It really astounds me that people actually think adding more bureaucracy and government waste is going to bring down healthcare costs ["Health Reform: Why Aren't We Talking About Prices?" usnews.com]. The elderly are the biggest users of the healthcare system, and all are covered by a government-run healthcare system. If the government is the answer then why is Medicare bankrupt and why are medical costs are sky-high? If medicare has $500 billion dollars in fraud and abuse, then why are we asking for more of this? Seems to me government fraud and abuse is driving up the costs, not the free market. Insurers could not stay in business if they had $500 billion in wasted money. There are three factors driving up the cost: Americans are overweight and sedentary thus unhealthy, illegal immigrants, and overuse of the medical system due to government entitlements.
Comment by Lisa Shay of GA
I can't believe anyone would suggest that our medical costs are not "out of line." The charges for drugs and even many medical services are criminally high and excessive (far beyond the cost of production). The pharmaceutical industry has a stranglehold on the way medical professionals are schooled and trained and the whole system is geared, not for healing and health, but greed. Like the legal profession, the medical profession deserves the utter disdain of the American public. Sure, I have "friends" in both professions whom I know to have integrity; but it is they who inform me of their shame. Wake up, America. You have been duped and sold out.
Comment by Carl Ashlock of NC
I work for the federal department of Health and Human Services, which helps fund healthcare for the uninsured and the poor, and I am amazed that no one ever talks about the Community Health Centers that provide primary healthcare and referrals to anyone regardless of their ability to pay. These centers are in every state in the country, they see the undocumented, Medicaid, and Medicare insured, the uninsured, and the low-wage earners on a sliding fee scale. The poor and uninsured are being seen. The people that really need help with healthcare in this country are the working middle class, whose insurance premiums are sky-high, and the self-employed.
Comment by Bonnie Grant of KS
One easy "no cost" way to start the competition is by requiring pharmacies, doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare centers to post their prices. There is nothing else Americans buy without knowing the cost first.
Comment by Gary Hogan of AR
Nothing would cut the administrative costs like a single payer system. I am happy to pay my doctor for his expertise and the drug companies for the drug that cures my problem because I am getting something for my money. What benefit do I get from an insurance company in the middle skimming off the top? No benefit at all. They ask us to gamble on this policy or that one only to find we are not covered for a particular sickness which was excluded or that we got hurt 30 years ago and that makes it a pre-existing condition. I am begging you...get your government hands ON my healthcare, please.
Comment by Thomas Murphy of PA