13 November 2015

Health Care Cost Comment

​As a follow up to my comment on how for profit diagnostics are a racket, here's an idea. On the way to enhanced Medicare for All, which is what we really need, by way of opt-in to Medicare for Anyone (aka Public Option), providers should be required to publish their negotiated "insurance" prices, and be required to charge the same rates to anyone, regardless of insured or uninsured status. Gouging uninsured patients should be illegal. Moreover, billing in hospitals should be according to published "reasonable and customary" rates, so that, in principle, anyone could calculate what their bill will be based on what was done, without any mysterious and ridiculously high charges, such as $10 for an aspirin. Services should be charged as services, at published prices, and drugs, equipment, and materials should be priced according to a published schedule that is based on cost. ​

In the long run, of course, the prices, reimbursements, premiums, and subsidies to low income people, will all need to be based on reality, so that we have affordable health care with realistic reimbursements to health care facilities and professionals, not so that they can make huge profits, but so that they can cover their costs and pay their employees fair compensation.

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