Has Western capitalism become too efficient and ruthless?

Oct 2010
5,093
DC
Profit and staying in business are two fundamentally different things.
I am aware of that bit, yet I was stating that I do not see something wrong with making profits in principle.
Unless all of us are well off and/or altruists in nature, we work in things we like and/or make a living of, be it a hands on work or be it as direct shareholders (or retirement fund participants) in many people-employing entities.

A situation as I describe does not offend me as much as many other things in my life.
People have been brainwashed to think non profit means charity and while many charities are non profit, it's just a more efficient model(for everyone involved except shareholders).
I will gloss over the "brainwashed" bit as irrelevant to what I am about to say, non-profit are usually done for the public good so are charities, they can be both and the same but can be different as well, I used charity since I wanted to emphasize not expecting any financial return from doing something as well as doing something "good" towards people.

Having enough money to pay your employees and fund the business is not the same as wanting money LEFT OVER. Wanting money left over as a goal means you're going to cut every corner, wage wise, expense wise etc. With health care this inherent need amounts to murder(both hypothetically and in reality).
I have something in my life that a large segment of people wanted to cause or cheered for not-happening (or happening), I can really use that logic to label almost all of them as murderers (or murder-supporters) and I can make a very self-convincing argument doing it right here right now, it would feel viscerally good but it would be a hyperbole as well as detrimental to any discussion or dialogue.

But don't believe how much more efficent non profits, just look at your typical corporate infrastrcture and compare it to non profit colleges. While corporations are getting every third rate non profit schools are basically rebuilding the Roman Empire, Versailles etc. It gives lens into what we could be if we ditched the corporate model as a society, while the shareholders might not be quite as affluent the rest of society(including much of the infrastructure said wealthy people use)would come out of the dark ages. You call it inefficency, and I guess from a shareholder's perspective that's true but on a business the effect of spending as little as humanely possible is not a good thing. Not good for a business's long term health(shareholders can ditch a company almost any time they like, why should they care about it's long term health once they've milked it?), not good for employees and not good for society as we really are just an aggregate of our services.
Does life cycle go by corporate structure ? Does Biology?

At any rate, I also asked about insurance in general, not just health.
Anyhow health insurance ain't even a real for profit enterprise because they provide no service, they are just providing extortion with the least negotiable thing ever(your life). Insurance is meant to pool risky behavior but health care applies insurance logic to inherent issues(and yeah some people's lifestyle attribute to health problems, the main one's people complain about such as terminal illnesses are more random's)that can't be controlled. So the way companies make profit is to cut every corner that is legally allowed.
I guess you are making the case for no private health insurance, right ?
 
Oct 2010
5,093
DC
sorry (me again!): what do You mean by "my cost for a prescription"?

When You get a presciption, do You visit Your doc, and he, after examination/diagnosis he gives You the presciption andYou pay the visit prescription included or do You pay the visit/examination/diagnosis and pay 20 bucks in plus for the presciption itself?
It depends, you do not need to revisit a doctor if you have refills on your RX.
 
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Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,029
US
I do not know how to think about a better system than insurance to be honest (and I am not talking health exclusively) , I think a business like insurance seeks to make profits while promising some benefit/contingency can use as many predictive measures as they can to stay in business (as opposed to becoming a charity, unless they choose to but even then that is not exactly cost-free).

I do not how to lower cost for both consumer and provider, sometimes I think insurance plans need to incentivize screening and regular checkup even more, and I do not know if and how they do that.
In general, if not private insurers, then the government becomes the insurer. Either that or there is none. Even fraternal organizations that insure have a quasi private element, as membership is usually limited to a specific group. From what I see there are few things which the government, with a boatload of bureaucrats does better, which kind of ties us back into the OP.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,029
US
sorry (me again!): what do You mean by "my cost for a prescription"?

When You get a presciption, do You visit Your doc, and he, after examination/diagnosis he gives You the presciption andYou pay the visit prescription included or do You pay the visit/examination/diagnosis and pay 20 bucks in plus for the presciption itself?
If it is a yearly physical, there is no charge. If I go to a specialist or a follow up appoint, say because I have a respiratory infection, I pay $20 for the doctor's visit, per my insurance. I guess this is to give my some incentive to manage my visits if not necessary. There ar a good deal of hypochondriacs out there. Then if I need a prescription, it is usually $20, if it is not a generic, which is usually no charge. I just got back from the pharmacy and picked up twp prescriptions for my eye. ere was no charge for either. If I would have chosen the name brand for one, the charge would have been $5. My wife takes a medicine daily. The generic doesn't agree with her. It is $0 per month, but, the insurance company offer a mail prescription service and she receives 3 months for $90, or $1 per day.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
33,734
T'Republic of Yorkshire
In general, if not private insurers, then the government becomes the insurer. Either that or there is none. Even fraternal organizations that insure have a quasi private element, as membership is usually limited to a specific group. From what I see there are few things which the government, with a boatload of bureaucrats does better, which kind of ties us back into the OP.
Well, as the article you yourself linked to earlier showed, the government can legislate on the price paid for medication to keep costs down.
 
