sold, billed, invoiced, and paid for.

  13. I've got your medicare right here
    October 22nd, 2009 | 11:55 pm

    What the hell, I search for Jenna Haze’s blog and I end up here? Fucking Google

  14. Dead_Cat
    October 23rd, 2009 | 1:11 pm

    I lived in the US for a spell but couldn’t find a reason to leave Manhattan except on business. So my view on what Americans look like is somewhat (favourably) skewed I suspect. Fat person in Manhattan = tourist (B&T count as tourists).

    Britain is pretty morbid these days on the obesity front so it’s a decent comp, ex guns and Medicare death camps.