Recently on the Liberty Rountable radio program, host Sam Bushman spoke of his experience trying to pay a doctor bill. The receptionist eventually told him that it didn't matter whether he didn't have insurance and wanted to pay in cash--the federal government required
Under a national health care regime, private care will become almost extinct for the same reason that private schools are few and far between. Almost no one can afford to pay for both. Thus quality health care will become another product that only the elite can afford.them to fill out the same forms anyway. The receptionist confided in Mr. Bushman that federal government requirements significantly increase the costs of providing health care even to those without health insurance wanting to pay for their care with cash.
Don't get me wrong. Health care needs to be reformed in the United States. Something is really out of whack when, every year at the annual benefits meetings at my employment, we are told that our premiums are going up by another 8-10 percent or so.
President Obama has at least two good ideas regarding the improvement of health care in the United States. I heard him say recently that in his opinion insurance companies should not be allowed to turn away applicants due to pre-existing conditions. He also supports making health insurance policies portable between jobs; in other words, if you lose your job you shouldn't also lose your health insurance coverage. These are both fabulous ideas. What I'm concerned about is that, rather than a 1-page bill containing these two rule changes, the current bill coursing its way through congress is 1,018 pages!
A small car can "turn on a dime". Battleships can't. Similarly, it's much easier to fix the effects of small changes that are found to be bad law than it is to fix the effects of 1,018 pages of new law that hardly anyone has read or can understand.
Government needs to be involved in health care/insurance, but only
A small car can "turn on a dime". A battleship can't. Similarly, it's much easier to fix the effects of small changes that are found to be bad law than it is to fix the effects of 1,018 pages of new law that hardly anyone has read or can understand.from the point of establishing fair rules for the provision of care and insurance. Once it becomes a competitor in the provider arena, it will become the 800-pound gorilla. Under a national health care regime, private care will become almost extinct for the same reason that private schools are few and far between. Almost no one can afford to pay for both. Thus quality health care will become another product that only the elite can afford.
Here are some other ideas that, if implemented, would help cut costs:
- Make it easier for insurers to provide Health Savings Accounts, which allow and encourage the insured to benefit financially from living healthier lives
- Allow anyone to purchase any health insurance plan from any provider in any state. Health insurance premiums in some states are far higher than in others due to the requirements in those state of what insurers must cover.
- Allow new pharmaceutical drugs to be provided without the onerous approval process currently imposed by the Food and Drug Administration. This would have the added benefit of no longer allowing Canada (and Europe?) to pretend they have cheaper health care costs in part because they wait to use American drugs until after Americans have had to pay the high costs of new drug approval.
- Congress should not be able to pass laws prohibiting the construction of new health care facilities for the benefit of existing facilities (see "Who Killed Health Care?")
Besides making some simple rules, the most cost-effective thing the federal government could do for health care in the United States is to get the heck out of the way.