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Jon Hamm, Will Ferrell in Save the Insurance Companies PSA

A Mad Man & Funny People Try to Save Insurance Companies

Just when you thought it was impossible to make the country's debate about health care exciting, sexy Jon Hamm throws himself into the fray. The mad man is one of many celebrities starring in a new Funny of Die video that spoofs all the healthcare PSAs dominating the airwaves. Will Ferrell, Donald Faison, and Olivia Wilde join Jon in sarcastically asking "why is Obama trying to reform health care when insurance companies are doing just fine making billions of dollars in profit?" Check it out.

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biarose biarose 6 years
I live in Australia and I can tell you that our health care system is fantastic! I don't think my mum could afford to live if it wasn't for medicare, because she has kidney failure and needs dialysis 3 times a week and can't work because of her illness.
Spacekatdude Spacekatdude 6 years
I looked at some of the numbers. I agree with you that insurance companies don't make a huge amount of profit - in terms of percentage - on the order of 4% profit (which is quite reasonable), and it works out to $75 or 80 a person per year. Not a huge profit. It just becomes an enormous amount when you multiple $75 times 30,000,000 people on their plans. As far as big pharma (including our company), we have a profit margin of around 20%. This is industry standard. The thing is that drugs are really really expensive to make. For every one drug that goes to market, you have to test ten thousand compounds, almost none of which work, and you try a few hundred in mice or rats, and only a few of those work, then you try maybe 5 in a couple people (to test toxicity and efficacy), and maybe 1 or 2 work, and then you try maybe 1 (if you're really lucky) in huge numbers of people. And, if you're really really lucky the drug works, and it's not toxic. And every step is hugely expensive (esp. when you get to the Phase III trials where you're testing thousands of people). And then, because of a patent life shortened by waiting for FDA approval, you only have a few years to make all your money back. And pay for all the tests and trials of all the other drugs that didn't make it to market in the first place. Developing drugs is a really expensive business. It comes with huge financial risks, and in order to make the wheel spin and give companies an incentive to do this, you need a decent profit margin. Unless you think all the drugs we have now are just perfect and we don't need any new and better drugs ever, then it's important to understand the necessity for a decent profit margin for big pharma.
Spacekatdude Spacekatdude 6 years
I looked at some of the numbers. I agree with you that insurance companies don't make a huge amount of profit - in terms of percentage - on the order of 4% profit (which is quite reasonable), and it works out to $75 or 80 a person per year. Not a huge profit. It just becomes an enormous amount when you multiple $75 times 30,000,000 people on their plans.As far as big pharma (including our company), we have a profit margin of around 20%. This is industry standard.The thing is that drugs are really really expensive to make. For every one drug that goes to market, you have to test ten thousand compounds, almost none of which work, and you try a few hundred in mice or rats, and only a few of those work, then you try maybe 5 in a couple people (to test toxicity and efficacy), and maybe 1 or 2 work, and then you try maybe 1 (if you're really lucky) in huge numbers of people. And, if you're really really lucky the drug works, and it's not toxic. And every step is hugely expensive (esp. when you get to the Phase III trials where you're testing thousands of people). And then, because of a patent life shortened by waiting for FDA approval, you only have a few years to make all your money back. And pay for all the tests and trials of all the other drugs that didn't make it to market in the first place.Developing drugs is a really expensive business. It comes with huge financial risks, and in order to make the wheel spin and give companies an incentive to do this, you need a decent profit margin.Unless you think all the drugs we have now are just perfect and we don't need any new and better drugs ever, then it's important to understand the necessity for a decent profit margin for big pharma.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 6 years
I agree with both spacekat and lilkimbo. I think reform is needed. However, I think the biggest problem is how US health care operates - it seems like there is too much emphasis on prescription drugs and not enough on wellness/prevention. Instead of trying to make people objectively healthier, it's easier to dispense pills and hope for the best, while people continue to eat Big Macs and lead a sedentary lifestyle. On the other hand, there is something seriously wrong when even the most common, minor health care is prohibitively expensive to the majority of Americans, so I understand why the debate is (for now) focused on insurance.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Ah, I didn't know Glenn Beck and I were one and the same. I also didn't realize that Glenn Beck was an elected Republican official. Good to know.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Ah, I didn't know Glenn Beck and I were one and the same.I also didn't realize that Glenn Beck was an elected Republican official. Good to know.
filmgirl81 filmgirl81 6 years
I also agree that big pharma needs to be regulated as well. I'm not happy with Obama's plan, but I do agree that something has to be done, and I also feel health insurance should not be a wall street business.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Again, I don't see why there's an automatic assumption that I'm arguing against government intervention in this sector. I think it's very telling when people assume things and what they assume.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
It is true. I don't have the data in front of me, but I've looked it up in the past. It's pretty easy to find.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Additionally no one is arguing against health care reform, so whether it's a compelling argument against health care reform is irrelevant. I'm simply saying that health care reform is too focused on the cost of insurance and not focused enough on the cost of health care. Insurance companies have become too easy a target.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Not slightly smaller profits, significantly smaller profits.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Yeah, pharmaceutical companies turn huge profits. Insurance companies aren't filing for bankruptcies left and right or anything, but they don't make as big of profits as a lot of people would have you believe. A big part of the reason health insurance costs so much is that health care costs so much.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 6 years
Well, considering that over 60% of the country is overweight and most are on multiple prescription drugs by the age of 40, it's not surprising that pharmaceutical companies are doing better than health insurance companies!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
No, I mean compared to say, pharmaceutical companies, who are actually in the same industry.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
It's such a myth that insurance companies make such huge profits. When compared to companies of similar sizes, health insurance companies make very little profit, actually.
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