random memes }

Insurance, inefficient healthcare -- the Elephant in the closet

A recent piece in the Houston Chronicle and echoed in the reporter's weblog criticises Wal-Mart for trying to control their employee costs. Reading the internal Wal-Mart communication gives a somewhat different message. I know it is fashionable to criticise Wal-Mart just now, but this article (and many like it) miss the real issue.

The real issue is the unchecked rising cost of health insurance.

Profit-making commercial entities (like Wal-Mart) are amoral entities - not moral, not immoral - simply as they are organized to stay in business and make a profit. The company that does the best job in this game stays in business, and companies that do a lesser job - as with many of Wal-Mart's competitors - lose business.

Every company in the United States that offers health insurance to their employees, is faced with a problem, and this chart from [Trends & Indicators in the Changing Health Care Marketplace](http://www.kff.org/insurance/7031/print-sec1.cfm) tells the story. We - collectively - have a problem. The cost of healthcare is increasing at a completely unjustified rate. Over the past several decades an ever-larger portion of our total income (as a nation) has gone to healthcare.

NCHC | Facts About Healthcare - Health Insurance Cost Experts agree that our health care system is riddled with inefficiencies, excessive administrative expenses, inflated prices, poor management, inappropriate care, waste and fraud. These problems significantly increase the cost of medical care and health insurance for employers and workers.

With better technology the quality of healthcare should have gone up, and the cost should have gone down. Since that did not happen, something is wrong.