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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Complaints From Both Ends

This article complains about the rising cost of healthcare and health insurance
, as well as the fact such a cost is driving more and more onto the rolls of the uninsured.

But you can't have it both ways. America drives new medical technology and drug development. I am completely serious, the reason we might be able to beat cancer in the next ten years, is because Pfizer can have such high profit margins; can charge what they want for Viagra.

Chris Ohman,

president of the California Association of Health Plans, said insurers have little control over many of the underlying causes of rising medical costs. These include an aging population and expensive new technology.

You can't have it both ways though. The quality of healthcare will naturally decrease as health insurance costs decrease. Lower profits mean fewer doctors performing certain procedures and certainly means less money going into R&D for technology and drugs. There are reasons an MRI is so expensive because a) it was expensive to develop and build and b) the next breakthrough, the next "MRI" is going to be, even more expensive to develop. That's not to say biotech and hardware makers don't enjoy huge profits but it's those profits that keep the best and the brightest researchers in the field in the first place.

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