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Subject:  Re: Health Care Crisis: Open to Suggestions Date:  5/2/2001  11:55 AM
Author:  1HappyFool Number:  37293 of 875606

What will rescue the health care / insurance industry is capitalism; market-based reforms that will remove many of the regulations that straight-jacket doctors, insurance companies and hospitals. The aim should be to allow each one of us to shop for health insurance and health care the way we shop for shoes or a VCR. Insurance needs to return to the more traditional (now outmoded) concept of protecting us from catastrophy, not paying for every routine exam, procedure or item. We should also be allowed to purchase the type and extent of insurance we want---if I don't want mental health benefits or drug abuse coverage, I shouldn't have to get it. I don't have that choice. Right now, I get insurance I don't want and don't need.

You've said a much needed mouthful here. IMHO, the corruption of the health insurance industry occured when businesses began to provide health insurance as an employee benefit. This may initially have helped businesses by encouraging people to seek care when they needed (thus minimizing absenteeism). Unfortunately, any benefit soon disappeared due to the introduction of three major corrupting influences. Insurance companies marketed their products to the purchasers (employers) instead of the consumers (employees). Consumers (employees) treated healthcare services as an entitlement. The government stepped in through the door opened by the disconnect between the taxpayers (employees) and the purchasers (employers). This changed the dynamics from providers-insurers-insured to labor vs. "those evil capitalists".

It's unlikely that it will ever happen, but getting employers and Uncle Sam out of the loop would do more for fixing this mess than any national healthcare plan could ever accomplish.


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