Healthcare’s Unchanged Incentives
Offering some representative anecdotes from her experience as a doctor, Alieta Eck explains the problem with the Obamacare approach to healthcare reform:
Are these patients or their physicians committing fraud? No. They are simply acting legally to enhance their own well-being, following the incentives set up by the unwieldy system. People with “coverage” do not care what costs they incur, and those who provide services benefit by providing more. As with the oil rig in the Gulf, there is a lot of pressure behind the leak. Adding more pressure — as with the Democrats’ idea of saving money by covering everybody — is not the answer. It can only make things worse.
Everybody assumes that bringing healthy people into the insurance fold will help to balance increased usage among the sick, but the incentive, for them, will be the same as for everybody: Use whatever services are conceivably needed. Even if “broadening the pool” does delay the inevitable, Eck sees this as our future…
Once the nation is bankrupt, hospitals have closed, and physicians have found alternate ways to earn a living, real medical needs will not be met. The best medical care in the world will simply cease to exist. Then all Americans, young and old, will feel the pain.
… and offers an alternative approach with which Anchor Rising readers will be readily familiar:
There is a better answer, pointed out by Rep. Ron Paul, M.D. (R-TX):
“We need a system in America where patients pay cash for basic services, and carry insurance only for serious illnesses and accidents. ‘Health maintenance’ is the responsibility of each of us individually. We cannot continue to collectivize the costs of healthcare and expect things to get better.”
Insurance needs to be insurance, and consumers must be required to incorporate cost into their healthcare decisions.