SEARCH BLOG: HEALTH CARE
The latest "spin" for government legislated health care "reform" is to have cooperatives competing against for-profit insurance companies.
All well and good... and nothing new except the name. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is not a cooperative, but it is a not-for-profit insurance company. Cooperatives, on the other hand, may make profits which are returned to the members. So, if non-profit A charges $100 and cooperative B charges $120 for the same service or product, but cooperative B returns $20 to the members, how is that reducing costs?
Cooperatives Being Pushed as an Alternative to a Government Plan
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
As prospects fade for a public, or government-run, option as part of health-care reform, key senators are considering another model to create competition for private insurers: member-owned, nonprofit health cooperatives.
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), the chief advocate for including cooperatives in reform legislation, has cited examples as disparate as the Land O'Lakes dairy concern, rural electricity cooperatives and Ace Hardware.
There is the argument that members of a cooperative are involved in decisions about how the cooperative is run. That may be true for butter or hardware, but given the panoply of insurance regulations already imposed by the government, how will a cooperative be much different from a non-profit insurance corporation? Will the 47,000,000 new members be polled?
I am called a "member" of USAA and each year receive a refund check representing premiums in excess of needed reserves. I also have a "members savings account" into which excess premiums are placed and which continues to grow. I don't really have a say as to the policy offerings or the rates, but I'm satisfied with the arrangement. Now, how am I going to benefit more from an Ace Hardware type of cooperative? Perhaps I'm missing the obvious.
Well, the obvious part that is missing is that government-controlled cooperatives [controlled by regulations, etc.] will be just another name for the government-option policies to which there is so much objection.
You say tomAto and I say tomAHto. So, let's call the whole thing off.