Yet in all of the discussion and argument over health care one thought has been left out of the debate. A thought that is truly the central problem with health care and the high costs associated with health care services. The plain and simple fact is that because most Americans have some form of health care provider, whether private insurance or medicare and medicaid, no one truly cares about competitive shopping for the cost or service of health care. They just produce a card and accept the price. Even those who have no coverage and use the emergency room as a doctors office accept the cost regardless of how high.
John Stossel in a recent 20/20 report used the example of grocery shopping in trying to explain why health care is so high. If for example someone either paid for an individuals groceries or insurance was available to cover the cost for those same groceries would that individual buy hamburger meat or many T Bone steaks since they did not have to worry about the cost because someone else was paying for it ?
Free market competition is what drives prices down. Think of the electronics market. Whenever a new product becomes available that product is always priced high and as it becomes popular or a competitive brand hits the market, the price is driven down because the competition forces consumer shopping and finding the lowest price available.
Obama’s health care plan allows for neither price competition or the ability of free market procedures to off set and force prices down because especially with a government option and the mandate that ALL Americans being required to have government approved health care, the lack of price competitiveness will be eliminated since no one will shop for pricing as everyone will have some form of health care paid for by either government programs or private insurance until they are eliminated because of not being able to compete with government provision.
For example if most individuals were told to go our and buy a car with money provided by someone else and there was no need to price shop since the money was being provided, would the shopper buy a cheap KIA or used car or go for the whole ball of wax and hit the Mercedes showroom or another similar luxury car ? Most would run to Mercedes.
Health care has the same problem. Those who are already on government coffers do not seek the lowest cost physician but just go to the doctor for anything. They do not search for the lowest priced pharmacy but head to the pharmacy and hand the pharmacist their health care card. Those who have private insurance do exactly the same thing because the inherent attitude is that insurance whether government or private is paying for it so why should I shop price? Also because private insurance pricing has little competition because of the fact that one cannot purchase insurance outside of the state in which one lives eliminates national competitiveness for insurance companies and keeps the cost high since no one company has enough insured individuals to reduce cost by volume.
Stossel’s report uses the example of Lasic eye surgery which is not covered under health care plans. Those who use a Lasic procedure as a result price shop and in the last three years the cost of Lasic surgery has DECREASED by 30%. Yet every health care plan that is being proposed by Obama and clan seeks to eliminate the one element of health care which does cause a certain amount of price shopping and that is the copay. The higher the copay on a plan the more the insured individual is sensitive to the price and as such will research before getting certain treatments and will not seek unnecessary treatment for simple problems. Especially when that copay is based on a percentage and not just a fixed price.
The illusion that Obama and Democrats are creating that forced health care and government provided health care is going to iron out all the systems problems and reduce cost is the singular most blatant deception with their argument. Forced health care coverage paid for by government coffers, (taxpayers), will eliminate price concerns or price shopping thus competition for services. Also as price competition decreases services will follow since consumers will not be concerned about cost or who provides service because it will all be ,”taken care of,” by taxpayer dollars.
Services and the quality of service will deteriorate as doctors will be forced to accept a government controlled pricing schedule. Research will decrease as standard services will be all that is provided because of lack of competitiveness for special and normal doctors services therefore new and more innovative procedures will no longer be sought after and medical research and discovery will dry up on the proverbial vine.
Someone else paying for all aspects of health care for individuals creates a lazy dependency by consumers, eliminates free market procedures like price shopping and service shopping which as a result raises cost rather than lowering. And when the government steps in to dictate who, what, when, where and how concerning even standard doctors services the quality of that service will suffer as a result. We don’t have to look at the destructive examples of countries like Canada and Great Britain to see the result of government and mandated health care. All we have to do is look at what happens when our own free market system is bypassed for any given product or service and the resulting high price and poorer service to see just how destructive and dangerous Obamacare is for America.
Ken Taylor The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth