Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Health care costs

Well, yes:
Health insurance should not cover basic or routine medical services, but instead should cover major illnesses, surgeries, etc. Moreover, the government should require that healthcare providers charge all patients the same fees for out-of-pocket medical procedures (insurance companies and the government should be free to negotiate discounted prices for the services for which they directly pay, but these preferred rates would not apply to the services paid out-of-pocket by their members).
This is what I have been saying all along. Insurance distorts incentives to control costs and is a major force behind health care inflation. Getting rid of insurance as a central player in health care is an essential part of any real health care reform. It's unfortunate that the administration that bills itself as a change agent is unwilling to even examine such an approach. 

But then again when you approach issues from a perspective in which effective solutions stem from more government involvement it is unsurprising that such thinking wouldn't even be entertained.

1 comment:

Josh said...

I disagree a little. I think in an open market people could choose true insurance for $50 / month that only covers the big stuff or $400 / month insurance that covers everything including regular doctors visits, etc.

We should have national sales of health plans (rather than in-state only) and Federal Law that preempts state requirements. We'd still need some minimal coverage (and in my opinion and individual mandate) requiring that everyone's insurance covers basic life savings procedures so we are not forced to choose between turning people away at the emergency room doors or spreading the burden of cost among the rest of us.