Innovation in Medical Care

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Over at The American Spectator is some good news. While the esteemed government of my home state is "saving" us from higher medical care payments with a one-time tax on an industry allied to medicine -- 380 million smackers -- the full amount of the one-time federal tax break it received; capitalists like Jeff Bezos are tackling the problem of out-of-control medical costs.

Whatever optimism I feel is tempered by the fact that government meddling is the source of the problem, but some of the solutions may bring us relief, or at least buy time. I'm not sure what Amazon is doing, but the following both reminds me of a previous post on cash-only medical practices and an article from a few years back, by physician Beth Haynes:

Sure. I'll see you, but leave your so-called "insurance" at the door. (Image via Pixabay.) details the growth of direct primary care businesses from just over 100 four years ago to about 800 now. For a flat fee of $50 to $150 a month, the outfits offer basic care without the bureaucracy and expense of insurance companies complicating matters. Remarkably, the model views insurance, set up to protect consumers from high costs, as a driver of high costs. [format edits, link in original, bold added]
The bolded portion is what reminded me of the Haynes article, which is titled, "Almost All Americans Lack Health Insurance." Within, she notes:
So what is it we have that we call health insurance but isn't? We have the prepayment of medical expenses. We expect our "insurance" to cover predictable, relatively inexpensive events like health maintenance checks, minor illnesses and injuries -- and to pay for them with minimal out of pocket spending. Under Obamacare, these expectations will be mandated by law. The new law actually makes it illegal for insurance companies to charge individuals premiums equal to their risk of making claims. It's like having a law requiring homeowner's insurance to pay for lawn care, house painting and water heater replacement, while at the same time prohibiting the companies from operating an actuarially sound business.
So, yes, what most people call health insurance is a driver of high costs, but we should not forget that the government has basically made real insurance, at least in this sector, illegal, and taken over what was insurance in name only. Other than the understandable confusion, I welcome the development described above.

-- CAV


Today: Corrected first link. 

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