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The best incentives would be to provide a high deductible plan to take care of the things almost no one could afford (bypass surgery, cancer treatment, almost any hospitalization). You'd want an exception and cover near 100% for anything that pays off in the long run (vaccines, insulin, blood pressure medicine, annual check-up) - that will help keep the cheapskates and really poor from showing up for something expensive that could have been nipped in the bud.

If insurance was the reason health care cost so much, then it would be cheaper for the guy with no insurance because he would shop around and would require no forms to be filed. But in real life, it's the reverse. We need the clout of a group to keep the rates in line. Things that don't have a clear benefit should be paid for mostly by the consumer - that would be some incentive to keep costs down. We already have that kind of thing with generics and it helps. Some people still think generics aren't as good - so they can still get the name brand - it just doesn't raise my insurance rates or taxes.

I really don't see the issue with government deciding what procedures and drugs are worthwhile and only paying for those. We're not saying what you can get, only what we're paying for (just like any insurance company). You want to get acupuncture or experimental procedures? Go ahead, but pay for it yourself or buy a supplemental plan.
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