“Direct care” could help ease medical costs

Source: Cato Institute
by Jeffrey A Singer

“People every day consider cost/benefit when they purchase shelter, food, cars, computers, smartphones, etc. They ask detailed questions and expect satisfactory answers. Not so when it comes to healthcare decisions. The public uncritically accepts screening, early detection and early treatment as always worthwhile. The public also accepts that having insurance is a critical part of staying healthy. Yet insurance is supposed to protect against unforeseen, high-cost, catastrophic events. As a result of years of tax and regulatory policy, health insurance has morphed into a form of prepaid healthcare, covering predictable, foreseen, pre-existing and routine ‘maintenance’ events in addition to the catastrophic and unforeseen. Hospitals, labs, pharmacies and providers negotiate fees with a third-party payer, not the consumer. Consumers are left out of the loop, along with consumer-driven market forces.” (09/29/17)