Why not address transparency on what the procedures cost [Why Rush Health Reform? Let's Fix Insurance First? usnews.com]? This will go a long way to reducing healthcare costs, making it more competitive. If I do not like what I have to pay for a procedure, go somewhere else. When I take my dogs to the veterinarian, I find out what the costs are, and one is given options for treatments. This is particularly the case when going to a veterinary teaching hospital. The attending vet will discuss the various treatments, pros/cons and costs. You know what you are getting into. This is exactly what needs to be done for human healthcare.
Comment by Terry of CA
I really appreciate the point raised in the blog regarding focus on catastrophic medical insurance. What I have always found odd about typical medical insurance plans is that they cover regular everyday kinds of expenses. My homeowner's insurance doesn't pay for my monthly electric bill, and my car insurance doesn't pay for regular oil changes. So why then must my health insurance pay for primary and preventive care? Many would argue that if medical insurance doesn't cover primary and preventive care, then people will "scrimp" on these and just not partake. This is akin to saying, "well, my car insurance doesn't cover oil changes, so I'm just not going to change my oil." Are people really that stupid? I don't think so.
Comment by Andrew of CO
The health insurance industry is a private corporation with the goal of returning to shareholders excess profits. The only reason we have this kind of muddled-up system today is because the private insurers have spent the last 30 or so years derailing every attempt to level the playing field. They certainly do not want any competition in the form of a government-sponsored plan; because that plan would expose the multibillion-dollar amounts of excess premiums they collect to reward their CEOs, CFOs, sales force, and employees. A government-run plan could initially save upwards of 10 to 12 percent in administrative costs alone—enough to fund a plan that would cover some of the 40-50 million currently uninsured. The "slow down, we don't want to make a mistake," mentality guarantees that nothing will ever come to fruition. Most Americans have known for years there is no good reason to continue this broken system any longer. All citizens are entitled to affordable healthcare now.
Comment by L. Chase of MT
You are so right on. This is the only way that makes sense. Why don't our elected officials get it? I have a small company. We pay part of the insurance premium. But the current plans do nothing to lower my costs; in fact they will increase them. I want to offer the same benefits at large company costs. Why is it so hard to make that change? I read someplace that 50 percent of all bankruptcies are due to health insurance. Your idea of mandatory catastrophic coverage makes all the sense in the world.
Comment by Joe of MD