Oct 2013
14,293
Europix
It depends, you do not need to revisit a doctor if you have refills on your RX.


Yes. The meds I picked up today Deaf were a refill. No doctor's visit, just call in the Rx number and they refill it.
Thank You both for the clarification.


... Either that or there is none. ....
My friend, it's becoming slightly a tiresome meme, this black and white presentation. Plus, it's simply not true.

I will ask You a favor: please read the following link (and it's a short read, so I'm not asking too much of Your time ;))

Variations on a Theme: A Look at Universal Health Coverage in Eight Countries | Commonwealth Fund
 
Likes: Rodger
Oct 2010
5,093
DC
Thank You both for the clarification.
I will ask You a favor: please read the following link (and it's a short read, so I'm not asking too much of Your time ;))

Variations on a Theme: A Look at Universal Health Coverage in Eight Countries | Commonwealth Fund
I am thinking if we had a Swiss-like or Norway-like plan (to a lesser extent), there would be riots by a lot of people from a wide spectrum of ideologies.

But there are key differences. In the Netherlands, financing is shared between individuals and their employers, and insurance plans also cover dependents. But the Swiss pay the entirety of their plan costs, and children require the purchase of separate plans.
your link is a god-send
$1800 Annual in the Netherlands, and about $4500 In Switzerland (but I was not able to see which is per family and/or person)

I do not like the UK or Australian systems.

I would rank
1-Germany : the first system sounds like the employer provided insurance I have + the FSA account I use
2-Switzerland
3 (2B) -Norway

Wouldn't mind decentralization like Sweden.

I think if we modify our system to match Germany and tell people we are doing it like a European country, it might actually PASS popularity test especially for working class people.
 
Oct 2013
14,293
Europix
Ok, let's clarify a bit (and make some history too).

To perceive the universal health care like a "no choice" imposition, coming from "governance and burocracy" it's rudimentary, unhistorical and unrealistic.

The social and medical coverage have their roots in early community regroupements, it goes back at least as far as guilds.

With the industrialization, it's the seeds of today's universal health care systems that were planted: workers started to organize into unions, and maybe the most important aspect was creating common funds to cover risks (illness, accident, death). In French is phenomenon is called "mutualiser" (aprox. "sharing"), there from the denomination still existing : "Mutualité".

Those unions extended and diversified (for example, Belgium had socialist, liberal, Catholic, neutral to name just the more important, I don't have the figure at hand, but I think France has more than 400 "Mutualités" these days, aso).

In time (with sometimes a lot of pressure, even violence in some cases) the system was imposed at national level, included in laws, in rights, in sum, at state level.

One have to understand that US had a totally different evolution from Europe from that point of view (therefrom also some radical differences in how things are saw in the two shores of the Atlantic).

In a blunt way, one could say that Americans choses to limit as much as possible state's interference, where European chooses to impose the state their solutions.

The states were imposed to adopt extensive (ultimately universal) health care. State's policy on the matter evolved, and evolved also because of the representatives are elected on a platform in healthcare. Indirectly, I do decide the orientation through my vote, and I do influence it more than a governmental burocracy as I am electing the representatives, thus deciding the evolution of the system.

On the other hand, inspite of what is said, the state itself is much much less involved than people might think.

I have to have a medical insurance, but nobody imposes me which one I take, and whom from. I have to be afiliated to a social security organism, but nobody imposes which one either.

I do have a choice, and it's a real one, as those organisations/organisms, be them profit or non profit, are in competition, and they try to attract me with their offer.

The main role of the state remains in regulating. Establishing limits, frames.

I know that some are against the regulator function of the state. I disagree: it's the role of the state. It's role is to regulate, to establish limits, to create a decent frame (juridical system isn't anything else than regulating, afterall).

Until now, implicating the state alongside the other actors was, pondering the pluses and the minuses, proves beneficial.


Bref, universal healthcare it's really not Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov, eURSSS Commissary for better health that ponded a law a Friday morning in his cabinet at Ljublianka.
 
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