Does the public really care about health care costs? Survey: “Government shouldn’t interfere.” What would you do to control health care costs?

10 Jan
September 3, 2009 health care reform rally at ...

During the health care reform debate the President repeatedly said that no one (meaning insurance companies) should come between you and your doctor.  The US public seems to have taken the no interference philosophy to heart.  Most Americans do not believe in a cost benefit analysis as justification for denying payment for health care treatment.  Are we saying that cost does not matter?

This leads to a fundamental question; exactly how does the public expect health care costs to be controlled?  Or better still, does the public want health care costs managed at all as long as their share of premiums is limited?  If the public remains focused on premiums alone, we are headed for serious trouble far beyond our current state.  Remember, these are the same people who we expect to act like consumers when it comes to buying health care.

Survey: Government shouldn’t impose on health treatment decisions

Most Americans are frustrated by decisions that limit the use of high-cost prescriptions and treatments, according to a survey by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Alliance for Aging Research.

A majority say they oppose decisions by the government or health insurance plans where prescription drugs or medical or surgical treatments are not paid for because the payors determine the benefits and do not justify the cost. The exception is if there’s evidence that something else works equally well but costs less. Sixty-four percent believe the government or health insurance plans should not pay for a more expensive prescription drug or medical or surgical treatment if it has not been shown to work better than less expensive ones. Majorities in Italy and Germany share both of these beliefs with the U.S. public. In the United Kingdom, at least a plurality shares these beliefs.

 It is pretty clear what people do not like when it comes to controlling costs, so let’s hear from you.  What exactly would you do to control health care costs?

  • Consumer driven health care is a myth and aiming at the wrong target(

Tags: Alliance for Aging Research, controlling health care costs, Harvard School of Public Health, insurance company denials, Medical necessity

6 Responses to “Does the public really care about health care costs? Survey: “Government shouldn’t interfere.” What would you do to control health care costs?”

  1. CagefreeScience January 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM #

    I think the interesting question here is what’s the reason behind such opinions? I would blame, at least partially, a lack of information. As long as public doesn’t get a message that cost-effectiveness is in their best interest and doesn’t only mean restricting the access to certain prescription drugs and treatments , there will be no broad support for control of healthcare costs.

    • rdquinn January 15, 2012 at 10:07 PM #

      You are right and the fact politicians don’t tell the people the truth doesn’t help.

  2. Bob B January 10, 2012 at 11:08 PM #

    I think the first and most important thing that needs to be done is to post evryones tests and results on an information sheet for each and every insured person in this country. The ability to have all Doctors share in the same test results is imperative as it is a way of assuring no further tests are ordered unless a very certain reason is specified as to why the previous test was inconclusive. This eliminatio of redundant testing is an important first step in controlling costs. next all medications a person takes should be on that same registry and any physiian should be able to see exactly what a patient is taking and any ordered drug then would be scanned from the standpoint of pertinance and redundancy. my dad took 22 pills a day before he died and a quck look a the PDR showed e that many were contracindicated and I am not a physician but that was the nature of the game 20 plus years ago but it should not be the same today with IT systems as capable as they are we must move to a more complete system.

    • rdquinn January 11, 2012 at 6:22 AM #

      Good points all. Even today with the push for electronic records, the effort does not focus on sharing the information with all a patients doctors, rather only electronic records within a practice.



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