ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Stossel on Healthcare

I missed this episode of John Stossel on 20/20 last Friday (I was busy watching my St Louis Cardinals lose to the Chicago Cubs at Busch), but my wife did see the program and said it was very helpful in understanding the issues and the debate about health care.

I've found the videos on the Tube and have linked them here.

And despite what many on the Left will say, we don't have a free market/capitalist healthcare system today.

I thought the information regarding Lasik and cosmetic surgery (both of which are not typically covered by insurance) is quite helpful - competition breeds higher quality as providers seek to differentiate themselves and attract customers. As a recent Lasik customer, I shopped around for several months before selecting my doctor, which I chose on a best bang for the buck criteria. There were cheaper providers in my area, but they didn't provide me with the confidence. There were more expensive providers as well, but they seemed to provide services that I probably wouldn't require, given my needs.

Oh, and true to the story above, the price that I paid for Lasik a year ago (from the same provider) is significantly lower.

When discussing this topic over the weekend, Mother Conspirator mentioned that she had a simple, 5 minute visit with a RN at a doctor's office and the bill came out at over $200 - and the only way she was aware of this was because the doctor hadn't updated the insurance record and she received a copy of the bill. Being the good consumer, she challenged the pricing and I'm sure the office admin looked at her like she had a third eye.

As far as 2008 is concerned, health care will be one of the driving issues and we have got to recognize that There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. The purpose of insurance is to shift a portion of risk onto another party (that is willing to accept that risk for a fee).

Insurance is not intended to cover routine and anticipated needs. Otherwise, as Stossel points out, we would have grocery insurance.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Comments (2)
George said...

A big problem amost all users of health care have is lack of a measureable standard to judge health care providers. The providers themselves see that there is not much data available for that. Coming out of the military health care system, my biggest problem was choosing a civilian doctor that I had confidence in. Free markets would have made that task easier. In the end my choice was based on recommendations from retired health care workers.

The Patients Advantage said...

Great blog! Thanks. I recently had lasik surgery and by accident I stumbled upon I used them when looking for a lasik surgeon.

What I liked the most was that my profile remained anynomyous until I was ready to decide what to do. I received replies from four surgeons that met all the things I was looking for. I liked having that complete control without the sales pressure that some of these places can be known for.

If you are going to go down the cosmetic surgery road...better to be safe than sorry. Check them out.