The amount of money they make borders on the obscene. I am all for free enterprise as long as it involves a product that is electively purchased by the consumer. I have no problem with payday advance, rent to own, pawn shops, and etc. because the consumer has a choice. I am normally not for government intervention into private enterprise, but due to the cost of health care being grossly inflated by insurance companies, hospital corporations, and the legal system, I'm afraid it is needed. Another problem, of course, is American based pharmaceutical companies charging more for their drugs here than they charge in other countries. That must also be regulated.
Another big part of America's health care problem is the lifestyle of many Americans. I helped arrange financing for my doctor friend in Chattanooga to get started in his practice. He planned on having a small practice based on spending quality time (1 hour) with each patient, encouraging each one to adopt a healthier lifestyle to improve their health. I told him he was crazy - that the average American is lazy, and they don't want to be healthy, they want a quick, short-term fix for the moment. After starving for the first two years, he finally started giving shots and drugs. He told me the first year of doing so his number of repeat patients increased dramatically, and his income more than doubled.
Up until 1973, Volkswagen put a very efficient but hard to clean oil bath air filter on all of their cars. In 1973, they started putting a conventional easy to change paper element filter (but less efficient) on cars shipped to the US because they said Americans were too lazy to clean the oil bath filter, so they (Volkswagen) were having too many warranty claims due to the customers laziness. Volkswagens shipped to all other countries kept the more efficient oil bath air filters. This can easily be compared to many American's approach to their personal health as well.
I personally think the health care industry in this country is too far gone for internal reform. We place such a high value on everyone's individual rights, and everyone is for health care reform, as long as it doesn't change anything in their life. The economics of reform is that most everybody, except the uninsured, will have to give up something. The insurance companies' massive profits will have to be limited, and liability claims will have to be severely capped. With the influence of the very rich on our lawmakers, I just cannot see any major reform happening in the world of private health care.
My option would be for the government to gradually implement it's own healthcare over a fifteen year period. That will be sufficient time for the companies who thrive off the current privatized system to gradually downsize. Private companies could still operate, as they have in Costa Rica, if they desired to do so, but could then benefit from the caps placed on liability the government would no doubt put in place on their own program. This would make the private company's insurance more affordable as well.
From the Internet: Why is it - - - when you cross the North Korean border, you get 12 years hard labor - - - But if you cross the US border illegally, you get a driver's license, social security card, and free health care?