Ah, yes, disconnects in the health care market.
I've already talked about the fact that the rich get the best health care. Sometimes that means get rich or die.
But the rich get better everything. No news there.
Will the health care proposals now being considered help? Who knows? But maybe it will be a start.
Here's another disconnect in health care. Health care is provided by the health care industry, received by patients, and paid for by insurance companies. The seller and the receiver are one step apart.
So the receiver wants the best care available, no matter what the cost. Heath care providers want to provide every service it can, including unnecessary tests, "just in case," with the sick person assuming it is necessary and will be paid for by the insurers. And because an enormous amount of money is spent on creating new diagnostics and treatments and drugs, the health insurance companies keep raising rates.
When it comes to health care, there is no capitalist feedback loop to keep things under control.
Gee, rising health care costs are as surprising as discovering that a starving pack of wolves will eat you if they get a chance.
We need better information. Take a look at this article by a cancer patient, a journalist, who is going broke despite having a good health insurance plan.
Her doctor ordered a medication on a "borderline call," but didn't happen to let her know how expensive it is. Two injections cost her $750. If she had no insurance, it would have cost her $17,522. Of course, her insurance agency gets a discount, so it paid only $6,850.
So why is it that the uninsured have to pay more than insurance companies? Something wrong there.
The act of getting each injection, which took all of five minutes, I'm sure, cost $93. That's about $1,116 per hour. Nothing to be done. That's the "industry standard" rate. No way to get it cheaper.
There's no control over any of this. No feedback loop to try to keep costs in line.
And we don't like it when the insurance company is the one to decide what treatments are necessary or should be cheaper. We don't trust the insurance company, and for good reason. The person trying to keep costs down has no stake in the outcome. That person is not the one who dies if necessary treatment is bypassed.
Can you say, "death panels"?
The only way I can see to really bring sanity to the system is not a happy solution for the patient. Forget health insurance altogether, and make patients pay for everything themselves. THAT will bring prices down. It will also make doctors less wealthy.
But, as I said, the broken system is too expensive for 99 percent of the population to pay for it on their own. Any the wealthy will order any test or treatment, no matter how expensive, if the alternative is dying.