How Insurance Works

How health care quietly powers the U.S. economy | Michael Dowling

Health care is a humongous economic engine. It’s often forgotten about the fact that there
is a real contribution to the economy by health care. If you’re running a large health care organization,
you’re probably the place that is doing the most construction in the region. So for example, in our organization, we do
more construction than anybody else. If you want to be in the health care business
and you want to be in the laundry business, we have the largest laundry service. If you want to be in maintenance, we have
probably one of the largest maintenance shops in the region. The dietary business – just imagine the
amount of meals that are provided in a hospital every day; more meals than are provided in
any restaurant than you can think about here in Manhattan, every single day, seven days
a week. So if you want to be in the dietary business,
in the food business, health care is a job growth area. The point I’m trying to make is it is not
just a business that only takes care of the medical treatment of a person who comes in
who is ill. It’s all of the other ancillary business. So whatever occupation that you want to be
in, you can find it inside health care. If you’re in a poor community and you have
a hospital – and some people would say, maybe that hospital in that community is not
doing that well, but also, remember, that it is the largest employment source in that
community. And that’s why you often get into a discussion
about, well, maybe that hospital should be downsized. Maybe that hospital should be closed. And there are reasons to argue those points
in certain circumstances, but you also have to face with the reality that, in those cases,
that place is the only place that hires people from that community. So if that facility closes, there are no jobs
in that community. Therefore, that community, which is deprived
at the moment, will only be more deprived if the hospital closes. So it’s just not only health care alone that
you’re looking at. It’s all of the surrounding issues that are
connected to the direct provision of health care services.

Reader Comments

  1. Healthcare is an industry and doesn’t profit on making people healthy. They want you to come back for more. So if you want to live a healthy life, you have to be proactive, don’t wait till you get sick and seek for medical attention. Start now, by taking care of yourself. Eat clean, exercise regularly and make sure to sleep at least 7-8 hrs a day. Be your own leader.

  2. BigThink and TedTalk are becoming a bit too left leaning. I wish they would both go back to speaking on interesting topics without the political overtones. (sigh)

  3. I've been a programmer in healthcare for 8 years and it's an amazing career opportunity. As an independent contractor, I get no benefits and pay a lot of money for health insurance since I don't qualify for low income programs. This in turn makes me want to go to the doctor for trivial things, maybe even get a prescription for something like sleep, just to have something to show for all the money I'm putting into insurance. However, I also realize this mentality is how they get you. I'm very health oriented and do everything at home (work, workout, even groceries get delivered). I don't have a need for a car or drive, so the chances of me getting injured are slim to none. It feels like a waste of money, but knowing anything can happen and how the system works, it's very necessary to invest in your own health. I appreciate having that option of freedom instead of being forced into it.

  4. It’s powering us right into another recession. Pure greed. Healthcare is finalizing the extinction of the middle class.


    Siri – Block Michael Dowling content.

  6. All those in the comment section who think the medical industry being a part of the free market is a bad idea just remember this…

    Free market competition has lead to all advances in medicine, curing diseases, prolonging life, and saving lives. All those who still believe private healthcare is evil are also free to move to a country where healthcare is nationalized

  7. Well said, but who will tell this to Indian Government. I have made many videos on healthcare, suggesting its employment role, its structure just to send the message across. You can watch my videos too, Sir. I too talk on similar ideas and ideology. We share the same ideology.

  8. He forgot to mention one ancillary: health insurance. No need for it. People just need health care. Insurance is a parasite on the health care industry. He had to have omitted it on purpose.

  9. There is no profit motive in providing health care. It's so plainly obvious–but such an insult to capitalism–that Americans live every day in cognitive dissonance. Thankfully, they don't have to live very long.

  10. It also kills and bankrupts people every single day 7 days a week. When Medicare expands they will hire people. Then they will become a huge jobs source. This is bull shit. A lot of people in lower income with a hospital near it, don't work there.

  11. What america need is GENERAL Health care… Spend billions of dollars for military but zero for general health care… That's odd…

  12. I think what he's getting at is that healthcare is an important service and that keeps up foundational development that is necessary for communities, but also gives incentives to develop business around that hospital. I'm not sure hes necessarily arguing for an economic model of the healthcare industry. Per se.

