September 13, 2009

Having an appendix removed should be like buying a refrigerator....

You can already get your eyes checked or your prescriptions filled at Costco. The possibilities for cheaper medical care are enormous, if people are buying it themselves, rather than having it bought for them by insurance companies. (And if we could have tort reform, that would shave 20% off right there.)

The Best Health Care Plan You've Never Heard Of:

Washington is in the midst of yet another scandal -- but not the kind you'd read about in a gossip rag. Congressional dilettantes are willfully ignoring health-care reform ideas that would cut costs and provide high-quality care to all.

Sound nuts? It shouldn't. By refusing to even consider consumer-driven health care (CDHC), congressional leaders are proving that they're more interested in putting the government in charge of Americans' health care than in actually improving patient outcomes. Decades of evidence show that CDHC-style reforms can achieve the stated goal of would-be health reformers: high-quality care at low cost.

All the reform plans under consideration in Congress fail to address the biggest problem with our health-care system: third parties, like insurance companies or the government, pay for just about everything. Consequently, Americans have no idea how much the medical services they consume cost.

How much is a visit to a primary care doctor? Or a trip to a specialist? The average patient has no idea. Third-party payment shields people from the truth about how much they're spending at the doctor's office. As a result, most folks have no incentive to manage their health-care expenditures, so make little effort to do so.

Consumer-driven health plans address this problem by putting medical decisions in the hands of patients and doctors, not insurers or the government. Typically, CDHC arrangements couple high-deductible insurance plans for catastrophic care with either health savings accounts or employer-funded health reimbursement accounts....
Posted by John Weidner at September 13, 2009 5:56 PM
Weblog by John Weidner