January 24th, 2010


(no subject)

Oh. (via vvalkyri) I know that blog entry is directed at someone else, but it drove something home that I've been stupidly missing for a while:

The health-insurance industry is pure rent-seeking. In general, when the environment is such that in order to do business (say, by selling goods out of your store or by selling your skilled labor in exchange for a salary) you must have some of a limited asset (like, say, a storefront or health care), the class of people and corporations who control the limited asset will be able to manipulate the market to capture all the profit: i.e., what you take home will be just equal to the risk premium that people in your situation insist on, no more (and, if you are less than perfect at your job, less).

So: every human being in the US jobs market: your health-insurance premiums are going to go up, not until you are perfectly healthy (liberal dogooder's dream) or everyone is as healthy as they think it's worthwhile to be (libertarian economist's dream), but until the health insurance industry is capturing 100% of the income you might otherwise be saving or spending on fun stuff. (And you still won't have good health care, because there are other people with more money than you, and the only way to capture all their money is to price discriminate.)