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National Institute for Health Insurance Reform

One little guy - one big goal - fix a broken system. mailto:rereason@hotmail.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

MacArthur Awards Bring Back Memories

The announcement of the MacArthur Awards brought back memories of my very short time working for him.

I never met the man, but did work for his company, selling health insurance.

He was a shrewd businessman and a brilliant salesman, but he got one thing very wrong.

During my two weeks with the company, it was explained that the present system of private, employer provided health insurance system could never be sustained. It created distortions and excessive costs that consumers would never tolerate. MacArthur designed a system of lavish rewards for salesmen who sold life insurance; he was struggling to move the company out of the health care business and into life insurance. He was convinced the situation was so dire, government intervention was imminent.

That was 29 years ago this month.