    At the end where he is talking about a hospital 'not doing to well' that is some backwards ass shit. The only way a hospital couldn't be doing well was if they make more people sick. Because medical treatment should be all its concerned about.

    He means it in a financial sense doesn't he.


    Think about how much the USA spends on wars and you have this guy doing talks on how great a system is that he benefits from as people needlessly die or become bankrupt but the CEO chud needed to remind us of something that is very fucking obvious LOTS. OF. DIFFERENT. PROFESSION. ARE. NEEDED. IN. A. HOSPITAL.

    Oh wow, well done shit head. Thanks for that, because we really needed a fucking CEO to tell us this. How would we have ever have worked it out ourselves. Seriously, fuck this guy.

  14. There are nations with a lower percentege of the GDP spend in healthcare with a healthier population and higher life expectancy.
    SO the efficiency of American healthcare is not high. Are there too many investors leeching of the system disproportionately?
    That is wastefull.

  15. Healthcare is a means to return people to good health or maintain good health, which is evidenced by all of this construction and laundry and food services being paid for on a short term by random people. You don't go to the $1,000 dollar a night hospital if you aren't sick or in bad health. Comparing the health industry to anything other than a service demonstrates economic illiteracy.

  16. And yet, with all that, USA pays twice as much as most developed countries for outcomes that are markedly inferior in a number of areas.
    p.s. look into child mortality. now look at the demographics in that data. shocking … precisely along race lines.

  17. Our Nation (USA) would spend less on healthcare if we ended private insurance and moved towards single-payer (universal ) health care.

  18. He doesn't mention anything about insurance. I think he is right, healthcare is a wonderful field that employs so many people and should be getting way more funding and expansion. We need to be encouraging people to pursue jobs in the industry, especially encouraging people to become Doctors. We can do this by lowering tuition costs for college, and a medicare for all system where we eliminate a large chunk of wasted money from dealing with billing insurance companies. Private healthcare is perfectly capable of coinciding with government funded insurance.

  19. This statement is so true. My family WERE steel workers. I have earned a living fixing CT, MRI, C Arms, surgical robots, even EMR Electronic Medical Records, interrupted for 5 good $ years by the .com boom- and went right back into healthcare without blinking an eye in the recession of 2002-3. Steel mills in Youngstown and Pittsburgh Steubenville and Cleveland all went kaput in the 70s and finalized by 2000s. President Reagan was building the military industrial complex, they needed engineers. Midwest is a shell of what it was, but healthcare technology employment is the only thing I found where you could make a good consistent living. And H1B applicants flood that field now too, minimum payment of 60k. Wages went down for healthcare field service engineers around 2005, and have been stagnant. What else is new in the US? LOL. The MIC needs constant war, the US is now a Corptacracy where Corporations are king, financed by the working mans taxes, while Warren Buffet pays none, GE pays none, and the board members and families of the corporations (with new lower taxes of course Thanks congress!) can buy back shares to $tuff their stock awards compensation rather than capital equipment purchases and hiring. Plot the charts of BA RTN NOC UNH ANTHM CNC (yes the insurance company middle men). Plot the military industrial complex and healthcare insurance companies vs the SP 500 and you'll see what is wrong with America. You pay more for your healthcare while UNH stock goes up vs the SP500. Numbers/charts don't Lie. Up 248% vs the SP500) etf (SPY) the last 5 years. Plot RTN or Boeing or NOC Northrop Grumman vs the SPY the military industrial complex rakes it in off of your taxes. These stock charts will tell you what's wrong with the US.

  20. No guy you're wrong. Healthcare is a blight on the economy. It's not helping the economy. It's burdening the economy. Do us a favor and quit your job. Moron.

  21. Screw sick people! We need to continue to subsidize the turtlepoop out of health care so we can have more laundry jobs and lunch ladies. Think of the people who make hair nets and dryer sheets. Health care keeps those people afloat.
    Thanks for your contribution health care!

    Remember when financial institutions were the most contemptible? I kinda miss those days.

  22. There are 4 big hospitals in my city. All 4 are doing major construction. 3 are owned by one holding/management company. The other big one and 2 smaller ones are owned by another. Go figure.

