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US Health Care Is Pretty Good … If You Own an Insurance Company

September 14, 2023

Summary: John Stewart nails it in a vivid one-minute video: Our government-funded health care benefits private for-profit corporations, especially insurers, at our expense.

America’s F*cked Up Tax System
The Problem With John Stewart
August 29, 2023
Video (1 min)

Here’s how the system works. You pay taxes to the government, the government pools that money and uses it to provide the people with essential goods and services that they need.

In this country, we’ve got a different system for getting the things we need.

Take health care. We pay taxes to the government and the government gives our money to a middleman: for-profit insurance companies or for-profit health providers. And the insurance companies provide health coverage in exchange for maybe some more money for us and a deductible, that covers not everything certainly not your teeth or your skin or your eyes. It’s a pretty good system if you own an insurance company. Companies like UnitedHealth and Aetna collect 70% of their health plan revenue from government programs. Humana – 90%. These health plan businesses would not exist without our tax money. And it’s not just health care. It’s pharma. …

Comment by Jim Kahn

What a pleasure to have this talented comedian-social commentator-activist on our side. John Stewart is a hero of mine.

The irresistible implication? We need single payer, government-financed and government-paid universal health insurance. Without profit extraction by private sector intermediaries. It’s systematized grift, and we need to end it.

About the Commentator, Jim Kahn

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Jim (James G.) Kahn, MD, MPH (editor) is an Emeritus Professor of Health Policy, Epidemiology, and Global Health at the University of California, San Francisco. His work focuses on the cost and effectiveness of prevention and treatment interventions in low and middle income countries, and on single payer economics in the U.S. He has studied, advocated, and educated on single payer since the 1994 campaign for Prop 186 in California, including two years as chair of Physicians for a National Health Program California.

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