Healthcare – no relief in sight

Having spent a major portion of the past year as a self-employed entrepreneur working from home, I had an opportunity to experience all the ills of our wonderful health care system first hand. It is a real mess out there for those of you who don’t already know. I had a lot of trouble finding insurance plans that were affordable even though my family and I are reasonably healthy. Even when I found a plan that worked, the deductible was so high that I ended up paying all the bills myself – the insurance company got a few thousand dollars richer. It seems like employer provided plans are the only real option these days and it is not clear how long employers can carry the staggering burden.

While there is a lot of rhetoric around health care from politicians, I have not seen a single idea or proposal that addresses the single key issue facing us – spiraling costs. As long as there is a fantastic reward system in place for anyone making a sick person healthy, our costs can never be controlled. Individuals and corporations will continue to find more ways to declare people sick so they can be cured or keep making more expensive ways to “better cure” people! This is basic economics.

Health insurance companies were supposed to be counterbalance here – they get rewarded for keeping people healthy – but they’ve gotten to the point where they either only admit people who are very healthy in the firstplace or declare even sick people to be healthy to avoid paying their bills.

Given the old adage “prevention is better than cure” (proven to be on the mark time and again), maybe the government should foot the bill for every citizen to get full and extensive preventive care (including any necessary medications). Citizens can then purchase insurance to cover all illnesses and injuries (everyone should be able to purchase this type of insurance, the government could subsidize it for the poorest among us). This insurance coverage could be predicated on people proving they’re taking full advantage of the preventive care.

What this system would do is to put the onus of keeping healthy on us as a collective and consequently reduce the costs of health care. Afford-ability will not be an issue to keeping healthy – personal responsibility will be. Where illnesses or injuries do occur, a system like we have currently kicks in and helps out. Seems like this could work – unless I’m missing something …

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