Why Do We Need Health Insurance Companies?

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The LA Times asks an interesting question:

In short, this is an industry that acts as if it will have trouble making money unless regulators allow it to cover only injuries suffered by a young single male hit by an asteroid.

Meanwhile, however, it fritters premium income away on expenses generated largely by corporate initiatives having nothing to do with healthcare. WellPoint spent $2.6 billion repurchasing its own shares last year. This was such a good deal for shareholders that its board recently authorized spending an additional $3.5 billion for the same purpose. None of those dollars, it should go without saying, will be available for delivering healthcare to customers.

It would have been marvelous and uplifting if all the participants in Thursday’s health reform summit in Washington understood that as well as the insurers themselves.

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Report: 2 Million Children Die Each Year in India Before They Reach Age Five

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It’s a rough life as a young child in India

Despite India’s economic prosperity, nearly two million children under the age of five, die every year in the country, the highest number anywhere in the world, a media report said today.
More than half of them die the month after birth and 400,000 in their first 24 hours, The Observer said based on a report by an international NGO ‘Save the Children’.
Even in the national capital, Delhi, where an estimated 20 per cent of people live in slums, the infant mortality rate was reported to have doubled in a year, it said.
“The difference between rich and poor is huge. In a city like Delhi it is starker because we have got state-of-the-art hospitals and women giving birth under flyovers. The health services have failed to deliver,” Shireen Miller, Head policy and advocacy of the NGO in India said.
The report also revealed that the poor are disproportionately affected and accused the country of failing to provide adequate healthcare for the impoverished majority of one billion people.
Malnutrition, neonatal diseases, diarrhoea and pneumonia were identified as the major causes of death.
“For many poor parents and their children, seeking medical help is a luxury and health services are often too far away,” Miller said
The report said nearly nine million children die worldwide every year before the age of five. India has the highest number of deaths, with China on the fifth place.

Despite India’s economic prosperity, nearly two million children under the age of five, die every year in the country, the highest number anywhere in the world, a media report said today.

Continue reading… “Report: 2 Million Children Die Each Year in India Before They Reach Age Five”

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New Report: Over 60% of U.S. Bankruptcies From Medical Bills

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The overbearing sickness industry gets scrutinized.

An article in the latest issue of The American Journal of Medicine makes chilling reading, and presents compelling evidence that the US health care system is broken. In 2007, before the current economic downturn even began, an American family filed for bankruptcy in the aftermath of illness every 90 seconds; three-quarters of them were insured. Over 60% of all bankruptcies in the United States in 2007 were driven by medical incidents. Summarising the results of the first-ever national U.S. random-sample survey of bankruptcy filers, the article shows the share of bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 50% between 2001 and 2007. Medical bankruptcy is a unique American phenomenon, which does not occur in countries that have national health insurance…

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Quack Remedies

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Well it’s worth a try …but after looking at this picture I really don’t think so

Eating a vulture won’t clear a bad case of syphilis nor will a drink made of rotting snakes treat leprosy, but these and other bogus medical treatments spread precisely because they don’t work. That’s the counter intuitive finding of a mathematical model of medical quackery.

Ineffective treatments don’t cure an illness, so sufferers demonstrate them to more people than those who recovery quickly after taking real medicines. Continue reading… “Quack Remedies”

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Sickness Absence Reasons Can Predict Employee Deaths

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Employees who take long spells of sick leave more than once in three years are at a higher risk of death than their colleagues who take no such absence, particularly if their absence is due to circulatory or psychiatric problems or for surgery, concludes a study on the British Medical Journal website.

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