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Managed Care Gets A Bum Rap


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Managed Care Gets a Bum Rap

Robert Kuttner's views on managed care ("A dirty little secret: Managed care is bad for business," Economic Viewpoint, Dec. 21) are so riddled with false assumptions that it's hard to know where to begin to repair the damage.

In reality, the government health-care systems he so admires in Canada and Europe limit access to care through queuing. (We do a great business in Canada selling supplemental policies to Canadians so they can get health care in the U.S. when they get sick.) In the U.S., managed care focuses on preventive care, disease screenings, and disease management techniques--all designed to avoid more serious (and costly) illnesses by getting care to people sooner rather than later.

And how many business leaders worried about health costs are willing to test the assertion that a government monopoly (the same people who brought you $600 toilet seats) would add less overhead than a private system where hundreds of health plans compete for their business?

Around the world, there is a growing preference for privatization and managed care as the solution to soaring costs and sinking service. If the U.S. were to heed Kuttner's advice, we would find ourselves bucking the trend in favor of a big-government ideology that ignores the painful experiences of other countries that have found government health-care systems wanting.

Richard L. Huber

Chairman and CEO

Aetna

HartfordReturn to top

In Case of Emergency, Break Glass Ceiling

Reading "Who will step into Jack Welch's shoes?" (News: Analysis & Commentary, Dec. 21) made me tired. Eight contenders for Jack Welch's successor are highlighted, and not a woman in sight. No women are mentioned in the article, although one senses the presence of Lorna Wendt as part of her husband's downfall. All of these men are young, certainly in the same cohort as many well-educated and highly experienced business women. The total absence of women in line for the top spot is pathetic and inexcusable in a company with the size, scope, vision, and success of General Electric.

Rosemary Wright

Wichita, Kan.Return to top

Attacking Impeachment with "Chicken Little" Rhetoric

Merely because ex-Clinton Administration official Laura D'Andrea Tyson now is dean of a business school, that does not transform her politically motivated opinion into an "economic viewpoint." Similarly, if Julia Child were to write a column shamelessly supportive of the President in Gourmet, that alone wouldn't make it an article about good food.

Tyson's "An impeachment trial would punish the economy" (Economic Viewpoint, Jan. 11) contains nothing more than "Chicken Little" rhetoric. It's a vain attempt to scare people to save the liar-in-chief's hide. Her disingenuous commentary is reminiscent of the fear-mongering about the stock market the Clintonistas pushed on the Sunday morning talks shows just before he was impeached. Well, nothing happened.

Finally, Tyson's argument is tantamount to backing Mussolini because he made the trains run on time. I don't imagine Tyson would say Nixon should not have been impeached because certain economic, social, and political problems were in flux at the time.

Gregory Valenza

San FranciscoReturn to top


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