Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The mythical free market

1. I have a car loan with the Suntrust Bank. I get a letter from that Bank at least twice a year. The letter always offers me a “deal”. They suggest that I might want to skip a monthly payment.

Sounds good eh?

Not so fast! The Bank requires from me a $15 “processing fee”. The fine print tells me that if I pay this $15 I will certainly skip a payment for one month. It also states that my loan will be extended by one month, and that I will be responsible for additional interest.

Enough already! I wrote to the bank today and asked a simple question. “Why”, I asked, “would I want to pay you $15 in order to pay you additional interest?”

Never trust a Bank! Be aware of the trickery of the so-called free market.

2. I will be having very minor surgery on 4th August. It’s called MOHS Surgery and it will remove a very small pre-cancerous “spot” from my face.

The Surgeon is an enthusiast for the free market. She is a savvy business woman who will be more than well paid. (That’s my inference after visiting her fancy-dancy office, in a brand new building)
 
Medicare (the U.S. Govt. plan for retirees), and a Supplemental Insurance plan (for which I pay) will fork out a small fortune for this.

But they will not pay everything.

In the end, I will be billed for whatever Medicare and my Supplemental Insurance will not pay.

Thus there will be three payers for one simple procedure:

1. Medicare (the Government scheme), paid with a deduction from the Social Security which I earned;
2. “Supplemental” Insurance, for which I pay a premium each month;
3. The balance, which I will be asked to pay “out of pocket”.

 American citizens have a triple payer system. The paperwork alone is expensive and mind boggling.

Yet we are told that this is better than the British single payer system which is paid via a payroll tax plus governmental subsidy.

We are told this on the spurious basis that the free market is better than “so-called” socialistic health care. Go figure!

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