If you go to your doctor for a procedure, do you have any idea how much that procedure costs? No. Thatís because our current health care system has completely removed the consumer from the supply/demand equation. You donít know, you donít care. Your insurance covers (or maybe it doesnít cover it) the procedureÖor maybe you donít even have insurance and someone else (the government or the hospital) covers it.
We cannot prevent upward spiraling healthcare costs by government fiat. Look what happened when the Obama administration suggested that it might not make sense wasting healthcare dollars forcing heroic efforts in end-of-life care in hospital even when people donít want it. The Republicans declared: ďDEATH PANELS!!!Ē No, only the consumer can control costs by choosing how to spend his own dollars on his treatment. How can we achieve this while still providing health care for all citizens? By having health savings accounts. There will be an individual mandate but that mandate will be for people to save their own money into tax-free health savings accounts. Those that cannot afford their health savings plan contributions will be subsidized by the government. The health savings accounts will be used to pay for health care and medical providers will be required to provide complete cost information to the consumer so that the consumer can make informed buying decisions amongst his or her medical provider options. Catastrophic illness will be covered under a federal, single-payer coverage plan. Health care savings that are accumulated from oneís own contributions (as opposed to government subsidized contributions) but not spent by retirement can be withdrawn at a pre-determined rate.
This plan will (a) encourage savings towards self-insuring against health care costs, (b) allow market forces to control health care costs, (c) make health care providers compete on quality and cost and (d) create universal coverage for all Americans.
There are many flavors of health care throughout the world. †Letís take a look at the best and use that as
a starting point for fixing our system. †A good place to look is Singaporeís
health insurance system. †