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Editor’s blog Tuesday 20 July 2010: The Guardian prove that the Daily Mail has no monopoly on stupid health policy stories

I accept that the effectiveness of swearing is in approximately inverse proportion to its frequency.

So I willl just say, "for gosh's sake" to this story in The Guardian, which suggests that a US private health insurance / maintenance organisation (UnitedHealth, of Simon Stevens fame), who have the slightest of footholds in the UK healthcare market, has done well in its last quarter.

And so by implication,  that heralds the healthcare apocalypse.


Over its last quarter, Goldman Sachs has done relatively poorly. Does that mean that the giant octopus is in its death throes?

No. Probably not.

There are intelligent cases that one can make against insurance models. This is not one of them.

Ontology 101
UnitedHealth is an insurer. Here is a personal perspective: if you trust the breed of insurers further than you can spit them, you obviously haven't dealt with them much, or needed to claim on a policy lately.

The ecology of finance's mono-commandment doctrine is thus: insurers are not on your side - insurers are on their side. Insurers are a means of laying off unaffordable risk.

No more. No less.

It is important to understand ecology in all areas; finance perhaps most of all. It is called 'wildlife' for a good reason. The 'wild' bit is red in tooth and claw. All very organic.

If you believe in PR, you may think that wildlife is warm and fluffy.

But if you believe in PR, you'll believe in anything.

And as the great American entertainer Phineas T. Barnum  so rightly said, "there's one born every minute". Perhaps today, he would add, "but are they insured?"