Pay-Your-Own-Way Will Cut Health Costs Significantly

The high costs of health care are completely unnecessary. They are a direct result of political intervention in the health-care system

Do you have homeowner insurance such that every light bulb and broken window requires you to fill out a form and get a payment from the insurance company?

No, you have homeowner insurance for catastrophic things like a fire burning down your house. Yet your health insurance covers every little rash and bruise.

Health insurance should work like insurance for your house. Health insurance should be offered with deductibles so that you can insulate yourself against catastrophic costs. You then could pay everything else out of your pocket like you do for your broken window.

“Oh, no!” say the liberals. “Health care is far too expensive to pay the bills ourselves!”

Nonsense. A pay-as-you-go system will bring down costs dramatically because patients will care about how much they are being charged. It will be in patients’ self-interest to insure that they are getting value for their money. It is a natural reaction. It rules over most of our economic activities.

When the patient himself does not pay the bills, but rather a third-party insurance company does, the patient does not even care how much things cost. How often do people these days go over their $78,000 surgery bill item by item? And challenge that $600 for a nurse’s visit? Or even understand what many of the costs and surcharges stand for?

Virtually never. Because they don’t care about it since they are not paying it, and can’t understand it anyway. And there is nothing that they can do about it. The bill ends up in the drawer. This alone has driven health costs through the roof.

Yet the same people scrutinize their $311 car repair bill item by item because they are paying for it directly and they want to know how much the parts and labor are costing.

Thus if people paid their own health bills and checked them off item by item health care costs would fall significantly. Because doctors, nurses and hospitals would have to answer for every penny. It is called ‘accountability’ and it is extremely effective because it brings buyer and seller face to face. This personal accountability is a conservative idea.

Conservatives also recommend that Americans be given tax breaks to keep money aside in Health Savings Accounts for their own health-care payments. Imagine putting $10,000 a year into your HSA rather than paying for insurance. That money then would add up, and could be used to pay out-of-pocket health costs.

Another big bonus: Paying out-of-pocket for non-catastrophic costs like a broken arm or cataract surgery will help to significantly lower costs by eliminating the time-consuming and expensive paperwork of health insurance. This paperwork pushes up health costs drastically.

“Woah!” say the liberals. “This right-wing plan is going to leave tens of millions without health care, just like conservatives want!”

No, friends, quite the opposite. This plan will make health care much more affordable for everyone, including “the poor”. Tens of millions don’t have health care today under our current system, which is getting more and more expensive every year. So we should move in a new direction. Because increasing government control is only making things worse. Obamacare itself is collapsing just two short years after it started.

But we are not allowed to think about a market-based, pay-as-you-go solution because the Democrats and their media cronies do not want us to know about it, and they dismiss it as unworkable. They want us to believe that we should only move toward more government control.

The idea of employer-provided health insurance evolved during World War II when the government was worried about inflation. Companies were not permitted to give salary raises, so employers gave their workers health insurance instead of pay hikes, as a benefit.

This system worked fine until medical care got politicized in the 1960s, along with everything else. My father was a family physician who charged $7 for an office visit in the early 1960s, and patients paid in cash. Yet today you usually can’t even get out of a doctor’s office for less than a few hundred dollars. Toss a test or two on top and you are well over $1,000. And that often is just the beginning.

In the 1960s, however, Democrats told us about all the millions of people who were not getting health care, and they started manipulating the system. This is why health care is so expensive now. Because the free market has been pushed aside (the lady paying my father $7 out of her purse for an office visit) and the politicians took over.

Here are two examples in our everyday lives of how the private sector works best, but that liberals will never admit:

*Gasoline prices have fallen to $2 a gallon by December 2015 because of the practices of the free-enterprise Big Oil companies (which Democrats oppose) engaging in “fracking” (which the environmentalists and Democrats oppose) and other supply enhancements. But if you had told Democrats and their media/eco cronies just a few years ago, when gasoline was almost $4 a gallon, that “fracking” and the free market would cut gasoline costs in half, they would have laughed and said that that is impossible. Because they do not want us to know the truth.

So wishes to make the following prediction: Private-sector reforms of the health-care system will cut costs by 50% to 80% because the system today is so massively bloated.

*On the other side, our “free” government-controlled public schools are grossly expensive and produce horrible results. Most of us don’t know just how much this system is really costing us because it is factored into our taxes. A conservative, capitalist system of school vouchers and charter schools would establish alternatives to the public schools and these alternative schools would produce vastly better results at much lower costs.

So wishes to make the following prediction: Private-sector reforms of the health-care system will cut costs by 50% to 80%, because the system today is so massively bloated.

Today’s insurance system is made worse since doctors, nurses, health professionals and hospitals need as much money as they can get as health care has become so expensive. And so they take advantage of health insurance because it is a guaranteed payment. The system then feeds on itself and it becomes a self-perpetuating upward spiral.

That is why people with insurance get scheduled for multiple doctor visits, tests, prescriptions and treatments, often for no good reason except to get money. Then people without insurance get little or nothing because it all has become unaffordable.

Government subsidies then increase the problem because government is inefficient, inept and unaccountable. Government just pays every bill, without any scrutiny whatsoever. This encourages the current system with many hidden, fake and padded charges on every bill.

Then remember how Democrats sabotage good reform ideas. For instance HMOs (health maintenance organizations) started cutting costs back in the 1990s by limiting the endless treatments that patients were getting, that were driving costs up. It was very effective; health care costs fell substantially and we all were much better off.

Democrats and their media friends then ruined the HMO system. They screamed about every patient who was not being given every possible treatment, and they would roll out an elderly lady in a wheelchair who did not get an expensive treatment like a heart transplant, ignoring common sense in three ways:

*that the astronomical cost for the transplant was not worth the few years or months of extra life that she would get;
*that the same amount of money would provide health care for many younger people over a longer period;
*and that the overall good is served by lower costs.

The war on HMOs was a massive media manipulation of the problem. As a result HMOs were ordered to give every treatment, and insurance companies were ordered to pay every bill without question, and the system spiraled up to the sky again.

Why did liberals ruin a system that was working?

Because liberals always want to ruin everything so that they and the government can take over.

At the same time a whopping 76% of health-care professionals admitted in one survey that they perform extra tests and procedures in order to cover themselves in the event of a legal challenge from the trial lawyers. This drives up health-care costs significantly and unnecessarily.

Virtually all of these trial lawyers are Democrats while conservatives and Republicans have been seeking to legally restrain these lawyers for decades. At the same time Democrats protect the lawyers and make laws to allow them to sue everyone in sight. In return these lawyers give all of their political contributions to the same Democrats who protect them.

That is why Texas is attracting doctors, nurses and other professionals from all over the nation – because conservative Texas has instituted legal reforms of the health system, making it harder for these lawyers to operate. This has brought down costs and created a more relaxed atmosphere where every doctor is not shaking in his boots over every patient and every lawyer. This allows doctors to concentrate on healing, and leads to better health care for all.

There are some health-care professionals who are moving toward direct-payment systems and finding them effective. It comes out of frustration and contempt for the current system.

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