Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Reform" not worth the cost.

"Our health-care system suffers from problems of cost, access and quality, and needs major reform. Tax policy drives employment-based insurance; this begets overinsurance and drives costs upward while creating inequities for the unemployed and self-employed. A regulatory morass limits innovation. Deep flaws in Medicare and Medicaid drive spending without optimizing care.

In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it. Likewise, nearly all agree that the legislation would do little or nothing to improve quality or change health-care's dysfunctional delivery system. The system we have now promotes fragmented care and makes it more difficult than it should be to assess outcomes and patient satisfaction. The true costs of health care are disguised, competition based on price and quality are almost impossible, and patients lose their ability to be the ultimate judges of value." From "Health 'Debate' Deserves a Failing Grade" in today's WSJ.

My Perspective:

As I stated before, (located here: "The 307,471,666 Payer System: The Fallacy of the Single Payer system") the government caused the current mess we are in by fostering our current system that hides costs and creates a secondary market for insured care. Because most people have insurance, and their total combined purchasing power is lumped together, those without coverage find themselves in a market where the prices are ridiculously high, and they have now power to bring those prices down.

If people started to treat health insurance the same way they treat other areas of their lives that require insurance, like homeowners or car insurance, then we would see a drastic decline in the costs and prices of healthcare. The trick is not to insure everyone against everything no matter what (that is economically impossible), rather we should look for ways to increase people's individual purchasing power by creating tax-free health savings accounts and a laissez-faire insurance system. A system that offers differing levels of coverage, from bare bones catastrophic care to Cadillac "everything under the sun is covered" care. By doing that, and making it possible for insurance to be portable, we can see a return to stability and viability in the healthcare market.

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