March 27, 2010

"Here in the United States,we spend about 17% of our GDP on health care, but out-of-pocket expenses make up only about 12% of total health-care spending."

"In Switzerland, where they spend only 11% of GDP on health care, their out-of-pocket expenses equal about 31% of total spending. The difference between 12% and 31% is huge. Once people begin spending substantial sums from their own pockets, they become willing to shop around. Ordinary market incentives begin to operate. A good bill would have encouraged that."

Economics Nobelist Gary Becker thinks it would have been easy to draft a good health care bill, but what we got is bad. Still, he's optimistic.

11 comments:

Class factotum said...

People make different decisions when they are spending their own money. Nobody goes to the ER for a broken toe when they have to pay cash for the visit. But a $20 copay? That's fine.

Quayle said...

Class factotum's point is right on.

The $5 or $10 co-pay system implemented by HMOs 30 years ago was one of the key factors that led to this mess.

That and the fact that your employer paid the HMO, not you.

Show up to the doctor with a heart attack - it only $10 dollars. How great is that!

Not great when your trying to avoid moral hazard, and keep demand (and thus costs) down.

But the answer wasn't a convoluted cancer that is this Obamacare.

kentuckyliz said...

My cancer situation is convoluted. Three primary cancers! A low stable cell count of one, that isn't likely to be life threatening, and may just reflect the sensitivity of the test.

I am afraid of getting rationed to death.

Literally.

rhhardin said...

Price organizes a huge amount of information.

Where that organization is disrupted by law, you get e.g. housing and health care.

What a coincidence that the areas producing daily marvels are not regulated.

Someday it may seem less coincidental.

Flexo said...

A good bill would have treated health insurance like . . . oh, I don't know, insurance maybe? And not like a confiscatory tax and government handout system.

A system where we all become wards of the state and I suddenly have a "right" to have all of you pay my medical bills even when I have the money to do so myself. Thanks a lot suckers! I'll be sure to milk the system for as many benefits as I can since I'll be paying so much into it.

Too bad that other healthy people will start thinking the same way. Folks who haven't been to the doctor in five years (having no medical need to), will start going every four to six months just to make sure that they are getting their monies worth, even though there is still no medical need for it.

edutcher said...

This isn't about health care or insurance, it's about the word the Demos and the rest of the National socialists used incessantly during the '08 campaign - rule.

Not govern - RULE.

Dingell said it, it's all about controlling the population.

kentuckyliz said...

My cancer situation is convoluted. Three primary cancers! A low stable cell count of one, that isn't likely to be life threatening, and may just reflect the sensitivity of the test.

I am afraid of getting rationed to death.

Literally.


Anybody who's in this is fighting for you and people like you, as much as themselves.

Take care, kid.

Quayle said...

kentuckyliz - I hope all goes well.

Scott said...

We already have the plan in place -- the high deductable insurance plan paired with the healthcare savings account! Assuming the individual mandate is legal, just require that everyone have a HSA, and have the government fund the HSA on a means-tested basis. Poor and indigent people would get their high deductable insurance through an expansion of medicaid; but the high deductable feature would make it cheaper.

Totally effective, relatively cheap, and doesn't require a lot of new bureaucracy.

Don said...

Well it wasn't exactly an intellectual exercise for the Dem's to recycle Romney-care.

El Pollo Real said...

Once people begin spending substantial sums from their own pockets, they become willing to shop around. Ordinary market incentives begin to operate. A good bill would have encouraged that.

Damn straight. Instead, the current reform as passed intends to disqualify high deductible plans and force those of us who have them to go back to plans we rejected for just those reasons.

Revenant said...

Instead, the current reform as passed intends to disqualify high deductible plans and force those of us who have them to go back to plans we rejected for just those reasons.

Yeah, I have a high-deductable plan and it looks like it doesn't count as "insurance" under this bill. So I'll probably drop my health insurance entirely and just pay the fine; it is cheaper.