How much do you suppose a doctor’s visit would cost if there was never health-care insurance? What would it cost to go to the dentist if there was no dental insurance? How much would your prescription cost if health-care insurance didn’t pay a portion of it?
The fact these insurances exist actually causes the costs to rise. So you say to me, “If there were no insurance, no one could afford to go to the doctor.” I think the truer statement would be, “If there were no insurance, medical-care costs would plummet and be much lower, even affordable.” The cost of medical school would also tumble.
Health-care insurance is really nothing more than a prepayment for medical care. It became popular when employers started offering it to some employees in lieu of wage increases. That became especially helpful during times of wage and price freezes. Today, most employees and unions believe they are owed this coverage as a part of their employment. The medical industry has taken advantage of this pot of money.
Obamacare is nothing more than a scheme to get young healthy people to pay for the increasingly high cost of medical care for older and generally less-healthy people, as well as those who either cannot afford insurance or refuse to buy it. Health insurance has become so common many people just think it’s a necessity of life. The reality is health-care insurance serves only to continue the increasingly high cost of the medical industry. Health-care insurance is the subsidy that keeps their ship afloat. It’s their golden goose. Without it, they would have to compete in the free marketplace and their costs would necessarily come down.
Some of you will say the cost is high because of research and development. If that were true, medical costs would be the same regardless of which country you lived in. Of course we know that is just not true.
So, why do our doctors and our hospitals and the pharmaceutical companies charge what they do? The answer is, because they can. That’s the only answer available. If it were not for medical insurance, prices would sink to levels where average people could and would afford them.
Personally I applaud any attempt to help make medical care available to the poor. But I believe Obamacare will prove to be a complete and unmitigated disaster. The industry needs to be governed and reined in, but Obamacare is not the answer. Making more money available to that industry through more insurance subsidy will only serve to cause the costs to continue to rise.
This is what I know. Medical care costs too much. But medical care is a necessity of life. Because it’s a necessity, perhaps it should also be treated like a public utility. Government regulates what our public utilities cost because there is no competition. The medical industry has so organized itself. It also has no competition. They can set prices as they wish knowing we, through our various insurances, will pay the cost. As much as I detest government involvement in private business, something has to be done.
Clearly I don’t have all the answers. I do know this, however. If we keep allowing the medical industry to increase its costs by subsidizing those increases through insurance, they will have no incentive to lower them. That alone will doom Obamacare.
We need a better answer.