I note that the 40% includes more than just profit ...Families USA learned that insurers in the individual market sometimes maintain medical loss ratios of only 60 percent,retaining 40 percent of premium dollars for administration, marketing, and profit."
Based on our govt's track record for "administrative costs" on anything they do, I'd expect that we won't be saving a whole lot on that part of the equation.
For example, if we include executive compensation of insurance company executives in administrative costs, should we not also include the compensation for the "health czar" (whoever that may turn out to be) as part of administrative costs for the govt?
Can we assess a cost for the time that hundreds (if not thousands) of individuals (Congresspeople & their staffs) have already consumed coming up with the hodge-podge bills they have so far proposed? The paper, alone, to print out thousands of pages of proposals should be a nice chunk of change.
I'd also mention that it has always been the basis of "insurance" that the companies providing the coverage invest the excess funds collected in order to provide for future claims. That is the whole actuarial basis for determining how much premium is needed to be charged. When the costs escalate rapidly, then premiums will increase because the investments cannot keep up with unanticipated rapidity of increasing costs.
I have little, or no, faith that our govt has been very good at predicting future costs of any given program. Historically, our govt representatives cannot stand to see surpluses accrue without spending them ... forgetting that those surpluses were part of the plan for future fiscal soundness of a program.