This is an interesting article, but the person just can't get their arms around "the problem." Here's a good example.
In 2006, it cost almost $500 per person just to administer health insurance. Much of this enormous cost would simply disappear if we paid routine and predictable health-care expenditures the way we pay for everything else—by ourselves.
Oh wouldn't that world of unicorns be lovely!
The truth of the matter is much different. For every bag of groceries, the grocery store gets a whole quarter of profit. For every similar bag of health care services, the insurer gets pennies.
Meanwhile... Go ahead and go it alone in the health care world. Want to pay hospital charges? They're often OVER double what an insurer or the government (CMS) - the 800-pound gorillas - negotiate with the hospital. There's a joke in insurance about pharmaceutical AWP or Average Wholesale Price. In the insurance world, AWP is known as Ain't What's Paid.
Everyone gets hot under the collar about the money going through the hands of insurance companies and the small percentage they take for profit. But the fact of the matter is society can't get enough health care, and has hired the insurance company to be the bad cop. "They" are asked to get us the best possible unit price, monitor the activity of doctors and hospitals, and to say "No!" when things truly get out of control.
The problem is to some extent the insurer, but not in the way people think of it. The insurer is the problem only to the extent that they prevent people from making decisions they don't want to make. By shielding the public from much of the cost and hassle and by using state and federal governments to beat up on them, the individual thus has absolved responsibility for runaway utilization and excessive demand.
The other gross distortion comes from giving large employers the tax break for health care benefits, but not giving that tax break to the individual. Obummer had a chance to fix that, but he didn't. The liberals wanted to turn things over to the government, but they (Medicare, Medicaid) are so bad that insurers are running circles around them (via Medicare Advantage and other alternatives). Once again, the consumer of services is taken out of the supply/demand equation. Once again, the consumer has absolved him/herself of responsibility and accountability. We want it all, and we want it now. We cannot understand why we can't live forever, and we bitch and moan when we eat until we're morbidly obese and then heath CARE fails us. We would never expect our auto insurance policy to cover oil changes, and yet we want our insurer to cover immunizations, well-care visits, and our daily meds. If our auto mechanic screws up on our cars, he loses business. If a doctor screws up, Dewey Chetham and Howe take a ride on the gravy train and the doctor is protected because we've invested too much money in his/her training.
By the way, I walk the talk. I'm (chronologically) an old fart, and yet I need no daily medicine except to manage my allergies. My weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol are perfect, and I have no Type II diabetes. When I get banged up, I do most of my own physical therapy. I OWN my health and well being, and I'm at peace with my mortality. I live
an older paradigm, and I try to teach it in the dojo. Most folks haven't a clue.