Friday, May 2, 2008

The High Cost of Health Care Is Caused by Insurance Companies (Not)

Beating up on health insurers is one of the favorite pastimes of American politicians (though they don't catch nearly as much flack as oil companies, of course).  Mark Gimein at Slate debunks three oft-stated myths about health insurers: the profits of private insurance companies are a big component of health care costs, private insurance clearly costs more than government-run plans offering the same coverage, and mergers of health insurance companies drive up health care costs.

So if private insurers aren't to blame, who is?  The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, and especially in our constant hunger for the latest and greatest medical techniques, devices, and drugs, whether or not their increased cost is justified by increased benefit. 

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