I just got a new pair of glasses. My employer paid for it. It is part of our vision plan. People without glasses subsidizing people with glasses. Since I am a programmer that is pretty moot; we all have glasses. But I didn’t pay a dime for my $300 glasses. So basically I had no incentive to not spend my employer’s (i.e., the stockholders’) money. That is ultimately one of the biggest problems with our current system; there is no incentive not to consume health care if you have employer-provided insurance. Ultimately that comes out of all our salaries but it is so indirect we just don’t see it. And it is socialism (if it looks like a duck…), just within a company.
How do we roll this back? I personally like Singapore’s system much better than ours. For non-catastrophic services they pay their own money out of a HSA. So there is an incentive not to spend. With the monkey of Medicare on our back I am not sure how to get to such a system. Here is one idea: give working adults a choice now: the feds can let you donate money into your HSAs instead of medicare payments, and you opt-out of medicare. Here is the catch. It is not currently possible to buy catastrophic coverage that makes ay sense because if you actually get sick they will find a way to drop you. That is some insurance reform that I do approve of. If that logistical problem can be solved, I think I would opt-out myself. But for now there is not a good alternative to medicare for your golden years– we need to change that.