  23. Buddy, it's not worth the money we all spend on your "job growing." Current system of health care in US is not sustainable, is the least efficient in all of developed world, and is also the most expensive (as percentage of GDP).

  24. Oh my gosh, rich people working at rich companies, have more money than other poorer companies. Jesus Fucker, No shit Sherlock! But most people can't afford their extreme cost!
    The poor community would have more money, if they weren't ripped off by the heath industry.

  25. How about paying the working poor what they're worth?
    More money for the hard working poor, would reduce their visits to the hospital.

  26. This is EXACTLY why healthcare shouldn't be privatized. You think our current system cares about or is even modeled for people over profit? You would have to be disgustingly naive to believe that.
    It's about damn time that we catch up with the rest of the developed world.

  27. The Left's hysteria to make all healthcare government run, in part to reduce costs, would mean that the women and minorities who make up most of the workforce will be paid less or be fired. It would mean the end of union hospital staffs.

  28. Nice to see healthcare industry propaganda masquerading as thoughtful discourse. Of course monopolies and oligopolies employ a lot of people—they're often the only or largest local industry, and in a meta-sense they recognize their vulnerability to regulation (and thus their need to maintain a positive image). That has nothing to do with providing efficient and competitive healthcare, however, and in fact accomplishes the opposite.

  29. BigThink on health.
    The US spends 17.2% of GDP on health, Europeans 10-11%.

    In this Gates Found. study (Lancet) the US ranks #29.

    Iceland #1 Norway #2 Netherlands #3 Finland #6 Sweden #8 Denmark #17.

    The big difference: in Europe the health system is universal, for all. Tax financed.

    In the US it is ''free' only if you earn enough to pay your private insurances.


  30. It should not be a business, it should be a basic right, health care companies that are doing it for money over the health of people can go fuck themselfs.
    Private health care is criminal, it was made for money, not for the good of the people.

  31. correct me if i'm wrong but all of the criticisms in the comments seem to be talking about the efficacy of american health care but the point in the video is health care's economic implications and ultimately it's large infrastructure for a myriad of industries within. I think an interesting perspective in our economics as a country but unfortunately, i think, serves the point of a country that doesn't put humanities as a relatively important factor

  32. Types of comments:

    1. “I know what’s best for Healthcare as a whole and it should be single-payer!”

    2. “Big Pharma and Insurance is entirely corrupt!”

    3.”Just live a healthy lifestyle and you don’t need these Healthcare institutions!”

    For me, it’s a little bit of everything. Bad and good. Unfortunately, we can’t just change the system to simulate any of these blanket arguments because that would involve impacting millions of lives. All we can really try to do is build the case as detailed as possible for why healthcare should change course in any specific direction.

    One big theme I agree with for the most part is the incentives to do this work. Regardless of who makes what money, we need a major overhaul in reevaluating why we have healthcare and ask how can we build a better future for it?

  33. I feel like the comments are discussing health insurance while he's talking about healthcare, like the people who actually work in the hospitals as doctors, nurses, radiologists, cooks, cleaners, administrators, etc. I can see how healthcare would be a large job creator as it seems they need every kind of worker to run a hospital haha

  34. This is why so many people are sick. #pharmedanimals
    "Healthcare Services" are not actually healthy. A healthy individual avoids the need for such billable "services." Medicine is not health. It's treatment. Avoiding the need for treatment is health. Few in the Western world know how to take personal responsibility for their health. They are farmed to outsource their health problems to "service" providers. The doctor sells salvation through treatment as the pastor sells salvation through the church. #cutthemiddleman #pharmedconsumers

  35. This is how it works:
    Medical insurance companies suck as much money as possible from you, whereupon you are able to go to a doctor or hospital who sucks as much money as possible from the insurance company and you.
    Doctors don't know their asses from a hole in the ground, so they either maim you for life, and/or pile on useless, exhorbitantly priced "medication" that causes more problems, whereupon the drug companies suck as much more money as possible from your insurance and from you.

    And then, hopefully and mercifully you die……

  36. Well take a look at Medicare, Medicaid, and other State funded healthcare program. Healthcare in the US is well subsidized. Why don't we talk about why heatlhcare cost are so high?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *