Thursday 22 September 2011

What do do about the post office?

The PO has a real problem that it has a lot less business than it used to.  UPS and Fedex have taken away much of the package delivery business, and the number of letters has dropped significantly as people and businesses switch to electronic delivery of bills, checks, and letters that used to be sent by mail.  But they still are required to deliver every day to every address in the country, and have a variety of other requirements put on them by Congress. As a result, their fixed costs are large, their variable costs relatively small, while their revenue is entirely variable, depending on how much mail they handle.

Friday 9 September 2011

The magic of the health care market

Here is a bill I just got from a medical lab for a throat culture. They charged $55, which seems a little high. But wait! Due to the kind of insurance I have, they send the bill to Blue Cross, BC then adjusts it to their negotiated rate, and I pay that. So they adjust it by, hm, 77% to $11.43. So the $55 is really just the sucker price for people who don't have a large corporation to negotiate on their behalf.

Remind me again why this is better than single payer?