Monday, November 30, 2009

My tuppence on US Health Care

Few quick questions about American healthcare:

1. Why can't Americans see how fundamentally stupid health insurance is?

You pay insurance premiums to a health insurance company, and yet they determine (largely) what treatment you get. Lets just say that you put the same amount of money into an average yield investment vehicle, starting when you were twenty five. By the time you got to the age where you could expect to start needing the fund, you would have enough money to take care of virtually any eventuality. Simple, flexible and even available for elective surgery should you want it. You purchase the services from the provider- no middleman overhead. No muss no fuss.

2. Medicaid is forever, but why does Medicare have to be?

If you have an investment fund for general health, why not have a smaller adjunct fund for end-of-life care? As long as you start it early, it will be plenty big enough after four or five decades to cover those last hairy years.

3. As a supplement to your own general health fund, you could have an emergency-only insurance policy specific to the most extreme health emergencies, the ones that cost the most money? As those events are so rare, the cost would be minimal.

4. If these ideas were adopted universally, the health insurance industry would virtually disappear. And? The money sucked from both health care providers and consumers by that industry would be much more fruitful if kept by the former. And if tort reform were passed to kill off the worst ambulance-chasers, costs for the best health care system in the world could really drop significantly, while treatments improved and coverage increased.

Just saying.


Great West Life assurance said...

Hi. I would say that the greatest problem are huge insurance companies. Unfortunately, these are more interested in making profit than helping people. I feel that a health care insurance reform is very needed in the US, however, I am afraid the reform untroduced by Mr. Obama is not the right way.
Take care,

Edmund Ironside said...

Not sure you have understood my point. Insurance companies are exactly like all other businesses, in that they exist to make profits for their owners and shareholders. They do not exist to 'help people'- they exist to provide a certain set of benefits for a certain amount of money- a completely moral and valid activity. My point is that the best way for consumers to achieve what they want, i.e. the ability to pay for health care as and when necessary, is not via the mechanism of insurance companies. But thanks for reading!