If Sen Sanders truly believes that health insurance companies drive up health care costs, he does not understand the system, or health insurance and he seems to confuse the cost of health care with insurance premiums.
In fact, he has it backwards. The cost of the care provided drives premiums not the other way around. Health care costs have risen despite the fact that about two-thirds of Americans don’t use insurance at all. [The claim below that says 67% of the population has health insurance fails to consider that large employers are self-funded and do not use insurance].
Profit margins of insurance companies are modest (and have nothing to do with rising costs) and administrative costs are not way out of line when all factors are considered, especially considering Medicare administrative spending which results in 10% of spending in fraud.
There is an argument that says the very existence of insurance serves to make patients less concerned about costs thus contributing to higher costs. There is some validity to that, but it’s not the fault of insurance, but patient demand. However, current versions of M4A removes all cost sharing thus exacerbating the problem.
This is a sticking point for Democrats, many of whom are wary of getting rid of a multibillion-dollar industry that covers 67 percent of the population.
But that’s precisely the point, says Sanders, who argues that health care costs have skyrocketed because insurance companies are motivated by profits and not patients’ health.
“The current debate over Medicare for All has nothing to do with health care; it has everything to do with greed and profiteering,” Sanders said this week.