Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A tidbit for you

My opinion, as a professional investor, for what it's worth, is that health care is a scam.  Every single group involved in it, from top to bottom, has their hand in the till.  I've seen it at the levels of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, insurance companies, companies sponsoring healthcare plans, doctors, hospitals, etc ... In fact, I would say that this is the single most complicated corrupt industry I've ever seen, which is precisely what you would expect when, at every level, one guy gets the service, and another guy pays for it.  Mumble mumble Milton Friedman mumble mumble.  I know we're never going to, nor would we want to, have a true market in healthcare, a system which would leave grandma's corpse rotting in front of the hospital.  But this ridiculous hybrid system we've so recently enshrined anew is just going to get worse and worse if basic changes are not made to it.

This rant is brought to you by the following lines out of Emdeon's 10-K:

Healthcare expenditures are a significant component of the US economy, representing $2.3 trillion in 2008, or 16.2% of GDP, and are expected to grow at 6.2% per year to $4.4 trillion or 20% of GDP in 2018.

In addition, industry estimates indicate that between $68 billion and $226 billion in healthcare costs are attributable to fraud each year.

For the math challenged out there, that's between 3% and 10% of the entire amount of money spent on healthcare.  And that's just outright fraud.  That's not the institutionalized graft I was referring to at the start. 

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