Posts Tagged ‘United States’
Lectures on the peril of emotional reasoning
The denomination of which I am a member (the Church of the Nazarene) has officially aspired to international leadership since shortly after its beginnings in 1908. But, like so many organizations that were first mostly North American, coming to a point where we of the USA and Canada would allow others to lead us has taken a long, long time.
Finally, the men and women of the 23rd Quadrennial Assembly, meeting in Orlando, have taken a step toward making internationalization believable.
Bravo and amen to them.
Dr. Eugenio Duarte currently serves as the regional director of the Africa Region. Born and raised in the Cape Verde Islands, he has served as pastor and district superintendent, before being appointed to regional and field leadership roles.
He and his wife Maria Teresa have three grown children, and live in Johannesburg, South Africa where the regional office is located.
This historic moment in the Church of the Nazarene was greeted by thunderous applause from the delegates and the gallery. Many of the African delegates responded with joyful singing, flag-waving, and surrounding Dr. Duarte with hugs. After several moments of cheering, clapping, singing (and even lifting Dr. Duarte into the air), he was escorted to the platform, declared elected, and invited to speak.
I thought I understood why insurance companies were the main threats to a “public option.” It’s easy. Their overhead—exec salaries, advertising, political lobbying, etc.—averages 31%. Medicare’s overhead is 1%. No duh they don’t want to compete.
Today, I found out there’s another reason: they mostly don’t even compete against each other. Consumers in 94% of America’s insurance markets buy their health insurance from near-monopolies that dominate their region. The Bigs don’t want to avoid public competition, they want to avoid any competition.
And what happens when profit-makers don’t have to compete? You know what.
Premiums have risen 87% over the last six years, while profits at the ten Bigs rose 428%. Wait a minute: If your insurer’s profit is up 400%, why are your premiums rising so fast?
So, on with the debate: Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), speaking on Fox News, defended the insurance company position, saying a public option would “destroy the marketplace for health care.”
But TPM today covered a report by Health Care for America Now, saying:
And maybe that’s why millions of your excess insurance premium dollars are being spent on defeating a public option, rather than on reducing your premium.
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- No Country for Old Men (thehealthcareblog.com)
- Antitrust Laws a Hurdle to Health Care Overhaul (nytimes.com)
- Study: Americans Struggle To Pay For Health Care, With 40 Percent Delaying Treatments Or Services (huffingtonpost.com)
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- Single-Payer and the ‘Democracy Deficit’ (bradblog.com)
- Call a Canadian (scienceblogs.com)