Chris wrote:Malpractice insurance only accounts for about 2% of medical costs. The major source of the high cost of medical care is corporate greed.
That 2% is only what goes directly to malpractice insurance. It doesn't account for other associated costs like legal fees, unnecessary testing, etc. Here's what the CBO said in 2009 on tort reform and it's effect on medical costs.Letter from CBO Director to Senator Orrin Hatch (PDF)
CBO now estimates, on the basis of an analysis incorporating the results of recent research, that if a package of proposals such as those described above was enacted, it would reduce total national health care spending by about 0.5 percent (about $11 billion in 2009). That figure is the sum of the direct reduction in spending of 0.2 percent from lower medical liability premiums, as discussed earlier, and an additional indirect reduction of 0.3 percent from slightly less utilization of health care services. (That reduction is the estimated net effect of the entire package listed earlier, although some components of that package might increase the utilization of physicians’ services, as has already been noted.) CBO’s estimate takes into account the fact that because many states have already implemented some of the changes in the package, a significant fraction of the potential cost savings has already been realized.
In the case of the federal budget, enactment of such a package of proposals would reduce mandatory spending for Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits program by roughly $41 billion over the next 10 years (see Table 1). That figure includes a larger percentage decline in Medicare’s spending than in the other programs’ or in national health spending in general, a calculation based on empirical evidence showing that the impact of tort reform on the utilization of health care services is greater for Medicare than for the rest of the health care system. One possible explanation for that disparity is that the bulk of Medicare’s spending is on a fee-for-service basis, whereas most private health care spending occurs through plans that manage care to some degree.
As far as "corporate greed" goes, you fail to provide any evidence for that either. Here's a list of industries by net profit margin %
. Healthcare plans, as an industry, has a net profit margin of 4.8%. Some companies are higher, some are lower. Accident and Health Insurance is 7.5%. By comparison, the soft drink beverage industry has a profit percentage of 11%, beer brewers have 14.5%, big tobacco has 17.2% and the software industry has 21.4%.
While the healthcare industry makes profit, which it then uses to expand market share, pay dividends or a invest in new technology, it's not a very high percentage. I would expect it to be much higher with how the states have turned health care providers into cartels.