Reader sammy notes:
I was just thinking maybe the solution to some health care costs is less insurance, not more. I have health insurance via an HMO, but I often choose to go outside of the HMO. When I pay cash at time of service I am offered a 30% (!) discount. What gives?
An opinion in the WSJ asks:
Most discussions about the rising cost of health care emphasize the need to get more people insured. The assumption seems to be that insurance – rather than the service delivered by doctor to patient – is the important commodity.
But perhaps the solution to much of what currently plagues us in health care – rising costs and bureaucracy, diminishing levels of service – rests on a radically different approach: fewer people insured…
Insurance is all about betting against negative consequences and the insurance business model is unique in that profits depend upon goods and services not being provided. Using actuarial tables, insurers place their bets. Sometimes even the canniest MIT grads can’t help: Property and casualty insurers have collapsed in the wake of natural disasters.
Health insurers have taken steps to avoid that level of surprise: Once they affix themselves to the host – in this case dual hosts, both doctor and patient – they systematically suck the lifeblood out of the supply chain with obstructive strategies. For that reason, the consequences of any insurance-based health-care model, be it privately run, or a government entitlement, are painfully easy to predict. There will be progressively draconian rationing using denial of authorization and steadily rising co-payments on the patient end; massive paperwork and other bureaucratic hurdles, and steadily diminishing fee-recovery on the doctor end.
Reader sammy sends this note