Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why insurers don't control costs


I read Ezra Klein's article in the Washington Post today. It is titled ...  Why insurers don't control costs http://tgli.de/HhN
From Wikipedia ... "Health insurance like other forms of insurance is a form of collectivism by means of which people collectively pool their risk, in this case the risk of incurring medical expenses."

The pooling of medical expenses is a good idea. The problem with our insurance is that it is managed badly. Employers paying 70% of the cost is a bad idea. The risk must be shared for cost containment to work. Otherwise it is viewed as an entitlement that we deserve. I would prefer the private sector doing this, but we are saddled with Medicare now so fix it.

We do not deserve anything that we do not pay for. If we are going to use a single pay-or system then raise the tax for Medicare and bail it out. Begin to pre-pay Medicare instead of pay as you go. When we pay forward our medical expenses through a pay roll tax we will treat it differently. The magic of compounding interest will put us in the enviable position of having medicare surpluses.

Contain costs by introducing more reciprocity into the health care delivery system. Open up choices for patients to consult with medical professionals and not just doctors. I even think that alternative medicine can provide more comfort at less money than our current system.

Get rid of defensive medical practices. Patients should be aware that all surgery and medical treatments have some risk. Assume the risk or refuse the treatment. Medical reporting and monitoring should become electronic to reduce mistakes and decrease administrative costs. Wireless devices make every home a hospital

I am for any business that is profiting from health care paying an excise tax on profits. If a company is benefiting then they should share their profits with the recipients of health care to lower costs.

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