No wonder Americans are confused about health care

Here is a recent tweet perpetuating a myth about health insurance costs. 

UnitedHealthcare has 25 million members in the U.S. (85 million worldwide). Divide the CEO total compensation by just US members and you get $2.64 per member and by its global total members $0.77 per year.   In addition, of the CEOs total compensation only $1.6 million is cash, the balance is stock awards and stock options where the actual value and cost to the company is determined by the stock price. 

The problem with this type of simplistic misleading information is that it moves the focus away from the real issue, the use and cost of health care services. During the push for Obamacare the emphasis was on premiums rather than health care costs. That was a big mistake in part because it allowed proponents to claim health care was being made affordable simply because premiums were subsidized. We know now where that took us. 

The bulk of your premium (at the least 80%) reflects the cost of health care you and other insured people receive, that’s simply the fact. A good portion of the rest is various state taxes, and legitimate administration that won’t go away under any system,  public or private. 


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