Unleashing the power of choice and competition is the best way to lower health care costs and improve quality. One way to immediately empower Americans and put them in the driver’s seat of their health care decisions is to expand consumer-driven health care. Consumer-driven health care allows individuals and families to control their utilization of health care by providing incentives to shop around. This ultimately lowers costs and increases quality.
TRANSLATION: Your out-of-pocket costs are going up because these guys think you can shop for health care like you do a new TV. What you read above is pie in the sky nonsense. Even if you could effectively shop for the best price for each service, your utilization is determined by your health and the recommendations by your health care providers … unless, of course, you are such a good consumer you can determine your own health care treatment. In addition, studies have already shown that the shop around consumer is not effective.
Bringing more parity to the group and individual health markets does not have to disrupt the way Americans currently receive their coverage. To help lower the cost of coverage, our plan proposes to cap the exclusion at a level that would ensure job-based coverage continues unchanged for the vast majority of health insurance plans. Only the most generous plans would see a difference and most Americans’ plans would not be affected. In fact, it’s likely that most health plans would change their design to avoid hitting the threshold by shifting compensation away from health care and toward take-home pay. Americans would have more money in their pockets and face lower premiums as a result of this policy.
TRANSLATION: Your employer contribution toward your health insurance will be taxable income, the premiums you pay will no longer be pre-tax and your benefits may be less than they are now. If the vast majority of plans are unchanged, why make the change at all? Don’t count on it. If employers will switch compensation from health care to take-home pay, how much of a raise did you get when your employer switched to a high deductible plan? And if you get more money in your pocket, you will need it to pay your out-of-pocket costs.
All the above is merely a reflection of the ignorance of politicians about the health care system, insurance, employers and people.