Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Health Care according to me

My concern is that the US spends entirely too much money on health care. We spend twice as much as any other country on earth, 19% of our GNP. For spending twice as much, the health in the US is no better than any other country. In short we spend twice as much and get less than other countries.
Health care does not create wealth, it consumes it. Health care spending does not produce goods or services than can be sold, exported, or consumed. The US cannot compete against foreign countries when US products bear a 19% markup to pay for the workers health care, and our foreign competitors only pay 10%. Manufacturing is "outsourcing", moving overseas, in order to avoid ruinous US health care costs.
Why is US health care so expensive? Simple. For the majority who have health insurance, it's all paid for. The providers, facing cost increases, merely raise their fees. The patients don't care, they don't have to pay for it, that's what insurance is for. So why not do that extra CAT scan, just to be sure, do that extra doctor's office visit, do some extra blood work, it's all paid for. I remember Uncle Remus, where Brer Rabbit claimed to be making a dollar a minute. My doctor does better. My last yearly office visit cost my insurance company $500 for fifty minutes. That's ten dollars a minute.
If patients had to pay for health care out of pocket, a lot less money would be spent. Insurance is needed to cover the big stuff, because the big stuff can cost more than a house, and few people have that kind of money. But the routine stuff, yearly physicals, children's earaches and sore throats, a few stitches here or there, most of us can handle out of pocket. You used to be able to buy "hospitalization only" policies for $3000 a year, as opposed to "everything is covered" policies that cost $12000 a year. With the $9000 savings you can do a lot of routine stuff. And, since it's your money, you will bargain for fees less than ten dollars a minute. Obamacare outlawed those, all that is legal now is the $12000 covers everything policy.
Competition would bring down the price of health insurance. If insurance companies were allowed to sell policies nationwide, policies would cost less. Up here in the northwoods there are only TWO health insurance companies selling policies. If we could buy our insurance from any company in the US of A, we could find better prices out of state.
Competition would bring down the cost of medines. We ought to be able to buy pills from any decent first world country, like Canada, England, Japan, or pick your favorite. We can't because US drug companies have wined and dined the FDA into forbidding imports, so that they can charge ridiculous prices ($2 a pill) to US patients.

Too bad none of these made the Wall St Journal 's list of "crucial" health care issues.

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