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Obamacare was the latest government meddling, and it meddled in a big way, but before Obamacare, there were Medicaid and Medicare.
The AMA opposed Medicare when it was proposed because the doctors feared that it was the first step toward socialized medicine.
So, when it finally passed in 1965, the government reimbursed providers generously to gain acceptance.
With a third party footing the bill, doctors and hospitals had no incentive to hold down costs, but eventually, costs had to be reined in.
Private health insurance companies tended to follow the lead of the government with generous coverage and reimbursement, but over time, they were forced to control costs.
Since Medicare and Medicaid, there have been several unsuccessful attempts to control health care costs.
Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) and Managed Care Organizations or capitation plans that paid doctors a fixed amount regardless of the amount of care provided were never widely accepted in the marketplace, primarily because patients had no incentive to keep costs low.
Premiums went up every year, but most were insulated from the rising cost because employers were picking up the extra expense.
The Obama administration talked about “bending the cost curve” with the ACA, but the real objective was to provide wider access to insurance.
How can you possibly control the cost of health insurance if you do not deal with the underlying cost of the care?
The common denominator in each of these failures is that choice and individual control were taken away from consumers and turned over to a third party.
In a free market, individuals have options and the freedom to choose based on criteria that are important to them.health careOur current system doesn’t allow for choice because a third-party payer is in the middle, making decisions based almost entirely on cost.
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At the very least, let’s separate “health insurance” from “employment” by making it tax deductible — putting it on a par with employer health “benefits”. After all, if you lose or change a job. Then you don’t lose your car insurance!