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The Healthcare Confusopoly

The Healthcare Confusopoly

    Years ago I coined the term Confusopoly to describe any industry that benefits by keeping consumers confused. For example, mobile phone carriers know their offerings are too confusing for consumers to compare one company to another on cost. That is clearly intentional. If consumers could compare offerings it would drive profit margins to zero fairly quickly. By keeping their service and pricing confusing, they keep margins high.

    Insurance companies are also confusopolies. So are law firms. And the entire financial services industry is little more than a confusopoly. All of those services can be simpler, but to simplify would invite real competition. No seller wants that.

    Now look at the healthcare bill in the news today. Do citizens understand all the implications? No, clearly.

    Do members of Congress understand all of the implications of the new bill? Not a chance in hell.

    Who is behind this confusion?


    The insurance companies are keeping the healthcare topic confusing because that’s how you keep margins high. If Congress or the public ever started to understand healthcare, we would know which buttons to push to lower the profit margins in the industry. But by keeping things complicated, no one can explain to anyone else what needs to be done for the public good.

    My recommendation to the public is to refuse to re-elect any politician who votes for a healthcare bill that YOU don’t understand. If you don’t understand a healthcare bill, that means it is designed to screw you. 

    To be fair, I doubt politicians see this situation as a confusopoly. They probably just think some things are complicated by their nature, and this is one of them. They might also think they understand the big points. But that seems unlikely to me. A few politicians, such as Rand Paul, might dig into the details and grasp most of it, but the majority will not.

    I’m opposed to any healthcare bill that isn’t easy for the public to understand. If the President wants the public to back a particular plan, he needs to give us something simple. Otherwise, my preference is for no new healthcare bill.

    You might enjoy reading my book because of it is simple.

    I’m also on…

    Twitter (includes Periscope): @scottadamssays​

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