Martin Feldstein wrote an editorial today in the Washington Post, about how to fix the health care system.
Essentially he is proposing that the health insurance benefit that people receive should be taxed, as if that’s never been proposed before. The implication being, since people have health insurance that is completely paid for, they have “no skin in the game” and go to the doctor all the time, even when not necessary, [much like deciding to go out to dinner] driving up costs.
I’m here to say that is not the problem. People go to the doctor when they’re sick, not out of any sense that it is free. He glosses over the fact that Europe doesn’t have those problems, despite health care being provided at zero cost, by saying patients there are denied certain tests that we have become accustomed to. Well, that may be the case, but who is to say those tests are needed.
All comparisons between health care outcomes in the US and Europe (with the exception of cost), show the US to be far down the list.
Martin Feldstein just sounds like another shill for the health insurance industry.
And long as we continue with our current fee-for-service health care system, where doctors get paid for performing services, whether needed or not, and a for-profit health insurance industry which drains approximately 20% of all health care dollars out of the health care system, nothing will change.
Costs will continue to rise, and people will continue to die because they can’t get the care they need.
Eventually though it will all come to an end, when no one can afford to purchase health insurance, and the system implodes.
The only question is how much pain and suffering are Americans willing to endure before we reach that conclusion, and make the necessary changes?