health care costs (was Soviet and US Economy)

Enrique Diaz-Alvarez enrique at
Mon Jul 20 09:32:11 PDT 1998

Les Schaffer wrote:
> >>>>> ">" == michael perelman <michael at> writes:
> >> Our health care represents a high share in part because of the
> >> huge profit margins and the concentration of health resources
> >> in the last weeks of a person's life and on the needs of the
> >> well to do.
> how big is the profit margin? people are always telling me insurance
> companies don't make tons of money. is that true? are the profit
> margins in the doctors' bottom lines? hospitals'? medical R&D
> companies'???

According to Consumer Reports, 21 cents out of every dollar collected by HMOs in premiums is spent in something other than health care. I have also heard the figure of 26 cents. And I believe that 21% figure does not account for the enormous bureaucratic costs imposed on doctors and hospitals by byzantine collection procedures, i.e., doctor secretaries and hospital bureaucrats are counted as "health care spending".

-- Enrique Diaz-Alvarez Office # (607) 255 5034 Electrical Engineering Home # (607) 758 8962 112 Phillips Hall Fax # (607) 255 4565 Cornell University mailto:enrique at Ithaca, NY 14853

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