There are several factors that contribute to the absurd costs of healthcare in America today — and all those factors are, without exception, a result of government intervention, in one form or another. But one factor alone stands out above all others. That one factor is the third-party payment system.
It doesn’t matter if the third party is an insurance company, or if that third part is a government bureau: by placing a middle-man between patient and doctor, you create this nightmarish scenario of $20,000.00 emergency room visits for an elbow injury.
As Dr. Jeffery Singer (MD) recently explained:
Last week, researchers at Harvard and Dartmouth released a report estimating that health care costs will continue to grow faster than the economy for at least the next two decades. This is a tremendous burden on average Americans, who already spend nearly a fifth of their average annual pre-tax income on health care.
Why can’t Obamacare stop this trend? Because the law doubles down on one of the biggest contributing factors to the high price of medical care: Health insurance.
Health insurance is a complicated system that serves patients’ needs last. It introduces a third party into the doctor-patient relationship. This can be a private company—such as modern insurance companies—or the government—such as in Medicare and Medicaid.
“Obamacare’s architects expanded a health insurance system that artificially increases costs and decreases choice.”
Third party entities don’t spend money like you and I do. We care about two things when we buy a product: quality and affordability. Insurance providers aren’t overly concerned about either. Affordability isn’t their biggest concern because they’re spending someone else’s money—their members’ premiums. They’re also not concerned as much about quality because they’re spending that money on someone other than themselves—the patients receiving treatment.
This is a basic reflection of human nature.
The failure to understand this has been a fatal chink in all Republican arguments against ObamaCare:
You can’t denounce one form of third-party payment only to favor another, since any form will invariably drive up costs.
Remember: what we call “health insurance” in America today is not actual insurance. It’s pre-paid healthcare. Insurance is something you buy in the unlikely event of an emergency. Actual insurance, free from government regulation, is legitimate.
All of which I mention because if there’s any good thing that’s come out of the whole ObamaCare dog-and-pony show, it’s that it’s brought many of these issues to the forefront — and people are beginning to realize exactly what’s at issue here.
It’s also spawned (at last) a number of doctors to become more forceful and philosophical in the defense of their own lives and labor, which, incidentally, is the fundamental and inarguable principle at stake in all questions of socialized medicine:
Do doctors and nurses possess the right to their own life and labor, or do they not?
Rebel MD is the most recent website I’ve come across the defends, forcefully though somewhat inconsistently, the principle of individual rights in medicine.