Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Liar vs. Liar

It's not even worth arguing about. I mean, women with breast cancer? Barry-O might as well have accused them of dropping firemen with smoke-inhalation damage. Wellpoint, naturally, sends the female CEO out to deny allegations. It would have been more believable if she had said "Wellpoint does not single out any ill patients for rescission." Remember that time we talked about risk pools? Yeah, this is it.

In the article, the WSJ mentions that Braly says the administration's "attacks" on health insurers "must end." Uhm, they most certainly must not. I'm sure that as a C-level executive of a company in an industry that risks being obsoleted, she is shitting her panties right now, but that doesn't mean anything. I'm sure health-tonic vendors felt the same way about FDA approval. The point is that when the risk-pool is equal to the population, insurers--as they presently--exist are not only not necessary, but become a value-destructing, utility-extracting wheel in the machine.

I'm sure the CEOs are going to be sad they lose their paychecks, as will be the tens of thousands of clerical employees, billing and collections departments, middle management, and assorted paper-pushers, but this is a blessing in disguise. It will free them to do something that actually adds value to the economy, or at least to sit on their asses for 100 weeks collecting unemployment benefits. You could look at it as frictional unemployment, but I like to see it as creative destruction.

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