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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Economics, 2nd Edition by Tom Gorman

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The Private Insurance Dilemma

The current U.S. system of relying so heavily on private insurance represents a huge problem. About 15 percent of total health-care expenditures go to private insurers. In addition to hefty payrolls, they have huge administrative, office, technology, and marketing expenses—and must make a profit. All those dollars are not going to providers, hospitals, or other institutions delivering care.
Private insurers have been experimenting with different models of care for more than 30 years, most of which somehow limit consumer choice. Insurers have deemphasized indemnity coverage (the original Blue Cross/Blue Shield) in favor of the health-maintenance organization (HMO) or preferred provider organization (PPO). Indemnity ...

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