May 7, 2017
I’m a team leader for the largest medical-billing company in the country. My job is basically to make sure that the dozens of insurance companies doing business in the state of Connecticut pay the claims that they contractually promised to pay.
In my previous post, I discussed mutual insurance companies. To recap, a mutual insurance company is owned by its policyholders, rather than stockholders, and pays its dividends to the policyholders rather than stockholders. Let’s combine and expand the concepts; what if the single insurance carrier was organized as a mutual company, owned by We the People of the United States?
Well, to start with, this company would have enormous leverage in pricing, both for physicians and suppliers. When you’re the only game in town, payment-wise, you don’t negotiate; you dictate. This would be a good thing for We the People, but probably not so much for medical providers, hospitals and drug companies. Our per-capita health-care expenses would probably drop by 30 or 40 percent due to reduced reimbursements and also reduced overhead. There wouldn’t be any need for team leaders at medical billing companies (or medical billing companies at all, in fact. In this scenario, I hope Starbucks is hiring.)
The good news is that all of We the People would share in these savings. As outlined above, dividend payments would be made to everyone covered by the system, which would be pretty much everyone. This would be great for the economy; it’d be like tax refund day, except everybody would get a check instead of just those lucky bastages that are due refunds. That money wouldn’t just get thrown into the bushes. People would use it to pay down debt, or pay on their lifetime nut under our plan, or buy hookers and blow. Whatever they used it for, it’d be going back into the economy instead of into the coffers of a few bloated insurance companies.
Also, a mutual company covering everyone would have to act in the best interest of all of the people, because it is all of the people. There are no executives to pay huge bonuses to, no stockholders to bitch and moan at annual meetings; we are the company. That would be a refreshing change from insurers trying their damnedest to squeeze a few extra bucks onto their bottom line by denying some kid his lifesaving chemo treatment.