Why Americans Pay Too Much for Healthcare

Overcharged explains that hospitals and pharmaceutical companies can charge such outrageous markups solely because government grants them anti-competitive monopoly powers and encourages widespread third-party payment, where nobody has an incentive to curb excessive prices.

If you ever read the EOB’s (Explanation of Benefit) from your health insurance company you might see something like this. Even so, it still doesn’t explain the whole story:

After being bitten on the foot by a snake while taking out the garbage, Eric Ferguson went to the Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, where he was given anti-venom and monitored. The hospital’s list price for the medication was $81,000. The discounted price his insurer negotiated was about $20,000. The retail price of anti-venom online? $750.

The government grants and maintains monopolies to hospitals, drug companies, etc. That’s not even the whole story.

We need to let “consumers—rather than politicians and employers—control the $3.9 trillion Americans spend on health care each year. “

Here.

 

Advertisements

Survey: Half Of Doctors Considering Leaving Medicine

The survey says the doctors blame the insurance companies.

Researchers with Aimed Alliance, a non-profit that seeks to protect and enhance the rights of health care consumers and providers, say that doctors are so fed up with the constant headaches caused by insurers, two-thirds would recommend against pursuing a career in medicine, and nearly half (48%) are considering a career change altogether.

Well, of course. This organization, Aimed Alliance, is a partisan organization against the insurance industry.

But the insurance companies are mere agents who work on behalf of politicians, doctors and other health professionals, and consumer advocates, who insist that it is government’s function to interfere in the health insurance market. They claim healthcare is a right. But it cannot be, and their attempts to make it so are the reason for the frustration of doctors and patients.

Look at tit this way. We rely on the market process to provide the goods and services we need and want, from a loaf of bread to the internet itself. They come in various price ranges and quality levels. Yet, for some reason, some people think healthcare is different. Its not. And the problem is that, as a result of government interference, doctors and other providers have one eye on the insurance companies and the other eye on the patient. Since the patient doesn’t pay, the provider’s attention and loyalty is divided.

A market process would solve this problem. Products and services would vary more to suit the situations of patients, rather than being stuck in a narrow band based on insurance payments.

Another distortion is that Medicare pays providers and guides them to specific treatments, overriding the provider’s expertise based on his or her local knowledge of the patient’s condition. This distorts the entire healthcare marketplace. Politicians and Medicare bureaucrats do NOT know what’s best for everybody. But they like to exercise their power.

UPDATE: see this post.

 

Castro’s Revolution on Its 60th Anniversary

Vincent Geloso examine’s the results.

I’ll quote one observation about Cuba’s supposed superior health care.

However, many researchers have pointed out important discrepancies in the data regarding infant mortality. They have showed that doctors often reclassified early neonatal deaths (before the 7th day of life) as late fetal deaths (before birth). Because late fetal deaths are not included in infant mortality calculations while early neonatal deaths are, this reclassification artificially reduces the infant mortality rate. . . .

This type of reclassification also has an effect on measured life expectancy because late fetal deaths are not counted in the life tables that are used to calculate life expectancy at birth. In research recently published with Gilbert Berdine and Benjamin Powell in Health Policy & Planning, I show that, in Cuba, this practice has reduced life expectancy at birth for men by somewhere between 0.22 and 0.55 years.

Bureaucratic manipulation of statistical data skews the results. Clever.

Democrats Against Affordable Health Insurance

Betsy McCaughey:

The outrage is that people who live in New York, New Jersey, California and other states dominated by Democrats can’t take advantage of these deals. Blue states are doubling down on ObamaCare, refusing to allow consumers other choices.

Welcome to the Democrats’ health care prison.

 

But, better choices are available if you live in other states.

Fortunately, President Trump is using his regulatory power to accomplish precisely what these states want: relief from ObamaCare’s rigid regulations.

It would be better if the rules were codified by law.

 

Reforming Healthcare by Increasing Competition

Daniel Takash at Captured Economy: 

Last week, a joint report prepared by the Departments of Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor articulated a number of potential reforms to inject more “choice and competition” into the U.S. healthcare system.

Many of the reforms are related to the structure and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and hospital consolidation, but much of the report has to do with labor market regulation, particularly with respect to licensing and scope-of-practice restrictions.

The report contains a wealth of information related to the costs of licensing, scope-of-practice restrictions, and certificate of need laws, which are implemented at the state level and restrict the ability of healthcare providers to purchase medical equipment, often with fatal and preventable consequences.

Here are some of the administration’s best recommendations.

 

Read on for some of those recommendations.

Increasing competition chip, chip, chip away at the cartel.