Free-market health care will help accomplish …nothing but confusion

Following is a good summary of where Republicans are heading with health care reform, or more  accurately reform of reform.

Read it and you will see the impact such changes will have on you and your family. No? Sorry about that; maybe you need to get into the details. But don’t feel bad Republicans in Congress have no idea of the impact either. They are following a dream about health care and the people who use it. Just as Obamacare focused mainly on premiums and not what drives them, Republicans are focused on competition among insurers which is not the route to lower health care costs.

man_head_spinning_lg_clrYou can shop all you want for health insurance, you will get what you pay for. It all comes down to pay premiums or pay out-of-pocket costs, there is no middle.

Ask yourself this. How can insurance companies compete for your premium dollars? They can be as efficient as possible with the 15% or so of premium that is not claim costs AND they can cut claim payments using limited networks, minimal coverage, strong utilization management and high out-of-pocket costs. Take your pick, but remember the big portion of your premium is for health care received not profits or executive pay😷

Republicans already agree on the general contours of a free-market proposal—one based on tax credits, entitlement reform, freer insurance markets, portable policies and fewer mandates. WSJ By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL Updated Jan. 5, 2017 7:22 p.m. ET

And no mandate to carry health insurance.

If the young healthy people skip coverage or mostly enroll in the bare bones plan and the rest enroll in more generous coverage, what do you think will happen to the cost of coverage?  I don’t need, I don’t use. I need, I pay, I use. I pay more.

Just as Democrats didn’t read what they enacted into law, Republicans are equally naive as to what they are doing. 


6 replies »

  1. “Allowing people to select a plan they think they need simply creates adverse selection and consolidates costs into fewer plans that must have much higher premiums.” Of course, following this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion leads to one plan and one plan only. Just what many believe was the ultimate intent of the ACA.


    • Yes it does and yes it probably was. And the proposed Republican reform may very well accelerate the process. You can’t eliminate nearly all underwriting rules, give people choice and then expect them not to make decisions in their own and not the collective best interest.


  2. Mr. Quinn, Your comments remind me of a quote from a local high-school principal to the effect that competition for students among school districts could not possibly make his high school any better as it was as efficient and well managed as possible.

    According to many Democrats, the Affordable Care Act is producing marvelous results, just what they expected when they passed the law. It is seen by many as the first major step toward government run health care, although this is rarely publicly admitted.

    There are many things driving increased health care costs, such as new innovative technology and demographics. Those cost drivers will not be touched by any new “improved” system.

    The ACA compounds inefficiency, decreases consumer choice, and thereby increases costs. It is not THE problem in so-called “affordable” health care. But it is certainly one of them.


    • What does consumer choice do for health care costs? Allowing people to select a plan they think they need simply creates adverse selection and consolidates costs into fewer plans that must have much higher premiums. Health care is simply not like purchasing anything else.


  3. Free market solutions work. Competition dives up innovation, efficiencies, and quality. It drives down cost. What is there to be confused about? It is understood that free market does not work for ALL Americans, but it does for most. We need a safety net solution for the rest. And the free market solutions should apply to carriers AND providers – and any other parts of the healthcare ecosystem.


    • Insurers have been competing for business for decades why are costs still growing? Tell me exactly how more competing insurance companies will lower health care costs and their premiums given at least 85% of any premium is health care claims. Do you want them to tighten up on the claims they pay?


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