Editors Note: I’ve been so in the weeds that I just got around to reading this excellent Liberalgeek post.

Related Item: Principal (Health Insurance) Financial Group reported Monday that third-quarter operating earnings increased 23 percent to $312.9 million.  The Financial Group is the business unit that figures out how to invest the obscene profits that the Health Insurance unit rakes in.  


I was visiting a friend this weekend in Baltimore. He has a doctorate in Psychology and he was telling me about a job that he had for a short time when he first got out of school. The title of the job was “Care Manager.” His job, as he explained it was really to be a mis-manager of care. For every claim that comes in, try to find a way to deny it.

It reminds me of the job that the Father in The Incredibles had, denying claims from little old ladies. But this Care Manager position sits in judgment of questions such as:

  • Is the person really suicidal and in need of emergency treatment?
  • Is the person really a danger to themselves and others?
  • Does the addict really need to be in an in-patient program or can they just live at home and go twice a week?
  • Oh, and is there any way that we can claim that this isn’t covered by the insurance?

This is not a job that is designed to ensure proper and appropriate care. It is designed to maximize profits. And if a few sick people off themselves, well they wanted to do that anyway, right?

This is exactly the job that the private healthcare system encourages and almost requires.

Bill Maher has been on a bit of a jag about the past few weeks with the great schtick that the Republicans have going. They yell and bitch and moan about how ineffective, wasteful and destructive government is and then they go and prove their own point. The morons over at FSP are always making this point as a reason to avoid single-payer health insurance. I have news for you guys, the system is broken.

Either we are a nation of competent people that are way smarter than the French, or we are too dumb to build a system that works better than the French system. Which is it?

I am in favor of the free market in things that require free markets. But when it comes to health, defense, social security and a few other markets, it is inappropriate.