Individual Mandate: Be careful what you wish for

Be careful what you wish for.  This cuts both ways.

The incidental economist notes: (Austin Frakt)

If one wants to address the problems in health insurance markets and/or to get providers to accept payment reforms, the mandate–or something like it–is the political price. Yes, it’s about money. What else?

Put it this way, if one wants to retain a private market-based health insurance system (which ours largely is), it takes a mandate. Reject the mandate without replacement with a similar mechanism and the whole thing unravels, not just as a matter of health economics (adverse selection) but as a matter of politics.

Medicynical Note:  We’ve created the most dysfuntional, expensive healthcare non-system in the world.  Yes we’re number one.

Employer sponsored health care is a mess.  Employers don’t have to provide their employees health care–in many instances they can’t afford to provide it; “contractors” are not employees and don’t qualify for employer provided benefits;  if you get sick and can’t work, you lose your insurance.  Remarkable.

Our health care costs are twice that of many other industrialized countries and thousands more per capita/year.  We have 50 million uninsured and have a “system” that encourages “free” use of the most inefficient, most expensive health care provider in the country–emergency rooms.

We all pay.

2 responses to “Individual Mandate: Be careful what you wish for

  1. Right on! But how do we change it in today’s political climate? I moved to Florida, where a truly wierd, strange guy named Rick Scott was elected governor in November. He wants to cut, cut, cut–including state’s involvement with Medicare/Medicaid- Pat

  2. I recently read a book titled, “Uproot U.S. Healthcare: To Reform Healthcare” written by Deane Waldman, MD MBA… it is too bad that the government doesn’t check out his theories on the current U.S. health care system. He has a lot of great ideas, even has a great antidote for malpractice.

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